I’ve been choosing a word for the year for a while now but its always felt a bit contrived. Focus was my word for 2018, Replenish for 2019 but neither of them really helped very much. They didn’t feel ‘right’ in some way that I can’t really put my finger on.
This year seems different. Perhaps its because its the start of a new decade as well as a new year. The word LESS was just there. I didn’t have to chose it. It was just right – and again in a way that I can’t really describe.
Doing the review of 2019 for Episode 90 turned out to be one of my best decisions of last year – as was doing vlogmas. I learned an important lesson through both of those adventures; that I need to be far less rigid in my planning and push to do more, more, more.
Vlogmas gave me the chance to really play with making vlog style videos and tutorials. Because I was doing one each day, I didn’t have a lot of time to plan them to the nth degree, or to spend a lot of time worrying about them. They were all, apart from the Christmas Eve one, done on the day, edited and loaded up. Job done.
Want to watch vlogmas? You can access the full playlist of Crafternoon Treats vlogmas videos here.
I learned that less is more, to rehash an old cliche. Less overthinking, less striving for complete perfection, less worrying all mean more videos, more content and more fun!
Change is good
I don’t think that I’m rigid in the way that I resist change. Over the last seven years I’ve made massive changes to my life, transforming from a career in medical writing to a lifestyle that is immersed in creativity. The seismic event that blew up my world was the death of my lovely mum in 2013. Although I didn’t realise it at the time, this was a beginning as well as an ending.
Working through a loss takes a long time. While I will always miss her and wish she was here with the family, I think 2020 is the point where I can move forwards without looking back quite so much with a heavy heart.
She would be amazed at what I’ve done since – I’m a bit shocked myself. But I recognise that I am now in a position to really move forward with my creative life with LESS worry that I’m not good enough, not creative enough, not artistic enough, to just DO what I want in my life.
So (one of my favourite words, as you know), I am going to be making a few changes in 2020 to how I do things. Some streamlining changes, some going against the tide changes and some changes that some people might not like. But there is only me – I am Crafternoon Treats and one person can’t do everything.
Changes to the blog
My first blog post was in April 2014 so the website and blog will be 6 years old this year. Over the years I’ve blogged but not consistently or regularly in some months and it has rather been overshadowed and overtaken by my podcasting activities.
Many times I have had an idea for a post but haven’t had the time or energy to take, process and upload the umpteen gloriously artistic photos that blog posts need.
But my current thinking is: do they really? I am a writer and have been all my adult life. I earned a living from it for over 25 years. Photography is. skill I’ve practiced in the last 7 years but I am no way a professional. When I take photos that tell a story and make a good post I’ll use them. But this post marks the move to embracing the freedom just to play with words.
Changes to the YouTube channel
Vlogmas really opened up many possibilities for making shorter videos, tutorial videos and vlogs and this is something that I really feel empowered to do more of in 2020. Like you, I’ve seen all the vlogs on YouTube about burnout – so I won’t be working to a rigid schedule of uploads at a definite time or frequency.
That really sucks the creative spark out of you and I’m not surprised that people who have tried to do weekly or daily videos crack after months or even years of sustained pressure. And the funny thing is, that pressure is completely self-inflicted.
So expect more from me in 2020, but some different sorts of videos, some experiments, some things that will work, maybe some things that don’t.
Changes to social media
Don’t get me started about instagram and the socials being exploited by big business to make advertising revenue. Just don’t!!
Putting that aside, I still enjoy instagram and feel that IG is an outlet for my photographic creativity and a way to record my daily life. I take an awful lot more photos than ever make it to instagram and it was going through the ones I took in 2019 that really helped in my retrospective for Episode 90. That was such a valuable exercise.
But social media is a BIG time sink. Minutes and hours just get washed down the drain and with only 24 hours in the day, something just has to give. Not the posting so much but I admit to really struggling with replying to comments and even more with checking my feed and commenting on posts by people I follow.
This is true not only for IG but for Facebook, my FB groups, Ravelry, the blog, the videos on YouTube, my Patreon space, Twitter and my Etsy shop. So some prioritisation is inevitable.
Changes I have already made in the latter part of 2019: deleting my Crafternoon Treats twitter account and removing the comment feature on this blog. I may reinstate it for a limited time for selected blogs, perhaps the really wordy ones like this one. But for the most part, allowing comments on blog posts just means having to pay for software to block spam, and then having to spend time cleaning up the spam comments that get through.
Changes for 2020 (and there may be more)
- Limiting the time I spend checking my feed on IG to 15 minutes per day
- Reducing the number of people I follow on IG
- Never checking my Facebook feed
- Limiting the time I spend responding to comments on all the socials
- Streamlining the Ravelry group with fewer threads but more chatty threads.
- Adding some time into my week for me to interact with the group.
- Admitting to the Ravelry group that I really don’t have the capacity to run crochet alongs on a regular basis. I’m not saying never again, just not for now and no promises!
- Prioritising responding to comments on Etsy, Patreon and YouTube and on my posts on IG and FB.
- Adding in some time into my week to interact with my Facebook groups.
- Giving myself a break sometimes – like not posting or interacting on a Sunday… or late in the evenings.
Quite a few LESS but some MORE so that I can achieve a balance without risking burnout.
More about less soon
Less is certainly a word I’m going to be using in my working life but its also going to be central to other aspects of my life too and I’ll talk more about this in Episode 91 and in podcasts and vlogs throughout 2020.
xxx Kathryn xxx
Comments are open on this post. Please do let me know what your word for the year 2020 is and why you chose it.
Comments will close January 31 2020