Saturday, May 23, 2015

Find Your Vision and Make Things Happen

I've always believed that having an idea is the most value commodity in blogging.

Not having a nice camera.
Not having Photoshop.
Not having a graphics tablet. 
Not having an Etsy blog template.
Not have all the ARCS.
Not having a quality computer. 
Not having the connections.
Not having endless resources.
Not having money.

None of these things are as valuable as having an idea. None of these things are as valuable as having a vision of what you want your blog to become, both visually and in content. If you're jealous you've admired someone else's blog, you have the ingredients you need to recognize your vision. I like how Blogger A writes smart book reviews, I like how Blogger B uses negative space in their design, I like how Blogger C takes photos. Keep track of what you love about other people's blogs and let it inspire the direction of your blog. Grab some paper, do a little sketch of what you want your design to look like and write down ideas for posts. Congrats, your vision has been born. Knowing what you want the end product to look like is your most precious blogging tool. 

This is where most of us stop, look at our vision and say "I can't make this happen, because I don't have _____" Full stop. "I can go no further" We need to stop doing this.

For a long time my "blank" was my design tools, mainly Photoshop. I would tell myself that I couldn't create good graphics for SOI because I didn't have Photoshop. I couldn't get Photoshop because, at the time, Sunny = broke. I used my lack of Photoshop as an excuse to stop improving. I convinced myself that I had pushed my graphics to the threshold; if they were to improve, I needed Photoshop. For awhile, I wallowed in the thought of the design tools that I didn't have. SOI suffered because I refused to find other ways of making my vision into a reality.

Then I learned that there is almost always more than one way to make your vision a reality. And, if you can't find an alternative way, there's always a way your can tweak an idea without compromising the integrity of your vision. 

I started by googling (I always start by googling). The internet has so much to offer if you're willing to look. The get around that I found for my Photoshop woes, was a free program called GIMP. I invested time into learning how to use this software and produce the graphics that were in my vision for SOI. 

Was my preference still Photoshop? Of course, but I had found a way to get the end product I wanted, and a way to keep improving my blog. Eventually, I saved up some money and bought myself Photoshop Elements, but I'm grateful for the time I spent without it. I learned to stop making excuses, stop settling into complicity, and start looking for alternative ways to make things happen

Sometimes we forget the value of a vision and get hung up on the quality (or lack thereof) of tools  that we have in our arsenal. Instead of getting stuck, I always want to focus on what I do have and learn to make the most of it.

Do you have this problem? Do you find yourself getting discouraged when it comes to blogging? What "get-arounds" have you found to your blogging woes? Let me know what you're thinking in the comments! 

Part of what helps me shape my vision for SOI is the responses from my readership survey  which is still open; to complete it click here.

Reading: Skin and Other Stories by Roald Dahl
Listening: Alabama Shakes
Watching: Rookie Blue 

24 comments:

  1. I have this problem a lot, but like you said, there are always multiple ways to approach and solve a problem. I also think that when you end up taking another, less obvious route to solving a problem, you skills are sharpened even more because you have to work harder.

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    1. Ooo yes! So true. Your skills are definitely sharpened when you have to work harder.

      Excellent point!

      Delete
  2. This is a great post! I have struggled with my lack of photography knowledge, but I learned A, how to use a camera with more skill, and B, where to find good stock photos.

    Hannah from Grace In Everything

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    1. I think a lot of bloggers struggle with the photography part of blogging. Good for you for investing into your skill! Knowing where to find stock photos is also a huge barrier to overcome, since it's so intimating to a lot of people.

      Thanks for visiting SOI!

      Delete
  3. Huzzah! It is encouraging to hear this, particularly since I currently have some BIG ideas for major changes to my blog. I am so excited about it. I am ready to work really hard. But I don't have access to a fancy camera or any kind of expensive editing software. Still, I think enough inspiration and elbow grease should do the trick.

    Keep writing forever,
    Susanna

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    1. Yay! I'm glad it was encouraging. I tried to write the post that I would have found helpful when I was redoing my blog awhile ago. I can't wait to see the changes on your blog! Good luck with them:)

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  4. Ideas! Probably the only endless commodity. X) Ugh, you make me feel guilty for not learning how to customize my blog. :P lol and "Do you find yourself getting discouraged when it comes to blogging?" Try "Do you find yourself getting discouraged when it comes to everything?" Then yes. XD LOL jkjk.

    Aaaaannywayyyyy, I tagged you! If you want. Well I mean, I already tagged you, but you only have to DO it if you want. X)

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    1. Lol Rach, you make me laugh. You should totally customize your blog! That was not the intention of this post, but if the shoe fits...hahaha.

      I'm heading over to check out the tag!

      Delete
  5. Wow, this is very much true. When I first started out blogging, I was like, "Why in the world would people want to read a middle schooler's blog?" (I started blogging in middle school.) I wasn't great at designing, either, and I remember spending five hours for the first two days my blog was up trying to figure out how to style things. I wanted a camera, all the biggies...

    I still don't really have any of the "biggies." I have a digital camera, Photoshop, and my imagination, and that is all I carry at my disposal. I get discouraged at times, because there are bloggers who have only been blogging for several months with 100+ followers, but you know, you only will get out as much as you put into it. And that's what I've been trying to do, and it's helped me get far.

    Sorry for rambling-- when something resonates with me as well, or if I'm curious, I will not shut up at all. I know it's my first time on your blog (your design is GORGEOUS! I had no idea GIMP had the ability to create things like this), soo.... XD

    xoxo Morning
    http://theworldthroughmywindowsill.blogspot.com/

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    1. You were not rambling (and if you were I loved it!). Your imagination is the best tool at your disposal.

      I can totally relate to that discouraged feeling. I've been blogging for four years and I see blogs that are three times my size who've only been at it a year. I take heart in the fact that I believe in my content and try to be grateful for what I have already worked so hard for.

      Welcome to SOI! I'm so happy you visited and left such a nice comment:) But I will be honest; I didn't use GIMP to do this design, but I'm sure it could produce something very similar.

      Delete
  6. Hiya, Sunny!
    This is a really great post. I love how you said that there is nearly always more than one way to make your vision a reality. It made me think- and I can see how true it is! If we really want something, and are willing to put in the effort, then there is really nothing stopping us from achieving that thing. Also, for the record, I always start with google as well. :)

    One more thing- I did tag you for the Liebster Award, but don't worry if you don't get to it! It is totally up to you.

    http://thecuriositycollections.blogspot.com/2015/05/liebster-award.html

    Have a great day!
    :) Bailey

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    1. Google is always the answer:) Time and pressure is what you need to succeed!

      Thank you so much for tagging me! I'm heading over there to check it out now!! I'm so flattered whenever anyone nominates me.

      Delete
  7. Your right Sunny, putting full stops at the end just stops the idea flat. Sometimes you just need to work it, you just need a different angle. I let things stew and develop, I save and start ideas and add as I go along. I learn new skills to create something I love, and that matters HUGELY to me, so you're right. Great post Sunny! :D<3

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    1. Saving ideas as you go along is so important; I agree. It's so satisfying to learn some new skill AND accomplish a goal.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the post! Thanks for commenting:)

      Delete
  8. Great post! I agree that sometimes we think in problems instead of solutions. I had this with my blog as well, I wanted to start a food feature, but I only have a shitty camera and eventually someone else encouraged me to just give it a try and I did and even though my pictures aren't the most beautifull out there, I realized that wasn't necessary. I am sharing recipes in my own way and it works. I am still hoping to get a better camera once, but I realized it wasn't a necessity and it was just an excuse I did as I was afraid to start my new feature. My new feature has been going great for 5 months now and I am happy that other blogger encouraged me to just try it. It made me realize that I could make it happen and that a better camera wasn't necessary.

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    1. Thanks!

      I think a lot of bloggers have a similar story with starting new stuff on their blog. It's inspiring to hear that you grabbed the bull by the horns and made it happen! Sometimes you just have to jump into something and use what you've got. I'm happy to hear that you were successful!

      Thanks for visiting SOI!

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  9. This is such a great idea!

    Kirsty xx

    kirstyhickey.blogspot.com

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  10. Good post! I discovered GIMP a while back and I love it. When I got my tablet for a Christmas present it came with Photoshop elements which I still have to figure out because I love GIMP so much lol. Picmonkey is usually my go-to for blog images because its simplicity though. Photoshop and GIMP can over complicate things.

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm so happy to see that someone else uses GIMP! I recommend it often, but I rarely hear about people actually using it! I got Photoshop Elements too when I bought my tablet and I love using it. However, it can be a bit complicated if you're not familiar with the program.

      Delete
  11. In a way, I'm kind of terrible because I have a lot of these things because of luck. My computer CAME with photoshop and I played around with it for years before I started to get a hang of it. There's an online version known as Pixlr which is pretty great too! Also gimp!

    I don't have a good camera but at he same time, I've been told that my photography is passable so it's always about how much effort you put into it. SURE having nice things helps but like you say, an idea and talent/perserverance always wins!

    My blank was Wordpress for the longest time. I was like "why can't I have a nice design/widgets/plugins?" and the thing is that these wants can force us to strive to do better. but if we obsess with them, they just make us feel terrible and that is a bad way of looking at it.

    Great post <3

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    1. Thank you so much for the nice, long comment! I just bought a new computer and I'm still discovery new programs that came on the machine. I understand your reluctance; I definitely need to utilize the programs I already own!

      Wordpress is something that always sits in the back of my mind. I see bloggers changing over and raving about it's awesomeness, but I'm not sure I'm quite there yet.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

      Delete
  12. i absolutely love this post!

    from helen at thelovecatsinc.com

    ps. there's a USA beauty giveaway inc lorac, tarte etc on my blog! click here.

    ReplyDelete

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