Thursday, January 31, 2019

Belated introduction (no, not really!)

 “I don’t know why people are so keen on putting the details of their private life in public. They forget that invisibility is a superpower”.

Happy New Year, everyone!
Every now and then but especially after New Year celebrations, people on social media put some “introductions”. You know how it goes: “Thank you for reading this… I have more followers now… Let me re-introduce myself…” and so on.
Every time I see it I feel bad since I am on social media as well. Sort of. At least I have this platform, whatever it is. And I do get feedback from people on a regular basis. Which is why I keep writing. Because at some point I really wanted to stop doing it altogether.
I didn’t introduce myself when I started this blog and I don’t feel like introducing myself any time soon. Well, from my perspective I gave away enough information about myself that anyone who is not my close relative needs. Yet, reading all the “introductions” and “re-introductions” recently I figured that I need at least say something about it, to clarify my position once and for all, and never get back to it.
When the first knitting blogs started to pop up on the Internet in the early 2000s I became an avid follower and reader. Why? Because suddenly it was obvious that many people shared my passion for knitting and were going through the same struggles. And I could learn a lot from them about new techniques, new yarns, and new patterns. Some bloggers were great photographers themselves or had someone professional around so the pictures were amazing (I believe the expression “eye candy” became extremely popular then).
At the time, I didn’t even consider doing anything of the sort. Moreover, I didn’t think of photographing my finished projects. It seemed totally silly. Who would want to look at my work? Where people would find time to do such meaningless thing? Silly, right?
Yet, the Internet started taking up more and more of our time and playing more important part in our lives. And suddenly, more people started spending quite a big chunk of their day online just looking at pictures.
Yes, we were given some buttons to show our “likes” and “dislikes”, to comment, to put on an emoji or a sticker, to make it feel less silly and more interactive. At first, I thought that it was just a fad and it would quickly go away. It didn’t. Then Ravelry appeared out of nowhere. Again, I wasn’t a big fan at first and decided to join only when pretty much everyone I knew in the knitting community was there and I felt left behind.
Even after joining Ravelry, I couldn’t make myself develop a profile and put pictures of my stuff there. I didn’t have a good camera and never learned how to make good pictures (and most likely never will because I don’t want to). There wasn’t anyone who would take pictures of me in my clothes. And I couldn’t even think of doing it myself – usually I don’t like how I look on pictures and try to keep them to a minimum. My children at the time wouldn’t model anything for me because, honestly, mom, why would anyone do such a stupid thing?
And I am a very private person. Like really, really private. I don’t like sharing more information about myself than is required. I am from a different generation, a generation of non-sharers.
Changing my attitude toward Ravelry, taking and putting up my pictures there and on other platforms, starting this blog was a huge leap for me. Do you know which part was the most painful? No, not pictures. Apparently, I am not that vain after all. Emojis. When the “J” and “L” started to appear in e-mails, I had to ask my daughter about their meaning and then, when she enlightened me, launched into a long monologue about how a person should be able to use words to express everything. Well, it turned out that emojis can be handy and a person can go without using too many words to express everything.
Anyway, back to my non-introduction.
I started writing here for myself and some of my knitting friends who couldn’t see my knits in person anymore. From the beginning my goal was to keep it as honest as possible. It is hard to be honest when you talk about yourself. We all have this tiny voice in our heads that keeps telling us how and why we are doing things, making our messy and illogical life into a coherent and smooth narrative. Because, who wants messy and illogical? People love stories. So we make them for ourselves and others. And it is hard not to get into this storytelling mode when talking about your life. Which is why I try to keep it to a minimum and stick with knitting. After all, knitting is objective. I made this or that and I did it this or that way. Period. If you are interested, you’ll save it somewhere and use later, if not – there is plenty of other stuff on the Internet.
I don’t try to sell or buy anything. I am not looking for clients, or fame, or likes. Well, I like to be liked but I try to block this part of my brain because I know how the algorithm works and it doesn’t work in my favor. I know what has to be done to get more eyes on what I write and I am not in the mood to do it.
So let us continue as before. I’ll describe my knitting process, patterns, and yarn. Sometimes I can share a “lifehack” or two. I myself love learning new techniques and some of my readers like it too.
Knitting isn’t my only passion in life. I try to write about it as often as I can but get constantly distracted by other things. Don’t expect daily posts from me. I am not cut out for this. I never had a journal and I can write only when I have something to write about.
Now, after explaining all this as clearly as I could, happy New Year again and I’ll be back with my new finished projects soon.