The Daily Post is asking me: Why did you start your blog? Is that still why you blog, or has your site gone in a different direction than you’d planned?
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My first personal blog kicked off maybe four or five years ago. Snap, Crackle, Pop (which still lives, lonely, online) was intended to be a place to allow me to ramble about the pop culture musings of the day.
I chose the topic because of a blog I wrote for my first newspaper out of college. The blog, Diet Pop Culture, was, yes, my ramblings on the pop culture musings of the day. I enjoyed writing Diet Pop Culture thoroughly and figured I’d transfer the enjoyment to my own blog.
The problem with Snap, Crackle, Pop (or maybe the nice thing about it) was that it was not for an employer. It was for me. So there was no one to keep me on topic, and it eventually became a spot for all things Jaclyn.
As Jac & Elsie became more and more a part of my life, the blog began to evolve to a spot where I could talk about my jewelry, my processes and Etsy. I had an occasional feature, Shop Talk, where I would Q&A with shop owners I admired.
Eventually, I kind of lost steam. Snap, Crackle, Pop had ceased to have any sort of identity, and I wasn’t enjoying myself anymore. I rarely gained any kind of organic readership, and if I didn’t like what I was writing, and no one was reading what I was writing, what was the point?
I decided I needed to start from scratch: a new idea, a new blog space, a new name. (The only bad thing about switching URLs … I had built up a small group of readers from the Joey’s Auction’s I’d held, and I’m not sure many of them followed me over. In retrospect … I’d not have done it this way. Ah well, live and learn.)
With this new space, my first trick was to come up with a name. I knew I wanted this to focus more on me. Sometimes when shop owners have blogs they try to make personal, they fail miserably because they’re so connected to the idea that they’re blogging for their brand, and when you do that, you don’t want to offend anyone. This means if you try to convey anything of substance, it’s really watered down as you tread the waters between “I’m trying to be honest” and “I don’t want to lose a potential buyer.” I knew I wanted to use this space to talk about my business, but I didn’t want that to be the sole reason I blogged.
I came up with the name Curious Jac because I find it to be a good fit for me. I’m a curious gal (one of the first things Jeff told me he liked about me was my curiosity for the world, one of the sweetest compliments I’ve ever received), and I liked that “Jac” harkened to “Jac & Elsie.”
Here, however, it has been a struggle to find a voice and a reason, too. When I left my career as a newspaper journalist, I found I didn’t really miss anything about the job except the writing (and the people ). My new gig gets me into the office an hour and a half earlier than the paper did, which means by the time I get home, I am useless for freelance, which I’d hoped to begin to scratch the writing itch.
With that not being in the cards for me (seriously, there is no way I’d be able to schedule interviews, conduct those interviews and writing compelling journalism after eight hours in my marketing job), I turned to Curious Jac, which has become a space for me to do the kind of writing that was my favorite at my job. I didn’t get to write columns often, but they’ve been my favorite form of writing since high school when the student paper advisor let me be opinion page editor my junior year.
Sure, I still talk about Jac & Elsie, as it’s become a huge part of my life, a hobby turned part-time business that is one of my favorite ways to unwind. But my goal is to do the kind of writing I can be proud of, the kind that’s honest and relatable with maybe a cool turn of phrase here and there.
Will Curious Jac stay this way? Given how my personal blogging track record has gone, I doubt it. But I can say this is the most happy I’ve been with a blog of mine, and that’s pretty cool.