Precisely one year ago today, I launched this blog.
That much is public knowledge, but what wasn’t shared online back then is that I spent much of January 1, 2020 at the ER of our nearest hospital. My husband’s kidney issues were flaring fiercely at the time and he required emergency care.
In the coming weeks, he would undergo two surgeries, one at that same hospital, the other in Vancouver.
At the time, I was struck by what an unforgettable way to begin the year that was and wondered if it foreshadowed a sense of what 2020 held in-store for us.
Suffice it to say, it did.
There were challenges and stresses, health concerns, our collective new normal, self-isolating, social distancing, and both losing and finding ourselves in myriad ways across the span of a year that felt more like twenty.
As much as I could talk at length about the year that just was, honestly, I think it serves both myself and my readers better if we look ahead.
That said, before we proceed further, I want to take a moment to offer my deepest sympathies to anyone who experienced loss or pain, trauma, heartache, stress, impacts on their health (mental health very much included), struggled in ways they never could have foreseen, or otherwise took a punch in the gut from 2020.
It was brutal and real, flawed and frightening, and utterly, profoundly unforgettable.
If you’re blessed to have made it this far, you were stronger and tougher than 2020. You did incredibly!
It wasn’t easy – isn’t easy still. It wasn’t straightforward or simple, nor was it like anything most of us had ever experienced.
You tried, hoped, held on, cried, lost, and managed to keep going.
In short, you did your best, gave it your all, coped however you could, and held tight as the roller coaster that was 2020 took on a ride that will impact us for the rest of our lives.
I am proud of you. And, moreover, you should be proud of yourself, you warrior, you!
Witchcrafted Life’s 1st birthday
There is something rather profound and meaningful in a blog reaching its first birthday.
It is proof of concept come to life.
The knowledge that while your site might not be the oldest or most famous or highest trafficked in all the land, it is no longer a brand new babe-in-arms either.
In the tree truck that is a website’s life, you’ve earned your first ring.
Through each difficulty and challenge, tough day and tougher night of 2020, this blog was a rock for me.
There were times, I won’t lie, when I wondered if I could keep going with it.
When my health hit me extra hard, when stress pushed down upon my world, when I was as drained as an empty Olympic swimming pool.
I never questioned the decision to start Witchcrafted Life. I did wonder at times though, if it would live to see its first birthday. And for that matter, if I would either.
Yet, the more the storms of life raged on, the tighter my grip held firm. I let the waves crash over me and accepted when the bad days put me out of commission.
Whether I wrote 6,000 words a day (which I did multiple times) or was lucky to squeeze in 1,000 into a given week, I was, and am, grateful and happy and more than a little bit in love with running this website.
Your supportive comments, both here and on Instagram fuelled me on.
Each new season and sabbat, fuelled me on.
Every craft project I made and shared fuelled me on.
The sense that this was only just the beginning of something even more wonderful (for this blog/my life/my future) fuelled me on.
As did each fresh post idea, email I received from a reader, and spark of inspiration that came my way.
I knew when I began WitchcraftedLife.com that I needed blogging in my world again. What I could never have foreseen one year ago to the day, however, was just how much I would not only needed, but wanted it as well.
And, clearly, as you can see, I didn’t toss in the towel, didn’t let my the roughest present moments rob me of the potential that lies in all of my tomorrows.
I’ve long learned that one rarely knows how long a given blog or website will be online, nor what might cause its eventual conclusion.
It would be foolheartedly to say outright that I plan to run this site for the next ten, twenty, or more years. There is simply no way of knowing if that will be the case
As 2020 drove home more so than ever, all we have in the moment and hope for those that lie ahead.
I am fully committed to this site. Even when, at times, I may question my ability to keep going with it, I am devoted to Witchcrafted Life to the best of my abilities.
It fills me with tremendous joy to reach Witchcrafted Life’s first blogging anniversary. To toast to a year of life under its proverbial belt, and to look forward to what I hope will be an awesome second year of blogging. 🥂
Seven things I plan to do for Witchcrafted Life in 2021
1. Keep up my posting frequency of at least 1 new entry per week. I did so every week of 2020, and while I’m accepting that sometimes circumstances (or the conscious choice – such as a mini blogging break, holiday, etc) may prevent that from playing out, my aim is to hit that target as often as possible.
2. Take craft project photos that I’m happier with. If you have been here for a while, you’ve likely heard me gripe a bit about (what I consider to be) the subpar photo quality of my most of my project images.
To date, I’ve been taking my photos with a cell phone camera, usually at night, and using basic (tungsten) overhead lighting in our dimly lit house. Not a winning combo in this instance, let me tell you.
The photos I’ve taken and posted aren’t, IMO, terrible, they’re just not at the level I want them to be.
We (my husband is also a passionate – and very talented – photographer) lost a lifetime’s worth of photography equipment in the arson fire we experienced, and have not been in a position yet to replace most of it.
Little by little though, I’m going to purchase or make (e.g., reflectors, backdrops, etc) what I can in 2021 and beyond, and hope that within a matter of months, I can start sharing project photos here that I’m a lot happier with the quality of (fingers crossed!).
3. Continue to expand the diversity of topics that I cover here. From Graveyard Snow Magick to Ancestral DNA Testing, The Ultimate List of Things to Put in Shaker Cards to 31 Ways to Celebrate Halloween All Year, we definitely covered a wide range of subjects during Witchcrafted Life’s first year.
I hope/plan to bring you even more topic diversity this year and beyond, and am always open to suggestions if there’s anything you’d be interested in seeing me write about here.
4. Make more projects that aren’t “just” cards and scrapbook pages. Like many a paper crafter, these are my top two favourite and most commonly made types of projects.
However, I really enjoy things like tags, mini albums, canvases, handmade gift wrapping, party décor, and much more that falls under the broad header of paper crafting.
In particular, mini albums have been calling my name something fierce lately, so I’m hoping to create some new ones in the coming year.
5. Use photos that I did not take in some of my posts. When I began this blog, I thought it would be both fun and challenging to create the photos for every post (or at least very nearly so) that I publish.
It was, and is. However, I’ve come to realize that sometimes a post might be served just as well, or better, by included images from other people, too.
Always, of course, using public domain, copywrite free, purchased stock, or otherwise legally permissible images, of course.
In doing so, I hope that I can help to provide even more applicable and appealing visuals for the content that I write.
That said, I still plan to create the photos and/or graphics for many (if not most) of my blog posts – especially since I like to have an original photo of my own that I can share on Instagram when discussing a given blog post there.
6. Share more about myself here. I think that, perhaps more than ever these days, a lot of bloggers put a major emphasis on creating evergreen content.
This is understandable and there is nothing wrong with doing so. I too strive to create a fair number of posts that will remain helpful and relevant for ages to come, and which are apt to be well indexed in search engines.
However, I feel that it is important for bloggers to let their personalities and certain facets of their lives shine through in (at least) some of their posts as well.
I’ve done that at times on WCL, and want to keep opening up about who I am and what my life is like here with you even more as this blog embraces its second year of life.
7. Share further content aimed at new witches. Like many a witch who puts themselves out there in the public sphere, I get a lot of emails and DMs from beginner witches or those who are looking to expand their practice.
A number of the same types of questions surface time and time again, so I’m planning to turn some of them into detailed posts that can both help those who are Googling for these subjects and individuals who contact me directly about about a particular topic.
Again, if there’s anything you’d be keen to see a post about, please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below (or anytime via email).
Here’s to everything that 2021 holds in store for us
In his beautiful poem “Dreams” the American poet Langston Hughes included the moving words, “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly”.
As much as last year turned many of our lives on their heads, as we bravely step into the fresh new year that is 2021, I encourage you to hold fast to your hopes and dreams.
Be kind and patient with yourself and others. Be safe and try to employ common sense at every turn. Know that while tomorrow is a mystery in some senses, even in the darkest of times, certain universal principles apply to our existence.
Take comfort in the familiar, in the good that remains (and which you can generate), allow yourself to grieve and heal for as long as your soul needs; and remain realistically optimistic that there may be good things waiting in store for us over the next twelve months.
And know that, barring the truly unforeseen, I have every intention to be here, same place, same date, next year for Witchcrafted Life’s 2nd birthday.
Let’s make 2021 the best, safest, and happiest year that we can.
Together, we’ve got this. 💗