I’m in love with the idea of intentionally creating a unique life, and hearing the stories of people who are in the process of creating inspired lives for themselves (whatever that means to them) is fascinating, and always a learning experience for me. Two years ago I started this as a series called the Creative Life interviews, and this year I'm bringing them back as a regular feature!
Today we're talking with Meredith from the beautiful blog One Sheepish Girl. I was first drawn to Meredith's blog because of her simple, beautiful photography style and was drawn in right away. Meredith is kind, warm, creative and quirky. She has a distinct gift for dreaming up unique projects and showcasing colourful pieces of her everyday life that give you a peek into her world. Her way of writing lets you in without sharing too much, which just makes her more fascinating.
Let's go behind the scenes in her creative life, shall we?
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Please tell us about yourself and how blogging & knitting became part of your life.
Hello! My name is Meredith and I have a blog called One Sheepish Girl. I am writer, blogger, and yarn-crafter living in Dallas, TX. I taught myself to knit and crochet during my junior year of college. This new, creative skill came at a time when creative joy was lacking in my life. I knew something was missing I just had no idea that something was a colorful ball of yarn! As I began sharing my new love of yarn crafts with my friends they suggested I start a blog. At the time, I never read blogs or had any experience with blogging, but I decided to give it a try. My blog quickly became my sanctuary. It was (and is) my place of creative freedom. Blogging constantly pushes me to learn more about my crafts and, more importantly, myself.
How did you first start to recognize your passion knitting and photography, and realize that it could be something more? Was there a turning point or “Ah-Ha” moment for you?
I think my “Ah-ha” moment came when I realized my dreams of doing something I love for a living might actually come true. However, I never expected the opportunity to come so soon! Also, the support and encouragement of readers, fellow bloggers, and other creative people in the publishing industry really pushed me to see that what I am doing is something unique. That realization caused me to look at my web presence in a whole new way.
Take us through a day in your life.
I wake up early, around 7:00 a.m., and have a bowl of cereal and a bowl of coffee. Ha! After breakfast, I spend some time alone with my notebook and my Bible. This is really important to me and gets me in the right mindset to take on the day.
By 9:00 a.m., I am dressed and responding to emails at my computer.
Next, I usually start working on freelance projects. That involves setting up a photo shoot, writing the copy, and organizing the project materials.
Afternoons & Evenings
I break for a quick lunch and get back to work. At this point in the day my schedule tends to vary, but I try to maintain some form of structure. Some days I stay on my computer late into the night and that is becoming a problem. I try to unplug from everything on the weekends. It helps me stay sane and keeps my contacts from drying out! Haha.
Do you keep an editorial calendar for your blog? If not, how do you capture & plan your post ideas?
I try to plan out posts for each month, but my blog calendar is very flexible. My goal is to consistently post high quality work that reflects my personality and unique point of view. If a project idea doesn’t work or if life becomes overwhelming, I take a step back and remember the many reasons why I love to blog. I enjoy blogging about my creative passions and I am working hard to turn those passions into a career. Instead of pressuring myself to reach a certain level by a certain time, I continue to blog about what inspires me and work with companies and publications I enjoy.
Who are your role models?
My parents. My mom and dad are the most supportive, encouraging, and strong people I have ever known. I also look up to so many people in the blog world (like you, Kyla!) who actively pursue their passions. It is so inspiring to be part of this community!
You have an amazing social media following- over 50,000 followers on Instagram alone! When did your notice your followers start to take off, and what are your tips for ladies who'd like to grow their community online?
Thank you! Sometimes it is a little overwhelming. I try not to think of it as a following but as a community. I don’t want to perform for an audience; I want to contribute to a community. I think that is my best tip for bloggers who want to grow their online presence. Finding unique ways to share your work through social media will allow you to reach a larger group of creative people!
How do you stay balanced, or get back to centre when life happens?
Balance is really important to me. I work hard at everything that comes my way and do my best to put good work out in the world. However, I know that constantly working and being plugged in is not the way I want to live. I stay balanced by keeping the majority of my life off of my blog. I don’t want the usual ups and downs of daily life to dictate my creative space. My focus is to maintain my love for blogging and work hard to turn my creative passions into a career.
Find more of Meredith…
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The stories of bloggers making their hobby into their passions were everywhere in the early 2000's, but as blogging blossomed and advertising rates started to be less exclusive it became much more complicated to attract attention to any one site.
I think Meredith is a fabulous example of how understanding your strengths and what draws people to your site can do for a blogger. It can make you jump out from the crowd! She's obviously a wonderful photographer, and has naturally built her blog around that strength and naturally focused on the highly visual Instagram as her social media outlet of choice. Since they play on her strengths, it's no wonder that she's so widely followed.
What I like best about Meredith's blog is that her design is in sync with the colours in her home, which instantly makes her posts feel tied together. And her photography style reflects how she writes. Both her subjects and close up framing of each shot reflects what you get at her blog: an invitation into a private, stylish, work room where she's been keeping her hands very busy.
What's one of your natural strengths?
Let's make it work harder for you, together!
Let me know what one of your natural strengths is in the comments below, and an example of how you use it in your blog, work or in social media. I'll reply to everyone who comments this weekend with a suggestion for how you could leverage that to make yourself even more irresistible to new followers, or to start seriously ramping up your success & satisfaction.
Stuck on your strengths? It can be a specific skill, a way of communicating, or a personality spin that you put on everything. Try these on for size: day dreamer of possibilities, encouraging teacher, productivity whirlwind, eye for detail, mastery of sarcasm, super intense laser focus, strategic thinking ninja, unofficial president of the league of self care…