Looking for new reading material? Not sure how to get started as a blogger? Coffee and Cardigans' monthly blogger Q&A series introduces some of the amazing lady bloggers that inspired on me a daily basis. Hanna is the extremely talented blogger behind Pearls & Scissors. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.
Tell us a little about yourself and your blog!I'm Hanna, a 28-year-old DIY addict, blogger, singer, dreamer and over-achiever (in that order). At the end of last year, me and my husband moved from our homeland of Estonia to Leverkusen, Germany to pursue our singing careers. But that's not the only thing I'm pursuing at the moment. I've always been multi-passionate, which means I'm constantly juggling a million things at once, but I couldn't imagine life any other way. I have a degree in psychology and classical singing, but most of the time, I'm making stuff, and blogging about it at Pearls & Scissors.
How did you get started blogging?My blogging journey began about six years ago on an Estonian social platform for craft-lovers. I soon discovered that I wanted to be more connected to all the cool DIY-lovers and other bloggers in the world, and started writing in English on my first real blog. After a couple of years, I felt bored and trapped by the name I'd chosen for my blog, and decided to start from scratch. So Pearls & Scissors was formed. By the way, it took me days to come up with that name. In hindsight, I could have just switched up the names, but I sort of like that I had a completely clean slate. Pearls & Scissors is three years old now, and I've been loving every second. In the last six months, I've worked to turn it into my dream career.
How has your blog changed recently?I love this question, because I believe a blog is always evolving, just as we are. I think the main change in the last few months has been to focus on blogging as a business, rather than a hobby. When I moved to Germany about eight months ago, and couldn't find a job, I took the jump to blogging as a career. Naturally, my blogging goals and content are affected by that - I need to think more about where the money's coming from, and less about where to buy glitter for my next project (although, I sometimes mix up those priorities).
I recently started offering sewing e-courses, and I'm constantly brainstorming new ideas for future products. My big vision is to turn Pearls & Scissors into a brand I can be proud of. I'm sure my big Idea is yet to come, but until then, I'm excited to do work that inspires and motivates me.
What does daily life look like for you, blogging included?Gosh, this one's tough. I'm a multi-passionate over-achiever, so my days are pretty hectic, but also super varied. Currently, I'm juggling a part-time gig as a nanny, some freelance writing projects, blogging, course development, singing lessons, and crafting projects for the blog. So, any given day is going to be a mix of most of these things. I always start my day with a cup of coffee (#butfirstcoffee) and a quick sweep across all my social media channels. Next up - e-mail. Just a bunch of deleting, a couple of replies, and a few stars to some important stuff I need to handle later. By then, I've woken up enough to really start working.
I spend the next couple of hours either writing a blog post, an article for my freelance gig, or crafting a project for the blog. On days that I'm working from home, my day usually continues with a quick lunch-break, and then I'm back in business. The afternoons are usually spent creating new projects for the blog, photographing finished projects, editing photos, and writing content. Sometimes I can squeeze in a little singing practice, or even a lesson. After dinner, it's usually back to work. I usually spend evenings on administrative stuff, and long-term projects like updates on the website, new courses, and side projects (yes, I have side-projects outside of everything I already mentioned). I babysit two days a week, and on those days, I usually only schedule in a couple of important tasks like writing that days blog post or finishing up an article that's due.
What keeps you inspired as a blogger?For me, the biggest inspiration is growth. I'm an idea-person by nature (I have notebooks upon notebooks full of all kinds of ideas), so coming up with new projects or content ideas is not a problem for me. What I struggle with, however, is finding the time and motivation to execute on those ideas. Seeing my blog grow is what inspires me to keep working hard and do better.
I'm not sure I have any quirky blogging rituals, but I do have a creative process I go through when I need to come up with a specific feature for my blog. I share mainly DIY projects, so there's a lot of creating that needs to happen every week. When I feel like I'm not sure what to make next from my mile-long list, I just take out all my fabrics, to-be-refashioned items, crafting supplies and lay them out on the floor. Then I just sit amongst them, and see what I'm drawn to the most. Works every time.
quirky blogging ritual creative process?
What advice would you offer other bloggers?Everyone says to stay true to your voice and write about the things you're passionate about. All very good advice, but what I've found over the years is that one under-discussed source of blogging burnout is not having a clear enough understanding of why you're blogging. This goes for both hobby-bloggers and aspiring professionals. I'm not talking goals (although those are good, too), but the big WHY.
Most of the time, blogging is a solitary act - just you and your computer. And, chances are when you're just starting out, or your blog isn't that big, your posts won't be flooded with kind comments from raving readers. It's easy to get discouraged when you're not even sure why you're putting in all this time and effort. Start with "why?" and you'll always have at least one reason to continue. Or, on the flip side, you'll also know when it's time to switch things up, or maybe move on.