Finding Your {My} Niche

Occasionally I stumble across something online that is tangentially related to my life but that resonates so deeply with me that I am compelled to share. It didn’t take much thought or time for me to apply this latest tidbit of information to being a quilter, having an online presence, and so much more.

I have mentioned Seth Godin before, and I enjoy reading his daily blog. Seth’s post yesterday about Choosing Your Spot really resonated with me in so many ways. He opens by acknowledging that there are people with more skills, knowledge, and experience than you. Instead of bemoaning the situation he deftly and immediately identifies the one area where it is easy to leave a mark: attitude.

You can bring more generosity of spirit, more enthusiasm, more kindness, more resilience, more positive energy, more bravery and more magic to the room than anyone else[.] – Seth Godin

I almost feel like my post today is completely unnecessary. Over and over and over again I see a generosity of spirit, a willingness to collaborate, and a gleeful desire to donate skills, time, and money from the quilting community. And it warms my heart each and every time.

But I know that it is also easy to hide behind a keyboard and that some in the online community have been dealing with hurtful online trolls (and worse) lately as well.

I also know what it is like to be a quilter or blogger or individual who is looking around and wondering just how the heck they are going to be seen in the ocean of information being produced today.

I don’t have specific answers to a lot of life’s questions, but I know good advice when I read it. Let’s all continue to bravely be our own unique selves and offer compassion to one another as we trod along this road together.

36 thoughts on “Finding Your {My} Niche

  1. Thanks for this post, Yvonne. It is so thoughtfully written. I agree with you that we need to continue to encourage one another and enjoy each other’s talents, rather than be spiteful and mean.

  2. Here – here, Yvonne! I have witnessed such amazing kindness and generosity in our community and it warms my heart as well. I count myself beyond lucky to have found such gentle souls and I hope they feel the appreciation and love in return.

  3. Jan O says:

    Your efforts as a quilter/designer and as a builder of community via your blog are truly outstanding. Thanks for sharing what inspires you.

  4. ioleen kimmel says:

    Thanks for sharing this post. I agree with Seth, there are lots of people with more knowledge, skills and experience than I but I so enjoy the quilting world and being a small part of it. I give my time and the experience I have when I can. I enjoy helping people in any way I can.

  5. Beth LaMotte says:

    Beautifully said Yvonne.

  6. This is a great post. I’m at the crossroads of my time in quilting and trying to figure out if I want to do more (professionally) or just enjoy the ride. Blog entries like this are inspiring and helpful.

  7. Cocoa Quilts says:

    Thanks for this great post Yvonne. I am a firm believer in positive attitude. I may need to go check out Seth’s blog.

  8. Yvonne, I keep hearing this that there are mean spirited comments being made and even a secret group of quilters trying to “get rid of” certain other quilters. What in the world is going on? I haven’t seen this. What’s it all about? It’s hard to fathom.

  9. Paula S. Pike says:

    Yvonne, your posts/blog is one of the few that I read in its entirety. You don’t self-promote yourself you share. You have brought us great pattern designs and wonderful shows of collaboration. You’re always the first to share the need for donated blocks for this or that charity or healing quilt for those less fortunate.

    People that have to make hateful/hurtful comments and more begin by not liking themselves and where they are in life. That is their choice but unfortunately they have to spread their pain and that isn’t acceptable.

    You have the choice to be heard! I appreciate your voice and your sharing.

    Thank you!

  10. The world so needs more kindness, generosity and compassion! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  11. kittywilkin says:

    This is wonderful, Yvonne. Thank you so much for sharing :) I truly think that everyone has a niche. The only way to find it is to be yourself and try, *try* not to get sucked into the comparison game. Comparison is the thief of joy, and isn’t joy a whole lot better and enriching than “winning”? I also believe that we can all be successful, and this tearing others down bologna gets them nowhere. It’s the same as they say in middle school–the bullies are being bullies because they have some inner feelings of not being any good and therefore try to put others down to make themselves feel better… yet it doesn’t work! It doesn’t work in middle school and it doesn’t work in adulthood. Kindness is the way to go. Positive action makes the world a better place, and I’m grateful for all that you do to help support and promote kindness, compassion, and most of all, understanding. <3

  12. mlwilkie says:

    Thanks for posting. I have been thinking a lot lately, as an individual what my spot/niche is. I agree with you whole-heartedly on attitude, kindness and how we treat others. From this saying I picked up on the word resilience, something I think I need to focus on more and just keep going :-)

  13. Shauna T says:

    Well said. I struggle because I never feel like I measure up to others, but I’ve really tried to stop comparing myself and start looking for the little joys in life. I’ve been using a gratitude journal this year and it has really helped me stay in a positive frame of mind. I loved your Thankful Thursday link up, for the same reason. I think being positive in today’s world takes work and recognizing the good in life really helps.

  14. Brenda Ackerman says:

    Hello Yvonne! You have written a very special post today and from the responses everyone agrees. As you know, I have always admired the way you post, the skills you have and just so many other important things both as a person and as a quilter, plus as a leader of our quilting community. So thank you for posting this and making us all think and go in a positive direction, which is what it should all be about! Have a great day!

  15. Lorna Jones says:

    Thank you for the post. It lifts my heart on a day when I could use some lifting.

  16. Sandy Kelly says:

    I enjoy reading about quilting. I especially appreciate a day filled with wisdom for all. Kindness done one act at a time can change the world.

  17. Laura Links says:

    Great post. It’s always good to be reminded… Thanks for sharing it today!

  18. Words from your heart. Compassion, sharing, caring, all a part of life we should be aware of. Here, as quilters, photographers, dog or cat lovers, or those who have a rural life, or are in a city apartment, we all share so much, news, views, talents, patterns, and much more. And I am always so thankful for the free help, advice, encouragement, quilt-alongs , and patterns, and realise I am not able to offer as much as others who are so talented, but to comment, listen, send an email, or make a bag or wall hanging and post overseas, is my way of making my contribution. A comment is so important, . And I am so happy to do what my limitations let me. There will always be someone who is a bully, a wet blanket or a moaner, and if we ignore them, our lives are all the better, Thanks, Yvonne, for all you give, your help, your patterns, and your words. We are the ones who have richer lives because of you and others as well.

  19. Sarah says:

    I really love this and it speaks to me as well. I’ve spent a lot of time lately debating where I want to go with my quilting — is it really a hobby, or do I want it to be more? Realistically, I have to allow it to remain a hobby since I’ve got a day job, little kids, etc etc. But I’ve got a competitive streak and often find myself fighting an internal battle over wanting recognition for the things I make while also wanting it to just be more relaxed and fun.

    I haven’t figured out the answer yet, but this is a great reminder that my priority should really have nothing to do with the specifics of what I make, and everything to do with my attitude about it.

  20. Tish says:

    If we all could just strive to be the best “insert your name” that we can be, then how amazing could/would the world be?? It’s a good reminder that we are each individuals and life isn’t a competition. The only person that can really steal our joy, is ourselves and that is a hard thing to learn. Thankfully, I haven’t encountered any negativity online (knock on wood), but we have to remember ultimately we own our feelings. Negativity cannot win, when we choose positive thoughts and actions…and I think that probably scares negativity to death.

  21. Well said Yvonne. I, too, follow Seth’s blog (Julie got me onto him!) and I get his messages delivered daily to my inbox. He has many kernels of wisdom and that day was a great one. Thanks for pointing it out and acknowledging all the greatness that overpowers the (so disappointing) negativity from time to time in QBL.

  22. aquilterstable says:

    Love your post and I needed to hear it – thank you. I’ll check out Seth’s blog post.

  23. smilesfromkate says:

    Such an interesting and thought provoking post Yvonne, thank you. To follow your path and be truly authentic can be a difficult process but also the most rewarding.

  24. Helen says:

    My philosophy in life is life is make the most out of life – deal with the positive , be positive and life generally is positive . For me anyway . I know those who suffer from depression would tell me different but I find it helps me deal with anxiety and life’s day to day complication . My other thing is , be kind . I can’t comprehend why people enjoy being mean , particularly online . I don’t know what they get out of it .

  25. Thanks for sharing this Yvonne. Lovely to read all the affirming comments too. I’m glad I’ve only found generosity and kindness in the online quilting community. And you are a great model for how we can give of our best to the benefit of other people ☺

  26. Kristie Cook says:

    Great post! I entered the blogging & online community tentatively a year ago after a 5 year hiatus. The daily “drama” just wore me out. I’ve found that if I seek out crafty/quilty people I am always welcome & there is no drama! I’ve made so many online friends which is important because I don’t know many people who share my passion for sewing & making. It’s wonderful to meet other makers, share ideas, & just chat about creative endeavors. I enjoy both your blogs & always find something interesting to read here. Thanks!

  27. Cara says:

    I recently read something along the lines of “ode to an average life” by a mother saying she just wanted to have a happy life, lived at a slower pace and not necessarily achieve much outside that. I wish I’d paid more attention when it floated across my screen, because I have thought about it a lot since. And now I’m thinking that idea and this, taken together, are taking me somewhere I want to explore…

  28. Kaja says:

    Hear, hear! Wise words, Yvonne.

  29. Izzy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I too follow Seth’s blog and once in a while, his posts really strike a chord don’t they?

  30. The whole idea of figuring out who I am in relation to all the other quilters/designers/bloggers out there is one I think about a lot, especially as I try to design patterns that other quilters want to make. Thanks for this post, it’s a nice reminder to be fully ‘me’ and see where that leads :) And thanks for being you!

  31. Sandra Woods says:

    Let me offer a different opinion. Sometimes I feel that if any comment/dialogue with a blogger isn’t Wow! or Wonderful! it isn’t considered. Or there is a backlash or it is removed. Sometimes I have a comment that doesn’t fit the norm and I’m automatically considered a “troll.” There is no dialogue; it’s only a cheerleading squad. Sometimes I make these comments privately, by email, and often I get something rude back. Let’s not be so precious in our comments. Let’s make it a dialogue.
    For instance, I agree that many quilters are very generous and kind. Maybe even most quilters. But not all of them. Some are cliquey, some are snobs, and some are decidedly not friendly. Many are ageist.

  32. Kim S. says:

    Agreed!! It takes a lot of bravery to share yourself creatively and put yourself out there. Everyone is doing their best. There is no place for unkindness. And for the most part, respect, kindness, compassion and encouragement is the norm, not the exception, thankfully!

  33. A very timely post. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Thank you for this thoughtful post Yvonne.

  35. Melva Nolan says:

    Something to consider for certain. I have watched several “professional” quilters with a large following and how the snarky-ness takes over some posts. sometimes I think comments of critique are not received in the manner they are given and sometimes it is just misunderstood. This happens with the loss of body language, voice inflection and tone and eye contact. It is disappointing to watch the quilting community bicker. It is quite unflattering for all involved. For this reason, I am happy with my small group of readers. Thank you for your thoughts.

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)