To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven …
The past few months have been my season to pack, unpack, explore, and settle into my new Texas home. Beyond email and sporadic journal entries, they have not been a time to write. That’s okay. Boxes are unpacked, guestroom warmed, new dining table christened, and I’m once more thinking beyond shopping for rugs and bedspreads.
For several weeks I hardly thought about writing at all. Then thoughts of writing bubbled up. I began gently pondering what I really want to write and how to best go about it. I’ve finally realized that I do enjoy sharing my thoughts about writing, online and in person. I’ve missed involvement with writing community. Now the write season is bursting forth. It’s time to reboot the blog and begin its eleventh year.
A metaphor just came to mind. Our ten knock-out rose bushes bloomed bravely through the entire Austin version of winter. Last week we pruned them, barely making the prescribed Valentine's Day deadline. Past blossoms are gone, and new growth gushes forth. Within weeks those bushes will be covered with new blooms. My writing life has been pruned by the move. New growth is gushing forth — from the same roots and stems, snipped shorter for strength.
As I reboot, I’m pruning my process, returning to basics. I'm lopping off three Success Rules for Bloggers as mandated by highly paid experts.
1. You MUST blog at least once a week. Hogwash! How many of you readers schedule time on your calendar to read specific blog posts each (Tuesday) morning? If you’re like me, you read them when they appear in your inbox or feed reader, and you may skip right past them if you’re busy. I want to be a rare gem that gets your attention in the midst of that predictable mass.
2. You MUST reliably post on a predictable schedule. See above. I’ll post when I have something to say and time to say it. Although it’s unlikely, I might post four times in one week. It’s more likely I’ll post sporadically, a few times a month. I hope to delight you with inspiring posts, not bore you with content scrounged up to meet a deadline.
3. You MUST include graphics. Big, colorful, eye-catching graphics. For the past few years I’ve spent almost as much time searching for and creating these graphics as writing posts. That’s a discouraging drag, not how I want to spend my time. If a graphic serves a purpose, I’ll add one. Beyond that, well, I’m not writing children’s books.
My decisions are purpose driven: I write and blog to share insights, encourage and inspire other writers, especially beginners, and create community, not to “build a business.” I’m past the season in life where building and running a business is a priority, desire or interest. Since profit is not part of my purpose (though I’m not above welcoming some), cumbersome business building mandates induce creativity stifling guilt, self-doubt and procrastination. They are counter-productive for me. If some find this approach "unprofessional," so be it. I hear my drummer and it's time to march!
I shall find my best path, blaze a new trail, and whatever results is enough!
Stay tuned. This post covers rebooting my blog. I’ll have more to say soon about rebooting story flow.
Points to Ponder: What aspects of your writing are you doing because “you should”? What doesn’t fit? How can you change that? Do you need a time out?