It's Not You, It's Me

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The closest we'll ever get to a beach shot of me here.
Hi there, Friends.

Let me just go ahead and say it: I need a break. A blogging break.

My mind is overflowing with ideas for this space, how it has changed over the years, what I want to write about, and how to better interact with you. I've got lots and lots of ideas, but I'm running into lots and lots of issues. Maybe you can help?

(1) Scope - A Work in Progress has always been about the core issues in my life, motherhood and faith. But should I also write about other things that interest me, like home projects, books, and good causes around town? I need some border lines. (And now I've got Madonna in my head.)

(2) To link-up or not to link-up? That is the question. Link-ups have been a great way for me to get to know other bloggers. Soli Deo Gloria, for example, (where I'm linking up today) is always wonderful. But others have left me feeling flat - I visit, but no one visits me. Or, I run out of time to visit others and feel guilty for linking up. I probably need to link up once or twice a week, and that's it. I think I just answered that question.

(3) Social media - Ugh. It takes up so much time. I've got to find a way to do it better. I'm on Facebook. I do a little bit of Pinterest. I have a love/hate relationship with my smart phone. I notice that the more I'm on it, the more my sons beg to play games. It's annoying, because they are imitating my addiction. I admonish them to limit screen time and look up - but what about me? So I can't imagine when I would have time to do Twitter, Instagram, or anything else. Yet I feel like I "should" be. Does blogging require it? Is "everyone" living life with multiple accounts? Where do I draw my border lines? (Again, with the song!)  

(4) Hobby or income? I suppose this one will answer the rest. If writing is a source of income, then the social media aspect starts to make sense. Generating traffic from multiple venues isn't wasting time, it's working. But I've got to find time. (See below.) And do I want to go there? Would making this more than a hobby change things too much? Is it the natural next step? If so, how do I do it? Advertising here or writing more elsewhere? Oy.

(5) Time. This is the hardest part for all of us with "side interests." When do I squeeze it in? Early kindergarten kills my mornings. Working part time, trying to exercise and the occasional errand zaps preschool hours. Nap time is gone and by bed time I'm either brain dead or need to catch up with my husband. Often both :) Now that summer is here, those snippets during school hours are gone. I need to adjust, and plan for the future.

So, those are my blogging issues. If you're still reading, I'm sure you're just as exhausted as I am. I know that I need to step back and think. But if you've got ideas to share now, let's hear it. I'd really value your opinions . . . 

All that being said, I'll be around. Not finishing the 30 Sayings of the Wise series would keep me up at night. (We're on Number 26, by the way.) I'll keep writing for Out to Eat With Kids, and I know I will need this outlet for writing when the words and my soul demand it. Still, this rings so true:
In order to write about life first you must live it. - Ernest Hemingway
I need to pause from consistent writing, think, and live this summer. Going to the beach, playing with the boys, working, and running our home, that will be easy. Letting my creative ideas grow roots, considering where I want to go, and how to get there, that's going to be hard. 

Meanwhile, can I just say thanks for being here? Thanks for your comments, both online and in person. (Thanks for lurking - it's really okay. I do it all the time.) Thanks for sharing, praying and growing together. Thanks for being my friend. It's awesome, in the true sense of the word "awesome," to be able to chat, encourage each other, and be friends here. I want more of that, and less of the questions. That's what I'm working on this summer.

That, and the photos that need to be backed up, the boxes of school art that need to be sorted, and the countless projects we all fool ourselves into thinking we are going to tackle each summer. I know you know what I mean.

So, promise you'll stick around and check in? I'll be in and out, and hopefully when I'm back on a more regular schedule the changes will be beautiful and obvious.

See you soon,


Linking with the ever-faithful: 
Soli Deo Gloria

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12 Responses to “It's Not You, It's Me”

  1. Courtney: What you have expressed is probably consistent with most blogging moms. I know I have asked some of the same questions. I really appreciate the community and writing consistently keeps you "alive" so to speak. However, I have also found that same community can create pressures in me to be more - to write more, to say more, to be more. And that's not so good. After attending the Allume bloggers conference last October, I realized that we are all on a different path here. We write for different reasons, we have just all chosen blogging as the pathway. I think it's important to find a balance that is right for you. I believe when you write, God will provide the readers who need to hear what you have to say. Sometimes that's a lot of readers and comments and sometimes it may feel like no one is out there. But that isn't for us to worry about or try to control. I know when the words flow and when they don't. If God has something for me to say, He helps me formulate the words. And sometimes not saying anything at all is saying something. Does that make sense?

    Christy @ A Heartening Life

    1. Hi Christy - Thanks for your wise words. I'm actually considering going to Allume for the first time this October, since it will be within driving distance for me. This summer, I'm hoping to relax a bit, return to a more consistent Bible-study routine and discover why I really write. And I agree completely that God provides the readers. Love how you put that. Ultimately, I have to just ask that He guide me in the way I should go. It takes me getting quite to sometimes see that, though!

  2. I resonated with this whole post, but you really got me at the end: I thought I was really going to back up my photos, hang kid art on the walls, paint those walls... too much? :) I've been blogging since 2008, and still, I recently signed up for an ecourse on creative personal blogging. I'm constantly doing work behind the scenes to make sure I'm clear on my purpose. What am I saying/doing? and why? So I've given myself freedom to post sporadically and ponder these things. This summer I hope to begin posting more consistently again, with a clearer intention, but I struggle with time. Your days sound like mine. So, we'll see... :)

    1. Hi Angie - We need to get together! It seems that we are pondering the same things. I'm also doing some reading about blogging and writing, and considering if a conference would be helpful to me. I like how you said you are giving yourself freedom to post sporadically. I suppose that is what this is all about for me, too. And, if I actually get my photos backed up, you'll be the first to know! (I'll be beside myself with pride!)

  3. Breaks are good. You have outlined your issue to ponder and pray. Yes i will stick around and can't wait to read your words again once you are refreshed and refocused! Blessings!

    1. Thank you, Jean! You are one of the friends I'm most thankful for here.

  4. I am convicted to take a blogging break too! Just so much to do, process, think about. Will be thinking about you too, as we rest, pray, and seek His will for our blogs.

    1. That fact that you are in the same place makes me feel better about this, Jen. I'll be praying for you as well.

  5. I understand! I just have the family web site blog and it is too much at times. I cannot imagine how much work goes into it - on top of all of your mom, wife, daughter, sister, etc. duties. Take a well-seserved break and just enjoy being! You know I will be here when you get back!

    1. Thank you, Jayda! As you said, the personal blog takes a lot of time, too. I'm looking forward to the break, especially after reading all this support. Really grateful for your years of friendship!!

  6. Great post, Courtney! I really appreciate your honesty. For me, blogging, like life, has its ebbs and flows. Take a break to think and refresh. You never know what may come from it!

  7. I still check in with you here and there but my time to read blogs and write on my own is very limited. It's interesting because I just checked in with another blog and she just took a break to hear from God about what she should focus on. I pray that God will make all things clear to you! Blessings!