Blogging

Which way next?

I'm finding myself wondering about my blogging again. It's been 205 days since I started posting daily, and while I've enjoyed the challenge of doing so I've been thinking about how much longer I keep it up for. There has to come a point at which I stop the daily blogging so when is that point?

My initial plan had been to blog every day through January to help me kick-start the habit again, and then reduce back down to regular but not daily posting. January came and went, and then so did February, and March and here we are almost at the end of July and I'm still doing it.

There are things about it I'm still loving and there are things now that I'm not loving. I've always said to other people when talking about blogging that it's one of those things you should do because you love it. So I think I need to follow my only advice and tweak things so I keep loving it.

I'm finding that since starting my new job the demands on my time are completely different. The time I would ideally be spent writing are ending up going to blogging, and I'm not entirely content with that. I'm setting personal goals for what I want to have done with my writing and by when, I don't have a hope of achieving them if I'm not writing.

Tuesday of next week is the 1st August. I think, unless I have a complete change of heart over the weekend when I'll be surround by other bloggers and booklovers at YALC, that that will be the point at which I finally see my plan to shift from daily blogging to regular blogging come to fruition. I'm still not entirely sure what will stay and what will go, I think some planning time with my trusty notebook will be needed!

Blogging

100. 

This is my 100th blog post of 2017. It’s the 100th day of the year and I’ve blogged something every day. In 2016 I only posted once so pretty much anything this year was going to be an improvement. 

I can’t say hand on heart that I’m happy with all of the posts. I am however happy that they all exist. I’m happy that I’ve kept it up and even on days when I’ve wavered I’ve stuck to it and posted something. 

I’m going to carry on with it. I’d like to think I could manage all 365 days of 2017. If I do then I probably do need to definitively work out what I’m doing here. It’s proving fun finding out so far in any case. 

Blogging · Book Review

Is this thing still on?

Ever get that feeling there’s something you’ve forgotten to do?

remembrall

I spent a few weeks feeling a lot like Neville, I knew there was something outstanding but was so wrapped up in work that I couldn’t quite work it out. Finally the penny dropped, I completely missed my July reads round up post. Whoops! I realised this as I was getting ready to go on holiday for 10 days and so decided once I was back I’d do a grand round up for July and August together – this week is the week! Wednesday to Friday will see three posts which wrap up all of the books I’ve read through the summer months. I’ll add the links to this post over the weekend so it’ll become a landing page for the 20 or so books I’ll be reviewing.

For the first time this year I’m not reviewing every book I read. I read 4 books for something I’m not currently able to talk about (the post wrapping up September will contain the fifth and final one of these). I also re-read the first 3 Harry Potter books but there will be a post about these once I’ve finished the series. And finally, I started Kiera Cass’ The Selection series, reading the first 2 books in the quadrilogy. Again expect to hear about these once I’ve finished the series.

In a look at what I’ve learned from this moment I’ve already started writing my September reads post so hopefully I’ll keep this up and get it posted at the very end of September rather than a month later!

Baking · Blogging · Craft · Personal · Photography · Writing

New and Improving.

AKA The post where I talk about last year’s not really resolutions and set this year’s not really resolutions.

Last year instead of making specific resolutions I decided I was going instead to try and make a couple of changes in how I thought. I decided I was going to get back to focusing on the positives (for various reasons I’d started to fall into the trap of focusing on the negatives which was really out of character for me) and I was going to be more grateful for all the things in my life that made me happy. I definitely feel like over the course of the year I did quite well with this, my positivity has returned and I often catch myself before I focus on the negative of something. I don’t do it always of course, it’s a work in progress but one I feel content about continuing.

This year I’ve decided to do something different. It’s shaping up to be a year of change in many ways and I thought I would use that as my inspiration. I’ve thought about a lot of the things I love to do and I’ve decided for each area of my interests something I want to try and something I want to get better at. Here’s the list:

Baking.
New – Sweet treats.
I want to start making sweets and truffles, and anything else little and sweet. I had the Sweets Made Simple recipe book and a sugar thermometer for my birthday so I’m looking forward to a year of experimentation and tasting!

Improve – Making biscuits.
Making biscuits. I bake lots of cakes but always avoid biscuits, I haven’t had great success with gluten free biscuits so always return to cakes which work. This year I’m going to get better at biscuits.

Crafting.
New – Project Life.
This year I’m going to start Project Life, a journalling / memory keeping technique. I have plenty to say about starting this so expect a blog post in the next few days dedicated to it.

Improve – Crochet.
I taught myself how to crochet around 20 years ago but didn’t really keep it up and now barely remember any of it. I’ve been pinning all sorts of cute patterns to my boards on Pinterest so this year I’m going to brush up my skills and start making some of them.

Photography.
New – Photo editing.
Despite taking loads of photos I’ve never developed any editing skills whatsoever. This year I’m going to start learning how to make the most of my photos once they’re taken.

Improve – People photos.
Taking photos of people, particularly grown ups is something I’m not very good at. The majority of the photos I take are of views, flowers, objects and young children – basically things that don’t talk, or don’t require significant interaction. I always feel very awkward approaching the idea of taking photos of people so end up avoiding doing it, but this year I’m going to try to get much better at it.

Writing.
New – finishing a novel.
This is probably the one thing on the list that I feel most strongly about. I have started and stepped away from a good number of novels, never having the courage to push through to the end. This will be the year when this changes though, I will finish a novel and put it away and then get it back out and start learning how to edit something creative.

Improve – blogging.
I talked recently about stepping away from reviewing books on my blog (expect news about how and where I will be reviewing them later this month) and returning to a more general blog. I want to improve two things in my blogging that are entirely linked – I want to improve the frequency of my posts and I want to be better at writing longer posts. I don’t feel like I have established my blogging voice – spending so long writing reviews and writing academic things has definitely had an impact so this is what I want to improve over the year.

 

There we have it. 8 plans for the year, 4 things to try and 4 things to get better at. All of them are things I want to be blogging about so hopefully it should be pretty easy to track my progress over the year.

Blogging · Life · Writing

Who are you reading?

I’m trying at the moment to work out the sort of blogger I want to be here. The process of dividing my blog into two hasn’t gone exactly the way I’d expected it to, though I’m starting to see some real progress with Juniper’s Jungle and now feel I can figure here out better.

I’ve been around blogging for a long, long time. I haven’t blogged continually since I first started, but the gaps have never been very long. In the time I have been blogging I’ve seen bloggers come and go, and blogging platforms come and go. Social media as a whole has, I think, had a huge impact on blogging in the last few years – I saw this quote a little while ago which made me think:

“…I feel that the nature of blogging has changed. I think twitter and instagram are filling the niche of ‘telling us what’s happening now’, and blogs are becoming more like archives of great information.”
(Stacey Trock of Fresh Stitches, from Bugs and Fishes’ Crafty Ladies feature)

I’m not sure I entirely agree with this, the first part I think yes absolutely. The latter part, well I’m not so sure. There’s certainly much more immediate discussion going on, but I know I still love to read longer, more detailed posts than Twitter or Instagram can ever convey. There are some things that blogging still does that I’m not sure anywhere else fully replicates. Tumblr is probably the one possible grey area, I personally tend to follow picture heavy Tumblr accounts on Tumblr itself and more traditional blog style Tumblrs in my Feedly (though of course still make sure I go and hit that heart button on the posts I’m loving).

The problem is, I’ve been reading the majority of the blogs I read for a long time now. Some are no longer updated or if they are posts come once in a blue moon. Some are just no longer relevant to my life or interests and I find myself hitting the mark as read button more often than not. Then there are those blogs I look forward to every time I open my Feedly account. I’ve recently added a handful of crafty bloggers and can already feel my enthusiasm for blogging returning. I want to shake things up further, I want to add some new feeds and discover some new bloggers and that’s where I want your recommendations please.

Who are the bloggers you look forward to seeing updates from? Please send me all of your recommendations – they don’t need to update daily or even weekly, just somewhat regularly and with interesting posts when they do. I’m not too fussy about subject matter either, they don’t have to be book bloggers or craft bloggers, just great bloggers please.