Thursday, March 6, 2014

Life, or the Blog?

Good morning! Today is more of a "business" post written for my regular readers, but I think anyone who is feeling torn will relate. I vaguely mentioned on Tuesday that there will be some changes here at Serenity Now over the next few months...or possibly longer. I wanted to chat about it some today.

Blogging is a big job. If you're a blogger, you know this already. I don't just DIY, cook, or craft something up and then write up a quick post all in an hour's time. 

It involves shopping for supplies, putting the project together (taking photos along the way--in good light!), uploading and editing photos (resizing, fixing lighting, adding watermarks, cropping, adding titles and tags, etc), writing a post--possibly with a step-by-step tutorial, adding in photos, editing html, scheduling the post, and then promoting it via social media. 

Add all that in-every day, plus my schedule and the girls' separate school and dance schedules and the fact that we now have a three month old can imagine that it can be tough to accomplish much of anything.

I love sharing fun projects, recipes, and simple DIY with everyone, but I've had to stop and take into account the fact our life has changed. And I don't want to miss it because I'm strapped in at the computer all day. 

I want to craft, fluff my nest, cook, and try new DIY projects because I want to do it...not because I know if I don't post a new project, I'll lose readers and my traffic will drop.

I might feel differently if I had a huge ad network to bring the cash in every month. But I've purposefully stepped back from that because I don't like the pressure. I prefer to work with brands I know and love, on my own timeline. I'd rather accept opportunities for reviews and campaigns as they come along, instead of plugging away each day to get posts up to keep sponsors happy. It makes more sense to focus on putting together stuff for the Best of the Blogosphere and Best of DIY for Centsational Girl because those are paid positions. 

I still love blogging. I love sharing pieces of my life and creative ideas and introducing you to other bloggers. I'm just not in love with the pressures of blogging. 

I have some cute projects and makeovers to share with you all...and I will share them. But I'll be doing it on my own timeline, as I've come to the realization that posting 5 to 7 days a week is just not going to be possible for me any more. It felt so, so weird not to have a post up on the blog last Thursday and then again yesterday, but the universe did not implode, so I'm guessing it's okay.

I need to embrace life, enjoy my children, spend time getting healthy, care for my home, and complete projects

What can you expect here?

Link party:
The weekly link party will continue every Friday morning at 8 am EST. 

I will also take a day to hunt through the links to share features of fab projects that include a link back to the party/blog. I may take another day to share any note-worthy projects or posts I find around the web, rather than include them with the link party. I've found that most people are in such a rush to link up that they don't bother browsing that features I share on Fridays with the link party.

Crafts, Recipes, DIY, Home Decor:
I have a mini kitchen makeover, a complete nursery transformation, a WorkBox reveal (mom's crafting and kids' playspace), and a few crafts that are waiting to be posted. I also have a list of things I'd like to work on and share with taking some time away from posting each week will help me finish those to-do items.

I started up a wonderful Birthday Party Planning series last year before morning sickness took over and I was a total party pooper after that. I hope to revive this series again soon. I also have a fun pregnancy/baby series I want to start up to help moms-to-be with their planning. I'm also considering starting up a weekly series that would introduce you to new bloggers. And, of course, my annual Christmas series will come around at the end of the year.

Pieces of Home:
As a reader, I always enjoy when bloggers share little glimpses of their home lives with us. I've always tried to do that, often with a dash of humor in the mix. I'll share photos and updates of our family.

Reviews and Giveaways:
I only work with brands, companies, and products that I like and/or think my readers will enjoy hearing about. Nothing has changed on that front. I am much more selective of these opportunities now. I will continue to host Giveaways for fun stuff, and will also review items I am interested in...just not as often. I've turned down dozens of opportunities over the past several months, and it has helped my stress level immensely. 

Guest Posts:
With the exception of my maternity leave and Christmas series that runs each December, I've always kept guest posts to a minimum because I feel like bloggers visit a blog because they connect with the writer and want to read more from him/her. I am planning to utilize guest posts on an "as-needed" basis, particularly for busy weeks or time during the summer when I need to be with my kids.

I know there are some women out there who can do it all...or at least most of it. I am not one of those women. I. can't. do. it. all. I hope this post hasn't turned you off or made you think I'm quitting blogging. I've put too much time into this spot over the last five years to just ditch it. But I need to focus on my home life and my paid work instead of putting in lots of time here each day. 

I'll be posting my projects and other inspiration here every few days. But I'm done with the pressure to have a post scheduled to go live at precisely 8:01 am EST every day. 

I hope you'll stick with me. I'm excited to share some of the updates I completed before Harris arrived. I appreciate each and every one of you who stop by to read each day!

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. And I always appreciate kind comments.

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  1. I totally understand! I have barely had a chance to even visit a few blogs this week because I am working on a school event. I haven't even posted anything since Friday but we all have lives and as fellow bloggers we understand. Enjoy your precious family and do what works for you! Enjoy your day!

  2. Totally understandable! I can barely keep up with my blog and I don't have kids yet-- I have tons of respect for Moms! One day those little ones will be big and you can't get those days back-- cherish them! :)

    -Bonnie @ Revolutionaries

  3. Good for you to make the priorities. I think it makes total sense to do what is best for your family. Blogging can easily become a chore if you do it for the wrong reasons. And sometimes, I think we put unnecessary expectations on ourselves. People who come to our blog don't necessarily expect us to post 5+ times a week. But we do.

    Looking forward to seeing your projects when you share them. But no rush. ;)

  4. Amanda, this is totally understandable. You post when you can. Enjoy that gorgeous baby and beautiful girls. They don't stay little for long! I won't go so you know you won't lose me!

  5. Take your time, post when you can and enjoy every moment you can with the new little baby and your beautiful girls. We all know, they are only little for a short time and family is the most important thing! We will be here and we will delight in your posts, even if they are not that frequent. Good luck to you and your beautiful family! :)

  6. Amen! Good for you. You can bet that most are sacrificing something or someone to keep their blogs up!!!

  7. Love that you are keeping it "real"...that's what makes it special. The more "commercial" a blog becomes, the less I want to visit there. When a passion becomes an obligation...the spark is gone. I am having a hard time getting 2 posts up a week and I don't have a newborn! Enjoy your family and babies while they still are! xoxo

  8. Of course we' ll stay with you! I love reading everything you write, I'll just continue to love it when you have time to write it! :) Enjoy your family, you don't get these days back. :)

  9. I don't know how you do what you are able to do blog wise with three little ones! Your main job is your family and I think you are wise to make that your focus, not your blog. Your readers will still come when you post.

  10. This post really spoke to me. As much as I would love to be that daily blogger, I just love life, family and friends more. I guess I am not that big of a multi tasker. I took a year off and now I am back, a project here and there, just once a week is my goal at this time. Love that you are stepping back and going to enjoy your beautiful family.

  11. Amanda, you should absolutely not worry about us readers of yours. Like you we too have our own lives to live and perfectly understand your situation. What's important is that blogging continues to be enjoyable for you and it will for sure resonate with your posts and to us. So if you need to slow down do so. I only post 3x a week and even that is tough already, so don't fret. We'll be here!

  12. I just had to tell you that your kids are beautiful and those photos are making me melt! I totally understand and it's frustrating-- my kids are 3 and 5, so I can't ignore them to work on DIY projects and it's hard to watch others get ahead while I spin my wheels. And yet, what a BLESSING it is to take care of these little ones each day and still get to pursue my blogging passion! I know you'll find your groove and keep your blog going on YOUR terms during this season of your life. Good for you for taking the time to reflect on this now and mold your blog to fit you and not the other way around.

  13. Great time to re-assess and decide what's most important. I totally hear ya! I think all you have stated is more than enough... How does this all become so high pressure?!? Looking forward to following along, as always:)

  14. Agree! Enjoy your children and your family first! Cheers to you!

  15. They are little only once!

  16. "I don't want to miss it because I'm strapped in at the computer all day" = priorities straight! I don't know how moms of babies blog during the day, all I remember was how needed I was when they were that little - there is plenty of time to be on the computer when they're off to school, meanwhile, treasure these precious times, they are the most important - the internet can wait!
    xoxoxo Kate

  17. Sounds like you are definitely putting the most important things first! And how precious is your little boy - those pictures are beautiful!


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