Reflections on Blogging and New Directions

When I launched this blog, I had two very young children. I wrote most of my articles sitting on a second hand, brown sofa in a small terraced house with a mind desperate to bring some of my hazy, disorganized thoughts into order. These thoughts largely related to children and motherhood, especially parenting, play, and education. As time went on, I focused more on education, especially the Charlotte Mason philosophy, both in my blog and in my personal reading and self-education.

I also launched this blog as ‘blogging-as-a-business’ websites were reaching a fever pitch. I couldn’t go on Pinterest without someone promising to teach me SEO, create a marketing funnel, increase my email subscribers, and ultimately make loads of money. It’s hard not to be tempted by promises of success and easy money.

Those ‘easy’ options, though, are all-too-often icky – for the lack of a better word. And while I’ve started down the road toward many of them, I backtrack more or less quickly to doing what I believe is both professional and moral. This includes aiming to do what I do well – posting properly formatted articles that have been proofread by my lovely husband, an email list that provides helpful content and doesn’t feel ‘spammy’, optimising for SEO without ending up with a ridiculous, keyword-loaded article as a result.

Trying to achieve this balance is partly why I’ve withdrawn so much from using social media professionally. You probably haven’t noticed – mostly because the algorithms were too tough for me to crack. But I didn’t have the heart to crack them, to build up a big ‘following’, to post the kind of content that gets a reaction. I just don’t think the world needs more of that. And too often, social media is a terrible time suck. I don’t want to contribute to that. Figuring out Facebook for business is just too icky for me.

So the page for this website still sits of Facebook – dusty and unused. But in the meantime, this website is growing the same. The goal of ‘professionalism’ – of Pin-able images, keywords, and traffic from search engines means that I find less and less to put toward blog posts. And so I haven’t.

This has put me in a bit of difficulty. I still have hazy, disorganized thoughts. It’s hard for me to reflect on and make connections with what I’m reading about. I forget things. Which is problematic when it comes to the big writing projects that I hope to accomplish in the near future. I would benefit immensely from a writing habit, from consolidating what I’m reading. And to be honest, these sort of blogs are some of my favorites to read and follow – the ones where people share their thoughts, what they are reading, a connection they’ve made. This blog post communicates the idea well (h/t Alan Jacobs). I especially am interested in how his casual blogging has led to his bigger professional projects.

So I’ve decided it’s time for my blog to be a little less professional in the hopes that I can establish some of the mental clarity for my big projects. Fewer graphics and headers, more links, quotes, and comments on what other people are saying. And especially, more frequency. It will be more of a public commonplace book than anything else, with the occasional more formal and polished post published.

If you don’t use any sort of aggregator for websites you follow, I recommend using one. It keeps me from scrolling the news hoping that I’ll find something at random. I use Feedly, and I’d love it if you added my site. You can also sign up for my newsletter if you like!

And please, leave comments. I love to hear from you!

A letter from me to you, every week.

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