Monday, April 18, 2011

A New Beginning

“Fear less, hope more: eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more; and all good things are yours.” Swedish Proverb
For today, I'm going to add my own coda to the above: "blog less, live more!"
I hope you are ready for more changes around here dear ones. Not much, don't worry! But over my spring break last week, I did some serious stock taking, and have realized that my life has run completely outside of the bounds of balance that I desire for it. So that is calling me to some drastic change in many areas of my life. Including blogging. Currently I write this blog, a personal blog, a dog blog, and a stamping blog for my customers. Not to mention the pages associated with LG like The Kitchen, Personal Shopper, and The Style Files. I loved them all, but they were quickly becoming o.v.e.r.l.o.a.d. I was drowning in blogging, and had (unfortunately, perhaps) also had caught the “big blogger” bug. I had tapped into a whole new audience, and was finding great success submitting some of my articles to memes and getting featured on high profile blogs, I loved finding new readers via hours of blog reading and commenting, the list could go on... But then reality hit: yes, having a blog that is large enough to bring home income for your family takes LOTS of work and LOTS of hours of dedication. It quickly becomes impersonal, it also opens you up to much more criticism and expectations as a writer. It may not grow in the way or at the rate that you want it to. I didn't like any of that. Besides, I was already keeping several businesses afloat, and didn't have time or sanity to add another.- So the “big blogger” dream died. Having a very specifically organized blog was so appealing to me, but apparently, it wasn't to you (you know, the ones who mattered!) because the traffic flow to The Kitchen, The Style Files, and The Personal Shopper was not at all what I had hoped it would be. Comments all over LG were low to non-existent (which is a big deal for someone who blogs to connect with people – not to have a once-a-day monologue). Something wasn't right. A lot of somethings weren't right.- Time to re-evaluate.

So after some mulling, praying, and talking things over with my husband, here is the verdict: Living Graciously will remain "open for business". But remember how I said it was the least-commented blog...we're gonna work on that part, right girls? ;-) Windy Poplars will become integrated into Living Graciously – hence the new name. This will now become a combo of personal writing and helpful hints and projects – of course with recipes thrown in for good measure...I really do that part for myself anyway, it keeps all my recipes organized and easily accessible.- Cottage Stamping will become dormant, but will remain open as a scroll-through resource for ideas and inspiration at this time. Pooch Tales will be closed, and Chester will become a guest writer here at LG@WP. The Style Files will be an every-now-and-then feature here, and I will post any great deals I find to the LG@WP Facebook Fan Page so that you will have more instant access to them. So, if you're not already, become a fan today!

Ok, so that's what's going on here this week, and pardon the construction dust as all of it settles! I do still plan to continue GM Quests at this time. I do notice that lots of my traffic at LG still comes from Windy Poplars readers (you visit WP first, then click the LG tab), but because Windy Poplars is now going dormant, please transfer your Google “friendship” over to LG, so I will still visit you on your reader! You can also choose to subscribe to LG which some people like, and each new post will be delivered right to your e-mail inbox. You can find that option on the sidebar.

Thank you so much for being the wonderful readers that you are! YOU are why I write! It is my hope that with taking these big steps toward change, I will have much more time to be a faithful blog reader, which is truly a love of mine! Watch for me to come around visiting soon!