Approaching My One Year Anniversary of Blogging: Launching a New Look!
Based on my analytics, I know a few people visit this site regularly. Mostly friends of mine. But, a few of you are completely unknown to me...which just amazes me. To anyone reading these words, thank you! Thank you for visiting and thank you for sharing!
And thank you to My Person who always hits the Like button on my posts. He supports me in so many ways that are much more significant, but seeing that my post was Liked always brings a smile to my face.
I had been wanting to start a blog for a long time. Years. Blogging was up there with some of my best intentions...kind of like me telling myself every November that I will participate in NaNoWriMo.
Last summer was the perfect time for me to start blogging. I had done my research on various platforms and felt confident in my decision to go with the SquarePants. I had been reading various blogs with helpful advice. I had been brainstorming ideas for posts. And then I paid for the subscription.
Now I had to choose a template and create a logo and figure out how I wanted my blog to look. Visuals are not my strong point, so My Person helped me quite a bit. We put together my text-based logo and I loved the fonts.
For a while I liked the logo colors too, but the pink started to grate on my nerves. I'm fine with pink, but the pink I had was too much of a hot pink. I couldn't use it as a background color for any posts or buttons because it just screamed, "HOT PINK! Wedding plan posts here!" and I don't write about weddings.
But with some help last summer I finally made some basic design choices and I was ready to start publishing. When I saw that Consumer Reports was hosting a free event about food labeling, I thought that would be the perfect topic for my first blog post, which I published on September 22, 2014.
So my one year anniversary of publication is still almost two months off, but last August and September I was working on lots of design choices while trying not to pound my head into the desk too hard!
For these past ten months or so, I've been using Canva to create my blog images. I love Canva because it is super simple to use, but having to search for a stock photo and figure out how to balance my text in a meaningful font every time I wrote a post started to wear on me.
And when I decided to start teaching again I knew I needed to streamline my process. I knew that if I didn't create an easy image template to use, I'd probably quit blogging.
I'm fairly certain that I can schedule the bulk of my writing time on the weekends, but I can't afford to spend an hour or more figuring out how to create an image for the post. So...many hours this summer were devoted to designing various image templates. I finally found the formats you see here. Simple. Minimal. Color-Coded. Very me.
While I was struggling through this design process (again), I started to really consider how I was blogging.
Some of my posts are super short. And I'm not particularly fond or proud of those. Most of them I was writing under some kind of time pressure. And this time pressure would be the one created in my own mind, so I know that's on me. But for my future blogging, I don't want to write "whatever" kinds of posts. I much prefer to dig deeper and write posts with more substance. Some people refer to this process as slow blogging, and that name does bring comfort to this slow writer!
One of my favorite posts to write was 10 Science-Fiction Books to Recommend to the Uninitiated. I loved considering which science-fiction books I've repeatedly recommended to people who came back to me and raved about the book I suggested. And that post took time to write, and I played with the formatting on it a bit to try to make it easier to read. And, as a result, I'm much happier with the product.
I want to keep producing what I perceive as better quality posts, which means slow blogging is the way to go. Here's my plan:
1. I'm not going to have a set schedule for posting. No more perceived deadlines in my head making me feel pressure to publish because it's Tuesday or Thursday.
2. I will keep publishing book reviews as I finish my books because I've been writing reviews on Goodreads for a few years now. I'm not certain what I would do with myself if I finished a book and didn't write some kind of review!
3. I'll still be posting about minimalism and digital organization, but not as often. Since I'll be in the classroom as well, I'll probably write about how I use some apps and programs there to help with digital organization. But I won't go 100% teacher-focused. Exploring various apps and programs to streamline my life is still something that brings me joy and I will continue to post about any product that makes me a more productive person.
4. More quirky goodness! I have so many ideas for random lists. I'd like to devote more time to writing book lists, movie lists, TED Talk play lists, and descriptions of new things, apps, recipes, whatever I've tried! Fun, but potentially useful information here.
5. Now that I'm back in Tucson, I want to do more travel writing. Tucson has so many visitors, including our Snow Birds. I would love to share more information about what I've learned and experienced in my years living here. I just started writing a piece about The Loft, my favorite independent theater ever! Not even kidding. When I moved to Denver, the independent theater (SIE, I think) was a short walk down the street for me. No soul there. Completely generic experience. And San Francisco was just a pit of despair all around, including the theaters. My Person and I walked into The Loft a couple of weeks ago to watch the 1980 cinematic masterpiece that is Flash Gordon and it felt like home. Cozy and warm and welcoming. I love seeing movies at The Loft. But, for the purpose of this piece, I think you see my point. There are so many places in Tucson and Arizona that I could write about and share.
6. I added a Teaching category as well. Some of my posts here will include classroom pictures of bulletin boards or work samples. But I don't want to get too cutesy. I'd like to write about some educational issues...from the teacher's perspective of course. And I've been tracking how many hours I've been spending at work. I'd like to publish these hours at the end of each semester. I've never actually figured out how much I get paid an hour, and I'd like to know.
7. And finally, I'd like to integrate interviews with interesting, but regular people. Coordinating interviews as well as doing background research may take time, so I think publishing one interview a month is a stretch goal for me. But I already have some people in mind. Now I just need to start that coordinating! And researching. And writing. So I need to go...
Basically, I'd like Compulsively Quirky to be more quirky. To feel like an extension of my interests and personality. And as the kid who couldn't decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, I grew up to be a dabbler. I have broad knowledge in many topics, but I'm no Jedi master of any one topic!
So what do you think? How do you feel about the changes in the graphics or the writing/content direction I'm going in? Please let me know. I am a curious gal, so I'd like to hear your thoughts. The comments section is right there. Hooked up to the easy-to-use Disqus and everything. Drop me a line:)