his summer has brought about all sorts of dreams and desires and big neon signs in the sky showing me where I need to grow – and with that, I’m beginning to realize that something will need to shift. Right now, that “something” is the frequency of how often I post on this blog. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not abandoning this space – there will be no tumbleweeds rolling through here. (Instead of working to post 4 times per week, I’m cutting it in half to twice a week.) Posting on this blog has become such a part of my days and I truly love what it’s becoming. With that said, here are my 10 reasons for scaling back (because everyone loves a good list, right?).
1. Posts take an average of 5 (!) hours for me.
I have come to appreciate bloggers to a huge degree during this last year. While it takes just a few minutes to read through a post, the work that is done on the back end is WAY more than I ever knew. I think my process may be on the long side…I’m sure some bloggers are more efficient than I am and some bloggers probably take double the time that I do. Regardless, for me, I’ve realized that I can count on spending an average of 5 hours per post – this isn’t counting the project time itself (such as dying the clothespins or creating the mail art). This is purely concerning the processing of the post itself – taking photos to capture the project, editing those photos, uploading them to my computer, creating a watercolor piece to potentially add some spice to the post, writing the post, mashing the words and pictures together, formatting things correctly in WordPress, putting the appropriate caption on each photo in case it’s added to Pinterest.
I’m still in awe that it’s possible for someone like me with no background in technology to have my own website – so I realize that this could easily take 15 hours without all the tools that have been created to make this process as simple as possible. I’m nothing but appreciative this is all doable and basically painless. At the same time, I also realize that even the 5 hours per post is a lot for me – by scaling back I’m going to be able to do stuff like being CFO of the Nixon Petersons. Which brings us to reason number two…
2. It’s time to embrace the role of CFO of the Nixon Peterson household.
It was decided long ago that I would be CFO of our household. I honestly get satisfaction out of the stuff that goes along with that – establishing organization systems, figuring out money, investments, and retirement, ensuring that we don’t drop any balls with bills, RSVPs, and thank you notes. But I’m going to be honest: if I were the CFO of a corporation right now, I’d be flirting with being fired. It’s time for me to give a LOT more of myself to figuring out all of the adult things that go along with, well, being adults – looking into disability insurance, renters insurance, creating a will and testament for Bobby and me, getting better about budgeting. There is so much to sort out. Don’t you worry, I’ll probably be blogging about the things I learn. ;)
3. Evernote must happen.
A full year ago, I was SO EXCITED about getting our lives onto Evernote. We were going to go paperless and it was going to be a raucous, liberating adventure. We bought the scanner, signed up for Evernote Premium, I started reading an eBook about how to be an Evernote ninja…and twelve months have passed without much happening in this department. I think I even mentioned it long ago on this blog that I was ready to tackle it…but that has yet to happen – ha! (Please refer to previous point #2 and add this as further evidence that Grace the CFO has been found lacking.) The time is now. Evernote, I’m coming for you.
4. More on my Ta Da List, less on my To Do List.
Basically, I’m just so excited to CREATE! On the days when I’m not committed to putting up a post, I’ve realized that I love going from project to project just GETTING THINGS DONE. That is so energizing to me. I want to be able to do more of that, uninterrupted by immediately formatting the project into a post.
5. An Etsy shop is calling my name…
A couple months ago, my dear friend Rachel asked if I would consider making and selling her a set of stationary and envelopes. I loved the idea and promised to think through designs and pricing – and it has been on my mind on pretty much a daily basis (Rachel, I promise I haven’t forgotten you!). The more I’ve thought it over, I just love the idea so much that I think it’s time to start an Etsy shop.
I think there are few gifts that are as timeless and meaningful and filled with joyous surprise than sending a handcrafted piece of mail to a soul you love. I want to help facilitate this. I’ll be reallocating a bunch of my time to getting an Esty shop running that is filled with the most love-filled stationary, cards, and envelopes I can possibly muster. I’ll keep you posted (ironically, via technology and not the postal service, ha!). I hope you’ll join me on this new adventure!
Email schemail! A letter is better!
6. The time has come to tackle my anxiety.
I haven’t written about it much here, but I’ve dealt with anxiety for a good while. It is sneaky and tenacious. It likes to sap my joy. If it could just be harnessed like a wind turbine, I’m certain there are days when it could provide power for a small village.
For literally years I’ve journaled about how I need to take concrete steps to tackling my anxiety, propensity to worry, and catastophizing – but until now I’ve never actually done much. The resistance to facing it head-on has been huge. Foundational work is just that: work. There are so many things that are insanely more fun than trudging through my own muck.
But I’ve finally determined that I’m ready to pull on the muck boots and trudge. I’ve started over these past two weeks and it has been exhausting and liberating all at the same time. The work is far from done (and will likely never be completely “done”) – but it has started and deserves my courage, time, and attention.
7. We can still party over on Instagram!
What I love so much about this space is that it’s enabled me to connect with friends and strangers alike. I appreciate being able to document my latest art and projects. If I didn’t have another space where I could share the daily magic I encounter, I’d have a much harder time stepping back a bit. Here’s the great thing, though: there IS another space to share and I LOVE that space.
Instagram. You are awesome. Come party with me over there as I’ll be sharing my art and projects on pretty much a daily basis, even when there isn’t a post on this blog. Here’s my profile. Let’s be friends!
8. Avoiding blogger burnout.
I want to continue this blog long-term. I bow down at the feet of bloggers who have posted on a nearly daily basis for years and years (Elise Blaha, I’m looking at you!). I’ve always been impressed by that but never more so than now as I’ve actively been in this space. Bloggers like Elise deserve ALL the high fives and the last bite of every piece of cake.
But lots of bloggers aren’t able to sustain that kind of editorial calendar and I’ve realized I’m one of them. If I don’t pace myself a bit, I’ll burn out and abandon this space. And I don’t want to do that!
9. The glorious ability to work ahead.
I want to have posts waiting in the wings. I want to feel ahead of the game instead of frantically trying to keep up. Scaling back enables that. HALLELUJAH.
10. Consistency, anyone?
I crave consistency and I like keeping promises. I bet a few of you do, too. When I’ve taken time away from the blog while traveling or moving north and south with Bobby, I’ve had to drop off altogether from this space for a couple weeks at a time. With this new schedule, my goal is to post regardless of what is going on in my life. Since I’ll be able to work ahead, this should be doable!
So there you have it. My top 10 reasons.
Who knows? Maybe this will all change and I’ll have to revamp things again down the road. (The homily at church this past weekend was all about the inevitability of change, so all signs point to ‘go.’) For now, though, I’m excited to give this a try.
Perhaps all of this background information means very little and a description of the ins-and-outs of blogging wasn’t what you expected to stumble upon today. Or maybe you’re nosey and curious like me and love reading about the inner workings of people’s lives. Regardless of which camp you fall in, please just know that I’m SO GRATEFUL you’re here. I hope you’ll keep coming back to hang out on Mondays to kick off the week and then again at the end of the work week for some smile-inducing Folk-Art Friday cheer! And occasionally, if I just really am bursting at the seams to talk about something, I may sneak in a surprise post on a random day.(You can subscribe on the side bar to never miss a post.) Living on the edge, here. OH THE SUSPENSE!
Your Biggest Fan, Grace
So proud of you friend for courageously listening to yourself and giving your needs some well-earned space. You have a whole tribe trusting your heart, and cheering you on! xo
Oh this means the world to me, Maren! I’m forever grateful that you’re part of my tribe and treasure your encouragement and advice. THANK YOU! XOXO
Grace, I respect your decision to make a change in your life and admire your honesty about the reasons you are scaling back on your blog. I can’t wait to hear about the new paths you will follow now that you have more time to explore and create. xoxxo Gini
Gini, it was an absolute gift to talk through all of this with you in person. Thank you for your constant love and support of my new ventures – it gives me such courage. You are the best of the best!
Proud of you Grace!! You made a big dream of yours a reality and now you’re growing and tackling additional roles. Bravo!
Blake, this gave me the biggest smile! Thank you. It is so much easier to go after these rather uncharted goals and paths with friends like you in my corner. Love you and miss you! xo
You have all our support, do everything that you need to be at your best, and don’t worry, we will be around reading your incredible posts, and keeping and eye on your projects and adventures.
Aiming for consistency is the best thing ever, wishing you all the best.
(There’s an email waiting to be finished Grace, I haven’t forget about you, apologies about the delay).
Iliana, what a beautiful encourager you are! Thank you for this support and your affirmations. You make me grateful!