This post is long, but it is eventually about blogging.

Change is good.

It’s taken me a long time to get used to that idea. I remember when my grandparents cut down the tree in their front yard and I threw a conniption. They kept telling me about how the tree was ugly (true) because it was sick (true) and how it was hurting the rest of the yard (maybe true?), but I didn’t want to hear any of it. I just wanted things to stay the same forever. But they didn’t, of course.

Is that what growing up means? Wow, this just took a real philosophical turn that I wasn’t expecting, but let’s run with it. Is growing up simply the idea that change is an insurmountable, unavoidable, necessary fact of life and well, you better get used to it? Resistance is futile! In all seriousness, though, it’s good to sit back and look at how changes have affected you, to see if everything you are doing is still exactly what you want to be doing. I only have so much free time and, frankly, I want to spend it in the best way possible.

Now, don’t worry, I know this sounds like I’m gearing up to tell you that I’m not going to blog anymore, but that’s not why I’m here. I want to keep blogging, I want to keep writing. Writing is a fundamental part of who I am, whether it is writing poetry, writing in a diary or writing blog posts. But at a certain point, I have to take a step back and really, seriously examine the writing I’m doing. Is it really the best use of my time?

I think the reality is that the answer is no. Regular Rumination has become a comfortable place, where I rarely challenge myself. I write book reviews and sometimes a personal post or two, but it’s always safe. I don’t ruffle feathers. I don’t work at Regular Rumination, like I did in the beginning. I’ve let it get stagnant.

Maybe that was what I needed for a while, but my life has changed. I will have a more organized life and schedule once I have a job. I will be able to set aside time every day to write and I want to make sure that I write every day. I read something interesting, something that really resonated with me. It was on an article called “9 Reasons Your Blog Isn’t Bringing You Clients.” Now, I don’t want my blog to bring me clients. I am not even sure why I clicked on this link, but honestly it has given me the kick start that I needed. Here’s the first reason:

1) You’re acting like an amateur instead of a professional.

Steven Pressfield, in his book The War of Art, talks about Resistance and the difference between amateurs and pros.

Amateurs write when inspired.
Pros write when inspired, but luckily, inspiration always strikes at 9am.

Well – it doesn’t, but the point he makes is that writing is about consistency. The hardest thing to do isn’t to write, but to sit down and prepare for it.

What you can do:

#1:Pick a time of the day and sit down in front of your computer for 10 minutes with all other browser windows closed. Whether you write a line or 10, don’t get up till your time’s up.
#2:Keep a draft folder of all your ideas in your wordpress dashboard, a folder on your computer and in a little notebook that you carry with you. When you’re stuck for ideas, go through them & pick.
# 3: On a day you’re feeling really inspired, stock up on writing 2-3  blog posts and schedule them for later dates.

In the world where amateur simply means that this blog does not make money, Regular Rumination will probably always be an amateur blog. But it terms of professionalism and making Regular Rumination an absolutely essential part of my daily routine, honing and practicing my writing skills, is what’s really important to me right now. There may come a day when I start to write something else and when that happens, Regular Rumination will probably become that safe place again, where I can turn to it and write a review when I feel like it.

That brings me to my next point. I don’t want Regular Rumination to be a place that is just about book reviews. I want to write personal posts, I want to write opinion pieces, I want to link you to relevant information about our community and the book community in general. This blog has to go beyond just book reviews, and I sincerely hope it will.

None of this is a criticism of how other people run their blogs. I read plenty of blogs that just write reviews and I love them. I read blogs that don’t write any reviews, that rarely talk about books, and I love those, too. I don’t want to lose site of the fact that my blog is my space. If what I need right now is to work on being a better writer and, therefore, a better blogger, then that is what I will do.

I hope you’ll begin to see these changes to Regular Rumination in the coming weeks. It’s going to take a little while for them to really start to get off the ground and running, but I hope that we’ll be the better for it. Change is good, remember?

As always, thank you for reading. I wouldn’t be the same without you.

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27 thoughts on “This post is long, but it is eventually about blogging.

  1. That’s so true—you have to take the important things in your life seriously, and work at them. Blogging, for me, is more task-oriented; after I read a book, I have to review it, simple as that. But writing is something I do whether I’m inspired or not, whether I can crank out anything good or not. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that writing—in any capacity—is a craft instead of something driven by pure inspiration. You have to work at it and you have to put in the time.

    1. For a long time I’ve been riding on inspiration, when it comes to writing. I used to write every day, but during college, got out of the habit. I want to go back to being that person who took writing so seriously.

  2. That’s a lot of interesting thoughts there. Personally, I’m trying to become more amateur in my blogging, because I let it be too professional for too long. Back when I was writing fiction, I was distracted by the blog writing, and I honestly only enjoy blogging when it complements my time rather than takes it up. I’m working on only posting 2-3 times a week rather than 5 or 6. I’m working on forgetting about stats and comments and everything else. Again, changes in my life – interesting how various changes compel us to do different things.

    1. Right now, all I have to focus on in terms of writing is my blog. One day I’d like to change that, but not today. In the mean time, I’d really like to make sure the writing I’m doing here on my blog is as great as it can be. This isn’t necessarily about stats or comments or anything of the sort, just writing. And making a schedule for writing. And sticking to it. It’s more about being a professional writer than a professional blogger.

  3. Love it! I’m so with you. I’m always trying to go beyond “just a book blog” with my blog because I feel like it differentiates me and, like you said, eventually we grow up or out of things. That’s why I added my Wedding Wednesday feature…I need to accommodate for the changes in my life on my blog. I don’t want to be JUST a book blog. There are SO many book blogs one could go to just for reviews and interviews. So YAY..I totally support this!

  4. totally an amazing and worthwhile post. to be honest, i prefer the really long posts!

    i think this is the same issue that i had when i was losing focus on blogging. if it became just… stagnant to me, i didn’t have motivation to keep writing.

    i’m writing fewer posts now, but trying to make them better as i start over. i know you’ll have the support of everyone who reads your blog as you move forward and make it more of what you need.

    1. Thank you, Selena! Writing on a schedule doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be posting every day, that’s for sure. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to post every day and keep up the quality I expect from myself. We’ll see how it goes, but I think approaching it more diligently will help me out.

  5. I like that particular quote you shared from that article. Your current struggle is true for me too. In order to improve and keep the blog getting better, I need to make more time for writing and focusing on content. I was great about it in June, then let things slide (necessarily, with the move and whatnot) in July and August. I’d like to get back into a routine and make blogging/writing more of a priority again outside of work. Good luck, and keep us (well, me!) posted on how it’s going!

    1. Kim, your blog is a constant inspiration for me. Sophisticated Dorkiness is always the first one I think of when it comes to organization, all around awesomeness and writing.

  6. There are some great points in this post. I definitely blog like an amateur, but for now, I’m ok with that. I struggle with posting personal things, but I don’t know why. I’m trying to get better about that.

    1. Your blog has to be what you need, nothing else. I struggled posting personal posts as well, but I’m getting a lot better about it.

  7. Like everyone, I really identify with what you’re saying in this post. I always want to be better with my blog, but I run out of time because I give higher priorities to other things (work, being social, my own writing). I am working on implementing a workable system for my own writing, and I’m hoping that once that becomes habit, I can set up a regular system for blogging as well.

    1. There will always be a long list of things that have priorities over the blog, but I think the most important thing is making sure that the time I do devote to Regular Rumination is used in the most efficient and most advantageous way. I want to practice writing here, and if I’m going to do that, I probably need to take it a little bit more seriously than I do. I need a schedule, I need a system, like you said!

  8. I am going to be somewhat of a contrarian here. I think it is easy to see when bloggers are writing something because they feel they need to. Rare is the writer (or blogger) who is so fascinating or talented that their daily musings are always worth reading. I am not passing judgement on your blog which is quite interesting and well written. I am just suggesting that honing your writing skills every day is a great idea, but you might want to be selective with what you actually post. I think the most interesting blog posts are those totally driven by passion and inspiration–and those can express pure joy or utter despair or anything in between. But where ever a post falls on that spectrum one senses fire beneath the words.

    You also run the risk of making your blog feel like a chore. And who wants that?

    1. Thomas, when I say I want to write every day or work on the blog every day, I certainly don’t mean I’ll be posting every day. If I could get my posts up to the quality that I could do that, I would, but I’ve never been the kind of blogger capable of posting every day. When I write every day, I just might not be finishing a whole post, or I might be finishing 10 Poetry Wednesday posts. It really depends on the day. A good review can take me anywhere from one to four hours to write, so it depends on the review, the post and the day. Don’t worry — I hope to never let the quality of Regular Rumination slide. And if it starts to, please tell me. I agree with you about passionate book reviews. I hope I won’t lose those to this!

  9. I for one am really excited about this Lu! As I’ve moved away from the bookish side of things I find that I’m gravitating more towards the personal posts of my blogging friends rather than the book reviews. I still love reading about books but not so much the books I haven’t already read or plan to read. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us–especially as you embark on your new journey with the new job.

    I do agree with Thomas that you don’t want to make the blogging or writing feel like a chore, but I can’t wait to learn more about you. Wish more bloggers were willing to take the leap.

    1. Trish, your blog is another one that is constantly inspiring me. I’ve always been the same way about book blogs… I read reviews of the books I’ve read, ones I’m conflicted about reading, and sometimes, books I have never heard of that have a particularly intriguing review. I love to read posts that are about books and reading, but that aren’t necessarily reviews.

      It’s not necessarily about making it feel like a chore, so much as making it feel like something important in my life. Thanks for your support ❤

  10. Hi Lu! Thanks so much for including my 9 reasons blog post in your post! I’m stoked that you took the time to read and share it 🙂 You are absolutely right in that professional in this context was about respecting your art and creativity by giving it the time and structure it deserves, not *just* about making money. Love your take on it 🙂 Thanks! Tia

  11. Very interesting post, Lu. I agree with all you said. I also want to do “more” (undefined right now what this “more” could be) with my posts.

    I have tried writing personal posts, but to be quite honest, they are not that good considering language when I write them. I know I write acceptable, sometimes good, English, but it is still not my first language, so any post I do in English will always be “amateurish”. That can be charming as well, I know, but hopefully you know what I mean. Anyway, I have to say that when trying to write personal on my Danish book blog, I always cringe with embarrasment, and forget about it. I will work on slipping in more personal notes, lines and such into my posts from now on, though. That will be my project I think.

    On the other hand, I would also love to write more professional book posts. I am at a stage in my life where I am looking for a new job, and have applied (among other places) at our royal library here in Copenhagen. Not for a bookish job (my line is in communications and culture and not at all in library science), but for a job where knowledge of both literature, writing and social media was wanted (did not get it), and I know that people who hire check out applicant’s blogs etc if they mention them in their applications. So my (Danish) book blog should also be sort of a professional tool. Not without personal notes of course, I think they also look for the person behind.

    And with all this, I sort of wanted to say, that I also want to improve on my writing. I have many years of training writing all sorts of genres (articles, copy writing, university papers and much more), but I’ve never really been trained in blogging and writing good blog posts. Its as simple as that.

    I am not trying to get you to say that “your posts are GREAT!!!” or anything. There are probably lots of good posts on my blogs, but trust me, they are not that good…especially not those written in English, but neither are the ones in Danish.

    So, a very inspiring post here, thanks for that. And now you have to go visiting the South so that you can tell me about the places I haven’t been 😉

  12. Change is good! I’m glad you are going to keep blogging. Personally I like it when bloggers branch out and there’s more to the blog than just the one thing. My own is more journal-y than Book Bloggy but I still have a toe in the Book Blogging. Looking forward to your changes!

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