A couple of weeks ago, I announced that I would be trimming some of the extras from my blog. Initially, I posted a poll, asking you to weigh in with your opinions. What should I keep? What should I cut? I truly enjoy each of my regular features, and although I knew something had to give, I didn't really want to cut anything from the schedule.
But over the course of the first 48 hours, two things became vibrantly clear.
1. The results of my poll were woefully inconclusive. Every vote I received for cutting a feature was balanced with a vote for keeping that same feature. And every feature had its fans. - Which is exactly how I got into this over-full blog predicament in the first place!
2. I was tempted to ask my family members to go online and cast votes for certain things that I didn't want to lose, and to vote against others that I no longer enjoyed as much as I used to. - Which told me I really didn't need a poll to show me where I need to be focusing my attention. Deep down, in that part of my soul I often forget to listen to, I already knew the answer.
So for the past couple of weeks, I've been trying to set a schedule that will allow me to keep the features I love while still trimming the blog back to manageable levels.
* First and foremost, I want to return to the original focus for this blog: Finding the blessings hidden in all of life's trials.
* I love sharing my recipes with you. There's a reason we celebrate Thanksgiving with a feast far larger than we could possibly eat in one sitting. Delicious food makes us happy and turns our thoughts to the blessings we've enjoyed. So the recipes are staying.
However, as I keep forgetting to take step-by-step pictures of the recipes as I'm making them, I'm going to simplify the format with only one or two pictures of the finished dish for each recipe (unless there's a step that's simply easier to explain with a photo, in which case, I'll include one).
* Reading is my passion, so of course I love to talk about the books I love. And I want to keep participating in cover reveals for my friends' books.
However, many of my reflections and musings stem from the books I read and enjoy, so I will continue to talk about and recommend the books I'm reading, as they relate to the blessings and life-lessons I discuss on this blog. The book discussions will remain. Only the structured, trying-to-be-unbiased-and-strictly-professional book reviews will disappear. Because let's face it: I've never been a strictly-professional kind of girl, and I'd much rather gush about the books that leave me smiling for days or contemplate the lessons in books that tear my heart to shreds.
*Writing is my life, so of course there will be many, many blog posts that center around my life as a writer. Lessons I learn, news I'm excited to share, ideas I'm bubbling over with excitement about.
lessons I learn, the friends I'm blessed to meet, and the many ups and downs of life as a writer. Just as I always have.
In the spirit of trying to keep things consistent and manageable, I've set a schedule for my blog posts, so you'll always know when and where you can find the information you're looking for.
* Recipes: 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month
I'll share one of my latest recipe creations. These may be Crock Pot Gourmet, Vegan/Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Delicious Desserts, or any other category of yumminess that I happen to be concocting in my kitchen. Rest assured, I will continue to post links to the category recipe pages on my website, so you can easily find the recipes that fit your special diets.
* "Life Lessons": 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month
This will be a short post with a quote or a thought that's inspired me, and the way it's influenced my life for the better.
* Other blog posts: 2nd and 4th Friday of each month
I'll squeal about the exciting things happening for my friends and family, discuss the books I've read and enjoyed, and share my own writing news and insights.
Coming next week (the 1st Wednesday in November): I will share my recipe for the delicious Oatmeal Red Chile Cookies I made for last weekend's SCBWI NM Handsprings Conference!