Gone Fishing!

me and cat on wallOK, maybe not exactly fishing, but I’m going to be absent from Blogland for a few days. I’ve now posted daily for over 40 days, and I’ve achieved several of my crazy blog goals that I set for August–knowing it would be the last month I had to devote that much time to blogging for a while. During the next few days, I will not be writing for my blog or posting on my blog. In addition, after the next 12 hours (a little time tonight and a little time tomorrow morning), I will not be visiting, commenting, or liking other blogs (unless I slip off the wagon) until my return toward the end of next week.

During these next few days, I will be focusing on a few deadlines and projects that need my attention. To be honest, blogging is more rewarding than some of the projects I need to do. The “responsible” part of me had considered a long-term leave from the blog, but the “rational” part of me vetoed that crazy idea. I learn so much about myself while blogging, and I am unwilling to give up the community that exists among the bloggers I interact with. My life would be so much less without blogging and the people I have met because of it. So I’m taking a short break–just a few days–to try to make sense of my schedule in a way that allows me to get things done and to honor this blogging thing, which has become so much more than simply a hobby to engage in only when I can squeeze it in.

During August, I intentionally made blogging a priority. I’m hoping that by telling myself that I’m taking a break, I won’t say to myself (16 times a day), “Oh, I could blog about that.” And I won’t be asking my husband, “Oh, could you get some pictures of that.” In other words, taking a break is intended to remove blogging (which I really enjoy) from the forefront of my thoughts as I figure out how it fits into my life during the normal schedule.

To help with my blogging withdrawal, I will spend some time doing some sewing on the quilt top for the summer mystery quilt challenge. Hopefully, I can begin to do some regular drawing practice. Or at least, alternate it with Zentangle. But my main focus is to create a schedule for the coming academic year that provides a balance between what must be done and what I want to do.Β  Such a schedule may be too big a project for a week, but I will see how far I can get, while knocking off a few things on the project to-do list.

I have a couple of blogging “questions” that you can help me with, if you are so inclined. First, I would be interested in how other people organize the reading of and commenting on other blogs. Do you have a system that you would care to share? Some of you seem to get around much more than I do, even when I spend some dedicated time on it. So any suggestions would be welcome.

When I come back (probably on September 4th or 5th), I hope to have a blog plan. The free-flowing thing I’ve been doing may become more structured. It may not. If you have any preferences about which of my posts you enjoy reading the most, I would be delighted if you would let me know in the comment section. You can choose as many as you wish. I’ve listed a few that you can refer to by number (see purple list below). Or if you have other ideas, that’s fine too. This is also a good place to ask questions if you have any curiosities about me. Although, I’m sure that’s not very likely. Right?Β  πŸ˜‰

1. Responses to challenges where you learn random things about me?
2. Posts about Life in Taiwan?
3. More about my family and the experiences that got me here?
4. Quilting and creativity?
5. The eclectic mix that I currently do?
6. A decluttering challenge.

OK, thanks for all your support. Your comments will help me as I figure out my blog plan.

I’ll see you in about a week!Β  πŸ™‚

261 days til 60!

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42 comments on “Gone Fishing!

  1. I am all over the place, so I may not be the right person to ask. I like blogs that are random and I like others that are structured. I say just do what you want, in that moment, when you go to write. When you want to write.

    It seems a lot of people are taking breaks this time of year, to deal with “real life” for a little while. Completely understandable, we will be here when you get back! πŸ™‚

    • Yeah, but I’d rather blog than do real life. LOL

      The overwhelming verdict is to keep the mix I have, so I will be
      staying with the blog post du jour. I was just curious if people had
      preferences. It turns out most people like the surprise element, and I
      can be very good at surprises. πŸ˜‰

      See you in a few days!

  2. I hope your blog break leads to lots of productive fun! As for the blogging, I like the “all over the place” types of blogs. I really like the idea of decluttering challenge, but it’s for selfish reasons…I think it would motivate me. πŸ™‚ I love the mix you already have here!

    • I guess we’ll all in luck. Everyone prefers my “all over the place”
      approach. And I am planning to put the decluttering thing together. I
      just had a real slog getting through August. I’m feel much better now,
      and once I get a little caught up, I’m looking forward to tackling the
      decluttering. Having a few friends along for moral support will be
      great! πŸ™‚

  3. hi Deborah , Enjoy your blog break .I don’t have a blog reading system … it depends on when I have free time, I just try to not let it slide for more than a week … and I don’t comment on lots of blogs . I like reading your life in Taiwan posts your random challenges ..and de cluttering .. I also enjoy the quilting posts, and am always happy when you’ve managed to find some quilting time … hope to see more of them !

    • Thanks, Sharon! That’s a lot of likes. πŸ™‚

      And you’re in luck. I’ve finished all the blocks for the mystery quilt
      and will be sewing them together to make the quilt top. I’ll be posting
      that as one of the first things when I return. AND I already have
      another quilting project in mind. So I’m getting a little excited about
      making a weekly quilting appointment with myself. Working on a basic
      schedule to allow for balance–that’s the goal of this week. That and
      catching up on a few projects that need some attention. See you soon!
      πŸ™‚

  4. I don’t have any system, I just hit the WP Reader when I have time and check out what posts I can from those I follow while I’m there. Sometimes I have time to read everything, and sometimes I have to pick and choose based on what teaser bit shows up… and I generally get behind at the start of the weekend, and around midweek. If I had (or even wanted) one of those fancy schmancy internet phones, I’d be able to keep up much better by reading on lunch break at work…

    Have a nice break!

    • Thanks! That’s actually quite helpful. I get totally frustrated with
      the volume in the reader, so I have buried myself with email
      notifications. I realize now I have to limit that to the people I am in
      regular blog-tact with, and just do the rest on the reader. And
      unfollow a couple people who post 30 times a day. LOL They’re clogging
      my reader. πŸ™‚

      • I didn’t want to come right out and say it, but I am a bit liberal with the unfollow button due to the lack of time I have to read. Regular readers of my blog get the benefit of the doubt, but someone who I rarely see is going to get bounced if they clog my Reader…

    • Thanks, Willow! I will be back, just as soon as I can get a handle on a
      balanced plan that prepares us for the big move next year, while
      getting the necessities of work completed. Of course, balance includes
      some me time. And that means quilting and blogging. πŸ˜€ (maybe some
      drawing practice thrown in)

  5. Deborah I enjoy your blog so much. I am with everyone else… do what gives you the most pleasure. This is the one place where it gets to be all about you! Have fun. See you when you get back. πŸ™‚

    • Who am I to argue with the masses? LOL I’m glad you’re enjoying my
      blog. I know I am. And I find it so interesting that I can write things
      I’m interested in and people actually come and read them. Blogging is
      kind of awesome. OK, not kind of. It IS awesome. Looking forward to
      getting back to your blog as well. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Lisa! It’s really interesting to ask the question, because what
      happens is it seems people are most interested when I write about
      Taiwan, but then I realized that’s probably because some of my students
      are reading (as I sometimes post the blog link on FB). What I like
      about this feedback is I’m hearing from the people who visit me and
      comment the most. So this is the information I wanted. In other words,
      it will keep coming out the way it has been. ❀

  6. Well, seeing as though I have no structure whatsoever to my blog, I vote for the eclectic mix πŸ™‚ Hope you enjoy your time away!

    About organizing and reading blogs – that’s something I don’t do very well. I’m often a few days behind responding to comments on my blog, visiting those who have commented and reading/commenting on subscribed blogs in my email. I’ve cut posting back to twice a week but still can’t keep up πŸ™‚

    • Yeah, it’s interesting how much time it takes to really get around. I mean you could make a full-time job out of blogging, and still be working overtime. πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for the eclectic vote! Seems to be the consensus so far. πŸ™‚

  7. Personally, I like that you won’t be blogging every day – it makes it so harder for me! πŸ™‚ And I have no system, when I’m stuck on hold on a call I tend to open and read and comment, or even write my own mix of blogs! Enjoy your blog detox!

    (Oh, and I’ve learned to forgive myself if I don’t read or don’t comment on every blog!)

    • HAHA! I’m happy I can make life easier for you! πŸ™‚ I don’t get stressed about not reading and commenting. It’s just that I enjoy it, but it seems to take more time than I have. I was hopeful that someone had a little trick or two that made it easier. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing on the reading.

      I hope you enjoy my blog detox as well! LOL

  8. Enjoy your break!
    I like the eclectic mix, because I enjoy the surprise of not knowing what your blog will bring. I will even go so far as to say I read more of your random posts than those of topic bloggers.

    • Wow, thanks! I have too many things I’m interested in, and I’m not yet so focused on one thing that I could just limit my blog to a single topic. If I ever do come up with something like that, I’ll start a separate blog for the people who are interested in that topic. I like surprises when I read, too. Unless it’s the quilting blogs I subscribe to. haha No really, I even like when they mix it up and include a recipe or a story about their day or some photographs. πŸ™‚

  9. Well, the name of my blog is Lovely Chaos, so I think you should just write what you want to write. I’ve loved many of your posts, on several topics; it’s what you bring to them at least as much as it is about the subject matter.

    I tend to read blogs which are part of challenges and hops I join (ROW80, WIPpet Wednesday, A-Z, Story A Day, and others); those who comment on and sometimes just like one of my posts, and ones that I bump into that seem appealing, if I’ve got the time and focus to read and comment. Because I’m an unschooling mom and our life is rather spontaneous, a rigid simple just wouldn’t make sense for me.

    I don’t expect anyone to read anything at my blog. It’s a sweet bonus, to get likes and comments. It reminds me of when I was a waitress, and never expected a tip…

    May you enjoy your break, and get some of those pesky to-dos eradicated, so that you can shift to your new year as smoothly as possible.

    I’ll be back to visit you once you get things going again! =D

    • I do like the flexibility of just making a decision about what I’m going to write next. I have a list of potential topics, and I could keep myself quite busy if I wrote all of them. haha

      Some of the to-do’s are ongoing projects that will continue into the new year, but I need to get a running start, or I’ll be too busy to enjoy the teaching. πŸ™‚

      We have 18 week semesters here, that are based on the timing of Chinese New Year. So we have a late start this year. I have two weeks to see what I can do before classes start. And I’m feeling so much better that I really am starting to make some progress. I think feeling better is part of what gave me the motivation to set the blog aside for a few days and have a work marathon. (with quilting and drawing breaks).

      The only blogging related stuff I’m doing is a bit of catch-up on comments and such. What I don’t catch up on in these little scraps of time, I plan to just let go and wipe the slate clean. Return to no backlog. πŸ™‚

      • I’m starting to realize that I will always have a backlog, because I answer the comment, then visit the commenter, and usually leave a comment, and often the visitee returns the comment, visits me, leaves another –

        I’m learning to see it as a whole string of conversations in progress, and to let the “backlog” translate to “potential deeper connection”. That helps.

        I hope you enjoy your break and check off a few of those work things – or at least get them well underway, so that you can enjoy the teaching! =D

      • I’ve decided that I’m just not willing to carry the backlog. And I’ve also noticed that many times, when I comment on someone’s post, they say nothing but Thank you. Which is nice, but it’s a conversation starter. So those people start getting more likes from me–my revised plan. I am going to do what catch-up I can, and then just let the rest go. I won’t lose anything, because the people I talk to most often are also potential deeper connection in the future. I don’t need to save possibilities, if that makes sense. πŸ™‚

        As an example, I think there are only about 10 people that I have “deeper connection” and ongoing conversations with. And of those, you are the most frequent. LOL

      • It makes a lot of sense. I tend not to be as quick to respond to more formulaic comments as deeply as real conversation- I blog, and write, to connect, to share experiences and ideas.

        I don’t think anyone in my life has EVER accused me of not being a talker. I apparently started young, and just kept on going and going and… =)

  10. Enjoy your break! I’ll miss you, but I completely understand. I like that your blog covers such a range of things that come up in your life, so I would say that’s a good thing to keep doing. Having said that, I’d be happy to join you in the decluttering challenge bit, should you decide to pursue it. πŸ™‚

  11. Congratulations on meeting your goal, and have a wonderful blog vacation! As someone who posts daily, I know what a major accomplishment it was. I’ve also been thinking a lot about my blogging future. My grandmother’s last diary entry is December 29, 1914. I’ve really enjoyed blogging and want to do shift to some other area of my family story when it ends. But I’m also considering reducing the number of times a week that I post. Daily is a lot!

    I think that the key to long-term blogging is balance. I have learned to accept that some of my posts are better than others. I prioritize my blogging as follows: 1) write posts; 2) respond to comments; 3) read/comment/like blog posts of others who commented on one of my posts; 4) read/comment/like blog posts of others who liked one of my posts; 5) read/comment/like other blogs.

    Probably 3/4s of the time I respond to comments on my blog. There have been periods of 3 weeks or so when my attention was elsewhere, and I responded to no comments–but people seemed to understand. .

  12. I like the eclectic mix that you provide (though I don’t know anything about quilting and so don’t read those posts as carefully :)) I have had to re-orgazine my blogging life lately, when I began to feel overwhelmed with the number of blogs I was following (and enjoying!). I changed my email preferences so the notices on posts only come once a week. I can then read them when I have time. It puts me a little late reading and commenting, but it has given me such a better grasp on my interactions.

    • I just changed my email preferences, too. I had to find a way to be more efficient about things. I also cleared out the backlog from my inbox, so I’m just moving forward and trying to stay on top of things. πŸ™‚

      As for the quilting posts, the next one will have some pictures, so you don’t have to read any of it. But you might like the one I’m working on now. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the eclectic vote! I haven’t had anyone who doesn’t want that, so I guess I’ll continue on.

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