Monday, February 08, 2010

I've got a new look

I've been thinking about this blog o' mine for a couple of weeks. Thinking about whether or not I wanted to continue with it. Not that I don't like it - I do - but wondering for myself if its worth continuing since I seem to be so sporadic with posting and I'm not entirely sure there is an audience to write to. Ultimately, audience or not, I want to continue - it is good for my soul (when I actually write;)

I began to think that perhaps I should be a little more, ahem, intentional about this here blog. While I started blogging to journal my children for family members who live far away (which is basically all of them) and share pictures and stories with those who cannot be around very often, it eventually turned into something different. I also found that those family members weren't paying any attention to it... so what was I doing?

I began to find it as an avenue to clear my head and get the thoughts out that were swirling around up there driving me batty. I'm a thinker. Actually, I've come to understand that I'm a contemplative person... which is an actual type of person. Apparently, contemplative people do a lot of, well, contemplating. And I do that. And if I don't get it out of my head, I feel like I'm going mad. This blog has been a way to relieve some of that for me.

But I wonder sometimes... is anyone reading it? Do I care? I'm extremely self-conscious about what I write... do the people who read it think I'm totally out there? Again, do I care?

I'm learning to not care about those answers. At some point, I need to be comfortable with myself and not worry about what other people think.

However, it IS easier to write to an audience. It just is. I have a blog that noone is invited to read. And it isn't the same. Not sure why. Somehow writing TO someone makes a difference. So I would like readers. And comments really 1) validate the fact that I'm not a loony and 2) let me know that there is an actual audience to write to. (So please comment freely.)

Last week I began to think about how I could increase traffic/number of readers. I think about this once a year. Ultimately I conclude that the only reason I want to increase readership is to validate my insecurities. So while I would love to write to a bigger audience, I am not willing to do the things that would increase the size of the audience. I'm all about being authentic and real in my life - and artificially increasing readership - just so I can validate my insecurities - would be inconsistent with who I try to be.

BUT could I make this place better? Yes.

I have tinkered around with the layout and template over the last couple of years. I find something here or there that I'm okay with, but it never seems consistent with what the blog is about. I have decided to become a tad bit more intentional about this blog and wanted the look to match. I spent a good deal of time yesterday morning finding a new look. And I like it. I think it works with who I'm trying to be.

I came across the Socrates quote in my reading a couple of weeks ago and I love it. I think about it a lot. "An unaware life is not worth living." This speaks volumes to me... I work hard to live thoughtfully and intentionally rather than reactionary and thoughtlessly. To be consistent in who I am... I think Socrates summed it up very well for me and complements my blog's title very well.

I love the picture, too. I knew that if I tooled around on a million sites that offered free blog templates I would eventually find one that just fit. I didn't have anything in mind, I knew that I would know when I saw it - and I did. How often are we actually aware of the tiny bugs on the blades of grass that we're walking on. Yet they exist. They live. They're part of our world. We would know that if we took the time to be aware of our world.

The link bar at the top lists the areas of my life in which I strive to find balance. Its an ongoing journey and sometimes one of those areas is thriving and the rest are suffering. (The "physical" tab links to my workout blog - which I will begin to update again on a daily basis.)

Take a look around. Offer your thoughts. What is good? What needs work? What should be changed?

Thank you for reading and giving me an audience and a way to find peace:)


Brenda B 11:47 AM  

I'm here... I read. I listen. Love the new look.

I don't think you're looney at all. Your writing challenges me ususally in ways that I'm not willing to own up to yet.

Please keep writing.

Brenda B 11:48 AM  

I'm here... I read... I listen. I love the new look.

I don't think you're one bit looney. Your writing challenges me usually in ways that I'm not quite ready to own up to yet.

Please keep writing.

i am not 4:07 PM  

Thanks, Brenda! Thanks for the comment and thanks for your honesty:) I'm glad to hear someone else is challenged by my writing - because I'm challenged by it all the time. If I weren't writing it, I wouldn't be accountable to it and I'd be leading a very inconsistent life... all thinking and little action.

Skooks 4:49 PM  

As ever, great post and looking forward to so very much more. The layout is great! It is clean and fresh, and I think you're right that it suits the theme of your blog well.

Thank you for linking me up on your sidebar! With all you said about not looking to promote I'm wondering if you want me to add you to my link list or not? (I will if you wish, though I honestly have no idea if people actually get that far down my page to click on my blogroll!) I certainly believe your thoughts are worth reading!

i am not 5:11 PM  

Yes, by all means, link me up. I would like more readers, however, like I said, I'm unwilling to put the amount of time and work into doing the things that bloggers suggest to increase traffic (as we discussed). I, too, wonder if my blog roll is so long that people will ever wade through it.

As for the post about what means and why you missed it - it was posted in Oct 2006 and I've never known how to put a static link to one of my pages on the sidebar before. One of many things I learned in my almost-all-day blog transformation yesterday.

Missy Eagen 7:28 PM  

I read and I noticed yesterday your new layout- it inspired me a bit to work on mine. But I struggle with the same questions you have here. I miss getting comments, I miss the 'community' of blog buddies out there. I wondered all the same things and decided that I'm going to keep trying..

I'm enjoy your writing, I LOVE your honestly and although I don't comment much many times it's because it leaves me a bit speechless ;)

Love ya!

Abbi Togtman 7:36 PM  

I read your blog now Jana! I think I'm a contemplative person too. Where did you discover this new label? I love to label myself...and jars. Ok, jk but yes I read and I love it.

i am not 8:42 AM  

Missy - I've been wondering if you're still out there:) Glad to see you are. I'm going to go take a look at your new look.

Abby - WHAT? I didn't know you read my blog!!! That excites me:)

Mommy Brain 9:50 AM  

It leaves me speechless...I agree with Missy! So often I read and then leave thinking...not commenting... But I also understand the need to know if anyone is out there. I will actively try to comment more...but please know that if I don''s not because I didn't's just because I probably don't feel there is anything to be added. You are a blessing of wisdom and perspective in my life and I'm so grateful! Have a great day and keep writing beautiful friend. You are being heard!

i am not 12:43 PM  

Okay, I feel kind of bad. I mean I'm beyond loving all of the comments on this post, but PLEASE know that I wasn't looking for ego stroking! Although, I won't argue if there is any more to be done;)

April 5:21 PM  

Hi Jana, I am here, but you know I am ; )! I love, love what you post and treasure everything! Thank you!!!

Noel 10:57 PM  

Jana, I haven't been out here in a long time but love to read what you write. Your words made me stop and contemplate:) I will be back again soon!

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