To Blog Or Not To Blog, That Is My Question

May 18, 2017


To Blog Or Not To Blog?

Hello friends. If you have been a longtime reader of Exquisitely Unremarkable you know that when I write a piece, it's generally purposeful. It's usually a crafty DIY or a personal essay about a specific topic in my life that I think you may find relatable.

I try to entertain, educate and empower. But not today. Nope.

Today, I'm just sort of thinking out loud.

Maybe it's because I recently turned 49 and there's a milestone birthday on the horizon.

Maybe it's because of a post I read by a fellow blogger that resonated so perfectly with me, that I could have written it myself.

Maybe it's because when I visit my mom, I leave the nursing home with a keen awareness of how short life really is and what is truly important.

Smiley Face Button In Flowers

Or maybe after being engaged in any pursuit for a certain amount of time, there are periods of evaluation and adjustment.

My simple dream has always been to write a small column in local newspaper, you know a slice of life kind of thing and perhaps, eventually, a book.  

I picture myself sitting at a desk, staring out at the beach, typing away in my little abode. It's all very romantic. A dreamy haze of what could be...

Of course, without work, dreams never materialize, so the realist in me decided to start a blog. It was a great distraction from some family health issues and the onramp to my dreams.

Even though I had never seen a blog before, I jumped in. I was unaware that some people made money from them and I had no idea that there was this lovely community of people who shared their decor online.

I sort of stumbled onto that.

Summer Flowers

I began with words, I shared whatever projects I had going on at home, visited, commented and made friends, but also started investigating the best way to get published. I subscribed to podcasts and newsletters, joined Facebook groups, listened to editors and authors and it seemed like the way to get there was to set myself up as an expert and build a following. 

Like everyone else, editors and publishers were big fans of big numbers. 

Not very romantic.  

But being the rule follower that I am, I dug in. I published and guest posted, got my work shared by larger outlets, became a contributor to established sites and by default, I became an expert, of sorts. 

Inevitably the sponsored offers showed up and then the advertising companies came calling and then the you should be’s (posting on Facebook and Instagram, etc.) began screaming at me. 

All in the pursuit of numbers.

I was told that posting certain places was wrong, that my blog header and theme needed updating, that my readers would be annoyed by sponsored posts and ads, that I needed to pick between DIYs and personal essays, nobody would want to see both, that I needed an incentive to get people to follow by email, that I needed to do live video and more.

Engagement and followers, likes, shares, comments, open and click through rates and reach were part of my daily vocabulary. 


No Social Media Allowed

Before I knew it, I was posting all over social media ~ a place I loathe ~ and had almost no time to visit, to read, to craft, to comment and most importantly, to write at my little desk.

The computer was always on and I was tied to it. There was actually one time, on the way home from visiting my mom at the nursing home, that I made my husband pull over in the parking lot of a local beer distributor so I could get enough internet to link up to party just when it started, so I could be close to first.

How crazy is that??

It's the moment that I started thinking, what am I doing? I had been lured by the prospect of big numbers before and I always went with it and then recoiled, then went with it again, but this time my thoughts were clear and resolute. I don't want to be a professional blogger. I want to be a book author. I don't want my home featured in magazines, I want to be the one writing the article. I have no desire to be on tv, heck, I don't even watch tv. I am not interested in developing a product line or teaching a course.

I am a writer. And all I want to do, is write.

So I took a bit of a break and without the noise of social media, and people telling me what I should be doing, I had a lot of quiet time to think about what I did want and not surprisingly, it's what I've always wanted.

I still just want to write.

And so that's what I'm going to do.

Blogging is still part of the plan. It allows me to write what I want, when I want. I love the feedback, the interaction with my readers and the neighborhood feeling of this Exquisitely Unremarkable space.

Pink Hydrangea

For a writer, there is no better feeling than when people respond to your words. I am super grateful for every visit and still get excited when someone emails or leaves me a comment. This is where I will be putting my time in.

Well, here and on Pinterest, because I mean come on...so much pretty.

Other than that, eh, I have no plan. Well, other than doing what suits me.

I like my boring header and theme, it's simple and let's you know that I am all about the red and all about the words...which pretty much sums up my blog.

The ads and sponsored posts, if of value, will stay, because let's face it, a little fun money is fun.

If I remember, I will put my new posts on Facebook or Instagram, but I am no longer going linger in either place. I would rather be writing.

I have always thought Facebook was a little icky and now both sites have too many rules.  I have no interest in trying to game the system, share controversial ideas, viral content that you can see anywhere else, or click bait photos which may or may not tempt you to come over to my site.

That's never been my style.

Even before blogging.

I have let myself get pulled way off track in the pursuit of those numbers, which is just so not me in real life. 

Bigger, better, more is not me. 

I live in a cottage, I shop at thrift stores, I drive a Jeep and got married with hand me down rings.

Which I adore.

In real life I'm not a hit and run, big party, meet and greet kind of girl. I am a small gathering, close circle of very good friends, who really get me and are generally interested in me, type.

So why should I blog any other way?

Mason Jar Vase

No. I'm going back to basics. Back to my simple dream of writing a column for a local paper (which I do every other month or so) and writing that book.

If you'd like to read my posts on a regular basis, you can sign up for email, if not and you're a drop in every now and then kind of friend, fabulous.

The door is always open.

So maybe I'll never be a published book author with millions of fans. Maybe I'll lose followers and page views, since I won't be screaming look at me on every social media corner of the internet, but, you know what, that's ok.

I figure the people that really enjoy my writing will find me to see what I have to say.

Even when I'm just thinking out loud.

πŸ™‚




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108 comments:

  1. Amen, good for you. I blog for fun and for my own personal enjoyment. I love to share my Decor, DIY, Food and Lifestyle posts for myself as well as to share. I love the friends that I have made real and virtual, but I am not one who is engaged in all the social media stuff either. I don't care to be political, debate or argue. I just want to do my thing and have fun and enjoy it. If it becomes work, then I don't want to play anymore. So good for you. Do what you like and it will be the best and probably wind up with more people enjoying it too.

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    1. Thank you, Marty. I think that a lot of us are feeling this way lately. Blogging has certainly changed. I just want to post what I want, when I want and not think about all the other outside noise. So that's what I am going to do! Thanks for weighing in. πŸ™‚

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  2. I feel like a lot of bloggers that monetize their blog end up this way - feeling disenchanted and tired of the treadmill of expectations that sap the joy from what you really want to do which is perhaps, connect with other like-minded souls. I will never monetize my blog. I will never aim to take professional watermarked photos of my home to share. And I vow not to use the same yardstick as everyone else to measure the fun that is my blog. It's all about my peeps and what makes the world go round for us. {Heavy on what mom is interested in.} None of that other stuff. So do your thing. However you want to do it. Amen.

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    1. I love your vow about not using the same yardstick...it's a wonderful quote. I think that is what gets a lot of people, the comparison. I don't do it in real life, never have, so it was an odd feeling to do it here. I don't mind the monetization, but it was all the "you should be doing this to be more successful" talk that bothered me. Like you, I just want to do my thing, my way, like I did what I first started blogging and I didn't know any better!! πŸ˜‰ And now I am!

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  3. Wow! You are speaking to me today. I've lost my mojo. I'm having trouble finding things to create and write about lately. There is so much pressure to do things the "right way". There are also so many copy cats out there, they are even showing up at our local fairs with my projects :/ I hear you girl and I feel the need to take it easy too this summer and just make something and post it when the mood strikes me. I am never going to get rich doing this.... it used to be for fun but someplace along the way it changed.

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    1. There is pressure to do it the "right way", Susan and I think it's a very small group of people making the rules in pursuit of high traffic and that's not my gig. I am so sorry that you are dealing with the copy cats in real life. It's bad enough when you have to deal with it online, but in your own town and in your face is really just too much.

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  4. Keep doing what you're doing, Kim. I love it. I closed my blog, but so enjoy yours!

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    1. Thank you, Nancy! Always happy to hear from you.

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  5. you go girl,no way but the true way for you xx

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    1. Thank you, Monkey! I'm trying... πŸ™‚

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  6. I enjoyed today's blog. It reminded me of a statement I was taught over 6o yrs. ago:
    To thine own self be true, then thou canst not be false to anyone. Happy writing.
    Sandy

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    1. Timeless words for sure, Sandy and not just for blogging!! Thanks for sharing the quote with us. πŸ™‚

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  7. So well written Kim. You are truly so great with words. I love that you know what you want to do and will not give into the "system" and will just enjoy writing and sharing on your blog. That is what I have always loved about you and your blog. I enjoy your writing style. It is always honest and enjoyable. I know I have shared with you personally how I feel about FB, IG, Blogging etc. and how they are all going in a fast pace direction. Like everything else in life things change and are ever evolving. I too want to embrace the simple and pureness that is left with blogging. I am about sharing my style and decor ideas and not about the numbers or making money. Blogging has been a great and unique way to meet friends from all over the world that I might not have ever met. So it is all good. I love your thinking that you just will do what makes you happy and fulfilled. You got it girl. Love you and your sweet blog.
    xoxo
    Kris

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    1. Thank you for your super sweet words, Kris and for your friendship. It has been one of the great gifts of blogging. ❤️
      Aside from the online friendships, blogging really is a solitary business and I have let myself get pulled off course, too many times, by all the social media and blogging gurus. The funny thing is that most of them have become successful by doing things their own unique way and now they are indoctrinating us! I guess once I defined what blogging success meant to me, I was able to find my own true path again. xoxo

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  8. Kim, trust me, these are questions you'll be asking yourself for years unless you sift through it and and answer your own questions. It sounds as if you have. Now give yourself the gift of sticking to it, unless your answers change. Please take it from someone in her early 70s who has written three books, two discarded, and has two others in progress and feels time slipping away wondering if anyone near Grandma Moses age bracket can actually publish books--spend the time where it counts and get that book ready for us to buy! That is, if the bliss in your day comes when you're writing, and I have a feeling that it does.

    Best of luck to you!
    Dewena

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    1. You are so right on all accounts, Dewena. I am so grateful to you for sharing your experience with me and your insight. You have given me the motivation to move forward and make it a priority….and I say the same to you, it sounds as if the bliss comes to you from writing, so keep at it and yes, publish those books!! You have an eager reader and buyer right here!! ❤️

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  9. Kim, you are not alone in your thoughts presented here. I started Hyacinths in 2009 on a whim, not knowing a thing much about blogs or how to create one. Fast forward almost eight years down the road, and I'm still not what one considers a savvy blogger. I knew from the get go that I was doing this as a creative outlet for myself. I have been pleasantly surprised that I've garnered readers along the way, and amazed that blogging has spawned friendships far and wide. I continue because it's fun, and it keeps me connected to friends such as you. I don't advertise. I personally find all the pop ups annoying, but understand the need some have to generate income. Blogging isn't a job for me, it's purely an interest that I enjoy. I'm happy that you will continue. I enjoy your posts and look forward to reading a new one when it pops into my email feed. As far as social media. I'm not interested in hours of time devoted to that either. I'll post on FB if I have something to share like a link a new blog post, or something I've seen or done that might be of interest. My "friends" are family and friends, not public. I've just recently embraced IG and find it to be a favorite. It's quick and easy, and I love beautiful photos. I see that it is becoming a "meme" driven game, but I rarely tag into one. ;-)
    Didn't intend to go on and on, but here it is. Have a great weekend.

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    1. I am glad that shared today, Sarah. It sounds as if we both started blogging for the same reason. I love hearing how others fell into it. You have been at it a long time, witnessing its crazy evolution firsthand. I agree that the connections are the best part, that has been such an unexpected bonus! And I also do not like those pop ups. I admit that I toyed with one for a bit, because I was told that I should, but it bothered me, so I got rid of it. I loved Instagram in the beginning. It was full of so many pretty pictures, now I see the changes there, too and I am not a fan. Thanks again for taking the time to share!! I always love to chat! ❤️

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  10. I love your blog and look forward to that email in my inbox telling me you've had time to think, write, create - whatever makes YOU happy. It usually makes me happy, too. I'm not much of a Facebook fan. I use it to keep in touch with family, but I'm finding it's more of a pain and time waster than anything, so I've begun to limit myself. I'm not on Instagram because I don't have an iPhone. I look forward to your next blog entries and be sure to let us know when your book is published! (Where are your semi-monthly articles published? Sorry if you've already told us this.)

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    1. Hi Betty! Your comment just made my day!! πŸ™‚Thank you for your super kind words. I agree about Facebook, too much time wasted there. I never even had a Facebook profile until I started blogging and I needed a personal profile to have a business blog page. I have almost no friends and rarely, if ever post anything there. Believe it or not, despite the blogging habit, I am kind of a private person! Crazy right? For some reason the blog feels more personal. I enjoy sharing here. I am not sure that I ever mentioned it before, but I write for a local publication, a little hometown newspaper. I do a DIY and craft column. It's not online so I can't share, but it's funny, some days I see people in the grocery store and they'll say hi...I read your column! It's a fun treat. I hope you have a lovely weekend and thank you again for sweet comment.

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  11. I hear you. I kind of missed the build a following get ads and sponsored posts thing. A big of fun money is fun, is right, but I blog to share encouragement, and friendship and I've made lots of wonderful friends through blogging.

    Glad you'll still be around, by the way. Enjoy your writing, too! Can't wait to read a book by you one day!

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    1. Thanks so much, Deanna. I think I came into blogging just as the paid gals were taking off in big numbers. I didn’t jump on the bandwagon for a few years, but once I did, oh boy, the game changed fast. When did you start blogging?

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  12. I think that sounds just wonderful!

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  13. Love your attitude. Write when you want and forget Facebook, etc. I don't do them anyway. AND, I DON'T LIKE VIDEO - my connection buffers so much I NEVER watch it anyway. Look into publishing something via Amazon. Yes, see if you can make some money, but doing what you love is first and the rest will come when you follow YOUR best intuition.

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    1. Thank you, Linda. I agree with everything you said! And I don't like video either!! It is definitely not my thing. Thank you for the encouragement. I am putting this comment on my desk for sure! πŸ™‚

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  14. Great post Kim! Love your honesty, and I heard almost this exact thing from another blogger this week. You may have seen that one too, but It's basically back to basics. I love that. I'll stick around for whatever else you have to say b/c I still love your blog!

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    1. Thanks Florence! I appreciate the kind words and the love!! Yup...it was Ann's post that I referenced and linked to above. She said everything that I have been feeling for a really long time. It was the push I needed to say enough. And it feels good. ❤️

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  15. Hi, Kim! I think you're a fantastic writer, and I do enjoy your blog. I agree that you should follow your muse and do what makes you the happiest. I am fed-up with social media, too. I have a FB account, but I only joined because my book club wanted a page to communicate rather than email each other. I don't even have a link to FB on my blog. I do like Instagram, but I don't have the time to play with it or Pinterest much these days.

    I'm beginning to appreciate Bloglovin a little bit more. I'm thinking about shutting down my FB account, greatly limiting time on Pinterest because all I seem to be getting lately are ads, and also limiting Instagram. I'd like to blog more, and use Bloglovin' to keep-up with my blog friends.

    Your post has given me so much to think about. Thanks for your honesty and insight!

    xo,
    RJ

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    1. I think yours sounds like a wonderful plan, RJ. Time is so precious and so much of my own has been ill spent on social media. No more. I am interested to see how you plan unfolds. It sounds like a good one, especially if it suits you!! I say go for it! πŸ™‚

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  16. I am so glad to hear you say all this. I enjoy your writing. in turn it can be funny and touching and it's always from your heart. I can't stand 'experts.' there are too many of them in the world! they're tiresome and so competitive for some reason. and they're a dime a dozen.
    I am a subscriber to your blog. I am not a facebook follower. and I only look in on a few instagrams because I love their pictures. I don't comment on everybody's blog that I visit.
    so much of dΓ©cor~only type blogs seem to be totally lost to me anyway in relation to my own life. I comment on blogs when i'm especially touched. not as a matter of course.
    as you know I'm a cosy minimalist and I live so simply as to almost be a monk.
    I have no family except one brother. so though I enjoy seeing all the table settings and good deals and DIY projects and things to buy and all that... I personally would rather hear what's in people's hearts. what they think about things. what they feel.
    and a little dΓ©cor thrown in for fun is always nice.
    but a well written essay from a beautiful soul delights me. and you're a beautiful soul dear bean!
    what's that old saying from oscar wilde? "be yourself. everybody else is taken."
    truer words were never spoken! I think you're on the right course now. and I still love your kitchen with the touches of red! it's YOU.
    simple. beautiful. not a shout of "look at me! look at me!" in sight. XOXO♥
    the real reason I don't comment every time... we both know my comments are TOO LONG!!! LOL ♥

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    1. Tammy, your comments are never too long for me!! They are always filled with so many wonderful words and make me smile from ear to ear. You do flatter me so. They also make me wish that we were neighbors and we could visit for really long chats about life. I like your take on things, but you already know that. Thank you for taking the time to weigh in today with your very thoughtful comment, my friend. It means a lot and I am grateful for it. ❤️

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  17. Welcome home, honey! I'm with you. I have always written what I wanted to write and posed about things I like. I don't do the advertising or freebie things offered and I just keep plugging along doing what I like to do.

    I am kind of a take-it-or leave it kind of person. I could not tell you what my stats are or how many views I have---I just don't have the time to check that and, really, it doesn't matter to me. This is just a bit of fun for me and I think that is what you have discovered, too. When/IF it quits being fun I will call it quits. Life is way too short as we have found out in our household this past couple of years.

    Love to you, Kim. Have a wonderful weekend. I have to pop over and read the blog you mentioned. xo Diana

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    1. Thank you, Diana. You are so right. Like you, I started off blogging to the beat of my own drum, but somewhere along the way, the more I "learned" about blogging, the more lost I became. Too much information and too many voices clouded my own vision. I have always known what I have wanted to do. I am glad that I came to my senses again! πŸ˜‰

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  18. You hit the nail on the head. Do what you want, and don't worry about the numbers. Some - probably most - of us will still be here!

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    1. Thanks Nancy!! You're right...it's not always all about the numbers. 😊

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  19. Well I'm still reading your posts though I've been pretty busy & haven't commented in awhile.

    I would like to know, why is it so important to bloggers that you follow through email? I hate that, I have enough trouble keeping my emails cleaned out without adding recreational reading. I follow blogs through feedly & never miss a post that way. It's totally separate from my email & so easy to keep organized.

    I've also noticed that many of the blogs I follow are disappearing...maybe I'm getting old? I love reading them but maybe they're 'old-fashioned' now? LOL

    Just thinking out loud. :)

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    1. Thank you for reading, Jenny, and it's always nice to hear from you. Email is a funny thing with bloggers, isn't it? We're always trying to get you to sign up! The conventional wisdom is that email it the only way you can be sure that your readers see your posts. Posting to social media is tricky, because the powers that be use algorithms to determine which posts get out into people's feeds...plus they always say the money is in the list. Meaning that the people that take the time to sign up are your devoted audience and they will buy from you, etc. Now, I am a bad blogger, because I don't push the email sign ups, because like you, I hate a cluttered email. So I follow blogs through Google Reader. I just sit down with a cup of hot water and catch up, like I used to read the Sunday paper.

      As far as the disappearing blogs go, That I don't know. I can't speak for everyone, but I do know that since the nature of blogging has changed so much and the camaraderie and hops of old have mostly disappeared, a lot of people have just stopped. It's sad and I hope that many are just on a break, because I loved them too.

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  20. Dear Kimk,
    I loved our line about not being a hit and run, big party gal, just want a few close friends who understand me. You are so brave to give up what you have been doing for so long, but I am sure you will be much happier. Just do what feels good. That is what I do, reading blogs like yours, quilting and gardening. I do love me some true crime tv and comedies though.
    Best to you, Kitsy

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    1. Thank you so much, Kitsy. I love your line about just do what feels good! I am sure going to try! I appreciate you comment, it means more than you know. :)

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  21. Ahh, so glad you aren't quitting!! So you took the Goldilocks approach to find out what was just right for you. But I'm so glad you didn't run away in the end :)

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    1. Oh my gosh, Kathy...that Goldilocks reference is so perfect and just hysterical! I love it!! ❤️

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  22. I'm right there with you, Kim. You are a gifted writer and people recognize that in you! Keep writing and posting whatever makes you happy. Don't worry about the rest.

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    1. That's what I'm aiming for, Stacey…and thank you! I figured by putting it in writing and sharing it with you guys, it would help to keep me honest! πŸ˜‰

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  23. Oh Kim, we could be twins. I know exactly how you feel. My blog started out as a sort of a diary about my garden. Then when I wanted to have a place to put my garden produce recipes I started another blog for that. I don't see well and the computer is so much easier than a recipe card so it was an easy decision And then I noticed that I have a lot of recipes that don't involve garden foods but another love, baking, so now I have two 'cookbooks' and 'garden journal'. And then when the thrifting bug bit and I started having a big enough dish collection that I could actually do tablescapes I started another blog to write about dishes and hopefully someday parties. But the point that i am trying to make is that any blogging that i do is because I enjoy it. It is fun to know that a few people read what I write (thank you)and I love getting comments (thank you) and have 'met' some great blog friends. I have not tried to drive up my numbers and my low numbers will never inspire anyone to pay me to do this. So I do it for fun. When I can squeeze in a post. Keep doing what makes you happy. Start your book and blog when you feel like it. Lorri xo

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    1. Thank you, Lorri, wise words indeed. I have to say, when I am in my blogging bubble, I am so happy. It's when I get out and mingle and start listening to others say do this and don't dare do that, that I get twisted and veer off course. I think the key is to stay in my bubble and just hang out with like-minded blog friends. Like you!! And isn't it funny how we can become so connected to people we've never met? Every single time I go thrifting and I pass the dish section, I think of you!! ❤️

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  24. You better believe it!! Those of us who love you will be here no matter what!! So glad you'll still be blogging - I'd miss you!

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  25. What drew me to your blog was the beautiful big red wreath. Once I got here, your story about your mom in the nursing home touched my heart because my mother was in a nursing home until she passed. "You never know when the last time will be the last time" is a quote I came up with during those years. Life is too short to dance to someone else's tune. Do what feels right for you.
    Myrna

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    1. Myrna, thank you for the super sweet words. I agree with everything you just said...both quotes are so important and I need to keep them in mind all the time, not just when blogging. I am sorry that you and your poor mom had to endure the fate of the nursing home. It's not an easy road....

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  26. Agree, agree, and agree!! I have backed away from blogging. I still enjoy it when I have time but don't want it or any social media to consume my life. Kim, Well said! Do what you love and love what you do! Let the creative times flow!!

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    1. Perfectly stated, Lynn and good for you! Enjoy those creative times!! 😊

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  27. I subscribe to Sutton Place and read that post when it was published. Like you, Ann is very talented and her light will shine no matter what. And so will yours.

    In the end, we all have to do what makes us happy. Faking it for the sake of numbers rarely works for the long term. When we enjoy what we do, and do it for the right reasons, we never tire of it. And that is the gift we bring to this world. Social media has changed so rapidly, unless one is doing it for a living, it's easy to get left behind, overwhelmed and frustrated. Let's leave it to the under 40 set, shall we?

    I have no doubt you will write that book. Maybe two! And it will be fabulous!!

    xxx

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    1. Thank you, Doreen, for so many sweet words. And yes, the under 40 set can be social without me. I have to be honest, though, I have teenagers and even they are getting fed up with the constant barrage of personal updates, photos, posts on social media and its demands. They are deleting profiles, apps and stepping away and I am actually very proud of them. Like you said, if your intent is to make dough from this gig (and oh boy, for the hours you put in, there are much easier ways) then fine, but if not, it's not worth the hassle.

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  28. Kim,

    I think you know the answers to your questions and now you have to choose the direction you want to go in and really apply yourself. And I think you will...you are smart and savvy. Blogging for income isn't uncommon but its very competitive. The rich get richer. If you want to be a writer or author, not one single word you have written on your blog is wasted. It's all great experience.

    Now move that desk or any little old table in front of a window with a view. Make notes to keep in a folder. Schedule writing sessions like a true job. Begin that book one page at a time. There are so many small and independent publishers, you may just capture someone's attention. You owe it to yourself to do it.

    And I know you can do it.

    "You is smart. You is kind. You is important." From The Help

    Jane x

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement and the super sweet words, Jane! I really do need to get moving and build in those writing sessions. I do not make time for that. I let the laundry and the dishes take precedence and after that...the social media stuff was on the list. No more, I am just going to follow my gut and write!!

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  29. Kim ~
    Finding ones "me" . . . purpose, direction . . . . .
    Releasing ones self from rules that are not authentic with my/your "me" . . .
    are ways we find our true self . . .

    I find your gifts are in writing, expressing, telling stories . . .
    with an added benefit of creating and sharing tips, tricks, great ideas,

    Each of us would answer the question . . .
    To Blog . . . Or Not To Blog . . .
    differently . . .

    Like for me . . . I created IGH io say hello . . .
    to you and others,
    to tell my stories
    to hear your stories . . .

    The pressure to post something daily
    turned enjoyment into task.
    And it wasn't for me . . .
    So I am back to saying "hello" and "hi" . . .
    And enjoying each HI, HELLO . . . sent back to me . . .

    You've made enjoying "red" each time I see it . . .
    You've shared your personal self and wrapped it up inside my personal life story.
    You've shared your crazy, funny, mishap K-Mart moments . . .
    Made me see your REAL and allow me to be REAL back . . .
    You Kim, remind me of love, faithful, team work, making something from nothing,,
    staying true, heart ache, mothers, mothering, changing roles,
    children, privacy, laughter, style, bargains, thrift . . .
    to name just a few . . .

    I Blog and Visit you and Others because you open your heart . . .
    I hope you'll continue to visit me

    My love and caring ~
    Lynne

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    1. Lynne, thank you for such a lovely and very thoughtful comment. I really do enjoy hearing the how and whys others started blogging. Many people have shared stories much like your own…and then discussed how it became a task. You are right, we must find what works with our true self and move forward from there. I have always heard that being authentic was the best way to blog and attract an audience. Turns out that's the one piece of blogging advice that I agree with!! I look forward to our visits, at your place and mine! πŸ˜‰

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  30. I always enjoy your words and I applaud you for being brave enough to just do what you want when you want. It's what we all should be doing anyway.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. I guess I had to explore all paths and decide which way I wanted to go! And thank you, Lisa!! ❤️

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  31. So refreshing and honest...can't wait to read that book you will write, and I can say "I knew her back when she wrote a blog on her own terms"!

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    1. I am smiling right now, Teresa and thank you!! Here's hoping!! πŸ™‚

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  32. Keep writing, we will keep reading... Social media can be a huge time-suck.

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    1. Thanks Donna, I appreciate your words more than you know...and yes, I agree, they don't call it a rabbit hole for nothing!! πŸ˜‰

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  33. Hi Kim, I'm so glad that you decided to keep on blogging! It can hard sometimes with blogging and I too have cut back on a lot of it and I don't blog like I used to. I have even thought about quitting it all together at times but I keep on going with it. You have so much going on with you right now and it has to be fun and enjoyable and be able to fit into your schedule. I love your posts and all of your easy crafts, home decor, and recipes. I don't do too much SM unless I'm alerting people of a blog post and I do a little bit on Instagram which I do like. I do hope that you will be able to spend some time each week working on your book.
    Take care.
    Julie xo

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    1. Thanks so much, Julie. It really is a balancing act and it’s easy to get sucked into the machine. I am glad that I have decided to stay, too. I enjoy so many aspects of it, I just need to make it work for me.

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  34. Hi Kim,
    I enjoy reading your blog and so glad you will continue. Life is short and sometimes difficult (as I am sure each visit with your Mom brings both those things to mind). Enjoy what you do. Big hugs

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    1. Thank you so much, Terri...and yes, you are right, my mom's situation certainly does put things into perspective. I think that is what really pushed me to reevaluate.

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  35. "To love what you do, do what you love." And that's all I've got to say about that. Hugs, Nancy

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    1. Simple, eloquent and to the point. Fabulous! Hugs!

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  36. Wonderful post!! I love the new catch phrase for today's times, "You do you!"

    Keep in touch and let us know what you are up to!!

    Can't wait to read what you have written.
    Big hugs, Kathy

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    1. Yes...that is a perfect way to summarize!! You do you! Love it...and thank you! πŸ™‚

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  37. I was just thinking the same thing. My life is full with family, home, elderly mom and homeschooling. I have a full plate and I don't want to waste time figuring out FB, IG, Twitter or any other social media. It's a pain and a lot of time and effort to put into. I am in a rut and trying to find my way out of it. I want to do what love because life goes by so fast. Go for it Kim! Your awesome and amazing woman.

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    1. Vanessa, thank you so much and I say the same to you, you are awesome and amazing! It’s not easy to balance all that we have going on in our lives with the demands of blogging. It’s so easy to fall into a rut, I get it. The social media stuff is so draining and the pressure to keep up becomes too much. Life does go by so fast, I say blog your way and enjoy your family, your home and your mom…at least that is what I am trying to do...

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  38. You just summed up why I follow your blog, enjoy it so much, and will continue to. I am glad you went through all that social media stuff and shared it here, because now I don't have to! Not that I was going to, but sometimes you ask yourself if you should. Like you, I've gotta be me and that is what you get on my blog too.

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    1. AnnMarie, thank you so much. I always enjoy reading your blog, as well. You have a very authentic voice and as a reader, I appreciate that. Let me and my social media involvement be a cautionary tale. It's not just the posting and pushing of my own stuff that gets laborious, it's also the voices from the community at large sharing what you need to do, what you should and should not be doing if you want to be "successful". That is the part, I really didn't like. I like blogging in my bubble!! Then I can be successful on my own terms! πŸ˜‰

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  39. Hi Kim, great post and I say, do more of what you love. If that means less blogging but more writing in other areas, then follow your heart. I understand this too as I have backed off blogging to get back to basics in my art work and new directions. I do enjoy sharing designs in social media but I need quicker so IG has truly helped in that area. FB is also an advertising place for me but I don't spend a lot of time there. You can't design and be on the computer at the same time. haha!!You are a gifted writer and have a lot to offer so go for what you love and the rest will fall into place.
    Let us know when your book is finished!!!!!
    Have a great weekend. xo

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    1. You can’t design and be on the computer at the same time…no truer words have ever been spoken. I love it!! Thank you for the sweet words, Celestina Marie. It’s always lovely to see you in the comments. I think we feel the same way about a lot of topics, this one included. Thanks for weighing in!!

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  40. Kim I too read Ann's post and had a good talk to myself. Luckily for me I had a computer breakdown which caused me to re-evaluate my priorities. I think you should stick to what you like and not listen to anyone. I love the red header and would not want you to change it for anyone. It is you! And who says you can't write about what you want on your blog? It's your blog! I also do diy and photography and I don't care if I lose readers. It has to be about us not just the reader. Otherwise we lose our mojo and become one of many with no voice. And you have an amazing voice Kim! Never lose that! I know you will definitely write a book in the future!

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    1. A little time away from the virtual world is never a bad thing!! Thank you for your sweet words, Mary. I do enjoy the writing, and like you, I just want to do it on my terms... πŸ™‚

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  41. I hope you schedule time for yourself and write that book.

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    1. Thank you, Ronda. I am really going to try. πŸ™‚

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  42. Kim, I am glad you will continue blogging. I love your blog and your beautiful writing. I have never done much on social media, just share a post when it goes live on my blog. I know you will write that book, no doubt in my mind!
    Ps. I am leaving for Spain as we are speaking due to an emergency with my dad. Please, keep us in your prayers. xoxo

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    1. Thank you, Maria and you are smart to stay off of social media. It is a giant time waster. You and your dad are in my prayers. Hugs…

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  43. Whew, I'm glad you didn't have an epiphany to quit blogging! I was worried when I saw your title! You write in "exquisitely remarkable" ways, and I am always blessed, inspired, encouraged, touched, with a chuckle or two mixed in when I read your blog, and I hope you do continue with your first love, which is writing, and for me, it is the friendships of precious ladies living their lives as best as they can that continue to encourage me to blog. I am not on social media and have never tried to make money with my blog, but see it as an outlet for sharing my life and friendships with others. I wish you well with the publishing of your book, I would line up to buy it :) Hugs to you today dear friend!

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    1. Nope, not quitting, Marilyn, just returning to the basics and doing only what I want to do…like I did in the beginning, following my instincts and going with my gut. You are a smart lady regarding social media. I was never on Facebook until I started blogging and I have hated it from the minute I started. It’s just time for me to step off that wheel and just focus on my site…stories, friendships, comments!! Thanks so much for the super kind words about my writing. I always appreciate your input my friend. ❤️

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  44. I always say to go with your gut and it looks like that's just what you did. Good for you! I think blogging is different for everyone. I also just like to blog for fun. I was never interested in making tons of money or gaining thousands of followers, etc. I do it because I like to share good deals or inexpensive decorating ideas. Sometimes I take a couple of weeks off from social media and it always feels great. When I have something to share, I jump back in, but don't stick to a schedule. You'll never regret spending more time with family and just unplugging. :)

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    1. There’s so much about blogging I love, Lisa, and in the beginning, I just did what I enjoyed. Somewhere along the way, the rights and wrongs were pointed out to me and I started to see things in a different light. However right and wrong sucked the fun right out the whole experience, so I’m going back to doing what I love and forget all about someone else’s idea of right and wrong. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for the comment!!

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  45. For awhile there I blogged almost every single day and I am so far from that it is amazing. I think that we change directions in our blogs here and there the same as we do in life :) Do what works for you now :)

    I never got into Pinterest, Twitter, FB ( aside from a personal FB ) or anything but I did join all sorts of parties and over time just quit all of that aside from a few quilt link-ups. But it...the desire to stop that...came naturally and it was due to time, yes.

    I am WP so I have ads on my sidebar but am lucky to get enough per year to pay Dreamhost so it's not a money maker, lol. I get offers in email for this or that and while I had tried a few sponsored posts a few years ago they were not worth the time and effort.

    I've cut back and changed direction over time and can certainly understand anyone else that desires to :) And since I am still using my iphone 3 ( shocking to my kids ) I don't think instagram would work well for me lol! The pictures are not all that great with the phone.

    Do what you want / you are a great writer....follow your heart.

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    1. Deb, thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to share your own blogging tale. It's an evolution, isn't it, and I guess everything has a season, doesn't it? Like you, I've decided to do what works for me now...and I am going to follow my heart! ❤️

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  46. Well, my dear friend, you know how I love how you write!! From the heart!
    Reach for that dream.
    Share here when you have time. Please continue to share from your heart, it helps to know others are walking similar paths. You add just the touch to sharing about your dad, mom and family. And I have not even mentioned your amazing DIY posts.
    I have enjoyed getting to know you.

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    1. Thank you so much, Carla. Your words always touch me and your friendship has been a true gift. ❤️

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  47. Kim, this really resonates with me--we've discussed before our mutual love/hate relationship with being slaves to social media. Sounds like a great plan to me--"to thine own self be true!"

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    1. I think about those conversations quite a lot, Cecilia. I waver between what I want to do and what everyone in the Facebook groups say you’re supposed to do. The pull to follow along and take what they all say as Gospel is real...I think that the Comparison group helped me to see that I have to do what is right for me…make that work and block out the rest.

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  48. Your writing is what keeps me coming over, Kim. Sounds like all the side trips of the blog have taught you much, both about what you DO want, and what you don't. Go for the main goal ... you're already ahead in your race. Besides, I can't wait for that first book, so I can brag to everyone about knowing this published author :D

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    1. Thanks Cheryl! ❤️ I really do enjoy the DIY tricks and tips, I guess the teacher in my loves to share that way. The writing is where my heart is though and hopefully one day you really will be able to brag!! Thanks for the sweet wishes!!

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  49. I have always felt this way too, Kim. My blog is simply for pleasure - I write when I feel like doing so and I have no desire to link my posts to FB or Twitter or IG, etc. I spend enough time on FB and IG as it is (TOO much time). I get a lot of emails for sponsored posts on my blog and so far, I've never done one, but there's a couple I'm considering. We'll see. I don't have any ads on my blog - can't stand them. But, I know that's an "each to their own" type thing. Have a great week!

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    1. I totally get it about the ads, Melanie. Some of them bother me, too. As far as the sponsored posts go, I have had a lot of fun with them. I say if it’s company and a product you feel good about, go for it! :)

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  50. YAY for you, Kim....I think you just put into words how many of us are feeling! I have definitely backed off blogging just because I felt my energy could be used better working on projects rather than taking the pictures, editing the photos and writing how I changed a few things in my dining room....for the gazillionth time! I do very enjoy Pinterest, and I also like IG. I'm not that fond of FB, but I tolerate it because that's how I stay in touch with my family and friends. I'm not on any of it to the extent I use to be. I've actually been doing some things that would be fun to blog about, and maybe I will....maybe? I do try to keep up with my friends in blogland, but I've even limited that to a few (definitely YOU) whose blogs I've subscribed to.

    Good luck to your new outlook on blogging, and I will be watching for that book....but no pressure:)

    Warm hugs,
    Carol

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    1. Thanks so much, Carol! I agree, there is very limited time in each day and I don't want to waste it on things that don't bring me pleasure. I love Pinterest, I enjoy interacting with my blog readers and I do enjoy the creating, but when the pressure starts to mount, it's time to back off. I would love to see what you have been up to. Share if you like, if not, then just enjoy your process. I sometimes forget the simple pleasure in that...❤️

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  51. Kim, this is such a great post. You and I have a few things in common that we have talked about before, kind of like soul sisters, and I will admit the thoughts have gone through my head about working for money but, my old fall-back, ignorance is bliss, comes into play. I think about it and then can't figure out how to do it, so therefore it is forgotten until the next time I think about it. I am finding that I really love the photography and then the writing that goes along with the picture. I don't fancy myself as a writer of books but I do love the way some descriptions and words just pop into my head sometimes. This little blog that I do is a nod towards that and I find that once a week is just the right amount of time to spend on it. I, too, love the feedback and the interactions of everyone and the writing of it answers a need, for whatever reason, that I have always had, to show off my decorating and my home. That is probably why I don't have any full on drapes at my windows. If someone can see a light on in the evening then that makes me happy. I guess my blog is a lamp into my self, and that is as far as I want to take it..Happy Wednesday, my friend..xxoJudy

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    1. You have a wonderful way with words, Judy. I could definitely picture you writing your own book, filled with pictures and narration to match. Your blog is exactly how you describe it, an invitation into your home and your life, an intimate chat with you, filled with cozy spaces, amusing tales and family. I say keep it coming as long as it brings you joy. πŸ™‚

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  52. Well Kim,
    You certainly nailed this quesiton for most of us it appears. You express yourself so very well and your dreams are beautiful and attainable. I respect and admire you for being a woman of your word.
    I stepped away for nearly 2 weeks from computer and came back with my eyes wide open and full of so much energy! Amazing what living does for a persons outlook-much better than hunched over a silly computer.
    Thank you for you visit too, I just bet your honeymoon was dreamy!

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    1. I agree, Jemma, hunched of a silly computer is not where I want to be. And if I am, I want to be enjoying every moment of it, not stewing over reach, engagement and numbers!!

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  53. It is best to be more fully you.
    I dislike FB.
    I use Instagram, because I love taking photos and playing with flowers.
    I like Pinterest, because I like old rustic European homes, cottages, and gardens.
    I guess that is all there is.
    I don't have advertising, though it could be nice for fun.
    I don't advertise products, because I like old things, teacups, and flowers. No one has offered that. Ha!
    I do write, but I am not as comfortable sharing. I am artistic, but I don't say I am an artist. (I think you are suppose to though.) I started mine only because I wanted to show that one could take an ugly house on any old street and fix it up with not a lot of money, and I did that. Because it is just for fun, I don't have to find house to keep my readers.

    I am so sorry about your mom. I just lost my great aunt, who really was my grandmother, to that horrible dementia. I use work with people and families with it... I loved it. It was draining though. I always hoped they would find a cure, because it was one job that I would not mine not having. In other words... I want a cure. xoxo Su

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    1. Su, you truly are an artist. You have great vision and have created a beautiful home. I started for fun, with a hazy dream, and somewhere along the line got sucked into the machine. I am back to just writing for fun and for what comes my way. I am sorry about your aunt. It is a terrible disease and I admire you for working with patients and families. I am always in awe of the caring people at the nursing home. They are angels. xo

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  54. Don't know if you'll ever get down to my comment, but here goes: I attempted the "rules of the game" too. Hated it. I love Pinterest, pretty much hate the other social media. Never got on Instagram. I haven't done sponsored posts for a long time. Really, readers don't like them. I know I don't. So the product or income I just gave up. I do need the income I make from ads, so those must stay. I rarely join parties. I don't do crafts or projects much, so it's just me and words. Those are what matter. Just write the words.
    Brenda

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    1. Hi Brenda, thanks for weighing in. I agree with you, it really is all about the words. There are definitely times when people come to my site for a specific purpose…the how to’s and DIYs…but it’s the words that hook them and keep them coming back. I think that is the part of the equation that the “ruler makers” forget.

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