I recently joined 20 Something Bloggers, and haven't quite figured out how to best utilize the network yet, so when they presented an opportunity for a blog exchange, I jumped on it. Unfortunately, my blog exchange partner never sent me her piece. They were due on 12/20, so I've given her just about a month to reciprocate, and I've even warned her that I was going to be posting this myself instead. So...that didn't quite work out as planned. And every time I see her post something on Twitter, I get a little bit more irked that she's not responding to me. It's like that thing where you see a friend posting on Facebook or Twitter or whatever, but they won't return your text messages? It gets under my skin a bit; even though I don't actually even know this girl, I find myself thinking, "You have time to do make all sorts of comments to other people, but not to respond to me?" Sigh. Oh well. Learning to take things in stride, I am.
Anyway. She and I had decided to write about our blog goals for 2011, a slight variation on the official theme, but an appropriate topic nonetheless. I'm not really one for "a year in review" type wrap-ups, but I definitely love anything relating to resolutions. I think I like looking forward more than looking backward; after all, you can't change the past. You can learn from it though, and I guess that's where resolutions come into play...but I think the most successful resolutions (for me, anyway) are not ones based on "I didn't do this last year and I want to next year" but rather ones that come from a place of true newness. Let me explain.
I always used to make my annual new year's resolutions based on things I wished I had done the previous year. This guilt-based resolve isn't surprising considering the Jewish guilt that runs through my veins, but it's not the most positive or cheery type of resolution if you really think about it. I would so much rather decide upon goals for myself that have no relation to the past, ones that only speak of hopes for the future. Besides, whenever I've resolved to "worry less" or "be better at cleaning"...well, it's not like I've been super successful. I do much better with fresh goals that are free from the pressure and the burden of resolutions past. (uh oh - in resolving to not make resolutions the same way I have in the past, am I being a hypocrite here? Let's just ignore that for now.)
I'm not going to resolve to blog more frequently (though the self-induced-pressure to make this a resolution is strong), because that's just an invitation to feel bad about myself when I don't. And let's be honest, when life gets busy, the blog takes a backseat. That's both the blessing and the curse of writing a little personal blog, isn't it? Nobody is paying me to write, and really, I just do it for myself and for the amusement of whomever decides to stop by. And I actually have a job that keeps me busy (as opposed to a job that allows for blog-writing during the day), so while I'd like to promise a post a week or more photos or something, I don't want to put that kind of pressure on myself. Silly, maybe. But there that is. I'll write when I have time, or when I feel inspired, and if I have a backlog of ideas, they might just have to sit for a little while. And that's ok.
I resolve to let my blog be what it is without pressuring myself to do more?
Really, truly, the one thing I want to do for/with my blog in 2011 is a big ole redesign. While I like the cheery kitchen theme, I would love to overhaul the design and do something custom instead of just tweaking the pre-existing template from Blogger (lovely though it is). I recently gave myself a custom URL (so easy! see how I did it here), which was a nice little gift to my blog, but I'd really like to take one more step forward and have a design that really reflects who I am and what I write about. I feel like it's a little cluttery for my taste right now (though if I'm being honest, I am more cluttery than I like to think I am).
I also plan to create a real "about" page. Blogger has an easy way to add an "about" tab as a separate page, and I'd like to play around with that.
Lastly, I want to figure out why search seems to be messed up. I first noticed it after the URL migration, but it's buggin me. Using both the search box in the Blogger header and the custom Google search box I added result in incomplete searches. For example, searching for "muffins" turns up no results, though I KNOW I've written several posts including the word. I can't tell if it's all to do with the new URL, as sometimes it pulls up posts from pre-new URL, but whatever it is, it needs fixin'. Any advice?
So those are three things I want to change, improve, do in the new year. Specifically related to the blog. Specifically related to the future. Specifically related to awesome.
How about you? Do you have any blog-resolutions? Do you make resolutions? Do you make them before the new year or after January 1 - it's January 19th - have you resolved to do anything yet? Do you care? If not, why not? And what kinds of resolutions do you tend to make, if you make them at all?
See how I got all turn-it-around-and-ask-you-some-questions there? Yeah...encouraging discussion! Or should I say...Disqussion?