In June, I decided I was going to quit the blog. And my book club. Maybe even cut off all friendships, sell my house and quit my job. Teachers should not make major life decisions in the month of June.
Thankfully with the mind-clearing holidays behind me, I have the perspective (and rest) needed to make more rational decisions.
To start with, I will not be quitting the blog any time soon. However, there are a lot of other things I will not be doing, as they relate to the blog, which I am listing here as my "New Year's" resolutions. (Anyone who works in education knows that January 1st means nothing. Labour Day kicks off the New Year.)
1. I am not going to feel pressured to write any more frequently than I can handle. Twice a week seems to work well for me, but I am fairly confident that if I drop it to once, or (heaven forbid) go a week without posting, none of your lives are really going to be affected. If any of you are actually thrown into the depths of despair when you must suffer through a few days without This Mom Loves, please let me know, as that would make my day. Quality is much more important than quantity, and family time needs to come first, with career second. Sleep slides in there as a close third. Blogging is simply my (amazing, rewarding, fulfilling, taxing and draining) hobby.
2. I will not follow back just to be nice. I just can't keep track of who my new blog/Twitter followers and Facebook likers are, and to try to track them down to reciprocate is impossible. However, I will certainly check out those who actually send me a message with that request. Sometimes there are new Canadian mom bloggers trying to get known out there (or people who are sincerely interested in having me in their circles), and I'd love to support them. Followers who have no interest in me or my blog and are just looking for followbacks to boost their numbers will have to look elsewhere.
3. I will, however, follow the trail of those who take the effort to leave genuine comments on my blog. (And by "genuine", I mean comments not referring to cash loans, erectile dysfunction medication or porn.) When a blogger leaves a comment, 99 % of the time I will return to her blog and reciprocate. If the home page is completely full of giveaways with nowhere for me to share, though, it won't happen.
4. I will continue to crack down on the PR end of things. I've mentioned before that I love having reviews and giveaways incorporated into the more "editorial" material here at This Mom Loves, but man - I don't know how some people run several giveaways a day! I also don't know why on earth some want to spend the time crafting a post for a $3 product, and I make enough at my day job that I'm not interested in cash compensation for writing about something I don't believe in. I updated my "PR Friendly" page to reflect the fact that I would prefer to be contacted only for review/giveaway opportunities, as you'd be amazed at the e-mails I receive (about a dozen per day) with lengthy press releases for (usually) American companies, with absolutely nothing in it for me. Perhaps they think I should feel lucky to be able to publish their advertising for free?
5. I will remember that I am blogging for me. It's supposed to be a fun, door-opening venture (which my many celeb interviews and behind-the-scenes experiences can attest to) and it doesn't really matter what my stats are or how many people are commenting. (You lurkers out there know who you are! Help a girl out once in a while, would you?) I stay "vanilla" enough not to attract many haters, which is a wonderful thing as I abhor conflict, but I know my cautiousness also prevents any of my work from "going viral". I need to remind myself that it doesn't matter.
So, for this "New Year", I will forge ahead with my multifaceted hobby...and I'm glad that (at least for this second in time) you're here with me!