Upon returning..

A belated Happy New year to you all. So whats new? Or is it same old. Do you believe in new beginnings or new starts, or do things just continue? They do continue don’t they? Myself I’m more with the latter, although the new year is a convenient break point to freshen a few things up should I want to. I’m not one for New Year resolutions. Pointless.

I enjoyed my time away from the blog, although I was relatively busy with work, but I did get in some nice family time, and of course with a 2 year old boy, there was Β fun to be had. Really I had next to no time for the blog at all. The free time I did have went on other non writing projects or just leisure time. It was enjoyable to the extent that I genuinely wondered whether to return at all. Should I just take an even longer extended break from the blog?

I cannot deny that the idea presented itself more than once, but in the end I decided that I do enjoy writing on the blog, and I do get something from it. On occasion it can be slightly tedious, but that is just life really, you cannot be on your game, on the one thing, all the time. When I think back to the time when I started the blog at the end of February 2012, I’ve enjoyed the exercise, and various writing experiments with it, such as attempts at various forms of poetry, of which some were more successful then others, but also some short fiction, essays and other little things. I have learnt some, and experienced some, and most of it positive. It is always my best writing? I would definitely say no, because I can think of some posts which would have benefited from some revision and better layering. Still that is not what the blog is about, and such time that might fit revision, can just as easily fit other projects, so on the whole I’m happy with my output here.

An additional bonus, one that many newbies to blogs experience when they get more involved, is the blog community. For the most part it is an unexpected benefit, the people you meet, and the different support, views and input. I’ve met some great bloggers who have had many good posts. I’ve gotten much from them, and hopefully given something back. Sometimes catching up on the blogs is tough as there can be so many and it is time consuming. But on the whole it is good. Of course I now have many blogs to catch up on, and I will try to do some catching up in the next week or so.

The old look, not quite the new look.

The old look, not quite the new look.

With that in mind, what do I have for this year? Well a new look for a start, more than a freshen up, I was just getting a bit bored with the old look, so I have this new one. I kept the old background picture as that has some relevance for me. It is actually my dining table that I would sit at with my macbook, to write blog posts, and still do from time to time. That online link to my real world can remain. I will be aiming to post on Monday and Friday one week, then alternating with a mid week day the following week, i.e. three posts over two weeks. I think that schedule will allow me a little more time to write or do other projects, but still keep me involved here. I intend to continue with small experiments in writing, starting with some slightly different but linked posts. Probably more poetry forms, some short fiction and who knows what else will appear as the year moves on.

In other news I notice the ipad version of Scrivener is not too far off now which will be very useful. I do like scrivener and the opportunity to use it for writing on both my mac and iPad with what I assume will be good synchronicity, will be very useful. Has anyone used their other new program Scapple, which I believe is still in beta but out officially (on the Mac) soon? They do great software at Literature and Latte, which will hopefully get much use this year.

What are your plans for your blog this year? I’m probably a bit late on that huh?

Something different:

Why? Because it is nice, if you have time take a listen. So why not?

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33 comments on “Upon returning..

  1. DyingNote says:

    Welcome back, Elliot! And no, please don’t give up on the blog. I have entirely selfish reasons for that – this blog has given me much joy and a lot of things of interest. I was away for a while too. Frenetic last week of 2012 and the first 8 days of this year, doing things with an NGO in the sub-Himalayas that I’ve associated myself with. That was brilliant. Hopefully, the year doesn’t go downhill from here on πŸ˜‰

    • Elliot says:

      Thanks – My reasons for maybe not continuing were a lot to do with time more than anything else, but I shall see how it goes.

      That sounds like a fab opening to the year that you had. I would have loved that. Yeah, hopefully things don’t go downhill from here on in.

      • DyingNote says:

        My reasons for giving up on the blog is usually ‘why bother?’ (happens more often that I’d care to count) but then that combined love of writing and music is potent enough for me to stick to it

  2. Hey! Glad to see you back and I love the new look! πŸ™‚ Glad you got to enjoy some time with your little guy, too. I’m not much into making resolutions, either, but I do make goals and posted about those. So far, my writing has suffered as my yoga business has taken off! I’ll eventually find the balance… Best wishes to you in this new year.

    • Elliot says:

      Thanks Sheila. Finding that balance is tough but it will become clearer once things are a bit more routine. Glad your Yoga business is taking off, that sounds great.

      I shall check out your non resolution goals πŸ™‚

  3. I too am gladd you are back. New year, new blog look. I’m going to have to research Scrivner, don’t even know what that is.

    • Elliot says:

      Thanks Lynn. – I would check out Scrivener, it will change your writing life. I cannot think of anyone who having tried it, has not gone on to continue using it. They have a generous trial period, I think it is a month / 30 days, so download and maybe watch a few tutorial videos to get a feel of how to use it. Honestly (I know I’m sounding like a salesman here) but it really is that good. Great for organising, great for editing.

  4. I too had a similar period! Especially relevant for me because this is exam month and I’m trying to be studious πŸ™‚ But at the end of the day I do enjoy chatting to folks and it’s a good creative outlet. I’m glad you’re not abandoning us..

    • Elliot says:

      Thanks – yeah there is fun to be had in the blog community, and the actual writing aspect is mostly fun and a good brain output from regular “work” or studying.

      Hope your exams go well πŸ™‚

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    I like the new look! A fresh start for a new year. Always fitting. Like you, I plan to post only weekly, or maybe 3 times in a two week period. Once you start following a lot of blogs, it can be tough to keep up, and I don’t think anyone will be heartbroken if they have less posts to read from me. πŸ™‚ I’ve also committed myself to working on my WIP for at least 1-2 hours before I open any social media for the day. So far that’s working well. It was getting to the point where I was leaving it for last, and that’s just not the way to go.

    • Elliot says:

      Thanks the look needed a change – it seems like we have a similar view on this. When I had more time I was trying to keep up more with other blogs. When you follow a lot as fun as it often is, it can become a bit routine and sometimes tedious. But there are lots of good posts around, and lots of nice people / interactions. I can tell you from experience of having to cut down on viewing blogs that it does open a bit of time up, and you can still keep up, albeit sometimes a few days behind.

      It is priorities though. The other writing should be priority and up first. I don’t know why you don’t keep two or maybe three days a week social media free and project work only. If I had more time now to spend on my projects, I would do that. You can always up it again when you get near to publishing time! Cheeky but needs must!

      • Carrie Rubin says:

        I’m already alternating my social media days. Some days I just don’t have time for Twitter or Facebook. But these sites and the blog are a must when marketing. I’ve read some articles on book marketing that say 6 hours a day of social media is not unheard of. Yikes! I’d never get anything else done. I invest about 3 hours a day, but Mondays are always the busiest. Lots of new blog posts including my own. πŸ™‚

  6. Anne says:

    I bet your wife and your little boy loved having you all to themselves for awhile. πŸ™‚ welcome back xoxo

  7. rtd14 says:

    Welcome back!

    I like the new look.

    I took a break from writing in August and some throughout the fall. I’m back into it now, but I thought it helped me clear my head. I enjoyed the time, especially with my son. Of course, I’d also taken on a new job. I had to learn how to balance time.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Elliot says:

      Thanks – Yes the break is needed from time to time and especially if you are busy with other things like family / job, which we both seem to be. Finding a balance is hard, but hopefully ok for a while.

  8. Smaktakula says:

    Welcome back, Elliot! Glad your time away (were you on ‘oleeday?) was fruitful.

    You’ve mentioned Scrivener before, and although I read that piece, it didn’t stick with me as I didn’t have a Mac. Since then, I’ve gotten one for work. I’ll check out your prior post to see just what the heck that is and why you like it so much.

    • Elliot says:

      Scrivener is out on pc these days also. I know I blather on about it from time to time but it really is the best writing software out there, with generous trial period you can use to check it out in.

      No holiday as such, actually mostly busy with work, and wanting to enjoy what free time I did have with the family.

  9. Margarita says:

    Welcome back Elliot! So glad you enjoyed your time away – two-year-olds get to be twenty-six-year-olds before you know it, so have fun now! xoxoM

  10. You and your Scrivener! You should charge commission πŸ˜‰

    Lovely to have you back honey, I’m glad you decided to not stay away permanently. Loving the new look by the way, very smart πŸ™‚

    I could do with a complete break myself, but I’m scared that I won’t come back lol, then I’d miss everyone. It’s the writing community here that keep me going πŸ™‚

    Xx

    • Elliot says:

      I know, right!

      I think when I switched from daily posts it was weird at first, but after a few days ok. Really it is a question of priorities and benefits. You will be able to reduce your blog output and use the effort elsewhere, but still be involved in the blog and community aspect. Just a few tweaks and reduce the addiction πŸ™‚

  11. I kinda have a rule about changing things up every year. Or at least making an admirable attempt at it. So new hair style, new glasses, new attitude about healthy living. Taking care of me more. So far the year is going well. But it’s still early and easy to stay committed to resolutions. πŸ™‚

    • Elliot says:

      I find if I try change too much in one go it soon begins to slide, so I just use it as a chance to change a couple of things. But I think of it more as a convenient time to end one thing and start another rather than a resolution to change per se.

      • I think change requires the convergence of will power, realization, commitment, and a feeling of possibility. New Years seems to be a good time to try. Plus if you mess up there is always Chinese New Years. πŸ™‚

  12. Welcome back! Glad you had some good quality time away, and fun with your son. I like what you’ve done with the place. Blogging, and reading other blogs, can be a huge challenge, because it takes a lot more time than it seems like it’s going to take at first. But I’m glad you’ve chosen to continue blogging—so many people I know have had to reevaluate how often they post, and how many blogs they read regularly, etc. I’ve had to adjust my own blogging schedule but I’d rather do that than stop blogging. I’m not sure what my blog plans are for the year, I guess I should think about that, shouldn’t I.

    • Elliot says:

      Thanks – well you don’t necessarily need blog plans, you have been doing well so far. I just have some plans as I like the challenge or want to see what comes out of it, much like larking about with poetry last year when I never liked it previously. That said there is no reason you could not do it for the same reasons πŸ™‚

      It is very time consuming though, time I don’t have so I had to try find the balance like many others do.

  13. jmmcdowell says:

    Good to see you back! I certainly understand about the new schedule, and I like the new look. The “crinkled paper” of your comment replies is eye-catching. For now, I’m sticking with my twice weekly posts, and my new blog look is confined to an all-white background on my same theme.

    My goal for the year is to get one of the WIPs well on its way to publication. So I’m not reading other blogs on Wednesdays or Sundays. (I can reply to comments on my own.) And I’ll be shortening some of my comments and perhaps leaving fewer of them on some blogs.

    • Elliot says:

      Yep fancied a change in look, something both eye catching and slightly odd.

      I think I will only be reading blogs a couple of days a week. No other time really to use. It feels like you’re being mean at first but I think it is fine really. Spending less time on blogs and more on your other projects is perfectly understandable to me. You can easy change it later if you want.

  14. This was my blog look for about a year and have a similar one now. Good contrast with post and not distracting from post. Welcome back.

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