Putting Pen Back to Paper

I used to write a lot of things down. Over the past few years I have transferred my notes to spreadsheets and other documents on my computer. At first this seemed like a great idea. But today as I’m trying to step away from the screen – especially on weekends – it’s been challenging.

What were my garden plans? What’s on my to do list for around the home? I’m not sure unless I get on the computer or my iPhone. I also recently organized my recipe box so I could again start pulling from recipe cards instead of my phone when cooking.

I’ve been enjoying removing myself from technology and going back to “how I used to do things.” It sounds simple but it’s easy to get consumed by technology and forget how I used to live (or for teens today, how they have never lived – scary!). As part of this change, I recently bought three new notebooks.

moleskine passions

Two are from the Moleskin Passion Series – custom notebooks devoted to specific topics or areas of life. Yes, I purchased custom notebooks. These notebooks are awesome though. I have a passion journal for home projects, a passion journal for garden plans and a regular journal for my beach glass findings/projects.

Moleskin notebooks come with a pocket in the back for loose papers, a cover strap, a hard cover and the passion series notebooks come with even more extras such as stickers and tabs.

I’m loving putting pen to paper again! And avoiding weekend screen time has been wonderful! That being said, I don’t have plans to go back to a paper calendar any time soon, something which I loved having for years. Yes, buying a new planner each year was an exciting event for me.

I recently purchased the CalenMob App for iPhone which syncs with my Google Calendar. Then this past weekend I discovered the GoTasks App, which syncs with my Google Tasks. Both apps have been working wonderfully to keep my calendar on-the-go. It’s been nice to have a mix of both new and old-school methods in place.

I’m Totally Not Prepared for this Race

I’m really in a pickle. For the first time in my running/racing “career” I’m worried about a DNF. For those of you not familiar with running terms, this means Did Not Finish, aka. the kiss of death.

I signed up for the Cleveland 10-Miler at the beginning of the year thinking having a race on my calendar would inspire me to get back into running again. It hasn’t. Even though I can’t complain about the weather any longer, I’m still struggling with my training.

I just don’t want to run. I want to walk my dog, practice yoga, ride my bike and garden. That’s it. I’m not one to squander cash though. So I have about two weeks here to make a miracle happen. I have scheduled runs into my calendar. That’s the only way I can guarantee they will happen. No additional social commitments will be accepted before race day. This is serious business over here.

I need to watch my diet too. I can’t be fueling with garbage. The next two weeks will be pivotal. I’m praying I avoid a DNF. I am also praying for nice weather and a positive spirit on race day. I need to stop by Second Sole before then and also get some espresso GU – my “go-to” racing fuel of choice.

Have you ever registered and realized at the last minute you were not prepared for a race?

Did you pull off a miracle? Please help encourage me!

What I’ve Learned from 4 Years of Blogging

Somewhere in or around April 2010 is when I began blogging. I’ve been cleaning house on my old posts. Right now the oldest blog post in my archive is this one. Some of my old posts are downright embarrassing today. My blogging voice, direction and purpose have all changed since then. So please accept my apologies, when or if, you stumble across one of those horrid uncleaned posts.

I wasn’t sure what I would write about today as I celebrate: 4 years, 500+ posts, 3,800+ comments. The answer came to me this morning as I reflected on my blogging journey, especially all the changes going on with this platform.

There have been many times that I considered discontinuing my blog, and times when I posted infrequently because I wasn’t inspired to say anything, but every time I’ve come back. And I’ll keep coming back as long as that itch is still there.

Whether you are a new reader or a long-time reader, again thank you for your interest in what I have to say, thank for your conversation and thank you for your support. Without further adieu…

What I’ve Learned from Blogging

What I've Learned from Blogging

1) Blogging is a lot of work. If you want to start a blog to make money, please just don’t. You have to really want to do this. You have to be passionate about blogging first. Then, you might make money, but you might not.

2) You will question yourself daily when you blog. You have to be your own writer, editor, content curator, marketer,  photographer and more – all in one. The questions can stall your creativity, but you have to press on and publish. You will probably make mistakes, publish typos and the like – you are human and you have to be OK with being imperfect.

3) Not everyone will like or read your blog. You will receive nasty comments. You will also receive the ones you read five times over, then send to a friend for her opinion, and finally decide the comment is a constructive criticism. You will also read and comment on your favorite blogs for months or years, thinking that person has the same interests and would read your blog too – instead you never receive a comment in return.

4) Blogging teaches you a lot. It teaches you to write daily. It teaches you the tech side of running a website and it teaches you a lot about social media. For those reasons alone I continue blogging. There is so much I never would have learned had I not started this blog.

5) People say they blog for their readers. They are lying. I blog for myself and for my readers. Question anyone who says the former.

6) Be more open with your blog. For about four months my blog was 100% anonymous. Then I told close friends and family. About a year or two into it I posted my blog on Facebook. Today I blog under my own name. It helps me tremendously with accountability and helps build my own personal brand. You are putting in an inordinate amount of time and effort into your blog – share it with others. It’s not as scary as it sounds.

7) Blogging comes with great community. From in-person to online, I’ve tested out different blogging groups. For the most part bloggers are normal, real people. Yes!

8) Don’t take yourself so seriously. This goes a bit back to #2. But I really mean it. I struggle with this still today. Yes, the internet lives forever. But the joy of a blog is you can go in and edit that typo or apologize in a comment for what was confusing in your post. The world will not end. So please, go forth and write.