Evolving

outside butterfly

I started Capital District Fun because I wanted to write and I wanted to help people find things to do with their kids. In the four years (!!) since then, I’ve gained confidence writing here as well as for parenting magazines and websites, and I’ve started working as editor for KidsOutAndAbout, which spreads the word about family fun by crowd-sourcing the information. Along the way, this blog has become a personal family history for me. When I’m trying to remember a recipe or that song we were all singing three years ago or when we went on which trip, I go to Capital District Fun.

Lately, keeping up with the blog has felt like a bit of a drag.  I’ve been more cautious about what I write, both because my kids have gotten older and more sensitive to potential humiliation and because I’ve run into friends’ parents, teachers, and others who mention that they read the blog, and my mouth smiles and says “Oh! Great. . . ” while inside I’m thrashing through my memory re-examining some long-ago rant or other. I also have other writing projects that I’d like to do, but then I feel bad for neglecting the blog. So it’s started to feel like the blog that got me writing in the first place is an impediment to developing as a writer.

So I’m going to take the pressure off about blogging frequently. For a couple of years, there, I was pretty consistent with an events listing post every Sunday and Thursday night and at least four writing posts to round out the rest of week, every week. I’m going to reduce to one event listing per week that will cover the next seven days (probably on Monday or Tuesday night), and then I’ll probably post once or twice a week beyond that. The writing won’t really be dissimilar from what I’ve done before, I don’t think. I can’t promise that it will be more creative (although I did write a poem recently) or polished (sometimes someone says a post was funny, and then I think, what if I really tried to make it funny?). Instead, I’m shooting for more personal joy and enthusiasm in each post. Which might be invisible to you, but hey, I’ll appreciate it.

I’m also de-cluttering. I know that plenty of folks come here just to find out what’s happening in the fabulous 518, but for me, scrolling through all of those event listings is annoying. From now on, I’m going to put it on an Events page, right up at the top, to the right of the name. Once a week I’ll delete the old and replace it with new information.

And I’m organizing. In the past, I’ve collected links that are interesting, then I’ve published them periodically in a post when I’m feeling too lazy to write. My new plan is to make them available right away on a Links Worth Sharing page (it’s on the menu under Favorites), and then moving them down the page under various categories after a week or so. Because sometimes I look for the information again and I can’t find it, so this will keep things organized for me. One of my tasks now is to continue gathering those old links to form a complete list. On the Writing page, I’m linking to various articles that I’ve written for other places, which I’ve been meaning to add for a while now. Actually, it got a little depressing, because I was sending articles out to publishers in a flurry for several months, but that was a while back, so many of the links are old and broken now.  I’ve also gotten rid of the archives, figuring that no one really wants to go see what happened in February 2011, and if they really want to, they can use the little calendar. I still haven’t decided if I should try to make the categories more useful or just blow it off. Most of the other links and pages have been tucked away, accessible but tidier.

Changing the way the blog looks became symbolic for me to treat blogging differently so that I enjoy it as much or more than I always have. We’ll see how it goes.

 

7 Comments

  1. Erin T

    Sounds like a great evolution. This blog and All Over Albany are really the only two blogs I read regularly. I appreciate your events listing, but read it for your writing.

    In getting rid of your archives, will you still keep your old writing posts? I recently went back to your posts about winter craft parties, to share them with a friend, and would miss them.

  2. @Erin T, I’m really just trashing the events listings. In fact, some of the posts have a paragraph or two up top before I launch into the listings, and I just left those.

  3. Erin T

    Yay! After spending a few minutes looking through the links, I realized that your written posts were still there and likely still as google-accessible as the snow globe one I sent to a friend. Thank you!

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