New year, new something.

sunset-2016It’s 2017! Happy New year!

I like to start each year with a reflective blog post looking back at the year that was, and thinking about the promise that the new year holds. I spent hours yesterday writing such a post. It was hard to write because it was really honest – a kind of ‘I can’t gloss over 2016′ type exploration. Last year brought us some harsh realties and taught us some difficult lessons and I think it’s important to address that in order to find a way forward. I really don’t think there’s a scenic route – we have to go into difficult territory to really move on with hope.

Then I was all ‘oh no, that’s too intense, I need to write about the good stuff that happened in 2016!’ Because there really was some good stuff, most of which, for me, revolved around creativity and around the people I love… of which there were substantially more at the end of the year than at the start – how lovely is that? :) That post took a while to write too.

So then it was really late at night and I had these two posts, neither of which were even finished, and I realised that all the time I’d meant to spend on my illustration course that day had been used up on blog posts that weren’t even ready to be published. And I thought of all the stuff I needed to do the next day and I felt this jolt of anxiety that I didn’t have time for that either (and some of it is really flipping important too). And I realised that right there was my new year message to myself. Something has to give… and it has to be my blog.

I blogged less in the latter part of last year – cut back massively in fact – but running my linky meant I still wrote two posts a week and did a fair bit of reading and commenting. I’m fond of my blog and I love, love, love my writing community but I do not have enough time to dedicate to blogging and hosting a weekly linky any more.

One message that really came through to me loud and clear amidst all the horrible stuff last year was the importance of art, in all its forms. I wrote here about its ability to build understanding and unite us, to lift the spirit and to help fight the demons. I truly believe it’s more important than we might ever imagine so, in trying to figure out a way forward for myself this year, it’s become obvious to me that art, alongside friends and family are where it’s at. That means my priority is going to be my illustration course and setting up an artistic project with a friend. Hopefully some creative writing too. I don’t want to stop blogging altogether but I can’t keep up the pace I have been.

I haven’t figured out what to do about my linky yet. I’m hoping to find a co-host to remove the weekly pressure, but, quite honestly, I’m not even sure a fortnightly post isn’t too much. Part of the problem is I’m a really slow writer but it’s the headspace that blogging takes up as much as anything. I need to not be thinking about what I might blog about and how many blogs I need to read and how much commenting I have to do. Time is so tight!

So that’s about it. The boys are back at school today and I have a to do list reaching over the hills and far away. Enough blogging for now.

Happy 2017 everyone.

7 thoughts on “New year, new something.

  1. Jo Winwood

    Sounds like you’ve thought long and hard about this. Will kiss you if you leave the blogging community but understand totally why you feel you might need to. I hope you manage to find another home for your linky -I look forward to it so much. In fact, if it’s not too techy to run I might be able to help (what have I let myself in for now?!?)

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  2. Suzanna

    Oh, I totally understand what you’re saying. Blogging is hard and more time consuming than anyone can ever imagine. I have yet to find a happy medium between blogging and writing… oh, and real life.
    However, if you need help running the linky, I’d be more than happy to lend a hand.
    Suzanna recently posted…New editing penMy Profile

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  3. Alice @ The Filling Glass

    Happy New Year Maddy! I know exactly what you mean, and that’s without hosting a linky. I wonder sometimes if its because I have fingers in too many pies…but I want all of them so much (and all the real pies!). Now I’ve been blogging a while I start to see its flaws and time-sucking abilities for what they are…but it also introduced me to one fabulous writing community, and somehow I see it as a world of possibilities. What you say is not a surprise but I add my voice to say it would be missed (although I’m sure if we all followed each others blogs, and commented anyway, plus the facebook group, it could be overcome). Its all about priorities though and I hope you find the time you need and want. xxx
    Alice @ The Filling Glass recently posted…Gratitude Journal December (and 2016)My Profile

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  4. Niki

    Happy New Year

    I’ve loved your linky and your blog – although I too suffer from the slow writer thing (only when blogging bizarrely – I think it’s all that self-censoring). But yay to art projects – this is a must especially in light of the govt slashing the importance of arts in education. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you all the best and will follow you with loud applause!

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  5. Rachael

    Hi Maddy,

    I’m late to comment as my focus for 2017 has also shifted (it’s been shifting for a while now!), and even though I blog for business I haven’t done for a while as I’m about to change things (not too much)! I’ve noticed a shift in a few of my clients too, since the end of the b!tch of a year that was 2016, a lot of people (women especially) and renewing focus and letting go of things to create more time for what’s important. I’m glad I am part of the community you created, however sporadic, and will looks forward to hearing/seeing more about your artistic endeavors as the year progresses! xx

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