those decisions I made

You know when you’re writing a blog post and you keep deleting it and starting again because there’s so much to say and maybe you want to say it all but maybe you actually want to say none of it and would rather just talk about something else instead? That.

So lets talk about something else, shall we?

fields of gold

Remember how I set myself some goals a month ago? Maybe it’s time to report back on those. See how I’ve done. That will keep me nice and distracted…

So, I made a decision to only blog once a week:

And bar one extra blog post (which just burst out of me) I’ve stuck to this and it’s made a huge difference. I have far more time for other things and it’s also taken the (self-imposed) pressure off me to blog in a certain way or follow any sort of plan – I’ve just been blogging from the heart and seeing how it goes. This, in itself, has felt different to me – there have been times when I’ve been scared to hit ‘publish’ because the posts have felt too raw or real and it’s made me feel vulnerable. But I’ve gone ahead and done it and the support I’ve had in the comments section has been wonderful. At a time when I’ve been feeling all over the place, blogging from the heart has soothed me. That’s been a lovely unexpected consequence of my decision.

I also decided to stop joining in with linkies other than my own.

Again, I’ve stuck to this (apart from one little link up with #Prose4t) and it’s made such a difference to my evenings! I’m no longer caught up in hours of blog commenting. The downside has been I’ve missed reading the variety of posts and I feel less connected to the wider blogging community… but my own little #WhatImWriting community is thriving as much as ever. You can’t have it all and I’ve become very aware that I can’t scatter my attention too widely without losing something.

Of course both these decisions about blogging were bound to affect my blog stats… but, having just looked at them right now for the first time in weeks, funnily enough they’re just back to where they were in February before my blog post about education and #THISislearning campaign sent my hits rocketing. Huh. I thought they would have plummeted way more than that. Ok, I’m quite chuffed!

Then there was my reading target – one book a fortnight.

I’ve almost stuck to that – I’ve read (loved) and reviewed Baby X by Rebecca Ann Smith and am now reading Quiet – the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking‘ by Susan Cain. As a self-confessed introvert, I’m loving it (it’s not exactly a hard sell!) and finding it really enlightening.

I also said I didn’t intend to do any creative writing in June.

This was because I was struggling to find time for writing as well as drawing and was somehow ending up doing less of both because my focus was so split. True to my intentions (with one exception) I wrote nothing creative throughout the month. My brain was full of story ideas though, so that creative drive didn’t go away! It also felt great to relieve myself of the self-imposed pressure and most of all it made a huge difference to my main aim…

… to draw every day.

I DID IT! I set myself a #GuessTheFilm challenge where I worked my way through the alphabet drawing a different picture to represent/suggest a different film every day. I posted them all on Twitter and Instagram and some on Facebook too and had a lot of fun with people guessing them. I also plain old loved the experience of drawing, built up a few skills and some confidence and I’m now working on an assignment for my illustration course. Drawing has really helped me emotionally and psychologically over the last few weeks too. Writing has helped too in a kind of cathartic, letting it out way, but there’s something about visual art that has taken me away from what’s going on in my head (and what’s going on in the world). Good stuff.

#Guessthe film f - I

Anything else? Oh yes – social media! I said I’d stick to just half an hour a day in the evening.

*Falls off chair laughing at utter failure to stick to this goal at all.*

We’ll leave it at that shall we?

Oh, and there was the very important goal of making the time with my youngest count.

I’d love to report some kind of soft-focussed, skipping through fields, glowing version of the last month here, but I’ll be honest. The boy is an utter delight most of the time and one of the reasons he’s an utter delight is that he is amazing at entertaining himself. He wanders off and creates stories with his cars, he wraps himself in blankets and says he’s going shopping (because the traditional way to go shopping is in a blanket sausage), he ‘reads’ books to himself, he does jigsaws… and, yes, ok, he watches ‘the wheels on the bus’ on You Tube far too many times. Could I have spent more time baking and crafting and taking part in wholesome, pinable activities with him? Yes. But we’ve spent some lovely, quality time together nonetheless. He’s really lovely to chat to (even at the tender age of three) and we even did skip through a field!

Finally, I decided I wouldn’t go to BritMums Live

I had been looking forward to it but when it got nearer the time it just didn’t feel right. Instead, I spent time that weekend with friends close to home. It was what I needed. No regrets.

Over all – not a bad month. Well, kinda. Considering. You know what I mean.

 Writing Bubble

18 thoughts on “those decisions I made

  1. Renee @ Mummy Tries

    Loved reading this my dear, sounds like you took on June and completely won :) I’ve really enjoyed following #GuesstheFilm and am always in awe of your illustrations. Glad it’s helped with your emotions, such a strange time here in the UK, and many of us are feeling the same. Here’s to a fab week lovely Maddy xxxx

  2. Alice @ The Filling Glass

    It’s lovely to hear how you’ve been getting on Maddy. So much resonates. I too have been only blogging once a week since May, because more was just getting too much. I think especially when it comes from the heart, it takes so much energy from you, but is also so cathartic. I’m pretty much just joining in with #WhatImWrititing, linky wise at the moment because it has such a lovely community, but I simply don’t seem to have the time for more. Your drawing is going from strength to strength and its lovely to see your pictures. The guess the film series is awesome. I wish I had your talent! And don’t worry about the time with your youngest, it might not have been ‘insta-perfect’ or ‘pinnable’ (mine practically has a fit if I say she has to do something else other than watch Ben and Holly!) but it will still have been important for him in unquantifiable ways. xxx
    Alice @ The Filling Glass recently posted…Fact or fiction?My Profile

    1. Maddy Post author

      Ah, what a lovely comment Alice! We love Ben and Holly too (much funnier than Peppa Pig I think!) and yes, he’s a happy boy so I must be doing something right. Blogging once a week is easier isn’t it? Although I still find a week flies by fast. Not sure I’ll be able to keep it up once the summer holidays hit! Glad you’ve been joining in with #whatImWriting – I’m honoured! xx
      Maddy recently posted…What I’m Writing – week eighty-fiveMy Profile

  3. Sam

    Firstly – can we swap three year olds please ? :-) Secondly, I’ve loved your Guess the Film challenge and the drawing standard has been fab! I think you’ve done really well with your goals and it’s obviously made a big difference (in the right way!). I am so much more comfortable with a laid back blogging life – yes I do miss that buzz of being more a part of the community but you can still keep your hand in as it were. Keep up the good work! X
    Sam recently posted…The Truth about… #83My Profile

    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Sam, yes a laid back blogging life suits me better too! And my three year old is by far the most chilled of my three boys – since the moment of his birth actually. Suspect it’s because there’s always so much going on he just finds his own way! Thanks for commenting. xx
      Maddy recently posted…What I’m Writing – week eighty-fiveMy Profile

  4. Carie @ Space for the Butterflies

    Well that pretty much proves how much you needed those goals. It’s so hard to step off the blogging treadmill and really crystallise what truly matters but your successes sound brilliant and calming in this crazy topsy turvy world we find ourselves living in. Are you keeping the same goals for July or switching them up a bit?
    Carie @ Space for the Butterflies recently posted…Instameeting in OxfordMy Profile

    1. Maddy Post author

      Good question Carie! I’m wondering if I need to shift focus back to writing but then I feel I’m on a roll with drawing now and I should keep at that. Really finding it hard to do both though. Maybe in september when my youngest starts nursery I’ll figure out how to do it all! Thanks for commenting. xx
      Maddy recently posted…What I’m Writing – week eighty-fiveMy Profile

  5. Turning Up In Devon

    I’m impressed by how you have stuck to your goals and also found time to do lots of drawing – which are fab by the way. I love seeing drawings on blogs as well as photography which is more common. June felt like a pretty dreadful month in many ways but it was nice to read some positivity in your blog – god knows recent times have been a slog haven’t they! It was funny -your comment about social media -least you can be honest about it. I find I’m really distracted by it sometimes but it does makes you feel part of the community. #whatimwriting

    1. Maddy Post author

      I find social media a huge distraction, likeI can feel it affecting my attention span even when I have a phone near me, I keep ‘just checking’ and half way through reading and article or writing a blog comment… hang on a sec…. I break off to check twitter or FB or whatever! I might have to have another total break from it at some point! Glad you like my drawings – means a lot! Thanks! xxx
      Maddy recently posted…What I’m Writing – week eighty-fiveMy Profile

  6. suz

    I laughed at your writing a blog post then deleting it. I had the same problem this week.
    I’m glad your master plan is working out for you. Who wants to limit social media anyway?
    I’ve also enjoyed seeing your AtoZ of film illustrations popping up every day on Twitter. Hope you get some creative writing done soon too.
    suz recently posted…Escape from author overwhelmMy Profile

  7. Sophie Lovett

    I’m finding blogging a real solace at the moment too (even if it is sending me off on some epic rants…) – I think focusing on blogging from the heart is totally the way to go, and makes the time and effort so much more meaningful! It sounds like you have generally had a pretty awesome month, which given the state of the world is no smal achievement! I’ve been especially loving your guess the film pics. I reckon there’s totally a book in them you know… Xx

  8. Susan Mann

    Sounds like you’ve made the right decisions and stuck to them. Way to go lovely. I need to do something like this. I feel like I am constantly spinning in circles. Well done xxxx


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