Wednesday, July 02, 2014

A Break from Blogging

I've struggled with how to write this particular post or even if I should write it for quite some time now. And, I've been a little hesitant and nervous about having to eventually hit the publish button. But, I feel that you - my readers and followers - deserve to know exactly where my heart is right now and what plans I have for my future with regards to blogging.


 
I adore blogging. It has been such a fun experience and extremely satisfying. I started Joyously Domestic just over two years ago and it has truly brought so much joy and fulfillment to my life. I'm not considered a big fish  in the blogging word per se. But, I've worked my butt off during the past two years to try to share creative ideas with those who visit here. I started out knowing nothing about blogging. But, I've learned and grown along the way. And, so many of you have been right here with me - showing support in so many ways.

One of my main wishes when I started JD was to create a sense of community. It has been my desire to create an environment here and on my corresponding social media outlets that would inspire people in the kitchen. I desired a place to share family recipes from my kitchen to yours and, also, a place for us to inspire one another. In my life, nothing is more important than family and building lifelong memories with those I love. You've listened to the personal stories about my life and family that are often woven throughout my posts. And, you've encouraged me with your comments and messages time and time again. I really cannot thank you enough.

Right now, however, life is busier for me than ever ... and I've been finding it more and more difficult to consistently post without sacrificing my family's needs. Our youngest three children who still live at home are fifteen, twelve and seven. Between numerous sports activities, quiz bowl practices, play rehearsals, driver's training classes, band concerts, field trips, appointments, awards banquets and much more, I've really struggled in recent months to find time to create, develop and produce quality content for the blog without sacrificing the time I am needed with my family.

It takes hours and hours of work to create just one new post. From the shopping, recipe testing, photography, editing, typing, proofing, marketing, promoting and record keeping - it can get a little overwhelming in the midst of running of busy household.

Blogging has allowed me to work from home while doing something I love. But, I've had to evaluate my priorities recently and take a look at the needs of my family.

We just purchased a new home a week ago. We've lived in a very small house for about five years now and have been looking into a bigger space for our family for quite some time. The new house is gorgeous and is located on a picturesque piece of property. But, we'll be renovating quite a bit of the house on the inside as well as having an addition built onto it. I know we're up for a lot of work and time-consuming tasks.

We're, also, leaving for a family vacation this weekend - a road trip across half of the U.S. We'll take possession of the new house just after our return. By then, we'll be about to start up another school year and knee-deep back into our family's busy schedule.

Beyond the craziness that has been and will continue to be ensuing in our lives, I've found myself a bit uninspired recently and have almost had a sense that this thing I've loved for so long - blogging - has become more of a chore than a pleasurable hobby or a passion I must pursue. I don't want cooking and blogging to feel like a burden to me. I adore cooking and serving home-cooked meals to my family ... and I've loved sharing those parts of my life with you.

But, it seems that my passion for cooking has been somewhat overtaken by the business side of my blog. We rarely eat hot meals because I have to stage food and take a zillion photos before my family can sit down at the table together when I'm making something for the blog. They tell me that they miss the "staple" meals that they enjoy and that were once part of our regular recipe rotation because I'm constantly trying out new recipes and experimenting. They've been such understandable little guinea pigs ... but I just feel that I need to spend some time cooking for them because I love to cook for them and not because I'm "working."


I am a firm believer that life is a series of seasons and that our hearts will usually lead us in the right direction. I have to be honest with myself at where I'm at during this particular season of my life. And, I wanted to be honest and upfront with you, as well, instead of simply leaving the blog "hanging" with no new posts and less-frequent interaction.

At this point in time I do plan to return to the blogging world in the future. I don't have a timeframe in mind at this point of when I would return or even when I would make that decision, but I do know that a break is in order. Perhaps I'm committing "blogging suicide" by stepping back for a while. But, I have to make this decision based on what is best for my family and in hopes that I will gain some rejuvenation and inspiration about the future of JD.

A huge part of me is sad to be stepping away because I've worked so hard to build Joyously Domestic into what it has become. But, I would be lying if I said that another part of me wasn't somewhat feeling a sense of freedom and relief that I can devote my time to my family without restriction for the time being.

The blog will not go anywhere. The content will remain. You will still be able to come here for the two years worth of posts that I've shared. I will continue to monitor the site and social media for comments and inquiries. I just plan on taking a break from creating and publishing new posts at the moment. I'll still probably pop in on social media to say "hi" and share some content from the archives every now and then, too.

But, for now I am stepping back a bit and investing my time where it is needed elsewhere. I thank you all for your loyalty and support. And, I promise to keep everyone updated as time goes on.

~ Angela

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14 comments :

  1. Thank you for this post...it must have been difficult to write. However much we enjoy getting your posts, you are correct...family comes first. This is a service you provide, not a 'right' for us to receive. I'm sure all will understand. Enjoy your family, your trip and your new house...how exciting!! God bless. Linda

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    1. Thank you, Linda. Your words mean a lot. :)

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  2. Angela, Iv enjoyed your blog, your recipes have been a joy to read and make. I wish you good luck with your family and your future plans!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. How sweet, Beth. Your support is so appreciated.

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  3. I've so much enjoyed your blog, and I will continue to enjoy it! You take all the time you need with your family. Having raised 6 kids of my own, I totally agree with you putting your family first. We'll still be here for you! And enjoy out Michigan summer! :-)

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    1. Thanks so much, Angela. It is hard taking a break because I do love this, but I am looking forward to taking the time I need with my family right now. Thank you for your encouragement. :)

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  4. Life is all about change the first step is realizing priorities! You know what those are and I'm sure blogging will find its way back in your life. Love your blog! Enjoy life!

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    1. Such true words, Alise. And, thank you.

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  5. You are and continue to be an inspiration to all of us! The fact that you are stepping back to make your family your top priority is admired! Enjoy your kiddos...their time with us is short!!! LOVE ya girlfriend ;))

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    1. Oh, Carrie ... love you, too, dear friend. And, thank you! <3

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  6. Sounds like this is definitely the right decision for you and your family at this time, so go for it, no regrets! The blog will always be here if/when you're ready to come back to it :)

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    1. Just now getting a chance to reply, Lori. Thank you so much for your sweet words. :) Always love your encouragement!

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  7. Having just found your blog (and I mean last week), I feel as though I am a little late to the party as they say.
    It is very evident how much you put into your posts, and I am very grateful that you are so descriptive in your recipes. I have never been much of a cook, but lately I decided to try to turn that around a bit. However I have not had much success until I found your blog. Last night I made your crock pot pot roast and my daughter said it was a "10", so I can tell you that your efforts and time are most assuredly appreciated in my life.

    Having said that, even in my own limited efforts (meaning just cooking, not even writing or taking photos), I have found this new endeavor has taken up a great amount of my time. I can easily see how you could feel overwhelmed even if you love what you are doing. You are wise to think of the "big picture" that is your family and your new house and not put yourself in a position that is destined to cause stress. You have created the blog and now you need to shift your focus.

    There are certainly more than enough recipes here to keep me going for years to come. I am happy to hear that you will not be leaving entirely, so I can ask you questions if needed. Perhaps you could post just once a month or once every couple of months. Selfishly I would love to know how your house renovations are progressing and I adore your writing and your recipes. As they say, "Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater," You are very, very talented and I appreciate what you have done. I would go so far as to say that you have changed my life. No one has ever said something I made was a "10", so I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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    1. Your words are so sweet and are so appreciated. First of all, how awesome is that to have your daughter proclaim your dinner a "10" ... that alone makes me happy when I hear those things.

      Thank you for your words of encouragement regarding this post. We are still working on the new house and hope to be able to move in within the next couple of weeks. I do have a couple of posts planned with "before" and "after" photos ... as well as other remodeling updates. So, stay tuned and thanks for your interest!

      Since writing this "Break from Blogging" post I have been able to find a better balance between home life and the blog. I have found that I was simply stretching myself too thin and thinking I needed like, 4 - 5 new posts each week. Now, I'm finding that one or two is what is best for me. :) I still stay engaged with the readers through comments, emails and social media daily ... so feel free to ask any questions. :) I'll be sure to respond.

      Again, thank you for taking time to comment here. I appreciate it so very much.

      ~ Angela

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