Thoughts on Blogging, Social Media, and Finding the Right Balance

I’ve been giving my social media habits a great deal of thought lately.

I won’t go into the messy details, but over the past few months my habits have changed a great deal.  In January, I made the decision to scale back my consumption and deleted Facebook from my phone.  This may not be a huge change, but it’s deeply impacted the way I experience the social media world.

For one thing, I have more time on my hands.  Instead of wiling away the hours scrolling through status updates and baby photos and engagement announcements, I spend my time doing things that I love.  I go for long walks.  I read more.  I hang out with family.

Another consequence is that I’ve shifted more time to Instagram.  With only photos and stories, Instagram is more curated and eats up far less time.  The more time I spend on Instagram, the more I fall in love with it.  I love putting together photos that I find beautiful and coming up with captions and quotes.  This summer, I started using the story feature and am able to share quirky, more casual bits of my life.

And then there’s my blog.  At the beginning of this year, I set out to be more of an official blogger… and quickly fizzled out.  I attempted to do a series of posts of literary places I’ve visited.  That lasted for two weeks.  Here and there, I’ve done several one-off posts that I’ve been pleased with.

I’ve been blogging for nearly ten years now on a variety of sites and, over the years, I’ve tried a number of different techniques.  (And, before you ask, no I will not share a link to my blog from high school.)

I think that part of my inconsistency is that I lack a central focus and vision.  While I adore my title, Keep Your Feet, and all that it implies, I definitely don’t have a theme.  Sometimes, I’m a book blogger.  Other times I write about travel and adventures.  Other times, I write about more personal things.  And, sometimes, I hardly post at all. Continue reading

Weekend Coffee Share 2/18/17

If we were having coffee, we’d be lounging in the sunshine with our drinks of choice.  I’d be in a light flannel and we’d be watching the crusty piles of snow turn slowly to puddles.  We’re in a remarkably warm stretch of weather–unusual for Minnesota this time of year.

Good weather like this reminds me of a scene in the film Lars and the Real Girl.  After going bowling, Lars and Margo linger outside chatting about the weather like good Midwesterners.  Lars comments that it’s been warm lately and spring is on the way.  Margo replies, “It’s just a thaw.  Spring doesn’t come until Easter.”

So, while the sunshine and warmth is amazing, I’m not getting my hopes up.  It’s just a thaw.  We’ll probably have a new foot of snow by next week. Continue reading

300 & Counting

I’ve hit a landmark.  Recently, I reached 300 followers.  For many blogs, this number may seem small, tiny, inconsequential.  For me, though, it means the world.

When blogging, it’s always a challenge to straddle the line between creating quality content for the sake of your readers and quality content for sake of pleasing yourself.  I do my best to write posts that readers will enjoy.  I love you guys and want you to stick around.  At the end of the day, though, my ultimate goal is to remain true to myself.

I’m a selfish writer.  I really am.  I do this because it brings me life and I can’t imagine ever stopping.  I know that everyone who follows Keep Your Feet isn’t necessarily a reader.  That’s okay.  Although I try to follow only sites I will actually read, there is a tendency to follow others just for the follow-back.  I get that.

But for those of you who DO read, thank you.  For those of you who have not just hit “Follow”,  but take time to come along side me and spend time with my words, thank you.  By reading, liking, and commenting, you inspire me to keep going.  I’ve got a universe of words within me and there are days when I just want to throw them in a bucket and let them rot.  When this happens, the thought of you is what motivates me cherish my words and lovingly string them into coherent thoughts.  I’ve learned a great deal about myself and my identity as a writer over the past few months, and that would not have been possible without you.  Your words and encouragement mean the world to me.

I don’t know where Keep Your Feet is going.  I don’t know if it’ll stay at is it is or grow or shrink into obscurity.  Frankly, I don’t care.  I’m just thankful to be where I am today.

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I’ve been nominated by Katie from Tick Tock for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.  Her blog is absolutely wonderful and worth checking out! I have a tradition of awkwardly not nominating others for awards and such (feels too much like chain mail), so I’m just going to stick to the questions. Katie’s Questions: 1- What is your favorite book? Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.  The first time I read it unabridged, I didn’t know what to do with myself for a week.  I felt like I had lost a very dear friend.  Hugo has crafted a novel that captures the essence of the human existence.  It cuts into places in my heart and mind I didn’t know existed, never failing to deeply move me.  Though the musical is excellent, it doesn’t do the source material justice.  I highly recommend it to any lover of literature (though you may want to go for an abridged version your first time through.) 2-Why did you start blogging? Back in my maniac Potterhead days, I made a friend name Cathy on a forum for a podcast we both listened to.  She was a fellow writer (her poetry was incredible) and had a blog.  I was fifteen at the time and it seemed like a fun/cool thing to do.  I liked the idea of having a corner of the internet of my own.  Cathy and I lost touch, but nearly eight years later, I’m still blogging. 3-What is your favorite part of blogging? On my “About This Blog” page, I state, “I write to know myself. I  write to figure out where I’m going.  And I write to have fun.”  These three elements are what I love most about blogging.  Words help me solidify my identity.  They help me sort through the craziness of being a college graduate with no idea what the future holds. Finally, blogging is fun.  The first blog I ever had was titled “Between the Pages”–I liked to imagine that I was writing my life story, one post at a time.  This idea still appeals to me.  I also love that blogging is a public sphere.  It’s a place where I can share these aspects of my life and growth with others and, in turn, participate in their lives as well. 4-If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Honestly, I’m still figuring this out.  I’d love to live on a lake.  I’d love to live in the mountains.  I’d love to live in a foreign city somewhere in Europe.  Hopefully, I can cover all three before I die! 5-What is your favorite thing to do when you just need some time for yourself? Reading.  Books allow me to retreat within myself while, at the same time, reaching outside of my life.  They allow me to socialize while alone, travel without actually moving, and experience thoughts and emotions I’d never get a taste of on my own.  They are the ultimate form of escapism, pushing me to empathize with people and worldviews that I normally would never encounter.  When I read, I soar.  When I put the book down, I’m left feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. Thanks again, Katie, for the nomination!