Picking My Battle: May

For those of you who haven’t been around much, each month I will take on a challenge that’s related to my New Year’s Resolutions list. 

Last month, I decided to tackle my diet by cooking two vegetarian recipes each week. It was a fun challenge because I like to cook, and it really did show me that I can live without meat more often than I thought. Even D. got on board with some of the recipes, especially the falafel. In fact, I made again it for dinner on Saturday night.

For May, I have decided to tackle #1 on my list, which is to make writing more of a career than a hobby. Since completely changing careers in one month is a pretty crazy feat (especially since I’ll be on vacation for one of those weeks), I thought that I would tackle something pertinent, but more manageable:

I will, in the month of May, get my shit together with this blog. 

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After six months of having the blog, and realizing that (a few) people actually read this thing, I want to see what I can do to share this blog with more of you. Trust me, writing new posts every day was hard for me at first, but now that I’m getting the hang of it, I want to start working on the blog design and promotion more.

So for the next month, things are going to change a lot around here. I’m not going to change what I write about – but how things look or work will be different (and hopefully better). Please be patient if things don’t look the same from day to day, or if things don’t work properly (and if they don’t please tell me so I can fix it!). I’m coding-stupid, and design-stupid, so this is going to be a LOT of learning on my part!

To keep things more manageable, I have a few goals in mind for May:

1. Make my blog a well-designed, easy to navigate, website.

Thanks to WordPress, I didn’t have to know a lot to set up a blog. I picked a name, picked a design template, and got to writing. It was great, and I’m so glad that this exists for people who want to practice their craft. When I was younger, setting up a blog was torture. It took hours of work to create something that today would look dated and stupid. That’s right – I’m an alumnus of Xanga, Blogspot, and Livejournal.

Six months later, and a lot of entries under my belt, I’m ready to tackle the look and function of the blog. I’m not a designer, and I’m certainly not a coder. I want the blog to stay simple in design because it’s what I can handle…and many blogs I read are pretty simplistic. So this month I’ll figure out how to make the blog look the way I want it to.

I also need to figure out how to make it easier for my readers to communicate with me, since I’ve been asked a few times to get in contact with people, and keep forgetting my email address isn’t on the blog anywhere (it’s fancyalteregoblog@gmail.com if you really want to know).

Oh, and I promise at some point I’ll put up a damn picture of me that isn’t a terrible selfie off my phone. 😉

2. Get more involved in social networking sites, and make those pages work for me.

Over the past month, I’ve slowly been branching out into some social media sites to see what I want to get involved in and what I don’t. For now, I have a Facebook page and Twitter account set up for this blog, but I haven’t spent much time getting them properly set up. So this month I will finally get around to that, and getting the hang of Twitter (which I have never used before now). I’m not sure if I’ll venture into Instagram or Pinterest, but we’ll see – a few things at a time!

3. Create a manageable schedule for blogging work.

Now that I’m getting into a better routine with writing posts, I want to make sure I schedule time to handle all of the other stuff as well. Sure, spending all afternoon on Bloglovin’ is great and all, but it does eat away at time I should be spending doing other things…like cooking dinner or taking a shower (which I’m neglecting right now).

So part of this month will be spent trying to hash out a plan to make sure I can juggle blogging with my current job and the rest of my life. Part of the reason I have to do this is that as a teacher, my schedule changes every few months, and I need to constantly make sure I’m making good use of my time. The other reason is that I’m starting to really like blogging more than grading papers. I don’t make any money doing this, so I need to make sure I’m not neglecting my job I do (sort of) get paid for…no matter how much more fun I’d have working on the blog. It’s not a career yet…and I will never guarantee anyone that it will be…so for now, I have to be better at treating it like what it is – a secret hobby I do in my free time. 🙂 Maybe later on it will be different, but for now, I have to keep a better handle on things.

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So there you have it – it’s going to be a daunting challenge, and one that will probably come with much frustration and many lessons. But it’s one I’m ready to tackle!

Oh, and speaking of managing my time better…I have a few more final exams to grade, so I should be off.

I’ll check back in later to see how everyone’s doing, and please leave me any advice you have on good books/websites to check out for help designing blogs – I need all the help I can get!

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