You know the feeling. Options, choices, opportunities — too many sometimes. I felt it when we first came back from our Peace Corps years. Laundry detergents at the supermarket were the worst, as any RPCV will tell you. Laundry detergents, dog foods, cars, … it can feel overwhelming. How many choices does one need, really?
And now I’m feeling it again. I’m back, as I announced last month (here), but where do I go from here?
I’ve broken down some of the options facing me.
1. How often shall I post? I’ve been doing weekly posts for a few years now. I have enough material to increase that to twice weekly posts, but there’s just something about twice a week that holds me back. I don’t even have lunch with my friends more than once a month, never mind twice a week.
I KNOW the blogging gurus all say that three times a week is ideal for building our numbers. And, I know that a few of the blogs I subscribe to have been increasing to multiple times per week lately. I’m curious why that is; what do your numbers say?
Maybe I’m just an old crone. (I’d like to meet a young crone.) What’s your take on frequency? If it’s just me, I’ll reconsider. Maybe.
2. When shall I post?
DAY of the week: I chose Wednesday in the very beginning because it was NOT Monday. Everyone was posting on Monday and I just thought, how many blogs can one poor reader cover in a day? Since then, I’ve discovered that one does not have to read it on the day it posts. One (ahem, I) can wait until a more convenient time. I do that all the time now. So, is there something magical about Mondays? Shall I join the horde and change my day? Does it matter?
TIME of the day: I’ve always scheduled my posts to go live at 5 AM (New York time) and I have no idea why. But, I noticed that when I went to change the time for a recent post, I balked. I like familiar and about then I needed all the familiar I could find. Do I still? I don’t think this really matters; it’s going to be 5 AM somewhere in the world whenever the post airs. But, I just thought I’d ask.
3. What shall I post?
Kazakhstan? It’s in the news more and more. Interesting things are happening over there. Yet, I tend to keep those topics to my FB Author Page. I’m not sure why. Would you like to read more about Kazakhstan?
Deleted Scenes? I’ve got enough deleted scenes from my book to take me into July, posting weekly (hence my thought of posting twice a week). But, now that I’m considering an eBook of these Deleted Scenes, I’m not so compelled to post them. Still, there are three scenes that I love — the Sheep’s Head, the Besik, and “my most embarrassing moment” — that are scheduled to go live over the next two months. The rest can wait for the book. Unless you convince me otherwise.
And there are others I’d like to write about. It seems I come across a new one every week. The vaccination debate was big a few weeks back, and there’s the perennial “pick ’em up vs. let ’em cry it out” controversy that reemerges with every generation, it seems. But mine is not a blog on parenting styles.
So, then I ask myself, what is my blog about? And I realize, I’m not sure.
I used to say, “cultural differences, defined broadly.” But I wonder if the more broadly I define culture, the less meaning it holds.
I began this blog in 2012 with the same mission I had in writing my book:
To encourage a more curious approach to cultural difference; to introduce a more relational, humane desire to reach across those boundaries of difference and make a new connection.
I still want to be the catalyst that helps people do that. But, if this is not a message that grabs readers by the lapels and says, “read me next. Then tell your friends,” then perhaps I need to find a new message.
So I turn to you, my subscribers, my readers. What is it that keeps you reading this blog? What holds your interest here now?
I love writing these blogs; I love the idea that they help me connect with a broad collection of people, most of whom I’ll never meet but with whom I still connect. That is powerful.
Assem put it succinctly when I was in Kazakhstan. “You Americans ask ‘why’ an awful lot,” she said to me one day, just after I’d asked, “Why … ?”
I’m asking “why” again, this time through a brief Survey Monkey (here).
Please take a few moments and let me know why you read
And So It Goes Janet Unleashed. Only six questions and you’ve already seen most of the them.
As always, I encourage your comments below. But this week, I’m also hoping you’ll click that link and fill out the very short Survey Monkey questionnaire. [Inquiring minds want to know.]
How about you? How do you make decisions when you’re at a crossroad?