As our 8th blogiversary passed quietly, along with our angel beagle Cricket’s birthday, I’d been feeling blue without really knowing why. I had a busy week at my shop that week, end of the month means vendor payouts and I was moving things around, adding more display fixtures and products. Getting a blog post written was an afterthought, and I was feeling uninspired.
Soon after that, I realized I needed to change something on my blog home page but when I went to make that change I couldn’t; something is broken. I sighed, wondering if that was a sign, since I’d been struggling lately with how or whether to keep the blog going or not. I have a certain way I want to do things, and if I can’t live up to my own standards, I don’t want to do it. That involves a certain number of posts, scheduled timing, and quality. I want to share about our lives but also share things that I’ve learned that could help others with their own pets.
That was easier when I had 4 dogs and 2 cats; now with only one dog in our lives, I’m not experiencing a lot of things that I can share informational posts about.
I feel like I’ve been “phoning it in” with the blog a lot lately. For me, the blog has always been an outlet for my writing, but it seems I haven’t been telling as many stories lately, well, maybe more stories through photos than words. Sometimes I’d be at my shop with some downtime and think of something to write about for the next day, but realize I had no photos to go with the story. I’ve always mostly been kind of last minute with the blog and my ideas, but before I opened my shop I was home more and able to take some photos as I needed them. I always like to have fresh photos to go with each post to help tell the story.
None of this is all that new for me, just last year on our 7th blogiversary, I wrote about similar struggles and indecision. The difference is when I wrote that post, I wasn’t considering giving it up. I’ve never wanted to let go the friendships or followers I’ve gained over the years, even if my blog has never been one of great numbers. Of course, I still don’t want to let go of that, or of the record of my life with pets that the blog has provided. That’s not to mean I can’t keep in touch with many through social media and such, but for me it’s simply not quite the same.
I’ve considered if I should switch my blog focus to farm life instead of life with pets, since if you don’t count our farm birds, we only have one pet. Our life with Lab mix Luke has become pretty routine, happy, but routine, and that doesn’t provide a lot of fresh story lines. But making those kinds of changes might not be easy or cheap either. I feel like Wag ‘n Woof Pets as it is, just doesn’t suit a blog more focused on the farm. I’m not sure I’d even know how to tackle that change, or even if I have the time or ambition to do so! However, that is the way I’m leaning, if I decide I have the time and/or money to do that.
I’m strongly feeling that Wag ‘n Woof Pets as it is has run its course, as sad as that makes me. It’s just not the same as it was when we had multiple pets.
There are costs to consider, web-hosting and domain names cost money (but that goes whether I continue or not if I want to keep the blog there and not lose all my content). In addition, if I need help with fixing what’s now broken, sometimes I must pay for help with that. I’ve already tried fixing it myself, and now things look a little wonky….(don’t know if you noticed)….though still OK, for now. I’m now afraid to try anything else for fear of breaking it completely!
I’m not ready to make a decision. I’m working on having some help at my shop now, which will free up some time (though I imagine that time will get eaten up quickly by home and farm stuff, though with winter coming things will get quieter on the farm!).
However, I did decide that maybe taking a bit of a break from the blog might be prudent. I need to know how I’d feel without it. The truth is, since starting to write this post I put up another two posts, and started a list of ideas, and maybe that’s a sign too?
Most of the time I’ve felt that without the blog and all that goes with it, I’d feel bereft. Now I wonder if with everything else going on, I wouldn’t just feel relieved at not having one more thing on my “to do” list.
While I’ve been considering all this, I sought advice from a close blog friend of mine, someone who has been blogging just a bit longer than me; we’ve been following each other almost from the start of my blog. It made me sad to realize that many of the friends we’ve both made along the way have since stopped blogging as well. There are truly not many of us left from our original group! Blogging itself has changed, I think.
BTW, in all my eight years of blogging, I don’t think I’ve ever taken a break of more than a few days! I keep putting it off, but I think the time has come to take some time to think it all through. It had always been my intention to keep this blog going right up until I retired, so I had something to do during my retirement! But all the changes in our lives led to that plan possibly changing as well.
So, while I’m considering all this, and leaving you with a cute picture of Luke, and some of the birds, I wouldn’t mind any input or advice anyone had! Would you still read our blog if it was completely farm-focused (that would still include Luke of course, since he is the official “barking dog” of Barking Dog Organic Farm!)?
I’m not sure how long I’ll be off, could be a week, could be a month, but I will certainly let my loyal readers and friends know when I’ve made a decision. We’ll most likely still be around some on social media, and visiting other blogs, though probably a bit less than before. ♥
• ★ Happy ★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★ Thanksgiving ★。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~＼。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚｜ 田田 ｜門｜ ˚
* Thankful♫•*¨* Blessed♪♫•*¨*
Smooches to Luke. ♥
Susan from Bucks county says
Thank you, Susan, and same to you!
Luke sends smooches right back and says he’s sorry it’s taking Mom so long to get back into the swing of things! 🙂 We’ll be back with blog posts soon.
I think that you should write about whatever your passion is. We know that you’ll work Luke into it when you come across something interesting to write about him. I’d keep reading about the farm. It’s fun!
Enjoy your break. I hope that you’ll be back.
I’ve been off my game since I published the story of how Bear saved my life. It’s like it was the feather in my cap – the last thing I had to accomplish. I’m feeling just about everything you are – from technical blog stuff – to a lack of motivation. And I don’t want to lose the friends I’ve made either. You could move Barking Dog to its own page and do the farm blogging there – with a post about Luke every so often. That way your business has its own page – and maybe its own blog. Don’t ask me how to do that though! You have so much on the chickens already here – maybe you can hire someone to move some or all of your old posts to a new blog for the farm?
I have noticed that you haven’t been posting as often lately, and I totally understand of course!
I have formulated a plan involving the farm and Luke, I’m still working out the details but I’ll be posting about it soon! 🙂
Life is ever changing, and it’s understandable that your blogging life would change too. Enjoy the break. If you decide to focus on farm life, we’ll still stop by from time to time to see what the lady hens are up to.
Thank you, Raven! Right now I believe that’s the way I’ll be going. I’m not doing well at detaching myself from the blog world. 🙂
We will be missing you so much!
Melissa Clinton says
I completely understand. I’m struggling with how to continue with my blog too. We have changed so much and our focus is on grandchildren, eating right, and biking. I’m thinking we will be including that more in 2021. I know it’s difficult but I’m sure you will make the decision that’s best for you! I’ll keep up on Facebook and hope you enjoy the break. I’d definitely read about farm life!
Thank you, Melissa.
I really enjoy your FB posts about all that stuff, so I think that would be a great way for you to go!
Ellen Pilch says
Happy Blogoversary! I can understand the need for a break. I hope you don’t decide to stop blogging. XO
Thank you, Ellen! I’m having a hard time with even taking a break, so you might have an answer right there. 🙂
CRYSTAL AND DAISY MAE says
OH NO, we try to read your blog daily. We will sure miss it. We hope you decide to continue your blog after your break.
Blessings to you,
Crystal And Daisy Mae
Thank you so much, you two. I’ll have my decision very soon! ♥
Susan from Bucks County Pennsylvania says
WOW – I sure will miss your blog and hope that a break will convince you to continue with the blog – even once or twice a month. I enjoyed reading about Luke and the chickens and your garden and your store.
Thank you so much, Susan! It hasn’t even taken me a week to realize I want to keep going! There will be some changes though, so I’m still working all that out.
Theresa Spaid says
I read your blog all the time and look forward to your farm and pet stories. Would miss your stories if you quit, so would enjoy if you decide to cut down your blogging to every once in awhile. Enjoy your time out. It’s been a wild year so far so everyone needs that to think what they could do in the future. Thank you for the many hours of stories you have given me.
I imagine these crazy times have caused a lot of people to re-think a lot of things. Thank you for letting me know you enjoy our stories….I’d like to continue to write, so I think I’ll be back with something; just working out the details in my head right now. 🙂
Tails Around the Ranch says
I know exactly what you’re experiencing (or at least to a degree). These are some unusual times, but know we’ll be here no matter which direction you take. I hope the time off provides some comfort and rejuvenation for your soul. And if there’s anything I can do to help out, please do not hesitate to reach out. Hugs and tail wags, friend.
Thank you, Monika. I notice you’ve been quiet too, so I guess you truly do know what I’m talking about! Thanks for being there, and that works both ways. ♥
The Island Cats says
Blogging has changed. But maybe a break is what you need to help you find your focus again…even if that focus changes. We always enjoy reading about your life on the farm…about Luke and all the chickens…etc. So we’re here for you, whatever you decide to do.
Thank you so much!! ♥
I love your blog, its fun to read about your farm and your endeavors there and at your new store.
I have been blogging for over 6 years now, though I started as a transition from another venue that shut down…where I had been since 2009. Sometimes it does seem like an extra chore, but I keep it up as a channel to divert myself from other things.
Sometimes one does need a break/holiday/respite from stuff, to regroup and suchlike. Take as much time as you need and do not feel guilty!
(( ♥ ))
I will take my time, and try not to feel guilty! 🙂 Thank you for your support…I’m pretty sure I’ll be back with a new website and focus in time!
There is a simple solution here! Get a new dog/puppy and a couple of cats! Then, you’ll have plenty of pets to write about. And the people who don’t see your chickens and guinea hens are just pets that provide eggs shouldn’t be listened to. If you name them, they’re a pet. If you’re tired, take a rest; no harm in that. But we’d like you to come back!
Ha ha, if only it was that simple! Luke complicates that since adding more pets would be challenging for him. Maybe someday though.
Thank you so much, and I imagine we will be back, in some way, shape, or form anyway! 🙂
I hope so!
Brian Frum says
We understand, we were once 9 kitties, now 4, it’s not quite been the same. Yes, blogging sure has changed and we agree with Madison about BlogPaws. I think Chewy set out to destroy competition when they bought BlogPaws. I hope you enjoy you’re break, we hope to see you back some day soon. Hugs from all of us.
I think you may be right about Chewy, how all that went down was certainly odd.
Thank you, and I know you understand about the losses and the changes it brings. You have handled yours well. ♥
Ducky's Mom says
Jan, you know I’ll always be here for you. Whatever you decide to do – or not do – I will back you up. And, whatever I can do to help, I’m here for you.
Thank you, Sue! ♥
Airplane rules: take care of yourself first! It’s a lot better to take a break or refocus your energy than continue doing something that’s supposed to be giving you energy and is draining it instead. Beyond that, I can only offer my experience as a (mostly silent) reader –
I love reading posts about the birds! A lot of the blogs I read change their focus from time to time or have a mix of topics. Once I’m invested, I stick with it. You never know, it might even introduce you to new readers. Since i use an aggregation app to read, i don’t stop checking and subsequently miss posts if an author reduces their frequency (although certain blogs that haven’t posted this year are making me sad). Regardless- Enjoy the break, and best of luck deciding what you want to do next!
Thank you so much, Christy! Honestly, since I made the decision to take a break, I just spend all my time thinking about what I’m going to do – and I’m strongly leaning towards just re-doing the blog as more of a farm focus. Figuring out all the logistics of that will be challenging though, and I just keep telling myself to enjoy the break and not worry about that yet! 🙂
we will wait for you… take the time you need and enjoy all the good things around you…. hugs and big kisses to you and to Luke
Thank you so much!! xxoo
I think we all feel like quitting at one time or another. You get busy doing other things and the blog takes a back seat. I don’t know how many blogging buddies you have but missing my blogging buddies would be awful. I’ve met many and can’t imagine not having them in my life.
Facebook is a way to keep in touch, but it’s such a negative place. Okay, I really don’t have any advice I was just thinking about how I would handle not blogging.
Have a fabulous day. Big hug to you and lots of smooches to handsome Luke. ♥
I agree about Facebook! Plus it’s difficult to find the posts you want to see, when FB just shows you whatever they want to.
Luke sends smooches back!
Barbara Rivers says
Do what feels right to you, Jen! I’d still check in on your blog if it was more geared around farm life.
I understand your feelings and experienced technical difficulties as well this year. It took me a long time to muster up the courage to switch providers, from Bluehost to Siteground. Bluehost used to be great, but the server my blog was on was so ridiculously slow, I could barely post anything! It would constantly break and it was so frustrating.Their support or lack thereof was even more frustrating, so I’m really relieved I made the switch to the new host – apparently speed is their forte, and so far so very fast!!
Hugs to you and Luke 🙂
I’m glad you got through your blog troubles! I’m with Siteground too and have found them to be very helpful when I’ve had an issue with that part of things.
Thank you for your support, Barbara!
We know how hard this is for you. Does your store have a website? Maybe you could add a blog to your store site where you would post occasionally? It is very sad how the blogging world has changed, especially since the demise of BlogPaws. You take the time you need to figure out the direction you would like to go in and everyone will be here when you make that decision. Hugs to you, this is a difficult situation.
I don’t have a store website yet, because I don’t plan on selling online right now. However, that’s a great idea. My sister had also suggested somehow tying the shop in with everything else, and your idea of adding a blog to the store website is great. It’s definitely something I will be thinking about, and I even went and bought the domain name for my shop today. Thank you, Joy! ♥
We love your blog and always look forward to your posts but we do understand. I’ve been blogging for 13 years and life was certainly busier with more to blog about in years past. Now it’s just me and Molly and our lives are simply and very routine and there isn’t much to blog about so we don’t post as often as we used to. Whatever decision you make – we will support you.
Thank you! It’s nice to know there are others besides me who don’t do a lot of exciting stuff! I enjoy reading about your walks though, and seeing all the pretty scenery around your neighborhood. ♥