New Ideas For a New Year

My WordPress Reader seems to think I might be lacking ideas for my blog. In no gentle way, I’ve been suggested I might like some of the following topics:

Farm, Woodwork, Mathematics (I swear I’ve never even looked up any of these topics!)

Poetry, Makeup, Hiking (Interesting combo, maybe I should try these three together sometime: a poetry hike in full makeup! Why not! And then blog about it, obviously.)

Chicken, Backpacks, Overwatch (I have no idea what Overwatch is! Does it matter?)

Books, Politics, Monkeys (Monkeys! Do they simply mean I should read a book about politicians? Sounds boring.)

Anime, Robots, Happy Place (Now here’s an idea: a sci-fi novel set in Japan! Might be a long blog post!)

Books, Iceland, Woodworking (Really, I’m not into woodwork! How many times do I have to tell you!)

Travel, Michigan, Monkeys (Monkeys again! I’ve never been to Michigan, I don’t know how it fits in.)

Batman, Iceland, WordPress (Uhmm… what???)

Photo from Helsinki, last winter

Even though the Reader bot missed the mark most of the time, it did pick up on the fact that I’ve been lacking ideas and inspiration, drifting around as aimlessly as those suggestions up there.

I started out as a travel photo blog and now I write about toddlers. I’m not sure all my readers are interested in both!

But blogging has been such a dear hobby. How to fix this? How can I find a new focal point for myself, to guide my blogging?

A few posts ago, I got two wonderful comments suggesting I start a photo challenge of my own. (What, me? Thanks, Marina and Mercedes for the idea.) Then Amanda from Something to Ponder About offered to co-host with me – all this in the same comment thread! That was quick! (I’m easily persuaded. I should watch out.)

To really seal the deal, DH gifted me with a prepaid Lightroom/Photoshop package for 12 months this Christmas! Time to get creative! (I’ve been itching to take a step back and polish my blog posts as carefully as I did when I first started blogging. Even when it’s a post that focuses on writing, I want the illustrating pictures to look good. I don’t like the hasty snaps I’ve been producing lately. I’m doing this for me!)

But would Amanda and I be able to get people to join in? What a scary thought! There are so many other (excellent) challenges out there. Reminds me of the first time I hit the publish button on my very first post. I sincerely hope we’ll have some participation! All of you are invited, please join in! Spread the word! Our first challenge prompt will be published January 11 on my blog and we’ll give you the details then.

Amanda and I will host on alternating weeks, every Friday. Just like the original Daily Post challenge used to be, back in the day, the one so many of us miss and have tried to replace. So heads up, write it down: Fridays!

At the very least, if no one participates, I’ll challenge myself to create nicer images and it will motivate my blogging. Just seeing what I could do with those Creative Cloud apps made me feel inspired!

Will I have enough time for creativity while working full-time and looking after two toddlers, that’s a whole other story! To be seen. But I do need to get life back to normal and start doing things for myself. Life can’t be all about paying the bills and doing chores. This is my preferred hobby and I need to hang onto it!

So yes, let’s do it!

I’m no pro photographer nor am I pretending to be. Our photo challenge is going to be about community and interacting with other bloggers, sharing our creativity and everyday things. You don’t need to be a pro to participate, either!

So… coming to you soon, same Bat time, same Bat channel, right here on WordPress, from this icy land I call home… hey I finally figured out what the bot’s last suggestion was! What a clever bot!

Talk to you soon! Happy New Year!

Ps. The challenge has nothing to do with Batman!

70 responses to “New Ideas For a New Year

  1. Oh how I missed browsing in your page! Its always so fresha nd full of YESSS—Wonderful insights and ideas. You write it on spot. I am wishing for more time to be able to participate and blog like crazy! Thank you for this inspiration.You go Wonderwoman! Happy New year…:-)) sure thing your 2019 looks bright on you.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Ya, I’ve been caught up in work too after getting a new job in June. My blogs not getting that much attention. I know the feeling and I really need to start planning a few travel articles in 2019 before lethargy sets in. 🙄

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, I’ve been thinking maybe there’s a positive to being so busy: it’ll automatically make me post less so it’ll perhaps be a good moment to focus on quality rather than quantity! (At some point I was posting up to 4 times a week!!! That’s a bit too much frankly!)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ha. I’d never noticed those topic suggestions in WordPress before. I’m looking forward to seeing what your challenge is about. I do miss the WP photo challenge, not so much for the inspiration – I have so many photos I could post – but for it nudging me to check out other blogs and other perspectives. As far as the direction of your blog is concerned, good writing (and/or photos) will keep people interested regardless of topic. Happy holidays and all the best for the new year.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks Graham! I feel photos might be easier to do when in zombie mode than (good) writing, but I enjoy both and will keep doing both! 😊 Less frequently but the challenge at least nudges me to keep a steady pace. What I miss about the WPC was 1) the neat layout, making it so easy to check out other posts that seemed interesting based on the title and screenshot, and 2) getting a random topic that I otherwise wouldn’t have posted about and looking through my archives to find the perfect fit. I didn’t need the inspiration back then, either. It was fun to see how others had interpreted the same subject: sometimes in a very similar way and then once in a while someone posted something completely out of the box!

      Liked by 3 people

        • The layout options were the first thing I looked into when planning my challenge… but it appears linking participants’ posts in the comments section is the easiest way to go – I couldn’t find any widget to display links in a post visually like WPC did. Also, I considered making a gallery of participants’ entries but then I would have to resize all of the pictures and it would be extra work for me and also take up space from my free blog which has a space allowance. (Still plenty of space left for the moment, though!)

          Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m glad you’re happy about the coming challenge, your new tools and the new wind in your sails. We blog about what is happening to us, and if it’s twins, then it’s twins. It’s about how we do it, not the subject matter. I wish you plenty of fun with your new challenge. Looking forward to it!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks MM!! Happy to have you on board already!! 🤗🤗 I never meant for this to become a personal blog but I must admit blogging has been more fun after I let my guard down a bit – still anonymous but hey! Slowly slowly… Anyway, Happy New Year – though we’ll probably still chat before that! 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  5. The photo challenge sounds fun and I do miss the Daily Post challenge which had prompts that you can get your teeth into and were wide open to multiple interpretations. And, I do wonder about those monkeys. Perhaps they are woodworking on a farm in Michigan. Exactly what type of algorithm is WP using??? I must look up ones they suggest for me; I usually ignore them!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hahah!! The WP algorithm must be pretty complicated to get the results they do!! Definitely have a look at yours! 🤣 Hopefully you’ll find the time to pop over on Jan 11 for the first prompt! (It sounds like it’s far away but it’s actually in 2 weeks!!)

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I loved your blog when it was a travel blog, and I still love it with toddler stories. It sure makes it real! Life happens and being able to adapt is a good thing. I look forward to the photo challenge and will participate as often as I can. Happy New Year Snow to you and your family! 🙋

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It was lovely to begin my day with a good hearty chuckle! What crazy topics! It is a wonder it didn’t suggest ‘snow monkeys!!’ I am excited that your readers are enthused about the photo challenge. And one of them even alluded to the first topic! Can’t wait now!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi Snow. I know what you mean by the lack of inspiration. I’ve been feeling the same lately but I do love blogging and reading and interacting with other bloggers! I’ve been soo busy lately and 2019 looks no better! I noticed that you have Iceland in the recommendation a couple of times, and in my reader, I see Tibet a lot of times. Haha.
    I love the idea of photo challenge hosted by you and Amanda! I will be watching out for those 🙂 What a great and encouraging gift you got for Christmas! Hope it went well 🙂 Happy New Year! I’ve missed reading your posts, will try to catch up.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Pooja, thanks for catching up!! ❤️💖How was your Polish Xmas? 🙂 Ours went well – the boys got lots of gifts (like Duplo’s for example) and they spread them all over the floor every day now 😀 Have you been to Tibet by the way? I keep seeing so many Iceland posts in my feed, maybe that’s where the bot picked it up! Seems like Iceland is a tourist hotspot! Anyway, Happy New Year and I hope we both can keep up our blogging – I so enjoy your posts each time!! Moikka!

      Liked by 2 people

      • My Christmas was good too! 🙂 Lot of good food and visiting friends and family, so quite typical that I don’t actually feel rested haha. No I have never been to Tibet, Snow. It’s hard to get in, as along with Chinese visa, I also need a special permit for Tibet.. and who wants to go through that when you can visit other places more easily 😀 I do hope to visit places in Nepal close to Tibet border where the culture is very much Tibetan, in the future. Haha the boys sound so cute! Duplo’a a great gift! 😀 I got a Himalayan salt lamp from my future SIL, been using it daily haha.

        Liked by 2 people

        • What a cute and thoughtful gift that was, your Himalayan salt lamp! 🙂 Ah, your Tibetian travel thing sounds like mine with Russia: I’d love to visit St Petersburg, it’s so close, only like 400 km or so!! But… getting a Russian visa is such a chore, I can’t be bothered. Also, I’m not enchanted by the visaless options because what if you need to go to the hospital and there you are without a visa… that actually happened to a passenger when I was a flight attendant, not on my flight but I heard a plane diverted to Helsinki after someone had a heart attack over Russia. Normally they would land straight away but they had to keep flying to the closest place medical treatment was available, ie Helsinki, because this person wouldn’t have been taken to hospital there without a visa!!!! Anyway, that was 10 years ago, maybe things have changed. (And maybe not!) 😀 Oh, I got sidetracked, didn’t I! 🙂 Happy New Year, Pooja!!!! Be good!!

          Liked by 1 person

  9. How exciting! I don’t usually think to take photos of things, so I might not participate straight off, but I’m interested in seeing where you take this.

    Although there are places I’d like to travel to, I actually don’t have much wanderlust, and I have no children of my own, so it might seem odd that I’m following your blog. But I like your photos and how you write, and I mostly just appreciate being able to see another unique view of the world. So, whether you expand or focus your blogging scope, I’m just glad you’re sticking with it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh Pistachios, what a nice comment! Thank you! 💐I’m happy that you’ve joined the crew! Even though Ms Captain here doesn’t exactly know where we’re heading! 😀 I hope that’s what this new challenge will bring, too: people being able to get a glimpse into a life lived elsewhere, everyday images spectacular and ordinary, international viewpoints. Have a very Happy New Year!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Oh my, I’ve been meaning to participate in your challenges for ages! But I’m just so disorganized lately. I haven’t participated in any challenges since WPC ended – back in the good old days, I used to regularly shop around, try this one and that. Hopefully I’ll get around to your challenge next year when I create my new rhythm! I like how you actually have something to say, your challenge posts aren’t just about a short prompt 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Pingback: New Ideas For a New Year — The Snow Melts Somewhere – Goddamn Media·

    • The resolution for web images should be 72 dpi (or ppi). And 700-1000 pixels on the larger side of a photo. If larger, it’ll only download slower. But I recognize your problem: I sometimes have pixelated images on my blog though I do everything ”right”. It being a free blog, I guess there just things I can’t control (easily), like the thumbnail shots Reader and other feeds use…
      Hope you join in!!!! Happy New Year!!! 😊☀️✨

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, wanted to add that lately I’ve simply been using the media tool on WordPress for reducing size, since I haven’t been doing any other editing. Now that I have LR/PS I’ll start using them… but the WP editor worked just fine for this purpose!

      Liked by 1 person

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