December 31, 2009


"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary
so that the necessary may speak"  ~ Hans Hofmann

I've long held the belief in QUALITY over QUANTITY, and each year strive to further pare down the superflouous layers of my life, and focus on what is most near and dear to my heart. 

This year I managed to sign-up and volunteer for less, thereby having more time to devote my love, energy and creativity to those places and people that I still chose to commit to.  My stress level decreased, my family felt more stable and happy, and my productivity increased. 

One area where my participaton and time were still wildly out of control, however, was the blogosphere.    Since my blog only really started to pick up this year, I got swept up in a wave of excitment, inspiration, and fascination that led to many hours spent online that probably should have been more evenly distributed between my online and offline committments. 

Have you made any New Year's Resolutions
with regard to blogging? 

What do you hope to accomplish in 2010? 

What will you do differently?

I'm taking the same approach with my blog as I have with several other aspects of my life ~ SIMPLIFICATION. 

My goal is to improve my content, stay engaged with my readers and followers, enjoy reading and commenting on the blogs I follow, and continuing to find new blogs and make new friends. 

In order to accomplish this I feel I need to trim the fat.  I pulled up my list of "Blogs I Follow" and am in the process of visiting each and every one (100+).  There are dozens of reasons why I've clicked that little "Follow" button at one time or another, and now that I've becomed a more seasoned blogger and commenter, I've become more discriminating about who I follow and read. 

By paring down my reading list, I'll be better able to comment, visit, and enjoy the blogs and bloggers that I have established relationships with.   Yes, another application of QUALITY over QUANTITY.

I am going to continue to enjoy:

1)  Blogs and/or Bloggers I like ~ whose ideas, content, creativity, style, or writing inspire, make me smile, laugh, or otherwise entertain. 

2)  Blogs written by those who follow Rook No. 17.  I'm going to slowly, but surely make my way through my list of "followers" and make sure that I follow their blogs in return.  I treasure each and every one of you and the friendships we build through blogging.

3)  Blogs written by those who participate or comment in discussions here.  You care enough to read and comment on what I have to say?  I want to get to know you better too!

So, where to trim?

I guess it all comes down to blogs that I've followed for various reasons at one time or another that I don't necessarily jive with.  They don't visit, don't comment, and don't follow, and I don't begrudge them.  But if I've followed, commented, and tried to engage and have only met with dead air --AND-- the blog simply isn't my cup o' tea, then it just doesn't make sense to continue to spend my energy in a place that can better be spent elsewhere?  Right?  Your thoughts?  It's nothing personal, and I mean no disrespect to those I chose to un-follow.  It just boils down to what seems to me to be good common sense. 

I want my "FOLLOW" to actually mean something ~ An affirmation that I read, support, like and genuinely regard you.

How do you keep your blogging a healthy
and balanced part of your life? 

Have you been successfully able to manage
your reading list/blogroll? 

On what criteria do you base your following? 

Please contribute your insights, comments,
and experiences to this discussion.


  1. Happy New Year, Jenn!

  2. Too funny...I was thinking about a bloggy post too...a little different though...mainly etiquette. I am trying to organize, etc. There are many blogs that I follow who I have commented on numerous times, and...crickets chirrping...over and over. What to do! O other recommendation, I am trying to organize my reader into a "must read/loyal commenter" folder, and a few other headers. I love your blog and you too!
    Happy New Year my friend!

  3. Are you psychic? I've been feeling the same way lately. Hopefully I make the cut! Happy 2010!!

  4. As somone who has very little 'extra' time that must be divvied up amongst many things...I very much understand this mindset. Every couple of weeks I declutter...both at home and in my blog pond. I wish I had the time to follow, read and comment for each person that follows me but the reality is I don't. I do my best and would much rather give my best to a few than to halfass it with many. I'm a little picky that way.

    I think any mature blogger will understand if you unfollow based on the fact that you don't jive with their content. When I was a newbie (and really still am...) I was all about following those who followed me but as the list grew and my time shortened I understand better and take no offense if someone drops off. I've done the same myself of late...there were many blogs that I would just pass over in my reader day after day. Didn't make sense to keep them there.

    Best of luck with simplifying. I find it to be very helpful in destressing. Simple is good...

  5. I hear you on the "trimming the fat" thing. I've had to do that a couple times already! I find that I start following a blog for some reason or another but either I don't end up reading the blog or I do and it just isn't my thing. That, or perhaps I try to reach out and make contact with the blogger via comments/email and receive nothing in return. No biggie, I just don't need it cluttering up my list!!

    Happy New Year, Jenn!! ♥

  6. hello via terra del sole. i was thinking about this the other day. there has got to be a way to achieve the blog balance. great you could articulate!

  7. I really like how honest you were about trimming! That's really how I felt but just haven't really acted on it yet.

    I get behind blog reading sometimes. I need to learn more balance. I want my kids and family to come first and not my blogging habit. So I have to learn how to readjust.

    Happy New Year! By the way I loved the quote at the beginning.

  8. Yes, also new to blogging, I'm trying to become "efficient." My whole life is about "efficiency." It's taken me longer than I imagined to fall into a pattern and routine. Just yesterday, I tried to reorganize my Reader again. The problem is the Reader is not very "user friendly." I don't know what I want it to do, but I know it isn't doing it.

    I love how you started off. I've spent the last two years also making my life simpler and have found the same positives as you.

  9. This is a great idea Jenn! I couldn't agree with you more in "trimming the fat" off your FOLLOW list. A dear friend of mine suggested google reader and I seriously need to use that or some other method of keeping tabs on everyone. But yes...the whole concept of following just to follow is unfortunately what it all becomes and I think you should followed and be followed because you share some common interests/insights. That's great! Good old fashioned honesty that I think we bloggers need to start the new year off with!! Bravo and happy New Year!
    Kelli @ SustainingCreativity

  10. I was spending way too much time on it, too. WAY too much time. So I took a little break and posted sporadically and didn't visit for a couple weeks and lost a few followers and came to basically the same conclusion - this isn't a job or a game. She who has the most followers doesn't 'win'. I'll read what I want to read and comment when I have something to say - not just as a token to 'prove I was here'. If that attitude loses more followers for me, well, I'll be disappointed, of course, but I was really in need of regaining some perspective.

    Happy New Year - good luck!

  11. I really, really need to do the same thing. I am following almost 600 blogs, my friend. 600!! That is insane. And a full reader stresses me out to no end. Maybe I will take baby steps towards this.

    I hope you have an awesome 2010! I am so glad to have "met" you this year.

  12. This is good stuff and I totally get what you mean about trimming the fat. You can only spend so much time reading and commenting so it makes sense to go quality over quantity. To me, the connection I make with other bloggers is what keeps me coming back.

    One of my goals this year is to spend more time with my kids and less time online during the day. I'm gonna cheat here and there, I know that, but I want to spend a majority of my time being "present" with them and not constantly thinking of what to blog about next.

    Hope 2010 is off to a great start for you!

  13. Happy New Year! Okay, here are my bloggy resolutions:

    I plan to respond to each comment with something meaningful, not just "thanks for stopping by!" because that irritates me when people write that to me.

    I plan to be more planned with my posts; about me and my life on mondays, tutorials on tues., recipes on wednesdays, free day on thurs, and feedback friday. I'm finding it easier to compose posts when I'm more focused in my subject.

  14. what a thoughtful post. I absolutely love the quote at the beginning of the post. I'm working with my hubby on simplifying our lives of the literal clutter we have accumulated. Later this year I'm sure I'll be doign the same with my blog, but for right now, I spend the time I want on it, and that's it. I don't ever take it personally if someone removes me from a blogroll, etc, because like you said, it just didn't jive for them, or something. That's fine! :)

  15. I'm with you about the blog following. I feel like my blog list is extraordinarily long, but my favorites are the ones with whom I correspond back and forth. They are the ones that really mean something to me. Maybe I can start paring down my list too and spend more time on the special ones.

    Happy new year to you, Jenn!

  16. Wow. Deja vu. This was a big deal for me about this time last year. I was spending waaaaaaay too much time on the computer and it was stressing me out. Since I've adopted this simplify philosophy, it is so much better. I do what I can and I won't do it if it brings more stress into my life. Good luck. You're going to love the way it makes you feel.

  17. Hi Jenn. I saw your blog on SITS and decided to stop by to say, "hello". It's nice to "meet" you. I wish you all the best in 2010.

    Kindest regards,

  18. i totally understand what you are saying... this is my resolution for my blog this year ~ i started my blog as therapy for myself and then as people started to follow i felt obligated to write... i don't like that feeling... this year i am not going to worry about who is and who is not reading and just focus on why i started it in the first place... if i lose a few of those who have followed, i understand and no hard feelings... i just hope to be able to find myself :-)

  19. This blog stuff is tricky isn't it. I started it to be creative, and it turned out to be a full time job of reading other blogs and rarely doing the creative part I love. I do like reading blogs, but I too got to the point where whether you have 100 or 500 Followers most people still only get 30-60 comments a day. So when does the # become counter productive. I was thrilled to have 20 readers, and then greed sets in. Also, I get weary of all of the negative "I hate this and that" posts. I want people to be genuine, but it can really bring a person down. Feeling like I need to find a new audience. Sometimes I wonder if Followers are commenting, but not even listening or reading what we created. I too plan to post less (3 times a week) with better, more meaningful content. Trim my Follow list, and be content with the people that come that really want to be there. Thanks for the honest post to get us thinking. Happy New Year...Holly


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