Here’s to 2017!

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First off, a massive Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year. This is my last post before Christmas on Over Heaven’s Hill as I have decided to take a well deserved break away from all things Blog including Social Media over the Holidays. In my six months of blogging, this is the first holiday I’ve given myself and I’ll be honest I need it to refresh and regroup. It’s been an exhausting Winter, but I’m really looking forward to settling down with some good movies, a box of roses and my family over the next couple of weeks. I wish every single one of you a very Merry Christmas and I hope you all make some beautiful memories this season.

I’m looking forward to 2017 for some obvious and not so obvious reasons. Little Bean should be ready to pop mid May, meaning maternity leave will arrive and all the wonders that come with being a temporary Stay at Home Mum. A will be starting Montessori which is exciting, terrifying and heartbreaking all at the same time but those few hours in the morning will hopefully give me some time to focus on Little Bean and if possible, on some blog admin. I’m determined to make Over Heaven’s Hill bigger and better in 2017.

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I’ve a few ideas up my sleeve on where I want to take my blog and my writing career. I jumped into blogging without knowing a single thing about how or why to blog. The past seven months have taught me a hell of a lot. While the blogging world is big and scary, I’m more determined than ever.

The biggest thing I’ve discovered about blogging is how much time and energy it sucks from your daily life. There is quite a lot involved in creating a single blog post which you may not realise:

Firstly, it has to be written and researched if necessary. As writers, we need to be aware of things like sentence length, paragraph size, and making the post easy to read overall.

 

Then you must edit. God forbid grammar and spelling mistakes are littered throughout. 

 

Images and photos must be sourced, edited if necessary and added to the post. I’ll admit, I probably should spend more time on this but sheesh who has the time?

 

SEO keywords must be included – so search engines can find you. Why write if no one knows you’ve written? Focus Keywords, Descriptions, URL edits are little itty bitty things we also have to consider to get our posts seen on the Interweb.

 

Promote, promote, promote and out it goes into the world of social media

Responding to comments on the blog post and on social media. This is one of my favourite parts because it connects me with you. So please do comment if you get a chance. I love to hear from you.

All in all, this amounts to quite a bit of time. Time, time, time. Or lack there of. I’ve been called a “prolific blogger” in the past by more than one person, because I churn out four to five posts a week.

Well, I’ll admit, I suffered because of this. Blogging coupled with early pregnancy exhausted me and here I am, all worn out.

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Slow Blogging

My solution to this for 2017, is to take heed of the slow blogging movement. Slow Blogging is a wee bit too slow for me, but I will take on some of the concepts and ease up a bit, allowing myself more time to focus on the blog and myself at the same time.

Slow Blogging is not new. In fact, it goes righ back to 2006. The aim is quality over quantity. There are tons of posts on it by bloggers who have jumped onboard and have found their feet with their own blogs by refocusing and slowing down.

Taking this into consideration, I am refocusing and remodelling Over Heaven’s Hill in a manner to suit me, my writing style, my experiences and you, my readers.

From January, a few little tweaks to the blog will include:

In Conversation With

My popular series, In Conversation With, will be back in the New Year with a new twist and questions. I had debated about whether to continue the series or not but it’s been so popular and I already have a number of mums looking to join in. Instead of weekly however, In Conversation With, will be published every two weeks.

Sunday Sit Down

I have pretty much gone through my archive of short stories and poetry here on Over Heaven’s Hill so Sunday Sit Down will have to take on a new form in January. In other words, I’ll have to get my pen and paper out and write some fresh prose!

When I ran a writer’s group in my home town, we always began our meetings with an excercise which focused on a simple writing prompt. It was a way to loosen the creative mind by focusing quickly, for ten or fifteen minutes on a specific word, phrase or idea.

My plan is to write a piece based on a writing prompt and at the end give the writing prompt for the following Sunday Sit Down so that anyone who wants to join in can!

Sunday Sit Down, will also be fortnightly, giving anyone who wants to take part in the flash fiction prompts two weeks to get a quick piece written.

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Becoming the New Me through Parenting

And of course, the guts and glory of my blog will be my mothering, parenting and personal posts on this life of Being Momma Bear. These are the posts that mean the most to me. The posts that resonate most with you. The posts I truly want to share with you. Being a parent isn’t easy, but it’s helpful to know that someone has been there or is right there where you are. As I’ve always said:

“Parenting is a learning curve. There is no handbook and you get by with no training. No matter how much you read, how much you’re told, it’s never what you expect.” 

Social Social Social

Yikes, I’ve been waning a lot on the social media side of things lately. Its so very time consuming. Initially, I loved Twitter and spent most of my time there but since my time on Bed Rest, Twitter has zipped on past me and I feel swamped with how fast it really is. I’ve crawled back into my comfort blanket of Facebook. I’m also on Instagram, every now and again, when I remember I’m up there too! I’d love you to join me on any of my social media platforms 🙂

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So, the blog will be the same but more focused! I’m hoping that helps me to concentrate on other writing projects I have in store and I hope it helps me to grow as a writer and a Momma. After all, this year, before the Summer is even here, Little Bean will arrive to make my life even more interesting!

I’ll be back in January. I hope to see you in the New Year! 

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