A Brief Intermission

Hello, dear readers.

It’s been said that with great power comes great responsibility. I didn’t really realize what that truly meant until I started blogging, and now it couldn’t be more obvious. I created Read-at-Home Mama with the hope of sharing my thoughts on all the books I read, both for myself and with Joshua. Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed that I’ve been clueless as to what to talk to you about on every weekday, with the exceptions being Tuesday and Friday (which, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, are review post days). Even Thursdays, which have been dedicated to Talking Fitness and the All You Need Is Love Project, have become a bit difficult for me. I’ve been unsure about whether what I’m writing is worth caring about, and then it hit me.

The reason my content hasn’t been so great is because I haven’t planned ahead.

Many bloggers — seasoned ones, popular ones, just really good ones — write their posts well ahead of their publication date. They schedule their posts and get way ahead, allowing them to relax in their writing. This calmness permits them to express themselves clearly and authentically, instead of staring at a blank screen and wondering what they can throw together and publish before the end of the day. That’s where I’ve been: fighting an imaginary deadline on a daily basis, writing for the sake of publishing instead of being real, and publishing just to publish.

That stops now.

Over the last week or two, I’ve been jotting down a ton of ideas and notes about how I can reformat my content in order to sharpen my focus and present myself both more professionally and more authentically. I’ve come to the conclusion that working day by day, with each day carrying a theme, is what will ultimately help me to accomplish these goals…and so I’d like to make an announcement.

On Friday, August 1, these new “themed” days will go into effect. Until then, I will only be publishing posts for the reviews I’ve already written. Over the next two weeks, you won’t be seeing any Talking Fitness Thursday or All You Need Is Love Project posts here, as I’m going to be writing new content under the daily themes and scheduling posts in order to get ahead, instead of falling behind as I’ve been doing these last few weeks. I really love the ideas I’ve come up with; some are original ideas of mine while others have been gleaned from popular content I’ve been seeing online. I’m going to attempt publishing daily, Sunday through Friday (and one Saturday a month), to see what I can really do with this blog. If it becomes too much, I’ll drop the weekend posts and simply post Monday through Friday….but I’m hoping I can pull off all seven days. As for the themes, this is how Read-at-Home Mama will look starting next month:

Sunday Selections: Once weekly, I’ll share my picks for new reads based on popular titles, starting August 3. (For example, “if you really enjoyed The Hunger Games, I think you’ll like these three books…”)
Munchkin Monday: Everyone really seems to enjoy reading posts about my Joshua, and so I’ll offer an update on him every Monday. Also, the Joshua’s Bookshelf posts will be moving to Munchkin Monday beginning on August 4!
Top 10 Tuesday/Tuesday Twist: I’m a big fan of the Top Ten Tuesday weekly feature over at The Broke and the Bookish, and I’ll begin adding my own lists on August 5. Additionally, I’m going to introduce the Tuesday Twist, in which I’ll post a photo of a book cover and ask you, my lovely readers, to leave a comment with a guess as to what the book is about based solely on the cover. This idea came from an article I discovered on BuzzFeed Books via Facebook a few days ago. I think it’ll be a fun way to connect with all of you, and I know you won’t cheat and check out the summary on Amazon before you comment with your guesses!
Wednesday Writing: This is kind of my free-for-all day, in that I could potentially share anything I find interesting in the world of books and writing on this day. If I discover a piece of book-related news, I might share my thoughts on it; I could hand over the reins to an author whose work I love for a guest post; I may publish an interview with someone from the publishing world. This feature will debut on August 6.
Talking Fitness Thursday/The All You Need Is Love Project: Thursday has always been my “miscellaneous” day, and I really do enjoy working on these two projects, so they will continue! Look forward to new posts on August 7.
The Friday 52/Friday Finish-Up: “Grown-up” book reviews are moving to Fridays, starting August 1! Next week’s book review will go up on Tuesday as usual, and then they move to Fridays! I’m very excited about this — I love the idea of getting to start a new book on the weekend, instead of having to worry about rushing through one after being unable to read on weeknights. Also, I’ll write a short note explaining what’s coming up for the next week and what Joshua and I are reading. I think it’ll be a nice way to round out the week.
6 Degrees Saturday: This once-monthly feature will make its first appearance on August 2. This feature, created and hosted by two authors, is exactly what it sounds like: We’ll be given a title and will make a string of connections between it and 6 other books, creating “6 degrees of separation” between the initial book and the final book in our strings. It’s a fun challenge and will be appearing on the blog the first Saturday of each month.

So those are the big changes that are coming, content-wise. Aside from that, you may have noticed that I’ve been reworking the layout of the adult book reviews and that I’ve set up a rating system. I’ve also removed my blogroll from the sidebar and am instead in the process of setting it up as a page (because I feel like the sidebar is just a big cluttered mess); the Bookshelf pages are being reorganized alphabetically by author, as opposed to by month; and I’m planning to take down my Google+ icon, as I never use it, and replace it with a link to my Goodreads page (where I’ll be cross-posting my reviews). The other big change is the book club I’m going to introduce starting next month! With the help of my best friend Becca, I’ve decided to call the book club Game of Tomes (because why not?); I’ll create a page for it and will connect it to a message board for any interested participants to create posts and leave comments as they wish. The first Game of Tomes book club selection will be announced sometime over the first weekend of August, both on the Game of Tomes page and on my social media accounts. I’m really looking forward to talking books with all of you!

That pretty much sums up what will be happening around here over the coming weeks! While I won’t be posting much new content, I will still be lurking around social media in case you have any questions or comments. Big changes are ahead and I’m really excited! Thanks for sticking with me and I’ll be back “full-time” before you know it!

Image via Books Rock My World (Facebook)

  • Looks like you are hard at work! I think munchkin monday’s is a great idea…in fact I should really get back to doing my Mommy Mondays posts! And I am happy you are keeping your talking fitness Thursday posts because I like them! Probably something I will have to start doing once I have to lose this baby weight for the third time in 3 1/2 years lol!!!

  • momssmallvictories

    I look forward to what you have in store for us! Good luck with your intermission, it sounds like you will be working overtime to get it all ready!

  • readathomemama

    Thanks!! I’m happy to hear you like my stuff. I don’t envy you having to lose the baby weight for the third time in as many years, but the kids make it so worth it!

  • I love your new ideas Erin. Sounds like a lot of fun and engaging, can’t wait to check some of this stuff out.