2017 was such a surprisingly successful year of blogging that I’m not surprised 2018 didn’t match up. Right from the get-go, I had zero motivation.
Stating the obvious here but I didn’t write much (8 posts to be exact) and one of the main reasons behind this is I had my mind on more important ‘real-life’ things. A lot of my time was spent job hunting, I left the school I was teaching at and well, that was very emotional and then I started a new job with an added role of responsibility. While I was used to my ex-students reading my blog, I certainly didn’t want my new students forming an opinion about me before meeting me. I mean, they had to get to know me and see first-hand just how cool I am…right?
This is for a separate post but I absolutely love my new school, my colleagues, and my new set of ‘kids’ (alhamdullilah, alhamdullilah), but I probably wouldn’t have felt this way if I hadn’t shut down from everything else and knuckled down on settling in during those first few crucial months.
The second reason I stopped blogging was, and this is a bit Marie Kondo-y, but this platform no longer sparked joy (
laugh out loud, LOL). See, when I first opened this blog it was a far-fetched dream that anyone would even bother reading what I have to write. And, because I knew no-one was really reading it, I felt a certain sense of freedom in the content I was sharing. We always seem to want exactly what we don’t have: the more my readership grew over the past 3 years, the more I felt my voice becoming suppressed and longed for those early days of blogging.
As of now my blog stats are 20,000 viewers, 726 subscribers, and all the pretty-in-pink countries are the places my words have reached:
Plans for 2019:
Being away and alone with my thoughts for six months made me appreciate that having a vision for what you want out of life, work, relationships, etc. is great but that vision can’t just be left to fester in a journal or a dark corner. You’ve got to keep checking on it, water it, prune it and prevent it from withering away. So, in the hope of keeping my vision alive and kicking, I have devised a few strategies to help me stay on top of this blogging malarkey. Kind of like my one year blogiversary post, I am going forward with an action plan.
1. Blog Log
Despite knowing this would help me a lot, I’ve never kept a jotter for my blog (for assignments and fiction- yes, but not for my blog). However, now, I have a notebook that goes everywhere with me. It contains a month by month breakdown of blog posts, as well as checklists, spider diagrams, opening paragraphs, sentence starters, and even meme and gif lists. Previously, any creative ideas like the above would just be added to the notes app on my phone but notes are another thing that no longer spark joy and to be frank, they don’t aid productivity.
2. New URL
I am no longer Seeking Words (much irony), and I also do not have the wordpress.com handle in my URL anymore. What this simply means is that there’ll be no adverts when you guys are reading. From now on the website is simply zoyakubra.com.
3. ‘On Wednesdays we wear pink’
Whenever I change my layout, I always kick myself later for not keeping a record of what the site looked like just in case I ever want to return to it or look back with nostalgia. This time is no different but somehow I managed to find a snippet of what my blog looked like in June, you might remember it:
And here is what it kind of looked like before that for a veeeeeeerrry long time:
As you can see, I’ve ditched the doom and gloom colour scheme. I spruced up category names and collated similar-themed posts under parent categories (there are lots of new categories yet to be revealed!). A lot of the extra ‘mess’ created by widgets in the sidebar has also been cleaned up. Do you like one of the old layouts or the current one?
4. Work? On a Saturday?
The most important part of my action plan is that I plan to be consistent therefore there’ll be a new post every Saturday. This way I can ensure I don’t fall off the face of this blog again. And who knows, maybe I’ll grow into a bi-weekly schedule but for now Saturdays is the chosen day so set your reminders or click the ‘Follow’ button to stay updated.
5. Thank you! ❤
This is not a strategy but I need a number 5 because OCD. I want to say thank you to all of my supportive friends who have (politely yet persistently) reminded me to get back to writing. I appreciate you being so patient and understanding when deep down you were probably like:
That’s all for today friends. See you next Saturday!