The Way Forward

By , November 21, 2016

Some time ago, I learned to stop talking when I discover people aren’t listening.

This practice served me well during the recent national and local elections. Both emphasized the futility of trying to persuade others to one’s point of view. I considered closing this blog as a result, as the lessons and attitudes we try to teach here merely add to the overabundance of information that assaults Web users each day (see Suspended. and Moving On . . . .).

Conversely to what I expressed in the recent post, Surprised By Income, one of the blog’s primary purposes is to generate a steady income stream through sales of books, home crafts and designs from the Store page, merchandizing links such as our Book List, and other revenues I’m contractually restricted from mentioning explicitly, though they’re well known to most people who use the Internet. The returns from these income streams simply don’t match the amount of effort we put into the blog.

That in itself isn’t problematic. What concerns me is the amount of time and effort I devote to the blog that could—should—be better spent on revenue producing projects, and other aspects of homesteading.

I could monetize the blog more aggressively, but I prefer not to do that. I read far too many blogs that are fully monetized. I find the money making aspects too often get in the way of good content.

Further, I grow tired of the constant mental narration! When I’m not actively writing essays for the blog, I’m composing them, trying out topics, phrases, and themes as I go about my daily work. At times, I feel as if everything I do serves more to feed the blog than perpetuate our lifestyle. When it works, it works extremely well. Other times, the composition becomes a weird, distracting ear worm that haunts me even in the some of the most soul-soothing, inspiring moments of my life. When it’s not working, it diminishes the sacrality of the moment. I’ve long felt this way, as reflected in the post, Expressing Life Vs. Living It, from 2011.

When I started the blog, I made sure to post every single day for the first year of publication. Even after that, I continued daily posts for a long time before backing off to every other day. It has become an appointment I have to keep—a deadline, one of the most hated concepts on our homestead!

Eventually the family decided to return to blogging, with some changes. We’re going to back off a bit, try posting every two days for a while. Actually, I started this before the hiatus, in the third week of October. No one mentioned it, so it must be often enough.

This will help me reconnect with the vast portion of my life that has not been, and probably never will be, fodder for this blog. It will allow me to catch up on the blog itself, and improve the Website it supports, which has long been woefully neglected. It will free my thoughts to consider other topics, to ground myself in the life we choose to lead, to think and dream in directions other than writing.

If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll likely see more links back to earlier essays from among the more than 1600 on this blog. I try to do that to engage on “off-post” days, but it’s hard to keep up. Let’s see how I do. You’ll also likely see more posts promoting our merchandise. I have to step that up to justify the time we put into it.

With a looser deadline schedule, I will hopefully focus even more on content, without the pressures of frequency. Please let us know how it’s working for you.

And now, back to the blog . . . .

2 Responses to “The Way Forward”

  1. Jane DeHoog says:

    I’ve never thought of your blog, or any of the few others I read, as a commodity. I thought of them as letters from a friend who shares a bit of their lives with me. I’m sorry for misunderstanding the purpose of a blog and missing the fact that it is an income source for someone who needs it. I do understand your needing to focus your time and energy to providing for your family. Thank you for the pleasure of knowing you, your family, and your unique life style.

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    Jane, I tend not to think of it as a commodity either. That’s kind of my problem! Don’t worry, though, it will always and foremost be what you describe, a letter from a friend. Or, more accurately, considering our original intent, a family member. Sadly, few family members use it to keep up on what we do–it’s mostly friends!

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