SoftThistle Life

Five Tips on Getting Back to Blogging After An Extended Break

BloggingMarylin MuirComment

I've been blogging on and off for nearly 8 years now, and I've learned a few things about taking a step back from the world of blogging. 

In fact, I've learned a lot more in the last month or so about how to get my blogging mojo back than I've felt it in years. You know what I mean, that urgency to want to share things on your blog... the way sometimes it. Just. Stops. 

Life gets in the way, you drop the ball for a week, then another, before you know it a whole month has gone by, two... three... in my case, my latest burn out came last November and that was me till June. 

Eight months without blogging. 

SACRILEGE!! 

But then again, who doesn't drop the ball with their hobbies when shit gets real, am I right? 

Thing is, it can be really overwhelming to start up again. 

I had pretty much stopped using most forms of social media other than Facebook for chatting to friends. 

So here are five tips I've found helpful to get me started with ideas and get that blogging muse back up and running!

  1. Have a good look at the categories on your blog. Try to cut them down to between say 4-7 that can be used prominently... trust me that will make the next bit a lot easier!
  2. Now that you've got your 4-7 categories, Get some paper and pens out, a notebook, whatever you like to write with... you're going to make some mind-maps! (stick with me here... I'm not a big mind map fan myself, but it WORKS!)
  3. Brainstorm blog post for 10 minutes on each category. 
  4. Get yourself an editorial calendar and start plugging in those posts! 
  5. Get yourself on Buffer and use their power scheduler to arrange how many tweets and what you'd like them to say. Switch it up a little with quotes from the post you're promoting, and use pictures - people love pretty visuals! 

I've done all of the above (I ended up taking about 20 minutes on each of my 5 (or is it 6? I can't remember!) and now have enough content ideas to last me into the new year and feel focused and relaxed about my blog now instead of freaking out about ALL THE THINGS I need to do! 

Hope this helps, and hit me up with any questions if you have them, I'd love to be able to help if I can! 

Taking Stock

Marylin Muir12 Comments

Long time readers (the 2 of you left: omg you rock! I love you!) may have gathered that there's been a bit of a change of pace here, as well as a domain name update over the last few weeks. 

I think there comes a point in every mum-blogger's life when a change in content and pace happens. The children get older, you start to have a little bit more time to yourself, and if nothing else, you get more sleep than you did when they were babes. {Not so much as "normal" in this case as Max still wakes 2-3 nights a week (yay autism), but now he's old enough to mostly amuse himself so I can doze next to him instead of having to be up-and-awake enough to stop him shoving a pencil up his nose or something similar. But I do get lie in's as he and Zack sort their own breakfasts and then hit the gaming and cartoons in the mornings now! Anyway... random asides aside.}

What I mean is, these things like actually having the opportunity to have a bath without being interrupted every 30 seconds, going to the toilet in peace and generally having children who are content to play video games while you get to hide in the kitchen and eat a whole bar of chocolate without being detected starts to become a little more of a regular thing. 

In essence, once the kids go to school, life changes and all of a sudden you can actually think about yourself, often for the first time since you became a mother. 

With that in mind, I felt the need to expand a little with my blog. 

Writing about (and photographing) the things that interest me are going to play a larger part, rather than the (very) occasional update of the kids, myself and the dog (and cat! Sorry Milo!). They will continue - maybe a little less frequently than before, and with different topics peppered in between.

Like my obsession for stationery and anything planner related

My ever evolving understanding of myself, my beliefs and my spirituality (woo-woo lovers unite!!). 

And a sudden urge to actually try to take care of my appearance and skin, actually using make up (I'm as shocked as you are with that... but honestly, I have WRINKLES and I'm only 31. Fuck! That's not supposed to happen till I get older!).

So these are the sort of things you'll be hearing about from me on the blog from now on. I hope you'll get comfy and open the gin. I'm back and am creating my life my way, and sharing the process along the way. Happy Monday all! 😘

There's nothing better than a Stationery Haul!

Marylin Muir8 Comments

I was really only going to buy a new desk pad when I logged onto the Paperchase website. Honestly. 

I only had a couple of sheets left of my previous one, so I really genuinely did need to get a new one....

But then there was free delivery if you spent £25. 

And that's a total bargain really... right? *cough* 

Annnyway... here's what I got: 

Raindrops desk pad £7.00- as I said, I was needing a new one, and I liked the simpleness of this. I can easily put a schedule in for each day with the vertical layout, and there's space for notes along the bottom if I need it. There are 52 sheets, so this is enough to last a year! Or there abouts... I don't know about you but if I mess up a few things on the one sheet when I'm setting out the dates etc I need to start again! No one likes a messy calendar!

Wild Life city stickers £4.00- stickers for my planner decorating... obviously! These look quite retro which I like, and I'd been looking for something with the Eiffel Tower on it. Sorted!

Wild Aztec A4 subject notebook £7.00- The colours in this are gorgeous! I don't need a reason for a pretty notebook (#stationerynerd remember?) but this one really drew me in with the pretty pattern. The paper is great quality and the dividers are lush *and* removable. Score! I may end up turning one of the dividers into a dashboard for my planner at some point... 😉

Chloe Owls A5 thick notebook £6.00- yes, another notebook! This one is more for general lists and noting down random things I need to remember, from references for orders to phone numbers and addresses, along with the odd idea for a blog post if I can't find anything else to hand. I've had a similar one of these before and I love the narrower lined paper. It's perfect for my handwriting and I feel I can get more out of the page than those that have the really wide spaced lines. 

Arrow stickers £1.00- I chose these because I write a lot of notes out when I'm watching webinars or coming up with blog ideas. It can be so easy to lose the really important parts I want to remember, so these neon orange arrows are perfect to point me in the right direction (Haha! See what I did there? No...? Not funny? Oh...)

So all in all this lovely little delivery on Friday made my day... 

I may need to increase my storage at some point to make more room for all my pretties! 

What's your favourite brand when it comes to stationery? Let me know!