Horizons

WM pink and gray Rev3

Next week will be my last William Morris Project post for a while, possibly the summer. I may extend my hiatus into Fall or longer. If I do something over the summer I will post it, but there is no set schedule. There are a few reasons for this. First, the summer is a time for fun and relaxation. I want to spend it with the boys as much as I can. Second, after almost 2 years, I’m reaching the point where projects need to be redone. Reorganizing a drawer I organized last year is a legitimate project, but it’s not an interesting project. I don’t want to bore you or myself. Third, the untouched projects I do have left are labor intensive and expensive. It’s not in my budget to gut remodel three bathrooms, and I won’t do a cheap or poorly executed remodel for the sake of blog content. Fourth, the boys’ school asked me to volunteer 2-3 days per week in the library next year. This is where the “extend into Fall or longer” comes in.

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I have never committed to another hobby the way I have committed to blogging. My blog began as a gift from a friend, and I never thought I would stick with it–hence the stupid name.

[Quick tip: if you ever consider blogging but can’t come up with a name, then for the love of everything holy, use your name until you think of something better. Or not. Just don’t pull a name out of thin air because years later you’ll hate everything about it. This probably sounds obvious, but 6 years ago it wasn’t. Clearly.]

Almost six years later, here I am! I still love it, but this year was weird. I started getting frustrated and feeling intolerant towards the industry. I disagreed with and was disillusioned by some common business practices. I had no desire to keep up; I still don’t. I’m getting annoyed and when I get annoyed my go-to response is to sharpen my tongue on the flank of those whom I find annoying. That’s no good. I want to make sure that what I put out there serves a positive purpose to someone, even if it’s just myself. No one likes a know-it-all jerk.

The volunteer position at the library is a huge time commitment. I won’t be paid for my time, at least not initially. I haven’t decided what to do, although I’m leaning towards taking the job. It will be good for me to be around the students and books, and so long as the parents and school value enthusiasm and passion for reading over actual library experience, I think it will be good for the students, too.

I debated whether I should stop blogging come Fall, but several people–including the Mister–said it was a terrible idea. A reduced or reworked blogging schedule is one thing, but stopping altogether is unrealistic and most likely impossible. I’ve thought about it, and they’re right. I enjoy the community we have here too much to stop.

Over the summer I will figure out what the next year will bring in terms of what I write here. Of course, my 365 project will keep going strong. The William Morris Project will continue, perhaps at a slower pace. I guess everything will remain the same with the exception of the more personal stuff. The boys are getting older. There are so many wonderful stories I want to share, but I don’t. What I find cute today, the boys may find humiliating in high school. I err on the side of caution because I don’t want to be that mom, the one who posts pictures of her kids on the toilet or naked because they look so cute. (#flank)

I’ve reread what I’ve written here several times, and it doesn’t look like I’ve done a good job being honest without sounding whiny. You’ll have to take me at my word: I’m not a despondent mess rocking gently in the corner bemoaning that no one understands me. I didn’t write this in hopes of getting pinned/tweeted/commented/stroked and I’m not starting a movement with a hashtag. (#flank) I started this post thinking I would leave it to one sentence, but my brain had too many words and they had to come out. I’ll end with the sentence I planned to use as my beginning:

Hey, I’m going to William Morris my blog.

Comments
76 Responses to “Horizons”
  1. Katherine says:

    I keep hearing from people who don’t like their blog name. Didn’t know you disliked yours… I think it’s funny. But I see the merit of just using your name and keeping it simple.

    I’m glad you’re going to continue blogging. I’ve trimmed back my blog reading significantly but kept yours because I like how you write as if you’re talking. It’s not flowerly (I can’t handle flowerly writing), it is straight-forward and frank. And enjoyable.

    So- glad you’re cutting back on things you don’t want to do anymore (Wm Morris project) but sticking around overall.

    • Jules says:

      Good Lord, I hate it with the fire of 1,000 suns. If I had a nickel for every time I had to tell someone at Mom 2.0 that I was not a food blog….

      p.s. I can’t stand flowery writing. I think it’s funny they call it purple prose since purple is one of my least favorite colors. I couldn’t think of a better description for it!

  2. Although I’ve been blogging for a much shorter time, I can relate to much of what you’ve written here. Found myself feeling the same sorts of frustrations at the end of last summer. Let go of ideas about making the blog a business. Decided to enjoy it for what it really is: A way to scratch my creative itches and connect with like-minded people. (As opposed to: A vehicle for feeding my family.) I gave myself permission to blog in “unprofessional” ways. I do the social media stuff I want to and mostly let go of the rest. I publish when I can (which lately is only about once a week). I’m still learning and honing skills–my primary objectives when starting–and think it’s great if the blog leads to opportunities to use them, but I’m not doing it for some kind of payoff.

    And two more things: I wish I had a different blog name, too. And you’re so smart to realize that much of your boys’ stories might not be yours to tell. When we started, we intended to write more about family stuff. Quickly realized I couldn’t. One child has expressly asked not to be mentioned or pictured in the blog any more, prompted by an image search at school (by another kid) that brought up a photo from his toddler years. I thought it was adorable. He did not share my opinion.

    Maybe what you need to be considering is a new and different type of blog? Maybe the library work will lead you in that direction? I’d say: Keep following (and doing) what feels right. It will all fall into place.

    • Jules says:

      I’ve been considering a new blog, though my husband and a few other people I’ve mentioned it to all think it’s a bad idea. I think the library work will point me in the direction I need to go–I hope! :)

      I always knew my time writing about the boys would be short, but it was never so clear as it was this year with Mikey. He’s growing up!

      • Samma says:

        I love that you share with us, and am glad I found you via YHL blogroll. But I never take for granted that you’ve opened yourself to random strangers. It’s clear to me you enjoy having a forum to express yourself, and that you do so thoughtfully, honestly, and openly is why I keep coming back.
        I guess what I’m saying is, it seems to me you blog for YOU, not me/us, and that’s why I/we appreciate you!. If you change your blog, I’m sure I’ll follow. But I also love the name. Frankly, it’s a clear statement that this is not a blog to be categorized into some narrow little niche, and that’s a good thing!

        • Jules says:

          Thanks, Samma. I never thought of my blog name as a statement against status quo, but I like that idea and will cling to it mightily. I’ll have to pretend that was my intention with the name all along. ;)

  3. Kate says:

    I love that you are going to William Morris your blog. Enjoy your summer (and maybe longer).

  4. missie says:

    1. I love your blog name
    2. You inspire me all the time
    3. Take all the time you need
    4. Hoping you don’t quit altogether, you are a terrific writer.

  5. heather says:

    1. Do not stop blogging.
    2. Definitely enjoy your summer.
    3. Enjoy the blog revamping.
    4. Look forward to seeing what comes next.
    –Heather

  6. Kathy says:

    You are a kindred soul out in the Inland Empire of California. ( I can’t believe you get to live in CALIFORNIA!). I would be sad if your voice disappeared from my Internet world. I look forward to your posts so much ( and I know, you’re not saying you’re quitting).

    Your William Morris posts have inspired new daily habits. I was hoping your walking project would too – but it’s so haaaaaard to walk daily in cold, rainy Illinois – ;). But I think I will eventually even do that and you will have been the inspiration.

    I love hearing about your boys, but that is not why I read your blog. I would read your blog if you were discussing the phone book.

  7. Tanja says:

    “I started getting frustrated and feeling intolerant towards the industry. I disagreed with and was disillusioned by some common business practices. I had no desire to keep up; I still don’t.”

    Well spoken, Jules!
    As a reader I more and more prefer reading blogs who are not totally part of this what you called “industry”. I’m always looking forward to coming to your little corner of this huge blogging world!

    • Jules says:

      Andrea and I were at Mom 2.0 together when a speaker said something that made me roll my eyes and mutter. Andrea turned to me and said, “Would you stop? Someone is going to see you.” I told her I couldn’t help it. I have a severe, level III allergy to bullshit.

      She is right–I do need to work on my poker face. I’ll start on Monday.

  8. I think the library job sounds great. I see what my daughter picks up at the library without the assistance of someone who has the time and the love of books to help guide her (mostly Barbie paperbacks!) and I can really see the value you would bring to those kids and the school. Good luck, whatever you end up deciding :)

    And I’m over my blog name, too!

    • Jules says:

      When I worked in the library two years ago, all the kids were checking out princess books or Goosebumps. I almost had a nervous breakdown.

      • Erin says:

        I think my fantasy life involves quitting the law, raising two boys and becoming a children’s librarian while writing my children’s book. Basically, you are a living my fantasy and so I want to keep reading about it! :o)

  9. Kathy says:

    Oh! I did want to say though, congratulations on being offered the library position!

  10. Sarah says:

    Life leads us in directions we don’t expect. It only makes sense that your blog follow that path. If you tried to blog the same way you have for years, even though your life has changed, it would fall flat. It’s not hard to tell when a blogger feels forced to produce material. I think you and your readers will all be happier to follow you, if you are at peace with the changes. Thank you for stating all of this on your blog. It’s nice to know where you are in the process, and to actually have a view into the process. I don’t blog, so I have no idea about the industry side of things. But, I think it’s interesting to see how blogging changes in it’s demands and expectations of the readers and the industry. I’m not sure if I just made sense… Bottom line— write for you!

    • Jules says:

      I know readers aren’t dumb; they can tell when something is up. I’m a reader, and I can tell. It only makes sense for me to share what’s on my mind. First, it’s transparent and honest. Second, I’m always open to advice, especially since I’ve cultivated a community of pretty damn smart people.

      It annoys me when a blogger withholds information that isn’t of a private or personal nature or misrepresents the truth. Also, it’s shortsighted. You can pretend to be building a community if you’re treating people like strangers.

  11. Kristy says:

    Your voice is real, honest, witty, and sarcastic and I enjoy hearing your voice. I believe you respect your boys and just truly honour who they are. But yes, sooner or later they may not want to be “out there in cyber world” and the mere fact that you get that is wise and you will know how to handle those steps as they come. Your walking commitment is something I have incorporated into my life, without realizing it. I had an appendectomy in April and decided when I was well enough that I would walk every day, rain or shine. Then I thought one day, hey that feels similar to that blog! Subconscious inspiration!! I love your blog name, because it says everything that represents your blog. It isn’t one thing or another; you don’t have to commit to one topic. If you feel like writing about family you do. If you feel like writing about a book you do. If you feel like having pancakes and French fries, you do.
    Keep following your soul’s voice … and don’t worry about us floating in cyber world. Blogs or no blogs we would all be just fine.

    • Jules says:

      See, you all get what my blog name is about. But then I tell it to a stranger and they’re all….HUH?

      I’m glad you’re walking and that I could be a small part of that! And you hit the nail on the head with your last sentence. :)

  12. Fairfax Avenue says:

    I think Kathy said it perfectly, “I would read your blog if you were discussing the phone book.” And, of course, it’s YOUR blog – you call the shots. Changes are expected, and the most important thing is that they are positive for you.

  13. Courtney says:

    Thank you for being real about life and blogging, and how those go together. I am taking the summer to “William Morris my blog,” too. (Absolutely love how you put that.) I’ve often wondered, “How do you do it all?” I admire your honesty about home projects needing to be redone or just being too big. I get that. Also, I appreciate your admission that summertime with young children sometimes requires a change in work schedules, AND that you find parts of the blogging world annoying. Me, too! So, here’s to figuring it out. If you have any epiphanies, will you please share them? :)

    • Jules says:

      Of course! I’m also going to share how I do it all, because I don’t.

      1. My husband does laundry, I put it away.

      2.He works a lot. Too much. He was laid off a few years ago and he doesn’t ever want to feel out of control like that again, so he puts in a lot of hours pouring over financial reports at night. He does that while I blog, so it works out. This allows me to do other stuff during the day, whereas most SAHM try to blog during the day. This is a big one!

      3. His new job has him traveling a lot, which gives me even more time to blog at night.

      4. I don’t sleep very much, but that’s not a good thing–I’m working on that.

      5. With this schedule we got a lawn service and a woman to clean the house 2x per month (we’ve had her a few months). I haven’t said anything because I wasn’t sure if it was going to work once our tuition bills came up again. Still not sure, though the lawn service is a must. He can’t do it now, and I don’t have the time or desire to add lawn maintenance to my to-do list.

      6. Lists. If I write out a list of things to do, I stand a good chance of getting a lot of it done. I love striking items off a list–I’m competitive, even when it’s against myself. Without a list, I am guaranteed a day of minimum productivity.

      7. The William Morris Project taught me that things never take as long as you think they will. There have been projects I have put off for years that ended up taking 20 minutes. So, if it seems like I do a lot it’s possible it’s because what I do seems like it would take longer than it really does.

      • Courtney says:

        Thanks for this. I always find a “day in the life” snippet helpful and interesting. Our days look similar – many of the same parts just moving around at different times.

  14. I agree with Sarah, that life takes us on many adventures, not always what we expect. You are a terrific writer and your blogs are fun to read and I’ve gotten quite a bit from the William Morris blog. His quote is on my refrigerator as a reminder. Back in 2006, after a year of very intense chemo, I was feeling better and had decided I wasn’t about to die right away,( believe me you think you are). I went into our little branch library and there was a small announcement for a part time job. Well, I got that job and it has been the best job I ever had. Hindsight is 20/20, but I sure wish I had gone into library science back in the days. So , as I said, you never know what life is going to give you . It’s all about the journey and being present!

    • Jules says:

      Years ago I debated between a degree in library science and law. I chose law. After that, I almost went on to get a degree in law library science, but that’s too much education and too specific a job for me at this time.

      • LauraC says:

        When I got my MLIS, I was SHOCKED at how many different jobs there were in the field, and how varied they all were. So wish I would have had a clue in high school back when I only knew of teacher, doctor, nurse, lawyer, etc job possibilities. I’m going to make sure my kids have a wider view when they’re seniors. (A long, long, long time from now. ;))

  15. Shannon says:

    Jules, I would be so sad if you left blogging. As I prepare for Google Reader to go away your’s in one of a handful of blogs I’ll continue to seek out & read. Your writing is SO honest & inspiring. I truly appreciate that you aren’t drinking the industry kool-aide ~ you share pictures & thoughts on normal life. You aren’t another glossy magazine encouraging me to run out & shop to fill a void or one demanding I minimize my possessions to some arbitrary number that will magically make me content. Those blogs EXHAUST me anymore. I imitated your medical boxes yesterday and found it do able and event patted myself on the back for accomplishing it, rather than freaking out that it doesn’t live up (to who/whom I’m not sure, but that feeling is often there!) Your project are attainable and I can’t tell you how I appreciate that!

    I also LOVE that you are going to be working in the boys’ library. I did that last year for a few hours a week and thoroughly enjoyed it. There is something so magical about turning a kids onto a series or watching them delve deeper than a PHD student on a subject that has caught their fancy. You’ll love it.

    Please, please, PLEASE don’t be gone too long!

  16. Catalina says:

    Jules,
    I’m here to echo others’ comments: I’ll keep reading no matter what you write.
    I can’t say I don’t love WMP (I do! Will you do another month-long commitment in October?), or Stuff Mikey/Nico Say, vol. 2 billion, but everything you write is great, and it’s better for you when its not forced.
    As far as writing about the boys, I love the way you do it, and so far can’t imagine them finding any of it offensive, but I get that as they get older the boundaries need to be bigger. Eventually, all this writing and photos becomes less adorable and quirky, and more annoying and embarrassing. Until they reach adulthood and love it again. There’s always the possibility of making posts about them (old ones even) private, or deleting them, we’d all understand.
    I never find you complain-y, I guess we are our own biggest critic.
    All this rambling is to say, in the words of someone great (Bob Dylan?): Keep On Keeping On.

    • Jules says:

      I know in my heart they will love it when they are adults–just not when they’re teens! :) I don’t know if I will do another 30 days in October. I doubt I would be able to if I’m in the library 2-3 days per week, and the projects I have left would be cost prohibitive.

  17. Val says:

    Psh, please. No problem and I didn’t think you were remotely whiny.

    The “industry” is increasingly annoying to me as well. You’re an authentic bright spot in an increasingly commercial environment. And you’re not entirely alone on this — a few of my other favorite bloggers have had a stressful 2012/2013 with regards to “keeping up” and “Blogging” with a capital B. Many of them have expressed the same sentiments and are either taking it down a notch or taking some time off. It seems like everyone is being steadily divided into two camps: for profit (many of which I still enjoy) and not-so-much. Kind of a shame, but maybe inevitable.

    Things change, circumstances evolve, kids grow up; no reason YOUR blog shouldn’t change with you.

    Yours is one of a very few blogs that doesn’t make me feel bad about the fact that we are completely freaking broke and cannot go out and buy ________. (a statement necklace, the 25 essentials to any adult woman’s wardrobe, that awesome set of DVD storage binders, a brand new sectional, a ballin’ bathroom makeover, the services of an awesome landscape designer, the eco-friendly toy that will make my toddler a better person, etc., etc.) I’ll keep reading for that alone.

    (I also totally support snark and verbal flanking, even though I know it is in no way beneficial to society…)

    • Shannon says:

      EXACTLY! :D

      • Jules says:

        Please. A lot of the stuff other bloggers try to sell is them just trying to fill the hole instead of trying to figure out what’s missing. I was talking to a friend of mine the other day (another blogger who is getting annoyed with Blogging) and we agreed that everything changed when we allowed “business people” to control blogs. Heck, “business people” started blogs. The second people started blogs with the intention to make money is the second everything changed. It just took a while for it to catch up. Like with any young industry, there will be wild swings as it grows. I just don’t like the current direction it’s swinging.

        • I know I’ve said this before, but have to say it again: Who is the “we” that is allowing business people to “control” blogs? The bloggers I read regularly aren’t running a business. Yes, it’s made me a bit sad when I’ve happened upon a great young blog and I see it morph in response to growing popularity/monetizing opportunities. If they morph too much, I tend to let them go. But no one’s forcing me to stay. When I start feeling all crankypants about blogging, I remind myself that I can participate (as reader and writer) in whatever way I choose.

          • Jules says:

            The “we” isn’t you and it isn’t me, but there is a lot of it going around. The second I read a post about pinning during “peak hours” for maximum repinning, I knew blogging had irrevocably changed. Like you, I realize no one is forcing me to stay. That’s what this post is about, though it’s more of a reminder than it is a declaration.

  18. Heather P. says:

    Do what makes you happy. Your readers…the true, good ones…will respect you for it, even if it means we don’t hear from you as often. :-)

    Now get out there and enjoy your summer with the boys, and make sure they eat plenty of ice cream and have lots of awesome adventures!

  19. Jules, you’re doing the right thing.

    And maybe I’m projecting my own neuroses onto you, but I find it hard to just decide to let blogging fall where it will. It’s easier (in my type-A world) to either have a set schedule with goals and plans and stick to it or to decide to quit altogether. Take the middle road!

    I will say that I vastly prefer it when a blog I love takes a meandering path towards whatever structure works for the writer vs. a strategized approach that starts to feel impersonal quickly. It works great for some types of blogs, not so much for personal ones.

    • Jules says:

      Well, yeah, that’s how I am, too, which is why I wanted to stop altogether. My husband and friends had to remind me that I don’t have to toss the baby out with the bathwater just because I don’t have a set plan. The middle road is hard for someone like me, but I’m going to do it. I just thought I should be upfront about it. :)

  20. Gail says:

    What a great blog post, Jules. Whenever I start to get caught up in overthinking my blog (my commitment to it, the posts I’m putting out there) I try to remember why I started it in the first place. FOR MYSELF. It’s great you have an audience but my philosophy (and overarching goal) is that when you stop letting it drive what you do, that is the sweet spot of blogging.

    You’re so good at this and that is why you have an audience. And at this stage, it’s one that’s loyal enough that we’ll follow you likely regardless of what you’re writing about! It could just be book reviews and I’d definitely still keep tabs (though I’m not the best commenter, I do love your blog) :) Appreciate your honesty…I’m ALL about that these days on the Interweb!

    • Jules says:

      I don’t think I could only do book reviews! You follow me on Twitter–you know my mouth is far too big to keep it limited to just one subject. ;)

  21. Susan G says:

    How do you manage to make me laugh and smile even when you’re talking about a blogging commitment? :) You do whatever is best for you, of course, exceptpleasepleasepleasedon’tstopcompletely. In other words, what’s best for you AND what we want! The library job sounds great! Although I have a full-time office job, when my daughter was in grades 4-8 I took a 2-hour “lunch” once a week to teach an art-making class. I wouldn’t trade that time for anything – spending time with her and with her classmates and doing something for the school – it was worth eating lunch in the car and juggling schedules to do that. You will love it AND it will be great for the school – they are lucky to have you.

    And sharpen as needed. It’s nice to see someone being human. :)

    • Jules says:

      That’s what I think–that as much time as it takes away from me, I don’t think I’ll ever regret working in the library with the boys and the rest of the students.

  22. Kelly says:

    Good for you. I’m even crankier than you in general, but esp. about blogs lately. Design/lifestyle bloggers featuring the beautiful brands/experiences they’re getting as free swag is reallllly irritating to me on my stay-at-home budget. (Good for them though…right? I have to say that, or I’m evil.) ;-)

    You will never regret the time spent in a library, esp. one at the boys’ school — I’m jealous! And I understand about limiting content regarding the boys — my daughter just recently found out about my blog, and thinks it’s cool (but hasn’t done much poking around) — but she’ll be starting middle school in August. I have a feeling she’ll be changing her mind about even the minimal kid-content I post.

    • Jules says:

      Yeah, I’m just so cranky lately! I have a lot of stuff going on, lots of changes, so I think that might be contributing to it. Better to tone down the snark so that I’m not completely reviled by summer’s end. :)

  23. roni says:

    I used to follow a lot of blogs but now the list is very small. So many have become very showy and unrealistic. But your blog is definitely a favorite. I hope you keep writing, no matter the subject. You have a unique, wry voice that is like checking in on an old friend. I see self-published fiction in your future and you know we’re all rooting for you. I hope you take the position and keep on writing here. My dream job is map librarian but as all library funding is getting severely reduced, the dream will never be reality :) I understand the push/pull of keeping the boys’ life private. As my kids get older, there are less and less pics of them on Facebook. Your digests of the boys’ musings are a perfect balance. Enjoy your summer (and beyond)!

    • Jules says:

      Can I be totally needy and ask you what do you see me self publishing? Fiction? Nonfiction? I’m curious. I keep hearing this but as intuitive perceptive as I am, I have zero self awareness.

      • Erin says:

        I would love to read a book of short essays.. a memoir type, like Jennsylvania’s Bitter is the New Black but about the stuff you blog about (raising boys, walking, reading, etc).

        I personally come back because you can write full sentences, you’re not twee, you have good pictures, and all that jazz (found you from the sharpie incident). Will totally miss the William Morris posts but hope you have a fun filled summer!

        • Jules says:

          Thanks, Erin! I love that you come back because I write full sentences and am not twee. I hear you on both. {{shudder}}

          • roni says:

            I can see a Sedaris-type short essays book. I know there’s a glut of memoirs right now and I’ve been disappointed by a few…but I think you could do it all. Personal essays with lists/how-to’s/photography interspersed. Or maybe an illustrated diary like Amy Poehler’s supposed to be coming out with! I identify most with your struggle to live simply and raise kids in our modern world. You’ve cured me of my dependence of all things Container Store. I donate first, then organize. Useful and/or beautiful has become a mantra. Thank you!

        • Samma says:

          I can also see you doing regular book review columns for a blog, magazine, NPR, or other ‘less fluffy’ content-provider. I love the thoughtfulness you put into your summaries and comments in the Book Club readings, as well as the other places commentary on books comes up.

  24. Lisa in Seattle says:

    I just wish you could see yourself and your blog as we do. We say it and say it, but I’m not sure the message is received. So many of these bloggers, I’m like “oh you’ve got a bunch of sponsors and an e-book deal, cool story bro, but if I read one more post Sponsored! By! Frog-tape!, I will scream.” (#flankindeed) They are bloggers, but you are a writer. A Writer.

    You’re not coming across as whiny or despondent at all, but it seems like you are doubting the value of expressing your brilliant, original voice in a sea of increasingly ridiculous home/shelter blogs, and I feel sad about that. I completely understand being fed up with the direction Blogs Inc. is going. It was so exciting several years ago to see so many wonderful, funny, talented women suddenly having a place to share their thoughts about life and how they’re living it. Now I am pretty cynical about the marginalization of yet one more thing that women create for themselves. By all means, take a break if your schedule gets crazy, but please don’t ever let anybody or anything drive you away. (That goes for you too, Rita! ::waves::)

    • Waving back! Thanks, Lisa. :-)

    • Jules says:

      I don’t know that I would call my voice brilliant or original, but I do doubt my purpose as my interests and value continue to fall out of alignment with the direction the blogging industry moves towards. To be clear, because I don’t want to come across as righteous, I don’t think it’s wrong to make a living blogging, nor do I think the glossy magazine style blogs are inherently bad. They just aren’t why I started blogging, and they aren’t what I look for in a blog. If that is the direction blogging is heading, that’s perfectly fine. I’ll just go in a different direction. It’s kind of like dating. Just because the guy isn’t right for the girl, doesn’t mean he isn’t right for anyone else.

  25. Hallie says:

    I want you to do what you want and need to do…and I don’t want you to go.

    p.s. i like seeing organized drawers. even the second time around.

  26. Suzanne says:

    I just devoured this post (and every single comment that followed). Thank you for writing it.

    I shuttered my blog in December because I felt much the same as you describe here. And I was waaaay caught up in writing for others, meeting self-imposed deadlines and competing for sponsored posts. I despised my blog’s name (pretty swell) — especially saying it out loud! Above all, though, the blog started taking me away from my kids in too many ways. So I just stopped. It was a knee-jerk response to feelings that had been simmering for well over a year.

    I avoided all internet during the holidays. I felt like a new person. Then, after a few months, I began to miss it. The creative outlet. The community. But not all the bullshit. So I started something new. Much smaller. I didn’t turn on my stats. I’m not joining any networks, running ads, or trying to land silly sponsored posts. I actually blogged for about a month in secret before I told my little village. That was my favorite time, actually. Because while I love what I’m doing with my new site, those old feelings are hard to repress (do people like this? is this what other bloggers are doing? how is this relevant to anyone but me?).

    I still don’t know what I’m doing, but this new approach feels better. Lighter. And now I feel like I have all the time in the world for my girls.

    I love your space here, and I totally understand wanting to walk away and start fresh. I guess I can report from the other side that it’s not too painful. :)

    Can’t wait to see where your path leads!

  27. Amy says:

    I know, I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but it’s the name of your blog that brought me here . . . it was something different. Then, once I learned the back story, I loved it all the more!

    All I’ve got to say is, it’s a good thing I was not with you at Mom 2.0. I am just a tad too feisty when it comes to such shenanigans. Holy crap . . . I just can’t even . . . see?! It’s been roughly forever and I’m still riled . . . AND I WASN’T EVEN THERE!

    On a brighter note, congrats on the library job! So exciting . . .

  28. Miranda says:

    Oh Jules, I read you everyday. I love hearing about your life, and your boys, and your hillarious, dry, sarcastic wit feels like an old friend to me. I am not just stroking you, but genuinley praising someone who inspired me to start blogging for the sheer writing and creativity of it. And you make me read books…that is always good :)

  29. Monica says:

    You have written so many poignant posts and I am sure that you have many more words in your brain that need to come out. I am glad that you will be sticking around (thank you Mister and friends) and sharing them here.

  30. Stacey says:

    Can I add to your fan base? You have a wonderful,dry, funny and authentic voice. I am glad you’ll keep writing. I love your William Morris projects, and the fact that you are so real…Maybe I relate as a fellow house-poor Californian, many of the over the top houses in blogland are in much less pricey parts of the country. I am retiring from teaching in a week, never went into admin because, like you, I have a low tolerance for BS. Can’t wait to get to some of my neglected William Morris projects though!

  31. May says:

    Finding the William Morris Project made things gel in my mind about what I have always attempted to make my home be. Having the philosophy put into words has made it infinitely easier to intentionally incorporate it into my lifestyle. Having the community of like-minded folks to share with each week is incredibly motivating. To not have the weekly community will truly represent a loss for me. I am so grateful to all you have done to keep it going. Thank you.

  32. Lisa says:

    As others have said, I would read you discussing the phone book. And (obviously) I am in the same boat of hating my blog name (if I could come up with something better, I would, but I haven’t, so here I drift). I never thought I’d have anyone more than my sisters reading.

    Anyhoo, I love your blog and will keep reading at whatever pace you decide to write. Enjoy your summer with the boys.

  33. I have been in the same blogging slump. There are other, extenuating circumstances (major changes at work), but a big part of it was that I was tired of the same-ness in the blogging world. I took a big step back and went days (DAYS) without publishing a post. Sometimes all I could manage was one post a week, and only because it was about a project that I care about completing this year. I’m at peace with it now. I’m pretty sure no one is reading my blog anymore, and that is OK with me.

    It’s funny what happens when the crickets chirp. Now I’m only writing or sharing whatever I feel like. And you know what? I have posted every evening this week so far. Maybe I got my mojo back?!

    I say all of this to say, stepping away can be a good thing. Perspective.

    A few things:
    1. I cut back on the number of blogs I read, one of the good things to come out of the death of Google Reader. I only follow blogs that I actually enjoy instead of blogs that groupthink says I SHOULD enjoy. Don’t know why it took me so long to make that distinction. Your blog will always land in the genuine enjoyment category for me.
    2. I like your blog name very much, but if you change it I’m pretty sure we’d all still read it!
    3. I’ve decided that I will only read other blogs after I’ve written what I’m thinking about for the day, that way no one else’s ideas taint or affect mine or otherwise bum me out and psych me out of blogging. I cannot stress how freeing this has been to me. Thought I’d pass it along. ;-)

    • Juliette says:

      Just want to say that I LOVE this response! My own experience has been much the same. Totally and truly getting to the point where I don’t give a flying flip who is reading my blog has been massive for me in so many ways. I don’t know that it’s Jules’ issue or anything, but boy was it a part of mine!

  34. Juliette says:

    I am all for William Morris-ing a blog. I’ve been slowing doing this myself and it’s been freeing. I still have a long way to go. I think we go through phases, and that’s normal and ok. I also think we can get stuck in ruts and not know it.

    And yeah, I feel like blogging has started to divide itself into the two camps (profit or not). The ones who go for the profit route often -but not always- get dropped from my reading b/c it’s just too-too somehow. It’s a hard line to walk. As a hobby blogger I just can’t even imagine how hard. But still, I don’t want to read ads, sorry. <— And why do I apologize for that? Typical.

    I think we're going to see some blogs go back to their core, like the LiveJournal days, lol. In some ways I think we should all do that to a degree. A reduction of our blogging juices. Filter out the noise. Cut the crap.

    I like your blog. I like the title because it's not trying too hard. I like your writing. A lot. I'm subscribed and will stay subscribed and will look forward to any updates you feel are worth posting, simply because they will be worth posting. I'm also pretty sure you rock the school library and am glad to see you involved. Kids need to be surrounded by adults who truly have childrens' best interests at heart. They also need to be surrounded by books. =D

  35. Devon says:

    I kept my Pancakes and French Fries tab open for a long time yesterday intending to comment on this, but I didn’t because I ALWAYS hesitate to comment on blogs because I am not a blogger. How silly is that?

    I just want to tell you how much I admire you and the choices you make for your boys. I am a new mom, and the first post I read of yours was your decision to stay home with Mikey, and that was HUGE for me. You have no idea how much I needed to read that at the time. I love that you share little snippets of their personalities (Nico singing the Beatles? Be still my heart!) without gushing out of control and posting ten million pictures. I completely respect your decision to reign that in, and I hope that I am able to keep my son’s future feelings at the forefront of all I do as well :)

    • Jules says:

      It’s a little silly, but not as uncommon as you would think! I get emails from people often who aren’t comfortable leaving a comment because they don’t have a blog. Never feel uncomfortable!

      Thank you for the wonderful comment. You’re very kind. :)

  36. Debbie says:

    I love your blog; it’s honest and real, and I love reading about your boys. The things they say are priceless. My kids are grown and have left the nest, so reading about yours makes me smile and remember when mine were that small. I also really appreciate your sharing about your William Morris projects. You have inspired me to go through my house and take a good look at what I have and why I have it. I am going to be starting this project this summer while I am not in college classes. Thanks again for sharing!

Leave A Comment

Hi! I’m Jules.

I used to be an attorney, but it made me grumpy. Now I write about life, sweet and savory, as a wife and mother to two small boys. My knowledge of dinosaurs knows no bounds.

You can read more, including the meaning behind the name Pancakes and French Fries here. And, yes, I really am phenomenally indecisive.