A lot has changed since 2019 ended.
On Jan. 1, I began working from home after having been “downsized” from my full-time job. I’m still employed by the company I’ve worked for since 2015, but now my status is “on call,” and I love that!
I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to find my “new normal.” I floundered around for a while — shuffling things around on my desk, writing a little on my book, updating my freelance editing profile on LinkedIn, researching some income streams and feeling a little off kilter (but free!) because of the new schedule — but I finally got serious and grabbed my Google Calendar. Now I have my daily schedule laid out, and it feels good.
The blog content is about to change, and I’m going to be on a regular schedule instead of this sporadic stuff I’ve been playing around with. Really. I have it on my Google Calendar. 🙂
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In a sense, I’m going back to my blogging roots. When I began this journey in 2007, I posted at Suzy & Spice whatever struck my fancy. Sometimes that included book reviews, sometimes recipes, sometimes goofy stories about my life. I’ll still sprinkle in goofy stories (I live to put a smile on your face), but this space at SuzyOakley.com will be more focused than that. It will be more akin to what I started posting at To Well With You in 2015, including productivity tips, admonitions to get more sleep and take care of your body (preaching to myself, too), inspiration for living life to the fullest, and things I’m creating for an Etsy shop I’m about to open. (Jesus will still show up here, too; that’s not gonna change.)
The blogging experts say you have to “niche down” to be successful, and I get that; if you narrow your target audience, you’ll serve your readers better because you’re not wasting time on what they don’t need or want.
That’s why I need your help. I need feedback on what you want and what you’re not interested in. At the end of this month, I’ll send out a survey. In it, you can tell me what has hit home with you in the content I’m putting out between now and that date … and what you don’t care about. But feel free to browse the list below and give me feedback today.
For now, here’s how we’re moving forward at SuzyOakley.com:
1) Ways to get organized. I’m implementing a new system to get my nightmare of papers under control (the influx just never seems to stop), so I’ll share that method with you soon.
2) Printable things. I like to make checklists and trackers and stuff that helps me stay organized, and I get giddy sharing them with others. I’m actually working on one right now, but here’s one I quickly threw together. It’s a very basic menu planner that you can download as a PDF. I also have a grocery shopping list and menu planner in one, but it’s still a work in progress. Feel free to leave a comment telling me what types of planners and printables you’d like me to create, or would you like me to teach you how to make your own?
3) Budgeting tips. I’m a certified budget coach, and I’ve been a crazy spreadsheet nerd for many years. I like sharing ways to help you live within your means. (We don’t have to call it a budget if that word gives you hives. 😊)
4) Tech tips. I share things such as keyboard shortcuts, productivity apps and other ways to make your electronic life more efficient — that’s another thing that makes me giddy. (I’m the queen of keyboard shortcuts. Just sayin’.)
5) Word nerdery. I’m reviving my freelance editing biz and adding copwriting to my arsenal. I’ll share grammar tips and other fun stuff to help you write your own stuff. You may not have a blog (or maybe you do), but I bet you have to do some kind of writing in your everyday life. Let me help you with that. I’ll make it fun — I promise!
6) Tutorials. I’m not sure with what yet, but I’d like to up my game on YouTube. My sad little three videos are ancient in internet years. 🙂 I want to demonstrate fun and easy ways to do things. Let me know what you’d like to see me demonstrate on YouTube.
7) My feeble (but brave!) attempts at art, such as hand lettering, drawing, photography, maybe some watercolor painting and other stuff I’m trying. I’ve been wanting to take a pottery class in, like, forever. I took one in college and loved it. I wasn’t good at it, but I had fun.
8) Crafts. I used to sew, quilt, do counted cross-stitch, embroider, so many needle and fabric arts. Gonna explore some of that again (some, not all). I signed up for a free trial at Creative Bug, and I’m fascinated with all the classes! If you’d like to try that out, click here to use my referral code. I think I get a credit for people who sign up for the free trial; not really sure how that works, but it’s not an affiliate link and I don’t earn any money if you give it a try. 🙂 Also, I bought a Cricut die-cutting machine, and I have tons of ideas for my Etsy shop, starting with greeting cards.
9) Book recommendations and reviews. I’m working on my second novel and have lots of author friends I like to support, but I also just LOVE BOOKS. (You probably knew that.) I’ll write reviews, including one for the book I just finished, and might recommend some I haven’t read if I know and trust the author to give you a great reading experience. I also will have the occasional interview with an author. NOTE: I have a second email list that’s strictly book-related. It’s for folks who’d like to hear about book deals, new authors, contests, promotions and other book news. And those people will be the first (besides my family and friends) to know when I publish my next book. Click here if you’re a fellow book nerd, or just scroll to the sign-up form in the sidebar of this website.
10) Recipes. Maybe. Most of my recipes will be gluten- and dairy-free (because that’s how me and my autoimmune disease roll nowadays), but occasionally I might share something that you can eat, even if I can’t eat it. 🙂
11) Content that YOU suggest. This space is about you. Tell me what you want.
I tried to think of a category to put “Scripture” in, but, really, it will be mingled in among all the categories. I’ll do printables, create art and share challenges (like memorizing verses), plus whatever else I can think of. But Jesus will be at the heart of everything that goes on here.
So tell me what you think. Does this new direction seem more practical to you — closer to what you need in this season of your life?
Please send me feedback!