Every blogger is motivated to write for differing reasons. When I began blogging twelve years ago my initial impetus was to record glimpses of our family life and whilst that vision has shifted to encompass a bigger picture, much of the ‘family diary’ flavour remains. After spending the first couple of days of this year unable to recall what we actually did in 2016, half convinced we mush have just drifted through an entire year, I am rather grateful that I blog. Scrolling back through posts I was pleased to discover we didn’t drift, we did achieve, there was lots of living. Although it wasn’t a strong blogging year as I was in a writing slump much of the year, whilst some of that was due to ‘too busy living, no time to write,’ at least that’s what I kept telling my most loyal reader (PC) whenever he kept requesting more posts, there were other reasons, however first let’s have a look at the highlights I wrote this year.
- Kicked off 2016 chatting about Christmas 2015 in Sydney with our City lads and how we finished the year as tourists seeing the Sights of Sydney: experiencing trains and buses and the Sydney Aquarium, the Harbour Bridge, The Rocks, traveling on the trams, the Powerhouse Museum, St Mary’s Cathedral and the Royal Botanic Gardens, traveling on the Rivercat, Harbour Ferries and Taronga Zoo! We sure packed a lot in those three days!
- Talked about how Kon Mari worked in our large family and how the method helped us cull hundreds of books. I blitzed this house, I was on fire!
- Turned our attention to remodeling the interior of our original house. Prior to Christmas we ‘re-roofed’ the original home giving the external of our home an ‘all one house’ appearance. We now installed windows and clad the front of the house, then gutted some of the walls of the original home and then gutted some more and rebuilt walls in preparation for our new library. A huge job, but so exciting!
- Shared 9 pieces of wisdom learnt in our parenting, home education journey with 9 Tips For A New Homeschooler From An Old Homeschooler. Poured my soul into this piece of writing.
- Our Catholic Picture Book Collection for April, part of a series of posts I’m slowing working on. Eventually I’d like to share a a great line up of books for the entire liturgical year.
- Wrote How to Raise a Family of Readers as a guest poster. How we have fostered a love of reading within each of our children, interviewed our oldest seven for their thoughts which were fascinating, enlightening and heartening to hear.
- Focused energy towards the library, we lined and plastered the walls, then painted and laid the floorboards. Incredible progress and most exciting.
- Reminisced about how our Reading Basket has looked over the years and shared plans for Term 2.
- Sanding and coating the Library floor, then the momentous moment when we moved in and revealed our library to you!! 🙂 A thrilling day!! Still in love with our library.
- Chatted about all the family read alouds we’d enjoyed for the past five months.
June, October and December:
- Only wrote our monthly Daybook posts, a commitment I faithfully kept each month and a favourite posts for some readers. These posts are a closer glimpse of our day to day life and I also included pictures in here of events such as my brother’s Wedding and our beach holiday.
- Began my Large Family Logistics series with How We Daily Keep House, I enjoyed sharing our rhythm found and correspondence received indicated you enjoyed reading.
- Compiled a massive Australian Geography Unit that was extremely comprehensive, I knew we wouldn’t achieve all but will revisit periodically in the years to come.
- Turned our attentions to renovating our new kitchen. We removed an internal wall to enlarge our space, then removed both external walls and built wall frames, erected and clad new external walls. A massive undertaking bringing us much closer to our goal of a new kitchen 🙂
- Shared How We Manage Our Laundry, another for our Large Family Logistics series. Correspondence indicated great interest in our approach.
- Chatted about our family read alouds for the previous two months.
- 10 Homeschool Resources We Highly Recommend, golden finds from over the years, ‘cream of the crop’.
- An Australian booklist on The Land of the Dreamtime (prior to European contact.) My first of a series of Australian booklists to follow history chronologically, I thoroughly enjoyed researching this list, though admittedly it was a lot of work.
- Kitchen and dining room progress continued, the internal walls went up, gyprock on and walls were all plastered. The walls of three rooms were painted and the kitchen floor was laid, sanded and poly-urethaned. Finally the day the flat pack arrived and we began assembling the cabinets. Excitement was at an all time high.
- Compiled another Australian history booklist about the European Discovery of Australia. Most satisfactory to be finally moving on a long intended project.
- Interviewed our teens about 10 Things to See in Sydney on a Budget after they had been ‘let loose’ to explore the sights of Sydney on their own. It was intriguing to see what they choose to visit and listen to their impressions.
- Finally I was able to Reveal our Kitchen!! A momentous moment and we are extremely happy with this space, it looks so attractive and works well. We recently hosted 25 people for Boxing Day lunch and it was incredible to see how smoothly our new kitchen functioned.
- Plenty of book chat with our annual Leaping into Literature posts, we began our fourth year, dived deep and petered out, book posts are time consuming to write. Then began a new long intended book series on Catholic Literature with Catholic Fiction for 7-12 year olds.
- Concluded November with raving about the artistic talent Artventure has bought forth.
Thus ends The Year That Was. So what caused the writing slump? Last year and in part the year before I spent too much time researching and reading posts about ‘How to make your blog grow, stand out, be successful’ and designing and redesigning my ‘blog look’ and not enough time on writing actual content. According to all the ‘experts’ there’s a definitive list of how blogging should look today, this explains why the ‘successful bloggers’ are ‘succeeding,’ and so in an effort to ‘keep fresh’ I continually re-designed my ‘blog look’ whilst trying to discern my ‘new direction’. However I was so uncertain as to what my ‘new voice’ should be that I lost my voice, I lost confidence in what to write because it didn’t ‘fit’ with what ‘they’ said the new face of blogging should be. That I wish to change, I want my voice back.
Where to go forward from here? What will The Year That Will Be look like? Discerning why I wish to continue blogging today has been part of my ‘where to go from here’ process. A large part of my impetus to write continues to be a wish to record glimpses of our family life, too I desire to be of some assistance and encouragement to my readers by ‘sharing me’. So I won’t be setting the blogosphere on fire in 2017 whilst ‘growing my blog’, instead I’ll ignore the ‘experts’ and continue happily being a small voice, sharing more than in 2016, rediscovering my voice through good old fashioned blogging. Looking foward to writing more 🙂