Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Now I'm Here - Back, Again.

It has been a year since I posted here on the UDIO Blog. Even though I’ve been reading, through the course of the past year I have been unable to truly put words to paper, or screen as the case may be. Not to effectively communicate anything really. I have struggled and I am still struggling even now to find a way to explain. 

Over the past month or so I’ve begun to slip back into the blogging world though because I need to. The truth, as bare and plain as it is, is that I need to get back to the things that I’m passionate about: books and authors, stories that have been told, and new ones that are still waiting for their time in the light. But also, writing. I’ve needed to write - in a way I don’t know if I will ever be able to adequately explain. So my re-entry in the blogging sphere has been slow but steady. It’s been a step-by-step process. 

First I started by writing about my family (on A Corner Table in My World) and there I shared an explanation about why I disappeared from the blogosphere last year. The short of it being that after a traumatic 2017, a year that ended by rocking my and my family’s foundation, I shut down shortly after the start of 2018. I had to focus inward: on myself, on my kids, on my family. I struggled every single day. Not just to put a smile on my face and pretend that everything was okay (even though I was doing just that), but to do anything beyond the absolute necessary for my family was beyond what I was capable of at the time. Some days it still is. 

In figuring out my next step I realized that it wasn’t just blogging I wanted to get back to this year, but that I really wanted, and needed, to get back to writing my own stories. So I spent some time determining how I may be able to do that. I blogged about that on Inside My Mind just after the first of the month, where I shared with everyone my writing goals for 2019. One of the goals I list there is to blog at least once a month on each of my blogs. As a starting point anyways. 

Which brings me to the here and to now. Ups, Downs, Ins & Outs has been my baby, my stress relief, my not-so-secret love affair, and a source of pride for well over a decade. It has changed through the years, evolved as I found my footing, floundered as ‘real life’ has demanded more of my attention, and grown tremendously from its origins. I will never walk away from it entirely - despite the evidence of this past year - because it holds too much of my heart and soul. Finding a way to move forward with all the things I want and need to do for myself, without becoming overwhelmed by it all may be difficult, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past year it’s that while my family is and always will be the center of my very existence, if I’m not happy with ME, their happiness will always be not-quite-enough to sustain me. It can’t be a them or me kind of thing, it has to be all of us. Otherwise, we’re all just... surviving. And I can’t tell you how deeply I want more than that for us. I don’t want us to just survive. I want us to live and to thrive. 

I'm not able to dive exclusively back in to this blog, not wholly, and not without attention my family still needs being diverted here. But I am ready to start wading in, to start getting my feet wet again and talking about books and the amazing authors who write them. The Author of the Month feature is still going to be on hold. I hope to eventually bring it back this year in some form but I have to find a way to do it that doesn’t negatively impact my family. That may not be the right way to say it but I want to be able to run the Author of the Month and give the author, and their work and books, all the attention and promotion that they deserve... but I need to figure out how to do that while also doing and being everything to my family that they need me to be. 

To start with, I have a stack of review requests that I will begin to address. I’ll do reviews and promote when and how I’m able. And I’ll figure things out, I will, it just may take some time. I have to because as dramatic as it sounds, this past year there has been a little piece of me inside that’s been dead, it’s withered. I need to bring that piece back to life. So I will figure things out. 
In the meantime I designed new logos for all the blogs and for the social media accounts connected to them. I’ve been sharing them, launching them into use over the past couple weeks and the UDIO blog is the last to be unveiled. Here it is:

I hope you like it, and I hope you’ll stick around to see how UDIO will continue it's evolution in the book blogging world. 

Now tell me: 
What was your favourite book of 2018? 
What are you reading right now?