Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Je pense

One of the things I appreciate about some of the blogs I follow is they are so reliable in content, in layout, and stayng true to their original intent. These bloggers have maintained their blogs for many, many months, even years, and have found a way to appeal to a range of readers, and still please themselves. Corey Amaro's Tongue in Cheek, Vicki Archer's French Essence, and David Lebovitz's Living the Sweet Life in Paris are several that come to mind, and are my go-to blogs for learning more about life on the other side of the Atlantic.

But there are other blogs I enjoy because they are still evolving. These writers try out new approaches, revising their blogs to more accurately reflect what they want to say. Mary over at A Simple Life and Stephanie from Bonjour Madame have recently changed direction or added features to their blogs. Even Andi, who does this professionally, has moved Misadventures with Andi from Blogger to Wordpress in order to take her blog to the next level.

It is a challenge to find new content or come up with ideas, especially if you're not living the sweet life in Paris. I'm finding myself a bit stuck at the moment, and I'm not sure why. My original intent was to share "ways to introduce small but authentic French touches into your life." So far, I've managed to stay on message, but while I was in France it was so tempting to do the tour d'Annecy, complete with photos of shops and cafes and markets and meals. And now that I'm home, I'm resisting the urge to write about "what I did on my summer vacation."

In my attempt to stay true to my original idea, while trying to sharpen my focus, I'm considering more series writing, and, writing within specific categories. For example, Monday's posts might be about style, Tuesday posts about food, etc. I'd also like to continue to review and share books, blogs, and websites I discover, so maybe that could be Wednesday, Thursday and Friday? All in all, it's not much of a change, n'est pas? But it feels less random, and I think it will help give shape to my writing.

So, c'est une bonne idée? I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.


  1. I think discipline is actually liberating and encourages creativity. Go for it.

    For for what it's worth, I'd love to hear about what you did on your summer vacation, and I'll bet I'm not the only one.

  2. As usual, you are so supportive. And I will share, I promise, though my stories will likely be mentioned as part of a post rather than the post itself.

    btw, there appears to be a rumor circulating that you may launch a blog? Est ce vrai?!

  3. I think that is a wonderful idea. And I think no matter what the topic, you can add frenchie-ness to it. I, for one, would love to hear about your summer in Annecy, I think that is completely within the realm of your blog as well.

    I hope you don't think that I think that moving to WP somehow construes sophistication that Blogger does not have. I adore Blogger and still have 2 blogs on there. I need to work with WP for my side biz too as well as I wanted to try some other things that I can do more easily on WP.

    This is something a lot of bloggers struggle with and I think it is only natural that we evolve. I have a good blogging buddy who just blogged about that as well:

    I love your blog and will follow you in any direction you take it! On y va !

  4. Andi, re: the switch to WP, heavens no! I included the quote because I wanted to get it right--no judgement at all implied! I've heard others say WP is easier than Blogger; what differences do you see?

  5. You know, I think hearing about your vacation would help me to bring authentic touches to my life. Photos are very inspiring to me and stories about your experiences in Annecy would be fascinating to me. I do like your idea about series posting and it is something I have considered for my blog as well. Whatever you decide, I will continue to read as I always enjoy your thoughts, ideas and insights.

  6. Annecy! I'll give you an exclusive:

    No, I'm not starting a blog. I was very flattered to find some wonderful comments in other people's blogs the last few days encouraging me to blog. But I feel like I have nothing radically different to add to the French lifestyle "discussion" that you and a half-dozen other of my favorite bloggers aren't already saying, and saying well. I'm perfectly happy as a commentator and letting everyone else do the heavy lifting. ;o)

    I think it's always fun when bloggers feature a series based on whatever's on their mind at the moment. The one thing I do not like in blogs -- and which will always make me stop reading them -- is when they veer way into personal territory and I feel, as a consequence, that I know the blogger better than the people who're actually in her life. I think it's important to know a little about a blogger's life so that postings have context and readers can get a feel for her personality, but the second a blog turns into group therapy, I feel very uncomfortable. There are lots who enjoy that though, and that's fine. My preference is to know what a blogger is reading, seeing, doing, loving, cooking, making, growing, watching, drinking, etc. That's what inspires ME.

    (Just my two centimes, of course!)

    Marsi (signing in as Anon. because Google's blocking me, for some reason)

  7. A - I think it's normal to evolve. I like your idea to do series of similar posts at intervals. I think it's a good way to think about it during the week instead of coming up with something spontaneously, which can be hard sometimes. I would love to hear all about your trip to France and your observations. Like Marsi, I'm very interested in what you observe, read, recommend, and in general musings on your own philosopies. I think being exposed to new ideas is always fun.

  8. I agree, no matter what you write, or what topic, I will enjoy reading!

  9. I may not be adding anything you were not already aware of, but I think one of the unique things that you offer is (how do I say this?) a bit of rest for my overly-busy mind.
    Everytime I read one of your posts, it is actually like a mini-vacation for me.
    Your posts stir my creativity towards a certain direction. For me, that direction is...things that bring small touches of enjoyment into my day. They encourage me to live in the moment, and enjoy the task before me. This is what I think of as being very French.
    I love a lot of over French-styled blogs (and for very different reasons), but this blog's direction is (if I could sum it up): "Here is something I enjoy or have seen/witnessed that is/can be enjoyable...steal a moment from your incredibly over-packed day and perhaps try this (or just enjoy my love it for a few moments). You will be glad you did".
    When you did a post on your market basket or the sheets (ironing)-you brought your love of something (which could have been considered ordinary by American standards) and said..."Hey reflect on this. You can find pleasure in this moment (whatever you are doing), right now".
    Anyway, sorry for the extra long comment but I hope that you understand that your blog is something special in its own right and no matter what you direction you decide to go in, those of us you read your blog all think that you have something special to say.