Lessons From Ants: Rebuilding After The Storm

photo from Jason Bolonski via flickr.com

Have you ever watched ants after a storm? They don’t stand around. There are the egg-movers and the sand-shifters. Maybe there are a few complainishy-ants who stomp their six legs or shrug their thoraxes, but I suspect ants just accept things. Their instinct tells them to get to rebuildin’.

It’s what they do.

By now, most of my regular readers know my last computer died in August.

If you are new here, you need to know I was stupid and didn’t have a single thing backed up.

But let’s go back to the ants, shall we?

Unlike ants that tend to construct what appears to be essentially the same structure after each storm, I realized (after a lot of crying) in being forced to start over from scratch, I was given an opportunity.

My blog was unaffected by the great crash.

Don’t get me wrong, I lost a boatload of unfinished blog posts that I had not yet uploaded to WordPress.

But as I waited for the new computer to arrive, I realized I could just keep going along as I have been.

Or I could use the opportunity to shake things up here, too.

Things Have Changed

Some of the information on my blog is not up-to-date. First of all, I’m not currently teaching. And while it hurts my head and my heart to call myself a “former teacher,” I have to get over that and face reality. Right now, I don’t have a classroom. Or students.

And helping my niece with her college essay last weekend doesn’t count.

(Or does it?)

When I started my blog, my initial concept was to create a place where education and parenting collide. I wanted to tell stories about great teachers and teachers who bit the big one. I wanted to share my favorite stories from the classroom from decades ago and explain what I was seeing in the classroom now.

I wanted people to know that on any given day anyone can be a teacher, and the guy with three PhDs can be the biggest doofus in the room.

And that worked. For a while.

But then I found I had other stories to tell.

Stories that were not education related.

And if they didn’t fit at Teachers & Twits, I felt compelled to post them elsewhere.

Like I could be funny at Ironic Mom’s or Jamie’s Rabbits. Or I could talk about the grittier aspects of my personal life at The Monster in My Closet or I Survived The Mean Girls. Or I could be naughty and expose my inner chipmunk at Go Jules Go.

And while guest posting has led to wonderful cyber-friendships, I want my blog to be the place where I feel like I can write about anything.

Last year, best-selling author and social media expert, Kristen Lamb, told me I needed to rename my blog. She even gave me the tagline! It went with the book I was writing and it would have allowed me a lot of freedom to write about anything and everything.

But I was scared.

I wasn’t ready.

The crash has provided me with time to think.

What do I want? How can I be better? What do I want my blog to look like? What are my writing goals?

I looked carefully at my blog and my content.

What Did I Learn?

  1. I’m terrible about following up on posts that could use follow-up.
  • For example, after I wrote Helplessly Hoping David Crosby Notices Me, something magical happened at the concert! Did I ever write about it? No! Why? I don’t know. I mean, I do. I was planning Tech’s bar mitzvah and time got away from me. And then it felt like it was too far away. But still, I think I should follow up.
  • Oh, and remember I’m Sorry The United States Postal Service Wrecked Your Christmas? I wrote that when the package I sent to my niece and nephew never made to them. Yeah, there was follow up there, too. And I should write about that. But maybe I should wait to tell you until it’s closer to Christmas. See? That’s what I do. I have to just write the piece and not worry about the timing of the post.

2. I need to get better at following up and linking up to people who inspire some of my posts.

  • Recently, MJ Monaghan wrote a piece about internet problems and shoes. And Mark Kaplowitz wrote about really expensive high top sneakers. And I just wrote about my new boots that are effing killing me. Well, I need to remember to link up to those people! But I forget. How do people remember to do that? I need a strategy. Meanwhile, feel free to check out these pieces now. Great writers., the both of them.

3. I need a hook. Something that people know is my thing. Something that I can write about all the time and that I can love enough to commit to writing about regularly. I have ideas, but I’m open to suggestions.

4. I can’t realistically post 3 times a week.

  • I am a very slow typist. It takes me a ridiculously long time to craft a post.
  • I am a busy mother and wife.
  • Over the last few years, real-life friendships have suffered because of the hours I spend sitting at the keyboard. I am a hard worker, but I need to nurture real-life friendships, too. And exercise.

5. I am fortunate.

  • I was able to afford a new computer.
  • My husband realizes how important my writing is to me.
  • My son is a miracle. He set everything up – including my new external hard drive — and I’m pretty sure he could earn a solid living right now by offering twits like me technical support.
  • So many people helped me during this difficult time. Kelly at Dances With Chaos offered to have her husband take a look-see at my hard-drive before I sent it to Temple, Texas where it is currently being checked for signs of life. Kathy Owen checked in with me regularly via Twitter and telephone to make sure I was okay. Amber West introduced me to Google Docs and has captivated me with a new project! Gene Lempp responded in great detail to a comment I’d left on his blog, offering feedback that has my mind churning. In a good way.
  • And El Farris of Running From Hell With El managed to dig up a copy of my fiction manuscript from before the crash and was gracious enough to send it to me. So I have a place to start with when I’m ready to start working on that again.

Nobody freak out, I’m keeping my URL.

No links will be broken.

I’m still rasjacobson.com.

But.

I’m also renée a. schuls-jacobson.

Welcome to my blog.

Come sit over here. I have cupcakes. ;-)

Some other changes are a-comin’.

And I’m excited.

But nervous.

Like a wee ant, I am starting from the ground up.

So the task feels big and scary.

And I want to get it right.

I watched a lot of Laverne & Shirley growing up, and there were plenty of episodes where one or the other of them would end up crying over something that seemed monumental at the time, but that was actually not that big of things given the larger scheme of things. And one of them would end up singing to her friend, to remind her that she could do whatever it was that seemed insurmountable on that day.

I guess I’m Shirley singing to Laverne.

Or that ant singing to myself.

Or something.

I hope you’ll stick around and hold my cyber hand as I slowly roll things out.

I’ve already made a few, do you see them?

I’ll be making changes slowly over the next few years weeks.

I’ve got high hopes that the decisions I’m making are good ones. Maybe.

When’s the last time you squished an ant? Cuz they are pretty freakin’ smart. ;-)

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90 responses to “Lessons From Ants: Rebuilding After The Storm

  1. “Embrace the chaos. And the hotness!” Ha! Well if you ever decided to forego the file folder tag line (which you know I really like – and I’m glad to see it up there!), you’ve got a back-up!

    I can’t tell you how much I admire you for seeing the silver lining here; I’m pretty sure I’d still be curled up in a ball in the closet. I’m really excited to see what else you’ve got cooking, chipmunk!

    I said this to another good bloggy friend recently, and it’s so applicable I have to repeat it – it’s one of my mantras: It’s only paint. Growing up, Babs was just as crafty as she is today, and she loved home improvement projects. So she said a lot, “It’s only paint.” She meant it in the literal sense, but it applies across all art mediums and life changes. Like with your point about Laverne & Shirley – it seems huge from up close, but in the grand scheme of things? It’s only paint. You can always paint over it.

    And something tells me you don’t have any sh*tty colors on your palette anyway.

    • Thanks Jules. I actually considered “Embrace the chaos. and my hotness” — except I’m a total neat nick. I know, right?

      And I won’t always be hot. Like, I’m ready for Botox yesterday.

      I love Babs’ wise words. Even if she didn’t know she was being wise. ;-) As always, thanks for your support. Getting ready to push some buttons. Gulp.

  2. Renée, you are fantastic to read. It wouldn’t matter what you called it, or how many times you change it. You are funny, full of heart, spunk and spirit.

    We will stick around because what you do is quality stuff. Keep it up!

  3. These cupcakes are delicious ;)

    And remember — you can always just post a photo with a little caption. Snippets and snapshots of life can sometimes tell a much bigger story.

    I’m proud of you for making the change.

    • Karla: I have just started to take photos again. Because — remember — I lost everything.

      Yeah.

      So taking photos is good, but right now I have about 24, most of which are of my son.

      And he doesn’t like to show up on the blog. ;-)

      I’m rebuilding everything.

      It will take a while. But thank you for the reminder that as I build up my content, I can just post a few words. I do put a lot of pressure on myself to write long. And writing strong.

  4. I think most of us go through a blog identity crisis at sometime. I usually write funny stuff about my kids (although not always funny at the time), but sometimes, I don’t. I feel compelled to write about something not funny, or serious. I always feel guilt when I do so, because it breaks “the format”.

    I like the new tagline, because it is so true, and it is you and your writing that bring people here–not the title. ((HUGS))

    • Kelly: Now that my new format allows for anything, I’m thrilled. And thank you for that last line: for telling me folks show up here because of my words and not the title.

      Thank you, also, for all the support during this nightmare. The “DeathStar” is still in Texas. It failed one test. I get one more try. It was really melted. I didn’t want to strap your husband with that. But thank you for the kind offer. Tell him I had a Toshiba DeathStar in there for a hard drive.

      He’ll know what that means.

      It was only a matter of time.

  5. This is total awesomeness, Renee! I’m so glad to hear that you were able to get your manuscript back and thrilled to be reading you once again. Keep up the fantastic work my tenacious friend :)

  6. Welcome back, Renzay. Not that you really went anywhere, I know. But coming back with a bang. Now there’s an IYKWIM for your morning, if it’s still morning in EST by the time you read this.

    Did you read Clay’s post today? (http://claywrites.com/defiance/). Many of the same themes.

    The universe is telling me something.

    I’m moving. Barely, but here I go.

    • Baby, this let’s me have so much bang, I hardly know what to do with all of it. I am working on a post that pops right now. It’s so naughty, I can hardly believe I’m going to be allowed to post it here! ;-)

      Meanwhile, I’m soooooooo excited for you! I can’t wait to hear about book covers! Can’t wait to follow in your footsteps.

      Someday.

  7. I resent people fixing and reworking their sites, because I never seem to get around to it!

    Boy, do I hear you on the “how does everyone do it?” front, in terms of linking and commenting and acknowledging.

    • Byro, if you didn’t do everything all perfect the first time around…

      Seriously, what’s to fix? Your blog is fabulous. The only thing that is screwed up is that you are NOT on Twitter and yet you STILL manage to get more people to visit every day than I do on any given day.

      That’s just wrong. ;-)

      I am starting to resent you.

      ALso the fact that you have not acknowledged my hotness on your side-bar.

      But then I’m not really known for being prolific.

      Just hot. And a little naughty.

      • The Byronic Man

        Interesting. Interesting. Can you elaborate on this “a little naughty” concept? It’s for my side-bar.

        And as for my site, I’ve been wanting to add new photos and header for, literally, months. Also to add a couple pages, maybe tweak the lay out. I’m sure as soon as the baby’s born things will mellow out and I’ll get right on those things.

        • Have you not noticed all the innuendo I like to sneak into comments? I have an uber-naughty post coming up. It’s going to be fabulous. IYKWIM. ;-) If you tweeted, you might know what that means. Google it.

          And I’m sure you’re right about things chilling out once the baby arrives. ;-)

  8. No matter what you call yourself, I’m so glad you’re back!

    • Me too! I’m typing to you now from the new desktop.

      I can do almost nothing else. It’s like a fancy typewriter. I know how to Tweet, send email, and write posts. Apparently, it does a lot of other stuff. Tech will eventually show me.

      Or not.

  9. I feel renewed just reading this post. Sometimes we all need a reboot (or a computer crash). Blogging, for me, sometimes feels like a runaway train or What Ifs. . What if I don’t blog enough? What if I don’t comment enough? What if I don’t self promote? And on and on. I gave up a few months ago, not on blogging, but on the game. Now I write when I have something to say and work on my books. I have to hope that is enough because I KNOW what I was doing before was too much. Welcome back.

    • Hi Kelly! I think that is the only way to go. Some of us are able to push out those posts everyday. Me? Not so much. I’m twice a week. I used to beat myself up about it — or kill myself trying to do more, but it just put me out of balance in the universe.

      Thanks for the welcome. And I’m glad that you have made peace with your own blogging/writing rhythm. ;-)

  10. Hey, Renee, you go, girl! I’m glad you aren’t limiting yourself to one theme, ’cause you’ve got a lot to say (and not only in a two-hour phone conversation, LOL). FYI, I noticed the taglines are a little different where they appear in the pic and in the header bar below the pic (“when life doesn’t fit…” and “because life doesn’t always fit…”). Sorry; it’s a curse that I notice stuff like that – didn’t know if that was deliberate on your part. I like both versions!

    Really excited for you, and for what you have planned. Good for you for turning lemons into lemonade.

    …oh, and thanks a bunch for the fab shout-out! :D

    • Kath: Thank you so much for all your help.

      Meanwhile, that header — *sticking out my tongue* the whole entire theme is about to change, so the difference won’t be there for long. So good for you for noticing the difference! Very detail oriented.

      You must be a mystery writer or something. ;-)

  11. I’m excited for you and your new blog! I have to say though, classroom or not, you are still a teacher. A really awesome, funny, and motivating teacher. ;). Your “classroom” just might not look the same as it did before.

  12. I’d read your stuff anywhere. You are funny and poignant you make me smile bring a tear to my eye. How great that you got your fiction back — but it sort of was the losing of everything that propelled you forward. Life is weird. And great. Can’t wait to continue reading about yours.

  13. I am glad to hear that you retrieved your manuscript! I am so paranoid about not having a hard copy of mine so I back it up every couple of days by emailing myself a copy of it.
    Change is good!

  14. Good stuff, Renee.

    I’m one of those people who has high hopes to get everything done that’s on my written and mental lists, but rarely achieve a few of them. I tend to get wrapped around the axle and then becoming paralyzed and not doing much at all except scratching the surface.

    You’re right – we can learn a lot from ants. They are very productive “doers,” and a great example.

    All the best in your re-engineering of your blog. Just don’t feel guilty if you bite off more than you can chew. ;)

  15. Whew, I breathed a sigh of relief when I read El helped save your manuscript!

    As for change, I think I’ve had about a million little blog identity crises in my few years. Trying to find my way as I plod along. It can be a bit overwhelming sometimes (and then it’s time for a break) But it’s so exciting at the same time.

    Just know that no matter what direction your blog takes, I will always be here, (grabbing the last cupcake out of MJ Monaghan’s hands.)

    • Please take MJ’s cupcake. That guy is slaughtering me at WWF. He’s brutal. meanwhile, your blog is perfect. What are you talking about?

      But thanks for being here. I will follow you, will you follow me?

      Sorry. Phil Collins’ moment.

    • I will follow both you and Renee wherever your blog-ness takes you all.

      And Darla, you will have to wrestle me pretty hard to get a cupcake out of my hands. hehehe

      Well, maybe not, I try not to eat cupcakes or it goes straight to my belly!

  16. I think this is MARVELOUS, Renee! And I’m a big fan of just doing one thing at a time. Before you know it, you’ve done a lot of things. It’s weird how it works.

    Who cares if you’re a fast typist, or if it takes a while for you to get back to something? Certainly none of us, who are captivated by your voice.

    The hardest thing is to get over those freaking monumental expectations we have of ourselves and just show up and enjoy the party. At least, that’s always been MY hardest thing. I’m loving the party atmosphere over here already! :-)

    • Jenny, for real I type with three fingers on one hand and two fingers on the other. It’s ridiculous. I can’t even believe that I type anything at all. I should probably go back to school and take a basic keyboarding class. It would help me a lot.

      Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement — and for bringing me that awesome thong as a gift.

      Seriously, you didn’t have to do that. Because bigger changes are coming.

      But I love that zebra print. So thank you. ;-)

  17. Renee, seriously – yes – people come for YOU and the way YOU paint those magical words on a page. There are a lot of bloggers out there – but I always come back to your blog. Your writing and insightfulness give me clarity. You need to give yourself so much more credit. I also love it that you respond to YOUR readers…US! By the way, you will always be a teacher. :)

    • Kristal! Are you trying to make me cry? That is the nicest comment since… Um, ever! I think I might have to print this out and put it in my folder. Do you have one of those? Folders where you keep nice letters or comments that people give you? Well, I do. So thanks.

      And I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m still teaching. It’s just a little different this semester. I’ve had to reframe things. More on that soon.

      But you are right. I think I’ll always think of myself as a teacher. ;-) Unless I become a very famous author or a pole-dancer or something. ;-)

  18. Renee, a crisis happened and all hell broke loose. You were devestated and felt the world was unfair. And presto…something remarkable happens….You accept change and understand life goes on. So ….” you pick yourself up and start all over again.” Hopefully bigger and better. Good luck with a renewed vigor on writing wonderful blogs on anything you want to write about.. You reasoned with yourself and conquered. How wonderful! ( I will be waiting to read your new writings.)

  19. This would probably have happened (eventually) even without the computer crash, Renee – it happens to so many bloggers, the need to change things. It’s basically a catching up with the self or vice versa: the self moves on and the blog doesn’t or, sometimes, the blog moves on and the self has to catch up. It comes with the territory of blogging.

    Well done for having reached this point and I shall continue to follow you on your journey. :) Hugs.

    • Val, such an interesting comment. I didn’t co consider how often people change their blogs. But you are right. Jules just did it at GO JULES Go and Nina Badzin did it. And you did it! I guess I just felt like I needed to explain myself and some of the changes.

      Plus I might get a little naughtier. Or something. I’m ready to push the envelope a bit.

      Thanks for all your support — and for having me on your sidebar in the first place!

  20. PS. I’ve adjusted your entry on my blogroll for your blog’s new name.

  21. Good for you, Renee. Being a newcomer to your blog, I thought you were still teaching. Sounds like, hard as it was to deal with, the passing of your computer was a hell of a catalyst.

    I’m also new to blogging and have a lot of the same thoughts and concerns about how to carve out a place that says something about who I am, what I think. It’ll be exciting to read about your process.

    Go, you!!

    • Mary! Guess what? I am still teaching. I just don’t have a classroom. I’m doing something different that required me to think about my teaching differently.

      But yeah. I’m still in education and working with students. More on that in an upcoming post. I’m still figuring out how to approach it. Thanks for sticking with me! I think things are about to get more interesting. Maybe. ;-)

      And welcome to the wonderful world of blogging! It’s fun!

      Thanks

  22. It doesn’t matter what you write about I will still read it. I am currently having a what to write about problem with my blog. I’m no longer travelling and am instead at home with a baby but I don’t want to just write about baby stuff. Plus now I have a lot less time to write in at all. So reading others blogs is what I am about now.

    • Kelliefish!

      What? Baby? You have an itty-bitty poopie maker? Are you getting any sleep? How did I miss this development? I’m thrilled for you!

      I don’t think you have to JUST write about baby stuff. But you could! There are lots of awesome mommy bloggers out there.

      I’m so excited for you!

  23. Renée, what fabulous news all around … a new computer, your MS file back in your hands, and a somewhat new outlook. It’s all good! You are making a lot of people very happy to hear you are back in your usual fine form.

    • Thanks Patricia! I am going to push the button on my new layout today. I have fear that everything will be eaten up if I change themes.

      That can’t happen, right?

      I wonder why I don’t trust technology. ;-)

      • I can’t wait for you to push the button. I’m excited to see what you have in store for us.

        You are so talented, so while it will be fun to see what kind of fantastic changes you make, your wonderful content will continue to be full of skill and hotness!

  24. This is very exciting – I embrace change. I am always moving the furniture around ;) Can’t wait to hear the new title. I think when we allow ourselves to change we acknowledge our growth. I don’t decorate the way I did 15 years ago or drive the same kind of car (need a mini van now) or even dress the same. Change is good – you will see. Love & Hugs

    • You are right, PK.

      I know I’m not the same as I was 15 years ago.

      But with my blog, people come here (initially) expecting to find stuff about teachers. And I delivered that for the first year. But I couldn’t sustain that. I needed to grow bigger-er and more open so that I can write about anything.

      The new tagline is up there. Right now it’s really small.

      Because Life Doesn’t Fit in a File Folder.

      I love it.

      And what did you do to your furniture? I LOVE your house! Miss you!

  25. Lisa Stech Schultz

    You are one of the most amazing people I have the honor of knowing. I am so glad we reconnected, even if it is just online. I cannot wait to read more from you. :)

    • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson

      Lisa! I am so glad that we found each other after all these years!

      And…believe it or not, you are actually mentioned in a piece I wrote a long time ago but never posted. It was originally titled Alex Ross and all the gang. I should send it to you! :) I’d love to post it here, but I’d have to change all the names.

  26. Love the new look! That picture in the right hand column especially adds a certain je nais c’est qua (no, I did not look up the spelling on that. Sorry.)

    I don’t really do much of anything at my blog – just toss stuff up a couple of times a week. Lack of time, lack of technical knowledge (can Tech Support come to Illinois to help me – I’ll have him home by dinner?), lack of any real planning of what I want to DO there, except ramble.

    More important than the new look, the brave new world of your attitude shines through. Good for you for embracing all the facets of you, defining what you want to show to the world and going for it, full throttle!

    • This was terrifying, Peg! I had to call Jules at work. I’m not kidding. ANd now, of course, I have to deal with the whole header thing up there. I mean, obviously, THAT is not staying there forever.

      But it will be a while because, like you, I am technologically challenged in this area. And, as someone recently suggested, I “use Tech as a crutch, so I never learn.” Hmmm. I hate to admit it, but that person might be onto something. I mean, he is convenient. And free. And then I can do other things besides swear at the #$%@! computer for not behaving.

  27. I am very proud of you for changing. Change is scary. And starting over from scratch is pretty damn frightening as well. But you have done it and are forging ahead with a vengance!! I like the new look.

    Did you ever find out if the pics were saved?

    • Misty:

      So far the word is everything is gone. Everything. I keep going: “I have a great picture that would go with…oh, no I don’t.” That part sucks the most. I think everything is really gone. The first recovery test failed, I’m waiting for the second test. I think they are dragging their heels because they KNOW it ain’t gonna work. And they only get paid if they recover stuff. I’m pretty sure I’m at the bottom of the heap. :(

  28. This is lovely here.

    I need your help. I want to change BUT so scared to self host and transfer and LOSE my past comments, posts.

    It’s only blogging, I know … but my words,my babies.

    You are so and such a force of nature.

    • I have a long term plan to self-host, but not right now. Right now, I have to gt through this disaster and figure out how to use my new computer. Oy. I know that @ninabadzin switched over and had a VERY positive experience. If you don’t follow Nina, you should. She didn’t lose any subscribers. And Alex, honestly, everyone would come back to you. And you would be able to make money!

      But I understand the fear.

      That’s why I had to try this here. To get a clearer vision before I start to work with a designer who can (maybe) convince me that I won’t lose all my words. And the comments — which are, of course, like dessert.

      Right there with you.

      So alike. You see?

  29. Oh holy crap…at the beginning of this post I thought, for one terrifying moment, that you were gonna give up the blog and was all, “Nooooooo!!!”

    Now, I’m all, “Yeesssss!!”

    I like this new you, new page, new gig. Keep on being fabulous, love.

  30. Well, there are a few things I’m thinking:
    1. One of the hardest things for me to do is be myself, and I end up doing plenty of self-censoring. So I can certainly understand how it feels scary to lay all of those parts of yourself open to your main audience. It’s so much safer to only let them out where you know they’ll be accepted.
    2. Everyone wants to be accepted.
    3. I think I would adore you no matter what side of yourself you decide to share.
    4. We all deserve to be our true selves. And if someone doesn’t appreciate us for who we are, that’s okay. But that doesn’t mean we’re the one who’s wrong – or weird or silly or naughty or unusual or a dork or whatever label that’s put on our differentness.
    5. I’m so looking forward to meeting all of those people inside you, Renee! Although, I think I know most of them already. :)

    • It’s not that I’m scared to share those parts, Mich. It’s more like those parts didn’t seem like they always fir into Teachers & Twits. Like when I write about rape or abuse. That didn’t seem to fit the “brand,” so to speak. Now I can write about anything. And I feel like there is even a place for my fiction to shine! I’m excited to move forward.

      Now, about that header. Hmmmmm. That has to change.

      Maybe a contest? ;-)

      Thanks for sticking with me, lady!

      • Oh, I misunderstood! I thought that’s what you were nervous about. I’m glad you’re excited! That makes me excited! I get it about the brand, too. I think about Kristen’s post (last month?) about only having one blog, which makes sense. I have two, but it was just because I wanted to post more photos without it taking up all the space on my regular blog. It was just a kind of side-line, really. But I neglect it terrible. Anyway, I will stick with you as long as it benefits me…wait, I mean forever. :) That’s my attempt at humor. I nailed it, right? IYKWIM (just trying to keep up with ya!)

        • Have you considered connecting the two concepts? Wouldn’t it be easier? Maybe you wouldn’t neglect the photo blog if it were right there. That is definitely Kristen’s point. Try to put all your tricks in one place, so you don’t have to go off looking for other places to screw around. IYKWIM. ;-) Having a Wordless Wednesday that could feature some photos is fantastic. It actually draws people in. They love it.

          I wish I hadn’t lost all my photos in the crash.

          *weep*

          • Oh, I forgot you lost photos! Very sad! I used to just put them on my reg. blog, but I got to where I wanted to post pictures every day, and my regular blog was filled up. But mostly I got that out of my system, haha! I’ll go through another photo period where I have more to input there, but I’m in a heavier writing period right now. I swing back and forth on the photography. They’re linked and I’ve gotten a lot of traffic going both ways, but it’s definitely a side business. She’s right about how people respond well to diversity, for sure! I should just give up the other one, but I can’t bring myself to do it yet. You know how it is :)

            • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson

              I think you should tell everyone at whichever blog has the least followers that you are at another spot, and that you are relocating to a new place. Then leave a post up with your new address! Then you can incorporate the two things. Honestly, people do love the diversity. I like to read blogs where people shake it up and it isn’t always about the writing.

              • Haha!! Well, my blog is rarely about the writing, anyway. Oh, you didn’t mean GOOD writing, you just meant written stuff. Okay, well I do have written stuff on my blog. ;) “You’re right, you’re right, I know you’re right.” And I don’t have nearly the photos on my reg. blog now as I used to. I kinda miss it. Oh, dear. When you’re right, you’re right.

                • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson

                  Not trying to tell you what to do. Just trying to get you to combine two things you enjoy. ;-) Plus less logging in and logging out and all of that. Glurg!

                  • :) I know! You’re a nice lady, you are. Although, I’ve paid good money for curls like the ones you worked so hard to straighten today!

  31. I’m so glad you’ve expanded your blog to incorporate a whole variety of topics and themes, Renee—selfishly, as I never would’ve found ya if you catered primarily to parents and teachers. And I relate to deciding that 3 posts per week is a bit much for you. Two posts per week works much better for me and, I think, my readers.

    I used to do “surgery” on ill-seeming ants as a kid, thinking I could save them like the docs on General Hospital. Not sure if that answers your question…

    • And THAT was Kristen’s point exactly. She told me I’d created a niche that didn’t really represent who I am or what I was doing. She told me I wouldn’t grow as quickly as I would like.

      But I was scared.

      And technologically impaired.

      I’m glad we found each other. But you might not like the email I just sent you. *ducking and hiding behind the couch*

  32. Like the new blog. Very much. And I’m interested in your feelings that it’s the blog itself that has outgrown its original reason for being. I realise that sometimes recently I’ve been constrained by my own blog title. Should you be getting me thinking, I wonder? Hmmm…….

    • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson

      Hi Margaret! Well, let me tell you that I feel liberated and recharged and inspired again. So if there is something you think you can do to tweak things, then just do it. Don’t be like me and wait a year! ;-)

  33. Good luck and enjoy the rebuiding. Make the ants proud.

  34. Pingback: Call to Arms « myothervoices

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