Sunday, April 30, 2017

Why I Changed the Name of My Blog

I've been blogging for over fifteen years. When I started, the word "blog" didn't even exist. Instead, we called it an "online journal" and it was - at least for me - a natural extension of the notebooks I'd been filling throughout my adolescence. Within my earliest blogs, I kept my identify a secret and that gave me the freedom to publish all my thoughts and feelings without fear or shame. As I got older and blogging began to change, I started using my real name, but kept things more or less personal. My blog wasn't a business venture or a niche market. Rather, it was a way to record, collect, examine, share, observe, and celebrate the ups and downs of my life.

Then I turned 30, and slowly all those long-winded posts about my weekend began to lose their luster. My blog quieted down. Weeks went by without a new post. I still wanted to write and connect, but I didn't know what to write about

I spent the last few weeks thinking about what to do with this space and what I feel comfortable sharing. After reflecting on my interests, experiences, and the unique things I have to offer, I came to a compromise: I'll still write about my life, but I'll narrow the lens. As a 30-something woman who just figured out her finances, that lens is the mission to live well on less.

New Name, New URL, Same Me

Thanks to Canva, my agency's IT guy, and a few good friends, this blog now has a new name and a new URL. Welcome to Better Than Never: Budget Living for Late Bloomers.

Why Better Than Never? Because it combines two axioms that fit my outlook on life: "better late than never" and "better than ever." The former reflects my late bloomer status (I have a habit of achieving milestones long after their traditional due dates) and the latter is a good reminder that despite some ups and downs, life arcs in a positive direction. I won't retire at 40 (or, let's face it, 60) but I will live a comfortable life within my means. I don't own my house, but my landlady doesn't mind our chicken coop. I couldn't get to six figures as a freelancer, but I'm doing pretty well at my marketing agency. My first novel didn't sell, so I started writing a second one. Progress is progress and as long as I'm working on my goals, things will continue to get better. 

As for the shift in subject matter, my hope is that it won't feel too drastic. I already write about money, cooking, DIY projects, and our suburban homestead. Most of my "weekend adventures" are budget-friendly by necessity. And I'll still write about myself, because I couldn't stop if I wanted to, and I don't want to. I'm going to be my own guinea pig, experimenting with my life and letting y'all know what worked and what didn't. In addition, I've got a long list of ideas for future articles that are, I'll admit, SEO-friendly, but also relevant, entertaining, and - I hope - informative. For example, later this week I'll finally publish a post about paying off our credit card debit, which has been in my drafts folder since January.

Which leads us to the final change around these parts. I'm going to start posting twice a week. I know what you're thinking - that's awfully ambitious for someone who has averaged two posts a month for the last year. And while I agree with you, I also feel really motivated. When this blog was strictly personal, it was hard to maintain a more frequent cadence. My life is fairly seeped in routine, and when interesting things did happen, I wasn't always comfortable sharing them here. Now that I'm putting some distance between myself and my subject matter, I feel freer. I can write about what I'm thinking and doing, but it doesn't have to be in real time. I can reflect on things before I write about them, see how they fit into my journey before forcing my unsuspecting readers to stumble down those same roads. This change is for you as much as it is for me.

I hope any long-time readers still hanging around continue to visit this blog, because you'll always be my favorites. I hope new readers discovering this blog for the first time find plenty of reasons to return. I hope this shift, ambitious as it may be, works for all of us. Anything can happen and everything can change, but for the first time in a while I feel excited about the possibilities of blogging. It's a good way to begin, again.