Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Work in Progress

So, usually I know at least a day or two before my next post what the topic will be. An idea strikes and then it just keeps flowing. But this time, no matter how hard I tried, nothing fit. I have this ever-growing list of post ideas so that I never come up short, but even after reading through that a few times, I still couldn't get anything to feel "right". I was even considering not posting today so that it didn't feel forced. But I didn't feel good about that either.

Then I felt like I should check the blog to see if there were new comments. And there were! As I was reading the comment by "Anonymous", I finally figured out what this post is supposed to be about. It's about making this blog better.

I've been trying to figure out a good way to say this for a while--basically, I would like you to comment more. I've already talked about how important it is for everyone to comment so that we all have more ideas and perspectives to learn from.

Another reason I wish you commented more is to help me with the blog. I don't want to make anyone feel pressured to comment, I just want you to feel more free to do so. I know you have thoughts and ideas, please share them! Sometimes I have a comment for a blog, but I hesitate to post it because I don't want anyone to think it's dumb or that I comment too often, or whatever. But then I remember how much I love to get comments and so I try to go ahead and post mine.

The thing is, it's hard for me to know if this is helping without your comments. When no one comments for a couple days, I start to wonder how effective this is. I worry that people will read this more because they feel like they should to support me than because it is helping them. I don't want this to be another item on your "to-do" list. I want feedback on the topics themselves, not me. Also, don't worry about trying to come up with something profound or insightful, just share your thoughts. If I always tried to be profound and insightful, my posts would be a whole lot shorter!

I also would like your suggestions on how to make this better for you. Are there any topics you would like to see discussed here? Does anyone want to be a guest blogger? Would you like me to comment specifically on each of your comments? Is twice a week a good frequency for the posts? Do you want a new background? I do. I just haven't found time for it yet. Basically, what can I do to make it easier for you to comment?

To those of you who have commented--thank you! Please keep them coming. I have been brought to tears many times from the messages you've shared. I'm amazed at what you've been through and how you deal with it. You've strengthened me just as I hoped.


Becky said...

I think one of the needs we have as women is to feel like we make a difference to someone. That's why expressing gratitude (like you talked about last) is so important. You made my day when I clicked on "Weston's Fam," thinking I was going to his site, and it went to ours! It's little things that bring us joy.

As I thought about your title "Abiding Joy" I was reminded of Elder Holland's talk in April 2004 conference "Abide in Me." (Sorry I can't do the link.) I love the thought that to abide means to remain. In spite of the chaos around me, I want to be joyful inside. I think it's possible. And I think this is a great resource for helping me remember that.

So, keep up the good work. Post about whatever YOU want. I'm sure it will touch someone somewhere. And have a great day!

Nik said...

Cheryl, I love the look of the blog, I love the title of the blog, and most importantly I really love the words you put on the blog.

This might help: You could try putting a short message underneath the description of the blog that encourages your readers to comment. So when you have someone new join the blog she can feel prompted to comment right away. Something to go with what you have "This blog is our space to share ideas and methods for re-focusing our lives to get that joy back and truly enjoying all that we have." Perhaps you could add: "Your comments are precious and helpful to others, so feel free to tell us what you think. You never know whose life you will encoursge." That might be a little too sappy for you, but something like that might help.

Melissa said...

I think in terms of making the blog better--just do what feel natural. I love the idea of a guest blogger--and if I ever have a topic I think may be good, I will email it to you to post on the blog. How much fun and loving would it be if we truly all came together to help one another.

Amy said...

I too like the idea of guest blogging-and when I have an idea for one, I'll let you know. And about whether you post too much or too little, I'd just do whatever you have time to do. Some weeks are busier than others, for everyone. I like what you've been doing. I think it's good to pick a topic and I like making specific goals to work on based on the topic you picked. It has made a difference in my life.
About gratitude, I would just add how important it is to express gratitude to Heavenly Father. He has blessed us with so much and it has helped me to see His hand in my life a little better when I thank Him for the specific blessings in my life.

Jennifer said...

I love reading the blog and will try to comment more. Maybe after this crazy launch is over and I have my mind back? I love you, I think you're awesome, and this is a great thing you are doing.

Anonymous said...

I think this blog is great and I think you're doing a great job. I think you could go to once a week on posting. I don't mind twice a week, I just don't check blogs that often, so sometimes I am checking two posts when I check the blog. Maybe if you just post Sunday night then that can be the discussion for the week. It's just a thought. Some people may check blogs daily and really love having it twice a week. Although, for those people there will hopefully be more comments to read daily. Anyway, it really is just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Cheryl for all you are doing. This blog is a great lifter when I need to think about something else. Here's a little discussion for anyone who's interested.

How do you enjoy the journey, not just looking forward to the destination?

Anonymous said...

I love everything about this blog. I started to say about "your" blog but it sounds like one of your objectives is to have it be "our" blog. Thanks for setting it up that way. It'll be fun to read more and more comments and ideas. Is there a way to check if there are additional comments on a post that originated a while ago?

Tiffany said...

I think the idea of a guest blogger would be good. I was just thinking that putting this all on yourself is hard. Plus, someone could email you with a topic and you'd just put it up as the post. It would include more people I think and make people more prone to comment. I'd put your email address up or something (for those who don't have it) so that people could share something that might be too long as a comment. I love this blog because it's something productive to look at, ie, I don't feel guilty for spending time looking at it (since I can spend hours checking out other people's blogs). It gives me something to think about and motivates me to work even harder. Thank you so much for your insights and hard work.