A Letter to My Readers

New year, new blog title and tagline, same content – it’s all about midlife.

First, I want to say thank you for reading my blog, especially the handful of you that do so faithfully. I deeply appreciate your time, comments, and likes. And I love checking out what you’re up to each week.

Those of you that have been with me from the beginning know that I started this blog in May 2015 with a frenzy of posts, essentially disappeared from the blogosphere for about four months over summer, and resumed posting again in earnest in December 2015.

When I resumed, I experimented with different themes, changed the title from Middle-Aged Madness to Midlife Madness (more on that later), and have been playing around with different taglines.

Honestly, I consider it a miracle that you have stuck around through this identity crisis.

The truth is, I knew less than zero about blogging when I started this site. I had just completed my master’s degree and for the first time in two years had some time on my hands in the evenings. I also had just turned 46 and I love to write, so thought, “Oh, I’ll start a blog about middle-age. That’ll be fun.”

The title Middle-Aged Madness popped into my head, primarily because I’d just finished binge-watching the entire series Mad Men on Netflix. I thought it was cute and catchy, so I went with it, not bothering to Google the name to see if it already existed.

Mad Men Image via http://consumerist.com

I had no idea that blogging could be so complicated, that people who follow you actually expect you to post meaningful content regularly, not occasional rants about how life can suck. There was this whole blogging world out there and I didn’t know where I belonged in it.

In November 2015, after writing my first post in months, I thought about deleting the blog. I wasn’t sure I had the time or wherewithal to do it properly. I also didn’t think my topic was popular enough to get the readership I hoped to have.

Then I had an epiphany: I’d only been blogging for six months, and for four of them I didn’t blog at all, and I was going to throw in the towel!

I was mad at myself. It’s so typical of me to start something in a flurry of creative energy and then not see it through to the end. Part of it is my personality type (ENFP), but part is a lack of what one of my students once called “stickwithitness” when it comes to my creative life.

I resolved right then that no matter what, even if my current readers dumped me and I had no new ones, I was sticking with this blog until at least December 2016. I would post once per week. I would educate myself on blogging, and learn as much as I could about the blogging community.

sticking-quotes-1

This is exactly what I’ve been doing. As part of this process, I decided to change my title to Midlife Madness. After Googling Middle-Aged Madness and coming up with some weird video game, and also realizing that the term midlife resulted in more relevant Google links than middle-age, I decided to go with it.

The one drawback is that midlife seems narrower in age, about 45-55, whereas middle-age encompasses about 45-65. I’ll worry about that if I’m still blogging in 9 years.

Then there was the matter of the tagline.

Initially, I thought it was warm and inviting, but according to what I was learning about taglines, it probably wasn’t accurately describing what my blogging goals are, which is to inform, entertain, and inspire people to view midlife as an exciting time, filled with possibilities.  I also want to share the humor in and reflect on the everyday ups and downs of life. (It took me getting serious about blogging to even consider what my goals are.)

once-you-find-someone-to-share-your-ups-and-downs-downs-are-almost-as-good-as-ups

But I couldn’t find a tagline that was working, despite writing an extensive list. That’s when it occurred to me that maybe the tagline isn’t working because the title is wrong.

A friend of mine, who lives in London so we only communicate via email, had told me it was all wrong, but he never told me why. I assumed it was because he associated the word madness with mental illness.

Yes, life can be crazy and middle-age can be riddled with mad moments, but was this the message I really wanted to impart? Now that I was no longer burned out from working on my master’s degree and was feeling better about life, did I want to perhaps send a more positive message about the midlife experience?

I decided the answer is yes. So Middle-Aged Madness turned Midlife Madness is now Midlife Awakenings, with a new tagline to go with it. I feel that the new title better reflects my goals for this blog and this stage of my life. Life is still a little mad, but it’s also exciting , filled with new possibilities and new beginnings.

Again, thank you for your readership and your “stickwithitness.” Enjoy the day!

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “A Letter to My Readers

  1. I have been at this blogging thing for years. Have I done it the way I’m supposed to? Not on your life! If you’re at all creative or reflective, you’re going to keep changing and growing and coming up with new ideas, new perspectives and new approaches. Still, as you say, consistency has its value but so does following your muse as a writer. Sometimes they’ll follow where you lead and sometimes they won’t. What I have fond to also be true is readers want the realist you you can give them. They want real and they want to leave with something, a tip, something to think about, laughter, or even having been moved to tears. When I started blogging, almost 8 years ago, there were very few blogs about the madness of midlife or positive aging. In that time so many have come on line, that there is way more competing for every reader’s attention. It’s easy to get discouraged. I’ve thought about walking away from what I’ve done often, probably once a year at least. I don’t. Why? Because I love to write and I love blogging. It’s a perfect place for me to work out my thoughts and connect with people. I’ve grown tired of writing about midlife and the aging process, not that I don’t still believe in the importance of it all, but I am happy to discover women like you coming along and picking up the battle cry. I’ts an important conversation and we each have something to add. We need new voices. I’ve simply said all I have to say and I’m entering a new phase that I’ve yet to quantify. Will I shut down my website and create something new? I think about it all the time. I don’t know. Fortunately your personal name is your website name, so you can do whatever you like! Go with your gut, your instincts, your creative spirit and don’t look back. Follow where it leads. We get tripped up most often when we listen to the advice of experts and lose our voice.

    Like

    • Dorothy, thank you so much for checking out my blog and for your words of wisdom. I was so happy when I found your website and can’t wait to read more of it. You are so right that listening to our own voice and being real is the best gift we can give anyone. Sometimes it’s hard for me to do. I completely understand how you could get tired of writing about the same topic for 8 years. But you do it so eloquently, and there’s such great content, I’d hate to see it go. Could you maybe start another blog about a different topic you’re passionate about and slowly move some of the current site’s content over to it as you transition? Of course you have to do what’s right for you.

      Like

  2. I love the new title, Kim, and I think it does accurately describe your blog. I’m not sure how I first stumbled up your blog (I was just as clueless as you were when I first started blogging, and frankly, I’m not all that educated about blogging even now), but I do remember that the reason I kept reading was that you wrote clearly and honestly about what was going on in your life, and I found myself relating to it. So keep it up, your readers are enjoying it!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s