Those of you who are very long time readers recognize that I’ve been hit and miss with posting for many, many months. Really, it goes all the way back to December 2021 when I wrote Creating My Life’s Work. But lately I was at the point where I simply didn’t know what to do with myself here. I had ideas, but I was not going to start moving in any particular direction again until I was absolutely certain.
I’ve been blogging since 2005. I have pivoted SO MANY TIMES over the past 18 years. I’ve done it due to changes in my life, changes in blogging, changes in focus, and blogging groups I’ve joined. I’ve pivoted to attempt to appease Big Tech so people could find my content and Big Ads so I might make some kind of a monetary return on the endless hours I’ve invested. I’ve pivoted to appease Pinterest, Google, Teachers Pay Teachers, and others who are basically schizophrenic slave owners who constantly change things with zero regard as to how it impacts everyone else’s ability to earn a stable living.
I told a friend recently that I’ve reached the point in my life where I simply refuse to continue to pivot and play their games. This website is so large now with so much content that any time I make a decision to change something up it becomes a massive undertaking. More often than not what happens is I spend literally weeks or months pivoting for whatever purpose. Within 12-24 months, it no longer matters because things in the online world have shifted again. Throw in the Fourth Turning slowly moving toward the First Turning with unqualified diversity hires running so much and no one really has any idea what they are doing. Truly.
I decided a number of months ago I’m not pivoting for the experts and controllers any longer. My life energy is worth more than that to me. So I’ve been slowly detaching myself from that horrific treadmill behind the scenes even if I didn’t write about it.
I waited to see how God would lead and what I would settle on. I was going to make this site into what I wanted it to be for the rest of my life.
So I have been working on my final pivot behind the scenes. I’m now certain enough about most of it to feel like posting again regularly.
Interestingly enough, I felt specifically called on to keep writing about both homeschooling and gifted/2e. I honestly thought I was mostly done with gifted/2e and related topics (highly sensitive, spirited, etc.) and am pretty sure I even said that in a post somewhere. I also thought I was done writing much about homeschoooling. But that’s not the case.
A significant change was moving all the political and cultural topics to a separate website. This was a great decision and I’ve not regretted it at all. I still struggle with having the Faithful Christian Living in Difficult Times category on that site because I think a lot of that content should be here. I might move some of it back. I haven’t decided. But otherwise it was good to go to the two sites. It was very freeing. (Update: I did move much of it back, but there is also some still on the other site as linked above. The content on this site is here: Faithful Christian Living in Difficult Times.)
I have been getting rid of every website plugin, extension, paid service, etc. that I possibly can. I’m so sick of dealing with them and cannot imagine the hours David and I have spent managing all that stuff over the years. I’m going simple in this area with only those things that have a true benefit. I’m not building my website around other people’s products and services any more than I have to. Any products I have to use (such as WooCommerce and MailerLite) must be considered truly necessary. I don’t want to be reliant on other platforms and services any more than necessary. I feel very strongly about this in ways I can’t fully express.
I’m planning to offer a lifetime pass to my shop. I hope to have that ready in the next few days. This is a significant change for me, but I’m excited about it because the time is right. It will be one price and the purchaser will have a pass to my shop as long as I have a website and shop. (If you’ve purchased a pass before and want the lifetime pass, you’ll have the option to upgrade at a reduced cost even if your yearly pass has expired.) I have no interest in dealing with membership software and the like that I have to pay for every year and integrate with my site. I’ve tried it and don’t want it. I’ll create a coupon code by hand for each person who buys a lifetime pass. I’ll continue to sell individual products to anyone who wants them, but my goal is to integrate my love of books, learning with themes, and homeschooling in a much better way with my printables shop. (Update: The Lifetime Shopping Pass is now available.)
For example, I changed my A Month of Cozy Children’s Books category to Homeschooling with Cozy Books. My plan for the rest of the summer is to expand all of those posts to include learning ideas to go with each book. Some of those learning ideas will include things in my shop and some won’t. I have dozens of my beloved picture books to still add to the category. I love picture books and that’s one thing I’ve never allowed myself to take the time to really write about on here. I also want to encourage moms of young children that home education can be simple and cozy in the early years. So that’s already been happening slowly behind the scenes, but I’m moving ahead more steadily now.
I also mentioned in the past several months that I came to the realization we are doing what I call Discipleship Homeschooling more than Relaxed Homeschooling. I’m not going to hash that out again since I already wrote about it in Discipleship Homeschooling – Our Homeschool Philosophy. But now that we’re down to the last two years of high school, I feel comfortable writing with some measure of authority regarding what we’ve done, what’s worked, and what we’ve learned as home educators. Our path might not be a common one, but what I write will be helpful for the right people who need to hear from my experiences.
I’ve thought for months about starting up my A Quiet Simple Life podcast again. I really like doing them. But it’s more hoops to jump through, platforms to integrate with, details to mess with, problems to troubleshoot, etc. I want things to be super simple as I make my final pivot. So I may record things and simply embed them here as an audio file that I self-host. I haven’t decided, but I do enjoy talking about topics and not just writing about things. But I simply loathe the idea of messing with podcast distributors, etc.
Related to this, I’ve thought about recording some of my best blog posts so there is an audio option. Again, I’ve almost started doing this a few times but I’m not doing anything new until I know for sure I want to go down that path long-term.
I’ll continue to write about the other topics I have always written about as well. Faith, simple living, homemaking, etc. will all continue to show up. But there will be an emphasis on homeschooling and gifted/2e parenting than I wasn’t anticipating several months ago. I do feel like these are topics I can bring to the world in a way a lot of people can’t so I want to help those who will benefit from my experiences.
Lastly, I plan to get rid of many (most? all?) of the Pinterest-sized images in my posts. Since Pinterest is basically worthless at this point there is no reason to keep that clutter. I want a visually simple and beautiful website and those specifically sized images that were absolutely essential in years past (and regularly changed in terms of required dimensions causing untold hours of work) serve no purpose since Pinterest has basically blacklisted me into oblivion.
I’ve also put together a template in my mind for a regular newsletter. Now I just have to decide if I want to do that or not. (It’s more about time than anything.)
So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. I have finally (mostly) figured out my last pivot.
I’m relieved and thankful.