Friday, September 23, 2011

31 days: in which i ask for your opinion.

If you read the same blogs I happen to read, maybe you’ve heard of 31 days, a project started by a group of bloggers in which they write about the same subject every day for the entire month of October. The premise is challenging, especially if you’re like me, squeezing writing into the slow parts of your day, blogging when and where the wind blows. 

Turning Pages, I’m sure you now know, is not a style blog, not a mommy blog, not a fashion blog, not a photography blog, not a food blog, not a design blog. There is no rhyme or reason to what I write, and for that reason, I think, I struggle with diving into the “business” side of blogging. I don’t have sponsors because I’m afraid if I were even to offer, the response would be ridiculously minimal. I don’t host giveaways unless they’re of my own creation. I don’t have thousands of readers or link my blog to a Facebook page. I don’t have a blog schedule (except for my “inspired” posts on Thursdays) because — and here is what it really all boils down to — I’m very much a “write what you feel” kind of person. My most passionate and most lengthy posts are written as responses to perceived injustices, editorials on the life I’m leading, the books I read, and, admittedly, the church I attend (perhaps, more accurately, my faith as a whole). 

So when I began toying with the idea of 31 posts in 31 days, the doubts crept in. Could I even sustain a subject for that length of time? I am the girl who has dozens of unfinished journals lining my bookcases, the one whose desk at home is full of pages and pages of story ideas, all still unwritten. This blog and the papers I wrote in school are the only evidence that I can write without burning out, can still let the words flow even when nothing else quite does. 

I am a confident person. But I am not confident I can tackle the same topic, day after day, for the entire month of October. 

Which is why I’m doing it anyway. 

I want to prove to myself that I can write, that I can sustain the words and the subjects I love so much. 

For 31 days, I will blog in a way that I haven’t before, and I want your help. 

Long ago, I decided that this blog was for me. Translation? I wouldn’t let my little corner of the internet be dictated by what others were posting; I wouldn’t measure my success as a blogger or a writer by counting comments or tracking “followers.” Of course, that was back when I averaged zero comments per post, when my mother and a long-lost college acquaintance (turned kindred spirit) were my only readers. 

Now, things are a little different. A few more comments and followers, yes, but also, more importantly, a community. A group of people I’ve come to love and know through the avenue of this little blog. I cannot believe I am typing it, but it’s true. 

During the month of October, I want to blog about something I’m passionate about. Otherwise, I know: I will fail. At the same time, though, I want to blog about something that is of interest to you, the readers and the friends that brighten my days with your comments, emails, and words of encouragement. 

What would you like these 31 days to hold? I have my own ideas, yes. I am never at a loss for ideas. But I’m curious: What keeps you coming back to this tiny spot on the world wide web? Do I tackle any topics that you really love? What are they, and why? What topics won’t bore you (or me) for the 31 days that are to come? 

Please, even if you’ve never commented before, go ahead and come out of the woodwork now. I need all the help I can get if I want to be on track for October 1.

Let the brainstorming begin!


Staley Mc said...

This sounds like a really col idea Annie! I really like everything you write about so it's hard for me to pick one topic! I'm looking forward to reading whatever you decide to pick!
Hope you have a great weekend!

Senja said...

What a great challenge! Hmm.. Difficult.. But what I most enjoy reading from you is the insight on faith and your marriage. Hope this helps? :)


Jadyn said...

I have been thinking of participating in the 31 day project as well. I have my topic picked out, but like you, I am feeling hesitant because I wonder if I can keep it up for 31 days!
What I love about your blog is how you talk about life and faith and your pursuit of living a life with purpose (that's how I interpret it anyway). Not sure if you can do anything with that...I want to keep typing to explain myself, but this comment would end up being very long, haha! Anyway, I look forward to seeing what you choose!

Megan Elizabeth said...

we must have been thinking the same thing! i brushed off the 31 days because i have no idea what i'd blog about! BUT, i come running back because of your marriage advice. it's godly and really helps out the newbies like me :)

Leslie said...

It's no really a certain topic that keeps me coming back, but your honesty and willingness to be real and talk about what you struggle with and how you cope. Things like that.

TefMarie said...

I have to say I feel like you in that my blog is nothing specific. I keep yearning to figure out what I'm blogging for, but it has yet to hit, and more often than not I go through low points where my blog remains untouched and my words remain unspoken. I love the idea of the 31 days, I may have to try it myself.

I love reading your blog for the artful inspiration and just practical life advice/stories/relationships. I think you'll figure it out and we will all love it no matter what.

Leslie L said...

Yeah, I agree with the above comments that it's your honest and helpful wisdom that makes me keep reading your writing. I think whatever you end up choosing will be very good, because you are very good writer who has something to say. I vote that you write about something that really gets you going, something you are passionate about. (Also, I don't know if this will help, or it might be me blabbing on too much, but these are the most recent posts of yours that I starred in google reader because I thought they were *extra awesome* - in which i become obsessed with the kennedys, sonquest 2011, for the girls (and it's a doozy), words, august. And, I always enjoy your Inspired posts. Hope that feedback helps!)

Jennifer said...

I come back because you are a fantastic writer and your post always leave me thinking!

Rachael Lamb said...

As someone who is getting married in less than a month, I would say your thoughts on married life and faith.

mary kate said...

i keep coming back because i think you are a fabulous writer, i love all of your reading recap posts and all of your bookish posts, but its not just those posts that keeping me coming back, i enjoy reading about whatever you have to say for the day because you express it so well. good luck!

Christianna said...

I really like your honest writing style! I think you should pick what you feel you want to write about, but I do love your book reviews. And what's cool about 31 days of that would be that you could talk not only about pop culture, but also your faith, marriage and everything else you talk about, but just built around books. It would give you freedom, and yet still run everything together. Just an idea though! Can't wait to see what you end up picking!

Annie said...

it looks like most people want you to talk about marriage and faith! haha. i have to add my voice to theirs, but with a twist. i have always been very thankful for how you discuss relationships and singleness, particularly from a married perspective. i think it's so important to have a godly, well-informed perspective on dating and marriage, and i think you provide that.

aPearantly sew said...

What I love so much about your blog is that you write from the heart. That you are open and honest and real. I really like the idea someone posted about doing posts centered around books you've read. I think that would be neat, to write about books that have inspired you, and why.
Whatever you choose, I know it will be great!

Sabrina said...

I would enjoy your thoughts, on peace, quiet moments, and rest. I am trying to add more of these things in my life, so it would be nice to hear how you incorporate them into your life and schedule.

Brunella Z. said...

all your blog is an inspiration for me you know. My blog is born because I've found you a long time ago.
You are a ministry of Jesus (on my opinion) so, my suggest is: this is how i live the Light every day. and show it.
Translation...arrrggggh :)
grazie mille per la fiducia
baci dalla Tua italia :)

Brunella Z. said...

commento n.2
anche io vorrei partecipare.
I write on blog in your link. i decide that my 31 days is: kalos. Kalos is an ancient greek mood that in italian language is: the italian sense of beauty. Not estetic. Il senso del bello. I ask the authorization in a message. I hope that you decide to say a beatiful, an importan yes for your 31 days. Grazie mille Annie.

jenna said...

This long-lost friend turned kindred spirit agrees with the comments being left here! Your honesty and insight draws us all in... and who doesn't like dating/marriage/etc type insight?! :)

(Love the new blog look! I was gone for 2 weeks so I missed seeing when this transformation took place!)

Anonymous said...

I would like to know if you keep a journal and how to journal (if you do).

Amber said...

I love your blog because A. You're a great writer B. I think we have the same personality and interests C. Your gonna lie, some of your post have made me cry, but I'm just emotional like that :) D. I like when you write about the realities of life and how you cope/grace/faith/love. You're awesome. I'm excited about what's to come...

Rebecca at Cotton+Wood said...

I follow you on Twitter but haven't popped onto your blog before. [???}

So here I am reading your post about 31 Days. Wow. I decided to do the same thing -- a bit nervous that I'll actually complete but excited to give it a try!

You can do it! :)

Anonymous said...

You know the holidays are coming up quickly. Maybe you could do a post about any family traditions from your childhood home and your husband's childhood home and then any that the two of you will continue in your own family. Sherry