Thursday, January 22, 2015

Prune: The stories we tell

This is my life. It's made of simple things like three little boys in jammies,
bad days, good days, split milk and tears. So this is also what my blog is about.

The advertisers and companies naturally started writing after the blog awards. It was nice, at first, getting emails and requests to review this or that, and getting stuff for the kids or our family to try. It felt great, being able to run giveaways where readers could win something, where we could "give back" to our supporters. So the blog became like one of the happening lifestyle or parenting blogs. We reviewed stuff. We gave away stuff. I had shout-outs on social media. I busied myself replying emails to this and that company. I slept less, because I was up late trying to write.

But after awhile, it started getting very, very tiring. And I realized that this whole review / giveaway / "hey look here's the latest cafe to check out with your kids" thing wasn't me. It was me, trying to be like a popular blogger. It was me, trying on a blogging persona that didn't fit. Some bloggers do it very well: they are prompt and regular in their posts, they write honest reviews, they enjoy sharing about places to check out or dine in. But me? I like staying home with my kids to read. I find reviews tough, and they took a lot of time (and energy) to write. In fact, some bloggers have shared that they are cutting down on advertorials and reviews because it's not easy. Then why do we do it? To benefit others with knowledge or information? To get some free deal? To gain more readers? 

After being very honest with myself, I've concluded that reviews and advertorials are not the thing for me. So for this year, in line with my intent to prune, we would be very very selective with what we say yes to. The occasional review for things that are useful and needed by our kids, yes. Reviews for little start-up companies, yes, simply because I know first-hand how difficult it is to start and keep a business running. Write-ups about things we use and love, yes. Book reviews are likely a yes in most cases, because we cannot seem to say no to a good book! But those things aside, it would most probably be a no, because there are bloggers out there who can do a better job at those reviews, and there's only that much time I have for this blog.

This blog was started as a repository of our stories: of the books we read together, of the crafts we made together, of our learning, our struggles and our journey as a family. If this blog is an ongoing storybook of our family, then reviews and giveaways don't really fit into the chapters very nicely. I know it means my readership is bound to go down (who wants to read about having to discipline so and so the nth time anyway?), but at least I know that I have not lost my voice in the writing of this blog. 

For the year ahead, I'm hoping to continue to write about our homeschooling journey, so hopefully we'll be able to share about the learning that's going on at home, our struggles and what is working for us. That aside, I'll keep doing my Thankful Tuesday posts, because those keep me looking out and up, as well as Our Week posts, because they help me to look back and reflect on the week that has past. I also hope to share more about our decluttering efforts and home projects.

Whatever the case, thank you so much for reading and following us on our journey. Do hang around still, ok? 


  1. Thumbs up, Jus! And I am not going anywhere!!

  2. Always good to refocus, and consciously decide on these things. Jia you!

  3. Same here, super love your blog :) Hugs!

  4. Am following your blog NOT because of the reviews and giveaways... but because of the inspirational write-ups of you with growing with the kids ..Thank you for sharing your stories.:D

  5. Way to go!
    To stay focus n inline w the direction, it's necessary to say 'no' :)

  6. Totally why I love this blog because it's real!!!
    and thanks for not turning what your blog is into a review-filled blog! Biggest hugs

  7. Echo the same sentiments of your reader friends here. We're not reading for the giveaways, we're reading because you're authentic and you always share insightful stories from the heart. Keep writing Jus!

  8. I love reading what you write about your family, your home school experiences. So definitely will continue to hang around.

  9. Bravo. It takes courage to turn your back on the crowd and stick to what you believe in. Many pats on your back for that! I come in here often, though I seldom comment. You all are often in my thoughts. I 'll stay of course, I've never participated in any of your giveaways (sorry!)



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