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Getting Better, New Format Coming

It felt like forever (being sick always does), but after 10 days, I’m feeling much better, and nearly back to normal.

In other news that has nothing to do with my health and well-being (I heard that sigh of relief out there), I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog, its history, and the various formats I’ve explored. At its high point, I was posting daily instead of weekly, and each day I had a different topic of interest, from writing to tea to nail art to reading…and people typically read the day they were interested in, and skimmed or skipped the rest. Then I branched the largest main topics off onto their own blogs since people didn’t really seem interested in reading about a whole week’s worth of different topics, and I made this a writing blog. Which appeals to writers, but not readers so much.

Then I just reverted it back to its original format of being more of a personal blog, which was the original purpose of most blogs (Yes, I’m old enough that I was keeping a personal journal on my first web site before there were such things as “blogs”). And now my readership is extremely small and mostly silent especially when I forget to post a link on social media, because…well, because I don’t write it in a way that would appeal to the masses and I write long-form, which isn’t something that appeals to most of us online in this day and age (I’m just as guilty as anyone else here…I do read long-form blog posts occasionally, but I often stack them up until I have time to get back to them, which generally isn’t anywhere near when they were posted).

We have short attention spans for online content these days, and we like pictures and bullet points and short, punchy paragraphs. I’ve resisted this for a long time now, on principle, but I think maybe it’s time to embrace it. Do something new. Challenge myself. See if I can’t create content that will both live up to my blog name (The Variety Pages), and also share something of myself without boring people to tears with long essays of daily minutia.

In that vein, next week I’ll be using more of a news magazine format for the weekly posts. There will be bold headings! Pictures! Stuff about writing! Stuff about games! Stuff about dogs! Maybe even stuff about food or crafts! Probably not so many exclamation points!

No promises.

Also, posts will now be up on Mondays. And I will do my level best to post links all over social media for those of you who are blog-visiting-averse. Or, you can sign up for updates through email via the sidebar link, or this handy-dandy link right here in the post.

So there you have it. New plan, new post day. Good times.


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No Good Deed…

…goes unpunished. That’s how the saying goes, right? Apparently it applies to “deeds done for myself” too, given the events of last week.

I carried out my plan to shift my schedules and get 6 hours of sleep every night. I moved my bedtime up half an hour, and decided to get up half an hour later on Tuesdays, and half an hour earlier Mon/Weds/Thurs/Fri, which means bedtime at midnight (sleep time – reading 20 min before), and up at 6am for six full hours of sleep every night.

Tuesday morning, I felt good after those six hours of sleep, and…the staff meeting was cancelled. It was still good I had the extra sleep though, because the workday was *brutal*. Six hours Tues/Weds night had me going through my routines like a pro, getting stuff accomplished that I’d been wanting to finish for weeks, and finding that balance I’d been so desperately looking for in the evenings between play and work. It was awesome. I was feeling really good about things.

And then Thursday night, I was hit with one of the most painful sore throats I’ve had in a very long time – like shards of glass every time I needed to swallow. It was so painful I couldn’t sleep Thursday night and finally got up around 3:30am to take some ibuprofen, leaving me with about 2.5 hours of sleep (and a gnarly sore throat) for Friday.

Needless to say, I was doing pretty well just making it through the day on Friday, couldn’t dictate anything at lunch due to my throat, and was too tired to even contemplate editing, much less staying up for “business hours” late Friday night. I did my budgeting, made some questionable purchases (but did talk myself out of the most expensive “want”, so there’s that), and went to bed (which was definitely the best decision just then).

My throat is healing, slower than I’d like, but it’s definitely getting better. More to the point, my schedule change was working really well until my throat gave out. And I’m writing this during one of my scheduled “work” times, after walking the dog and then putting my games down after “game curfew” at nine. Which is to say, the new schedule is still working so far, and I’m making better decisions, sticking to schedules, and not just being lazy and squandering my evening time on things that are fun, but ultimately don’t get me closer to my goal.

This is a good direction to be moving in. I like it.

I’ll like it even more once my throat is back to normal.


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