To everything there is a season and a time for every activity under the sun.... and for Modern Jo March blog, it is time to retire. I've been running this book blog for about 4 years now, first on one platform and then another. It started out as The Book Corner for 2 years, then re-branded, to be a bit more unique, to Modern Jo March for the last 2. Over the course of its existence, the blog has seen highs and lows. For 3 years, the blog was active and content heavy. This past year saw MJM pretty quiet with very few posts. That was partly due to my health, and partly due to general burnout.
At some point in 2019, I finally just let go of the "content, content, content" motto that we're all taught, and let it be. I took a step back and made the decision to just relax and have fun with this blog, instead of trying to make it something that I never intended it to be in the first place. Since that point, I've shifted my focus on other things (namely my health), and in the process, I've come to a realization.
2020 feels like it's going to be a significant year. It seems like it's going to be a big transition year for me. I've found my life (and career) going a different way, and while it is too soon to elaborate on that, it's not too soon to start the transition and paring down of things to fit this new chapter. I've come to learn that I can do a bunch of things sub-par, or a few things really well. Life is more of a juggle than a balance, and I've found that you need to be very mindful when choosing what to juggle and what to let drop. After a lot of reflection and weighing my priorities, I have decided that this blog is something I need to let drop. It isn't serving a big enough purpose for me to spend my energy on it at this time. To be honest, I've found it more of a chore than a creative outlet the last year or so. It was an easier decision than I thought it'd be.
Moving forward, I will still cover books over on Writing Just In Case, and even conduct an interview if the spirit moves me, but it will be for fun and not the main focus. Writing Just In Case is my personal blog, a catch-all for whatever I want to write about, and I like it that way. I plan to focus on Writing Just In Case, as well as my writing in general, and new endeavors. Juggling three things will be much easier and more attainable than my current situation. Have no fear though, Modern Jo March will not be removed/deleted, or at least not in the foreseeable future. All of its content will still be available under the "Archives" tab.
I'd like to thank the authors, editors, and others who have been guests on this blog over the last 4 years. I am privileged to call most of those featured on the blog friends. I thank you all for supporting me in this endeavor. I've learned a great deal through this blog. I walked away from many an interview having learned more about my craft and how to improve my skills, and for that I am forever grateful. I am indebted to those authors who were generous with their time and advice. Thank you.
~Modern Jo March
As some of you may have noticed... ok, ok, let's be real, no one noticed.... Modern Jo March has been quiet for the better part of this year. I've had such a hard time figuring out how to make everything work, particularly how to make this blog work. Last year I rebranded and tried a few different approaches, this year, mainly due to illness, I've just neglected it completely.
For the last 6 months, every time I thought of the blog, I would feel frustrated with myself for not being able to make it all work and be the top-notch blogger who has loads of content, who's at the head of the game and schedules posts so that they are evenly dispersed throughout the weeks and months, etc. Last year I got so caught up in "content" and trying to stay ahead, I actually got to the point where reading felt more like a chore than the pure joy it has been for me all these years. That's when I put the blog on hiatus last summer. I came back in the Fall refreshed and ready to go...…… only to burnout yet again come the middle of Winter.
Part of my burnout issues is the fact that I suffer from a chronic illness and as a result, am often dealing with periods of illness, pain, and fatigue, which doesn't help productivity. I've come to learn over the last year or so, that I really only have a certain amount of energy per day, and therefore need to be very mindful about how I spend that energy. That's the hard part...
There are so many things I want to do. Every. Single. Day. I'm a creative and want to do all the things all the time. I'm also an Enneagram 5, which means that I constantly want to be learning something and often have multiple projects going at one time...… but it also means that I have limited emotional energy to give each day, couple that with an illness that brings chronic fatigue and you get yourself a complete mess.
So what do I do? That's an excellent question, one I've been asking for a little over a year or so now. Thankfully, I think I've found the answer.... FINALLY. I've come to realize that while I enjoy running this blog, I don't really have the inclination or the energy to turn it into a brand/money-maker. That's just not what I want to do. I don't want that to be my profession. I started this because it was fun and I enjoyed it, so that's the way it's going to stay. I realized I have no interest in keeping up "content" and further more don't have the energy or the time to do so.
I've learned that I can do a couple of things really well, or a bunch of things subpar. So I've decided to focus on my writing in the form of Writing Just In Case (where I share my poetry and such) and my book, and to move forward with Modern Jo March as a hobby project, fun and breezy, posting when I want. Less stress, more fun.
I hope you'll stick with me along the way.
Another year has come and gone, and 2019 is officially here. I am thankful for last year, this blog grew a great deal and saw more accomplishments last year than any other year it has been running. 2018 saw more content, featured a few great interviews, AND saw me rebranding. 2018 was a banner year for Modern Jo March.
The blog started 2018 as The Book Corner (which it had been called since its inception), but ended the year as Modern Jo March. Around about August, I decided to take this thing more seriously and that I needed to be more unique, starting with the name of this blog. After a great deal of thinking and weighing the options, I landed on a name that I thought fit really well with my overall theme and goal for the blog. Modern Jo March was born. The name gives a nod to my favorite book heroine, the one who has inspired me the most, Jo March from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. To read more about the rebranding, you can read my post on it here.
Looking back over the content, I'm proud of this little blog's accomplishments. They may not seem like a lot to others, but I know what it took to keep this thing afloat and producing content. I am proud to have continued honing my interview skills here on the blog, and am most proud of my interviews with authors Karen Witemeyer, James Donovan, and Regina Jennings. Most of the interviews featured on the blog are with authors I already knew in some way, the three I mentioned above were the exceptions. They found me reaching out past my circle of contacts, and I believe they came out really well. I plan to continue to broaden my horizons in this area for 2019.
One of the most important things I've learned in 2018 that pertains to the blog is that taking regular planned breaks is actually more productive than trying to do this 24/7. That is why I have implemented two planned hiatuses for the year. Modern Jo March is currently on its first hiatus for 2019, which will end next week. The second hiatus will happen towards the middle of the year, sometime in July. These breaks allow me to catch up on other things and gather more content for the blog without feeling like I'm under the gun all the time.
I hope you'll continue on with me for 2019 and that it will be both a productive and an enjoyable year. If you have suggestions for the blog, please feel free to contact me with them. I'd love to hear from you!
Happy New Year Everyone!
-Modern Jo March
Modern Jo March will be back up and running September 1st (this Saturday!), and with its return it will be bringing loads of new content. We'll start the month off with a listicle of the highly anticipated new releases for September and October. We'll also have tons of new reviews of new and old reads, including Ansel Adams' autobiography, Anne Youngson's Meet Me at the Museum, Charles Casillo's Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon, Nicola Mar's Roses by Moonlight, and many more. We're also working on several interviews that will come later in September and October, so stay tuned.
We will cover a wide variety of genres and authors, and we couldn't be more excited! We're ready to jump back in and have a lot of bookish fun. ;) We look forward to you joining us!
As you may have already noticed, The Book Corner has been very quiet these last few months. BC ended up taking an unintended hiatus due to my health, life being crazy, and burnout. This break was totally on accident. I just simply walked away for a bit, and was so burned out on top of some health issues and a busy life that I seemed to naturally forget to get back to it. This unintended break ended up being really good for me and helped me to recharge and refocus. I’ve read books for the sake of pure enjoyment and learning, rather than to feature on the blog. I’ve enjoyed my time off and now have a stronger focus when it comes to developing and growing the blog. I will continue the hiatus through this month (August), and then return in September with fresh material and new ideas. :) I’ll have new reviews, features, and hopefully a few new interviews lined up, as well as a few new fun features planned for the later part of this year. I hope you’ll stick with me and stayed tuned!
NEW NAME!: While on Hiatus, I did a lot of thinking and developing. I've decided to rebrand and drop the title "The Book Corner". The name served its purpose up until now. Originally the blog was just a side, for-fun project, so the name wasn't too important, but as it has grown and continues to develop, I feel that a new, more original name is needed. I've spent the last couple of weeks trying to find a name that is fairly original and one that still represents what this blog is all about. I've landed on "Modern Jo March". Jo March is my favorite fictional character, from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women series. Not only has the character inspired me from a young age, I feel it also represents the blog well in that Jo was a writer (eventually becoming a published author) who loved books. I am a writer who also loved books. It just seems to fit well. I hope you like it too! ;)
Authors! If you’ve submitted a review/feature request, first off, I’m sorry for the silence, please forgive me. Second, please, if you’re so inclined, resend your request and I’ll get right to it, publishing them in September. Thank you for your understanding and patience.
* For the rebranding process, I've gone back through the interviews and posts I've published this year and changed the name to Modern Jo March, just so this year can be completely under Modern Jo March. :)
~ The Book Corner/Modern Jo March
Liz Austin. Bibliophile. Writer. Book hoarder. I would rather be reading....