Friday Favorites – Episode 48

Sometime last week, I was pondering what would happen if I stayed offline for a few weeks… No blog, no Twitter, no Facebook, no commenting, etc.  So, of course, I mentioned it in one of my Tweets and a few of you responded saying that you would miss me (thanks for the vote of confidence and humoring me while I was in a cranky mood!).  A week later, I am still pondering that same question, and it has really gotten me thinking about why I started my blog in the first place and why I feel like I need to post something every day and comment on every single blog post I read.

The thing is, I started my blog because Ienjoyed sharing my love of cooking and baking with all of you. I have put the pressure on myself to try to keep up with some of the more popular food blogs (you know the ones… and no, I’m nowhere close to keeping up) and blogging has become more about analytics, stats, and traffic. I force myself to post something new every weekday and it has become a chore at times. And that’s not even the end of it… Once I write a post, then I also have to submit it to a countless number of networking and photography sites, and then tweet about it and put it on my Facebook page. Seriously?! I miss the days of just posting when I felt like it and not worrying about my bounce rate and whether or not my traffic is down 5% from last month.

I also have been feeling a lot of RSS and commenting stress… I feel as though I NEED to comment and stumble everything I read, and I end up leaving lousy comments like “Looks delish” or “Good recipe.”  I do my best to keep up with my RSS reader, but it’s tough. Imagine the feeling of dread when there are 1000+ new posts, all of which I feel compelled to comment on and stumble! I can’t win at that game.

So, I am here to announce that I plan to pull back a bit. No, I’m not going to disappear for weeks at a time as I had threatened, but you might not see 5-6 new posts from me each week.  When I cook or bake something that I think is worth sharing, you’ll see it… and I won’t bore you with the “forced” recipes in the meantime.  After all, I know you have better things to do than read posts that I didn’t feel like writing in the first place!

You may notice fewer comments from me on your site, too… But, that doesn’t mean that I love your blog any less or that I have stopped reading. It just means that I am commenting when I actually have something worthwhile to say!

For me, this is my return to blogging for fun – posting food that I love, reading blogs because I want to, and not stressing about all of it. Oh yeah, I’ve pretty much sworn off of Google Analytics, too.

Ok… Now that I got that off my chest (thanks for sticking with me on this one, if you’re still reading…), here are my Friday Favorites for this week. These are posts that I picked because I enjoyed them. That’s a good enough reason for me. After all, that’s what my Friday Favorites are all about!

  • I absolutely had to include this Meyer Limoncello from The Wright Recipes… Limoncello reminds me of Boston’s North End, which always makes me smile and wish I lived in New England. And, I just love lemons… Don’t you?
  • Cinnamon Biscuit Rolls from Simply Scrumptious … Really?! I am pretty much speechless about these… Biscuits are one of my favorite foods in the world, and to turn them into cinnamon rolls? That’s more deliciousness than my brain can comprehend at the moment. Yes, please!
  • I have to confess that I buy bottled salad dressing (I’m not sure why I buy bottled dressing when I make more difficult things like pasta from scratch!). But, I think this Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette from Bread + Butter may change that! Plus, this salad uses ramen noodles to add some crunch (a necessary element of any salad, if you ask me), which I think is brilliant.
  • Last, but certainly not least, is this Honey Wheat Pita Bread from Evil Shenanigans.  I have been on a bread making kick lately, but I’ve never actually tried to make pita.  I always thought it sounded difficult, and I was unsure of how to get the nice pocket in the middle. This post makes it look easy and approachable – something that even I can manage. Oh, and the pocket in the middle is just pita magic!

18 Responses to Friday Favorites – Episode 48

  1. Divina says:

    OMG Jen, I do have the same sentiments. I mean, I’ve been thinking about that these past few days and you’ve just written exactly I have in mind. :) But I’m glad I’m not checking on stats or comments every now and then like I used to. I just blog because I enjoy doing it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Really appreciate that.

  2. Will be missing your posts, but you have a great perspective. Hope you get back to the loving your blog place :) Enjoy the break!

  3. I love your honesty and completely understand. If I was not in my unfortunate job situation, I would be doing the exact same thing. Unluckily (luckily?), I am in a job where I sit and do nothing all day…and basically get paid to blog/read blogs. I would much rather do something more fulfilling, but I am glad that I have blogs to keep me entertained.

    And your blog is so wonderful. I think quality > quantity, and you always have top notch quality!

  4. Jessie says:

    Thanks for the shout out!! I just came back from a longggg hiatus due to health reasons. I feel if you are starting to feel burned out by blogging go ahead and take a break to recover, to be re-inspired etc :) I look forward to reading your delicious postings!

  5. Tracy says:

    I am totally with you on that! I just can’t keep up with everything all the time, and I have scaled back a little as well. I look forward to your upcoming (and hopefully more stress free) posts! :-)

  6. Gail says:

    Good for you, Jen! It’s about quality, not quantity. That said, I look forward to you posting comments on every blog post I write. LOL!

  7. Joy says:

    Good for you! If you can’t find enjoyment in this, it is not even worth doing. I see what you are talking about leaving comments for everybody you read. I found myself doing that also. I guess I wanted to make sure the blogs I follow know that I appreciate their postings. You bring up a good point about providing generic comments. Comments should be somewhat meaningful. Take care of yourself.

  8. Stephanie says:

    We’ll all miss your frequent posts, but I totally understand what you’re feeling! I think your followers will understand and probably appreciate your posts a lot more these days, knowing that you’re posting because it was something delicious and worth while for you.

  9. Beautiful. All grace to you as you explore a new rhythm with this! :) Hopefully it will give you more rest and time to enjoy this lovely spring!

    And um…B-R-A-V-O for swearing off Google Analytics. LOVE it. :)

  10. jenn says:

    I know exactly how you feel. I do read a lot of blogs, I just don’t necessarily comment on every single one of them. I haven’t been checking my stats since…I can’t remember when. It takes the fun out of it and I don’t want that to happen. I, along with many other followers, will still be here reading you posts. :)

    Thanks for the FF pick this week. :)

  11. Mags says:

    If I’m not mistaken and I think you and I started blogging around the same time and I find it interesting that we both hit this “blog stress” thingie at the same time too. Post when it’s fun and comment when you want to. That’s what I’ve decided to do to. We’ll all still be here!

  12. LisaB says:

    I just stumbled across your blog in the last week or so and decided to add it to my RSS feed because we’re sort of neighbors. (I’m SE of Lancaster.) Anyway, I was stunned by how often you posted and wondered how you found the time to squeeze it all in. I’m glad to see that you’re cutting back so that it becomes enjoyable again. Blogging shouldn’t be stressful. Best wishes.

  13. Fuji Mama says:

    Great post Jen. I’ve hit that point before, and as a result don’t do a whole lot of blog reading, except of those blogs that I love and don’t want to miss. Blogging should come from the heart–if it doesn’t, it will show! I appreciate that you are staying true to yours. XOXO

  14. Tracey says:

    I know exactly what you mean Jen. Blogging has become quite stressful for me too lately (for all the reasons you stated so articulately) and it’s really taken the fun out of it. I hope you get back to that fun place soon :)

  15. Elly says:

    Good for you! I really enjoy your blog, but taking care of yourself needs to be your priority. I think as women we tend to forget that. Enjoy!

  16. Jen, you took the words right out of my mouth. The past few weeks for me have been so stressful and/or busy in my real life that my blog is sometimes just something else to worry about. You are so right that blogging can soon progress from being fun to worrying about all those things like traffic and submitting things to other sites (well, at least if you are like me it did…) and it really does take the love and fun out of it.

    Re blog reading and commenting, I feel the same way you do that I NEED to comment on every single blog I read a few times a week. The ones I really love, it doesn’t feel like a chore but I definitely notice when I don’t comment on certain blogs for a few days that sometimes those people stop commenting on mine until I do, and then I get into the vicious circle of feeling like I HAVE to comment to get traffic to come to my site. But it should not all be about the stats and the traffic, you are so correct.

    You have wonderful and realistic perspective and I need to take a leaf out of your book too.

    Thank you and FWIW, I prefer to read blogs that post quality a few times a week, not posts just for the sake of it.. (not that I ever felt like that with your posts just so you know!)

    {{{hugs}}}

  17. Thank you all for kind words and encouragement! I appreciate that so many of you understand where I’m coming from (all too well, I’m afraid)… Thanks for putting up with my little rant. I feel better having written it, and I’m looking forward to getting back to some new recipes next week (hopefully)!

  18. lo says:

    Jen – I’m so glad you’ve written this post and put your feelings out there. It really IS about quality, not quantity. And posting just to keep up always ends up to be a lose-lose proposition. Blogging really isn’t about traffic. or stats. or volume. It’s about people — really connecting with others. Really sharing. Really caring. I know that’s what you’re about — and, quite frankly, that’s why I’m here :) Keep up the good work. But, don’t let it stress you out!

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