The New Direction of AWC

Dear Writers, Poets & Bloggers:

I had a long talk with myself about why I have yet to produce the next, and very late, Q&A vlog. The answer was simple enough: I didn’t want to devote the 10 or so minutes necessary to present what would essentially be boring but pertinent information. I want all future Q&As to be fun, engaging and shorter than prior vlogs.

This post, while critical to the future direction of ArmedWithCoffee (AWC), would have been too ‘…yadda, yadda, yadda, where’s the stuff about erotica?’ for a vlog.

My blog is both random and intended…or it used to be. I stated early on that writing only about writing would be boring AF and I stand by that. My posts have largely been across the board in terms of topics but the heart of this blog has always been reading, writing, and poetry. For those of you who have been around AWC you will have noted a marked reduction in such posts.

I AM A WRITER NOT A BLOGGER

Those varied posts reflected the time I used to have when I delivered such topics and with greater frequency. Here’s the thing, I don’t have the time. Not anymore.

Some folks blog full-time.
Some folks blog part-time.
I was a folk that blogged perhaps a quarter-time and that’s when I had the time.
I now have less than that.

I never identified as a blogger. I am a writer that has a blog. My hobby is writing and poetry. My passion is writing and poetry. Blogging is an extension of those passions. Those who blog professionally require a blog. I do not need a blog to write. If anything posting takes time away from my writing, sometimes substantially so.

The point of AWC was to:
~ Connect with like minded creators.
~ Gain feedback.
~ Become more comfortable with putting myself out there.
~ Draw attention to myself as a writer to both agents and publishers.

Across the board, check. Having done those things, I realize I’m here for me. I don’t need to be on WordPress, I want to be on WordPress. I want to share poems. I want to lift fellow creators, artists and bloggers. I want to write non-detailed book reviews because I value getting to the point. I don’t need to do any of this in order to be a writer. I want to do these things so as to remain involved with such an awesome community.

All blogs should reflect their owners and their goals. Currently, AWC reflects my original goals, goals I can no longer sustain, in fact, provokes a sense of guilt when that should not be the case. I should experience joy and a sense of accomplishment upon opening my blog, not guilt for the work I cannot get done and know I cannot get done.

I yearn to hold onto all the threads (as they are important to me) but I am unable to make anything with those threads if they are all tangled up in a white-knuckled grip. That would just make me a hoarder of thoughts and intent. How utterly useless. If I want my threads to have a purpose, I need to let go of the ones that no longer serve me and I can no longer serve.

WHAT CHANGED

I now earn income on YouTube and I love it. I work for myself, I answer to me. I also generate more output now than ever before and that’s coming from someone who has the foundations of two careers. In terms of my personal time, something has to give. The expectations I have placed upon myself in regards to posting (about what and how often) needs to be replaced with new, manageable expectations. My focus is my family and my business. Unfortunately, writing often takes a backseat, more so than blogging, if you can believe it, as being absent from posting too long can and will reap serious consequences as a creator. All the more reason to adjust the expectations of AWC.

WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN?

AWC will receive a massive makeover in both style and purpose. AWC will look cleaner, primarily focusing on poetry and showcasing the work of fellow artists.

AWC will be a continued source of:
~ Poetry
~ Writer’s Lift Wednesday (now including artists of all mediums)
~ MUSIC segments (occasional, relaxed, not planned)
~ Get to the Point Book Reviews (occasional, relaxed, not planned)
~ Q&As (occasional)

AWC will no longer include:
~ Book of the Month
~ Random Nonsense posts
~ Independent reviews of fellow creator’s blogs and their works.

Book of the Month was still relatively new, and as it usually goes, the last one is the first one out. I still had not developed an audience for BOTM (vlog format) so even though it was a once a month recommendation, vlogging BOTM was still labor intensive for someone who creates 12-13 videos a week for YouTube. Simply, there was no room in my filming schedule.

The Random Nonsense posts may not seem like a big deal but it actually accounts for a lot of AWC’s foundation material. I’ll miss it.

As for the reviews, I never encouraged anyone to come to me for an opinion regarding their blog (I’m not qualified, I’m not a blogger) or their creative work. However, I often receive requests to review poems and writing samples. I used to say, ‘yes’ because I do enjoy beta-reading, and offering what limited opinion I have, but I do not have the time, not anymore. It’s been ‘no’ for me since last February and I’m making it a blanket rule to keep it that way. I’m sorry, but again, this decision is not for lack of want.

Those older posts that do not fit AWC’s new focus for criteria will be archived but accessible, other posts will be removed all together. A very few select poems will also be removed, some I do not wish to see carry over into the new AWC.

Your blog ought to be a reflection of you. AWC has not reflected me in a long time. Hence, changes. And, I anticipate, changes for the better.

WHEN WILL AWC BE MADE OVER?

I anticipate overhauling AWC over the last few weeks of August. We’ve hit the obligatory, annual triple digit temperatures here in Texas so I’m not terribly anxious to leave the house anyway.

WHAT ELSE ABOUT AWC?

~ My blog is not a source of income (sponsors, ads, products)
~ I have never earned income for my recommendations or reviews.
~ I openly list my own published works, however, I don’t push them on readers.
~ I am here because I want to be, even when I know I should be writing.
~ When I support my fellow authors, poets and bloggers, I mean it.

I know some of you will not want to continue to follow ArmedWithCoffee (some of you really enjoyed my Random Nonsense…like…a lot πŸ˜ƒ). I hope we don’t part ways but if we do, I understand. If AWC is not providing you what you want then it makes perfect sense.

I have not posted about writing, reviewing and recommendations for some time but now that I am making it official, some of you will officially unfollow. Again, no worries. Like attracts like. I will gain followers and I will occasionally lose them too. It goes with the territory, as you know.

I look forward to unrolling the new AWC and I hope you do too!!! I’ve new poems to share (both the erotic and non-erotic variety) and so many Writer’s Lift Wednesdays to look forward to as well. And I do look forward to WLW as it’s my opportunity to discover your work 😘.

Please share your thoughts as you see fit. Many of you already know to email me with your thoughts, questions, or concerns.

All the best,
Christina Schmidt, MA
armedwithcoffee.com

I watch the ripples change their size /
But never leave the stream of warm impermanence and /
So the days float through my eyes /
But still the days seem the same /

“Changes” by David Bowie

PS – Another holdup to the next Q&A vlog is for a legitimate reason…you guys…I recently did a 23andMe kit. I’ve never shared this but my father is adopted and thus my German heritage is too. My mother’s side is all Irish-American (no confusion here). But my father grew-up in a very proud English-German bilingual household. This incorporation of German-American culture was considered a norm for several generations. Although I lost the ability to speak German (a foreign language must be exercised repeatedly in order to keep the skill) there is no doubt I identify with German culture and its many traditions. But now I want to know…where do my muscular legs REALLY come from?

For some of you, that last sentence will make sense 🀣🀣🀣!!!