Evolution of a blog + free ebook

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by Debra Dane on March 12, 2013

in Authenticity & Self-awareness

Nineteen months! That is how long I have been blogging now. It feels like years and years. I think it is similar to a summer or traveling romance where you spend so much time together that you cover a lifetime in mere months. Instead of dating maybe once or twice a week, you are together almost 24/7 and by month two you are like an old married couple (meaning intimate and past the pretense stage).

Or maybe it is like dog years?

Who knows. What I do know is that in this time I have grown and changed and looked within myself and outward to you all.

Last year was extremely draining for me running the 52 weeks to simplify your life challenge. I wanted so badly to stick with it even as it was draining me (hello – time off, I needed you). I lost a little part of me. I also gained other parts of me so I still look back on it with love and appreciation. I connected with some amazing bloggers (including ladies who became bloggers just to do the challenge – awesome). I challenged myself and pushed through so many boundaries.

Thankfully I then went on holiday to the States for 5 1/2 weeks with my family.

Best decision ever.

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I loved being at “home” and seeing my friends and family and getting concentrated time with my husband and girls.

More than anything though I loved being with myself. I had time to read, think, write, play, breathe, explore, daydream.

As the days passed I felt layers dropping away, like abandoned clothing piece by piece as they fall to the floor.

My mind started to go crazy with ideas. I itched to be creative. I longed to stretch myself in every way possible.

I set my words for the year – create, connect and clean – while on the trip.

I came home and we adopted a dog within days.

I am out walking with her up to three times a day – fresh air, moving my body, letting my mind roam free.

I am writing, doodling, painting and finding my old creative self who was asleep under a massive pile of blankets.

I can hear my thoughts clearer than ever before and slowly I am connecting to my vision and purpose as I go forward.

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What does this mean for the blog?

Well, as I evolve so too will this space.

From day one I have had a button on my sidebar and a sign off for my posts. They read “find your simple”. My message has always been underneath my posts – authenticity and intentionally living. I plan to revamp this space with a new tagline (first test drive is up on the header now), new categories and greater focus on my message and journey.

A lot of what I wrote previously fell under a broad category on the side bar “personal development and inspiration”. That is where my heart is and I will categorise those posts to break them out by topic. The words in the images above give you a good indication of what I will be writing about.

I will still write about parenting and family life –  rituals and routines, rhythm of a home, celebrations, simple home life, connection and creative ways to play and grow together.

There will be less organising, household management and productivity writing in the practical sense and more exploring this from different angles in relation to being more intentional.

 

 

 

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Beyond this space I already hang out a lot on Facebook with many of you, but it is a love-hate relationship due to changes that go on there. When deciding how I want to go forward more social media was not the answer for me. I wanted something I would own and a way I could connect with people where they could choose to hear from me or not (rather than an algorithm or timing deciding that – damn you Facebook).

I hope you will sign up to receive my monthly “yet-to-be-named musings” and receive my first ebook “The intentional living playbook” while it is available. I promise not to needlessly clutter up your in box and only get in touch once or twice a month with tools, tips and resources that will inspire and push you forward on your own journey.

If you are out there reading along  would love to hear from you in the comments more or however works for you. My intention with this blog was always to create a space for conversation and my hope is that more of you will come out of the wood work and delurk to comment. Never worry about what you write just jump in! If you are new here and want to know more about me there is a whole new page waiting for you here.

 

If you are a blogger has your own space evolved and change over time?  

What do you all think about where I am headed – are you still with me? I am so excited – and that has to be a good thing!

 

Find your simple,

Deb

 

Linking up with Jess for IBOT – check out all the wonderful blogs and I am sure you will find some that are just right for you!

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon Punter March 12, 2013 at 7:52 am

Still with you Deb! I’ve always found your advice useful and I often pop to your website for a refresher from time to time! Good luck on your journey – evolution is exciting! X

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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Thanks Sharon – evolution IS exciting
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Bec March 12, 2013 at 8:17 am

Actually I love this! There is so much out there on organising and household management so I’m excited you are going in a different direction! Bring it on!
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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Thanks Bec. i am excited to see where it goes and just let words come to me from the heart rather what i think i should be writing about
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Elisa {With Grace & Eve} March 12, 2013 at 8:42 am

I love your new direction Deb – we are definitely in sync :) Look forward to reading your ebook! xx
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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Thanks Elisa – don’t forget to get in touch. would love to hear what you are up to / planning / feeling. deb xx
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Kate @ My Dear Angel March 12, 2013 at 9:11 am

Of course I am still here! Love the direction and love the new tagline. Joy is a word I have been trying to use more often, lately. It is a lovely word to have in your tagline! It seems an ‘old world’ kind of word… such a joy! Wishing you well in your new direction!
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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Thanks Kate – for your ongoing support and words.
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Annaleis March 12, 2013 at 9:27 am

I’m still with you. You inspire me to search out my creative side and that its ok to do. I find my own blog becoming more purposeful and I feel like I’m actually using some of my skills to guide and help other parents in our small community. Good luck Deb xxx

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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm

That is fantastic Annaleis! and definitely get in touch with your creative siude – once you unleash it who knows where it will lead!
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Emily March 12, 2013 at 10:46 am

Love this post, Deb.

My blog has evolved. I’m glad I decided to use my name as the URL in case I ever wanted to change the focus of my blog, as I can see it happening at some stage.
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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm

you are a clever cookie Em. i am so intertwined with HLS including trademarking it that i am not sure if i ever will do a Deb Dane dot come etc.
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Vanessa March 12, 2013 at 11:59 am

Loved reading this. You’re so right to head into the direction you need to go regardless of who you may leave behind. It’s important that it works for you, that it fuels you in a way, and it won’t do that if you’re trying to please everyone. I changed the name of my blog a little while ago because it didn’t sit right with me anymore. I’m so glad I did. Yes I did lose a few followers but that’s neither here nor there. What I try and keep in mind is this: do it from the heart, do what you are passionate about, and the rest will follow. Looking forward to seeing it all unfold for you!
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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm

That is exactly what I am thinking Vanessa – the reconnection to my heart is why my mind is now flowing freely – it is not like i was doing anything “wrong” before but i was doing too much and now i can focus and in focus i can find freedom. xx Curious what your blog was called before as I only discovered it recently and you know i fell in love at first sight ; )
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Aroha @ Colours of Sunset March 12, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I think if your blog is not evolving and growing, then there’s not much point in blogging, as you’re probably not getting anything out of it. I can see it’s been a massive 15 months for you since launching the 52 Week Challenge, and I can’t imagine how much of your time that took up. I am looking forward to following along and seeing where you go, Deb! xo Aroha
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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Thanks Aroha – i think you are so right about evolving and growing being a sign that i am getting more out of it…
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Lyndal March 12, 2013 at 2:44 pm

oh deb, i love this! i can almost hear how refreshed and excited you are in these changes. Look forward to hanging out and reading your new journeys (esp in the coming weeks as |I get back on board with life in general!) xx
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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Thanks hon – I just saw your latest post and have no idea what is going on in the blogospehere (i am always out of the loop – maybe because i am off twitter most of the time???) I hope you are ok and you do whatever you need to – here any time you need a friendly ear – much love xxx
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Emma March 12, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Definitely still here and reading every week. Even though the 52 SYL challenge was a huge amount of work for you, I for one really benefitted from it. I never ended up doing the survey for you, but I will send you an email just to let you know how much I gained from your advice and how much I still enjoy it… Good luck with the new changes, I will still be reading along and will make the effort to comment much more often :)

Emma x

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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 9:57 pm

I look forward to your email Em xxx
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Kelly March 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Sounds like a great plan Deb. I’m so grateful you wrote the SYL series, it’s the main reason I started my blog and it’s already having a positive impact on my life this year. I have been on a journey to finding myself again the last 6 months or so and there’s so much to be inspired by on your blog. Thankyou, and all the best for the future :)
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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 9:58 pm

I was so excited when you started the challenge this year and set up a blog – so many people got in touch with me asking if i was doing it again but there was no way – i wonder how many took it upon themselves to just dive in – any change is good right? don’t need to do every week’s challenge (and bonus that you are doing listmania too!!)
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Julie March 12, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I’m very excited for you Deb! I still remember you giving me advice on working with my ‘small space’ ;)

For my blog I’m returning to a subject that is close to my heart, my girls, they are what started me blogging in the first place. While enjoyed Kidspot’s ‘grateful’ challenge last year, it chewed up a lot of time (esp. away from the girls), so this year I decided not to participate weekly and instead am focussing my blog posts on my girls, the occasional ‘grateful’ post and craft activities “Popette” and I make together.

I look forward to reading your ebook and be inspired by your ‘new’ blog!
xx
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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Sounds like a good plan – i love reading your blog ! xx
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kirri March 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I know exactly what you mean re: blogging for dog years – I feel the same and yet the rest of life is speeding up. What’s up with that?

I can feel your energy raising off the page (so to speak) and I’m looking forward to your new directions.

PS – Beautiful graphics and philosophy. The colour combo is popping!
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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Thanks lovely – the rest of life IS speeding up – that’s part of why i want to slow things down – both here and at home – it is the only way i think i can make time slow down too, by being more intentional and doing less xx
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Janet @ Redland City Living March 12, 2013 at 5:52 pm

As a recent blogger I missed it but look forward to seeing how and where your blog goes from here!
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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Thanks Janet! hope you will join the conversation xx
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Steph Pearce March 12, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Absolutely adore the new approach Deb. just downloaded and speed read the book and can’t wait to go back and daydream about some of the questions and prompts. I loved you work last year – I was a quick drop out of the 52 weeks but lurked about on and off and always welcome your posts in my RSS feed because when you hit the mark, you do it so well.

I cant articulate it well, but the organization/control thing just does get toxic after a while. There is something about motherhood (i think thatis the catalyst?) that so easily spins us into a whirlwind of trying to keep on top of everything – keep all the balls in the air. There is so much freedom though in letting it all fall down, and just picking up the good bits again.

Thanks for your time and sharing of so much of yourself. I love reading your work. Steph. Xxx

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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Thanks so much Steph – great to see you here – i would love you to email me in the future and let me know what you think of the book – i value your input. Don’t be a stranger!
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Emily @ Have a laugh on me March 12, 2013 at 6:51 pm

While I’m still a newbie I have taken much from you and your blog, and I know it will continue to help me. I think blogging itself helps a person evolve, helps them to figure out a bit more about themselves. Love the new header Deb, and I look forward to more of you. Em x
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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Thanks Em – that is true that the act of blogging (and writing in general) helps you grow
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Deb S March 12, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Hi Deb, I think you are wonderful. Your words reach me and they teach me, how to find the authentic me. I was following along with your challenge last year, until the outside pressures and a family tragedy totally rocked me off my foundations. I am slowly finding my way back to happiness with my husband and sons. I am really trying to find a little joy in every day and build on it abit more each day. So, Thank you so very much. I am happy to read along with you here on your blog or via Facebook. Cheers, Deb.

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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 10:14 pm

HI Deb -= i am so sorry to read that you had a family tragedy – I am glad you are finding your way back. I hope that you find more and more joy in your days xxx
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Julie March 12, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Sounds great Deb! I’m looking forward to down-loading your e-book.

I’d say I’ve always enjoyed simplicity with my blog. I have avoided monetising (though nothing against those who do), because I don’t want the pressure of it. My blog is my simple space. I’m not into it enough to have it as a job.

Intentional parenting and family life though… I’m very much into that!
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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 10:23 pm

You definitely have to know what you want from your blog. Mine was part of a business from day 1 but what I had planned for it ended up changing within months as I realised the writing WAS the business for me
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Debbie @ Aspiring Mum March 12, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Awesome Deb! So excited for you. I’ll still be following :) As for my own blog/s – *big sigh* – my intentions are just not matching up with my ideals at the moment. I have unpublished (not deactivated) my fb pages and just have to focus on finishing my studies. It’s not what I had planned, but I have realised that I can only juggle so much and stressing about writing posts etc is not on my agenda this year. My passions are still there, so I will see what unfolds at the end of the year. In the mean-time, I am still reading along with my favourite people in the blogosphere.xx
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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Knowing your limits is important hon and you need to do what is right for right now – i hope you will chime in here with your thoughts as I respect your opinions and ideas so much! Maybe you can write a guest post for me for school holidays if you have something you want to share – my plan also means this year I am taking off when the kids are off school!
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Zanni March 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Deb, this is wonderful and inspiring. I love where you are heading, and I love the tag line. You are doing great things! xx
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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Thanks so much – that means a lot – looking forward to connecting more.
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bron March 12, 2013 at 8:31 pm

love it! Thanks Deb.

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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Thanks Bron – enjoy xx
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beth March 12, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Love this new direction! The places you want to focus on are my favourite places on your blog. It is so inspiring to see someone focus on what is best for them, rather than what they think is best to the blogworld. Thank you for always being you, authentic and genuine, it is truly what I love about you and your blog! As a non-facebooker, I am especially excited about your “TBD Musings”…

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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Thanks beautiful. I am trusting doing what i want and feel drawn to will lead to good things in the coming months. Now to get all my thoughts clear and organised – notes everywhere and ideas blossoming. For a change i have several posts already written because they are easier to write for me.
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EssentiallyJess March 12, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Exciting times ahead for you Deb! A revamp is always a great creativity boost I think.
I think blogs do need to change, because people change. You wouldn’t want to be the same person as you were 19 months ago, so your blog shouldn’t be either :)
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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 10:28 pm

very true i have changed a lot in the last 19 months!
Debra Dane recently posted..Letters to my daughters: honoring your needsMy Profile

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rita March 12, 2013 at 9:06 pm

I wish you all the best with the new direction of your blog. I have to admit I’m not an usual reader of your blog but I will try to stop more often here in the future. I love your signature: love your simple.
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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 10:29 pm

My door is always open! thanks for commenting xx
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Marie March 12, 2013 at 9:59 pm

I can’t believe that’s been 19 months. Wow! That’s flown by. I remember when you first told me about what you were thinking of doing with the blog I thinking to myself “Deb is going to totally rock at that”….. and you do! I’ve loved watching your journey and seeing the positive impact you’ve had on so many people.

You inspire me daily :)

xMx

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Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Thanks honey!! isn’t it funny though how i had 1 clear idea for starting HLS and the blog was just part of it – then the blog became everything.

BTW apologies to G fro my daughter’s lack of pen paling of late – she is hard to pin down to write. she has so much to share i am thinking maybe a video letter would be good and i can email it to you guys xx
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Shell March 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Fantastic Deb – you have to do what’s right for you, what’s the point otherwise (although thanks for hanging in there with SYL last year!) Maybe there will be some that will go (not me) but likewise you’ll probably attract new people who connect with your evolving message. What I’m sure of, is that the more you connect with you & put yourself out there, the more authentic it will be, and to me that’s the point of blogs vs other platforms. I love your idea for us to intentionally connect too, I soooo have a love hate relationship with facebook!
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