Going Forward

good morning, cyberspace!

As you may have noticed, I unwittingly disappeared from the blogosphere yet again. Am I proud of this? lol, nope. But sometimes life likes to give you a nice little drop-kick to the spleen, and that, my dear beans, is what happened this summer.

I’m pretty sure we can all agree that 2020 has been the year of unpredictability, but as much as I want to blame my inconsistencies on this year and all the horrors it has flung at us, I can’t. The truth is, the only person I can blame for my horrible habit of falling off the face of the earth time and again is myself. I’m the one not putting my whole self into blogging and writing and staying consistent. I’m the one who doesn’t even try to get organized, and therefore doesn’t have anything to post when Tuesday rolls around. I’m the one who needs to make some changes to the way I do things, and therefore, that is what I’m trying to do.

I know I said I have some news for you all this week, and that post will be coming out in a day or so. But today is for clarifying something that’s been heavy on my mind for quite some time:

I don’t know where this blog is going.

Have I mentioned this before? Maybe. I honestly don’t even remember. But the fact remains that I no longer know the direction in which to take this. When I first started out, it felt easy. Almost natural. Like blogging was a part of me that I hadn’t realized I’d been missing until I had it. But lately, blogging has felt less like a part of me that I’ve been missing, and more like a past part of myself I’m trying to hold on to.

Smudged Thoughts means so much to me, guys. I’m not sure if I can fully describe the extent of it. This blog is where I found my voice, where I stepped out of my shell and created a thing I’m proud of. It’s where I met my friends and released the side of myself that I’d been holding back for so long. The Kenzie you see standing before you today is here because of Smudged Thoughts. Had she not taken a leap of faith nearly four years ago and created this smol little chaos corner, I might be an entirely different creature.

Possibly a goblin. Or a unicorn.

But despite how much I love and cherish and adore this blog, even a dreamer like me has to admit that we sometimes outgrow things. Sometimes we have to give things up in order to have greater, grander opportunities present themselves. And this has been my conundrum–not for the past three weeks of my absence–but for the past few months.

Lately it feels like I keep rehashing the same old things. It feels like nothing is new anymore, and every post I write feels like an old outline recycled. And as someone who thrives on the new and the exciting and the adventurous . . . I don’t like this feeling. So I’ve been pondering, stewing, thinking over ways to fix this, and all the while, I keep disappearing from the internet without so much as a word of warning. And I hate that. I hate disappearing. I hate not being present in this beautiful community. I hate not feeling like I have the time to be a part of it, because in all actuality, I do have the time. I’m just not making it a priority.

And admitting that is like stabbing myself in the shin.

So I’ve been considering my options. I’ve been tossing them back and forth for the past few days especially, trying to determine how I want to move forward. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, actually. A lot of decisions have been made in the course of so little time that I’m quite literally shocked by the pile of them I now have sitting in the corner. But even as I type this, the truth of what I know I want becomes clearer. It’s just a matter of doing it that frightens me. Because I know–I know–what I must do. And I know that I’m going to fall again.

And again.

And probably again until I eventually land on the perfect, golden formula of time-management which constantly eludes me. But the truth is, no matter how much I may think it’ll be easier just to give up blogging in its entirety, just to have the fear of failure no longer sweating over my back, I can’t. I love it too much. I love my corner of the internet too much. And I love this community too much, even if I haven’t been as big a part of it lately as I’ve wanted to be.

But what I said about outgrowing things is still true, which is why I’m taking the plunge and–with any luck–changing some things up around here. I want to talk about books more. Good books, especially. Which is why–in the coming months–you might be seeing more reviews from me. But I also want to talk about writing and life, as well. Because being a writer isn’t all there is to living. There are so many adventures to be had out in this great and crazy world, and I want to go out and seize them. And I want to share my journey into the writing and publishing world with you all.

So even though I’ve been disappearing, Smudged Thoughts is sticking around, even if I have the occasional slip-up. Who knows if I’ll fall off the face of the earth again, but if I do, know that I will keep coming back.

Again and again and again.

>>> <<<

talk to me, peasants!

Well, I’m back. This wasn’t exactly the post I’d planned to publish today, but then again, plans have never been my strong suit. XD I’m not really sure what to ask for questions, though, so we’ll just go with something random.

If there is one post you’d like to see from me in the future, what is it, and why?

I currently have a few posts already planned or in the works, so let’s see if I can actually keep my head this time around…

As always, let’s talk about ALL of the things in the comments below! And until next time–because there will be a next time…

21 thoughts on “Going Forward

  1. For a moment I was so terrified you weren’t going to be blogging anymore and that’d be TRAGIC!!! I love your blog with all my heart and it always, ALWAYS puts a smile on my face!

    WITH THAT SAID. It is 100% okay to outgrow things. To change your pursuits as YOU change. That’s natural! I definitely outgrew my little Musings of an Elf blog and don’t regret whatsoever moving to a new domain. That just happens. We should never hold ourselves back when we need to grow and make changes.

    AND ALSO. It is OKAY when you disappear now and again! There’s no rule that says you have to be blogging every. single. week. of your life. We have lives outside of our social media platform, after all. We SHOULD step back from our blogs and things now and again and just…live. (Preaching to myself. *COUGH, COUGH*) This is something I struggle with a lot… But I’m slowly starting to realize I’m not just a blog or an instagram or a novel. If I can’t always show up to those things, THAT’S OKAY. The world won’t end, and my followers will understand. We shouldn’t shame ourselves if we can’t CONSTANTLY produce content. (Again, preaching to myself. I feel like I’m giving myself a pep talk in your comment section. XD) We change and grow and life gets busy, and sometimes our internet presence just has to reflect that, and that’s GOOD. Because it’s just this crazy, ridiculous, beautiful life we’ve been given.

    So ALL that to say! There is NO shame in not CONSTANTLY blogging or needing to change things up around here to reflect the person you’ve become. Us followers will happily follow our dear Kenzie down whatever path you choose! <3

    Liked by 2 people

    • OH GOODNESS. See, I was kinda worried you guys would think that, but at the same time I just had to get this off my chest for some reason?? (although, looking back, I probably could have given a head’s up that I was not, in fact, quitting. [good job, past Kenzie. XD]) But no!!! I’m DEFINITELY sticking around! I love this community far too much to separate myself from it completely! But oh my goodness!!! Christine!!! You have literally NO CLUE how much this means to me. Seriously. *tackles*

      And okay, but like??? You can give yourself pep talks in the comment section ANY TIME you want because DUDE. This is exactly what I’ve been struggling with/trying to come to grips with!!! I’m debating maybe starting to ease up on my schedule a bit–like posting every OTHER week until I get the hang of posting once a week. Or posting one really GOOD post a month and focusing on my instagram a little more. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but there might be some changes happening round here. (which, like you said, is good and normal and OKAY, and I just need to take a deep breath and come to terms with this fact.) And also…I need to tell you how much I appreciate you. Seriously, your comments, your FRIENDSHIP literally means the world to me. Having you in my life has been such a blessing, and I quite frankly can’t imagine not having your positivity and light in my life at this point. So just…THANK YOU. Thank you for everything you do. <333

      MEEP… OH MY GOODNESS. You are literally the best, and this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Because sometimes it feels like I'm obligated to be here EVERY SINGLE WEEK and it's difficult! I love it–so so much–but it's HARD. And I want to get better at it, but I think I need to take baby steps… I'm sorry I freaked you out!!! That honestly was not my intention. XD

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was unconsciously holding my breath through the second half of the post terrified you were going to say that you were quitting blogging! Your blog is such a fun, sunshiny place in the midst of the internet and I would be SO SAD if it disappeared for good. (I am so extremely bad at keeping up with blogs that I kind of appreciate the fact that you don’t post like every day, it makes it easier for me to not fall behind… because reading blogs is also a thing I enjoy and often get behind on).

    OH MY GOODNESS, I totally empathize with everything in this post, though. I love blogging, and it’s very much a part of me… or of who I was… and as life gets busier and more full I often feel like maybe it’s just too much… like I’m hanging on to something I was or something I used to be good at…. and I stress about my posts falling by the wayside… but the truth is… I’d rather blog than write newsletters or hang out on twitter… this social media hiatus has reminded me that I love blogging and I enjoy facebook (though I need to keep that one on a leash or I end up frittering away my life over there) but all the rest…. I don’t miss. Refocusing has been good, and reminded me that it’s better to do the things I love well, than to try to do everything and spread myself too thin.

    Anyway, I’m so happy you’ll still be blogging!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Okay, so I’ve just been sitting here reading your comment and whispering, “yes…!!! YES…! Oh my goodness, yes!!!!” over and over. So…hopefully that gives you some sort of inclination as to how I feel about what you wrote. XD

      ACK! I’m so sorry I freaked you out! That definitely was not my intention, and I was 100% just trying to get something off my chest that I’ve been struggling with for months. (not to mention that as I was writing this, I was trying to sort my own thoughts out, so the structure of the post is more my mental mind-map than anything. XD) BUT MEEP!!! Oh my goodness, THANK YOU. I would honestly be so sad if it disappeared completely, too… AND YES!!! Reading blogs that don’t post every single day is easier for me, as well! Because then it doesn’t feel like I’m obligated to READ them every day. (but reading the blogs I truly love is something I need to do more of. I’m trying to focus more of my down time on that, rather than going on a youtube spiral. We shall see how it works in the coming weeks. XD)

      And this sentence right here: “Refocusing has been good, and reminded me that it’s better to do the things I love well, than to try to do everything and spread myself too thin.” << that is EXACTLY what I've been trying to learn, myself!! I've started to realize that I prefer Instagram to Twitter, and that I prefer blogging over all of the other socials. (Facebook is good for entering groups, but I don't really use that platform as much as I might be able to.) So my mindset right now is to pour my focus into Instagram and my blog. I'm still trying to piece together how to juggle them both, but my plan is to fall and stumble until I finally figure out a way that works for *me*. Because the way other people do things doesn't always work for everyone else, and I want to find MY method.

      Basically, everything you said in here is one major YES, and I absolutely love it. AND ALSO. I TRULY AM SORRY IF I FREAKED YOU OUT. Past Kenzie really should have considered how the first part of this post would sound. XD

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh my goodness, Kenzie, I was so worried, reading your post! I’m so glad you’re sticking around and continuing to grace the blogosphere with your presence! And I’m really excited to see your book review and life posts in the future!! <3

    Liked by 1 person

    • ACK! I’m so sorry!! I feel like I need to give a spoiler warning at the beginning that I’m actually NOT going away. XD

      But yes!!! I’m so excited, too!!! And I definitely want to talk about writing still, but also life and general bookishness and just…all of the things. I’m still trying to find my direction, but I feel like I’m closer now than before. <3

      Like

  4. Oof, very terrified you were going to follow my bad example and fall off the face of the blogosphere altogether. Even if I’m an inconsistent reader at best, losing Smudged Thoughts would be a tragic loss indeed. I understand the struggle though. While I don’t entirely feel qualified to write blogging advice, I know when I was blogging consistently it was because I had words I needed to get out. As I wrote those, more words came. So, write what you’re passionate about. I’m pretty sure your fans will be happy to read anything, as long as you’ve written it. The only problem comes when you’re not feeling passionate about anything in particular. With that, my friend, I’m not sure I can help (alas).

    Like

    • Oh goodness. I’m so sorry for the suspense!! I really need to add a footnote or something. XD But ACK. YES. That is exactly where my problem lies right now! One, I’m VERY inconsistent with reading other people’s blogs, and that SADDENS me, but then there’s also the matter of not knowing what to write? And that is TERRIFYING. But I’m allowing myself to just breathe on the weeks when I have nothing to post for now. I’m still trying to find my rhythm, and giving myself grace is something I’m learning to do more of.

      And THANK YOU for loving Smudged Thoughts! This little blog is one of my happy places, and it brings me so much joy knowing that other people care about it as I do…! <333

      Like

  5. Okay…like everyone else, I was terrified you were quitting blogging. And I’m SO glad you’re not. (Though, I guess I’d understand if that was what you needed to do? But I’d be so sad.) Your blog literally has NEVER failed to bring a smile to my face in all the years I’ve been reading (stalking years as well as actually-commenting years XD). It’s been my gateway to the blogging world, to a large extent. I think Kate Marie’s was the first blog I followed, and I found you through her, and through you like everyone else. But your blog is still one of my absolute favorites. You are so sweet and sunshiny and TALENTED. And…I’m really glad you’re not quitting, in other words, and girl, I so feel you on not having time for things but…it’s a lot my own fault?? But it’s just hard?? Post however often you want/need to; I’ll always read and love your posts (even if I…fail at commenting oops), as I’m sure a lot of other people will too. Not posting for three weeks is like…I do miss my weekly dose of Kenzie Sunshine(TM), but also I get it and it’s not really a big deal. I’m excited for all the things you post in the future, book reviews and life stuff and more writing stuff and literally anything. (I mean, you could write an instruction manual and I’d happily giggle my way through it, so.) Super excited for that announcement!! And I love you and your blog and wish you all the best, in life and writing. <3

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh my goodness!!! I’m so sorry you thought that!!! It honestly was not my intention to freak you guys out. But OH. MY. WORD. Dude. This is actually the sweetest thing ever. I am SO happy that you like my weird little blog. Lately I’ve been struggling with keeping up with it, but knowing that there are people out there who enjoy reading it makes it so much better…and I want to keep writing posts for y’all, so I guess for the time being I’m staying. XD

      Oh my goodness. This entire comment is just…!!!! *squishes* THANK YOU, SARAH. You are the most darling of beans and I am so blessed to have met you!! And YOUR blog is one of MY favorites and I’ve been an utter failure at commenting. (actually, I’ve been an utter failure at commenting on anyone’s blogs??? which doesn’t make ANY sense because I LOVE reading blogs but I digress.) Here’s hoping we can find some sort of magical cheat sheet for time management, amiright? XD

      (but seriously. this comment made my whole entire day. you are the best and I adore you.)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ok, sorry I’m a little late commenting, life has been super busy and I got behind in my emails…

    Like everyone else, I’m glad you will be continuing to blog. I haven’t been following you for long, but I love your energy! Also, I’m right there with you on trying to figure things out. My blog started off just inspirational, then I added my other interests/hobbies, and now it seems to be morphing into a book blog??? So, yeah. I’m finding it hard to figure out what and where to post when and working out a schedule, so you are definitely NOT alone! Thank you for sharing this and I look forward to your future posts!

    So now that you’ve officially mastered freaking everybody out….. 😂 Maybe you should write a thriller, edge-of-your-seat suspense post….. Just sayin’. 🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    • OH MY GOODNESS!!! Tara!!! You are so kind, I can’t. And EEP!! Oh my word, thank you??? It’s so nice to know that I’m not alone in this chaotic craziness…. And oh my word, you like my energy???? That is literally the sweetest thing ever…. <333 I haven't been reading/commenting on blogs like I should, but I absolutely adore yours, as well!! And I think it's actually normal for our posts to change as we grow as humans. And sometimes our posts can come and go in waves. Like sometimes we post a lot of bookish content, sometimes a lot of writing content, sometimes life-ish things… Maybe that's just the way blogs are supposed to be. XD (but as an ENFP, I think I struggle with the wave thing quite a bit on a molecular level. XD)

      OH MY WORD. XD Dude, I've been trying to come up with a plot for a murder mystery/thriller novel, so this might be something that I need to do for a post in the future. XD

      Liked by 1 person

  7. *wipes nervous sweat away from brow* Good to hear your blog shall still be existing, however that looks!

    I highly identify with this post. I’ve been struggling posting anything on my own blog just because my life has gotten a lot more chaotic and busy, and my posts always feel like a regurgitation of something that I’ve done before.

    Honestly? As long as you don’t delete your blog and your precious posts, I don’t mind waiting for forever to hear from you. And no shame in switching up the content! I’ve outgrown my own blog content in a way, and instead of forcing myself to stick in a particular avenue, I’m switching things up, and even opening up the ideas of creating new blogs to expand my content that I may not want to share on my “Wonderous world around us” blog just because the audience doesn’t seem quite right for it.

    I’m reminded of the bible verse that “He takes us from glory to glory–” and our hope for what that may look like may be completely different than where God wants to take us.

    BLESSINGGGGGGSSSSSS! Love you~ and adore you! Glad you’re not erasing your internet trail off the web for foreverrrr! <3

    Like

    • Lol! Oh goodness. I think I freaked out literally EVERYONE. This…is decidedly not good, nor what I actually wanted. XD

      Oh my goodness, YES! That’s exactly what’s wrong with me right now! And I’m trying so hard to find the newness again, but like…it’s not working. But rest assured that I will NEVER completely delete this site. I love my little corner of the internet far too much for that. (and I think this is something that a lot of bloggers struggle with, so I’m assuming it’ll just??? go away soon??? XD)

      MEEP. Oh my word, that is SO encouraging, Felicity! Thank you so much… I’m gonna take that verse and put it in my pocket for whenever I’m feeling out of place… <33

      ASDFGHJKL I LOVE YOU, TOO, GIRL. <333

      Liked by 1 person

      • #AccidentallyCausedAMassPanicForMyBlogAudience #Oops #JustARegularWeekday XD

        I suggest writing about something really weird on your blog– put a couple of book reviews on hold, let someone hold your zoom-zoom juice mug, and go a little nuts. Write about something completely and totally weird that captures your attention that you thought would be too strange to write about on your blog. Once you establish an audience like you have, people don’t always come for the subject that you talk about anymore– they come for the personality and interesting POV that you provide.

        Something else that came to mind for you as I’ve been praying: I really believe you provide a source of joy, laughter, and comfort for your readers here on your blog– Lord knows I’ve had a couple of junk days, and reading your posts actually make me laugh out loud and make my day a little brighter. Try leaning into that! I keep getting the picture of you writing short stories about some of your characters or experiences that you’ve had at work, and not only would it be a source of processing/stress relief for you, but it’ll be a source of laughter and inspiration for others.

        Also, maybe… you’re trying to force something to work that’s worked in the past for you, and it isn’t working now? God gives different graces for different seasons, and maybe the season’s changed. If you’re trying to use the brand-new flamethrower God gave you for cooking when all you’ve had experience with are matches, you’ll keep getting frustrated that your food is burnt– when in reality, you can’t use the flamethrower exactly like you’ve been using matches. The flamethrower is used for something else entirely!

        YEET. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH AS WELL~~ *commences making noises of love and appreciation*

        Like

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