Reflecting & Planning

passion planner

To many people December is a month of reflection. Looking back on the year that’s running out and forward to the year that’s about to start.

Readers who regularly read my blog (thank you!), know that the last two years have not been easy for me. Ever since September 2016, my life has changed. It will never be the same as it has been, simply for the fact that my mom is gone. She will always live on in my heart, but that’s not the same as hugging her, going shopping with her or drinking a cup of tea with her. It will never be the same again. As for Master T’s health, the jury is still out about that. He now sees a rehabilitation doctor who is pressuring specialists in other disciplines to get the ‘problem’ solved sooner rather than later. However, it’s been a couple of weeks since the new treatment started and there’s still no improvement. You can’t push a body to heal.

His mind, however, is healing and that is a huge step forward. Since his mood has started lifting, I notice that my mood seems lighter too. And since my mood is lighter, I can see things more clearly.

Looking back

It took me up to our recent holiday in November to realize something… all of 2018 I have been like a fish, half in and half out of the water. Struggling for the next breath, flopping and flapping from one day to the next, fighting to survive. During our three week holiday, especially the first two weeks, I finally managed to just let go. I slept when I wanted, wrote when I wanted, ate and showered and walked and watched movies… all when and if I wanted. I slept a lot. I realized just how stressed I was, and it got me thinking on how I could make things easier for myself.

In all my years of blogging (in January 2019 it will be 9), I always had several posts scheduled ahead. This year was different. When I wanted a post to go live the next day, I had to still write it. Sometimes I managed to write a post ahead and schedule it, but never more than one. It was only in hindsight that I understood that this had added to the stress I already suffered from.

I had another epiphany, but that’s for another post. All I will say here is that sometimes it’s a good thing to let go of a dream, especially when you realize following that dream might damage your mental health.

This past year I noticed how mental health can be a cause for writers block. I haven’t counted it, but I think the majority of my posts this year were not erotica. And when I did write erotic fiction, I struggled. Really struggled. What kept me going, made me try over and over again to write erotica, even though I didn’t ‘feel’ it, was when I received unexpected positive comments, where people said it was touching and deep. That my writing was improving. This is not how I felt, but it encouraged me to keep on going.

I am not looking back on my 2018 blogging year with regret. In fact, when I look back at it, it is with a sense of pride. I have made it. Despite all difficulties, all mental problems, I have made it. I haven’t given up. Some things will change in 2019, but not because I regret anything I have done in 2018.

And to put a crown on all the hard work, my blog made the number one spot on Molly’s Top 100 sex Blogs 2018. Seriously, it’s been almost a month since this has been announced and it still puts a smile on my face!

Looking forward

At the end of January Rebel’s Notes will celebrate its ninth year of blogging and enter the tenth year. Ten years of blogging. When I started this I had no fixed plan in my head, and here I am, not only thinking of getting to 10 years of blogging in 2020, but also to 20 in 2030 and maybe even 30 in 2040. Thirty years of blogging… oh my… what will blogging look like then? Will it even still exist?

But, back to now. What am I going to change in 2019?

In 2018, I barely ever scheduled posts ahead. In the years before that, it was different. Sometimes I wrote several pieces in one weekend and schedule them ahead for future weeks. Somewhere in early 2018, I ran out of posts and from there on, when I wanted a post to go online, I had to write it the night before, and only sometimes managed to schedule something ahead. I want to change this in 2019, and have already started working towards it. So, that’s my first goal… scheduling posts ahead to build a buffer for several weeks.

My second goal is to give myself days off. During 2018, so many weeks it happened that I posted every day. Sometimes I skipped a day and then I felt guilty. I know right… why? Only one answer comes to mind: because I wanted to support bloggers with memes. I still want to and always will, but from 2019 I am going to do it differently. There will be days on which I will not post anything.

Because of the previous point, I have to re-think my newsletter too. In 2018, I sent out a newsletter every Sunday (except for the Eroticon weekend). My newsletter carries a link to every post that has appeared on my three sites in the past week, as well as something personal. If I post less, I will have less to add to my newsletter. This means that I won’t be sending out a newsletter every week anymore. I am, however, undecided still whether I should send it out bi-weekly or monthly. I lean more to bi-weekly, but there is no way I will stop with my newsletter, since I don’t want to let down those who have subscribed.

I have spoken about giving myself days off, and this is also what I am going to do with the Smut Marathon. I have changed the schedule in such a way that I always have a day off on the Saturday, and I have more time to work on the entries for every round. Which reminds me, have YOU signed up yet?

My last goal for 2019 has nothing to do with my blog and has everything to do with my blog. I know… confusing!
In August 2017 I started using a Passion Planner, and I am still using it. I am into my second one already. However, I am not using it to its full potential. When I ordered the Passion Planner, I ordered an undated one, because I didn’t want to wait until the new year to start using it. The way the undated planner is constructed, I need to page back to the front of it to do my monthly reflections, and there came a time where I forgot about it, and I never went back to do the reflection. With the dated versions of the planner, the reflection comes directly after a month, and before starting the new, which will keep me more focused on my goals. Since I keep track of everything I do and want to do and write, I want to use the Passion Planner to its full potential. So indeed, this goal has nothing to do with my blog and has everything to do with my blog, as this is where all the planning will happen.

Conclusion

These are not major plans, but they are enough for now. I want to reserve my energy levels, and since our life looks a lot different than it did before September 2016, I seem to have a bit less time to write. For 2019 the key for me will be to allow myself rest when needed, and not to put too much pressure on myself.

But one things I know for sure: There is no way I will stop writing, I will just be writing a bit less.

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10 thoughts on “Reflecting & Planning

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this, I can really relate to trying to keep up, inadvertently blogging every day then guilt for lapsing. When itโ€™s not really is it? It helps me reflect on my meagre 6 months and my own steps forward too. I think your plan moving forward is really positive and I look forward to all you write next, you should feel immensely proud of yourself! X

  2. This was a nice look into your life, especially as I have just recently “met” you. WOW! 10 years of blogging- CONGRATULATIONS!. I have been blogging for a long time, but I have jumped around from topic to topic and site to site, so I have nothing to show for it.

    I think your plan sounds solid and it is important for you to take care of yourself and give yourself time to rest.

    • Marie Rebelle says:

      Only nine years in January but going into my tenth year. Blogging was just something I started with no plan and am proud of the almost 9 years ๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. You are an inspiration. I donโ€™t know how you manage to do it all. I can relate to struggling to keep up and also the feeling guilty. I am pleased that you have plans to help and that you are looking forward to putting them in place. Bring on the fun for 2019 โค๏ธ

  4. Hi Marie, congrats with your #1 position. You deserve it! Did you ever condider to make a compilation of your blog entries? Something like the 10 or 25 or … best entries? Would be nice for us, your readers. Hug for you.

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