I can’t believe it’s been a year now since I’ve made these changes to my blog, and they’d stuck! There have been a few minor changes along the way, but, for the most part, this one has stuck. I love supporting authors and feel so blessed to have been entrusted with novel excerpts and guest posts from a number of lovely authors.
Originally posted September 3, 2019
As my long-time followers may know, I’m really good about making changes to The Lily Cafe. I suppose you could say it’s kind of my thing.
I was hoping my more recent changes would stick. The focus on reading, writing, baking, and motherhood as well as the shift to focusing on the magical parts of life. But this blog changes as I change. It’s a true reflection of me. Still is. Always will be.
Now, this new change isn’t going to mean I’m adding new interests. Neither am I taking anything away. Instead, my whole approach to my blog is changing, born of frustration and passion.
I’ve been considering doing freelance editing for the last 6 years. After reading too many poorly written and edited self-published books, I became a frustrated reader who just wanted to offer writers an affordable way of making their stories better. For my July break, I sat down and worked on a business plan. I was excited. I was finally about to embark on a journey I had spent years dreaming about. Only to realize I lacked the time. Sure, if I want it badly enough, I could make the time. But then I would never sleep again. My family claims almost every waking moment. Even more now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, my husband is partially working from home, and my oldest is doing distance learning for First Grade. So glad I didn’t go ahead and do it! The universe works in mysterious ways.
Another dream I’ve had for awhile is starting my own literary magazine, because starting a publishing company is way beyond my abilities. Again, my research and plans revealed I simply lack the time.
Are you sensing a theme yet? I love stories. I believe in stories. I want to do what I can to support them and the people who write them. I just don’t have enough time. At least, not until my youngest starts school in 3 years. But I’m already getting antsy to do something. I don’t think I can wait 3 years. Holy cow, that’s now in less than 2 years! Where is time going? I’m suddenly not ready for my baby to be school-aged yet. She’s allowed to be little and in diapers for the next decade or so.
And then it hit me. I have just enough time to blog. It isn’t much, but it’s just enough. Even less now, but that’s okay. I can still share my own stories, and I can seek out others’ stories to share. I still have time to read and review books. Not as much as I’d like, but at least it’s something.
The Lily Cafe finally has a purpose that makes me really happy: to support stories and their authors. The best part is it works really well for my cafe theme. Come, enjoy some stories, and nibble on a baked good. Monday through Thursday will feature stories, mine and hopefully others’, and Friday will feature a recipe for a baked good or a hopefully not catastrophic attempt at ratio baking something. Well, the strict schedule is kind of out the window, but it’s more or less the same. Most weeks. Or not…
The original tagline for The Lily Cafe was tea, cookies, and a story or two. I’ve never fully abandoned it. Circling back to it makes me feel at home, and I hope you enjoy it, too. I just can’t offer tea. I drink water, unflavored.
Currently, The Husband and I are in the process of making these changes. Most of them are simple and easy, but a couple are a little more involved. Here is a really good idea of what you can expect following next week’s break.
A New Blog Address
Last year, I played with the idea of self-hosting. I’m still not quite ready for it, but if I’m publishing other writers’ works, I want to be better able to protect them than I can on a free WordPress plan. The best I can do at the moment is upgrade my plan. I’ll sorely miss the free plan and how happy it has made me, but it’s a necessary step for me to feel able to invite others to submit the works they worked hard to create and shape. This means the “wordpress” part of the address will be dropped. Excuse me while I go shed a tear or two. That part has been such a huge part of The Lily Cafe for 9 years that it’s bittersweet to say goodbye to it. I still miss it, but renewed the Business plan for another year. My husband made me do it.
No More Weekly Questions
I’ll be honest. I’ve stopped enjoying the weekly questions. Sure, they’re fun and I enjoy seeing everyone’s answers, but I never thought I’d get more than a couple of comments. Some questions don’t get that many, and others do. It’s not always easy for me to keep up with replying to them all. And thinking up new questions. I actually kind of forgot about these.
A Submissions Page
If I’m welcoming people to submit their works, I need a page for them to do this. It’ll be an evolving page, but it’ll always list what kinds of works/posts I am accepting as well as what I can offer. I’m so glad authors have actually been using this! They also use it to submit review requests when I’m closed to them…hmm…
A New Layout
I’ve changed themes a lot. I’m kind of fickle that way. Or there are just a lot of themes I want to try out. Whatever the reason, I’ve never really settled on one before. While it’s nice to change things up a bit, I’m looking for one that will stay semi-permanently. At least, until something feels like home. I’ve been using the same one for at least most of the past year! I’m so proud of myself for that. I love it. It’s beautiful. I never, ever want to change it.
The Lily Cafe Digest
Honestly, I’m at a wait and see point with this one. It might stay, it might go, or it might change. Only time will tell me what to do with it. I expect it’ll stay the same for a while, but I don’t expect that it’ll remain unchanged. I would hate to see it go, though, as it’s a great place to find all recently published posts. It’s different, but I love the Digest so much. I love being able to write a bit about what’s been going on behind the scenes, share what I’ve posted, and share posts from other bloggers that I’ve really loved.
I’m excited and nervous as The Husband and I will be starting to make these changes next week, but I hope you enjoy them as much as I love them.
Enjoy more posts about my life and how it impacts blogging and vice versa over here.