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What’s In A Name?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the theme of my writing here, and what direction I want the blog to take. As recently as last week, I’d decided that since most of what I write about these days involves parenting, I would change the name of the blog to Parenting…And Other Life Lessons. I even registered the domain name (mine for $10 a year). Then my good friend (and children’s book co-author) Cristen suggested to me that while Parenting…And Other Life Lessons does make it clear what the blog is about, it’s not very memorable. Words From The Sowul, on the other hand, is memorable, both in and of itself, and as a way to remember my last name. In addition, making the blog specifically about parenting boxes me in, since I also like to write about time management, self-improvement, book reviews, etc. I took Cristen’s wise advice, and decided to keep the name of the blog as is, and be more specific about its theme in the byline and “about this blog” sections. (Check out my two new pages, “About The Blog” and “About Leanne Sowul” in the top menu!)

Then I realized that if I’m going to commit to the name of the blog, it’s silly to keep it hidden in a menu. That’s why the header no longer says, “Leanne Sowul, Writer,” and why the blog is now on the main page of the site. While this website is still about my writing, and I hope will someday contain links and advertisements to writing projects outside this blog, right now Words From The Sowul deserves center stage. This blog, while not in itself a money-maker, has brought me three immeasurably large gifts:

1. You, my audience. Your numbers are steadily growing and you’re sticking around. I’m excited to be hearing more from you, and happy to hear that my posts are connecting with you and helping with your daily lives. I hope to continue to grow the blog’s readership and build an even bigger community here.

2. Practice. As of today, I’ve written 217 blog posts. That’s a lot of writing on a lot of topics. I know my writing technique has improved since I started in August 2011, and I’ve become braver and more creative with my themes. This blog has been a huge factor in shaping me as a writer.

3. An online portfolio. When I query magazine editors and other blogs for the opportunity to write for them, I can link back to similar pieces on my blog. I recently got a job writing an article on infant sleep for a local magazine based on posts I emailed the editor about sleep scheduling and Ferberizing. After writing the article, I found I had even more information to share, which led me to write You Can Be A Baby Sleep Expert, Too; Baby Sleep, 101 and Baby Sleep, 102. So it all comes full-circle. That’s what I love about writing, or any other creative profession: creativity begets more creativity, and an old topic can always be re-packaged in a fresh way.

I hope you like the changes to the website. I’m going to be playing around with some other things too- a new heading design, more pictures, a virtual bookshelf- as I go through an online class I’m currently taking on WordPress design. This is my virtual home, and I want all of you to feel comfortable kicking off your shoes, looking around, and staying for awhile.

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