The August Break returns!

The August Break, 2016 | SusannahConway.com

 

It’s that time of year again! Back in August 2010 I realised I needed a break from blogging so decided to only post photos on my blog that month. I don’t remember if I kept this up, but I invited my readers to join in and just like that, the yearly August Break was born.

This is a community project that has no real rules –  the idea is to simply take a photograph every day for the whole of August. That’s it. Pause, look around you and shoot what you see. Live inside each moment. Pay attention to what’s there. If it’s the summer where you are it’s a lovely way to be present to the moments that will be gone before you know it. If it’s the winter, what better way to liven up your day than with a creative project to play with? :-)

You can use any camera. You could shoot every day or every other day or just on weekends. You can share your photos or just enjoy taking them without sharing. You can start and not finish. You can join in at the end.

Anything goes, loves!

 

Daily prompts for the August Break 2016 | SusannahConway.com

 

Once again I’ve created a list of photo prompts you can follow – or not, anything goes, remember? —  you could even use them as daily writing prompts with or without photos.

This year we can share our photos and gather as a community in several places: Instagram with the hashtag #augustbreak2016, Facebook and Flickr. Plus we have a blog roll so we can find new blogs to visit — head over to the main August Break page to add your blog.

Here’s to a delicious month of slowing down! xo

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Is blogging dead?

Is blogging dead? No, is the short answer to that, and here's why... | SusannahConway.com

 

No, I don’t think it is, is the short answer to that question. My 10-year blogiversary is fast approaching and I’ve been noticing posts asking whether blogging has had its day. And while it’s true that blogging — as a platform and the way we use it — is evolving, I don’t think it’s about to suddenly disappear. We simply have more options for sharing our words, images and opinions online and where once the blog was the be-all and end-all now it’s just one of many.

When I started back in 2006 my blog was my only home on the internet. These days I’m sharing more consistently on Instagram and Facebook and the community-feel in both places reminds me of the halcyon days of that first year, back when I was doing it as much to connect with others as I was to (re)connect to my self. My online life has always been about creative expression in one form or another and when I launched my first course in January 2009 that creative expression ran parallel with the organic growth of my business. It was definitely “easier” to maintain my blog when I only had one course on offer. Now I have six running throughout the year and I always prioritise my course peeps and our groups over anything else. When I’m in the creative cave making something new I have very few brain cells left over for blog posts, so I truly admire those prolific online mavens who seem to have an endless supply of succinct sentences. Seriously — how do they do it?

I don’t believe in dialling it in, so if I have nothing to say I don’t try to force myself to get something on the blog just because it’s been silent for a few weeks. There’s enough noise online without me adding to the clamour. In theory I do want to be in this space more — I miss it! — but I also really like that my bean-spilling is being saved for my monthly Love Letters. It’s a transition that’s gradually happened over the last year or so, and even though I’m sharing with 20,000+ people each time, it really does feel more intimate. I’m not broadcasting it for general public consumption and I’ve been moved to tears by some of the tender replies I’ve received. In theory I could keep my personal sharing for the Letters and write more generally for the blog, but that’s not really how I write (all my writing is personal sharing, let’s face it ;-) Besides, I’m not a huge fan of the sort of sermonising blog posts that create a distance between the writer and reader. They make sense in a newspaper article or book but feel odd on a blog. I’m old school, I guess — I like my blogging to be personal.

There are hundreds of blog genres, which is why we can’t make any definitive statements about the future of blogging. There are so many different reasons why someone starts a blog in the first place. If I was to start all over again right now, would I set up a blog? Yes, absolutely. If you’re sharing your work with the world I truly believe you need a home on the internet and a static website just isn’t enough. While all those other social media outlets are “easier” to use — sharing a photo on Instagram takes a lot less effort than writing an 800 word blog post — having a blog as part your website gives you the space to express yourself on your terms.

Many of the posts discussing the possible end of blogging are only viewing it through an entrepreneurial lens — blogging as a hobby is not going anywhere. It’s where I started and in many ways it’s where I’d like to return. Creative expression is its own reward — even if I never ran another course I would continue to share online because I love it. Imagery, words, thoughts, inspirations. It’s the stuff that gets me up in the morning, quite frankly. If I hadn’t started a blog when I did my life after bereavement could have taken a very different path. Starting a blog brought me back to myself. It brought me community when I needed it and possibility when I thought I had none. Blogging will change and social media will evolve, but the community at the heart of it will continue to be the most important part for me.

So if you need me, I’ll be hanging out on Instagram and Facebook. I’ll be sharing my heart in my Love Letters. And every so often, when the muse strikes, I’ll be here, too. Blogging is far from dead for this blogger.

* * * * *

Now over to you — if there is anyone still reading my blog I’d love to know if your online reading habits have been changing. Do you still read blogs? Or are you hanging out on other social media platforms more? Maybe a mix of both? And to my fellow bloggers — are you still feeling the urge to blog? If not, what’s changed that for you? x

2015: The year in review

2015: The year in review | SusannahConway.com

 

First, the year in stats:

Number of websites created: 1
Number of first dates: 10
Number of second dates: 2
Number of surgeries endured: 1
Number of fibroids removed: 14
Number of weeks spent recuperating: 6+
Number of new courses created: 1
Number of trips abroad: 2
Number of years on the planet: 42
Number of personal realisations: ALL OF THEM

2015 has been a year in three acts: first came the surgery in January and the subsequent months of recovery. Next came my summertime flurry of yoga, dating and website building. And finally the licking of wounds before holing up in the Creation Cave for these final three months. While it’s been far from a fallow year, I feel I’ve been preparing the way for more to come in 2016 and beyond. The new website holds the space for more courses and books, the surgery and yoga cleared out a LOT of stuck energy, and the dating got me back on the horse, a wildly uncontrollable horse I may never tame but at least I’m trying.

I’ve barely blogged this year, preferring to share my heart in my monthly Love Letters, a space that’s felt so much more intimate. I’ll be celebrating ten years of blogging in April and in that time I’ve seen the social media landscape change so much. There are so many more places to stay connected to my peeps — I love Facebook and Instagram particularly — but the honest truth is I’ve missed my blogging mojo. I miss writing and I want to do more of it in 2016. I have an idea for my next book I plan to start fleshing out, and I have things on my heart that I feel ready to share.

I usually pen a more thorough assessment of the year but I’m not feeling the need to do it this year — I want to focus on what’s coming. I honour 2015 for all the lessons it brought me. It’s been a good year, all things considered, a year of preparation.

I am so ready for you, 2016.

 

2015: The year in review | SusannahConway.com2015: The year in review | SusannahConway.com2015: The year in review | SusannahConway.com

 

Favourite books of the year: The Rivers of London | Big Magic | Yes Please

Favourite music of the year: Flor | Lucy Rose | Dustin Tebbutt | Rae Morris | Fickle Friends | Vaults | Kina Grannis

Favourite tech (re)discoveries of the year: Spotify | Audible | Basecamp

Fave moment of the year: finding a certain unicorn card on my doorstep

Fave posts of the year: The myth of perfection | My house of belonging | The real inner circle | How I learned to live in my body | Lessons learned from nine years of blogging | The power of kindness | On opening to love (again) | One hundred words of now

Other years in review: 2014 :: 2013 :: 2012 :: 2011 :: 2010 :: 2009

Welcome to the new site!

SusannahConway.com

Last December I mused in my journal that maybe it was time to revamp my website. It had always felt like such a mammoth task I’d been putting it off for years but for some reason, as the year drew to a close and I looked forward into 2015, I knew it was time. So I reached out to a designer I admired and asked if she’d work with me. To my delight she said yes, igniting what’s turned into a seven-month mission. Along the way I had a photo shoot with a photographer I adore and we found a developer who’s been utterly charming and a delight to work with. Ideas were collated, pages were rewritten and a new vision for the site was birthed. It’s been fun and challenging in equal measure!

My intention for the new site was to create a space that feels deeper and softer and more delicious than ever. A place that’s elegant and stylish, user-friendly and thoughtfully put together. A place that’s an expansion of who I am in this online world, while still feeling unequivocally like me.

I think we’ve achieved this :)

Rather than create loads of unnecessary new stuff we’ve simply reimagined every page and added one significant new page: the Shop. There you’ll find teasers of the four courses I’ll be rolling out over the rest of the year — in feedback from a recent survey you guys overwhelmingly asked for some shorter courses so now the site’s done I can’t wait to get started on those!

We’ve also given two of my most read blog posts — The Art of the Polaroid and How I shoot with my iPhone — their own pages, and I’m deeply in love with the new e-courses page. And the media page. And the about page. Hell, I love all of it :)

So do have a look around and please know that we’re still ironing out any kinks!

I hope you like my new digs xo

{With big smoochy love to Chelsy, Michael and Kristin — and to Rachel for connecting me with Chelsy in the first place xo)