what to do?

I have been in a blogging slump lately, can you tell?  Here is what's on my mind...how many more pictures can I possibly post about decorating this tiny cottage.  You guys have seen every square inch, and if you haven't all you have to do is click on the label "my house" on my sidebar.  Same goes for my garden.  This morning i went out with camera AND tripod and took a bunch of pictures, came in downloaded them and guess what?  They all look like pictures I took last month.  Anyway I'm not sure what to do about this.  Maybe the blog has run it's course.  There is the issue of my simply stopping shopping.  August 20th will be 120 days (barring the red lantern incident.)  You would think I'd have something to say about that but I really don't.  It's now very easy for me to go into Target and get exactly what I want and leave without wishing for anything or feeling bad.  Same goes for all of my old shopping haunts.  We had lunch at Nordstrom the other day and I didn't even look around.  So what gives with this?  Am I through with the experiment?  If I have a self-imposed ban on something that doesn't interest me, then is it even a challenge?  So you see my dilemma.  Also, how many more rounds of decluttering this place can you guys put up with?  Well, I can speak for me - none!  If I get rid of any more stuff, there won't be anywhere to sit.  So that's kind of it in a nutshell.  I still love reading about what you guys are up to, so I'm really torn.  Have any of you gone through this?  Please do share your thoughts.


  1. Yes, I go through it all the time. What I learned is you need to blog about what interests you, not what you think interests everyone else. If it's something your passionate about, it will show through. It can be something as simple as a feeling you got one day. It's hard to keep up and continue posting about your own home or your own photos. I used to get caught up in the expectations of others when I blogged, but now I don't and if it's an unpopular post, it doesn't bother me. I feel better because I got it out. Just think of it as fun and a creative outlet for you and it's OK to change course on your blog. It does not have to always be the same formula that you started with. I hope this helps. I go through this a lot :)

  2. I don't have a blog, so I can't offer any insight into your dilemma. But what I can say is that I would really miss your blog if you stopped posting. Yours is one of my favorites! It appears that you post about one a week..give or take. Maybe you are thinking that you should post more often and that is putting unnecessary pressure on you. I would rather see you post less, than not post at all. And as far as content goes, even the post on the 30th about The Joy of Less book was great. I have ordered the book...all because I read about on your blog. Maybe you could jot down blogging ideas when they occur to you and space them out. I hope you keep blogging. :)

  3. janet i go through the same thing. i think the one thing i started to realize is that i am in control of my blog. i can neglect it if i want to and i can blog about my house everyday of the week if i wanted to no matter how random or repetitive it can be. blog what YOU wanna blog about, not what you think others want to read. you will always have me as regular reader!

    i haven't blogged in awhile because family was in town, but honestly, it's been kind of fun not keeping up with the blog. shhh, don't tell anyone!

    i do hope you blog from time to time. and even if you decide to stop blogging altogther, can you please continue to comment on my blog? your comments are always my favorite!!!!

  4. Hi Janet
    Not maintaining my own blog I can imagine the effort to come up with new ideas constantly.
    Anyway here are a few thoughts...
    I'd love to learn of your inner journey to become a vegan and it's complexities ie. what to eat!, more healthy receipes, info regarding natural skincare therapies, what drove you to follow beauty therapy as opposed to working as a chef, pics of your town when you are out and about (so fascinating for followers on the other side of the world).
    Maybe these topics have been covered and I've missed them?
    How about designing a new header.
    Follow your heart Janet, I'm sure the answer is there. I for one will be sad if you close up shop because I believe you still have much to share.

  5. I've only been blogging for like 6 weeks, but I really like your blog and hope you continue! It is hard to come up with ideas, but sometimes a post isn't about much, it's just touching base, like Kim does at deardaisycottage. But I know what you mean...we only have a tiny yard, and I've already taken pictures of EVERYTHING.

  6. Janet, I agree with the comments so far. If something excites you, an idea, a thought, a 'what if', write it down. I have a Word file and a notebook for ideas, and I expand on them sometimes, and abandon them others. With my blog I think of it as a notebook for myself, filled with topics that interest me. I think to myself, what would I like to read about.

    Without thinking of it as a blog post, you could have a go at writing little articles on things that interest you. Some may turn into posts. When something piques your interest it's hard to stop typing and with a little editing you have a post.

    In saying that, I would love to hear your thoughts on topics such as looking after your skin (I know you already have, but you must know HEAPS more!), gentle, thoughtful, slow living, your ideal wardrobe, favourite recipes, meditations, excerpts from favourite books.

    My new blog's only a few months old but I think most people go through keen times and times when they could walk away from it. And times when you feel under pressure.

    I really adore your blog - it has such a gentle, peaceful feeling and your home pictures are full of inspiration.

    You could 'go on holiday' for a month, or two, or three (post saying that) and see if you miss blogging or if you are happy just to leave your blog up for others to come back and read the archives, and visit others blogs. If you do miss it and are brimming with ideas you can come back, if you don't, you can put the 'gone fishing' sign up (obviously you would choose a tofu-based wildlife sign, not fish).

    Blogging is meant to be fun and enjoyable, a creative hobby as Stephanie says. If it's no fun, don't pressure yourself.

    I too, really enjoy the comments you leave on my blog. They are thoughtful and thought-provoking. Merci Janet.

  7. Hi Janet,

    I know how you feel. It is difficult to come up with new topics, inspiration, etc. I haven't had a new post in nine days or so and feel like a slacker (yet, I continue to read other blogs and comment away!) With work, friends, family, etc. it is hard to keep up with the blog sometimes. That said, I would miss your blog if you decided to close up shop. Your posts are always uplifting--healthy eating, recipes, beauty, home decorating, gardening, etc. Maybe you could take a blogging hiatus for awhile and then see how you feel. There are some good ideas from the other commenters here. Maybe those will help?

  8. yes,yes,yes... I know exactly what you are talking about.

    I have also gone through the joy of simplifying and often wonder am I so simple that there is nothing left? I definitely enjoy reading other peoples blogs more than I enjoy writing mine... I guess it is a journey. Your writing mojo will return.

    I echo the other commenters here... love love love to read your blog... and I love your wit.

  9. Janet - I too love reading your blog. I actually stopped by earlier today and did not comment. Then later in the day I felt guilty because if people look and then don;t comment..well you you won;t know how much we would miss you. You make a difference. Often times when I think of how I can improve what my family eats I think of you. So you could blog more about that. You live in a wonderful part of the country and I think I discovered the Rustic Rooster so you could share more of that. I think it is totally ok to post once a week. I actually took my blog off line publicly because I felt guilty for not updating it and it has worked. I no longer feel pressure to update it and if I feel like blogging again I will. I find our heart rarely lets us down - so follow yours.
    Warmly, Cricket

  10. Janet, I can relate. In the big picture, blogging is a form of expression. You and I have something to say, sometime more, sometime less. Is it the blogging or the subject matter? It could be like any other art form of expression, the sculpture is finished so move on to painting. It's a very personnel thing. Writers block is a universal term, meaning all forms of expression at sometime become blocked be it print making to blogging. Let it run it's course, you will find your voice again. Also, keep in mind, decluttering is a form of expression as well, it's the process that feeds the expression not the finish product. When things end, that's when, even greater art is made.

  11. Hey, Give yourself a break, then blog about what is in your heart. I guarantee sometimes I feel as if I am the most boring blogger around, but then it appears someone liked what I wrote. Good suggestions up above, chin up, take care, Gina

  12. Janet,
    I'd can only echo what everyone else has said. I love reading your blog, I would miss you if you stopped; on the other hand, I understand your feelings. I found that going on a hiatus removed the obligation that I was feeling to post every so often. I have a lot going on right now so it's fun to post and share my experiences, but giving yourself permission to stop my be the start of figuring out whether or not you maybe like sharing your thoughts. Your blog is for you. We're just voyeurs.

  13. We have a saying in our household "Just Go with It." That is my advice to you, go with it...go with if you feeling like blogging, then yell it out. If not, no worries, take a break and enjoy looking around at what others have to say. Sometimes the "quiet" is what we all need and it revitalizes us.

  14. Janet,
    I read all the comments and I agree with everyone, you would be so missed. Funny you wrote this post. The other day I tried to write a post and it didn't feel right. I ended up trying 4 different topics, no go. Blogging can be a weird thing sometimes...
    At times I feel like I should be posting more esp when I see bloggers whip out a new post every singe day. That is just not me. I have to remind myself to go at my own pace.
    take your time...

  15. I also don't have a blog , but enjoy reading yours. Day to day doings interest me. I enjoy your recipes, too.

    As to what to blog about...I remember you mentioning all the "stuff" you cleared out when you went through your basement. Since I am doing the same thing, I would like to know what you got rid of...and I do like the blue and white you moved into your house.

    Thanks to you, I am using Dr. Bronners for my laundry and have always used vinegar for rinse.
    My towels have never been softer and we have hard water.

    Follow your heart, but I would miss your blog.

  16. I would miss your blog too. If it's too much for you to deal with at this point, just put it aside for a little while. But yours is a peaceful, inspiring sweet blog that makes people want to to live a simpler calmer life. I think if you talk about you and your journey it will be just as inspiring to your loyal readers. In the end, you have to do what's right for you == whatever you decide, you can always change your mind later :) No real rules in blogging.


  17. No way Jose. We'd all be heartbroken.

    And lonely. And no one would ever come to visit my blog cause 75% of my readers come via you.

    Sometimes blogging seems like one more thing I "have" to do, then I don't do it. Other times I get a germ of an idea and I have to sit down and write it out. Immediately. It's a way I process my life these days.

    So blog once a week, twice a month or whenever you're inspired. Or never again if you can't. But you are a big part of a community and your loss would be deeply felt.

    xoxo Jane

  18. I think you should do as you please. If you want to stop, do. You could try just taking off all the month of August and see if you miss it. You could try just commenting, and see if that gives you enough. Life is short. We like to read what you write, but it's up to you how you spend your days.

  19. Hey Janet....

    You are one of my favorite bloggers...bar none. And most definitely my favorite commenter..love the honesty..you keep it real for me, and I know you get what I am trying to say and capture as well.

    When I read your blog I feel the same about you.

    You are yourself: as a writer, a photographer, a stylist, its all you! I enjoy it, because its perfect. Perfectly YOU!

    Deep breath, take some time and if it's not working you will know.

    That simple.

    Enough with the analyzing...can't we just go to lunch and talk?

    xo kelley

  20. It is your life, give yourself a break, it is not about us readers. I hardly comment on blogs but am going to do more now, as I need to return the pleasure I get from reading my favourites, of which yours is definitley one. You seem like such an interesting woman, with a diverse life and background, so I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on a range of topics. Maybe get your readers to suggest a topic each month.

  21. Dear Janet
    I'm so impressed by the great advice and support your loyal readers have given you. I feel like saving these comments for future reference (and pretending they're all for me :) )
    Seriously, there is so much truth and wisdom here, as well as sincere appreciation for what you have created.
    I echo the sentiments of everyone- I would really miss reading your blog.
    I know that sometimes it's really challenging to think of things to post about. The truth is, the most charming aspect of Gardener's Cottage is not the cottage or the garden or the food- it's you!
    Your honesty and quest for beauty and peace amidst the chaos of life has obviously touched many of us. Your voice and sense of humour shine through in a very accessible, warm way.
    I think of you as a friend, even though we've never met, which leads me to my last point; you would also be sorely missed as a thoughtful and supportive fellow blogger. A comment in the mailbox from The Cottage is always met with a smile :)
    So do take a well deserved break. Recharge... hell, go buy a bigger red lantern!
    But please don't take an early retirement.
    Think of all the pressure on Mr. Cottage to keep you entertained in your dotage!


  22. You can clearly see -- you are not alone! (In so MANY ways.) For me, putting "it" down on paper - or blog post - helps bring clarity and fresh vision. I know you'll find yours.

  23. janet, I like your today's posting!

    why blog at all?
    I deeply doubted this self-projection all over the globe, called blogging. Those zilliards of blogs that are around. With actually useless information.
    Until I started myself. The reason I started was I did not want to stay an anonymous commenter. I thought this would not be fair - since I know so much about the blogger and they know so little about me. Now I publish useless information, too.
    Starting the blog felt very good. Sometimes we feel the need to get other's attention. We could as well just think what we blog. Or just see what we photograph. No, we decide to blog it. I started taking pictures of my surroundings and published them on my blog. The readers where even on my mind when I strolled around, thoughts like "oh, this would be funny to post" came to my mind when I experienced something funny.
    I even feel a bit guilty not sharing the funny moment.
    But I believe at the same time that the "need to tell others" is the need to get their attention.
    And you earn attention, sharing, understanding, laughter. If I can get that in real life, from nature, people and inner peace, the need to blog will diminish.
    I don't deny I profited by others' blogs. But not as much as I do from relations in real life.
    There is this one bad thing about blogging: it keeps your mind stimulated. All the time. At least for me. The day turns into a quest for inspiration for the blog. Instead of keeping quiet the mind emerges ideas for future-postings. I would prefere moments of peace and quiet instead.

    Did you limit your blog to the topic of your cottage? Why not show us what the surroundings look like?

    A few days ago I browsed the blog.dashboard and there is this button "delate blog". I am glad this exists.

    Yes, everyone says "we miss you if you quit".
    They probably will. I also missed the Sopranos after the last season's final.

    have a nice day in your beautiful decluttered home!

  24. Janet, I was just at my launch thing with Anna Spiro and she told me about this post so I thought I'd log on and see what the situation was.

    I understand what you are saying.

    I'd be really disappointed if you stopped blogging but I support whatever you decide.

    This blog is far more for me than the hosue the garden and the decluttering.

    You sound a bit down and flat. Hope you are ok xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  25. Janet, yes I did tell FF about your post as I was concerned for you and I don't want to see you leave your blog! It's gorgeous and we all love reading about your adventures. BUT, I totally get it. I have that same feeling very often so I will completely understand if you don't continue on.


  26. What is your mission statement? Does it need to be tweeked?

    As you evolve, your blog evolves.

    How do you feed your muse? Is it a priority?

    What do YOU want? "We can't give away what we don't have." "The more we go inward, the more we outwardly connect." And there is sooooooo much in you!!

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  27. I love your blog! And yes, I know it's sometimes challenging to come up with posts, but sometimes an idea just pops in, I keep a journal for when that happens and go through it to come up with post ideas on days when I'm drawing a blank. There should be NO pressure, I've stopped worrying about my numbers and followers and left it up to who finds me, and I've been connected to GREAT people! *Amy

  28. to everyone that took the time to comment and give me such wonderful ideas and compliments i would just like to say thank you. i am so blown away by the generosity of your words. it is not what i expected at all. anne-marie how about you designing me a new header! and if anna spiro thinks i should carry on then how can i argue with that. the one thing i'd really like to set straight is that i'm really not that nice. really i'm not.


  29. I started reading your blog a few wks back, I found your blog listed on "A Country Farmhouse's) blog. From YOUR blog I found Adrienne's blog- "The Rich Life on a Budget". I like your blog because I am quite similar to your mindset and life outlook,like Aveda, am vegetarian,have a pared down lifestyle. As a woman that stays home with a toddler all day I look forward to your blog. Take a break if you need it, but just know that your blog is a bright spot in many lives! You could probably blog about Trader Joes and it would be interesting. I myself like to hear more of your journey to veganism. I strive to reach that level one day.

  30. I just read on one of your food postings that you mention "Earthlings". Thank you Janet!!! I concur your feelings. After viewing this moving documentary-I ordered a bumper sticker from the official site. Now I drive around spreading the word. One more reason why I love this blog! You are a good soul!

  31. Yes you are a good soul Janet and a nice person, I won't believe otherwise.
    You got me laughing at the suggestion I design a new header- me the technophobe who doesn't blog only comments. But hey bloggers need dedicated commenters right :)

    FF echoed my thoughts re you sounding down.
    I wonder if this patch you are experiencing commenced after the retreat? My own experience of a retreat I attended, while beneficial, made me feel very unsettled for weeks and questioning aspects of my life. Just a thought.

    You know Janet I'm easily pleased and don't care how powerful or simple a post you deliver, I'm happy with a pic of oreos in a jar!

  32. My dear Janet, please don´t stop blogging my friend!!! There`s lot more you can post about... let`s say some great toe nails colors??, some tips for a good makeup?? more vegetable recepies?? how you dried your washed clothes or how you hang them?? some flowers arrangements, or vegetable, or fruits?? I haven´t seen the roof of your cottage!!! or how the toilettes are.. or what kind of dish soap you use, or toothpaste or soaps?? Or, I would love to see your neighbours roses, for example!!!! there`s still lots you can post about, my friend... please don´t give up!!!!!

  33. anne-marie

    yes, i have been a bit down lately. but mostly burned out. i'm glad i posted this b/c i have gotten so many great ideas for posts that i never thought people would be interested in. and yes, bloggers do need interrested commentors or else it may as well be a diary. thank you. now get to work on my new header.

    don't worry. i will tell you first if i ever leave.


  34. Hi Janet--it's me, Allegra! I can't leave a Name/URL comment 'cuz it screws up every time I do it. So today, I'm ANON. Your post about veganism was very timely for me--I've been thinking of going vegan for about a month and you may have pushed me over the edge. But I'll probably have to go vegetarian first. This will have to be a somewhat gradual transition. My one concern--from reading Skinny Bitch-is that a lot of the vegan recipes seem to use processed food--albeit vegan. I'd like to stay away from the processed stuff. I'd appreciate your recipe idea and I'd LOVE TO KNOW exactly what YOU eat every day. Thank you for all your blog efforts--you have no idea how much you have given to the Universe. Namaste!

  35. I have been reading your blog for a couple months and really enjoy it...I haven't commented until now! I would miss it...yours is one of my favorites! (maybe because I am a So. Cal girl too) :)

    Linda S. in San Diego

  36. Hi Janet,

    I concur with everyone who encouraged you to keep doing what you do. Steve put is best, though, when he said your blog is for and we are all just voyeurs who get let in on what you are up to. Your honesty is one of the things that keeps me coming back for more. But I truly do love your style and your home/garden. I like how you challenge your readers to think and then to act, as with the post about going vegan. So just make it about your needs-- posting what you want, when you want. We will all be grateful for whatever you choose to say or share.

    You may not be "nice," but I will say that you sure are likeable!

    Take care,

  37. Upon finding your blog, I now visit frequently for we are kindred spirits regarding animals and the background of black and white. I think your house and garden are wonderful on so many levels, very worthy of sharing and I never tire of seeing beauty. Hope you will not give up the blog. Understand they can become a burden of responsibility, wanting to produce for your followers, but have noticed many are holding on but posting less frequently, as things manifest.


kindness is never out of style.

Back to Top