“Why is your room a mess? Why do you and your dad have to throw stuff all over the place? It’s almost the New Year!”
—my mom, a week before the Lunar New Year (as she waves a broom in my face)
Jan. 1 has come and gone, resolutions have already been made and people are already abandoning their promises to eat healthier, stop procrastinating and work harder. So, yes, this is me admitting that following my New Year’s resolutions has been a struggle — I haven’t quit though.
But as I look at my resolutions again, one week into the new year, I realize that those resolution aren’t enough. I wanted resolutions that would encourage me to leave my dark days of hiatus behind, and they do accomplish that in a way. I’m chatting with bloggers again, writing new posts more often and scrawling ideas in my journal every day. Still, when I look at my blog, I don’t see a website that reflects me now and will continue to do so in the coming years.
It’s time to fix that.
Why 25 days?
There are 25 days left until the Lunar New Year (Feb. 8), and I can’t think of a better day to symbolize a new, better blog and a brighter future. The Lunar New Year is arguably the single most important day for a traditional Vietnamese family. The previous year may have been terrible, but the Lunar New Year is another chance with better luck. During the days prior to the Lunar New Year, the house must be cleaned from top to bottom to “sweep away the bad luck.” On the actual day, cleaning is forbidden because one might “sweep away” the good luck that comes with the new year.
When I started blogging two years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. When I moved to my new domain in May, I was too scared to make too many changes. Now, I’m sitting here, staring at a blog that just isn’t me.
It’s time to sweep away old mistakes and welcome a new The Unprinted Protagonist.
Just like clothes stop fitting and old papers become obsolete, blog content becomes irrelevant. A lot of people in the blogging community keep all of their old posts as a sort of scrapbook of progress, but I hate the thought of an archive of blog posts that don’t accurately represent my ability. Some of my oldest posts are downright embarrassing.
My solution: delete, delete, delete
After much deliberation, I deleted my original blog on Dec. 31 (the reviews are still on Goodreads). So don’t be surprised if a few more posts disappear within the next 25 days.
2. Dust off the things worth keeping.
Furniture and decor may look great … but not if they’re covered in filth. Blog posts may have great topics, but they may also be awkwardly written, unfocused or simply not worth clicking “share.”
During these next 25 days, I will be systematically rewriting or editing old blog posts to make them better written, clearly focused and sharable.
3. Organize! Everything has its place.
Clothes should be in the closet. Books should be on the shelf. Blog posts should be in their correct categories.
I’ve always struggled with having categories that are too specific. When I branded myself solely as a book blogger, there was nowhere to put my blogging and social media posts. When I decided to add a “digital media” category, I had nowhere to put my personal posts.
There are two ways to fix that issue: make a million categories to cover every possible topic or make more general categories. I don’t know about you, but the latter option sound more appealing to me.
4. If it’s sloppier than yesterday, something is wrong.
My bed looks different every day. Some days it’s neat, every pillow in its place. Some days its covered in textbooks. Some days, the sheets are upside-down and hanging off my bed. My post images are barely more consistent than my bed.
Consistent design motifs give the impression of order and professionalism. What I have now is a mess. I’m saying goodbye to post-image improvisation and hello to templates and a consistent style guide.
5. Polish. Make everything shine!
The blog aesthetic speaks louder than words, and the theme is always the starting point, the first impression. Keep an eye out for my new theme ;).