3 Sept 2011

The Jeanne Blog

I've come to the realisation that I'm never going to be a successful blogger. I'm never going to be terribly huge on Twitter or Facebook or Blogfrog or any other form of social media either. The reasons are myriad, not least being the fact that I'm just not a good enough writer to make my living at it.

The other main reason, though is that I fail to follow the rules for making your blog/social media presence huge. Firstly I don't follow the 'Rubbish in; rubbish out' rule - I fail to write only meaningful content on my blog. There is a huge amount of Jeanne twaddle here. It's part of what makes me me, this twaddle. Does anybody out there in cyberspace really want to know that Midnight Oil is playing on the telly while I'm writing? Really? Probably not.

The second reason follows on from the first - I fail dismally in choosing my blog's focus. I started out being a homeschooling blog, but homeschooling is not the sole focus of my life. I am madly obsessed with travel, and sometimes my blog sorta transforms itself into a travel log. Recently I had the crochet bug and my blog assumed a vague handicraft fuzziness. I gained some crafty followers around that time, but I probably lost a few homeschoolers, as they wondered idly what had come over me.

Sometimes I become consumed with my garden and I talk about roses and garden design and what's growing in our Kitchen Garden. I take photos of gardenias and the musk parrots in the gum trees. Later in the year when it gets too hot I forget the garden and gravitate inside to the aircon. I start to talk about my passion for cooking. I post pictures of Bruscetta with Homegrown Tomatoes and Basil drizzled with Balsamic and Olive Oil.

Always I am consumed by books. I try to blend my passion for Australian children's books with my homeschooling to salve my guilt that I haven't talked about homeschooling recently, and that's what I am supposed to be - a homeschooling blog. (Right?) My book collection is huge, and it gives me a fantastic amount of pleasure, but like my blogging, I fail to be able to confine my reading enough to transform myself into a book blog. I read a huge amount, but I rarely review my books. Which reader is going to be interested in a children's classic today and a mystery thriller tomorrow and the latest cookery or gardening tome the day after? And yet that's how my reading goes. I have no focus and no plan.

My latest passion is Japanese literature. I have an abiding passion for Japan. I love the country, the aesthetic, the food, the manga. I have read many, many Japanese design and philosophy books, and yet my introduction to its literature is recent. I read my first novel, Murukami's Wild Sheep Chase only last year. From that I've gone on to read six Murukami novels and the works of many other Japanese novelists, mainly under the tutelage of In Spring it is the Dawn, a blogger who is strong enough to confine her blogging to literature in general and Japanese literature in the main. I try not to wax too effusive about Japanese literature because I am not a book blog, and you're probably not interested in what my latest pash is, and yet I can't deny my interest all together and occasionally my enjoyment of a particular novel bubbles over into my posts. Probably a few more followers 'unfollow' me, thinking that I've lost my way. I probably have.

Sometimes I get frustrated that my followers fail to get any higher than 160. Sometimes the number is one or two higher; sometimes one or two lower. I wish I could become a really successful blog to justify the time I take in writing it. But when I stop to think about the fact that my blog is not about anything in particular, but all about me, Jeanne, then I am pretty grateful. I think it is really amazing that 100 or 150 or 200 and occasionally more people tune in every day to read what I have to say about nothing in particular. In fact that is overwhelming.

The thing that makes a great blog - a firm focus - is exactly the opposite of what makes me an interesting person. I am a multifaceted person of many, many varied interests and lots of general knowledge.

I love God, my husband, my daughter, Charlotte Mason homeschooling, travel, gardening, the arts, Reformed Christianity, cooking and dining, Asian travel, knitting and crocheting, children's books, Australian culture, Japanese aesthetics, South East Asian textiles, blogging, huggling by the fire, and now Japanese literature.

My blog is about all of these.

My blog is about me. It is the Jeanne Blog.

The fact that I have any followers at all is really the most amazing thing. Wow.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for following.

I'm so glad I have you as my friends.

(Which facet of Jeanne keeps you coming back? Do tell. I'd be interested to know.)


  1. :) I am very much like you... with much worse writing (filled with spelling mistakes and a non quite English tone), and not at all your wonderful characteristics.

    I only have 90 subcribers, you show in google reader as with 207. The followers are less.

    Like you, at times I tell myself why I can't increase the number of followers, but at the end, and again, like you, I'm truly amazed at all those who stop by, love me, care for me, and how amazing the people I've met, the blogs I know. You are all part of my life.

    What I like about you... well, it's that Charlotte Masony thing that identifies many of us despite the fact we live it and express it differently.

    I simply like hearing what you say, sometimes more than others... and I like that sometimes it's a song, or books, or life.

    But I like my Charlotte Masony friends who are ultra focused! I don't know. Is that what I like? I simply like you. Friendship like love is hard to express in words.

  2. Ah, in the Spanish blog I have 101. Since I'm split between two blogs, two worlds, two languages, I like to think that between both blogs I have a decent audience.

    But what matters to me the most is they are always there for me.

  3. LOL. These posts keep me coming back. I'm glad you are YOU. I'm not a fancy blogger either (you know that). I minute I'm talking about school and the next I'm discussing Stott.

    We can be nobodies together. :-)

  4. It's you being you that keeps my coming back and reading. You're an interesting peson and I think you have a great writing style.

  5. I keep reading for the Jeanne factor :)

  6. I think the reason I keep coming back is that we share so many of the same interests--homeschooling, books, cooking, travel, etc that I am always interested in what you have to say--and we have enough differences that I am always learning something new--like the things about Japan and life in Australia. I'm never bored.

    Over all, though, I think it's that enough of your personality comes through to weave it all together for me. It's nice to feel like I have a pen pal on the other side of the world that I can connect to and learn from.

  7. But what is a 'successful blog' anyway? Isn't that something defined by the actual blogger?

    I don't even have half of the readers/subscribers/followers that Sylvia does. I don't post regularly. I struggle with focusing on a topic. I majoraly struggle with keeping one design! But I have been blogging for over 6 years and I enjoy it immensely. SO for me, that is successful enough.

    As part of my service to others, I have researched how to be a successful blogger, how to do this and do that and it's great for business and it certainly has its place. But I'm not building a business. I'd rather a community of friends. However I even stink at that: I'm known to disappear from the blogosphere for weeks at a time.

    Jeanne, FWIW I think you are a very successful blogger. That much is plain judging by the amount of subscribers, commenters and community you have. :)

  8. Like the others before me said, I come here to read what is going on with Jeanne (and Jemimah!). It is nice to get to know you some because I most likely will never actually meet you.
    I enjoy all your tangents (and you've summed them up quite well!), it keeps me guessing.
    I appreciate that you blog for yourself even though you do keep an eye on your followers.
    I originally followed because you use CM/AO but since, you've broadened my horizons with your different styles, likes and the way you write about these things keeps my attention.
    Keep writing, Jeanne! Write and they will follow ;) and if more don't, the ones that matter will still be here :) heehee

  9. Jeanne, I visit your blog for all the reasons you write. I'm very glad that as a homeschooler you manage to identify yourself as much more than that. Personally I (and I dare say most homeschoolers)struggle with being identified as 'the homeschooler' because homeschooling is not about schooling its about being a family and encomapsses all of life's wonderful things that we have the freedom to take an interest in. I have all the same interests as you, bar the Japanese thing, so I love to read about those things and where you're at with those.
    I would have the same struggle with blogging that you seem to be encountering but more - I would be afraid that NO ONE would follow my blog - heehee! Thanks for sharing your opinions, your projects and loves. It's all useful to the well orbed home educator. Life is for living and sharing, and ultimately that is how we learn - from others.
    Joel xx

  10. Jeanne, I started following your blog when I found out about it through the CMANZ h/s yahoo group (I think) :)
    Since then I've met you in person a couple of times which was GREAT! So, now I am glad I've met the in real life Jeanne and I get to follow your blog as well which is just SO interesting to me because of your multifaceted life! So, basically I read most of what you post unless I have busy days and don't get time to visit blog land then I miss a few here and there. I don't always comment because then my inbox gets filled with follow up comments:) so I often multi comment on one post to avoid that:)
    I love you Jeanne and I love your blog, whatever you write interests me as you're quite different to me and also because I love your style of writing, you are one GREAT writer, so keep on writing and don't worry about the un-followers!

  11. I have seen that "choose thy focus and driftest not thou from it" advice too. Yes, I do follow many great blogs with a specific focus and 1000+ followers. I don't, however, comment on those blog very often at all, and though I may admire some of those bloggers a lot, I don't feel a personal connection with most of them simply because I am one of so very many followers.

    I love your blog, because it's all about lovely you and your many and varied interests - and I would even if I hadn't had the privilege to meet you and confirm in person that you (and yours) are indeed wonderful.

  12. well I love your blog cause it's about you and there are so many facets of you so of course the posts vary. My blog is like that too and I sometimes wonder if anyone reads it, I have a grand total of 14 followers and even that excites me LOL

  13. We keep coming back because of you! We may even live vicariously through you! :) Books and homeschooling are my favorite topics of yours, but I like it all!

  14. Another thing is that I've met wonderful people through your blog's comments. Like now I've just discovered Susan's blog (lovely blog, Susan), and as Sue says, I don't always comment on the 1,000 follower's blogs, or the super focused. They are more like 'books' to me. But there are cozy blogs, with our without many followers, and some are uber focused, some are random.
    I believe our blogs to reflect our personalities much. We could do one study of some sort, and see how much this is the case, from the style, how often you change it or how long you keep it, to the topics, the attention to pics or if they are mostly text, if we share about our families or keep it private... Many things can hint to our own styles.


  15. I very much appreciate what you share -- the book snippets and reviews, your daily life, all of it. Please keep it up. The blogs where people are making money aren't as interesting to me because they seem to be too narrow. I like your broad array of topics. Thank you for taking the time to share :)

  16. Well, I like your blog!!! :-) Lots of fun stuff to think about here. I get ideas from your blog and Sue`s blog.

  17. That should be J`s mom. Not J.

  18. I love that your blog is eclectic, it is YOU. I have got to know you, through your sharing and know that we could natter for hours if we lived in the same town:)
    mmm so what parts do I love? well book chat of course, firstly, and then the aussie part of that, love chatting hs, but also gardening (you inspire me, one day you may actually impel me;) ). Love your relationship with J that inspires me too. Interested in your Reformed church as I have my local friend who is Free Presb of Scotland. Yep for travel, see I just love getting to know you. and I love that you humble us to remember the flood and aftermath.

  19. Hey Jeanne, I like your blog with all its variety of topics! I especially love reading about your book recommendations. Entirely because of you I have investigated Ambleside Online, been encouraged to pursue a more Charlotte Mason style of learning, bought (and loved!) Spelling Wisdom, and recently checked out Monde (?) French. You rock!

    Mel x

  20. Jeanne,
    You're too funny! I'm follower 162 and another number from your early days. :) I'm following you twice. Does that make me special?

    Variety is the spice of life, and there's always something different and interesting to read here. Keep on writing!

  21. Dear Jeanne,

    You describe exactly the reasons I call my blog Cee Lew. I could never commit to anything else except what is my own life and all that it involves.

    I keep coming back to read you because you have shared your life and have extended a hand of friendship.

    I have only 19 followers yet I know lots more people read my blog. I try to remember the quality of the people and friendships I have made through my blog. I know I'd never be able to keep up with more people as I struggle to keep up with the friends I have in blogosphere. This stage of my life simply does not afford me the time and energy to communicate in this realm as I used to.

    Keep writing Jeanne! Love the book chat, garden chat, yarn chat and seeing what you are doing with hs as J is just a little older than my Ess. :)

  22. I love it all, and your 'Jeann twaddle' adds that lovely personal element that makes discussion and learning, well, personal. :) After all, is this not what homeschooling is all about? Learning in life? Developing interests and passions? Learning in amongst the rythm of our days and the seasons of our years?

    Happy Blogging Jeanne. :)

  23. I love all your ramblings sweet friend. You are always so encouraging and helpful!

  24. I read your blog because I find it helpful and interesting. I have met you and find your company enjoyable.
    I come back to your blog regularly for the same reason.

    What does successful mean anyway?

  25. We love Jeanne, hence, we love the blog and its beautiful tapestry of topics!

  26. I keep coming back because I LOVE your Jeanne-isms!! Seriously, I love that it is a window into your unique world. xo

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