Yesterday, I waved off our visitors as they headed into the city for a day of sightseeing. What I didn’t want to admit to them was that I planned to spend a significant amount of my day blogging – lining up posts, updating my theme, and making a few other tweaks here and there. Much like trying out a new recipe, any blog admin I do inevitably ends up riddled with speed bumps and ends up taking three times as long as I intended. Who knew it would be so hard to change my favicon now that I’m self-hosted?!
In the middle of it all, I started wondering how well my current theme really reflects me. Like it or not (even if the majority of your readers subscribe through Google Reader or similar) your website design does matter. Your name and your look all tie into one cohesive overall brand and I’m torn between my love of clean and simple (à la Our Freaking Budget) or pretty and fussy (along the lines of L Bee). Identity crisis alert.
But now, to the business! I present my first link roundup for 2013, and it’s all about quality over quantity.
First up, Money Life and More hosted an awesome carnival of personal finance with a Christmassy twist (including my post analysing the evolution of my frugality over the years)
Jenny Blake has 13 prompts to get you thinking about what you want to achieve in 2013
Wanderlust guaranteed: Traveling 9 to 5’s list of amazing places to celebrate NYE around the world
Life, Etc on job perks that are well worth the cash equivalent
Blue Milk on why education is a political issue (read the NYT article quoted; it’s worth it. While I don’t currently have any ties to particular charities, I’m starting to realise that helping to break the poverty cycle is something I’m really interested in – must seek out relevant causes I can donate to)
Finally, I think Seth Godin is often overrated, but I loved basically every word in this post. An excerpt:
“Doing what you love is as important as ever, but if you’re going to make a living at it, it helps to find a niche where money flows as a regular consequence of the success of your idea. Loving what you do is almost as important as doing what you love, especially if you need to make a living at it. Go find a job you can commit to, a career or a business you can fall in love with.
A friend who loved music, who wanted to spend his life doing it, got a job doing PR for a record label. He hated doing PR, realized that just because he was in the record business didn’t mean he had anything at all to do with music. Instead of finding a job he could love, he ended up being in proximity to, but nowhere involved with, something he cared about. I wish he had become a committed school teacher instead, spending every minute of his spare time making music and sharing it online for free. Instead, he’s a frazzled publicity hound working twice as many hours for less money and doing no music at all.
Maybe you can’t make money doing what you love (at least what you love right now). But I bet you can figure out how to love what you do to make money (if you choose wisely).
Do your art. But don’t wreck your art if it doesn’t lend itself to paying the bills. That would be a tragedy.”
And finally: “I mean, if you really want to make a living, go to Wall Street and trade oil futures … We’re writers. We’re doing something that is inherently a generous act. We’re exposing ourselves to the muse and to the things that frighten us. Why do that if you’re not willing to be generous?”