December 20, 2010

Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire): Rachel Meeks of Small Notebook

The title of Rachel Meeks’ blog Small Notebook refers to two main qualities of living. One is a lean lifestyle marked by less clutter and distractions to help sharpen focus on family, one’s self and things that matter. The other is Meeks’ preference to write in notebooks where you’ll find stick figures like this:

Meeks admits, “I don’t have it all together. I don’t expect for you to have it all together, either.” When it comes to achieving “a home that is welcoming and peaceful, without clutter”, it’s a persistent and steady work in progress which Small Notebook is and continues to be in every encouraging post to help people live a simpler life. Her lessons about web-based publishing may help your entrance into the blogosphere or further inform your current work in it:

Why did you create a Website of regular entries?
To encourage women to create a simple and peaceful home. A blog adds the personal effect that someone else can relate to, and maybe they will say, “If she can do it, then I can do it too.”

What Web-based solution did you select and why?
I use WordPress because it’s so customizable, but I’m also interested in simpler platforms like Tumblr.

What is your definition of a good blog and what are
three good blogs that you frequently visit?

A good blog is one that shares thoughtful content or imagery even when it has only a couple of readers. I read,, and, and now that I think about it, those are written by people I know in real life. I keep a short list of blogs that I follow on a regular basis, and the rest come and go from my RSS reader to keep it manageable.

How do you create content for your blog?
I think about what’s interesting to me at the moment, I consider how it’s relevant to others, I try to communicate an idea with a story using as few words as possible, and then I take or draw a picture. Then I try to add a headline that’s not too bad, I read it over again for mistakes too many times, and finally, I hit publish.

How do you stay organized and motivated
to contribute to your blog?

I use Evernote to keep my ideas organized. My motivation ebbs and flows, so I try to stay balanced and recognize when I need to pull back from it a little. If I don’t have any new ideas, I don’t sit in front of the computer screen. I get up and work on something else, and an idea will eventually show up.

For those aspiring to make a Website composed of
regular thoughts and/or images, what is your advice?

Blogging can take much more time than you originally think it will. I had no way to expect what it would do to my email inbox. I’ve learned not to place too much value on other people’s praise or criticism. I’m passionate about helping women spend less time on the computer while still growing a successful blog, so I wrote an e-book called Simple Blogging. It’s full of advice about how to grow your blog while staying balanced with your time.

What is your quest in blogging?

To provide encouragement and practical advice, and to help other people feel like here is someone they can relate to.

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Doodle and photographs courtesy of Rachel Meeks.

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Read more of the Design Feast series Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire).

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