I've taken a small break from writing over the past month; well, I've been writing, but I haven't been blogging any of it. I've been writing/blogging avidly in different forms for several years and just as I started to feel like I was getting the hang of it - finding community, posting often, people actually reading this stuff - I found myself unmotivated to blog. I found myself engaging with some new projects  and getting caught up in the process. Its always exciting and fulfilling to enter to be so engaged with a project, but blogging has been a part of my identity for so long, that I feel like I'm missing out when I don't blog. 

So my New Years resolution (one of them), is to get back into blogging regularly. I wanted to mark the moment by giving the announcement a post of its own. I'm not sure anyone even reads my blog anymore (or ever did), but I didn't want to just jump back into it unceremoniously. 

Over the past few months, I’ve participated in several blog carnivals. I’ve had a great time! Some great blog carnivals have been the Carnival of Natural ParentingAuthentic Parening Blog Carnival, and the Simply Living Blog Carnival

My top four favorite things about blog carnivals are:

Inspiration + Motivation

Even when writing is your passion, its easy to find your self with writers block. I feel like writing is a creative outlet for me and since I struggle with creative expression, its really important for me to keep up my writing practice. Blog carnivals are like writing prompts. Finding a new blog carnival is like challenging myself to write about something new. 

Build Community

Participating in a blog carnival means that you are part of a community of other bloggers that share an interest in a topic. In my case, most of the participants are parents. As a mom, having a community of other parents is important to me. I enjoy connecting, I enjoy support, I enjoy resources. 

Get a Different Perspective

In every community, there are differences of opinion. After I write for a blog carnival, I get to hear other peoples perspective on the same topic. I get to hear from parents who have multiple children or older children, teacher-parents, and all kinds of families. 

Reach a New Audience

I wouldn’t say this is my primary goal of doing blog carnivals, but as a blogger, I do enjoy when other people read my writing. New visitors - the other bloggers and their readers - are a great part of blog carnivals.