Hurricane Disruptions and New Plans


Last September, I’d formatted the Spooky / Halloween Dragons post and was sitting around waiting to publish it…when Hurricane Ian made landfall in my area!

It was very destructive and I thought I was going to die for 8 hours straight. My partner and I were in the dryer room during the peak of it with our pets.

We had no power for 10 days and no home internet for 21 days. A big percentage of the cell towers in our area were damaged. You can learn more about its path of destruction on the NESDIS site.

For some reason, my Tracfone connection stayed pretty reliable throughout this time, so I managed to stay in touch with a few people whenever I turned the phone on (we had to go to a Verizon bus to charge our phones when the home had no power).

It made me reflect on many things and I try to be consciously be more appreciative of what I have nowadays.

Cutting Down on Drudgery

I get a free monthly therapy session through a Spring Health work benefit. I’ve mentioned this website a couple of times to my therapist because of my tendency to wander off when something becomes less enjoyable (hey, Pisces moon here…3 months in real time to me can feel like a 3 minute daydream).

I did zero blogging and started sketching more after the hurricane as it was calming. It also helped to curb some of the anxiety.

Through some “therapy writing homework,” I realized that it was the drudgery of web maintenance that was making me procrastinate with blogging here. I liked my old HTML/CSS template in terms of ease of updating, although it was more limited in terms of a blogging platform.

The email newsletter wasn’t something I was keen to continue either.

Some of my email inboxes are filled with emails that I hardly read, and a good email open rate is 20-30%. I don’t find that to be a good percentage if the content is truly engaging.

I also wanted to avoid having to pay hefty fees to maintain an email list if I couldn’t cover those additional costs through offering a product/service. While I greatly appreciate the people who signed up AND have been regularly reading the newsletter, I like to be practical and frugal when it comes to recurring costs, lol.

New Ideas

To try and make my life a bit easier—and blogging a bit less of a chore—I’ve decided to try a membership option on the Ko-fi platform. There’s a bunch of other things you can consolidate over there (like a shop, gallery, tips option), and I liked the streamlined approach of that.

I’m looking forward to sharing some personal reflections / short essays and artwork over there.

By the way, I managed to win a Canva weekly design challenge last year. Those challenges are always fun.

I’m hopeful that these changes will be revitalizing so that blogging can be more fun, and less bogged down by SEO/technical or product/email marketing considerations.

By Jess

Jess Chua is an award-winning writer and sketch artist. She's been the keeper of Dragonsinn since 1999. She works in the online writing/editing field and enjoys yoga, reading, and design. Join Dragon Mail for printable welcome gifts, giveaways, and a healthy dose of dragon inspiration!