Writing contest for NPN cloth diapering book! The deadline approaches.

Are you a writer who also happens to love cloth diapers? Woot!

We need your high-quality and informative writing for the upcoming Natural Parents Network book, The Natural Parent's Guide to Cloth Diapering!

Submissions are due April 30.

We hope this book will be like a Cloth Diapers 101 class for anyone interested in finding out more about the subject — as well as an advanced course for those with particular questions and troubleshooting needs.

We invite you to submit one or more chapters having to do with any aspect of cloth diapering.

Please, as you're submitting, remember that this will be a chapter in a printed book. We want your best writing — please edit any blog posts to fit into a book's format and style, and please be thorough in what information you give. We want NPN's guide to be the "last word" in cloth diapering, and we will be judging submissions based on quality of writing and completeness of information.

Available Chapters


Blogging and taxes

Well, it's that time of year for U.S. citizens — tax time! Bloggers are kind of a special lot when it comes to taxes, which can make figuring out how to file tricky.

I've recently read some good articles about bloggers and taxes:
I'm combining what I've read there with my own experience doing our family's taxes (currently an online sales business as well as my income, such as it is, from blogging), and managing the Natural Parents Network finances, to write about some of the special situations affecting bloggers:

Please, please take what I'm about to say seriously: I am not a tax expert. I am not an accountant or tax professional of any kind. I was an English major, for crying out loud. Please use the information in this article solely as a springboard for you to do your own research regarding your specific tax situation. If you're fortunate enough to have a CPA or other expert to turn to, perfect. If you don't, you can call the IRS directly to ask any specific questions or go in person to a local Taxpayer Assistance Center. You can also use IRS.gov to find specific tax forms, publications, and regulations.


The most important tasks for bloggers — and what is not important?

I've been reading Simple Blogging: Less Computer Time, Better Blogging, an ebook by Rachel Meeks of Small Notebook (and — full warning — I went ahead and signed up for the affiliate account, because I am an affiliate junky).

Even before downloading it, I had started thinking about what's essential for bloggers to do, and what can be trimmed. Part of this is in preparation for nesting and my babymoon period. Part of this is my general drive to simplify clutter out of my life. Part of this is my knowledge that sabbath rests are necessary to my wellbeing. Part of this is a long time coming, just because I've been feeling overwhelmed by how much time blogging takes up for me.

This article by Melodie — "My Kids Have Taught Me That It’s Time To Stop Blogging" — when she reluctantly yet joyfully decided to step away from Breastfeeding Moms Unite! was also a catalyst. Blogging is not a job for me in the sense that I earn much money from it. For the amount of time I put into it, I've calculated that I'm earning about 40 cents an hour. Hmm. Forty cents for an hour I could be spending writing my novels, caring for my home, helping my husband in our family business (which makes considerably more per hour), or, not to be all maudlin about it, enjoying my kid's (and, soon, kids') fleeting and precious childhood.

Now, blogging has become a passion of mine, and I recognize that the point of blogging does not have to rest on earnings. I so very much enjoy the community that has surrounded me in this blogging journey, and a lot of what I do as a blogger is with the intent of giving back to that community, and that makes me happy. That said, when I'm feeling stressed and on edge and staying up till 5 in the morning to finish linking up Wordless Wednesday posts for two sites or beating myself up because I have yet to finish a product review I've had three months to write and still don't really feel like doing or hiding fitfully from the overflowing email inbox that's overwhelming me with Tasks To Do, I have to ask myself: Is this what I'm actually passionate about?

So I thought I'd ask YOU — fellow blog readers, fellow blog authors — what you consider to be the essentials of blogging, and what a blogger can let slide.

I put together a little poll to select and then rank and then compare basic blogging tasks:


Poem-a-Day Challenge begins, no April Fooling!

Oh, me, oh, my! How did I forget that this is the first day of the 2011 PAD Challenge?

Who's with me?

The object of the game is to write a poem each day in the month of April. Robert Lee Brewer at Poetic Asides will provide a daily prompt to put you in the mood.
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