I took a break during the holidays to enjoy time with my family and friends. I didn’t read much online but caught a few outstanding blog posts and conversations, particularly Joe Flower’s post and resulting comments about his decision to not renew his ASAE membership and a follow-up post by Maddie Grant. I’ll go into this topic further in my post this week at SmartBlog Insights.

The Blizzard of 2010 hit Massachusetts last week while I was visiting my family. My hometown got a foot and a half of snow so I spent several hours shoveling. Newark NJ mayor Cory Booker also spent many hours with his shovel and mobile Twitter application. Amanda Hite wrote about his tweets to constituents throughout the storm — a “new standard for politicians.”

I didn’t make official resolutions this year (yet) but I’m thinking about changes I want to make in my life: make my health a bigger daily priority instead of taking it for granted; and make more time to think, read books and nurture my creative side. I discovered some of Virginia Woolf’s resolutions, thanks to a tweet from Ayse. I especially like, “to fill my brain with remote books & habits.” What a cool glimpse into her head.

The Virginia Woolf tweet trail led me to Tracy Seeley sharing the LA Times’ list of the literary resolutions of 37 writers and readers. Here’s one I’ll steal for myself, “To converse more with my books. To write in the margins.” There are even more entertaining resolutions in the list. Do you know of any other historical or literary icon’s resolutions? I’m sure I could google this but rather hear about your favorites.

I bet many of you have at least thought about fitness or wellness in the last few days. “This year I’ll exercise at least 30 minutes a day,” or “This year I’ll get out into nature more.” If this sounds familiar, and if you live in North Carolina, you’ll love Joe Miller’s blog, Get Going NC. He writes about hiking, running, cycling and other fitness and wellness topics.

This is the best thing I’ve read lately on writing blog posts. Carol Tice gives 40 simple writing tweaks for better blog posts. Bookmark it and keep going back to it; I just did.

Ali Luke shares several good ideas on ProBlogger on how to improve your writing by getting outside the blogging bubble. Perhaps you’ll find some fodder there for New Year’s resolutions?

One of the first posts I read this morning was by Lisa Johnson on the Food Blog Alliance. She writes about women, blogging, the ‘free’ issue and negotiation. If you’re a woman blogger or solopreneur, you’ll find lots to chew on here.

Chris Lake shares 25 reasons why he will leave your website in under ten seconds. If you have either autosound or a pop-up, I will leave in under two seconds, never to return. I’m amazed at how many so-called blogging experts make you click on an obnoxious pop-up before you can read their content. Are they really experts? I don’t know because I never stay to read their stuff. Yet the jerks must be making money from someone if they continue to use those ploys.

Arik Hanson wrote a very helpful post about finding content for your blog, 24 Ways to Feed the Blog Beast. Arik’s tips are excellent, but if you still find it difficult to overcome blogger’s block, it could be a symptom of a larger problem. You might need to sit down and think about your strategy. Who is your target audience? What are your blogging objectives? I’m revisiting these questions too as I shift my professional focus away from social media and toward freelance writing. My pipeline is suffering because I haven’t found the time to wrestle with these issues.

If you know what you want to write about but you lack motivation, read this rant from John Scalzi, Writing: Find the Time or Don’t. “I keep inspired to write because if I don’t then the mortgage company will be inspired to foreclose on my house.” I love his message, shut up and do it. Need more inspiration? “And if you need inspiration, think of yourself on your deathbed saying “well, at least I watched a lot of TV.” If saying such a thing as your life ebbs away fills you with existential horror, well, then. I think you know what to do.” Yes, sir!

We’ll be inundated with posts about the approaching new year, but the good ones are worth sharing. Here’s one that appeared this week by Linda Formichelli, New Year, Fresh Start: 9 Ways to Recalibrate Your Business in 2011. It’s a mix of big picture and practical tasks to add to your to-do list.

Are you a supporter of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks? If you are, please tell me why. I’m curious. I get the freedom of speech argument, and if you read my post last week where I wrote about the Hide/Seek exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery, you already know that. I understand the importance of transparency, I’ve written about that lately too. But national security and diplomacy often require secrecy; I don’t mind that. Not everything needs to be transparent and for good reason. When I read Why I Don’t Care About WikiLeaks, I got the feeling that Jay Dolan might be of the same mind. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out his blog’s holiday header.