You may have noticed that the blog has been very quiet for some time. Within the last few months I’ve been dealing with a few personal trials that had left me feeling uninspired and quite frankly not wanting to talk or share. It felt almost like a creative depression where I sort of shut down and allowed myself time to recharge and reexamine where I’m spending my time and energy. It was also a matter of regaining perspective as it applies to balancing my personal desires, such as my blogs, my lettering shop, and my responsibilities at home as a mother, wife, and friend.
So, during this time I decided to unplug for a while – only really posting here and there on Instagram – and ask myself these simple questions…
Why do I feel the way I do?
What are my pros and cons of blogging?
Am I still inspired to write? Am I keeping my content reflective of my life?
Do I want to share those things?
Am I taking too much on?
And most importantly…am I missing out in other areas of my life?
I really struggled with these questions for a bit – especially as it relates to my blog. I found myself really having a bone to pick with the very blogging community that I’ve come to love. The pros and cons? Well, if I had to make a list it would look a little something like this:
You’re disappointing me, blogging community.
My cons list derives from my disappointment in the blogging community as it is today. For all of the amazing things about it, there are a number of aspects that I feel as though take away from the authenticity of writing for a blog. For example, I am tired of seeing a majority of posts from a number of my favorite bloggers write about growth. ‘How to optimize Pinterest’, ‘How to get 1K followers on Instagram’, and the like are what floods my feed and I’m tired of it. We all realize that, yes, growth of a blog is important, but the formula hasn’t changed. There’s an over saturation about needing to obsess over the stats and numbers where at the end of the day, writing for a blog should be enjoyable and reflective of your life or niche. When you have authentic content the numbers will come, I’m sure of it.
Those sponsored posts…
The other aspect of this are sponsored posts. Now, I want to be clear that I highly respect those who write sponsored posts – I even do from time to time. I respect bloggers who have had amazing opportunities to take their blogs full-time and understand just how much work really goes into it. However, I dislike the bloggers who ONLY write sponsored posts. I just find these kind of posts to be inauthentic and quite frankly annoying. I don’t doubt that you can really save with Nordstrom’s annual sales or Amazon Prime Day, but sharing out your affiliate links all day long on things like a salad spinner? Really? It just doesn’t come across as authentic and that’s the first thing I fall in love with about a new blogger to follow. Authenticity keeps me coming back.
Social media is too orchestrated.
Social media is another con for me. It seems as though there are so many bloggers out there that one needs to constantly be on their phones or scheduling social media posts just to be noticed. It’s exhausting and frustrating all at the same time. When are we going to realize that we’re missing out on precious moments of real life because we’re on our Instagram or Twitter? On the other hand, I love social media because it makes me feel connected with the people I choose to follow. You don’t need carefully orchestrated and staged photos that are edited so they all look the same. You just need to be YOU and share your life as it’s happening. That’s what I’d like to see more of.
Where did all my time go?
Lastly, it’s a culmination of everything I just mentioned wrapped up as time lost. Every extra minute that’s dedicated to blogging, as the current blogging culture requires, are minutes lost somewhere else. Our 24 hours in a day can be divided up in a number of ways and it’s important to recognize where those minutes and hours lie in our lives. Is it on social media, our blogs, or scheduling our social shares? Is it constantly checking our Google Analytics, email, or searching for the perfect Instagram hashtag? Or is it balancing our blogging life with the real important things that inspire our blogs? i.e. family, gathering with friends, or that passion project we’ve been putting off? Is it trying a new recipe or writing happy mail to someone special? Or more importantly, is it keeping up (or beginning) our devotionals or time spent with God? I encourage us all to ask ourselves these questions and see what answers are revealed to us.
“Back then blogging was about sharing pictures and journaling our lives. I have met and made friends through blogging. Most don’t blog anymore. Now it’s Instagram and Facebook. I miss connecting in the blogging world. Seeing fun pictures and memories my friends are making. It used to be simple and straight forward. No rules and no schedule.” – Mary of Mary Jane’s Mary Janes blog.
But, there’s hope.
Today I am back, although I know everyone isn’t hanging on the edge of their seat for my return (thanks, Mary for your quippy comment about this – so true!). However, I’m taking back what it means to be a lifestyle blogger. I’m returning to the roots of what the blogging community was and using this space of mine as a means to journal and share my life without the undue pressure of worrying about the numbers, having the perfect photo, or the right content for my ‘niche’.
Just keeping it all simple and straight forward. Just being me.