I’ve been on the edge of a blogging precipice lately.
It’s not the first time I’ve considered giving up blogging and, I imagine, it won’t be the last. Time is the main reason. I never seem to have enough hours in the day, juggling work with being a mum and writing a blog. That’s not all though. Sometimes I have days where I just feel… meh… about blogging in general. I’m sure it’s something all bloggers go through at some point – and if they haven’t yet, then they will eventually.
Anyway, today I thought I’d write a post for myself. It’s to remind myself what I love, and hate, about blogging. I’m hoping it’ll help put the meh into perspective.
Writing what I want, when I want. Writing about anything that takes my fancy, in a way that takes my fancy. Even if it’s a stupid list about blogging. As someone who earns their living writing for other people, this is a rather liberating thing.
I have forged real friendships through blogging. Gemma from Helloitsgemma and Jane from Northern Mum are counted amongst some of my closest friends. I even got a birthday present from Alison at Not Another Mummy Blog. There are too many friends to mention here, but they are all mates in the proper sense of the word – not just faceless avatars on Twitter who I exchange a bit of banter with. These are real people who I see in real life, often over wine or play-dates with children.
Whether it’s an anecdote about something my three year old has said or done, or a serious political or ranty post, there is always a sense of shared experience when you blog. You get instant feedback and opinion from other people. You get words of commiseration, advice, wisdom or just the knowledge that, somewhere, there is someone who knows – or cares - how you’re feeling.
Three years ago, I didn’t even really know what a blog was. Through blogging, I’ve learned about writing online, taking photographs, editing photographs, using social media, using platforms like WordPress, networking, building up a business and, ultimately, being self-employed. I’m not sure I’d have learned so much, so quickly, if it wasn’t for this blog.
Sometimes I feel drained of interest. On days when I have a three year old screaming at me, a husband late home from work, and an inbox that won’t stop pinging, it’s all I can do to remember my name, let alone anything else. Dipping in and out of reading blogs will often help me formulate ideas of my own – be those articles to write for other people, news stories to look into or creative and fun things to do at home with my daughter.
I’ve been to places that I might not have visited, because of this blog. I’ve worked for people that I might not have worked for, because of this blog. I’ve reviewed things I wouldn’t have bought and met people I wouldn’t have met, all because of this blog. There have been lots of new opportunities that have come about because of my tiny corner of the Internet, even if they’re not the reasons I started a blog in the first place.
Have you ever met someone who can’t wait to tell you how great they are, how clever they are and how they are just SO much better than you? In real life, these types of people are pretty easy to avoid. But in the world of blogging it can be harder to ignore.
*Touch wood* I’ve never had a “blogging bust up” before (I’m not a fan of confrontation and I have better things to do than argue on Facebook), but I know they happen. A lot. The very sense of community that I love in blogging is also one of the things I hate. I hate the arguments, the “I know more than you”, the “I got a better PR opportunity than you”… all that stuff. I don’t see it much, but there are times when it’s hard to get away from.
I am never going to be a technical guru, much to the dismay of my IT teacher husband. I started blogging to see if I could still write, or if having a baby had zapped that part of my brain. I do not get excited about plugins or techy speak. I can appreciate when something is cool (and get a huge proud feeling when I work out a solution to a technical problem myself) but my brain doesn’t naturally work like a technical wizard. I have to puzzle over it, ask for an explanation and, inevitably, get frustrated if I don’t understand the answer.
I’ve never had so much noise in my head since I started blogging. Whether it’s a post that I want to write, a thought about a blog post or Tweet that I’ve read, or just a sense that stuff is being talked about – interesting stuff – and I want to be part of the debate… the noise is pretty much always there. I think they call it “Social Media Fatigue”. Having a phone that is constantly pinging does not help. Sometimes I wish I lived in a wood with zero Internet signal.
And that’s it for the hate list.
I think I’ve just talked myself down from the edge of the precipice. Six in favour and three against. I call that a win for blogging.
Have you ever considered giving up blogging? What do you love – and hate – about it?