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?
Capture by Lucy said:
Definitely feel the social media fatigue. I had a real lull over the summer, felt worn out and although everything was going well I felt exhausted. I took a well needed week off and felt much better for it. Think it can be easy to get sucked into posting for the sake of posting but if you have a loyal readership they will be thrilled if you take some time out to recharge and refreshed and come back inspired. Great post xxx ps we need a play date!
I would love a play date! Will be up to Bristol soon so I shall Tweet you. And yes on the social media fatigue thing – a week off sounds lovely!
Alison @ Not Another Mummy Blog said:
Yep, sometimes I get overwhelmed by all the ace stuff other bloggers are doing, and I know I want to be doing ace stuff too but can’t work out how to.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve list my voice by doing too many sponsored posts or reviews.
Sometimes I get HUGE confidence wobbles and think WHY am I doing this? I’m just embarrassing myself here.
But then I do what you’ve done and remember all the great things about blogging.
Please don’t give up. Your blog rocks.
Working with people like you on exciting stuff like the project we have planned gives me steam to keep going Alison. Thank you for your lovely comment. And for the birthday present! x
Stephs Two Girls said:
I agree about the noise, and the not enough hours in the day, and I stay well away from any shouting, but I too love the support and shared experiences that I’ve got from blogging, and the lovely bloggers I’ve met (most of them anyway…). I struggle to find time to post as much as I’d like to (too much commenting, not enough focus on my own stuff!!) but all the ideas are constantly there in my head. I just wish I had a web designer for a friend – technology is def not my strength. It could be though, if I had any time to concentrate on it
Know the feeling Steph! x
Yes. I get this often.
Don’t give up. What I would do if you stopped? My top commenter (after my mum) would be no more.
I haven’t thought about giving up but I have been meaning to have a break for awhile so I can catch up with things at home.When do I get a break, I get ideas on what to blog about.I just can’t switch off.
I know the switching off thing Aly. I often get frustrated if I have stuff I want to post but no time to do it. It makes me grouchy and then I wonder why I’m getting up tight about it?! Ridiculous!
Circus Queen said:
I’ve been thinking a lot about the shared experience aspect of blogging. When I got pregant with Talitha, we’d just moved to Bristol and didn’t really know anyone. It was out of that isolation that I began blogging because there was this strong need in me to talk about this new place I was walking through and to connect with other women who had been there. Whenever I fall out of love with blogging, I try to remember that I’m blogging for connection – not to show off.
I think that’s probably one of my favourite bits of blogging Adele – if not THE best bit. x
Michelle | The American Resident said:
As you know I’ve been having the same thing recently. For meit helped not just to do the pros and cons thing but to also think what I really wanted from blogging NOW. I went into blogging initially because I was curious, I got really into it because I enjoyed the community, I later discovered that it was wonderful writing discipline and it was interesting getting feedback from an audience, and now? It has evolved into something different again and I think my wobble was just about needing to understand what it is now. I think I’ve decided that now it is still good writing discipline but I only need to do it once a week. If I write a really good post once a week I still get the comments I still get more followers. And I feel less pressure. And the blog takes up less of my time which is NICE. It’s also good discipline to write in a different style from my usual, keeps me fresh. Anyway, that’s where I am right now. Who knows in a year where it will evolve to! Good luck with working through yours xx
That’s a really excellent way to view it Michelle – I bet it must feel quite liberating when you look at it like that. x
I’ve briefly considered giving up blogging a few times, usually when the creative juices have dried up and I don’t feel like anything I write is original or dynamic enough, but I genuinely think I would miss it far too much. I’m in the same boat as you; for every negative there are numerous positives and as long as the balance is that way round, I’ll carry on blogging.
Glad to hear it Jayne – the blogging world would be a duller place without you. x
Charlotte - Write Like No One's Watching said:
I know how you feel Moll. I think there’s such a sense of responsibility too. You have fans and followers and they are so important to you as they read your words and they like them and even pass comment, but I always feel guilty when I’m at work and can’t reply, or don’t have time to comment on the blogs that I love.
I also struggle, in hard times, to keep going. This week, honestly, is an awful week for me. I usually post every day and I’ve missed a few. I just don’t want to know my blog this week. I don’t want to post happy posts and lovely reviews because I don’t feel happy and lovely.
But then I look around and see this swarm of lovely mums who are right there for me – over a dog – and I remember that, out of everything I love about blogging, it’s the people who are the most special to me.
Don’t give up. I’d miss your writing so much. And I’m totally with you on the writing for a living part – writing for me is like eating calorie-free cake (I imagine). xx
Ah I’m so sorry to hear about your rubbish week Charlotte. Comments like this make me realise that blogging is about more than just sitting down and typing a few words. Thank you. x
Never, not in nearly 15 years have I thought about given up. I’ve often gone and hidden away my blog entries on private or restricted blogs, but never given up.
I often think about giving up social media though….
Ha – you and me both. I hear social media blackouts are the new thing. Apparently it helps with the whole social media fatigue thing.
All of the above comments have made me nod and agree with them. I suffer social media fatigue to the point my brain won’t shut up and that’s annoying. I also find myself comparing myself to many of the brilliant bloggers out there and then going on a massive downhill slide to ‘Why do I even bother, everyone is so much better than me at this, I must be making a real fool of myself in front of the world.’
I need to dedicate structured time to blogging so I can do other stuff in my life too and if you find the answer to that one PLEASE let me know.
I am still searching for that one – I will let you know if the elusive answer appears!
Domestic Goddesque said:
I’ve had major wobbles since BritMums Live. Nothing to do with the event, but more that I’ve been overwhelmed by the caliber of others and feel that somehow I am not worthy? Plus there is so much to do now: all the social media sites and the deadlines and the self-promotion. It all takes up so much more time.
But you get some really cool opportunities as a result. And I know that when I have to go back into the work place, I will have it as a demonstration of all the skills I have developed during the time I have been a full-time parent….
The skills that come with blogging are definitely a big plus – and the contacts too. It’s funny, my job as a journalist has been so much easier since I’ve been a blogger as I know so many more people!
Alison, Not Another Mummy Blog said:
Shhh Kelly! Don’t use THAT phrase!! (see Molly’s post from earlier this week)
Rachel@ Confessions of a SAHM said:
I completely agree with everything you have said. There have been many a times I have considered deleting my blog. But the good always far out weighs the bad!
I love writing and my blog gives me that little creative outlet I so love. I take a little break every now and then to compose my thoughts and it feels like starting afresh – and I have so many ideas to boot!
Mary at Keynko said:
You have vocalised my thought completely! I often feel this way… but here I am, still going. And I think mostly thought of giving up those friends I’ve made is what stops me quitting!
Sometimes I forget why I want to blog so I just leave it for a while. That’s the nice thing abut not being a ‘big’ blogger, you can go awol and it’s okay! I think it’s like any relationship – the good has to outweigh the bad and when it doesn’t, that’s when you’ll break up with blogging.
Carrie @ Time to be an Adult said:
I do find that I can go off blogging for a week or more – it’s not that I don’t want to blog, more that I have nothing worthy to blog about. I’m pretty sure that no-one wants to hear about my evening with a bowl of left over casserole and Come Dine with Me re-runs!!
Luci - Mother.Wife.Me said:
I’ve never thought about giving up, but I’ve stepped back more than once to focus on other things. I’m back on a blogging mission at the moment and really enjoying it after going off piste to concentrate on a work project for six months and then being very laid back over the summer hols, so I could put my focus where I really wanted it to be – on my three year old.
‘Social Media Fatigue’ is a term that really resonates with me, but mainly because I feel stressed at times that I’m not constantly on Twitter. The reality for me is that I don’t have the time and when I do have the time, I want to focus on those around me, much as I love a good twitter natter. But then I feel worried that I’m not doing as much as I ‘should’ over twitter to be part of the community – in fact I know I’m not – but my passion is writing and that passion translates best into writing a blog, not all the other stuff – mind you Pinterest if fast becoming an addiction all over again for me, but then that doesn’t involve chatting…!!! Right, waffled on enough already…
Lucy at Dear Beautiful said:
I agree (and see that all the other commenters do too!) and I kind if think maybe the wobbles are part of it. There is always someone doing something bigger and better and I definitely think I have moments want to just shut off from the whole thing. But I always come back back to it, I feel like blogging has got under my skin now and I couldn’t really stop even if I wanted to. The writing, the creativity, the voice it gives you are kind of addictive I think. And I think ultimately, for me, I still stick by all the reasons that I started in the first place.
I’m glad you talked yourself down off the edge. I think as long as the good outweighs the bad then you’re onto a winner. x
Dawn Frazier said:
I’ve only been blogging for 6 months and I’ve had moments where it feels as though I write but nobody reads it! That sometimes makes me wonder why I carry on. But then I have other days where it surprises me that I have so many visitors without me having to do very much to get them. Then I’m inspired to carry on
Thinly Spread said:
Oh goodness, this rings true. I stepped back a while ago, regrouped and focused on the bits of blogging I love and limited myself in terms of time spent. I am back to blogging happily for me and that lifts my heart. Yours is one of the blogs I have loved most over the last 3 years, I’m glad you seem to be reaching the same sort of point. * raises glass*
Like most of the others who’ve commented I feel exactly the same, and quite often.
It’s reassuring to read posts like this and the comments that follow.
Twitter is my saviour. Every time I lose my enthusiasm I stick to 140 characters for a couple of weeks and just enjoy reading others posts until the urge returns.
I know exactly what u mean never enough time to juggle everything but I use the positives to out way the negatives about blogging plus its my release from my crazy normal days lol
The Fool said:
I don’t think I’ve ever thought about giving up, but I have definitely consciously changed what I write about over the years and now expanded to a second blog about running which I’m massively in love with again.
I do love writing though which still surprises me having been a maths and science person all through school.
Pingback: Tuesday Treats is Back! | dorkymum
I could not imagine giving up blogging now – but know it probably wont be forever. The internet seems to revolve and change (I used to run a forum). Blogging for me has been the nicest way of internet exchange though – for many of the reasons you have mentioned.
Thank you for your lovely comment. I agree about it being a fantastic way to exchange ideas etc.