When I originally started this blog, I was in a weird place. I was a new mom, trying to navigate working a full-time job while also taking care of my then one-year-old son. I was feeling stifled at work and was just generally unhappy professionally. I figured that a blog might be a good way to venture out and try something new. I also hoped it would get me writing again. I have a degree in journalism and I missed the creative outlet that writing provided. I also hoped to find a community of other moms who I could relate to.
Over the past almost three years that I have been blogging, I have learned a lot – both about blogging and about myself.
- It’s Hard for Me to Stay Focused – As I got into the blogging world, I was curious to learn new things (a trait I’ve always had in life). And I found that in blogging, as well as online entrepreneurship in general, it can be hard to stay focused. I have had many instances of shiny object syndrome, have bought more online courses than I can ever get through, joined all the FaceBook blogging and business support groups I could find, and listened to way too many podcasts. The excitement of learning new things, meeting new people, and hearing inspiring stories of others who ‘made it’ was intoxicating, especially when I felt I was still trapped in my old job. I went down rabbit hole after rabbit hole of new ideas and promising programs, and got quite overwhelmed by information overload and even some analysis paralysis.
- There Are Many Creative Outlets Out There – For whatever reason, three years ago, blogging seemed to be the new and exciting thing to pursue. But throughout my life, I have enjoyed many activities, including making things. Since starting my blog, I have gotten more and more involved in quilting, which has provided some of the same benefits that blogging can. Believe me, there have been – and still are – times when I think maybe I should have started a quilting blog. That may still be in the cards, but for now, quilting and other crafts are something I can do when I have time, and that offer a chance to relax and have some ‘me’ time.
- I Place a Lot of Pressures on Myself, and Blogging Became ONE MORE THING – Once you enter the blogging world, it can be difficult to take it at your own pace. In blogging circles, it all becomes about how much interaction you have, how many likes and clicks you get, and how many followers you have. Before you know it, a simple blog post involves linking it to all your social media accounts, ensuring you have affiliate links (so you can make some money, of course!), and finding just the right photos to go along with the post. There have been many times where I’ve had a post ready to go, but it didn’t meet all the self-imposed criteria I felt it must have, so I held off on hitting publish. And so, my creative outlet became one more thing I wasn’t doing ‘right.’
- There Are Only So Many Hours in the Day – I made a commitment to work on my health last year. And, as we all know, there is only so much time in each day to get everything done. Oftentimes, working out gets prioritized above trying to update my Pinterest account – and I’m ok with that. I’m happy to say that I have lost some of the ‘baby weight,’ which is a good thing since my youngest son is close to two. I feel much more balanced and stronger, as well. When I have to make a choice what to do with limited time, the choice I often make has been to hit the gym rather than taking the time to spruce up my website. Blogging is hard, and some people are able to make it a business. For me, I just don’t want to focus my efforts on building out my blog, at least not right now.
- I Found My Tribe – No, I don’t have 10,000 followers on Instagram. But I have managed to find some mom friends I can reach out to when I need them. Some have been local, others have been through various online connections – some via blogging. I have stepped outside my box and gotten more ‘social,’ whether a computer was involved or not. And building that support group around myself has made all the difference in the world. I don’t need the validation of a large social media following (although there are days when that still feels like a nice goal to have). I have the mommy tribe that I need to make it through this whole mom gig.
The point of all of this is, I am not sure what direction this blog is heading in. I am not a quitter, and I don’t intend to just disappear from the interwebs one day – unless doing so is completely intentional (and I promise to say goodbye first!). What I do know is that the original reasons I started a blog would not necessarily be the same reasons I’d like to continue one. Right now in my life, when I feel stressed and in need of some space, I find that I go hide out in my craft room or I go to the gym. Getting offline is what I need sometimes (well, I do have NetFlix connected in the craft room 😊). My blog can be whatever I want it to be – and right now I am choosing to scale back and take the pressure off myself. I’ll post when I can, but solely because I want to. Not to meet some crazy expectation of what I think would make my blog, and me, a success. I’ll always have a voice in my head telling me to do more and be more, but for now, I’m prioritizing some things over others, and being ok with that.