Blogging about failing to be a “successful” blogger is a funny thing, especially when you’re talking about why you stopped blogging, and why it became too much to blog. So, in other words, hello again. It’s been a while! But, to my fellow bloggers, the struggle is real thing. Perhaps it’s taboo to talk about our failure when we haven’t yet risen above it. But, I know I am not alone.
So, why did I decide to take a break from blogging?
Blogging used to be fun. That’s all it was once upon a time: connecting with alike-thinkers, expressing yourself, and sharing your life. But as the internet has exploded as a market place and a place of information and inspiration (thanks, Pinterest), now so many are seeking out self-promoting ways of income through outlets like blogging, etsy, and so forth. Myself included. And, maybe you too. Artists, introverts… this is the place we unite!
But, a few months ago, I made the physical- not just mental- change to cut the cord that was connected between myself and this corner. I was terrified, but it was worth it. Why? I had begun to place my very identity in this idea that I created. But, as with anything that you put a lot of energy and thought into, it becomes a part of you. And this idea of a blog- if I am serious about it- is dependent on constant mindful strategy. You either love it, or lose yourself in it.
Because I could not find a rhythm of balance, and I struggled with feeling like the things I was even attempting to write were worth reading. Or, “hello, anyone out there?” Are my hours upon hours of work even being seen? I burnt out. Since blogging can feel like an uphill battle. And all you wish is for your audience to magically find you, it’s easy to become discouraged. It can make you feel like… a failure. Likewise, failing is a gift. I’ve learned endurance, humility, and maturity in a sense of motive-awareness, and, let’s be real, a wake up call to just how hard it can be.
Determination can get you so far; purpose is what gives you endurance beyond failure.
I jumped into Blossoming Beloved with hopes that (eventually, maybe) this could be a full time gig.. or at least part time. I have wanted to treat this like a full time job, and, while I’ve come to learn the theory on techniques, the work itself is hard. And can become a tiresome commitment. It’s perfect for the Type-A who is on top of everything, yet so many of us dreamers and creatives are a little more messy than that. Blogging- as with all entrepreneurship- forces you in your seat, to be the do all, be all. And, don’t forget marketing. You have to come to terms with being comfortable promoting yourself and, oh, what you’ve spent a million hours by yourself creating. Sometimes it’s daunting putting your heart out there, your opinion, anything that really means something to you. But perhaps, that’s just what people need to hear.
So, can you be the creative? The marketer? The organizer/planner? I would have said yes. And, you know what, I still believe it’s ‘yes’. But, that’s with a compromise.
And, that’s also why I am writing this to you today.
I have to change my expectations.
In my time away, I have missed sharing ideas, and using this platform for creativity. So, why did I get burnt out? Because of expectations of myself, and- let’s be real- even others, were too high. I have a life beyond my blog. So, now I am not giving myself rules. I am not going to guilt myself if I fail to post or am feeling stuck creatively.
My purpose is to share what I do have, not feel guilty for what I don’t.
Take it or leave it. I care about you. But, I am doing this for me now. I am lowering my expectations. And, instantly, blogging is fun again. No, this is not advice to become a full time gig blogger. This is advice to just enjoy the hobby that may have turned burden- but maybe a fresh start as such will launch you to that place!
But that’s not it,
My friend recently showed me this post about procrastination by Mark Manson. And, to paraphrase what stood out to me so well: when we identify ourselves as a specific one thing or another, we put a sort of pressure on ourselves- an expectation of who we are and what we create should amount to, that when we create, we become stuck or paralyzed, because our efforts don’t seem good enough- therefore violating our very identity. So, in other words, when we think about things too much, we become paralyzed. Whereas, when we just do, just write, just draw, just create, it’s a natural flow. So, the authors solution is to not use specific words to define who we are, but rather words like, “a student, a partner, a friend, a creator”. How inspiring. How different from what I would have ever thought.
After I launched the new site for Blossoming Beloved, over several months I began about 150 posts that still sit as drafts. I never finished them. Why? Because I got stuck. I decided too soon- it wasn’t the right thing, it doesn’t fit the identity, it’s just not perfect, it’s too vulnerable, or why would anyone want to read this? Though ideas were always twirling in my head, I had barely anything to show for it, because nothing was good enough! Yet, I am the one that loves reading posts with personality, rawness. Maybe you think you’re boring. But I don’t! I don’t know you! Tell me what you think! You’re life is so interesting to me. So, I am making this a note to myself.
Don’t make that mistake. Just write my friends. Just share it. I love reading the real, the raw, your quirky thoughts.
The funny thing is, in our world where the jack-of-all trades is not as useful as the highly-skilled-at-a-single niche-person, using definite words to give ourselves identity, to feel understood in a pool of people, just naturally seems like the way to go, especially in hiring and career seeking. But, now I’m learning, all the time I spent thinking of just the perfect words to describe myself on my instagram bio is really just… myself creating limitation for myself. The truth is. I’m just a creator. Whether it’s messy, whether it’s neat, whether it means dabbling in multiple things. I don’t have to have it all nice and tidy- all figured out- and I’m inspired to approach blogging this way.
So, hello, I’m just going to be me, even if if that means I decide to write a post on something that doesn’t fit this sort of identity I have created here. Again, my purpose here is to share to inspire. That’s it.
My identity cannot be found in anything I create, the ideas I have, or the talents I have been given. But, because I have an identity, I am given ideas, I create, and I use my gifts to share what I know, what I learn, what I discover.
So, hello again. You’ll be seeing more of me.