I have to admit something I don’t really want to admit – I’m burnt out on blogging.
I’m burnt out on writing and reading blogs actually. Lately I’ve been questioning how and why we bloggers put so much work in and what we truly get out of it.
As a reader, I am so tired of blog posts apologizing for the authors’ lack of blogging. I’m tired of blog posts where the author justifies scaling back their blog to, you know, focus of real life. I’m tired of bloggers making excuses as to why they succumb to paid aids and sponsored posts. There are several blogs in my RSS feed that I love so deeply that I don’t even notice if they are on a blog schedule. I see that they have a new post and light up inside, eager to devour whatever they’ve written (Daily Garnish, The Everywherist, Back To Her Roots) – and yet all three lately have made posts about the aforementioned topics. It makes me sad. These women are so engaging, real, and unique – why do they have to justify their shortcomings as the focus of an entire blog post?!
Blogging has become such a scrutinized thing. It’s like, if you don’t blog for internet fame, money, or so you can become a full-time blogger and quit your day job, then you’re doing it wrong. But we created this pressure. It’s completely unrealistic to be a full time blogger and full time authentic person. I still can’t believe how much time it takes to be a blogger – thinking up original content, taking and editing photos, writing the posts, tweaking and editing, and lining everything up on a schedule. It’s another dark side of blogging: it’s back breaking work and no one ever talks about how hard it is. So ultimately it ends up looking easy and effortless, but it’s not.
As a writer, blogging is recreational but it’s a love/hate recreation. I feel a tremendous amount of pressure to keep it up and to keep my posts relevant, timely, and on a set schedule. But then I resent it because it takes me away from living and keeps me constantly focused on content.
I found myself stressing a few weekends back (after 48 hours completely unplugged due to camping in the woods) that I should have snapped some pictures, I should have written down something about it to share, I should have planned a blog in advance about camping – I should have, could have, didn’t. And then I realized that none of that matters – I was surrounded by dear friends, out in nature, playing board games. Living life and filling the well. And then I realized that the things that have made me the happiest this summer I haven’t taken pictures of or blogged about. Things like reading, hot yoga, camping, napping with my cat, working on me, journaling.
Someone recently asked me – What hobbies do you have that you do just for you? Just for the pure joy of doing them? – and do you know I couldn’t think of one thing. I feel like so much of what I do is out of obligation – to work, to this blog, to this mythical idea of perfection I seem to stupidly strive toward. It feels really inauthentic lately. I want to live my life for me and do things just to do them and not experience them through some lens of obligation or social media hits and likes and retweets and recognition.
In many ways I have changed a lot this year. Actively and with purpose. And I’ve learned a lot about habits and beliefs that have been ingrained in my brain for my whole life. Stuff that is misplaced or just plain wrong. Stuff like only doing things if I can get credit, upholding some unbreakable image of perfection, living in a world of unrealistic ‘I should’ statements, creating the look of a life I want to live rather than just living in what is real (and flawed and not picture worthy and not Pinterest-perfect). How can it be healthy to live my life around this blog and not the other way around?
This is not to say that I don’t appreciate readers. I do, I so do. You guys are the only reason I’ve kept this up for so long and I’m still amazed you are all here. And I want to continue to blog – just in a happier and healthier way for me.
So what does this all mean? It means I want to feel good about what I write here; I want to really be proud of it. I don’t want to churn out fluff just to get hits or to adhere to a schedule. I want the posts I write to mean something. So things around here may start to look different but I hope they will look better, with the real me fully behind them.