Other Things

A Love / Hate Relationship

I’m sure there’s a rule against this but I’m going to do it anyway.  I’m going to talk about walking away from blogging.  I’m going to go there.

 

Blogging and I have a Love/Hate relationship.

The LOVE

Writing: I’ve been blogging for 2 1/2 years and I love being able to share my thoughts, my ideas and the things I’m learning.

Community: I love building community, I ADORE all of the amazing woman I’ve met because of blogging.  In love the challenges, the link-ups, the giveaways, the humanitarian efforts and the Twitter Parties!  I love the companies that I get to work with – they are amazing and generous!

Creativity: Blogging pushes me to be creative, it gets me out of my box and forces me to open up.  For a stay-at-home mom, blogging is a “social-life” too.  When I’m tied down to my house because of naps, potty training and bad weather I know I have my blogging girls!

Support: I love feeling important. Yes, blogging makes me feel important – just being honest.  I don’t know about you but knowing that I have X amount of people stopping in to read what I have to say each day amazes me.  It makes me very proud and also makes me feel supported.  I know when I’m having a bad day I have a huge pile of “online” friends who are praying for me.

The HATE

The Distorted Blog Mirror:

When I look in the “mirror” and take a good hard look at my blog, my mirror is distorted. Instead of just seeing my blog for what it’s worth I see the other’s.  I see the Mega-blogs, the UBER inspiring blogs, the Cheerleader-popular blogs and the Just-Started-Last-Year-Now-More-Popular-Than-Bacon Blog.  You know the one’s!

Then I begin to question everything… If only my blog… If only I could… If I wrote better … If my photos were edited like…If I wrote an ebook… got featured on this site or that site… If ONLY…

Dreams for a bigger blog:

I read every, “how to grow your blog” post. I subscribe to ProBlogger, watch the youtube videos and I would attend every conference if given the chance.  I obsess over my stats and stalk my Google Analytics.  I have 2 readers in Greenland – whoopie!  But it’s never a big enough number.  Sometimes I feel like I’m writing to a crowd of none.  I know it’s not true but discontentment sneaks in.

The Pressure:

Write more. Be consistent. Don’t let your readers down.  Yes, this is very good advice and true. But man, it stresses me out! The guilt for not writing a post for a few days makes me feel like a bad blogger.  SO I’m going to give it up.  I’m going to write when I have something to say.  I’m not going to feel guilty for not writing a post for an entire week.  I hope you understand.

The comparison Game: Regardless of my best efforts I have not been able to keep my blogging blinders up.  I see the gorgeously laid out blog next door, the creative design, the flawless sidebars with a dozen obviously paying sponsors.  I begin to question why I’m doing this at all.  My blog doesn’t measure up.

Quitting time?

No other bloggers feel this way, right?  So I should just shut down, close up shop and move on with my life.  The HATE side of blogging makes me want to quit. Often.

Well, it’s not gonna happen. Nope. Not yet anyways.  But it might, someday, because blogging is just a thing I do it is not who I am.  I need to try to keep that in perspective.  Yes, I want to be successful.  I want to be successful in everything that I do.  That’s just my personality.  I also want to write great content, offer my readers ideas and inspiration that will encourage them.  I want companies to know that I’m awesome to work with and I’ll be their biggest cheerleader.  I want to succeed.  But I don’t want to lose sight of reality.

 

So friends, readers, fellow bloggers ( & the unfortunate person who was just looking for a pumpkin whoopie pie recipe). What do you think of all of this?  If you are a blogger how are you feeling?  How many times a week do you just want to close up shop?  Am I just crazy?   PS. I love you all!

 

Disclosure: This post was written in about 5 minutes. I can not guarantee top notch editing. Please pardon the typos! 🙂

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  • Shannon {Discipline Project}
    July 1, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Honestly, I can’t imagine there’s a blogger out there that HASN’T felt this way at one time (or all the time). I’ve started/scrapped several blogs. I think about quitting all the time. But in the end, I do it for me and I love the connections I’ve made and the support I can give and get.

    • Donna
      July 1, 2011 at 10:31 am

      Thank you Shannon! I need to remember that I’m doing it for me. I always want to encourage or inspire my readers but in the end it has to be a blessing to my family and my life too. I can’t drain myself just for the sake of my stats. Thanks for your comment!

  • Cherie
    July 1, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Donna, I think you just wrote this post for about half the bloggers out there! It is hard, especially keeping things original. I’m having a very hard time with any consistency this summer because of life happening all around me. I don’t have time to write or twitter or facebook! My family is keeping me busy, and that is ok. You are the boss, feel free to take a little time off!

    • Donna
      July 1, 2011 at 10:32 am

      Cherie, that’s so true, the bloggers are the boss. We can make a decision to take a break anytime. Life’s too short to feel bad for not writing a blog post! 🙂

  • Susan {LilbearMe}
    July 1, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Wow, I am so impressed with your bravery for saying what I know most bloggers think about at least some of the time. Blogging can be tough, especially when you add in the every day aspects of life. I love your mentality on writing only when you have something to say. So many bloggers ask what people want to read and then struggle to cater to that, but that’s not real writing/blogging. Keep writing what’s on your heart, Donna. Fantastic post!!

  • Crystal
    July 1, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Donna, I have SO been there! There have been times when what happens IRL makes blogging seem like a waste of precious time & I can’t create anything worth reading. And then there are times where my brain is about to explode because I suddenly have 2 weeks worth of blog posts rolling around and I’m super inspired. I’ve tried all kinds of Linky Parties to be motivated, tried to keep a schedule of posts, etc. and none of that works for me. So now I just write what I want, when I want, and if my tens-of-followers stick around, great! If it’s just my mom that reads & thinks I’m amazing, that’s ok too 🙂 Give yourself the grace to do what works for you!

    • Donna
      July 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm

      I’m right there with you – I go in spurts- tons of ideas one month and nothing to say the next. Balancing Work, Blog, Kids, Marriage and Life is impossible. God is so good and I know that he’s moving me into a season of more work and possibly less blogging. I’m ok with that. I feel such a weight lifted just putting it out there. Laying my insecurities out for all to see. love ya! We need to meet for coffee! it’s just silly that we haven’t yet!

  • Ashley
    July 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I completely understand! I am all the time reminding myself of Ann’s main session at Relevant last year where she recommend writing for an audience of One. It helps me keep my focus right.

    Thanks for sharing Donna!

    • Donna
      July 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm

      Anns session was amazing. I should dig out my notes and reread them!

  • Christin @ Joyful Mothering
    July 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    ((Hugs)) Donna, I’ve been there. I have closed up shop before. I used to run a blog called Journey to a Gracious Woman. When I closed it I had about 50 subscribers and I felt like I scraped to get those.

    You are not defined by your subscribers, followers, numbers. But you know that. 🙂 And yes, you are loved! Go ahead and have a coffee on me, friend. In fact, have two! I loaded your Starbucks card with a gift from me, to you, to show you you are loved. ((Hugs))!

    • Donna
      July 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      You, my friend are so sweet and generous! Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I’m excited for what’s ahead and know that there are season in life – hence my blog’s name – this is just that – Another Season! Love you Christin! Can’t wait to see you in October, cant’ wait!!

  • Marci@OvercomingBusy
    July 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I’m with Ashley. Ann’s message about writing for the audience of one hit home with me. I didn’t start my blog to be famous. I started to share ideas and meet others who thought the same as I. As long as I keep doing what God lays on my heart, I’m good with that. When I start veering off that path and start worrying about my popularity and stats, is when I get frustrated and want to quit. Then, it’s time to step back and get my bearings. Hope that helps. You know I love ya!

  • Jessica
    July 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    I totally feel this way! Quite often.

    I’ve been blogging for almost 6 years! SIX YEARS!!! I started blogging when blogging was baby brand-new and so many times I wonder…and think what my blog could have been if only I did xyz more, better, etc.

    I started a link-up in February and I’m lucky if 1 or 2 people link-up! It’s embarrassingly empty and makes me want to just can the whole thing, but I’m doing it first for me. I need the accountability.

    It is hard to see the “bigger” bloggers get all the attention and it’s even harder to hear people say that there’s no totem pole & everyone has the same chances…because we know that’s not really true.

    I think what I’m coming around to is:
    1 – Blog because you love it.
    2 – Support the other bloggers and not just the big names. I love a lot of big name bloggers, but there are others like me who have just as good, useful, and inspiring things to say.

    That’s my two cents. 😉

    • Donna
      July 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm

      Jess — I just adore you!! You comment “It is hard to see the “bigger” bloggers get all the attention and it’s even harder to hear people say that there’s no totem pole & everyone has the same chances…because we know that’s not really true.”
      WOW so right on! I think it’s also, for me, intimidation. I may be outgoing in person, not afraid to make new friends but I hide behind my blog. It’s so very different for me.

      • Kamille@RedeemingtheTable
        July 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm

        Jess–so true about, “but there are others like me who have just as good, useful, and inspiring things to say.” I couldn’t agree more.

        And Donna–I’m thankful for your words at this point in time. They couldn’t ring anymore true than right now. Satan wants to keep whispering words of comparison, doubt & shame. This seeps into our lives as writers/bloggers. We compare ourselves with the people we don’t even know. We fight jealousy & covet what is not ours.

        Just today I was asking Jesus to remind me why I do this. I keep hearing him say, “Kamille, even if you got lots of comments, would it really be enough? Would it really satisfy the need for approval & affirmation? Because you know, I’m the only one who can really give that to you.”

        So as a blogger who feels like “what’s the point?” I have to remember that it’s for Jesus I do this. It’s because Jesus approves of me & wants to read my writing. It’s because of Jesus, not anyone else.

        thank you again for sharing your heart!

        • Donna
          July 1, 2011 at 6:03 pm

          WOW – I didn’t really think about that – What would be enough? What would make me feel satisfied? There is no definitive number. That just takes a lot of the pressure off!!! Thank you for sharing! Contentment is such a difficult thing to achieve.

  • Rebekah
    July 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I love this post for so many reasons. So so so many…

    But the more that I think about the more I feel like BLOGGING IS AN ADDICTION. I have found myself seeking out my next “high.” You know what I mean. That feature on the mega blog, the guest post on a blog you admire, the link-up that lands you tons of hits, the post that gets shared & search beyond reason. Where is that next spike in stats going to come from?

    And what am I giving up to get that high? If I stopped blogging would… my bathroom be cleaner? my sleeping patterns be better? my husband get more one on one time?

    I’m not trying to say everyone should quit blogging. I’m just saying that I understand and I’m not sure how to change it.

    If I gave up blogging I would loose:
    – my creative outlet
    – my brain exercise
    – a sense of feeling heard
    – an opportunity to help a nursing mother overcome excess lipase
    – the chance to inspire others to make goals for themselves
    – the privilege to share a recipe with an uninspired meal planning friend
    – the platform to encourage others to make greener choices

    The list could go on and on.

    I understand, Donna. I stand behind you and your blogging 100%!

    • Donna
      July 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm

      Rebekah – I know you’re my #1 supporter – my late night chatter and bloggy date night partner! I think I need to take a great big leap back and go back to the basics with my blog.

      I love sharing ideas – my brain is overflowing with the next great idea and I want to have an opportunity to share with my readers. That’s one of the big reasons I blog. I would miss having that outlet.

      I love you Rebekah – you and your blog inspire me all the time! Thanks!!!

  • Malinda
    July 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Thanks for this post! I’ve been blogging since I was 15 (13 years, eek!), and it’s mostly a self-centered way to keep my family and friends posted on what’s happening in my life. However, there’s a part of me that wants it to grow beyond that. These points are definitely something to think about. Thank you again!

    • Donna
      July 1, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      Thanks Malinda! wow 13 years – I remember the days of zanga online journals – that’s how it all started, as a place to keep in touch with what’s going on.

      Blogging doesn’t have to feel the way it’s felt for me. Not everyone feels the sense of competition. So, I say go for it if you want. It’s such a wonderful community of people and I’m learning so much!

  • Christin @ Joyful Mothering
    July 1, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I think it’s important to evaluate our goals for blogging. Are we reaching them? Do we even have any goals? If you don’t have any goals, you won’t work toward any one direction and therefore won’t see results.

    If your goal {and I’m not pointing any fingers. I’m simply speaking generally}, if your goal is subscribers, you may want to reevaluate your reason for blogging. Having subscribers is great because you know someone is reading what you have to say. But it does not validate nor define you. Remember Ann Voskamps’ prayer for the blogger?
    “Jesus, you alone are my Savior, not site meters.”

    If your blog is to reach out and minister, your goal should be to be as helpful as you can be–on your blog and off.

    So, the question you want to ask yourself is, “What are my goals for blogging?” If you don’t have any, make some and aim for them! 🙂

    • Donna
      July 1, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      That is such a good point Christin and something I’ve been thinking about all day.

      I think I have an idea of what direction I need to take. My goal comes down to blessing my family – home – work – possible homeschooling in the fall. If I can encourage others along the way – great, however, I want my blog to inspire me to do these things well. Blogging can be a good accountability tool too.

      Don’t get me wrong I love being able to discuss my faith but I don’t think ministering to others is necessarily my goal. I dont’ have it all together in my faith (not like anyone does) and I don’t really like talking about how I dont’ have it all together 😉 Faith is a part of me and will always be woven in my posts.

      I do feel like after Relevant I got pooled together into the “faith bloggers” category (which I don’t mind at all! and I love all my faith blogger friends and their blogs!) but I don’t think of that as my niche. Does that make sense? Not having a niche has been my issue for a year now. It’s only an issue for me because for me, having a niche would give me a plan, guidelines, topics and direction.

      • Christin @ Joyful Mothering
        July 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm

        Oh hun! Ministering to someone doesn’t mean it has to be directly related to your faith walk. You can minister to others just by saying something encouraging or being helpful. That’s still considered ministry! 🙂

        None of us have it all together, so don’t fret. 🙂 In fact, I think my blog thrives on my failures. LOL People need to know they aren’t alone.

        Figure out what you are passionate about and what you love to talk about. Do that!

        I find it ironic…my blogs center around my home life, and homeschooling, but I am passionate about talking about blogging. The how-to’s, blog design help and that sort of thing because I’ve done so much research on it, I feel like I know something! And when other’s need help on something I’ve already learned, I love helping them learn to. {But there is NO way I’m opening another blog!} Maybe I’ll go into blog consultation. Hmm…LOL

        What do you love, Donna? What are you passionate about? Start there. 🙂

        • Donna
          July 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm

          Yes, I absolutely get that. I know that ministry comes in a variety of ways. I was specifically taling about ministering readers in their faith – directly. (biblical study/theology etc) I’m all about encouraging others and inspiring them (usually I’m the one being inspired at the same time!)

          Christin – you can always write a guest post for Pleased to Geek You if you need an outlet for your geeky side 🙂

          • Christin @ Joyful Mothering
            July 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm

            Oh I know and that’s totally fine! I just wanted to clarify what I meant by ministering. 🙂

            And I’d LOVE to guest post for Pleased to Geek You!! I’m taking a 3-4 week sabbatical from Joyful Mothering in July so after that? Actually, I’m inviting guest posters on my blog for July, so if you’re interested in talking about mothering, homemaking, marriage, organization, time management, encouragement, raising kids or the like, let me know! 🙂

  • Kristin
    July 1, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    We all have moments of feeling like our blog doesn’t quite measure up…but, as long as it is doing something for you, that’s what matters.

  • Jessica Montanez
    July 1, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Stop worrying so much about what everyone else may or may not think about you or your blog. You’re better than that. Do it because you love it, not because you feel like you HAVE to. That’s all. :o)

    • Donna
      July 1, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      I love you Jess! <---------- My big sis

  • Katey
    July 1, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    BRAVO! Thanks for writing what I have been feeling/thinking for some time…

    • Donna
      July 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm

      Thank you Katey – I’m glad I took the chance and just write it out!

  • LoveFeast Table
    July 1, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Sweet friend! You summed up in your five minute brain dump, what all of us have felt. I’d venture to say, there is not one blogger out there who has not struggled at one time or another with one of your above points. We have! (But you know that!) You are an amazing woman and I think your honesty, your transparency and your authenticity keeps you endeared to many.
    ~Kristin

    • Donna
      July 1, 2011 at 10:20 pm

      Kristin – Thank you for your kind words. I’m excited for what’s ahead and I feel like I’m headed in the right direction! I love being surrounded by such wonderful and supportive friends! I feel truly blessed!

  • Denise
    July 1, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Donna,

    I can completely relate! I have felt all of these emotions and thoughts over and over. It has taken me since last year at Relevant to finally figure out what direction to go. Hence the reason for shutting down one blog and starting something different. All of a sudden everything is becoming clear. For me the key has been cutting back onTwitter and Facebook and listening to the ONE who can guide me. I love socializing, but it was getting in the way of being inspired. I am finding the balance. I think for all of us there are seasons, and the needs of our family can change. The important thing is that you are recognizing what you need to do, and making adjustments as necessary. So many times we get wrapped up into our THING and miss why we are doing it in the first place. That is the case for me anyway! Thanks for sharing and obviously you hit on an excellent point for so many of us!

    God Bless You!

    • Donna
      July 1, 2011 at 10:47 pm

      Denise – I’m guilty of focusing on the socializing (which I LOVE!) It eats up so much of my time! I need to really cut back on my social media time! I know that I’m heading towards something new and exciting! Thanks for sharing.P.S. I am loving your new blog! So glad you took the chance and made the move!

  • Denise
    July 1, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Thanks you are so sweet. Have you read the ebook called Simple Blogging? I know Christin read it too. We both said its the best 8.00 we ever spent! It has changed my perspective. I highly recommend it!

  • Sharon @ Hiking Toward Home
    July 2, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Love this post. I’m so “there” for much of it. Though I don’t stalk Google Analytics mainly because, though I have it installed on my site, I don’t know how to access the info and don’t really care at the moment. Feeling guilty about not posting in an ENTIRE week, OH YEAH. Issues with our church have greatly affected my blogging and openness. Though I went to Relevant 10 and am going to Relevant 11 and would love to go to Blissdom…. I am still not driven to make money on my blog, I want it to stay enjoyable. HOWEVER, if I knew more about things I see on other sites and as I wonder “how do they do that?” maybe I would be more inspired to work harder? I don’t know… Like those instagram collages… Do you have to have Photoshop to put together a collage? dumb question but… and how do you post photos from other sites like you see on so many decorating blogs? It is probably a simple procedure, I’m just not sure how to do it.
    Rambling here but just typing as it is coming to mind. 🙂 great post. glad I’m not the only one who thinks this way. 🙂

  • Christine
    July 3, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Yes, I have totally been there. And I took a year and a half off. And my stats have suffered. But I feel freer and bess burdened. I love writing, I love encouraging, and maybe someday again God will call me out into the “blogging rat race”, but until then I’ll write when I feel like it, thank you very much. I want to glorify God and that doesn’t happen if the “hate” side takes over. Great post Donna!!

  • Rebecca
    July 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Oh, when I look around and compare myself to others….I want to quit.

    When I sit back and look for others to inspire and educate me…I want to be like them.

    When I remember to find my identity in Christ and I write/go about my day glorifying him…..the first two go away and I am the child he wants me to be…

    Temptation…lies and deceit are the power of the one who is king of lies….his desire is to make us feel all of that negativity and drive one another away.

    Building a community and sharing his love with others…less negativity and criticism and acceptance…true love….because, in the end, we are all sinners….yet desiring to fill that void that only he can fill….

    That’s where we all need to be.

    Write, write….and take breaks when you need….looks like you’re doing a FAB job! Blessings!

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