August 30, 2017

thoughts on blogging...

thoughts on blogging | yourwishcake.com
It's no secret that I've really, really missed writing. I've missed having this outlet to not only share my thoughts, but also to share things I'm loving, as well as connecting with others across the country (and world) through the words I share. For a while, I seriously considered saying an official goodbye to this space, because the desire I used to have for it was gone—as well as much of my free time. I couldn't imagine a time that I'd want to return with the same voracity I once had.

I've had this blog for over a decade now (and had written elsewhere for several years before—long before blogs were even a thing and social media was even on the radar), and as I look back on those years I realize that not only did I always thrive when having somewhere to consistently write and share my heart, but it also challenged me creatively. In my years spent here in this online space, I've pushed myself to learn photography (which I still love), to start an Etsy shop that was pretty successful for a handful of years (may it rest in peace), to learn coding and HTML (I've always created my own blog designs and graphics), and to take myself seriously as a creative (some of my lettering was even published in a book!). I miss having a reason to be creative at least a few times every week—even if it's something as simple as making a collage of favorite things in Photoshop or writing a small post on what is currently bringing me joy.

These things, simply put, are just personally satisfying to me in a way that nothing else is. I have a million things on my plate these days, which isn't surprising. But having a consistent, creative outlet is something I haven't been able to dedicate any time to for a while now—nor did I really want to. For the past six months, I felt at peace with my decision to step away. But now, I feel like it's time to dive back in.

A big part of it has to do with coming to terms with the fact that the "golden age" of blogging has, indeed, passed, and will never return. Only the people who were also a part of that circle will be able to understand how I mourned the loss of writing just to write, and the simplicity of connecting with people without worrying about social media and pinnable photos and stats and revenue. Back when bloggers simply shared stories and had boring blog designs and the only thing that mattered were their words and how they shared them. But now I realize I can only look back and appreciate what an honor and joy it was to spend so many years of my twenties in an online space that looked very different than the internet now. I'm grateful I was able to be a part of it, and understand fully that there is really no way to recreate what any of us had back then.

(Not to mention that I am no longer in my early twenties, working a posh job in customer service where I basically sat at a computer all day and could blog my little heart out, then go home and be creative all evening because there were no kids to wrangle or any other pressing responsibilities in life. Ah, youth. You precious thing.)

Several years ago, I felt so much pressure to be all in. As in: If you are still blogging, you should probably also be a successful entrepreneur, you should worry a lot about stats and ad revenue, you should do everything the ebooks say you should do, you have to blog often and only at a level that will gain you more readers, you have to be sure that every post is perfectly crafted and filled with beautiful photos, and you have to share it all or you aren't genuine or appealing. But then I had a moment recently when I realized that I was putting all this pressure on myself to be something I simply can't be. And there was no reason I couldn't just write, share and post on my own terms.

It's kind of ridiculous that I didn't realize that a long time ago, but what can you do?

I'm eager to put my heart into this space again, but there are a few boundaries I'm setting for myself. First of all, there's no way I can commit to a regular posting schedule, so it may be sporadic at best. I will write what I want to write, and share what I want to share. That said, I've thought a lot about the privacy of my family (especially that of my children) and the internet basically feels like an endless abyss at this point—so, I won't be sharing as many personal stories or photos of them as they get older. (This isn't to point fingers at those who choose to do otherwise—it's just based on my own level of comfort. And maybe my obsession with true crime podcasts and audiobooks.) Also, social media is not my thing. There's really no other way to put it. I know myself well enough now to not fight the fact that it all feels like unnecessary noise to me—more noise than I am willing to add to an already full life. Aside from one account I keep private (and another I have to use just for a couple groups I'm a part of), I don't currently have any of the main social media outlets. If that's breaking all the rules of the internet, then so be it.

Lastly, I realize that monetizing my blog is a way I can bring in a little extra income for our family, and although it is definitely not my sole motivation in having a blog, I don't personally feel it would be responsible to pour my time and energy into something that takes me away from other things without it offering a small bit of income in return. I will continue to use affiliate links here and there and possibly do reviews or sponsored posts from time to time—and I appreciate those of you who understand this and support me along the way! (Full disclosure: Any money I make will end up going toward homeschooling supplies and diapers. I live a glamorous life, clearly.)

In any case, I feel inspired again, and that feels good. We will see where the rest of the year takes me, and whether or not I can keep it all going once January rolls around and there's another wee one in my arms. But for now, it feels good to be inspired to write. And to those of you who have continued to stick around after all these years: you mean the world to me.

— Further reading: introversion and the internet

Affiliate link included in this post; view my disclosure policy here.

6 comments :

  1. I am so happy to hear this! I could have written it myself. I recently started writing again on my blog, too. I was nervous that that old self-inflicted pressure would rise up again, but so far so good! And now I am seriously considering leaving Facebook, and creating a private account for groups. I think it would be so good for me!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So excited to hear this! Welcome back! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm so glad to hear you'll be continuing your blog, however sporadic it may be. I've silently been following your blog for years and love, love, love your writing style. You and I have pretty different lifestyles but, it's amazing to me how I align so closely to the way you think and how much I can relate to your writing. Thank you for sharing your creativity with the world when you can! I just wanted to write to tell you that your blog is appreciated and however you can to make it work for your life, you go girl!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Obviously I'm thrilled about this!! I always wanted to buy something from your Etsy shop, but could never afford it in my 20s, haha!

    ReplyDelete
  5. The pressure is REAL. I promised myself that when I got back into blogging I wouldn't force myself into it. If I felt forced to blog, I just wouldn't, and I would do it only for me. Continue to use it as your outlet... us OGs are reading! <3

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am so happy to hear you're planning to continue this blog.. I've always enjoyed your posts and thoughts and I think keeping the pressure of and just keep doing what you've been doing all along is the right approach to make this sustainable and fun. <3

    ReplyDelete

Thoughts? Questions? General musings? Do share!

If you are asking a question, I will respond here within the comments—so, be sure to click that handy little "notify me" box below to know when I've replied!