I initially wrote this post a few days ago and then struggled to decided when/if I would post it. I am feeling more compassionate as I now return to my laptop and have decided to give it another chance. Welcome to my current blogging mind dump.
I’ve been feeling really uncomfortable with my blogging. Its been creeping up over the last month, but really struck me hard last week. I published what, after the fact, felt like too many posts. Posts that felt shallow and inauthentic. I’ve been talking about myself – which I know is kind of the point and part of my personal work toward a greater self confidence – but in ways that just haven’t felt good. I started to feel annoying – like I was bombarding readers with too much. Too many posts, too many pictures, too many words. I was feeling really embarrassed.
I know there is a possibility that this is my inner bully telling me to be embarrassed of myself. This voice is notorious for telling me I’ve gotten out of control, that I am just making things up, being dramatic and asking for attention. I realize that my mental/emotional state is not great right now and so this could be part of what is going on – and that it is something I should be fighting against. But then, I really do feel like a large part of me hasn’t been authentic and has been doing things that are not true to who I am. So I’m not sure which way to go here.
I’m trying to remember why I started blogging. The girl who wrote posts like this and this, when she had zero followers, now feels miles away from the one writing now. I began blogging because my journalling didn’t feel like enough any more. I wanted to share. I wanted to share my struggles, my journey, and help others through my own learnings. I wanted to be honest and authentic and challenge myself to believe that I, too, am worth other peoples’ time. I wanted to fight the voices telling me to be embarrassed and instead work to believe and feel proud of what I say, no matter the response (or lack there of) that I receive.
I recently began to be absorbed with the notion of gaining followers and views and my thoughts have been blanketed with the ambition of wanting to monetize; to publish more recipes, focus more on food photography, contact companies to start doing product reviews, submit my photography and writing to online companies and journals.
All this is fine. Do I enjoy taking photographs? Abso-fricken-lutely. Do I enjoy sharing recipes? Yes. Do I enjoy being a part of link ups, knowing that there is a community behind them that supports each other each week? I do.
But I think I began to near a little line where link ups and recipe posts were becoming more about strategy rather than authentic enjoyment and truth. It’s a lot like the career of acting – or any career for that matter. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the bells and whistles and glitz and lose the real reason you began it in the first place: For you and for your passion.
I am trying to be compassionate and remember that with blogging (like everything in life) trial and error is inevitable. I have tried different things – link ups, more posts, currently posts, recipes, informative posts (my favorite). Some feel good, some have not. Some have not felt authentic and just left me with icky feelings. But how would I have known this would happen without trying it? I am still in my awkward pubescent phase of trial and error and am constantly making mistakes and learning. I’m trying not to be embarrassed when I feel the errors. I need to just say… “Okay… that didn’t feel good. That wasn’t me. I don’t want to do that again…. “ and then learn and move on from there by trying something different. Constantly learning about yourself is a tooooough part of life.
We are forever in puberty.
Really, this is just one big “thinking out loud” entry to help me sort out my thoughts and see why it is I feel I’ve gotten off track. And to decide how/if i want to change things. I just need to figure out what I truly enjoy and what feels good to me. I do like posting recipes. I do like photography. I sincerely would like to figure out how to monetize and partner up with companies. I would find this gratifying and purposeful… and fun. As long as I felt like people knew the real me behind it all. I don’t want to lose that core part of me that was the reason I started my blog in the first place. I want to hold on to my craving to teach and support and inspire in new ways that are unique to me. And to be proud of that.
Ironically, my favorite posts to write are the ones with the least views. Everyone loves those WIAWs…
It can be hard when you realize there are approximately 1019239034 women with blogs all with basically the same ambitions. It can be really easy for those bully voices to rear their ends in and laugh at you for wanting to be a part of the “in crowd.” It can be hard to stick to your own path rather than conforming to what you see everywhere around you. It can be hard to believe that you, too, have the right to be one of those voices. And that you, too, have something to offer. If they are all putting their voice out there, why in the world can’t you?
This goes beyond blogging, too. This goes smack dab into the middle of my life and my career. I guess this is another way blogging is good practice for me.
So – I’ve gotten a little off track. I started to feel out of control (internally) and thus I am now feeling embarrassed (internally). Lesson learned. I just need to return a little bit to where I used to be with my blog and figure it out from there. Especially since over the summer months I will be returning to a more active recovery program. Either I choose to share more of this on here, or I save that for my journal and use this place as a fun outlet where I can forget some of my troubles.
No I do not have a game plan. ‘Cause plans don’t work, remember?? Maybe I’ll post less, maybe I won’t. Maybe I will still go forth with cluttering my screen with ads and try to team up with companies. Maybe you’ll see more truthful, wordy, introspective posts like this one. Maybe this is all just a phase and product of my current state and I’m just word vomiting all over the place and will decide every thing is actually honky dory after all. We’ll have to see. My only goal moving forward is to make this place feel good to me.
In other, not so related news, I’ve been sent a few amazing articles and quotes this week that have helped shed some light in my days.
From Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Page. She is amazing.
“…ask yourself these two questions at the start of the day: How are you feeling? What do you want? Throughout the day, whenever you have a choice of how to spend your time, think back on your answers.”
“Think of those times when you actively felt happy. Do more of them.”
Why do you blog?
Do you ever feel guilt or embarrassment for what you write?
Not a hugely exciting week. But I did get a few nice things…