The Cloud of Guilt
The last blog post I wrote was a month ago, one of only three posts I wrote during the month of October. Over the past weeks as I’ve thought about my blog, thought about writing, had post ideas, or tried to make time to write, the primary emotion I’ve felt is GUILT.
Guilt? Yes, this sinking feeling that I’m not keeping up, not doing enough, letting someone down. (And from the looks of my thought flow below, that “someone” might be me.)
I’ve gotta keep up momentum. My site’s stats will suffer. My readers will miss me. I’ll never become a super-blogger-mom if I can’t post consistently! Look at that blogger, she can handle this, that, and the other thing, plus put out fantastic content daily, complete with awesome photos and pinterest-worthy graphics, and she never misses a beat.
I blog because…
At this point in life, blogging is a hobby. I blog because… I love to write. I love the creative outlet it affords me. I love looking at the mundane moments around me through my “dandelion discoveries” filter… looking for those photographable, bloggable moments. I love the motivation blogging gives me to organize, clean, cook, and create. I love the inspiration I receive from the interactions I’ve had with so many incredible people in the bloggosphere.
I don’t blog for…
I have to remind myself why I do blog, so that I remember why I don’t blog. I don’t blog for money (though I wouldn’t be opposed to it if the opportunity presented itself!). I don’t blog for fame. (If you’re reading this, bless you.) I don’t blog to keep up with the blogger next door (because she will always have more time, more resources, better content, more followers, etc.).
So as this past month went by without a single published post, I’ve been sorting through feelings of guilt for not writing combined with just very much missing it. I got to thinking about what keep me from blogging. I’m ok with some of the things. Others I’m not. And then there are some that are neither good nor bad things, they just are what they are…
7 Things that keep me from blogging:
Perfectionism // The issue for me is almost never “I don’t know what to write about.” In fact, at any given time I usually have about 18 drafts started with more ideas jotted down elsewhere! The issue comes in with fleshing them out, doing more research, adding the right photos and graphics. I want every post to be a masterpiece. A stand alone work of literature that if you read for the first time would accurately reflect my blog and my writing. That’s all well and good, but… then I go a month writing nothing…
Insecurity // Who wants to hear from me? Someone else (many someone else’s) have already written about that, cooked that, created that, thought about that. With the millions of blogs out there, why would I assume anyone would take the time to look at mine? Am I just wasting my time?! I can’t keep up with the amount of content from that blogger, I’m not as artsy as this one, I’m certainly not as witty as that one, and I don’t live in as exotic of a place as she does! She has all the time in the world to blog, she has plenty of money for awesome giveaways and such, and wow have you seen how creative and talented she is?! (Hmm… ever find yourself caught in the dangerous world of comparison?!)
Commitments & Seasons // There is always something else asking for my time, I know that. But certain seasons in life there are bigger draws on our time. September involved organizing the annual Community Clothing Share at our church. It was an awesome event where we collected, sorted, and then gave away (completely FREE) beautiful, gently-used clothes to anyone in our community who had need. Hundreds came. We also served a breakfast, gave away free copies of The Jesus Storybook Bible to families with young kids, and otherwise just tried to love on those who came through our doors. It was so amazing to be a part of. It’s once a year, but it takes a whole lot of time and energy. Summer days in the garden, holidays with family in town, going to school, dealing with sickness, working more hours… Blogging might suffer during these commitments and seasons of life, but maybe that’s ok.
Family Stuff // Family stuff?? Ya, like having a baby! I’m 36 weeks pregnant now which means that (Lord willing) within a month our little man will be here!! Who knows what the blog will look like after he arrives. (Hey, you never know… after E was born I did a lot of work on the computer because I was sitting in one place so many hours a day nursing her, I got pretty good at one-handed computer usage. Of course this is baby number 2… with an active preschooler… right during the holidays. So… no promises, k?) Anyhow, Baby J doesn’t even have to be here yet for me to see an effect on blogging. Last month nesting hit. Yes, it was real this time around! And let me tell you… if I ever actually FEEL LIKE cleaning or organizing random crevices in my house, I’m going to go for it. Sure I might collapse halfway through a project from exhaustion and then curl up on the couch for a 2 hour nap afterwards, but I’m going to take advantage of that energy while I have it. I also finished my daughter’s quilt (that I began 3 yrs ago when we found out I was pregnant with a girl. Better late than never, right?! It’s adorable though, because she saw me working on it and knows I made it for her. So she calls it her “sewing blanket!”) and I am in the homestretch finishing a blanket for my little man. That takes time and energy that I might have otherwise spent blogging. But I’m ok with that. (Oh, and by the the way, the 2 hour nap thing is a reality too. That couuuuuld possibly have something to do why I feel like my days are shorter.)
Computer and Time Priorities // So I finally sit down with my computer, wanting to write a post, but… there is other work to be done first. I do some work from home involving email campaigns, social media, and website updates, and honestly that work needs to get done. Then there are personal/ministry emails and projects to take care of. I tell myself when I get all caught up with that, then I can treat myself to a little blogging… But either it’s late and I’m exhausted, or something else comes up, or we’ve arrived at a new week and it’s time to start the weekly responsibilities all over again. Not a bad thing, I love what I do and I love the opportunity to make a little money from home, but I feel the pull between what I need to do and what I want to do!
Exhaustion // Honestly, there have been a lot of evenings over the past month when I’ve technically had the time to blog, but have had absolutely no energy to pull out my computer to do so. After the day, the dinner, the night time routine… the picking up of tiny socks and random toys, the lunch packing, the dinner clean up… I flop on the couch ready to stare into the abyss and do nothing else. (Andy by “stare into the abyss” I of course mean watch tv.) I’m too tired to even go to bed, because that means getting my big belly up off the couch. Plus brushing my teeth. Teeth brushing is probably the greatest obstacle between tired me and my pillow. I need a tooth-brushing robot that can do the work for me so I don’t have to move. And then a conveyor belt that will take me from the couch directly to my bed. Yep. I think I might be onto something here…
Unplugging / Living in the Now // Sometimes, I just choose not to. I choose not to interrupt that moment to snap the photo (or turn it into a photo shoot). I choose not to blog that recipe and to just cook the meal for my family instead. I choose not to work on my computer in the morning but to sit and read the same pile of picture books over and over. I choose not to be on my phone looking at Facebook, commenting on blogs, checking site stats. Not always. There are times I do. But sometimes, I just choose to unplug so that my family will know that they are my priority. Sometimes, I just choose to unplug and be ok with missing that blogging opportunity for the sake of creating a real, in time memory. And I’m ok with that.
I hear “mama, mama!” being called from the bedroom down the hall.. time to start the day! Happy Monday, friends!
What keeps you from blogging (or engaging in another hobby you love!)? Have you ever taken a planned hiatus from blogging? How do you deal with the constant pull of technology on your personal and family time? Do you set up any personal boundaries for computer/phone use, times to unplug, etc?