Friday, March 27, 2015
Falling (Back) In Love With Blogging
For so long I used to think I had to blog Monday through Friday and have a blog post scheduled weeks ahead of time for each of these days. I had features and special things I shared regularly, everything from Tattoo Tuesday to Literate and Stylish to features on women and their careers. My blog was filled to the brim with content, and as much as I loved it there were so many times I wondered why I was doing all of these things when they actually weren't making me feel satisfied at the end of the day. I knew what kinds of posts made me feel good- the ones where I would just write, creating little essays and snapshots of the pieces of my life. I love those. And even more so, the main thing I loved about my blog was documenting my life...but none of these things were doing that.
So one day I decided to stop doing or committing to anything that I didn't enjoy. No rules except asking myself "Does it feel good to share this?" "Does this contribute to the overall happy feeling I have about Sometimes Sweet?" If it wasn't something that made me happy, I stopped. If I started something and didn't enjoy it, I stopped, without making myself feel bad about it.
Once you've been blogging for awhile, you get into a groove. You write about the same things pretty often, because your interests, hobbies, and talents are what they are. But as time goes on, you grow. We gravitate towards different things and our interests shift. I've been blogging here for almost eight years so of course I've changed- it would be strange if I didn't. You can read back and see my evolution not just as writer but as a human being. I valued different things, was interested in different things, even handled situations differently. And now as a mother of two and it's a whole new world from the newlywed I was so long ago. 8 years of change that I welcome with a smile.
It's funny- whenever I stumble upon a "In a rut? Get inspired!" post, so often the author will write something like "read your favorite blogs and pull inspiration from them!" Maybe I'm the odd one out, but one of the biggest things that helps me is turning off everything else; just focusing on my little bubble and the real-life beauty around me. There's a time and place to read a ton of blogs and pin a ton of pins, but that stuff doesn't really inspire me. What inspires me is unplugging and looking for the story I'm already living, then taking some quiet time to reflect on what and how I'd like to share.
For a long time I think I put a lot of importance on my online life. I felt like it was important to grow a readership and gain followers and be present. Then I had children and would feel stressed at times, that I wasn't giving this world the attention it needed. I would sometimes have moments of slight panic, feeling like I was "falling behind" because I wasn't producing the same amount of content. It feels so silly to type out, and I'm sure feels even sillier to read, I know- but this is really how I felt. But then a few years ago a little idea starting blooming in my mind that would whisper to me, "who cares, anyway?" It became louder and soon I started to listen. Really, who cared? All of this- the blog, the Instagram, the Twitter- these were all things that should be secondary to my real life. They shouldn't add anything negative- they exist only because I want them to; they are here to enhance my life, not take up so much space in my world that they somehow become larger than life.
Point being, the biggest thing for me has been just doing what I want, when I want. I found enjoyment in this space again, and it comes from peeling back all of the layers and getting back to the basics. Posts I feel proud of, only sharing things like "Weekend Links" when I feel it, only taking on sponsored content I feel super excited about (this was never a huge problem for me, but looking back I can see some poor choices). It sounds over-simplified yes, but you need to remember that your space is your space. Change, disappear, come back, but never apologize, because it's all part of your story. Do whatever it is you need to do to enjoy sharing whatever it is you want to share. It's letting go of a need to post and operating on a want basis, and eradicating any sort of blog guilt. It's quality over quantity, it's taking the time to wait on a post until it's perfect, instead of trying to get something out NOW because I have a day to fill.
Anything we do can be done better, and my hope is that as I use this space to continue to explore the person I'm becoming and documenting the life we're living, this blog not only improves, but allows me to improve too.
Anyway, welcome to inside of my brain. I hope you enjoyed your brief stay! ;) Have a wonderful weekend. xoxo