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

21 comments:

  1. I only started really focusing on blogging and actually committing to it just this past October. Recently since moving into our new home I've been absent more than I would like but it is what it is. Honestly, I don't think I even have the time to be stressed out about not posting as much as I did a couple of months ago...Like you said, it supposed to add to your life and be enjoyable, not be s stressful commitment. instead of worrying about posting every day and having saved posts, I'm just kind of going with the flow for now.

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  2. I really enjoyed this post. It's real and honest. It's something I need to hear as a new blogger.

    I usually see tons of blog posts, as you said, about inspiration for days when you're in a rut but that isn't necessary. I don't think anyone should feel obligated to make a post. Although, I feel like there is a lot of pressure sometimes to stay posting when I see other blogs having these elaborate projects for every. single. day. of the week, never missing one.

    I enjoy the basics. I've followed you for years and want to thank you for always keeping it real, Danielle.

    Christine
    www.DimesandDonuts.com

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  3. I've really loved your writing lately, Dani! Your blog has become one of my favourites even though I'm not at the exact same place in life as you are. Everything you write is so heartfelt and real, and that's what makes me come back for more. You inspire me to try to do more writing from the heart, so thanks for that!

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  4. I love this! Thank you for being so honest. I'm new at blogging and not even a year in, I started asking the same questions. I'm still figuring out where my blog is going, but as of now, I'm also just posting updates and things that I really love and care about. No more DIYs or Weekly Wishlists... they were so time consuming and didn't really contribute to anything in the long run.

    Thanks again, Dani, for such a real post :) I've always loved following you!

    Annie
    The MAMA Gazette

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  5. Great post...Exactly what I needed to read. Thanks!

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  6. I was having a smiliar conversation to this with my friend earlier today. We were both saying we felt at some point during our blogging life that we need a theme to go with the blog, that we needed to keep it updated often etc. I've just recently gotten back into blogging again but this time I'm just writing what I want, when I want. I don't have a lot of followers anyway so it makes no difference but I like things to look tidy and organised and easy to follow but I could never really decide what 'theme' i wanted. Lifestyle, photography, art, fashion, family, movies, etc. Well, my life isn't just one genre, it's filled with many little things that interest me and I don't need to set my blog to only one theme and I don't need to only write I think will interest others and I don't even have to write regularly! I can just write whatever I fancy, whatever is exciting me at time the time (at the moment, it's chosing a new camera lol). It's basically, for me, just treating it like a pretty diary where I can set up easy to access pages of certain genres for easy organisation and access for both myself and readers.

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  7. My favourite posts of yours are the ones documenting YOUR life and when you just spill your thoughts onto the page. It is always interesting to see a different perspective :) Amy xo

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  8. This is beautifully written, Dani, thank you! Just today I was talking about the "stress" of blogging that I was feeling - that whole wanting to evolve but feeling the pressure to remain the same or evolve into something that I am not thing. I felt like I was holding my breath all day and this post has made me relax. Thank you so much. Your blog has been at the top of my list to read these days and I really believe its because I can feel your relax, honest self pouring out of your words. I really appreciate it. xo

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  9. Love love love your writing and this post. I always appreciate and admire your transparency and honesty of where you're at in life. I look forward to reading and seeing how you and your family grow :)

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  10. you've got some good mind grapes ;) I've always let life be first and blog second which has been nice, but i was only until a year and a half or so ago that I stopped focusing on social media---it feels really good. Glad you've got your groove back!

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  11. I just wrote about something similar in my new blog -- I was so entirely burnt out on the old one. I needed a clean slate. I'm so much happier!

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  12. Completely agree with your idea of NOT going to look at all the other blogs in existence and try to find some inspiration. It does the exact opposite for me and I find myself feeling more lost and more confused … Glad you have found your groove again :)

    Megan || www.ohheyblog.com

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  13. I've said it before, but it's so wonderful to come here and read exactly what I need to read. I got out of blogging after my son was born because baby. I've only recently thrown myself back into it because I do enjoy writing and connecting with others. But it's been such a different journey this time around and I'm so happy for that. I'm not letting the stress of constant content get to me, and it's giving me way more freedom to just be authentic and post when I want to post. I'm certainly not getting paid for it, so it shouldn't feel like a job!

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  14. This is the epitome of "sometimes sweet". Love this post, and I have to thank you for the inspiration, which sounds kind of stale I'm sure because I'm sure that people write comments like that all the time. But I mean it wholeheartedly, this piece is very inspiring, and I think that most of its inspirational value comes from the fact that you're writing for yourself and your own inspiration and that's obvious. So thank you again and again, and happy writing xx

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  15. Oh, I loved Tattoo Tuesday hehe! That's actually how I discovered your blog! But I totally understand what you're saying. And I agree -- I think that the best way to come up with the best posts and gain some creativity is to take a little hiatus and than come back with a fresh mind. It works for me!

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  16. I completely agree. I've been blogging for around four years, and there have been times when it's felt oh so important, but at the end of the day life is for living, and documenting should always be secondary to that.

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  17. I was actually just thinking about this same thing this morning. I've only been "blogging" for about a year. But I've just started to do something weekly and I almost didn't get to put the content out cos of how busy my life is. It's nice to take a break.

    http://dragonballbree.blogspot.com :)

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  18. Beautiful! I use a similar process when I'm stalled out on a book too--I have to go outside, or go into a silent room, or just most get OUT of my house and headspace. When I'm spending so much time watching what everyone else is doing, then I don't have time to be truly creative.

    So glad you're getting back to your love of blogging as I've grown quite attached to getting to read your thoughts!

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  19. This is a great post and I've felt it many times. I've been blogging for about 10 years, and it used to be just about my daily life and homeschooling. Then, all of a sudden, I found myself really wanting to match up to this new craze out there and it changed everything. It took me a while to realize that I wanted the simple life back and that the only one who really cares if I don't write, is me. Some days I ask myself why I do this and the answer is that I'm a writer, so that's what I do and how I create. But, it's for me and my satisfaction and if no one reads, then that's ok. At least I was creative that day and it felt good :)

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  20. This post has really rung true with how I've been feeling towards my blog lately...I've spent the last two years working on it consistently and after taking a little break at the beginning of this year I've had a lot of time to think about my content and what direction I actually want to take the blog in. It's so hard to find that balance between throwing everything on there and knowing what your readers actually enjoy reading. xx
    www.missenchanting.co.uk

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  21. Great post! I'm the same way--I have to take a break from everything and just live and think. It recharges and inspires me which creates more authenticity. I enjoy your blog because I can feel your authenticity in your writing.

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