Archives for May 31, 2012

5 Tips on Getting Rid of Blogger’s Guilt

When I started blogging, I wasn’t aware of the amount of guilt that can come with it if you let it. The pictures you never took, but should have. The recipes you never photographed, but intended to. The blog posts you were supposed to schedule, but didn’t feel like doing. The rules you thought you were supposed to follow, yet never wanted to. The comments, emails, and blog posts that you feel like you’re expected to keep up with, but never can.

It always seems to be there, waiting until you crawl into bed and are thinking of the things you never got a chance to do that day. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are five ways that I’ve used to get rid of the guilt that is usually completely unwarranted.

1. Set your own standards and stick to them

The best thing about blogging is that there are so many ways to do the same thing and still be right. The number of posts per week, the posts topics, the commenting, the blog reading – you name it, there’s multiple right ways to do it. So decide what’s best for you and stick to it. It may not be right for all of you readers (or even potential readers), but at the end of the day, can you truly say that your blog should be a reflection of what your readers want? My guess is that you want it to be a reflection of what you want and if that’s the case, there’s absolutely no need for the guilt to come with it.

2. Write out your to-do list for the week

When planning out my days, I plan out my whole week in advance. Some things get moved around, subtracted, or added throughout the week, but by starting with the big picture, I make sure I cover everything that needs to get done. It also allows me to see when I’ll have extra time available. This time is generally used for the tasks or projects I push off doing or the things I never seem to find time for. I try to make sure there’s at least a little bit of “extra time” available each week so I can wrap things up before the weekend and not feel guilt for spending time away from the computer.

3. Forgive and forget

Remember the comments that went unanswered for a week because you were sick? Or the emails that are from a week ago that still need replies? Or the days that you were too busy to update your blog or social media accounts? Forgive yourself for those days and move forward. We all have off days/weeks/months where we’re busy, sick, lacking creativity, etc. It happens to the best of us. Stop feeling bad about the things you didn’t do  and the after effects from it. Maybe you lost followers, maybe your views dropped, maybe you didn’t get as many comments – whatever it was, it’s done. Focus on what you can do by ensuring that your future path is in the right direction.

4. Have a back-up plan if you’re prone to stress or guilt

This is one that I’ve struggled with, but whenever I have a back-up plan for my online presence, life gets easier. Schedule your tweets and FB status updates, have posts written that just need to be scheduled, have a list of easy to write post ideas for when life gets in the way. All of these things relieve the pressure and stress of feeling like you’re always behind. By getting ahead, you’re allowing yourself time to think creatively without the pressure of having to do something when you’re uninspired.

5. Live your life

Sometimes I have to decide which guilt I’m going to live with for the day. Is it the guilt of having emails to respond to or the guilt of turning down time with my family, or even time for myself? More often than not, I choose to deal with the guilt of whatever I leave waiting for me in the blog world. The funny thing about it is that after a while, it’s no longer guilt but more so an understanding. An understanding that I needed this time for my true priorities in order for me to bring the best of me back to the blog world. It reminds me that I need time away from all of it to bring the passion, love, and creativity into my online presence. So what starts as guilt . . . becomes an appreciation for doing what’s right for me.

The How-To/5 Tips is a weekly series that will be moving to Thursdays next week! It is dedicated to answering some of the most popular questions I’ve been asked through consulting and on my blog. Want tips on something similar in nature? Or maybe you want more personalized advice? Send me an email at afterninetofive@gmail.com.