Two+ years ago I told myself that blogging should always be fun for me. It should be a hobby, not driven by greed or popularity or money. It should always be a place for me to be open and honest. A place where I can connect with others. A place that was fueled by want and not overwhelming, unsatisfying needs.
And instead of sticking to this rule of mine, I was overcome by the idea of fame. Being a “big” blogger” and striving for more page-views, more followers, and more of everything that, well, didn’t matter. Sure, sometimes I took back what I wanted in the first place and pushed those thoughts aside, but it was only temporary. The need for success overcame my will to stick to the one rule I should have stuck to when it came to blogging.
As I sat here earlier in the week, doing anything I could to help Nathan feel better as he made his way through the aches and pains of the flu, it hit me.
Blogging has lost it’s magic for me. Completely. And it’s not because of anything in the blogging community other than my own personal role in it. When I first started blogging, I knew nothing about reviews. Or giveaways. Or page-views. Or social media. Or anything outside of how to type up a post, hit publish and see that my words made it into a very public space. And maybe that’s where the magic was kept. Maybe by knowing so little, my goals and intentions were fueled by pure innocence rather than the greed that later consumed me. Because once I found the knowledge, I wanted more. I needed more.
So I went after it. I paid for advertising when it wasn’t beneficial for me. I offered advertising when it wasn’t beneficial for others. I held giveaways to increase the numbers and I watched my followers, my page-views, and my comments like online life depended on it. And at times, it truly felt like it did. I posted about popular things that I had little interest in writing about. I reviewed things that had no real impact in my life. I did a lot of things I’m not proud of, but I have no regrets because all of those moves made me realize what I didn’t want out of my online life. And more often than not, knowing what I don’t want is more beneficial than knowing what I want.
I did all of this because I thought that the role of a Blogger was monumental. But it isn’t. At least not for me.
Because now? My blog isn’t even a tiny percent of what I wanted it to be now. And it’s not aiding to a better well-being for me. The struggle for content. The lack of deep, meaningful and personal connections from it. The standards for posting that I’ve set for myself. The amount of time and effort put forth for little reward. None of it is what I asked for.
So when all of this was racing through my mind, my answer was to quit. Or at minimum take a break. A long, extended break. Leave behind the disastrous mess I made and wipe my hands clean of it. It sounded SO easy. It seemed like the perfect answer. But it made me feel like a quitter.
Like I was walking away from something I created just because I made a
few, okay a lot, of mistakes along the way. But I’m not known for that – nor do I want to be. I’m not known for checking out when things get tough. I’m known for checking back in and pushing through until everything feels right again. And I don’t want this time to be any different.
So instead, I’m taking my blog back. Taking myself back. And all that it really means is something fairly simple: That this will become the place it was meant to be – a place for me to share my story and connect with others. A place for me to document my journey as an entrepreneur, as a studying Buddhist, as a foodie, as a dreamer. A place for me to share my story about my marriage, our plans to follow our dreams both in our careers and in our home, and eventually as parents. A place that I feel comfortable in with no pressures and instead simple understanding.
To do that, I’m getting rid of sponsors. Scaling back on the reviews and the giveaways. Cutting down on posts that are written “just because.” Preparing myself to say no when opportunities aren’t the right fit for me or this blog. Spending less time on social media and in my inbox. Knowing full well that by doing this, I may lose things I was striving for before. But I’m okay with that. For one simple reason.
And my hope is that this blog – by doing all of this – will be filled with positivity, creativity, generosity, and a well-crafted story about a girl with a dream to leave an impact on the world.