Although I’ve known I’d be writing this post for some time now, I’ve actually dreaded writing it. Not because I’m not 100% behind my decision, but because I kind of feel like I’ve failed in some way.
Perhaps I should start at the beginning. When I first started blogging last February, I did so with the goal of sharing funny stories about my kiddos and lessons learned from the craziness raising kids brings to life. I didn’t do it to become a professional writer or to have any piece of my writing go viral. But I quickly got sucked into what I’ll call blog-mania.
I started a Facebook page for my blog. I started Twitter and Pinterest accounts. I started scouring the interwebs to see what online sites I could submit my writing to for more exposure. I started participating in blog hops and mixers. I started guest posting on other people’s blogs. I was invited to post on Scary Mommy (which I still can’t believe). I even managed to get my own space on HuffPost Parents. All in the name of getting my writing read.
I won’t go so far to say that I was spending more time writing about and getting people to read about my family than actually spending time with them, but I did become consumed with building an online presence for my writing. And this was on top of my responsibilities to my family and my freelance editing job.
In essence, I very quickly burned out. Writing posts for my blog became more of a chore (“Uggh, I have to write something tonight”) than the fun, lighthearted writing I was doing at the beginning. I looked at everything with an eye toward how I’d turn it into a blog post — what lesson could I share with others? What funny twist could I put on it? How could I write about it differently than the eleventy thousand other people who had already written about it?
And then a few months ago, I snapped out of it. I was forced to take a writing hiatus when my freelance work piled up on me and life got crazy busy (did you miss my announcement that Wild Thing #4 is on the way? lol). I barely had enough time in a day to take care of my family and work, let alone sit down for any meaningful writing. And you know what? I felt relieved.
Relieved that when I was finally able to sit down and breathe at the end of a long day I didn’t have to rack my brain for something to write about for the sake of publishing something, anything, because I didn’t publish something the day before. Or even the day before that. Relieved that I stopped trying so hard to see the blog post possibilities in everyday situations. Relieved that I wasn’t concerned with how many people were reading my post or, if the gods were smiling down on me that day, sharing it with others.
And I realized that these were all pressure that I put on myself. Nobody asked me to write a blog or start a Facebook page or Twitter account. No one pressured me into trying so hard to get people to read my posts. And certainly no one was keeping me tied to writing three of four posts a week. So why was I working so hard to add more pressure to my life?
And so, I have come to a decision to let my writing take a (rightful) back seat to my family and real life. I am not going to stop writing completely, but I am not going to impose any strict schedule for when I write. I’ll write when the mood strikes or when inspiration hits. Not simply for the sake of writing.
With this new focus, I’ll be making some other changes as well. I am no longer going to be doing my weekly Too Tired to Try Tuesday posts (although fun, they took a lot of time to figure out and put together). Similarly, I won’t be doing regular “That’s What She/He Said” interviews. I will, however, keep doing my Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Friday posts, but instead of doing them every week, I’m going to run them once a month. (And because I cannot stand the thought of deleting any of my writing, I’ve created a page on on the blog — Things I Used to Do (and Sometimes Still Do) — where everything will be kept safe and sound!)
And in terms of social media, I am going to keep my Facebook page, but I’m ditching my Pinterest account (which I never used anyway), and maybe even my Twitter account. It’s just too much to keep up with.
Part of me feels like a failure by making these changes — not a failure as a writer, but a failure at sticking with it. But then I look at the life around me, and I realize that participating in it is the real success.
So a huge thank you to those of you who have stuck with me and will continue to hang around. I truly appreciate the love and support!
December 3, 2013 at 11:07 am
I’m glad you are finding a balance that works for you and your family, and I’m happy to hear you aren’t walking away from your blog completely. Priorities shift all the time. It’s not failure, it’s life!
December 3, 2013 at 11:17 am
Yes I agree with Amy… Priorities shift Change happens. I would be sad if you left writing completely but I would also have completely understood. So this means for me I will have to stalk you a bit more to watch for when you do post..They will be like little treasures to brighten the day.
December 3, 2013 at 1:18 pm
I don’t consider this a failure at all. In fact, I think you’re a better person for it. I’ll definitely miss reading your blog, but it warms my thought to know you’re soaking in more of your family.
When my daughter stopped napping a few months ago, I started to feel really overwhelmed with my blog, and I have had to compromise by cutting way back on reading other blogs. It sucks, but I need the creative outlet of writing on my own blog, and I just don’t have an extra 2+ hours a day to spend reading and pimping, if that makes any sense. So I try to find a balance between the 2, but at the end of the day, I just try to cut myself some slack, you know?
Best of luck with it all!!!
December 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm
I think you are one smart lady…good for you for figuring out what you need and why and having the courage to do it! This is a blogging success, not a failure – everything you do write and post will be so much more valuable for this decision, and you will have way more time for the REALLY important things.
December 3, 2013 at 11:09 pm
I have felt the same way about our blog! We started just because we loved hanging out with each other and love to write. And I, at least, immediately felt pressure to build readership, etc. Every week I try to remind myself that the ONLY reason I wanted to do this, is to write, but it’s really very hard. Congrats on getting to that place.
December 5, 2013 at 9:37 am
Thank you all so very much for your encouragement and support. It really means a lot!
December 6, 2013 at 6:52 am
I think you’ve made some wise choices, moderation is always the best way.
December 9, 2013 at 10:50 am
Bravo. I feel the same way, it’s all too much. Good luck to you, I’m glad you’ll still be writing, but at a more comfortable pace.
December 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm
Kudos to you for finding what works for you and your family. You won’t regret a moment of spending more time with your kids. I look forward to reading your work at your new pace.