Balance, Blogging, and Blissdom

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See that chair up there?  The one I spend way too much time sitting my derriere in?  Let’s talk girlfriend to girlfriend (you guys are welcome too) about a subject that I’ve been pondering over for awhile.

How in the world do we keep our lives balanced and keep up with this worldwide land of blogs?

That is the million dollar question and I do believe that we are all struggling with this across the blogosphere.  We are all so plugged in these days that I fear we sometimes lose touch with reality and the truth is,  I do not want to be connected and plugged in 24/7 and I refuse to do it.

I’m hitting my 3 year blogoversary the 1st of February and oh, my word, at how things have grown and evolved since I started my little ole’ blog back then.  Blogging has sky-rocketed and now everyone from grandma, to great aunt, mom, niece, your best friend from college and her daughter has a blog.  So, what does this mean for our sanity?  I have to confess keeping the balance in blogging is not always easy.  I spend hours at it, writing my posts, loading pics, and coming up with ideas to talk about and share.

Not to mention, trying SO hard to keep up with friends and blog buddies I’ve met out there.  That is the most difficult thing and it has just gotten harder and harder to do.  Most weeks, I barely make a dent in leaving comments, visiting with all of you and just getting myself out there.  I think we are all spread so thin.  Blogging has so many rewards, but there are also pitfalls too and I see some posts around the blogworld about this very subject.

  • How do you keep your own unique voice and not get caught up in the competition with all the others out there in your niche? Hard to do, I’ll admit.  There seems to be a certain amount of a competitive spirit that goes along with this blogging thang and I know that’s not healthy, is it?  As a Christian, I know that’s something I have to keep in check, so here are a few things that I’ve observed and see out in blogland that could be hazardous to our health.
  • How do we keep balance in our lives and not let blogging take over?  Where is our validation coming from? I see so many new bloggers scrambling to get their name out there and grow their blog to be bigger and better.  Nothing wrong with that, but I just hope the family doesn’t suffer for it. These are all things I deal with myself, so I’m just putting it in writing for you all to ponder too.  I know if I struggle with these issues, many of you are too.  We all LOVE comments, myself included.  But, we can’t let comments and validation from blogging become the end all for our self-esteem.  It has to come from God first of all and then our family.
  • Moms and blogging – I’ve heard some mothers talk about needing to step back from blogging, because they feared their children are not getting the attention they deserve from blogging mama.  That’s one of the things that I fear: young moms getting caught up in the blogworld and not having enough time for the little ones.  Please don’t let that be you!  Blogging is fun, but it’s not real life. We all have to  keep our real lives in perspective and actually live them.  I don’t have any children at home, but I do have a hubby that needs me.
  • My friend, Melissa, just wrote a post about her struggles with this issue and she is turning off comments on her blog most of the time to help her with the balance and I think that is such a brave thing to do.  Could you turn off your comments?  I’m not sure I could. I love to hear from my readers!
  • Growing a blog and advertising. I  see so many getting caught up in the idea of making money from their blogs and this idea seems to have exploded in the last year.  Yes, it can happen. I have advertising on my blog too, but I waited until I was blogging over a year before I even attempted to do any advertising and then I took it slow and easy and joined BlogHer ad network first before anything else was developed.  I just hate to see so many getting caught up in the monetary part of blogging so much, scrambling to grow blogs for the sole reason of making money.  I have read many cautions against that from much more savvy bloggers than I am and totally agree with it myself.  Not every blog is going to grow big. That’s just a fact.  And I don’t think you can predict that, it either happens or it doesn’t.  Not to mention, it takes a lot of work to have a successful blog. Those who are successful with it are spending countless hours at it.  And believe me, I’m not getting rich at it.  It’s like a full-time job with part-time pay.  But,  I love it and enjoy it, so it’s worth it to me.  So, all of that to say this.  I urge you all to keep it in perspective. The blogworld is so big.  There’s no way to develop deep friendships with everyone.  I wish it was possibly for me to know all of you out there who come by and visit me so often, but that’s just not feasible either.  I have enjoyed blogging so much and it has enlarged and enriched my life tremendously, but I don’t want to see people getting hurt in blogging and I can see burn-out happening and family life suffering.  I’m talking to myself here too.

Here are my main struggles with blogging, see if any of these ring a bell with you too:

  • Keeping those competitive feelings with others in my niche in check.  Even with a fairly successful blog, there is always that nagging feeling of trying to keep your place in the blogworld.  Will people keep supporting my blog or get bored??  What if I run out of projects to show, will people still keep coming back?  The decor niche is exploding with projects and new blogs and no one can keep up with all of them.
  • Feeling the urge to fly around the blogosphere every day, in fear that I will miss something important that is going on. I love to see all the projects, posts and things happening in the decorating/design world and yet I miss SO much, because there is only so much time in the day.  If a few days go by, I really start to feel out of the loop and even more pressure to catch up.  And the reality is, there is NO catching up!  It’s just become impossible.
  • Letting my housework fall to the side so many days, when I need to be more diligent about prioritizing and actually getting things done in real life that need to get done.  I get lazy and procrastinate and would just as soon blog instead of getting up and moving.  I used to be such a fanatic about housework, but the older I get, the more slack I cut myself.
  • Not getting my validation from blogging.  Again, that has to come from God above (and my loved ones) and not because I get a lot of comments or visitors.  But, I love comments and hearing from all of you!
  • I do manage to get to the gym and work out as usual, but I don’t get outside nearly as much as I used to.  And I love being outside! I vow to do that more this year. I have a lot of projects I’d like to get finished in my yard too. It needs work!

So, join me as I endeavor to keep blogging in balance. Please try to keep it all in perspective and continue to be the voice and person that God made YOU to be.  We are all so unique and hand-made by our Creator and he made us all different for a specific purpose.  And I think that we all have a place here in this blogworld.

I’m getting ready to go to the Blissdom conference in Nashville in just a few short days.  I went last year and had a blast and this year it’s going to be twice as big.  I wish I could meet up with all of you, but I know that’s not possible either. If you are coming to Blissdom, please come and say hello. I want to meet you and hug your neck.  And if you’re not going to Blissdom, don’t feel bad.  It’s OK.  Blissdom is just a fun conference, but it’s not going to make or break you as a blogger.  It’s fun and there will be a bunch of people to meet, but at the end of the day, we all come back to our homes and our lives.

And we all have to find that balance.  I’m still trying to find mine.  And I’m not always successful.  Housework falls through the cracks and projects don’t always get done.  Blogging can just take over your head and your time and as much as I enjoy it, I want to make an impact in other ways too.  And to do that requires me to get out of that computer chair.  This is just one tool that God has given me to shine my light.

And for that I’m grateful!

How are YOU doing in the balance of blogging?  I’d love to hear.  This was rather a serious post and I would love it if you would share your hearts with me about your blogging journey.

- Rhoda

Comments

  1. Thanks for the blogging tips!!!!

  2. Rhoda,
    Well, I am on a “Time Out” right now. I leave on Tuesday for a week, part work, part play. I am really looking forward to it. My brain can rest. I refuse to let blogging take over, I want to do other things than be tied to the computer. The best things though that I have gained in blogging are the friendships…like you!
    Women are good at balancing and that’s the key!
    xx

  3. Great post and advice! What a challenge it is, huh?

    Have fun at Blissdom! 🙂

  4. Hey Rhoda-I love your honesty with this post. When I began blogging a couple of years ago, I loved the sharing of ideas and getting to know other women across the country. It turned into a daily priority that was beginning to eat up my life. I began to notice I was spending more time on my computer than with real life family and friends. My new years resolution last year was to take the time I spent on blogging and work on the relationships with family and close friends. Although my blog suffered as well as my follower list, it was the best year ever. I sort of have blogging to thank for opening my eyes to that. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I have this internal nudge that wants to keep up with the blogging world out there but then I think about what is truly important in life and it goes away. I still post every now and then and I’m always amazed and thankful for the people that comment.

  5. Completely agree w/ you on the “moms&blogging” topic. That is one reason I haven’t gotten mine as off the ground as I’d like…I have a one-year-old, & I stay at home to “mommy” – not to “blog!” I figure one of these days she’ll be off to preschool, & I’ll have plenty of time to blog the morning away. It seems like it’s almost taboo to say too much about it, though, for fear that blogging mommies will take offense to it & get defensive about it. So kudos to you for saying it nicely, politely, & truthfully. =)

  6. I’ll *never* regret shutting down my blog to focus on mothering! So glad I did it early on 🙂

    Love you and your blog, Rhoda…I’ll read it til the end!

  7. oh my. did I write this or you? boy can i relate!!!! except I don’t exercise. do what I do though – I blog outside a lot. I take my laptop and sit in the sun and feel like I am more engaged in the world that way. plus there’s not a tv blaring! still struggling with advertising issue – almost 3 years now! wow. I loved this. I feel such guilt over the comments issue. can’t answer them all anymore, can barely read them all, all the time. such an issue with me – constant guilt over that. guilt over not being able to visit more. but i’ve found that if i take one day to just see everyone – once a week – i get caught up in their lives! easier than clicking all day long every day. I think about how it’s all going to end !!! when, where, how??? still loving it more than ever. love what you said, full time job, part time pay! so true!!!! i love when you do these kind of posts – you’re like the mother of bloggers. you always have such good sound advice.
    one thing for me – i used to get out to all the shops and the dec center. i hardly ever do that anymore and it almost feels weird when I’m out and about just shopping and looking. i used to do that all the time. now maybe once every 2 months is a biggie. getting older is an issue too!
    maybe you should think about taking some of your ad revenue and getting part time help for your house chores!!! it might be worth it at this stage in your life to turn over that to someone else???? just a thought!!!!

    thanks for this, I needed to read it SOOO badly!!!!
    JOni

  8. Thanks so much for this post Rhoda. Well I have given up trying to have an interesting, well liked and popular blog. I’ve given up Sunnypond. I just couldn’t do it and sacraficed to much time away from my home and my children and my family. I do have a new blog, but there I will be sharing more about home and family. Thus strengthening my focus on such things. Luckily, this will include a few home improvement posts, because I think beautifying the home is an important part of being a good housekeeper and is so important for the happiness of my family. It really sets a tone for peace, expectations and moods. Catch up with me if you want at “The Home We Make.” Thanks again.

  9. Hi Rhonda. What an honest and thought provoking post. I’ve just started blogging in the past few months and I honestly don’t care if anyone reads my blog. I “inherited” several boxes of old scrapbooks, diaries, and all kinds of vintage paper items from my mother in law. I’m fascinated by everything old and knew it would take forever to go through all this stuff. So I decided to blog about it. I try to pick one item a day and do some research on it and blog. But if I don’t have the time to post one day or even for a few days, it’s ok with me. I’m not a slave to it. I love to check in with you about once a week, so I hope you’ll continue. Like you, I don’t have small children who need me; just two collies who need their walk every day. Please take some time to do that for yourself, Rhonda. You’ll probably come up with new blog posts while walking, too.

  10. Hi Rhonda,

    Wow–you encapsulated soooo many of my own thoughts about blogging. I enjoy your tips on managing time and priorities. I, too have been trying to have a sane semblance of order in a disorderly world. I used to have a personal blog that I tried to update daily which has been dormant for about a year while I focused on regaining a job after being laid off. I still have hopes of resurrecting my blog. Right now, thankfully I have a job where I get to exercise my enjoyment of writing and I’m trying to keep in touch with friends, near and far, on Facebook (yikes another time absorber!).

    Thanks for the great advice and I’ll keep it in mind when I return to the blogosphere. In the meantime, I’ll be reading your blog. Take care. Lydia

  11. Wow! The best perspective on blogging that I have read in a long time. Honest and true. Bless ya!

  12. Rhoda, I really appreciate what you’ve done here. I have only been consistently blogging for a year, but I have had these same thoughts – and my blog is just a little, bitty thing, which is what I really want anyway. It’s so easy to get caught up in that competitive spirit, and live for comments. I started my blog to keep in touch with my daughter who was just married at the time, and also to just keep myself current and challenged mentally with the technology. I have to remind myself of that every now and then. I am so grateful for the readers I do have, and the friends I’ve made, but I know we will probably never meet in person. It’s kind of like penpals when we were younger.
    Thanks again for your honesty. Bless you.

  13. Hi Rhoda — I love your thoughts on this and I loved talking about this with you in Atlanta the other week! I don’t have time this moment (sound familiar?!), but I can’t wait to go through the comments and read what others have to say. Great conversation starter!

  14. I just love your honesty Rhoda….boy I wish we lived closer to one another I know we could be friends….that being said, you know that i have a family blog….we all keep in touch and it’s so nice. I just knew I could never keep up my own, but i sure do love to read them…..I am just getting to this post because I DO take time away from blogging….when I come back it’s SOOO much fun to catch up. I don’t have a great many people i follow but the ones I do….I enjoy so much…..I love the friendship….

    I also tried Twitter…..not for me….turned it off

    I think I did FB for a week….again not for me

    I have to go and vote for Eddie, I just found out it’s the last day 🙂

    Have a great day friend,
    Kathy 🙂

  15. This is EXACTLY why I do NOT have a blog….I know I couldn’t keep ANYTHING in balance. As it is, just READING other peoples blogs that I TRY to follow, eats up way too much of my time! Plus I know I am not computer savvy enough to do it either. I admire you gals who can do your blogs and love the ones I follow! I don’t always get to comment but wanted you to know how much I DO love your blog! XO, Pinky

Trackbacks

  1. […] Even though I know it won’t make or break my blogging career if I never get to a blogging conference, I’d still like to recommend that someone host a blogging conference in the northwest.  […]

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