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.