A question I ask myself every year as the end of the year approaches is if I want to keep blogging in the new year. And maybe it’s the hormones or the knowledge that exhaustion is around the corner, but this year in particular I struggled with this question and it led me to ask the bigger questions of WHY am I writing this blog anyway? I obviously decided I’ll be sticking with it for at least another year, though probably imperfectly given the coming newborn haze days and the elevated business of having another kid in the mix, but the question of WHY remains and I’m still working through it a bit. It has led to a few more specific questions like:
Is this blog primarily a personal record?
A way to help people and exchange ideas?
Something that even needs to be around anymore?
One of the answers to that questions is going to be one of my focuses for the year- GENUINE: I keep writing this blog because I want to keep sharing genuine, vulnerable moments- what I’m learning, struggling with, and celebrating. There’s more space in a blog post to share genuine feelings than the microblogging available on instagram and I have hard time getting nuance into a hashtag, but I can explore the trickier moments and subjects in a blog post.
I have written in the past how it is often the hardest entries for me to write that seem to resonate the most with my readers and really make a difference to people, and if I reach just a few readers with an entry now and then, the effort is still worth it for now.
But here’s a bit of genuine vulnerability on this subject: when I think long term about keeping up this blog, it gets really overwhelming and I’m not sure if I still want to do it at all, even though I’m starting in on this year. I’m trying to be a bit more focused and just keep it one month, one week at a time, and give myself some grace if I miss a few posts. But asking this question has also led me to a few changes:
*Writing for a mom blog: I want to share my writing with a different and slightly larger audience as well as on this personal blog, so I finally applied to be a contributor for the North Phoenix Moms Blog not only to open my writing up to more readers, but in an effort to build a community with more bloggers in the same life phase and area. I’m already enjoying this experience and hope that having at least one outside deadline and accountability a month will help me to persevere in writing during a time where I may have just wanted to ignore it or give up. You can read my contributions HERE
*Batching my writing time and limiting my writing time: The time it takes to keep this blog up vs. the effect it really has is something I am constantly balancing. I think when the baby comes I’m going to need to experiment with batch writing and whether setting aside a certain amount of time every week or even batching the time to every other week and just getting done what I can may be my new strategy. Limiting my time to write a post is something I have done in the past as well and sometimes it is incredibly frustrating to me as it is reflected back in a lack of editing or annoying typos or a lack of images that are nicer quality, etc. But the fact is, I don’t make money off of this blog- I’m lucky if the affiliate links provide enough for me to renew my domain in a given year, and I don’t plan to make this into something that is used primarily to market myself in order to gain more income- this isn’t and never has been a “side hustle” as much as it is an important outlet that I hope helps people. And I honestly don’t see it transforming much beyond that in the future though I suppose never say never… so with that in mind I can’t responsibly give so much time to it that it is hurting our family schedules and routines, but I have to give it enough time to keep it going.
*In some ways this blog has gotten harder to maintain since discovering Powersheets and looking at resolutions and goals in a whole new way. Long time readers will notice I no longer have a measurable yearly goal this blog is tracking like I did with the themes of Baking and Cooking the first years. Maybe that kind of focus will return in the future, but it is not happening during this year of transition for sure. It is also harder since I quit facebook because honestly I used to get a lot more engagement and response when I was on that social media site and the “out of sight out of mind” idea is REAL. As I said above, I’m not writing this for the clicks, the comments, the vanity measurements, but it was definitely more encouraging to keep going when I felt like I had momentum with higher reader numbers. I know that’s not what this feeling called to write my thoughts is all about, I’m not sure how or even if I want to address that in some way in the future, but it is something on my mind when I think of the future of this blog.
So that’s your dose of #realtalk when it comes to what this blog is and how I’m feeling about it… and another G for the year! No neat and tidy ending to this post, just a promise of more genuine thoughts and struggle and triumphs in posts to come.