I'm not going to lie to you... my blogging mojo has been a bit AWOL of late... you know just in case you hadn't noticed all the crickets and tumbleweeds floating around here lately.
It's been a combination of things that has put a dampener on my bloggy libido - life's been busy, works been even busier, schools winding up, end of season sports, kids, animals, planets, stuff yada yada... but the truth is, I've kind of been feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all.
I've wanted to blog. Heck sometimes I've even had something semi worthwhile to say... but then totally out of the blue, I went and developed some kind of stage fright or something.
I've heard about this happening to bloggers.
Actually from what I understand it's pretty common, but I have no idea why it took five years of blogging before it slapped me in the face and my confidence fell in the toilet and I suddenly became so self conscious.
I realise that it's probably completely 'uncool and so un-schmick' for a a blogger to profess to the wheels falling off, but I've never exactly been a cool type anyways and nor do I ever want to be guilty of projecting an unrealistic view of life to the world.
I've thought long and hard about what has been going on, and I've come up with a number of explanations as to why I have been feeling this way. I wanted to share them with you guys, just in case there is a chance that another blogger (be it a veteran or a newbie) reads this post and totally relates and then feels at least a little bit of the pressure lifting of them.
I specifically chose that word - 'pressure', because I think that 'pressure' is probably the biggest demon at play here.
It feels like everywhere you look these days there are all these articles and blog posts, conferences and ecourses on how to be a better blogger or a bigger blogger. How to create more dynamic content, lure people into your blog, build your audience and generate more comments. How to create better graphics, take better photos, make more money and how to grow your social channels and... how to milk a three legged cow whilst you're blindfolded with your hands tied behind your back.
OK so maybe that last bit isn't exactly true... semantics really.
The point is there seems to be so much damn pressure to be some kind of blogger extraordinaire, is it really any wonder our confidence goes and gets itself kicked in the balls?!
What happened to just firing up the computer and sharing random shit for the sake of sharing random shit?
Sharing photos, stories, ideas, thoughts and feelings, that's what blogging was originally about for me. But somewhere along the way I started to compare myself and put unnecessary pressure on myself to perhaps be something that hey... maybe I am just not supposed to be.
The more I became aware of the pressure I was feeling, the more it began to manifest, until I felt like I was running into AND creating unnecessary pressure for myself every which way I turned. It got to the point that whenever I did actually sit down to blog - my brain froze and my fingers kind of just hovered over the keyboard going "duhhhhh".
When your friends or family or other parents from school or people from your work know that you blog, then there is a good chance they will read what you write. Of course whilst that might be good for your stats and all that, it comes with the risk that they are going to read something and not like what you have to say, or they think you are writing about them when you're not and they end up feeling offended and pissed off with you for no reason at all.... Doh pressure!
Whilst monetising your blog is a great way to earn some money from doing something you really love to do, don't be fooled into thinking it is easy money. Once you put a price on your posts then you are expected to maintain your stats and your numbers and your reach blah blah... I mean it's only fair to the brands who are paying to work with you right? Pressure!
If you discuss something that is remotely controversial and you dare to plant your feet on one particular side of the fence, then naturally you might upset the people on the other side of the fence. Um pressure!
Am I sharing too little, not sharing enough?
Being too cryptic or being too blunt?
Do I look like I'm boasting or am I moaning too much?
Will I be judged?
Am I as good as her, as funny as him, as witty as her or as real as them?
I'm not pretty enough to be in front of the camera but am I good enough to be behind the camera either?
Do I have a single God damn creative bone in my body?
So there, I just went right in and said it all and hot diggety dang I feel relieved for saying it.
Clearly I have been suffering from some self confidence issues lately and I am so much happier now that I have shared that with you.
I didn't tell you all of this for you to go "poor Sonia" and pump my ego or blow a little hot wind in my direction or anything even remotely like that. I wanted to tell you that because it is what it is and it really doesn't matter whether you have been blogging for five weeks or five years, it can happen... cause sometimes shit just happens for no particular reason at all.
My advice to you if you are a blogger and you ever find yourself feeling like this ... take a step back for a while. Don't put any pressure on yourself to write on your blog or read other blogs for a while.
Give yourself a little breathing room and the space to remember why you started blogging in the first place.
Your well being, your family and your life in general is more important that a pretty blog or fancy images or impressive numbers.
I mean without your family and a life you enjoy living - what the hell would you write about anyway?
As for me, well I feel my mojo creeping back in and I am looking forward to finding my rhythm again and writing and reading... but with a little less of the pressure on myself this time.
Cheers my friends!