23 June 2017

Why It's {Sometimes} OK To Be A "Bad Blogger"

Why it's OK to be a bad blogger, Why it's important to take a break from social media
It's been almost a month. I honestly can't believe it. I think this has to be the longest break I've ever taken from blogging. And this time wasn't quite the walk in the park. I will be completely honest - it was a tough month. Thankfully, I got the silver lining as a result of the whole experience and couldn't be more thankful about the outcome and improvements. Howbeit, I've been a bad blogger. I do want to say a MASSIVE SORRY for not being fully present, but at the same time I don't want to make a BIG COMEBACK out of this post (I am so thrilled to write again!). I just want you to know that it is 100% OK to be a "bad blogger" and here is why
I know, I know, I don't like this kind of terminology either. But we all fall into the "I'm a bad blogger" trap sooner or later. And it makes us feel like crap. Not a day went by when I haven't thought about Miel and Mint and how much I need/want/hope to update my blog oh-so-soon. It doesn't help when you post on Facebook to apologize for the absence, and someone (shadily) says, 'Are you even a blogger if you don't blog every week?!' Aka-scuse me? (Pitch Perfect pun intended.)
To be honest, it genuinely hurt. As cliché as it might sound, people really need to understand that everyone's fighting a battle. If a blogger hasn't posted anything for a few days/weeks/months, it doesn't mean they are lazy or don't care. Life happens and it can really knock anyone out. So if you're beating yourself up because you haven't blogged, let me tell you something. Sometimes it is perfectly OK to be a "bad blogger", and here is why.

Whether you're not well physically or mentally, your health is a priority no matter what. It is one of the main reasons why I was offline. I had a consultation with my GP which led to 2 weeks of waiting for what probably was the "scariest" appointment in my life. I would happily tell you all about it but I don't want to "relive" those memories and feel those emotions ever again. I hope you understand. As you can imagine, blogging had to be pushed into the backseat. I wasn't updating my social media properly either. Thankfully, everything is fine and I am doing great. The experience was awful but, at the same time, necessary in a way. It improved my prayer life and helped me to lean on God more confidently and just trust Him. So if you are struggling with a physical or a mental issue, don't worry about being a "bad blogger". Take care of yourself first.

We all have a number of things going on and they need to be taken care of on a daily basis. Long work hours, uni assignments, school exams, caring for kids, quality time with your better half, family arrangements - you name it. I do admire people who seem to manage and juggle it all. I honestly don't know how they do it. At the same time, so many say that it's all about 'fake-it-till-you-make-it' attitude, getting their priorities right and sticking to a strict schedule. Even though blogging has become something that people turn into a business, it's still supposed to be fun. You're not a "bad blogger" because you have exams and haven't posted in weeks. You're not a "bad blogger" because you come home shattered after a a busy day at your full-time job. You're not a "bad blogger" because you put your kids/family first.

Many recent events have left a lot of people anxious and vulnerable. Not only the world is an absolutely scary place at the moment, social media doesn't make things easier. Especially for those who suffer from anxiety. It might be a good idea to take some time off when you need it, turn off those notifications and not to check the app every 5 minutes. Another thing a lot of blogosphere peeps have to deal with is the lack of growth frustration. We either compare ourselves to others (and get down because someone is more "successful") or go cray-cray over the dropping Instagram follower count. Time off social media helps you to look at all that in perspective. Quality {content, engagement, friendships} over quantity {numbers}. Imagine for a minute that internet is gone. It would definitely help to re-evaluate your life's purpose and what really matters.
Why it's OK to be a bad blogger, Why it's important to take a break from social media
Now that we've established that being a "bad blogger" doesn't actually mean you are a bad blogger, it's time to take action. Because being constantly worried or stressed is no good for anyone. Here are 5 simple things you can do for your blog and the community you've built when you take that very much needed break or a pause.
Let people know.

You don't have to share something you're not comfortable to talk about. Some things are too private to announce out in the public. But it might give you that feeling of relief once you let people know you're taking a short (or a long) breather. You don't have to explain why but you can keep the close ones in the loop in a DM. Update your community in a tweet or in a blog post if you want to say more than that. 
Stay in touch as much as you want/can. 
Once you're officially "off the grid", it doesn't mean your social media is going into a "cricket mode" (as in it's quiet and lonely there). If you think it's necessary, you can delete an app on your phone. Although, you can update whenever you feel like tweeting out how your day has been or sharing a mini blog story under your Instagram photo. It would help you stay connected but in your own way.
Learn and improve.
If you're not inspired to write posts, take photos or update social media, you can still pour some love into your blog by dedicating time to learning something new. It could be playing around with Photoshop or Lightroom. Maybe you are secretly clueless about SEO or HTML but would love to hone your skills in that department. Whatever it is you think might benefit your blog, go for it!
Make a plan.
I feel like this point kind of goes without saying. Having a plan will get you out of the rut fairly quickly. Same goes for busy bees. Planning and scheduling helps to resolve many issues (procrastination and never having enough time - my two biggest enemies!) and, ultimately, builds up your time management and organisational skills. Jot down exciting ideas for your future content. You will find yourself working on those blog posts in no time because you would be itching to share them with your readers.
Take your time.
I've seen many bloggers, who have been absent for months, come back and pick up exactly where they left off becoming only "bigger & better". When you're tired, overwhelmed, anxious or unwell there is absolutely no shame in taking a break. No matter how many hours you have on your hands, you might just end up staring at the blank screen with no results. Take your time and make that comeback happen on your own terms. 
Why it's OK to be a bad blogger, Why it's important to take a break from social media
It almost seems like it's in our nature (as bloggers) to constantly apologize for being absent.
But guess what, it's perfectly OK. We all try and do our best.
The main thing is your {REAL} tribe will stick around no matter what.
And if you got your A game on, go you! 
Just remember to be kind and supportive to others.

My other BLOGGING POSTS you might like:
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Leave a comment and let me know if you have ever taken a break from blogging (if you are a blogger) 
or social media. I'd love to read about your experience.
P.S.
I am so nervous to hit publish (it's been a while!) but I'm so excited to be back.
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