I have been attempting to write this many times.
I’ve also been toying with how I was going to title this post.
It’s been a while since I posted here on the blog. 6 weeks, to be exact. 6 weeks without blogging. *gasp*
So here we are. Grab a cuppa. Get comfortable. Keep reading.
It’s not a novelty that every blogger out there has blogging- as well as life-related struggles. No matter how “big” or “small” the blogger is, or whether they’ve been around for many years or for a few weeks, everyone has issues. Some people find it hard to balance work, blogging and personal life. Some are having emergencies which become a priority. Some are hitting the writer’s block. Some don’t have an “Instagram husband”/can’t afford a photographer.
It can be anything and everything, so just like each and every one of us is unique, so are our reasons for not producing content.
Now, let’s pause this “general” chit chat.
What about myself?
Why was Miel and Mint in “hibernation”?
There are so many things involved in ‘I haven’t blogged for over a month’ scenario. It’s scary to say it out loud.
You actually sometimes don’t even understand HOW it happened.
A few days grow into a week. A week transforms into a few weeks. Then, after 6 weeks of the “blogging silence” you start questioning your position in the blogosphere and whether you’re still “allowed” to call yourself A BLOGGER.
I talked A LOT about blogging in my Blogging Tips: Dos & Don’ts, especially about the definition of “blogger”. So I won’t go into detail again about any of those things.
Firstly, what I want to have a look at is why I took so many weeks off. Secondly, what my plans are moving forward. And finally, a few tips for you if you’re going through similar experiences blogging or non-blogging related.
Why I haven’t blogged for 6 weeks.
1. I was lacking time.
I’m not a full-time blogger.
I have a job outside blogging. I have many commitments in my everyday life which include keeping my house together, juggling many house related tasks (because we are still sorting it out), having a social life, traveling the world and, most importantly, spending lots of quality time with my husband (which, by the way, isn’t a “have to” thing, it’s a “want to” thing).
By the way, kudos to those who seem like they’re managing it all. I don’t know how they do it.
Surely, something’s got to give.
You might be a superhuman. You might do the whole fake-it-until-you-make-it thing. You might even be fully aware of every part of your life that “gives”.
Some days I can juggle it all, but more than often I can’t.
And because I was lacking time, I couldn’t whip out just about anything. If I sit down to work on a blog post, it has to be “perfect” or “great” or somewhere up there. Which brings me to point number 2.
2. I struggle with perfectionism.
I know they say that the first step to curing something is admitting you have a problem.
I’ve always been a perfectionist so it’s not an easy thing to shake off. It doesn’t happen in one day.
Sometimes it feel like I have put myself into these self-made boundaries of ‘always-doing-it-the-way-I-do (which pretty much means that nothing of a “lesser” standard is going to make it into the big wide world of the internet). I know it’s amazing that I have discovered my own voice and style of writing, editing and what-not.
However, I need to learn to hit that publish button when I’m ALMOST 100% happy with my content.
Forget 100%. It doesn’t exist.
3. I fell down the comparison hole.
I have a love/hate relationship with social media (sometimes I love it and can’t imagine my life without it, and sometimes I wish it vanished for good and never came back).
While scrolling through profiles of other bloggers who might have started around the same time I did (or even those who started later), I would often catch myself thinking that what I post on social media must be not. good. enough. They have more followers. They have a professional photographer. They are skinnier. They travel more. They eat better. They have more time to engage with others. They this. They that.
We all do it from time to time. Comparing. It’s normal but it’s not okay.
This I-shouldn’t-compare-myself-and-my-life’s-path-to-others thing is an ongoing battle.
Especially when you’re exposed to social media and have to be on all these platforms as much as bloggers do.
I’m over the whole comparison thing. My life is unique and so perfectly designed by God. How can I add or take away from something that’s been made so flawlessly and lovingly?
In a nutshell: being on social media leads to comparing, comparing leads to self-criticism, and self-criticism has nothing good to give to you. That’s why time offline is so important as well as remembering how unique your own life’s path and purpose is.
4. What about my WHYs.
I don’t know how 2 years ago I could post 4 times a week (a week!). Now I am struggling to post 4 times a month (a month!).
For over a year I have fallen into the trap of not sticking to my own schedule when it comes to writing blog content.
I plan. I have the best intentions.
Then, other things get in the way and nothing is done.
When I noticed that pattern day in and day out, I have turned to the good ol’ “what is my WHY in this whole thing?” or “WHY am I blogging?“.
I got crystal clear answers once I went back to the basics. I love creating content. I love inspiring others. I love connecting with people from all over the world. I love sharing my thoughts, finds, ideas and recommendations with you all. There are so many other WHYs.
My WHYs should be enough to keep me going. Plus, you guys. Your feedback and support has always made a massive difference and means a lot.
5. I gave myself no deadline.
If you give yourself 7 days to write a blog post/study for a test/complete a project, it will take you exactly 7 days to do it.
No rush means no rush.
Blogging isn’t my full-time job so I have the luxury of not putting too much pressure on myself to “publish the post out by …” or to “get photos taken on …”.
I do have a posting schedule but, to be honest, I haven’t really opened it for months. Until last week.
See, no deadline = no rush. And, in my case, no rush = there are more important things to take care of, therefore, there will be no new content (of course, there will always be important things to take care of whether you’re a full-time blogger or not).
Then, I came to this:
No deadline => no rush => no content => A LOT OF GUILT.
My “no deadline” number of weeks did teach me a lesson or two on how to snap out of the funk, set a deadline, stick to it and bear fruit.
Now, this is an interesting part.
Because here I am supposed to tell you how I’m going to improve my posting schedule and become a “better blogger”.
It’s quite stressful to make a huge promise and then not stick to it.
What I can guarantee you is that:
– I am getting organised to get back to blogging PROPERLY from now on.
– I am aiming to post twice a week and then see how it works for me and if I can add another post to the mix. Let me know if you would like me to post on certain days, e.g., Tuesdays & Fridays, or whether you’re happy not to know what days to expect a post at Miel and Mint.
What can you take out of this?
1. Make time for things you must do/would love to do.
This applies to anyone, blogger or not. If you want to get something done, you just have to do it. Course work due in 2 weeks? Make time to study. Work project deadline is in a month? Do some calendar blocking and get cracking. Need to write a blog post? You know what to do. Sit down and write.
2. Perfectionism won’t get you anywhere.
Man-made perfection doesn’t exist. Despite what anyone prefers to think or believe. That’s why do your VERY BEST, put your ABSOLUTE EVERYTHING into whatever the thing is that you’re working on. Just don’t aim for perfection. Get it done to the point when you’re proud of the long hours, hard work and maximum effort you’ve invested into it. Done is better than “perfect-yet-never-finished”.
3. Social media is not (always) real life.
Repeat after me: social media doesn’t always reflect real life. 95% of images you see are 100% staged, planned, curated. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just don’t fall into the trap of thinking your life isn’t as great as someone else’s. You have no idea what goes down behind the shoot. Take social media for what it is: limitless inspiration source & great networking tool. Never compare yourself to others. Period. Live your own unique life.
4. Always go back to your WHYs.
Why do you do what you do? Once you have the answer, that’s pretty much all you need to keep going.
5. Be time conscious.
I think time management is one of the most valuable skills in our insanely fast-paced society. Use your time wisely. Plan your schedule and do time blocking. Spend time with those you love. Invest time into improving your skill set, your current situation and your relationships. Remember deadlines and earn the rep of being a reliable person.
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and let me know if you’ve ever been in a similar situation if you’re a blogger.
How did you get yourself out of it?
If you’re not a blogger, share your experiences that are similar in one way or another to what I’ve written about and ring the bell.