As my last post mentioned, I started a new job and am happily assimilating to a career working and commuting into midtown Manhattan. So what does that mean for me? Well, a lot less free time. Mostly in terms of the long commute, which I try to make the best of, but it still takes almost two hours out of my day.
I’ve been biking to work pretty regularly to stay active. My legs are feeling stronger, but I miss running a lot and am hoping to incorporate a run or two on top of 80 minutes of biking every day.
I’m also struggling to get creative with meals at home. Lately, dinner consists of salads and sandwiches. By the time I get home, I’m exhausted and am not in the mood to cook something elaborate and even less in the mood to set up my mini-photo studio and take pictures of it for the blog.
(new glasses from warby parker)
Which kind of has me thinking about the direction and future of my blog. I’ve thought a lot about incorporating more personal content – something I’ve always been too timid to do. In so many ways, I’m exhausted of the rat race that so often accompanies blogging. I love blogs, and in particular, I love feeling inspired to create new things. But if I create something that isn’t exactly photo worthy, or “pinnable,” I can’t stop questioning “what’s the point?” Even worse, I hate the feeling of failure that I happens when I’ve created something amazing (in my opinion) and it doesn’t get pinned a lot or I don’t get a lot of social hits. This is the dark side of blogging. Your blog’s value sometimes only feels like a metric.
I can’t stop thinking of how I felt when I first started blogging. I miss a lot about who I was and how I blogged at the beginning, back when I used a point-and-shoot with flash all the time and all of my images were blurry (so blurry…sigh…). I didn’t spend nearly as much time on posts. I did what I could with what was available to me – a cheap camera with a built in flash and some dim lighting. Although I wanted to improve (and did, thank god), I didn’t let my perfectionism get in the way. I boldly posted those blurry photos or that terrible photoshopped image and didn’t think twice about who would pin it. Now, on more than one occasion, I’ve done an entire photo shoot and spent hours arduously editing photos before my perfectionism gets the best of me and I end up trashing the entire project. Since I don’t have a strong enough following to promote my content for me, I spend just as much time promoting a post as I do creating its content. Post frequency is down drastically, but quality and engagement has increased tremendously.
But in the beginning, I always felt like I was blogging for me. Or, at the very least, my audience agreed with my notions of “Well, no one has time to spend six hours a day blogging while working a full-time job and juggling fitness, relationships, and mental health.” But now, some of my favorite blogs are the ones with entire teams and studios, and I feel like I’ll never be able to attract people with my puny blog. Does anyone else feel this way?
Even now, I think to myself, what type of image should accompany this post? And the thought crossed my mind (I’m sure you’ve seen this on Pinterest) of some moody background image with the words “The Dark Side of Blogging.” That’s just not me or my brand.
Lately, maybe because I’ve been spending so much time writing at a computer, I’ve been journaling voraciously with a pen and paper. In general, I’m finding I need to spend more time away from computer and phone screens. This includes spending much less time on social media. Self-promotion has always been hard for me. And since the thought of visiting Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest is something I am absolutely uninterested in, you might see fewer interactions on the social front. It upsets me that this feels so much like blog suicide, or worse, giving up. It shouldn’t be that way.
Do you know any bloggers who have great blogs and a successful following, but don’t have a social media presence? Please share them with me.
As far as the state of the blog goes, Ryan worked to make the DIY and recipe pages easier to navigate. Now, you can see everything in that category all on a single page accompanied by an icon. I’ve also added a “travel and adventures” category to my menu. Without visiting new places and seeing new things, my life would be incomplete.