Thursday, 16 March 2017

When Life Gets Too Much Your Blog Will Wait

I talk to a lot of bloggers (occasionally face to face, but mostly online) and a common theme is how to balance the pressure of blogging with family time, taking time out for ourselves and boring tasks like house work. As “professional” bloggers there is a pressure to seek work and deliver quality posts in reasonable times, but whether blogging is our main job or a sideline we should all love what we do.

An open MacBook showing the Counting To Ten blog on a sofa next to a brown A5 diary and a pen
Yes I blog on my sofa, it's comfy

When I was at school my Dad mentioned he didn’t enjoy his job. We spend so much of our time working that the idea horrified me that people don’t enjoy their work and they only do it to pay the bills. I made a promise to myself that if I ever found myself in that position I would get a new job. And I’ve kept that promise.

I’ve left jobs because I was bored. I’ve left because there were unreasonable expectations of the role. I’ve left because I didn’t get on with my manager. I’ve even handed my notice in without another job to go to. When you reach the point that you are losing sleep over the stress of the job and are miserable on Sundays because you have to return to work the next day you have to consider what you really want. Blogging is no different.

Like most bloggers I started because I loved to write. Over 6 years ago I wrote what I wanted and published not knowing, or caring, if anyone would read it. It was like an online diary open to strangers. I loved when people would comment on my posts, it was great when I was offered products to review and occasionally getting paid to write was the icing on the cake, but underneath it all I blogged for me. 

At some point my life became super stressful: I was fighting to keep a job I loved, my marriage was breaking down and I was struggling to run the local branch of my NCT with hardly any help. I had a number of reviews owing and blogging became a pressure instead of my creative outlet. I was on the verge of a breakdown. I had to cut out everything in my life which was optional and with a heavy heart I stopped blogging and volunteering.

My blogging break was only meant to be temporary, but the weeks turned into months and suddenly a couple of years had gone past. There were many days I ached to blog, but I wasn’t in the right place. Just over 2 years after taking a break I started again with a new shiny blog and my Back With A Bump post. 

I loved writing again, learning, getting new experiences and discovering great brands. I reconnected with old blogging friends and made new ones. I now blog as my job and obviously that brings with it pressure, but when everything gets too much I take a break. 

In February I enjoyed half term with my girls and then was hit pretty hard by depression, so I blogged less. The last few weeks our house has been hit by a gastro bug, so I blogged less. My blogging has been sporadic at times, but there have only been a few occasions where I have thought “argggghhhhh I’m so behind, help!”. I have limited the number of reviews and paid posts I accept because while money is important if I’m not enjoying it there are plenty of easier ways to make money.

For years when I was blogging I didn’t know about Google Analytics, SEO, Domain Authority or page rank. I didn’t have 1000s of readers, but I enjoyed what I was doing. Blogging isn’t a get rich quick option, most financially successful bloggers work incredibly long hours. Looking after children and a home is hard enough without spending every spare minute working on your blog and brand. It’s all worth while though when your love what you are doing. 

The last few months my DA has dropped, this month I went down in the Tots100 and my page views for February were dismal, but I can build it all up again. I’m super excited about some of the opportunities coming up, I’ve got lists of posts I actually *want* to write and I know I’m going to see lots of lovely people at a number of events. I love the blogging world and my blog will survive the next time I need to take a few weeks off.
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12 comments

  1. Blogging breaks are sometimes necessary! I have taken a couple and felt much better for it!

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  2. You really do need breaks every now and again or you get burnt out

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  3. It's always important to make time for yourself. If you're not in the right place to do something, then there is no point in doing it... Taking a break when you need one is by far the best thing to do!

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    1. Definitely. And with that I'm going to go make my self a coffee...

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  4. I feel exactly this - I have barely blogged since Christmas because I just got in to a slump and blogging wasn't important to me anymore. The break did me good, I realised how much I missed it, but also re-evaluated why I blog - because I love it. It's never going to be my sole income, and might never actually bring me any income, but I do it because I enjoy it and so I will continue to do so. I'm glad you came back bigger and better though, and have been able to make your blog into work :-)

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    1. Thank you. Blogging can be so rewarding and it's so sad seeing the pressure some people are under. I'm glad your break helped you too.

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  5. I'm still new to blogging so I'm learning all the time and quite enthusiastic about it all, but around Christmas time things were really stressful and I felt like I just need a break, so I took one despite feeling like I shouldn't as I should be building up my blog at the start. However when I got back to it I had a new lease of energy, my stats all went up and I was presented with more opportunities! I think the break did me and my blog the world of good!

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  6. It's always good to take a break and just put the phone down and leave all social media for a week. I find these days you get so hooked on refreshing your phone that it becomes a little crazy. As my girl gets older I will put a ban in place at the weekend so we can spend quality time as a family.

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  7. I feel the same, as soon as something goes wrong my blog feels it. But trying to nog be what I call it a butt munch and up my game, with a toddler and kitten in tow too xx

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