Time for a Change
Almost two and a half years ago, I wrote this post about "blogging burn-out." After a mere three months of blogging, I experienced my first speed bump and true test where I had to decide to quit or forge on. Obviously, I decided to push forward and I'm so grateful that I did, but let's revisit some of my thoughts that day: August 4, 2012
I've hit that point. That point when you question whether or not you want to continue what it is that you're doing. You question whether or not you have the time or energy or resources to do it. And you know that if you stop it now, you won't pick it up again (at least, not for a long time).
Blogging the past few months has been a great experience. I have loved being more creative, putting myself out there, and learning so much about photo editing, writing, fashion, style, and more. I know I have a long ways to go, but it has been a rewarding experience. However, I'm at that point in the summer where my priorities are taking over. I have a teaching job now that will require all of me--my heart, my brain, my energy, my time. I want very badly to be that super woman who you see all over the blogosphere: the woman who can balance a full-time job, a family, a spouse, friends, crafting, AND blogging. I often wonder, "How do they do it? And how can I learn?"
So, I'm at a standstill. I'm not happy with where my blog is now (even though I am proud of how far I've come in such a short time), but I have major plans to improve it. The problem is, do I have the time and the energy to do it?
I think I want to prove to myself that I can do this. Even during my first year of teaching. Because what better time to document my life than when I am moving out and everything is changing?
It's strange to me how much has changed in my life over the past few years, yet after reading this, seemingly nothing is different. At the core, many of our thoughts, desires, and ambitions are largely the same; they just take different forms as we grow and emerge into the people we are meant to become. While I am in an extremely different place now than I was then, I still go through periods of blogging burn out and have to ask myself if I should continue on or not.
When I began blogging, I had no idea what I was doing. As a result, I just decided to do it all. I published multiple DIY posts, fashion-inspired posts, and ramblings in the same week and held a giveaway after a week of blogging. I talked about everything and anything, without having a clue what it really meant to generate good content or to have a brand or market to an audience and certainly not how to monetize or manage sponsorships or anything that would come later. In some ways, I envy that ignorance. It was always fun and exciting and I could make big strides quickly, celebrating mini successes more frequently.
Blogging has changed dramatically in the past few years that I've been a part of it and, for the most part, I've remained flexible enough to rise and fall with the ebbs and flows. With each new rising "trend," I would adapt but still stick to my own ideals for what this space means and will continue to mean to me. What was known about being creative online then is different from what it is now. Even marketing one's blog has altered so significantly over the past year. And now, nearly everyone has their own blog. And that's more than okay--it's welcomed, even. We all have a place and a purpose in this blogophere. But this inclusion has definitely changed this avenue in ways we're still learning so much about.
Back in May, I finally scratched an itch that I had been experiencing for many many months by doing a complete overhaul of my blog--switching themes and making things pretty. It was instrumental in propelling me forward with my blog and giving me the creative juice to stay motivated with a new business and content-driven mindset. While I'm certainly no where near that ambitious goal, I am proud of the progress I have made over the year.
Still, somewhere along the line, life happened. After the last two tumultuous years, I was finally experiencing fulfillment in my work and in my personal life that took precedence over the blog at times. And that was more than okay. Life (family, friends, work, etc.) first, blog second. Always. And in the midst of this, I've hit another speed bump, roadblock, obstacle course, burn out.
And for the longest time, I couldn't figure out why or what to do about it.
Before you get ahead of yourself, I'm not going anywhere. I still value blogging so very much and want to continue to blog for the unforeseeable future. HOWEVER, I do think it's about time for a change. A big change. I don't know when or how or even what some of these changes will be like or take place, but I do know they will happen.
I sat down with Kristin this past weekend for yoga and brunch (which is the perfect combination, by the way) and we had a heart-to-heart about blogging. That's how we met, after all. One of the many amazing things about Kristin is that she is fantastic at taking in your jumbled, disjointed thoughts and constructing them into logical steps to move forward. She was able to take things I hadn't even worked out in my head once and generate an understanding and direction I've so been missing these past few months. I left with a to-do list of things I am going to work through and while I am nowhere near the implementation, I am at least taking those initial baby steps.
I don't exactly know what form this blog will take or if I will start fresh or what I will do just yet, but I know that I am so blessed to have such wonderful and loyal readers who will support me no matter what. Change is uncomfortable and painful and it may turn some people away for good; while I will be sad to see some inevitably go, I will welcome the opportunity to pursue something I wholeheartedly believe in and enjoy. I will never downplay anything I have posted or created up to this point--without these growing pains and bits that I'm really proud of, I would never be in the fortunate place I am today to continue to be creative every single day.
All I ask of you, dear reader, is that you try to be patient and kind with me as I work out the kinks and pull on a coat of bravery. Maybe I won't be posting as often. Maybe I'll be messing with the design. Maybe I'll be doing something very dramatic. Whatever it is, I would truly appreciate your support. It's not easy to do this, sometimes. But it is always, always worth it.