Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The Reasons for my “Blogxit” and Dipping my Toe back in….

Just before Christmas I made a decision that surprised even me. I decided to stop writing my blog. I actually cried when I made that decision too. I felt bereft. I had to give up the one creative outlet I have. The only thing in my life right now that’s just for me. But my reasons were sensible. I was getting majorly stressed out with organising everything in my life, kids, work, Christmas, family, social life, finances. So much so, that I’d organised a session with a local mental health charity to help me find some clarity. Something had to give and the only disposable thing in my life at that time was the blog.

Christmas is usually a quiet time for me with the blog. I’d actually gone really hard for the last few months, making YouTube videos, guest posting on LOADS of other blogs, doing Facebook live videos to ram up my reach, flogging, flogging, flogging.

It made my head explode, constantly thinking about my stats. This is a side non-bloggers probably think very little about but is actually a vital part of your “success”. It’s not just as simple as write a blog, publish, the end. You have to promote it; you usually have to schedule that promotion on all your social media platforms; You sell your soul tweeting all the big parent blogger hubs on Twitter, secretly praying you’ll make the Mumsnet blogger’s front page or be featured on Tots100 / Britmums etc.; you join “linkies” where you comment swap with other bloggers to increase your page views; you like and comment and share to DEATH everyone else’s stuff FOREVER in the hope that they return the favour. It N E V E R   E N D S. Seriously you could spend ALL your waking hours doing promotion. And still not really get anywhere.

For me , it had become quite an egotistical pursuit too. I had a buzz when a post did well or if a pic or status got lots of reach/shares/likes/comments. I’d become addicted to this buzz and was trying more and more ways to increase this exposure (in the way a junkie needs more and more to get high!) …under the flimsy guise of wanting to be “discovered” for my brilliant writing but a bit because I wanted people to laugh and me and tell me I was funny and clever. I did Facebook live broadcasts from the bath, I’d film vlogs and coax my cute daughter into them to boost viewings! What?! I exploited my own child to quench my megalomaniacal desires! I JUST WANTED YOU TO LIKE MY FACE!!!!!!

 But I knew it would be quiet in the direct run up to Christmas because there would be too much to do IN REAL LIFE. So when I made the decision, it was still a bit tentative in my mind. Could I really just give it ALL up? I’ve spent almost every waking hour for the last 2 years thinking at some point about the blog. What to write next, what to promote next, where I want to go with it, how can I improve it, should I re-design it (I am awful for changing the format, I must have re-designed that goddamn page about 5000000 times…. I’d never be able to maintain my own “brand”…I’d be bored of the logo within a week!).

And I’d made sooooo many really good friends. I’d just recently joined such a lovely little FB group of girls I didn’t know super well to begin with but very quickly had me crying with laughter on a regular basis. I had a local “tribe” (look, I know tribe is such a twatty and exclusive word…. I have no further explanation, that’s just what it is!) And then there are the friends I’ve made at events and speak to all the time and most importantly I have a handful of what I would call blogging bezzies…who I can talk to about anything at any time and even meet up with IRL!  But what now? Do I just delete them, unlike all their pages/profiles and “ghost” them? Bit harsh!

Of course I’d never do that. I not ACTUALLY a total bitch and I’d miss them desperately. But what would I do now?
 Well, up to this point in this post, was written in February with “blogxit” fresh in my mind. I’m now (in May) picking up where I stopped writing: I was enjoying the freedom to do NOTHING in the evenings and not feel guilty or read books…. I was LOVING not being a slave to social media. I started using Twitter as a purely social vehicle not a link dumping site and have had actual conversations on there!

I’ve been totally present when I’ve been out with the kids, not thinking about live vids or Instagram pics. That’s a massive bonus and one I will never give up.

But.

I’ve been flailing around. At first all the free time in the evenings felt ace. The lack of pressure was such a relief. But then I began to realise that my time was now being swallowed up in the evenings by Candy Crush Soda Saga and other MUCH more embarrassing games. I was doing NOTHING constructive. Nothing creative. I wasn’t cooking more or writing all the things I thought I would. I was doing nothing and feeling AWFUL and GUILT stricken. I’m wasting my life. I am wasting my brain but I can’t seem to shake myself out of this existential crisis!

So this week I’ve been toying with the idea of writing and publishing again. I’ve lost count of how many ideas I’ve had for posts. But I just know I’m letting my brain atrophy if I don’t. I DO feel like a massive flipping drama queen, flouncing out of the internet and sheepishly coming back with my tail between my legs!

However, I’ve made a pact with myself. I am to engage in NO social media promotion other than basic link dumps on my FB & Twitter. Nothing else. My Instagram will remain a haven of gorgeous interiors and pretty pics and my friends hopefully won’t hate my relentless self-promotion. (We’ll see!).  You see, if I write it down here, I have to stick to it, right?

So anyway. This bitch is back. For a bit. I don't know. I can't commit. Aaaaaargh! 

Don’t hate the playa, hate the game! 


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