I have a confession to make: sometimes I think about quitting my blog.
Let me start from the beginning…
I have always enjoyed reading and writing for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, while other kids were at the playground, I was always in the library reading books. With my love for reading came a love for writing. I did well in my reading and writing comprehension classes because I enjoyed them. My second love was drawing and all things art-related. I sucked at math and science. I was right-brained to my core, and I still am.
I officially started blogging the fall of 2008 when I was 22 years old and had started taking classes for my English major in community college. Writing nothing but English lit papers got old real fast, so I started a Blogspot blog so I could have a place where I’d have the freedom to write about whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, like boys, school, and work. Before my Blogspot blog, I had a Xanga which was strictly private for my eyes only, but my Blogspot blog was public. I didn’t care if people read it, as long as they were people I didn’t know in real life, like my family and friends. The reason I was somewhat secretive about my public blog was because not only was I writing about personal subjects, but because I was self-conscious about my writing; I cared more about what my family and friends thought of my writing and subject matter than strangers who read my blog. I know it seems silly to have a public blog that you don’t want certain people to read, and I realize that now, but back then, that’s how blogging was. A lot of people had blogs but didn’t attach a name or a picture to them: they wrote anonymously or semi-anonymously. This was just an understanding between personal bloggers that non-bloggers didn’t understand. I soon discovered a large community of personal bloggers whose blogs I read, and they read mine in return.
Fast-forward 8 years and I’m still blogging, except now on my very own self-hosted site. IDGAF what people think of my writing anymore and I’ve accepted the fact that if you’re going to write on the Internet, people you may not want to find your blog may eventually find it anyway, so I don’t write about super personal topics anymore (at least I try not to). As for all those personal bloggers I used to know, well, a lot of them don’t blog anymore because blogging itself has changed tremendously. Gone are the days of semi-private, personal blogs. That era is dead, and now it’s all about niche blogs full of ads, affiliate links, and sponsored content. And to be honest, I feel like I can’t keep up. I feel like there are so many rules now when it comes to having a blog, like “you have to have a niche!” and “you have to post at least three times a week for consistency!” and “you should always include a photo with good lighting in your post!” Well, you know what? I don’t want to be committed to just writing about one topic. Sometimes, I don’t have the time to post three times a week. And sometimes, I post pictures with bad lighting. I’ve grown a little irritated with all the expectations that have come with blogging over the last 8 years. What started as a hobby feels more like a part-time, unpaid job lately, which has triggered these recent feelings of wanting to quit.
There’s also such a thing as outgrowing a hobby, and this wouldn’t be the first time for me. I used to swing dance when I was in college, but I quit a few years ago because I outgrew it. I started blogging when I was 22, but now I’m almost 31. I’m a different person now than I was then, with a different lifestyle and different interests, like running, yoga, etc. I have a full-time job with a husband, dog, and household responsibilities to tend to. How am I supposed to fit in multiple hobbies, especially a time-consuming one like blogging? Which brings me to my next point: there are many more social media outlets these days than there were 8 years ago. Sometimes I think it’d be way easier and faster to just quickly post about something exciting on Instagram than to spend an hour or two blogging about it.
Blogging has changed a lot over the years, and so have I, but what hasn’t changed is the fact that I still enjoy writing and expressing myself creatively. Even though there are some things I don’t like about blogging these days, there’s still a lot of good that comes with blogging. Because of my blog…
- I can stay in the practice of writing. Over the last few months, I’ve gotten some writing and editing assignments at work. I really feel like because I write here weekly, I was successfully able to complete those assignments without thinking twice about grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, etc.
- I’ve discovered a lot of blogs that I really enjoy reading and have even become IRL friends with some fellow bloggers.
- I’ve been able to document some of the biggest moments of my life, like graduating college, living in South Korea, and meeting/marrying Chris. This is my favorite reason for having a blog. I love going through my archives and re-living how I was feeling during those excting times in my life. I can’t wait to document some future life milestone here, too.
So with that all being said, I’m going to keep blogging for now, because despite the irritations I’ve had with it lately, blogging means a lot to me and I can’t picture life without my little corner of the internet. I can’t promise myself I will blog forever, though, because one day when I’m a working mom, I’m pretty positive I will have absolutely no time to blog and will have no choice but to quit. I do picture myself continuing to read blogs in the future even if I’m not blogging myself, because I love reading blogs as much as I love writing them; the difference between the two is reading blogs takes less time and there aren’t any expectations like there are with actually blogging!
As for now, I think the best thing for me to do is try and meet today’s blogging expectations in the middle, but not feel like a failure if I can’t meet those expectations once in a while. Sometimes, I won’t be able to pre-schedule three blog posts for a week or post a photo with good lighting, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that this long-time hobby of mine continues to bring me joy, and for now, it does.
What does blogging mean to you? Have you ever thought about quitting your blog?