I just read this fabulous and honest post from Ms. Smart of The Smart Kitchen. As I'm trying to find my blogging mojo and figure out how to fit blogging into my already chaotic life, it's posts like these that help me realize that blogging should be fun and enjoyable, not obligatory and forced. I LOVE writing, and if I had it my way, I would write all the time...in place of my "real" job. Unfortunately, at this point in my life, I don't have that option (luxury?). So, I have to find ways to write in between all of the other awesome things that make up my life. I'm no longer in graduate school, so I'm not writing numerous research papers, or that pesky thesis (which I LOVED). So, I need to get my writing fix elsewhere. That is one of the reasons I started this blog. I want to research and write about interesting health and fitness topics. I want to improve my "informal" writing skills. I'm so used to writing very structured research papers, and blogging allows me the opportunity to improve my creative writing skills. But, most of all, I just want a place where I can put pen to paper or, more accurately, fingers to keys :)
However, in the past couple of months, as life has gotten busier, I found myself stressing over my blog. I felt guilty if I didn't post at least three times a week, and in the evenings I began to see blogging as an obligation keeping me from other fun things. Honestly, I don't really have any readers, so there's no reason for me to feel pressured to keep up with an "appropriate" writing schedule. There isn't really anyone to notice if I slack off. But, that's the thing. I began to feel pressured to gain readers. See, I've had this blog for a year now. I know I don't put in a ton of effort commenting on other people's blogs and such to develop a strong readership, but I was hoping to gain a few readers. Since my numbers have remained small, I began to put pressure on myself to blog more, comment more, join more blog events, etc. so that I would establish my blog. But, more than that, I just wanted to be part of the blogging community.
Well, you know what, I just don't think it's in the stars. I don't have the time to devote to blogging all the time, and I'm OK with that. Because, when it's all said and done, I'm really blogging for myself. I just want a place to write, and if no one else reads it, then that's OK. The words are still there. And, really, I am part of the community. It doesn't matter how many people read my blog, it just matters that I show up and contribute...as much as I feel capable of. I'm still planning to move forward with this blog because I love it. I'm just going to make sure I stop putting pressure on myself as I do.
So, Ms. Smart, thank you for those words of wisdom. They helped me refocus and reprioritize, which is just what I needed.