When I first started this blog it was for two main reasons: 1. I was applying for a social media management job and needed a writing sample that proved I had some skill at blogging. 2. We'd just gotten married so I wanted to be able to keep family and friends updated on our lives in Georgia.
Despite the face that I ended up loathing my social media management job, I soon realized that I loved blogging. As time went on and my 'published posts' pile began to grow I really fell in love with the process of pulling my jumbled mess of thoughts together, creating something cohesive enough to understand, and spitting it out for the blogosphere to enjoy. Z and I were diving into an adventure as newlyweds with new jobs in a new city and I was working at a few very unique places that provided plenty of blog-worthy stories. I kept things simple and really just used it as a forum to brain dump. All of a sudden I was getting comments on my posts. I was used to comments from family and friends but comments from people I didn't know... how exciting! That meant people were finding my humble little collection of thoughts. Most of them were fellow bloggers so in an attempt to build a community I started reading and commenting on others' blogs. With every new blog I found I'd stumble or be referred to three more. Eventually I formed a long collection of favorites which I promptly added to my Google Reader list. Oh how I miss you Google Reader. At first my fellow bloggers inspired and energized me to keep sharing my bits of randomness and even encouraged me to pump up the number of posts per week.
But then one day something shifted.
Blogging became something I did to get recognition instead of something I did because I enjoyed it. I would be disappointed if I didn't receive X number of comments on a given post and feel inadequate when I'd see other bloggers with sidebars filled with paying sponsors or getting featured spots on well-known websites and blog forums. I'd read a perfectly formatted, hysterically witty, or insanely creative post and feel completely inadequate in my own writing. I'd end up starting a blog about a topic that I felt really passionate about, remember that inadequate feeling, and stop writing. Soon my 'published posts' pile stopped growing and my 'drafts' began to multiply. I wouldn't trash the blogs that I started but I'd become too critical and decide it was better to hide away posts that I felt weren't good enough. Each time I'd sit down to write I'd just get more and more frustrated. Frustration would turn to anger and I'd start discrediting other bloggers because, clearly, their ability to come up with a pin-worthy blog post was because they had it way easier than me in life.
This blogger has an expendable income so she can go on these lavish vacations and blog about it. Not me. This blogger has a house like something out of Better Homes and Gardens so she can blog about all of her wonderful interior design ideas. Not me. This blogger has started her own business that seemed to get really successful overnight so every blog is a personal advertisement for her business. Not me. This blogger just has EVERYTHING figured out and lives a perfect, care-free life. Not. Me.
Basically I was creating lame excuses to pad a ridiculous woe-is-me mentality. Which at the end of the day was just a way to hide the truth, my lack of confidence. Combine my hum-drum attitude with the fact that I was no longer writing weekly updates on our daughter and you get a very neglected blog. It was a sad state of affairs and, in some ways, still is. Yes, I was able to kick a few more posts out there while pregnant with our son and have been keeping up with his monthly updates but the love I once had of sharing random thoughts and funny stories has dwindled down to nothing but a tiny flicker. I've let my lack of confidence overpower my love of writing. I've let the comparative and competitive nature of social media sway my opinion of myself. I've neglected the original purpose of this blog and, in doing so, have let myself down.
I know I've made a lot of proclamations in the past about starting new habits, new weekly staples, and getting back on a schedule with every-other-day posts. But that's not what Life in these times... is all about. It's about this life that I love and am blessed to call my own. It's about the good and the bad and the poop-covered. It's about the struggles and the joys. And it's about all the things that pop into my head that I find worthy of transporting to text. It's not about what everyone else thinks or being a well-known name... although there is still part of me that
secretly not so secretly wants to be a famous blogger, get paid to write, and be able to support my family from home. Then again there's also a part of me that dreams about Robert Downey Jr. stopping me in the middle of the mall to tell me I'd be perfect for the new blockbuster his he's filming, but I digress.
The only proclamation I'm prepared to make today is that I'm going to do my best to push my self-conscious tendencies to the side and get back to doing what I once loved. No more excuses. No more comparing myself to other bloggers. No more writing about something solely because I think someone might find it Huffington Post worthy. Just me. My thoughts. My family. My days of spit-up and stickers. My life in these times...
Until next time...