Wednesday, December 7, 2011

just some thoughts on blogging and how I need a blog cleanse

If you're a blogger, have you ever had the thought, "What the heck am I doing?!"

I have.
Lots, actually.

Let's be honest. Blogging can be weird in many ways.
I write about my life and strangers read it.
I take pictures of random things, of Chas, of the food we make, of my shoes with leaves around them.
I ask Chas to take pictures of me.
Yup, it's weird.

My first reaction, when I meet someone who reads my blog or overhear someone telling another about my blog, is embarrassment. I worry about what people must think or will think of me when they know that I do all those things with my blog.

But here's what I've recently decided:

If you're gonna blog, then just do it. And be proud that you do it.

Be able to see the blogging thing clearly for what it is- strange in some ways but also really great in some ways, too. Just accept all aspects of the blogging package and, most importantly, be proud that you're someone who wants to take a healthy risk to put some good out into the world.
And if people think you're weird/dumb/annoying/embarrassing for doing so, then that's their deal. Let them worry about their own reaction. You don't have to.

So next time, instead of feeling embarrassed of my blog, I want to be able to say something like,
"Yup! I have a blog! My husband and I take pictures of each other, I write about our life together, and it's pretty crazy. Check it out if you want!"

Aware. Confident. End of story.

>>>

On a similar note, I've been feeling pretty burnt out on the whole blogging thing.
I started this blog when Chas and I got married and I decided I wanted a way to honor the happiness that we had together, a happiness in marriage that I'd never thought possible before.

But, lately, I've kinda wondered if there was a way I could just burn it all to the ground.

It's honestly real work to think of something fun and new to post five days a week. I think a lot of the pressure I feel has to do with the pictures. I'm pretty picky about the images I put on this blog and it can get tiring trying to make sure that every post has a great picture to accompany the text.

Staying true to what I want this blog to be versus what I think others want it to be can be a tricky business.

I feel like I need to just get back to the basics with this.
I need to just write.
I need to just externalize my thoughts without having to worry about a darling picture to match or whether or not people will love the post. I need to put me first for a bit.

So that's what's going to happen around here for a little while. Just my thoughts. Simple and straight-forward.
The pictures will definitely return, I'm just not sure when exactly. We'll just see what happens, I suppose.

I hope you'll stick around and want to keep reading.
But if you're bored with my thoughts and/or are here mainly for the photos, that's cool too.
Again, I just need to do this for me.

A little blog cleanse, if you will.

Thanks for listening.

53 comments:

Alyssa said...

Sounds like you're listening to the most important part of yourself-your insides. Do it for you. <3

Kendra said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE your thoughts. I go through the same motions once every 3 months or so. But wait until your little one arrives and you'll have something to post about every day. There's always something new and exciting going on that you will want to show the world. Atleast that's how it is for me. My daughter Evelyn is on the verge of walking but not quite and I posted a video yesterday because it was exciting to me. Even though she's not really walking it's a big deal in my world. Anywho, a longwinded way of saying I feel ya!

communikate. said...

yes, i think we've all felt this at some point or another. i totally understand the pressure, and the also the irritation of blogging.

i like your "no pictures" take on things. i think it'll be great either way.

Janssen said...

It is so easy to get burned out, isn't it? And to over think every bit of the blogging process. Good luck finding a place that works for you - pictures or not :)

megan danielle said...

i agree with and love all of this!

aislin said...

thank you for taking the time to write your heart out and just be you. one of the amazing things i've discovered about blogging is reading your own thoughts on someone else's blog! it's shocking! and then you go, "oh wait, we're sort of all in this together. in some way, shape, or form."
stay true to you and it'll all be okay :)

steph said...

do it! that's what i do. there's a reason i only have 30 some odd followers, because i don't want to deal with having a "real blog." sam you can do it!

Jenna said...

I had similar blogging burnout a while ago. I felt compelled to respond to all my commenters, read everyone's blog and comment, and post amazing stuff. Then I realized it's not about everyone else. It's MY blog and (this sounds narcissistic but it's true) it's about ME. So now I do what I want and I don't worry anymore.

I can't afford to.

Anyway, the other day a guy in my choir told me he reads my blog. I was like, "Oh! Cool!" and he was like, "Is that weird when people come up to you randomly and say that?" and I was all, "No ... it's awesome."

I totally own my blogging thang.

Mr. Taylor and his Lady said...

i love this, because it's true! we need to have a blogging cleanse every once in a while. and blogging is weird, but we need to own up to it ;)
xo TJ

Elle Keeps Moving said...

love this and you.

Emily W said...

Don't get me wrong, the pictures you post are great and a lot of fun, but I keep reading every post because of what you write, and how you try to be so real and yourself. I love it!

Abby said...

My favorite blogs are the ones that are more about words than photos. You always have a nice mix of both but really, the photos aren't necessary. I think most of us will take you any way we can get you. :)

Emily said...

I completely agree with everything you said! When someone tells me they found my blog my initial reaction is "ooo that's embarrassing" when in reality it should be something I'm proud of, I may not have the best pictures or most followers but its me and who I am and for some reason those 89 people want to follow me for me.At times it does get hard trying to figure out what to write about but just do what you need to do for yourself and your life! I have thought what it would be like to delete my blog or just disappear and I think it would be really, really hard.

Annton Beate Schmidt said...

totally love this and have to say; it is the same with doing art. sometimes there is so much to tell and I am willing, almost driven to share. then again, there are these shy and silent times. something I have learnt over all those years; every tiny bit of it is part of the deal. one comes with the other and does not work without it. listening to your inner voice is the only way to handle things and it is smart and healthy to do so. I like your words as much as the pics. I will return, no matter what.

Erin said...

You go, girl!

As long as you don't leave us completely and give us a bump shot every once and a while. :)

Caitlin said...

I know exactly what you mean and I've felt it a lot, especially lately! For the record I am much more drawn to blog posts that are externalized thoughts rather than endless photos (not that yours have ever been so)...so I'm eager to learn more about YOU. <3

Noelani said...

I love the whole 'blog cleanse' idea, and will be sticking around through it all. I personally love it when a blogger writes for THEM and not for followers, or what their readers want.

xoxo,
Noelani

eighteenthofmay said...

I am one of those randomers who reads your blog and I think that it's amazingly brave to go back to just words, I too, even though I have only been blogging for a little while, feel a pressure to always put up amazing sets of photos for each post.

Love,

Say :)

Simply Valorie said...

Yes! Blog for yourself! Don't feel a pressure to blog because you "have to." Don't even blog every day if you don't want to. None of us will be heartbroken if you decide to only post 4 times or 3 times or - gasp - one time a week! We'll stick by you. :) Looking forward to reading what's coming up.

Allison said...

I wouldn't even feel like you have to post 5 days a week. Feeling like you 'have to' takes all the fun out of it! I prefer reading real things that just the 'getting my daily post in' vibe, y'know?

wildchild said...

just write, girl. don't worry about fancy pictures. all i wanna see is your cute little baby bump every once in a while :)

Heather B {dreaming big} said...

A resounding "Amen" was heard from the choir and congregation!

Natasha Louise said...

I completely agree with you, blog what you want and actually when you want, after all it's your blog, what's it really matter what anyone else thinks. I think you are awesome with or without the pictures :)

Natasha Louise said...

I completely agree with you, blog what you want and actually when you want, after all it's your blog, what's it really matter what anyone else thinks. I think you are awesome with or without the pictures :)

Merrick said...

I totally agree with everything you said. I get burned out all the time, and only enjoy blogging when I do it more for me than for my audience.

Don't worry -- I'll still read your blog, pictures or not :)

Annie said...

haha, embarrassing for you? what about us?!
"Oh! have you heard about YPIL?!"
"No."
"Oh well it's this girl, I don't actually know her, but she has this awesome husband and she's awesome, and she's an art therapist and I wish I could take a class from her and her husband, who I also don't know, is a cool film maker! and she was married before but now she's with this guy who is perfect for her and they are so happy together and now they are pregnant!! and I'm so happy for them! and,"
"And you know all that but you don't really know either of them?"
...
haha see? you're right! Blogging is just weird! but if we all love the weirdness then it's ok, right?
:) Anyway, I completely agree with you. I can see how you're following of enthusiastic readers can put the pressure on to produce more posts they will love but like you said it needs to still serve the purpose you started it for.
Do what you need to do and we'll be here to read about it and love it if it suits you to share it with us- in any format. :)

Erin said...

I've had many of the same thoughts lately. My husband and I are entering an entirely knew way of life recently and my blog now, although it's less than a year old, doesn't feel exactly right anymore. I almost want to start over with a completely new blog... a new idea... a better idea??

Anyway, I love your blog with or without pictures. I hope that, whatever you decide to do, you are happy. :)

Kylie said...

I think this is a great idea! As a blog reader I do love seeing cute pictures, but I never commit to following a blog unless I also get to hear the story behind the picture. The words in a post are my favorite part. Good for you for making this change for yourself!

Emma said...

you are such a great writer sam, your blog will remain fabulous no matter what. there is nothing worse than feeling the pressure to blog 5 days a week when you're feeling uninspired. i finally had to just tell myself that if i don't have anything to post then i don't have to post! it is liberating.

Faith said...

absolutely nothing wrong with that. if a blog cleanse is what you need, def. do that. blogging def. gets overwhelming but if you remember why you started in the first place then it makes it a lot easier to continue.

Olivia.Dee said...

cleanse away! and that embarrassment you feel when people talk about it... i know that well.

zlb said...

being someone who has been reading your blog since before your divorce . . . I say WRITE ON dear Sammy! I love your words most of all! Give me a blog with substance and thought any day over cute pics (though I do love your pics!) I think a blog should be about sharing things with the world that produce more light, and your words (even when you are having a bad day), do that. And since its been an awfully long time since I've commented on your blog I'MSOFREAKINGEXCITED for you and Chazzy boy to be parents. I'm so happy for you guys! Love you both. Zina

Allie said...

Girl I'm with you! I am just being able to own the whole "i blog" thing. And plus I just love your outfits so it's all good!

Urban Wife said...

Such great thoughts! I will continue to read faithfully and love what you have to say, pictures or not. Be blessed. :)

Kimberly said...

Amen, sister.

laurenjeanallece said...

For what it's worth, I think your blog is amazing - never feel embarrassed! That's the fun of blogging is getting to know people you might not have known otherwise, realizing (when people are honest and forthcoming on their blog) that you're not alone in life's happiness and joy AND its trials and tribulations! It's a community that even 10 years ago wasn't even possible and now? It's incredible!

Thank you for being honest and letting us all in on the fun of your life, it truly is inspiring!

Mia said...

To be honest, I normally skip your pictures, and just read your posts. It's your WRITING that I read, not the pictures. :)

Maggie said...

I love this post! How true every word is. I love reading what you have to say and I agree that it is so easy to get caught up in what you think it should be.

Thank you for vocalizing what I've been thinking. Makes me not feel so alone in this blogging world :)

M. Flynn said...

The other day I was writing a post that I really wanted to write and I panicked because I didn't have a picture to accompany it. But I left it out and no one cried! Writing will always be my biggest passion, so I know exactly where you're coming from.

The Dayleys said...

Thanks for sharing! I love your sweet little blog. And I'm very excited to follow along during your cleanse :)

Tara @ Beautiful Blendings said...

I have definitely felt the need for the cleanse, the embarrassment and the pressure to come up with "interesting" posts each week.

But YAY for the fact that you're going to stay true to yourself. Writing is so important. Just for you.

Chris said...

The closer you make your blog more "you" the better it will be!

Or at least the more satisfying it will be :)

I will still be here for ya, pictures or no pictures!!

My Songbook said...

um, and the last comment was from me! lol- this "signing in" thing is really becoming a problem.

candace said...

sometimes i feel the same way about being a mom--that is embarrassed, or torn between being a mom they way I want to be one and the way others want me to be one. When people ask what I do, I still reach for the "editor at a magazine," line. What's the deal?? am I not super proud of what I'm doing? no, I totally am. so why can't I just admit that to the world? If only I wasn't so tired/lazy/unshowered I could start a domestic diva revolution. go moms. and go bloggers who blog the way they want to!

The Egg said...

blogging is totally weird and when i find myself explaining it to people who aren't in the "blogging community", i sound like a freak. but let's face it....they are inspirational in so many ways! the biggest thing for me is getting out of my comfort zone and accepting that people might not like my blog. haters gonna hate!!! but its brought me confidence in other areas of my life and gets my creative juices flowing.

just stumbled across yours and i'm glad i did. keep on bloggin' sistah!

xoxo the egg out west.

Tania said...

I'm new to this blogging world and I feel you all the way! I have few followers and few visits a day sometimes even none and I wonder why do I keep posting?! Your post is just what I needed today, and believe me when I tell you don't stop you are really inspiring to people, or well at least to me. On regards to the photos... oh pretty please keep them coming at least sometimes (specially with your bum and little cryings on its way)

lots of love and blessings

Emily Baker said...

giirrrllll, great idea. Glad you're doing this. Sometimes it is necessary to take steps like these.

Kari said...

Sam,

I LOVE this post and can relate to it so much. I wrote a post along these same lines a couple months ago called, "blah blah BLOG," in which I talked about how blogging is weird. I actually had a little shout-out to you in that post--saying that you're one one of the bloggers that I really connect to and enjoy the most.

I love writing. It's what I spent 4 years of college doing. It's what I spent 3 years of teaching doing. Blogging is hard, though, because I feel like nobody cares what I have to write unless I have amazing pictures to go with it--that's why I've decided I'm not one of the "big bloggers" out there.

Anyway, I just wanted to say I totally "GET" you...and I like you for who you are and what you say...not just because all your pictures are always adorable!

:)

Alexis Kaye said...

I'm a really firm believer that blogs don't need pictures. I don't think that's what they were created for. Don't let it become stressful! I like your blog too much for you to give up on it!

Abby said...

I love your thoughts! You are such a positive influence in my life, and will keep reading pictures or none. Blogging is a weird thing... I always dream about being like one of the "cool" bloggers. I would spend hours looking at them all or wishing that my life what like theirs. But then I started to feel insecure and like the unpopular kid in school aka. blogger world. And that's not what it is supposed to be about. What I am saying is that I think it is good to take blogging breaks or reassess things every once in awhile. xoxo

Lindsey Leitner said...

I love your thoughts and I loved this post.

I think it is really important to blog for you. I will definitely keep reading whether or not there are pictures.

Elise Frederickson said...

I love this post. I needed this, I need a blog cleanse. You're brilliant.

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