I adore this quote.
I have nothing against bloggers monetizing from their writing, quite the opposite, even if it's just not for me right now. So I don't want this to come across as such a post that is bashing that, as I know it's a sensitive topic in the blogging community. Whether you decide to make money through your blog or not, it does not define you as a real blogger, or even a good one. It's simply a personal choice, an added element that some opt into.
But sometimes people get lost with their writings, for various reasons -whether your blog is your hobby or your job. Bloggers get stressed out, worn out, upset with themselves if they don't meet their own high standards and don't post as much as they feel they should. It's YOUR blog at the end of the day, it's your art, it's your baby. Don't forget that. Enjoy it. Stop being your own worse critic. If you can't update it as much as you would like to, or as much as you feel is the norm -so? (Especially common amongst us chronic illness bloggers). Why are you judging yourself against imaginary boundaries? Stop feeling guilty, just stop it. You are not letting yourself down or anyone else. There is no need to post the obligatory apology, "Sorry for not being around guys", and then explaining why you haven't been posting. I do this, and I hate myself for it. I think it's a habit we all need to get out of and it's something I have been learning to do. When you think about it, it's actually really egotistical... Like, we're simple bloggers at the end of the day. We are not surgeons, we're allowed a day off -and probably no one will notice. I don't mean that to sound harsh, I am simply being realistic about what we are achieving here. Sure, some posts change views, help people in some way or maybe brighten a day just a bit. But to think that society will collapse if we take time out to recharge, or that we owe anything to anyone in this way, is just silly.
I know this might be different though if you have advertisers relying on you, but if you ever get to the stage that your blog is depressing you, or even getting you down a bit -STOP. And think. It shouldn't be like that. And sometimes, it does get to that level. I've heard many people talk about their blogs like they are a depressive burden (in various online groups that I'm a member of). If you are struggling to keep up with advertiser's demands or deadlines and you are beginning to hate what you are doing -just STOP. Is it worth it? Is this what you wanted blogging to be? There must be a happy medium, maybe take less jobs on or have a break and write about something that you love. Perhaps something personal (those posts are scary, aren't they? They are also really liberating, and a good re-charge into getting your blogging mojo back).
When your blog becomes a dark cloud hanging over you, and you are spiraling further and further into doubt, writers block and the guilt cycle -just STOP. Don't stress, get back to basics here -it's just a blog. Breath deeply and repeat after me -
It's. Just. A. Blog.
It should be your happy space, your place to rant and air your views. And that is really all. If it helps other along the way -good. If you can and want to make money from it -good. If others read and enjoy it -good. But keep it simple. If you need a break, take it... I see too many bloggers take unintentional breaks and never return. It's disheartening and sad, and rarely the case that someone simply doesn't enjoy writing anymore (or photography, or whatever the blog is). It's the case that they feel they left it too long, their break went on longer than intended. They're guilty and embarrassed, as silly as that sounds.
On a side note, if you're a new blogger and need advice, mail me on my Facebook page. I would be happy to help in whatever way I can (although I'm no expert, obviously!). There's loads of good Facebook groups out there to seek advice from too, and it's a great way to feel part of the blogging community as a whole -being a part of a wider network is always helpful. Look for ones particularly for your country as well as international groups. Ones close to home are informative for things like blogging events and awards, and international ones have the advantage of building a wider base of general knowledge while also perhaps gaining a few readers who may not otherwise come across your site. Need a logo, help setting your blog up or design ideas? I would be happy to help (for completely free, obviously). See some of my stuff here and hit me up.
What your feeling is normal, but don't let your insecurities ruin your blogging if it's something you love.
And to all those potential writers/ photographers/ artists/ reviewers/ critics, who are waiting in the wings doing their "how to" research for months on end, carefully picking designs and logos and getting all in a tizzy about the process -just get to it. Enough planning! If you were waiting for a sign to start blogging, or just a kick up the arse,
this is it.
I imagine this possibly goes for all forms of writing -this stigma each and every one of us sets upon ourselves, the rules and high standards we make up in our heads... If you are a writer of other sorts, or indeed a fellow blogger, I would love to hear your thoughts about this in the comments section bellow.