Many of you have followed along my sporadic blogging journey for a while now. I appreciate that any of you are back after all the stop-and-go, unreliable nonsense that's gone on in the past. I would go on writing sprees when I felt inspired and blame life for getting in the way when I stopped for weeks, sometimes months at a time.
But life was never really the problem.
Sometimes you need to take that big step back to stare at the magic picture puzzle for a while to figure out what it is you aren't seeing. I was nose-to-page for years on end, and I couldn't understand why I couldn't fix my love/hate relationship with blogging.
After half a year away, I think I finally have some answers:
- I didn't know why I was blogging - This is the big one. I didn't understand why I wanted to blog, and my reasons for blogging were constantly shifting. Sometimes it was for voyeurism. Sometimes it was for a small level of "fame" and for followers. For a long time it was a constantly failing attempt at making a living as a professional blogger. I was often trying to make a brand of myself, mostly by trying to be someone I wasn't.
It was never about me showing my authentic self. It was never about being a passionate writer. It was never about showing the work in progress. But it is now, and that is one reason I'll finally be around to stay.
- I didn't know how to blog - This is still somewhat true. I'm certainly no expert, but I am at least making an effort to learn more about blogging. For a very long time, I wouldn't take any steps to discover new blogging skills. I wasn't invested in the process. I was always half-assing it. I'd gawk at all these well designed blogs with stunning content, but never dreamed of taking the necessary steps to turn my blog into the sort of beautiful vision I longed for.
I'm slowly chipping away at the pantheon of blog knowledge out there now, and getting a grip on what I'm doing here. Luckily for me, I've decided I'm mostly about being my writerly self, so I can leave the more fancy-schmancy blog stuff to the real pros.
- I refused to plan ahead - I wrote content, and I published it hastily, usually within minutes of writing it. I would sometimes pretend I was going to "get ahead" by making myself a shoddy editorial calendar of what I ought to post for the month, but I never seemed to get around to writing the content. Part of that was linked to trying too hard to be someone I wasn't (the crafty, DIY blogger that takes gorgeous step-by-step photos, ha!), but part of it was a pure lack of motivation and passion (Re: #1).
Taking a step back allowed me to really get my butt into planning mode, not just for posts but for an overall vision of what an authentic, true-to-myself blog looks like. I have such a better idea of what I want my blog to be now, and a work-in-progress plan on how to keep it going strong.
I used to come crawling back to my blog time and again to resurrect it from the depths of internet silence. But this time is not about resurrection. This time is about rebirth.