When I posted “Scaling Back” in April I felt nervous. I worried I had overshared, that readers might think I was just whining, that maybe I hadn’t let my ideas ferment long enough before sharing them. What I didn’t anticipate was the outpouring of support and interest that post generated. Friends and longtime readers shared with me that they appreciated my feelings and honesty and hoped I could find a new way to approach blogging that felt more authentic to me.
I’m happy to say that in the two months since I hit publish on that post I’ve made some real progress toward reshaping my vision of what I’d like this blog to be. That’s what this post is going to be about, but before I get into anything else, I want to say thank you to everyone who took the time to write a thoughtful comment on or to talk to me about the ideas I presented in that last post. You guys are awesome!
In the first few weeks after I decided to scale back the blog I felt a feeling of relief and freedom. Gone was the feeling that I had to spend every free moment of my time working on growing my readership or producing content. I had the time to play video games, to laze around and do nothing for an afternoon, even to clean my condo! It really highlighted to me how important it is to take time for yourself.
But after the first few weeks I started to get bored, and I remembered why I started my blog in the first place. Saying my blog is my creative outlet doesn’t quite cover why I need it in my life. My blog is also my catalyst, my reason to pick up a pen and paper and write poetry, to explore new fashion and styles, to keep trying new recipes and crafting healthy ways of living. Without the impetus to blog, I felt a bit lost. I would think: sure I could write some poetry today, but I could also do it tomorrow and watch a marathon of Fixer Upper right now. More and more I found myself falling into pits of laziness and procrastination. It was then that I realized just how much motivation my blog gave me. The sheer nature of needing to produce new content held me accountable for the creative, healthy, stylish lifestyle I wanted to live.
I decided I had to come back to blogging, but that I needed to do it a way that felt authentic. After some thought, I’ve decided on a new content strategy. What can you as a reader expect? I’ve axed fashion and style posts that were just conglomerations of affiliate likes (Trending Tuesday and Weekly Favorites). I’ve decided to reduce the number or recipes I’m posting, which will allow me to take more time and care crafting the ones I do post, and I’m adding in a Weekly Wellness Challenge to bring wellness and fitness more into the the spotlight. Living a healthy lifestyle is a big part of my life, and one I’d like to feature more prominently on the blog. And finally, I’ve committed to posting much more poetry and book reviews, as I mentioned in my last post. My current goal is two literary posts per week.
I’m also mentally committing myself to go easier on myself about my content schedule. If life gets too busy, I’ll post less. And that’s fine. Blogging is a creative hobby, not a job. And speaking of that, in my last post I talked about how I disliked that vain pursuit of self promotion at the heart of blogging. I’ve been thinking about this since then, and I’ve realized that by producing authentic content I can turn self promotion into self expression, which is fundamentally different in a very important way. I will always be a creative, expressive person, and that’s something I’m happy to highlight on this blog. I think steering clear of things like monetization, following trends for the sake of following trends, and McBlogger culture, I can be truly self expressive in a way I’ll be very happy with.
I hope you join me on that journey. Thanks for reading.