Some Thoughts on Life and Blogging…

I’ve not been a very good blogger recently. This post was supposed to be a look back on October, with some of my favourite pictures from the month but it seems I blinked and we’re now two thirds of the way through November. The truth is I’ve been spending a lot more of my time over on Instagram recently. At the end of a long day with the kids, I just find it easier to sit down, choose a pretty picture, spill my thoughts out into a comment box and press send. It’s nice not to worry about SEO or Pinterest or promoting it on Facebook and Twitter like I might do for a blog post… on Instagram I just type and post. Obviously add a few hashtags but that’s basically it. I like the simplicity. Blogging is a lot more complicated than I anticipated when I first set up my WordPress account nine months ago.

beautiful october

When I started Blogging back in February, I loved it straight away. It was a creative outlet, something to primp and preen and make look pretty when my house looked like it had been ransacked by a gang of angry badgers and my face hadn’t seen a drop of make up in months. A little sanctuary, a place just for me. But I made the mistake that I think most bloggers do at some point or another, and it’s only natural really, but… I wanted more people to read it. 

In my search for readers I reached out to the blogging community and I discovered the world of linkies and blogging facebook groups and the thousands upon thousands of blogging tips posts that are out there, written by ‘blogging gurus’ and… well it was like falling down the rabbit hole. When people say blogging can be a full time job, they are wrong. Blogging, well blogging like they tell you to do it, is at least equivalent to two full time jobs.

beautiful october

Now if you read my blog or follow me on social media then you know… I have three crazy kids, we home educate, I don’t have a lot of spare time on my hands. But I tried anyway, I really did. For months I tried. I wanted to follow all the tips, I wanted to be consistent, I wanted to feel like my blog was good enough. But no matter how hard I worked at it, often at the expense of everything else, I always fell short. I couldn’t keep up with the posting schedules I set myself, I couldn’t juggle all of the different social media accounts, it was all just too much. And to be completely open with you, it left me feeling pretty shit about myself.

beautiful october

So I resolved not to care about any of that stuff anymore, and things started to get better. I never look at my stats these days, I have no idea how many people read my posts. That’s the way I like it and that’s the way it will stay. I care about the words, the pictures and the videos, I care about the lovely people who write me comments and messages, I care about all the memories with my children that I’m capturing… and that’s it.

beautiful october

It’s not easy to not care though to be honest. Not when you are a part of the blogging world. And for a while it put me off writing on here very often. I wouldn’t call myself a perfectionist but when I do something I like to do it properly. I’m usually all or nothing. And it was frustrating to feel like I wasn’t winning at blogging. I mean it’s not a competition… but sometimes it sure feels like it.

beautiful october

And so that’s how I’ve found myself drifting away from my blog and gravitating more towards the beautiful and welcoming world of Instagram. Which I love, I really do. And looking back on all the pictures from the last couple of months all I see is happy memories and fun days out. Not stressing about writing specific posts or doing linky comments… just having fun and sharing what I want to share. Which is what it was always supposed to be about.

beautiful october

But I want to get back to writing on my blog more often. We have some lovely things coming up before the end of the year that I am really excited to share on here. And you know, it’s not just about sharing the exciting things that we do… just sitting here and writing out all my thoughts, it feels really good. I still love blogging, just not the version of blogging that I was getting pulled into.

But now I’m aiming for balance, I refuse to feel bad about my blog any more. So I’m setting myself some blogging ground rules. From here on out I’m making some promises to myself.

beautiful october

I promise that I will only write when I want to write. I will only write about things that I want to write about. I will never write a post because I feel like I should, because everyone else is writing those kind of posts, because I think it’s what other people want to read, because people might search for it on google, or because someone has given me a free pack of ham (it’s not that I won’t accept sponsored posts and reviews, I’ve worked on some amazing projects that I’ve really enjoyed, it’s more about whether I actually want to write the post or not).

beautiful october

And so here ends my struggle with juggling blogging and life, or so I’m hoping (rather optimistically perhaps). I am not a pro blogger, I’m not a super blogger, I’m not a social media influencer. I’m a Mum. One who happens to like taking pictures, making videos and writing about life on the internet. A Mum who embraces social media and loves using it as a way to connect with people. A Mum who gets over excited when she has a great day out or finds the perfect bobble hat for the kids and just wants to share it with the world. A Mum who needs to write so she can organise her thoughts. A Mum who sometimes feels invisible to the rest of the world and just wants to make her tiny little mark.

beautiful october

All my fellow bloggers, I’d love to know how blogging makes you feel. Do you ever struggle with feeling like a rubbish blogger? Have you managed to come to terms with it? I know not everyone feels the pressure the same way that I do, and lots of people seem to be much better with dealing with it than I am.

beautiful october

Thank you to everyone who has ever read one of my posts, whether you were doing it because my post was before yours in a linky or because you’re my Mum or Sister or even because you genuinely wanted to. I appreciate you all. Especially the ones that leave comments and chat to me on Insta and Facebook, you guys are my favourites.

beautiful october

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27 Comments

  1. November 19, 2016 / 7:24 pm

    “A Mum who sometimes feels invisible to the rest of the world and just wants to make her tiny little mark” – yep! I started blogging in March and whilst I thought it would be awesome if I got some cool holidays/products to test/brand collaborations out of it, that wasn’t really my goal. I’ve never looked at my stats, have no idea who or how many people read my posts (if any!) and don’t SEO anything. My main purpose for blogging is to document our days of family life, fun and adventure and the not so good bits too, because I’m all about authenticity. I’d still love for it to take off and become a full time career but I know that it’s not going to happen unless I put in the work and right now isn’t the right time. You’ve hit the nail on the head with your post – I’m so glad you’re feeling better about your promises to yourself 🙂 I really enjoy reading your blog and seeing your images pop up in my Instagram feed, so keep doing what you’re doing!

    • November 20, 2016 / 12:59 pm

      I love the honesty of this blog post and I’ve got to say after only strating my blog less than a year ago lots of what you have wrote echoed from my own experiences. Thakyou for sharing xx

  2. November 19, 2016 / 8:40 pm

    I ruddy love this!! I fell into this trap last year and got lost and then reverted back pretty quickly to how I wanted it, my online diary. I love Instagram, it’s my favourite social media platform and I really enjoy looking at your photos and chatting to everyone – keep doing what you’re doing x
    Sherry recently posted…Family Outings {Ordinary Moments – 13/11/16}My Profile

  3. November 19, 2016 / 9:59 pm

    I realised recently that you hadn’t been around much. This post really made sense to me – when you have so much in your life and so little time it’s hard to find the time to dedicate to something like this – or even the inclination. IG is great for popping in and out of and I can completely see it’s appeal. Plus, blogging ends up competitive without even trying, everything is geared towards making things better and bigger and more popular and ticking as many boxes as possible – it’s exhausting.
    I love your blog, I have done since I first read it and I’ll keep reading it for all the reasons I started to read. I don’t get much time to check in on IG – as the blog is all consuming! But, I will pop over and say hello over there every so often too xx

  4. November 19, 2016 / 10:05 pm

    I love this! Thanks for being so honest and open. I completely agree – I didn’t check my stats for ages and it made me feel much better about it all.

  5. November 19, 2016 / 10:12 pm

    This is such an incredibly beautiful piece, your photos are incredible, your children are incredible, you are incredible. In my real life I am a teacher. I tell my students they can’t be judged by levels and grades, they are so much more than a number, whatever number that may be. They are people with hopes and thoughts and dreams. People who have the power to alter the world, for better or for worse. The real test for me of whether I’ve succeeded in my blog is if I’ve managed to make someone feel. I’m still finding my feet, I’ll never have the most page views, or the biggest readership. I’m too stubborn. I like to write about what I want to write about. If my blog helps one person, if it makes a difference to just one I’ll be happy. That’s what I want to achieve x

  6. November 19, 2016 / 10:12 pm

    I feel exactly like this! I started blogging because I love to write, then I started becoming aware of things like DA, reach, rankings, and it felt like I had to be great stranger away like all these other people! But I have decided, as you have, not to worry about stats and just enjoy blogging, otherwise it just becomes another of life’s stresses. Xx

  7. November 19, 2016 / 10:23 pm

    I really love this post. You know I’m a huge fan of your Instagram and I’m so pleased that we’ve connected on there! I agree it really is more welcoming than “blogging” which can be such a solo thing which is really hard! Forcing yourself to write is impossible and I think readers can tell, so write for you xxxx

  8. November 19, 2016 / 10:27 pm

    What a wonderful post – thank you for sharing. I can totally relate to this right now.

    I also started blogging to get stuff off my chest; when my wife and I started TTC. It was a great outlet and I met some fantastic people.

    More recently, however, I’ve started to feel a bit shit. Like I’m not good enough. For who you ask? No idea. I see other bloggers get thousands of visits a month despite only starting their blog months ago and here I am blogging for years and I feel like a no one as I know my stats are lower. It’s very very easy to feel a bit crap.

    But then I tell myself; who am I writing for? Them or me? Me of course. I didn’t start writing to monetise my blog or even get a review or two, I wrote it for me. And that’s what I need to keep telling myself. So I’m going to stop thinking about stats or why I’m not getting as many emails, because at the end of the day it’s not why I started, and it’s certainly not why I want to finish.

    I’m sorry I’ve never stumbled across your blog before, like you I work full time on top of trying to get words out of my head and into a blog.

    Thank you again for this – it’s really helped me.

  9. November 19, 2016 / 10:30 pm

    Brilliant brilliant BRILLIANT. Yep. To all of it. Problem for me is I genuinely want to make an income from blogging and also pursue a career in writing. But I DO totally get this and have written a fair bit about blog angst myself. I love that you’ve come to a decision and found peace. Cos let’s face it, who the hell wants to write because they’ve got pulled into some ‘version of blogging’ (clever you…loved that) they don’t even like. Certainly not for a free pack of ham 🙂
    The photos are breakthtaking #UKParentBloggers

  10. November 19, 2016 / 10:35 pm

    You’ve really hit the nail on the head here. So easy and yet I bet most of us blog to escape things like KPIs and schedules in our real lives!

  11. November 19, 2016 / 10:54 pm

    This is a brilliant post. I’ve had my blog for three years and I still feel like this. I don’t have much time for blogging at the moment and when I do get time I always feel like I should write up the review posts I’ve got outstanding rather than writing something for me. I wish you all the luck with sticking to your new blogging goals – they sound eminently sensible! And the photos in this post are just gorgeous too.

  12. November 19, 2016 / 11:27 pm

    Such an honest post and so refreshing to read

  13. November 20, 2016 / 12:01 am

    I think you are doing amazingly well and you have nailed it. If after 9 months you can come to a place where you know exactly what you want from your blog and how it enhances your life then you are an uber successful blogger. After 8 years blogging I am back in the place where you stand, I want to blog to share, for fun, as an outlet and yes I make a bit of income but I don’t want that horrid title of pro blogger where you have to stress 24/7. Mich x
    Michelle Twin Mum recently posted…A Child Free Weekend in London – A Big Reason to be Cheerful!My Profile

  14. November 20, 2016 / 1:15 am

    This definitely resonated with me. I have been blogging since May and find the whole thing awfully consuming and I yo-yo between caring about blogging a lot and not caring at all. I am happy when I come back to see people still care, but I haven’t got the time to dedicate a good few hours to writing, scheduling, photographing, reviewing etc. Its easy to get wrapped up in it all, and it defeats the whole object of blogging in the first place (sounds like me and you both started blogging for the same reason!)

    I told my other half the other day that I can’t imagine ever being offered anything that I will actually care about enough to put myself under so much pressure. I applaud those who stick to it and dedicate their lives to it because it is bloody hard work!

  15. November 20, 2016 / 1:50 am

    I started my blog this week and honestly I was NOT prepared for how complicated the ‘world of blogging’ is.
    I think I like your outlook a lot more (I still get ham though, right?!)

    Really lovely post and I adore your pics xx

  16. November 20, 2016 / 6:43 am

    I didn’t realise we started blogging at the same time! I thought you had been doing it way longer. You are doing great. I totally empathise, I do feel all the pressures you’ve described. I have a 1 year old, 4 year old, work part time and am a school governor and something always has to give and I don’t want it to be my kids. It’s really hard finding the balance. I love blogging but it’s just so hard to fit it all in!

  17. November 20, 2016 / 7:09 am

    I’m only two months in and, blimey, blogging land is scary and overwhelming. I started blogging because I thought I had something useful to tell people. And I’m loving throwing myself into the writing. It’s something that’s all mine and the opportunity to do something creative with my time. I’m finding myself getting sucked into all the other stuff that comes with it and it’s tough. Think I’m going to take after you and just focus on what I really want to do.

  18. November 20, 2016 / 8:42 am

    I always have some level of this, and have felt a lot of the feelings you describe! I always said I’d never look at my blog stats, and have always stuck to that-but recently I’ve just been twitching constantly to see what they are. Whenever I see a thread on a blogging group about it, I think ‘I wonder…’ and I’m finding it harder not to look. But I really don’t ever want to turn my blog into a comparison of other blogs. Like you, I never wanted to be involved with the constant social media promotion, I just wanted to type and publish. I’m starting to reign myself in again to do just that, because I was getting carried away again. I don’t want to make my blog a business, so there’s no need to put so much pressure on myself! I love your philosophy, and that you’re happy with your decision. Your pictures are beautiful, I could hardly drag my eyes away from them!!
    This Mum’s Life recently posted…The ‘Linky Linky,’ With Life Love and Dirty Dishes!My Profile

  19. November 20, 2016 / 10:59 am

    I’ve been round and about with this whole conundrum so many times. I think that once you’ve been sucked it to the blogging world, it’s very hard to completely change your mindset but I think I did manage to about a year or so ago. I’ve now started a new blog and after 3 months I’m beginning to feel that pull of wanting more readers, that you talk about. I really don’t want to get sucked back in though so I’m telling myself not to. I don’t want that life again – feeling as though I *have* to write certain posts or that people expect me to post 3 times a week. My new blog is about posting for me and is a form of therapy.

  20. November 20, 2016 / 12:56 pm

    A really really great post. You’ve pretty much summed up how I’ve been feeling since I found out I was pregnant back in May. I’ve been so busy and work full time something had to give and that has most definitely been the blog… I’ve been at it for 3 years now and I can keep up… or perhaps my inclination has waned massively. I’m still trying very hard not to get caught up in it and am definitely adopting your philosophy of writing when I can and want! Thank you for giving me a dose of perspective… I’m not alone!

  21. November 20, 2016 / 2:31 pm

    I love this post! We’ve talked before about this kind of thing so you know how I feel – I’m tired of it being a race and of thinking about stats and of keeping things pretty so that sponsors will like me; I just want to write for the fun of it. The comments on this post make me wonder if perhaps this sort of feeling is the norm now? Perhaps we’re all being blinded by the big blogs and not stopping to look around for the people who feel like us?

  22. November 20, 2016 / 3:21 pm

    I am virtually high fiving you right now. This post echoes so many of my thoughts and feelings. It is like falling down a rabbit hole and getting drawn into this world you knew nothing about!!! I’ve tried very hard to follow all the advice and like
    You I didn’t feel Good about myself or my
    Blog at all so I’ve reassessed what I want my blog to be about and focused on what I’m passionate about and that has reawakened my passion for blogging. I hope yours is too! Your pictures are wonderful! ❤️

  23. November 22, 2016 / 9:42 pm

    I am so tired right now from being poorly and up in the night with my poorly 7 month old, but I really wanted to thank you for this post. I’m only 2 months into blogging and it’s all hit me like a bus – I’m clinging on already as I love the writing but man the other admin to get people to actually read it! I enjoy it too but it’s so full on. I need to calm down as I don’t want to regret my mat leave and only remember starting up the blog… good luck with the balance. Your pics are beautiful! X

  24. November 29, 2016 / 11:53 am

    I can see why you like Instagram. Your photos are BEAUTIFUL. I LOVE all the colours. Everyone has autumn/winter photos at the moment and it is making me miss those seasons as we head into our HOT summer.
    Totally with you on this tho. I only blog for enjoyment and personal development. I have no financial or ‘business’ goals. Sure, it’s nice if people read what I have to say, but I’m quite happy enjoying the interaction I am having already. I never set out with bigger goals so I guess it’s fairly easy for me to manage.
    Plus I have a house to run and a job to get on with, so there’s that!

  25. November 30, 2016 / 3:58 pm

    I’ve been meaning to comment on this post since reading it last week. I love your blog, your words and pictures are stunning. I can totally relate to this and wrote a similar post a few months ago.

    I think we want so much from our blogs, we want to do our best. I have so many thoughts and ideas that I know would be amazing for my blog. However with two young children and my third due in weeks I’ve come to the realisation that maybe it’s just not my time right now and maybe that’s the same for you.

    It doesn’t mean I’m going to stop blogging and il try as hard as I can with it, but I’m going to be kind to myself and try and keep in mind that one day I will be able to dedicate more time to it and hopefully I can do myself proud.

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