I have been sad to see some of the top bloggers find blogging too much and press the pause button. One of the first hints of trouble in blogland was when I read about Erin's plan to embrace the Slow Blogging Movement on Design for Mankind a few years ago. Erin had been blogging for years and found she wanted less - less keeping up with the internet and more story-telling from the heart. Then there were lots of rumbles about how other social media was taking over and spelling the death of blogging. And most recently, I was sad to read about the blogging break that John and Sherry from Young House Love (one of my faves) needed to take. They were finding it difficult to produce as many posts following the birth of their second child in April. I read YHL daily so they have been sorely missed. Even more disturbing, however, were the negative comments left on their blog bashing them for everything from their taste in decorating, to their attitude, to the supposed decline in quality of posts. I have yet to understand why someone would read a blog they didn't like and appreciate and take the time to write a comment stating their opinions.
When I started blogging four years ago things seemed a little different. Blogging was more relaxed, the relationships seemed more like you were chatting over the fence with a neighbour. Over the years I've seen things change around blogland. I've noticed things are more competitive, more perfect, and busier these days. Now a blogger is expected to not only create quality original posts on their blog, but also keep up with all the social media platforms as well. When the expectations are so high it can only lead to burnout and frustration.
At the same time I see lots of bloggers wanting to change things - make it simpler and more personal. I don't know where blogging will be in 10 or 20 years, but I do know that there is lots to love about blogging.
I've recently embraced Pinterest and love it as a place to collect ideas and inspiration. I love to follow some of my favourite bloggers on Instagram and get little glimpses into the day-to-day business of their lives (okay I'll admit it, I'm nosey). I don't really know much about Twitter and I avoid Facebook as it is so confusing and there is so much negative stuff on it. Like blogging though, all these social media platforms to a greater or lesser extent allow you to tell a short story, post a photo or two, document projects/life/inspiration, and engage in some interaction with followers.
So what does blogging do well? Why do I keep blogging? Where is the joy in blogging?
Blogging allows for a place to write about what I'm creating and to find inspiration at the same time. Blogging (unlike with other social media) allows you to expand on your ideas, to tell a story, to teach something, to put a personal spin on the inspiration.
This past winter was a difficult one for me. I blogged like it was my second job right up until my father passed away just before Christmas and then I stalled. I had ideas, but no energy to focus them into a post. The weather was terrible and our dog was sick (and then passed away) and I just seemed to need to cocoon. My husband and I spent our time (when we weren't at work) engrossed in watching Korean dramas together. We shored each other up together in our mutual obsession with a nation on the other side of the world and with actors and actresses we didn't know. When summer came and life settled down, I was ready to blog again. I realized I had missed it, I wanted to take pictures with a purpose. I wanted to go through the creative process, and do fun projects around the house, and make things pretty on purpose.
Blogging for me is just a hobby so I'm not under the pressure that John and Sherry from Young House Love are, but in order to remain motivated for over four years I had to ponder what engages me and makes me want to blog. Here's what I came up with:
What's my take-away from all this pondering. First, I do like blogging for all the reasons I listed above. Secondly, I should try shorter posts - one picture and a few sentences - since that seems to be the modern modus operandi. Blog like it is Instagram. And finally, I need to take the time to leave comments on blogs that I visit. You never know when that blogger friend just might need to know that they were doing a great job and are appreciated.
What are your thoughts on the state of blogging? Why do you blog?