blogging is hard, ya heard?
i try not to write things anymore that will get me in trouble.
but this might.
the internet is all atwitter over this NYT article 'when blogging becomes a slog'. it cites john and sherry petersik, bloggers at young house love, as poster kids for a new age of blogging, where the sentiment seems to be 'blogging is hard, yal.' (those are my quotes, not theirs, or NYT's).
the article includes several other bloggers who lament that generating new content is tough, blogging makes their houses messy and that they can't balance the interwebs with real life.
yes. blogging isn't always easy. but good lord - it's a job that pays and the perks are:
-you do it from your home
-you are your own boss
-you set your own schedule
-you share with readers things you LOVE
-you decide what to write about, and not
-it's not rocket science
the business of blogging has changed tremendously since i started 8 years ago, but the fundamentals of writing a blog have not. you share what you love.
blogging is about sharing. it's because you have an ego that tells you people should care about what you think and do. that's why we hit publish. otherwise you could keep your DIYs and handbag purchases to yourself and go work in a cubicle. it's sharing because you think people should care, and when they do, that feels good so you share again.
my blog now serves as a journal of my life. i can look back and see what i was doing 5 years ago, if my hair was in a good place, how big my dog was, what made me laugh on youtube, where i'd traveled and what handbag i wanted. and what i had for breakfast. this is actually invaluable to me.
so, when it gets hard, i lay off for a while. i might go a day or two and not blog. it's usually because i'm focusing on something else (furbish). my blog makes money now. my business - which is an offshoot of my blog, also makes money. a lot of people who started blogging when i did make a lot more money than i do, exclusively blogging. i don't know if that's sustainable, so i started a company that allows me to take sharing the stuff i love with people to the next level. we'll see in a few years what the right choices were (i'm defining right by earning a comfortable income, and personal daily contentment). i feel optimistic if this trend of 'blogging is hard' continues that i made the right choice. (also, who knows if this is really a trend. the article quotes 3 or 4 bloggers, and i realize a majority that does not make.)
if i sound sanctimonious, i don't mean to. i want to convey that i feel lucky, and challenged and satisfied.
a friend asked me at dinner the other night what i hated about my blog, and my job. i said nothing. i would be a fool to hate this. what's tough is deciding how much of yourself to give, and to where. how much to share for free and how much to share for profit. when to take a sponsorship or when to turn it down because it's not for you, or your readers.
BUT I AM NOT SAVING LIVES. nor am i slaving away for a dumb boss, or commuting 2 hours in traffic everyday (poor brian meares). i am not bored, i am not taken advantage of, i'm not nervous that i did something wrong, i am not dressing business casual, i am not surrounded by people i don't respect, have nothing in common with or despise, and i am not worried about my vacation time or how i'll get to my doctor's appointment unnoticed.
the best quote in the article, from pam kueber, makes my point more eloquently:
A passion turns into a hobby, which becomes a full-time career. “And in some predictable period of time, it consumes your life and sucks the joy out if it,” said Ms. Kueber, finishing the arc. “That last part of the Shakespearean tragedy is what you have to be mindful of not letting happen.”
it's all relative. if john and sherry want to take time off, enjoy! they're laughing all the way to the bank at the haters who think they sold out. i hope their money holds, and their lives are happy. but i don't think they need to serve as an example to, or of all of us who are blogging. if you can't maintain the oversharing, DIYing every corner of your house, responding to every comment and question, and churning out daily content, then don't. you don't have to complain it was too hard. just adapt to what you can do (as erin loechner explains she did in the article), do some other stuff too, and feel lucky you have people who care enough to check in and see what you're up to, and that you are making a living by sharing your creativity with readers who are interested.
be grateful bloggers. it could be much worse.
soap box dismounted. carry on.