28 October 2015

Where I've Been & Where I'm Going

Over the past year, I’ve slaved over my blog. No, scratch that.

I became a slave to my blog.

In the process of simply trying to document my life as a real mom, I somehow lost my focus. I guess it’s inevitable, right? You start punching out post after post after post. Your readership, following and stats begin to skyrocket. You begin to get offers from other bloggers to partner and collaborate on projects, link-ups and the like. News outlets and other publishers begin to reach out, wanting to share your posts on their sites while promoting your work. It’s every bloggers dream, right? This is supposedly what we all work so hard to accomplish, right? What we put our time, sweat and tears into. For most bloggers, it’s the dream. But for me…

I walked away and left it all behind. At the drop of a hat, I closed my laptop and simply…stopped.

There were a few things that factored into my decision to step away from blogging. Our family moved back in June and at the time, I needed to focus on the move, my family and our daughter. This move in particular was hard on Maddy and I felt that at the end of the day, she was my biggest priority. She deserved all my time and attention, but it was bigger than that.

For over a year I worked my blog hard. Day in and day out, I worked on pumping out new material on a daily basis. In order to do that, I stayed up late many nights when I should have listened to my body which was telling me to rest. I sacrificed time in the evening with Michael after Maddy went to bed because I just had to have a post for the next day. I turned down invites to go out with friends and all but crushed my social life because my only free time to blog was in the evenings and on the weekends. I overextended myself to make connections and to be involved in every aspect possible that would give me and my blog an advantage and upper hand, and while my work did pay off in many aspects, it also drained me – mentally, emotionally and physically. I was exhausted.

And for what?

At the end of the day, what was I really doing and accomplishing that was so important for me to make so many sacrifices for? To take time away from my family for? To neglect my daughter and friends for?

As much as we like to think that what we’re doing as bloggers is life changing for someone, somewhere, the reality and cold hard truth is that it’s just blogging. And in forgetting this one simple fact, I lost my focus and my priorities.

And do you know what the funny thing is?

For all the time and energy I put into making sure my blog was a success, in the time that I’ve been away not publishing new material, not collaborating with other bloggers, not promoting or marketing my blog in any way shape or form, my page views and stats have tripled over the last four months.

Tripled.

For doing…nothing.

So as I ease myself back into the blogging world, I do it this time a little wiser, a little more focused and definitely with my priorities in place. I will write and publish as I’m inspired to do so and will not feed into the craziness or anyone’s expectations of what a successful blog does or doesn’t do to stay on top.

The only person I intend to please is me because in the end, this is really where my heart and life is and what really matters most.

The rest is just blogging and I’m okay with that.
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

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