At Christmas I took a little break from the blog… In the middle of January I told you about how I was struggling to get back into blogging. Six months later and I’m still struggling. It’s not that I have lost my mojo, I have ideas popping into my head all the time (the 106 posts in my drafts folder prove that) but I’m struggling to get it all out of my head and onto the screen in a legible format.
For the last few weeks I have been doing a bit of soul searching and try to figure out exactly why I am in this funk. I have been trying to answer one simple question.
Why Do I Blog?
So far I came up with two main points that have been getting to me.
When I first started writing this particular blog it was because I wanted to share with the world what life is like in our house. Our home is filled with such variety (I had teenagers, a baby, girls, boys, medical issues, a larger than average family) that I hoped sharing our life could reach someone, even just one person, and let them know that their own life is completely normal. That not everything is Pinterest perfect and to put it very bluntly, being a parent is sometimes, well, a little bit shit!
But it is that fact that is now holding me back from sharing. Life with teenagers in the house can be very full on in general but over the last few months we have had to deal with something that could quite possibly change one of our children’s lives (don’t panic it sounds very dramatic but nobody’s ill or dying). This isn’t a story I can share, not at the moment at least. But when something is all consuming to my time and energy everything else seems so mundane and by writing about anything else feels almost like I’m lying, doing the exact opposite of what I set out to do in the first place!
The second thing which has been bothering me is that I think the need for perfection is weighing me down.
When I first started blogging it was because I’ve always loved writing. I usually write creatively, mostly icky horror type strories, but having a baby in the house made gory thoughts impossible for some reason. writing down stories that were relevant to my life at the time gave me the ability to keep my brain active.
In the beginning I knew nothing of making ‘pinnable images’ or even adding a photo to every single post. I din’t end every post with an open question, to invite comments. I knew zilch about key words and SEO, follow and no follow links. You know, all the words that make your brain explode if you know nothing about t’interwebz and try to think about them too hard.
I used to sit down to write a post to tell a story, nothing else, like this post from February 2014. No image, no SEO, not even an internal link. It’s a okay post, which was seen by about 12 people! But it was the post I wanted to write and thought about nothing other than the words.
Now, when I write, I get stuck up on choosing perfect images, tall, skinny ones just right for Pinterest, landscape ones for the blog and twitter. I spend hours thinking up titles which might have a bit of click bait potential. All my time seems to get lost on the behind the scenes stuff and very little gets spent on the actual creativity part.
For the sake of my sanity I just need to concentrate on the story and blinking well write. I am not lying when I share the fun, happy days, we have those days. In the grand scheme of life most of our days are fantastic in one way or another, I just need to stop letting the bad moments in those days overshadow everything else.
Having teenagers means they have to have a say in what you share about them online. how can I tell their story when they don’t want to tell it themselves, especially when people we know read here. I have to choose wisely and ask permission before letting anything embarrassing out into the ether. They have the right to veto anything, even if that means I have to scrap some or even all of a REALLY good post! But that doesn’t mean I can’t write about general family things.
I also need to stop striving for perfection. So what if a post has a slightly blurred picture, have you ever tried taking a picture of five kids and having them all looking in the same direction with their eyes open and no funny faces? So what if it’s a bit short, or longer than recommended (said at almost 800 words long!). As long as it shares what I wanted to get out that should be all that matters.
From here on in I’m going to try not to get hung up on all the little things, but for now, here’s that all important Pinterest image for you. I know, I can’t help myself!