Since for the last few weeks I have been hyping up Theme Thursdays, I feel I at least owe an explanation as to why I am not hyping it up this week. I quit. I really never quit things so I feel half guilty and half liberated saying that, calling it that.
My friend Jenn at Something Clever 2.0 came up with the fabulous idea of a bunch of bloggers all getting together to write their own versions on the same topic. I still love this idea, truly. Even when it was a topic that I felt out of place writing about like playgrounds, it was an interesting personal exercise to ask myself what I really thought about something that I might not ordinarily give a lot of thought to. I'd still like to jump in on some of their topics for the fun of it but probably won't out of respect for the process.
What brought me to the decision to jump ship was multi-fold. For starters, I couldn't give it the time and attention it required. Bloggers are verbal processors, clearly, and there was a lot of great energy backing this idea, which resulted in a lot of emails to filter through and increasingly tech savvy suggestions on how to better organize the whole shebang. I just don't always have (or want, for that matter) computer access or updates on my phone. I consider myself a bit of a tech minimalist; I have only had a smart phone for a year and a half and am still avoiding fancy things like iphones, skype, and "facetime" or whatever that is. And I am either on the computer at work for hours, resulting in not wanting to be on the computer more when I get home, or I am running around outside of the office all day and not available to respond to emails. Either way, I learned that lots of communication related to my blog overwhelms me. I need some email time to talk about last night's tv shows with my bestie.
Also, the promotion necessary to really get your blog out there is a lot of work! The bloggers I was teamed up with were amazing in with Facebook fan pages, Twitter accounts, Pinterest and the like. I made myself a Facebook page (and you should come "like" it!) but I am not sure I have something I want to post every day. I have a Twitter that I only partially understand. And Pinterest is sacred; it's for me and not to be shared with my blog. While I want my friends to know about my blog and welcome interested visitors that are not yet friends, I want to limit the amount of personal information that gets out so that it doesn't get into the wrong hands (see every other reference I have ever made to my work as an excuse). So I found that I was just not that good at or interested in making the effort to hype up my blog.
Even more insight I gained was that I don't strive to be blog famous! I guess a lot of bloggers write just as a means to tell stories to friends and family and I am not quite in that category. And then there are a ton of bloggers who write so that thousands of people will read what they say and they can make money through ads and stuff. I like to read a lot of those kinds of bloggers and am grateful that they have put the time into developing to the point that they were big enough for me to find out about them. For a while, I dreamed of writing about my travels and having companies reach out to sponsor me and help me create a life where I could essentially get paid to travel. That still sounds nice. But unless it happened instantly, I don't have a strong enough desire to MAKE it happen. So I kind of learned that I like blogging because I like doing it. Not for any other ultimate goal. Not to be read by thousands or acquire fans. Just because I have a lot to say. If you like to hear it, great. If 2 people read each post, that's actually fine, too. I had the privilege of putting it out there and creating it and that part is fun for me.
Finally, the straw that broke the camel's back is a bit more personal but I will go there. I was listening to a talk from a church leader on my ipod. In my church, there are 2 meetings a year known as General Conference where a bunch of church leaders talk about all sorts of things, including everyday life topics. One talk, and I honestly don't even know who it was by or what the rest of it was about, touched on priorities and focus. Basically, we can busy ourselves with the wrong things and that takes time and focus away from the really important things, such as the people we love or the things that restore us. For some people, all the work on the blog is like a job and it is a good focus, rejuvenating, and positive. For me, though, it was a distraction and when I heard that talk, I was able to identify that, for me, the emails and the promoting was taking time away from other things that would be better prioritized in my life.
To all my blogging peeps, I want to reiterate that this is just my experience. I am glad there are bloggers who can do all of this stuff because you all entertain me! I'm sure some of this has to do with the other jobs, hobbies and choices I make in my life and the amount of time I need just for myself and my tv watching for self-care. But, for now, I am going to blog because I like it. When I want to. And not when I don't. The rest of the time, I am going to use any free time I can eek out to develop myself into the kind of person I want to be in other areas. Maybe I just need more time to do that than others because I need more work:)
SOOOOooooo, I hope you all will continue to read the blogs I linked to in the other Theme Thursday posts and enjoy the different takes on topics. I will be cheering them all on from the sidelines.