Sometimes I wonder how many times I have to start and restart something before I either give it up or it sticks. I began this blog almost three years ago, and in that time I have announced a restart on two separate occasions, declaring that this time would be different. This time I would do as I say and not as I’ve done and plan for posts, make the blog a priority, and write on a regular basis. But alas, just like with my numerous work out plans or nutrition crazes, I have fallen flat of meeting my goal. And not just fallen flat, but head first into a pile of mud, where I seem to have gotten myself stuck over the past three months.
So why is this? Why can I not maintain a blog?
Is it because I am too busy?
Well, yes. I keep myself very busy – but I could absolutely carve out time to write if I really wanted to, right? I find time to create Pinterest boards, fill my Amazon and Wayfair carts up numerous times a week without actually checking out because I’m not really sure how I want to decorate our new home, and yes – there is even time for the occasional Netflix show. So, although time may be an excuse I use, it is certainly not the answer.
Is it because I find it challenging to be vulnerable?
Well…that’s tricky. In the past I would have said no, but when I first started my page I did so without letting anyone really know. I was hoping to keep it out of my general circle, so thatI could be open in vulnerable. When we moved to DC two years ago, I dusted off the blog and relaunched in a more open and raw way than ever before. It was wonderful to have a bit of a barrier between myself and my readers – mainly the ones I would bump into day to day. I may get a few extra phone calls or texts after a particularly revealing article, but I didn’t have to have the awkward face to face with anyone wondering if they had read my latest post while waiting to pick up the kids from school. Unfortunately, that barrier has been penetrated a bit as social media suggests friends and slowly my new DC friends and I have connected on various social media outlets, which means that when I do write – and announce a new post on social media – they may, or may not read what I’ve written.
And although I appreciate that they are taking the time to read my work and I would never not want them to read it – the level of vulnerability is higher and therefore makes me question what to write about. Which leads into the next question.
Is it because I lack direction?
Hmmm. Yes? I think this plays a role. In addition to the aforementioned vulnerability issues, I’ve also noted in previous posts that I find it difficult to find my voice on the blog. There is a false sense of audience and I’m not sure what people want to read. On one hand I say that this is an outlet for me to write on, but there is also a piece of me that wants to write meaningful articles. And there is certainly this nagging feeling that I need to be an expert on something in order to write about it. I believe if I could create a better vision of what I want my blog to be, then I could be more successful writing in a way that is pleasing to others. When I go to my site now, I feel disappointed. I have a few articles I am really proud of, but in between those I fall short of my expectations. However, I am not sure I can even clearly define my expectations.
I created the Hourglass Project as a way to chronicle my journey as I work to find balance in my life, but I’m not sure how to exactly translate that into articles. Do I start posting recipes of the food journey I’m on? Do I discuss the fitness activities that I’m engaged in? Do I simply rant and explore my feelings about being in my late 30’s but still being as lost as I was when I was 13? Perhaps I write about it all, because goodness knows that writing about nothing (which seems to be what I’ve been doing since August) is certainly not working, but the reality is that the articles that I love writing the most are those that are raw and vulnerable and help us connect as women – as people – as individuals. So right there, I need to find the balance.
And finally, my last self interrogative question…
Is it because I haven’t made it a piece of my lifestyle?
YES! This is definitely the biggest piece of the puzzle. There are still mental objections, fears, vulnerabilities, and hurdles that I will have to tackle on a daily basis, but if I don’t sit down and write daily (write, not post) – then I am not making it a habit in my life and therefor it is not a priority. And if the blog is not a priority in my life, then a random Netflix movie will always win.
So right now I am staring at the white elephant in the room and challenging it to leave. I am not going to sit here and declare that I am starting anew yet again or that things are going to be different – because honestly that would be no different than every New Year’s resolution I have ever made.
No, what I am doing is creating an action plan. YES! I am TAKING ACTION!
I am finally going to take the advice that I have given to all my friends and colleagues who have ever wanted to start a blog. Here are the steps I am taking:
- I am coming up with an extensive lists of topics that I would like to write about. If you have any suggestions – please comment!
- I am setting a recurrent time in my schedule to actively sit down (distraction free!) and work on the site. My current breakdown includes time for writing, editing and image gathering, posting and promotion.
- I am setting up a Google Drive with a spreadsheet to help manage workflow and folders to hold various images and articles during development.
- I am creating an engagement calendar of when to post new articles and which topics may lend themselves best to those dates.
- Additionally, I am going to continue to explore my voice and try to envision what I’d like this site to be, although a work in progress is good enough for today!
If you are reading this, then I want to take a minute to say THANK YOU. There are endless amounts of other activities that you could be engaged in rather than spending the time to read this article and I don’t take that for granted. Thank you for continuing to read and therefor support me. I truly appreciate it.