If you told me in May that I wouldn’t write another blog post until January 2019, I wouldn’t believe you. This spring, blogging didn’t come easily for me, like it once did. Writing a blog post felt like I’d just cranked up the resistance on a spin bike and it took 4 times more energy to do the same things I’d done for years. So, I decided to take a week break. And a week turned into two, and then 6 and then woah…it’s 2019. What began as just a feeling of unexplained resistance, I’ve sat with and identified exactly what caused the resistance. I’ve felt so supported by those who read my blog and follow my journey on social media and I want to share how I’m feeling. And if you’re a blogger or content creator struggling with any of the same things I was, let’s talk about it. Here it is, seven months later, the reasons why I haven’t been blogging.
Writing, photoshoots, posting to Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, being present every day on Instagram stories, and let’s not forget asking my boyfriend to get a photo of me while we were out exploring Seattle or visiting a coffee shop. I was exhausted. There were days I didn’t want to do my hair and makeup and put on a cute outfit but if I didn’t, I could miss out on getting a valuable photo for Instagram. After doing this for three years, I had to stop. I was losing myself in real moments and was losing my passion for creating content.
As someone in marketing, analytics are the basis of measuring success. And of course, I took this practice from work to my blog. While having an analytics-based mindset is extremely valuable, I became obsessed and let it determine how I felt about my work and even myself. It sounds extreme, but when you’re trying to build a business, your analytics are a measurement of how much you’re worth. To follow that up, when your “product” is essentially who you are as a person – your writing, your creative vision, and quite literally your face…it’s easy to let your results seep into how you feel about yourself. And whether or not that perspective is actually true, it’s how it felt and to me, it was very real.
The Comparison-Game Got Me
During my exhaustion and analytics obsession, of course I started comparing myself to other people. How has she built an audience way faster than me? How does her dimly lit iPhone photo outperform the photo I put hours into shooting and editing? Why didn’t that brand reach out to me? It’s an unhealthy mindset and it’s easy to slip into especially when you’re already struggling. I hate to admit it, but it got me and I realized not only was it pointless but it’s unfair to myself to compare myself to someone else, whose life I know nothing about.
I Got a New Job!
In August, I started a new position at Redfin and I’m so excited about it. As most of you know, transitioning to a new job takes time and hard work to get ramped up. The transition was smooth but I was ready to fully dedicate myself to onboarding. Since then, I’ve been enjoying my new role. It’s a combination of content strategy, SEO, communications, some video editing, and C-Suite support. I’m loving it!
With Time, Comes Clarity
There is nothing like time and reflection to clear the mind and while everything I was struggling with didn’t “poof” and disappear, I’ve learned a lot and gained much-needed clarity.
Beating burnout – it’s normal to be tired. It’s healthy to take a break and reflect on what you’re doing, how it makes you feel, and determine how to best move forward. Take all the time you need and know that it’s okay if it takes longer than you expected.
Annihilating analytics obsession – Guess what, I’m not my metrics and neither are you! There’s more to who I am than my page views, Instagram likes, or email subscribers. My blog and its analytics are only a slice of my life and what I am capable of. While analytics are an important part of my day, my happiness should be determined by the content I’m creating, not how well it performs.
Crushing comparing myself to others – This one is the toughest and is still a daily challenge. I can’t compare my entire life to someone else’s highlight reel – it’s a little cheesy, but it’s true. It’s time to stop letting other’s success be a reflection of what I’m lacking. I’ve learned to love myself for more than my blog and I respect myself enough not to go down the never-ending spiral of comparison. As I said, the comparison hasn’t disappeared and I don’t think it ever totally will, but I’ve learned to be mindful of it and if that means closing Instagram or LinkedIn, I will.
That’s a tough question and I don’t have a definite answer. I wish I did! What I do know is, I am really happy but feeling incomplete without my creative outlet and side hustle. I’m not sure how that “need for more” will manifest itself but I know it will. Maybe it will be more blogging, maybe it will be something else.
For now, I’m ready to make steps forward and continue to pursue my happiness and my blog’s original purpose – learning that our best moments aren’t always when we look perfect and learning to embrace the awkward, often funny times when we are a total hot mess – in whatever form that takes.
If you’re a content creator and have ever felt the same way, reach out to me :) firstname.lastname@example.org
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