In 7 weeks I will be traveling to Dublin to attend the brilliant bloggers conference the Hive. It’s the second time I’m going and I feel excited, eager to learn more and looking forward to seeing old and new faces. But (yes, there is a but!), it has also meant that for the past few months I have been questioning my own blog.
How’s it going?
Am I happy with my content?
Am I still committed and passionate about my subject and how I present it?
What is my actual goal?
It seemed that all I could see lately was people with more Instagram likes for the same kind of picture I had posted. Was no one interested in my work? Or did I not engage enough with my followers? And why was it that my Twitter feed seemed full of people thanking their followers for hitting another milestone (“10K followers! Thanks guys!”)? What were they doing that I wasn’t. And WHY did I suddenly become trapped in this thought that my success was measured in likes and followers?
As I am writing this, I have missed my personal post-deadline for the last 2 weeks. No new recipe. No new pictures. No social media strategy. Nothing. Part of me wants to apologise for this and start giving you the reasons why I couldn’t make it. But the other part of me keeps reminding myself that this blog was meant to be fun. It was supposed to be my creative outlet. This blog is not my job nor is it part of my job. It was never supposed to become a burden or a reason for stress.
I admit, that at times I have felt stressed to produce content I am happy with. Sometimes, with all the other crazy stuff going on in my life (kids, work, pilot husband’s weird working hours) I find myself thinking that I would rather sit on the sofa for a bit, with a cup of tea, in peace and quiet, than baking a batch of cookies, styling them, shooting them, editing and writing a post on them. But I usually choose the latter because I don’t want to let anyone down and what if people don’t take me seriously if I don’t post this week?
I’ve just watched the video of last year’s Hive again and was reminded of the following:
What Nathalie said about success: “You need to decide what success looks like. And when you get there you need to pat yourself on the back”.
What Janna said about following your thoughts: “It’s OK to question yourself. It’s OK to follow your thoughts if something is nagging at you and to pivot your ideas and try to find a new way of having a balance between new things that come up and the basic of your character.”
And what Ellen said which really made me stop and think: “Stop being a follower. You be you. Be confident”
With the Hive less than 2 months away, I feel I have 3 things to work on:
- Accept the blog I have, be proud of what I have produced and what I have achieved so far.
- Not to be scared of the new ideas that I want to add to my blog.
- Stop comparing myself to others.
This is not an easy task, but I am determined to find the way that is truly mine and nobody else’s. I can’t remember who said this at last year’s conference but I intend to remind myself more frequently about it: “Everyone is different. You are unique, therefore your story is unique” (or something like that). In other words, accepting my blog the way it is means that I am accepting my stories and how those stories got there. It means I accept my person and my achievements. All of the achievements, both big and small. Accepting is not always easy but resisting is much harder.
So now I am going to book my flights to Dublin and buy myself a nice, new notebook full of empty pages to fill with my new ideas and thoughts. I think I sense some excitement in my flue stricken body…
Do you have a blog? Have you questioned your blog and the direction it was/is going in? What advice would you give someone who is questioning their work?