I started this blog with a clear vision of what I wanted it to be. First and foremost I wanted to connect with other runners and people trying to figure out the blurred world of healthy. I wanted a place where I could share my recipes, chronicle my training, talk about my favorite running gear and fuel, and write honestly about struggles with finding balance in all things. But unfortunately in this pursuit, I became very unbalanced. Luckily I am now at a pretty good place and excited to share my new perspective.
Okay, let’s back up.
So I guess a month or so ago, I sent a message to the BGB community just roughly saying “hey, I had a really bad week in blogging, what’s going on? Have y’all been here and what did you do?” The root of this question was really the issue entirely, but I’ll get to that in a little bit. Needless to say, the community of women is amazing and encouraging and all suggested that maybe it was time for my first blogging break.
At first I was apprehensive. It wasn’t that I was sick of blogging and it wasn’t like I couldn’t find anything to write about so I tried to brush it off and act like I had it all together. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that I was juggling and not really living each day true to who I am. In reflecting I realized I had fallen so in love with writing and creating content that I let everything else just kind of fall away.
I’d already known I wasn’t getting nearly enough sleep, but I thought that was just all a part of the “hustle.” I was also running less, eating carelessly, and not hanging out with my friends and family as much as usual in order to stay on top of my posting schedule. I wasn’t happy in my job, but I was set on staying because it gave me the flexibility I needed to also run a blog. I could come home and take pictures for instagram at lunch or choose whatever hours worked best for me that day.
Now that I’m writing all of this down it sounds awful, but I can get really caught up in things fast if I’m not taking the time for introspection.
Cue the blogging break.
I intended it to be for one week, but it went even better than planned. The first week off was great. I barely even thought about Y&R, but I’ll admit I was ready and excited to come back and get back to my schedule, but when I did come back everything was a little different. I found that after my break I cared a little bit less about the silly things and I didn’t sweat or worry if I wasn’t following a strict posting schedule.
Before all of this, I thought I had to post x number of times per week and stick to 100% consistency to be successful, but now I’m not so sure. In a lot of ways it really is true, but I don’t think it applies for my situation. I started this blog because I love to write, share my recipes, and talk about running, but I also really love what I do outside of it. I feel like my perspective of “success” for my blog has changed entirely. Now when I post, it’s because I genuinely really wanted to talk about the subject, not just putting something out there for the sake of putting something out there. It also gives me a whole new appreciation for my readers. It means so much to me that you still come back and visit my site even when you’re unsure if there will be new content or not. When I do post I’m even more excited to read through and reply to the comments because a little absence always makes the heart grow fonder. But now I’ll go days without checking my site stats or analytics so if a post doesn’t go as well as I had hoped, it’s unbeknownst to me.
I love Y&R, but I’m not looking to make it full time. I went to school to work with people with disabilities and I never want to stop or lose sight of that passion. I wrote on Monday about how I’m taking a new job (still working with people with disabilities, but a lot more room to make a bigger impact), but the scary thing is that without this blogging break I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have taken it. As I briefly mentioned, my last job was extremely flexible/lax and even though I was very unhappy, I would have stayed because it worked best for blogging.
I feel like The Lord really showed me that I have to take time to rest and reflect in order to be renewed. For months I was running around like a crazy person constantly preoccupied with upcoming content, but during these past couple weeks, I’ve taken constant breaks throughout the day to pray or be still and in that I have so much more peace and direction. It’s like I’m centered again and even thought I don’t have control of everything, I’m absolutely okay with it.
I also wrote my tips for balancing work/life/blogging today on Gretchen’s blog and love reading through the different answers because each person is different. If there’s one thing I’ve learning in my wiser early 20’s (said no one ever) it’s that you can’t just take all the advice given to you. In the blogging world there are 1000’s of posts on “How to Grow Your Blog” or “How to Be Successful,” but you have to sift through a lot to figure out what’s actually meant for you.
What I learned from my blogging break
- The importance of defining your success so you don’t reach for someone else’s
- Being authentic and honest about how balance looks for you
- There’s too much opposing advice in the world to not take most of it with a grain of salt
- If you put too much into something, you’re increasing your risk of burning out of it
- Don’t let all other passions fade for one single passion
Linking up with Amanda for this ever so thinking out loud addition of thinking out loud.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from blogging?
How do you clear your head and regain perspective?
Do you take advice easily?