Last month, I ran a series on blogging that I ran out of time to complete. I wanted to conclude the series with a post on time management (ironic, I know), but it occurred to me last week there was a topic I wanted to share my heart on first.
A Startling Discovery
When I started my blog, I supposed that there would be a cost in terms of time, money, and effort. That has proven to be the case. But what has taken me off guard are some of the emotional aspects of blogging.
Today I’m going to be extremely vulnerable and share with you some of the things I’ve struggled with in the course of running my blog. If you run a blog, perhaps you’ll relate.
Jealous. Let’s just cut to the chase, shall we? It can be hard when you work day after day to build your blog and you feel someone else is offered an opportunity you really wanted. Or maybe their design looks better. Or they wrote a post you wished you would’ve written. Or they just got some amazing sponsorship. Let me tell you a secret. This. Happens. All. The. Time. Learn how to deal with it, say “congratulations,” and let it go. Here’s another tip. Reach out to that blogger. Perhaps they can offer valuable perspective about how they achieved their success.
Overwhelmed. I feel overwhelmed at least a couple times a week. Now we all probably feel this way a little bit from time to time, but running a blog can be extremely overwhelming, particularly if you are a one man show. It’s not just about finding deals and posting them. There is the business to manage, networking opportunities, site development, networking with bloggers, PR, developing post ideas, accounting, and don’t even get me started on emails. And then the emails that say did you get my email. Things came to a very bad point for me last week when I had a full on panic attack. After a nice chat with my doctor, she suggested I work to structure my time more of when I work, and when I don’t. Be proactive in your stress management. Please don’t end up calling a consulting nurse because you don’t even think you can type a simple email (I’m not joking, that was me last week).
Consumed. I have to work at “turning off” the part of my brain that wants to think about my blog, even when I’m not at a computer. I am passionate about what I do, and always full of ideas. As a result, my brain is always running… would this make a good blog post? is there any drama happening on a comment thread? what if someone sent me an urgent email? I find the best thing for me is to regularly work at getting out of the house, getting some exercise, or just hanging with my kiddos.
Worried. I have a tendency to worry, and I really have to watch my thinking. It’s easy for me to worry whether or not my readers still find my blog valuable, if the blog is going to pay the bills I need it to this month, if I’ve offended someone, if I’ve forgotten to follow up on something. Watch what you’re thinking about. As Someone very wise once said, “who by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Frustrated. There are days that nothing seems to go right. We probably all deal with this, blogging or not. I’ve had days where it just seems everything I went to post had a problem with it. I’ve definitely had moments I felt like quitting, and I know many other bloggers have felt this way, too. Sometimes I take this as a cue to spend the rest of the day unplugged.
Insecure. I am convinced most bloggers have struggle with the “am I good enough?” question. It’s hard not to entertain this question, especially after spending an evening reading some crazy incredible blog.
My Best Advice
I would be lying if I said I had it altogether; I don’t. I do think it was important I shared some of these things with you, because your thoughts, attitudes, and emotions can certainly take a toll on you. And I would love to help someone today recognize this and take care of himself/herself. So what has helped me dealing with these emotions and struggles?
Faith. Taking a moment to say a prayer or read a Psalm and quiet my mind has really helped me.
Exercise. Nothing like going for a great workout or run when you feel frustrated. Work out that aggression.
Business Plan. I shared more about this in another post, but writing a business plan was a really helpful exercise for me. I was able to see what I do have going for me, and focus on what it is I want to acheive.
Chat with other bloggers. Blogging doesn’t have to be a lonely adventure! Reach out to some bloggers in your niche. It’s great having others that understand what it is you do.
Get away. I find more and more I need to take breaks. This could be as simple as getting up from the computer if I feel I’m getting worked up about something, or getting away with my family overnight for an extended break. Other things that help me include just soaking in my tub, an evening out with my girlfriends, or putzing around a store (yeah, there may be some coupons involved).
Is your blog important? Yes, it is. But you know what is more important? You.
This is your chance to share. What have you struggled with feeling through your blogging journey? What picks you up when you feel down?
The other posts in this series, in case you missed them:
- Five questions you should ask before starting a blog
- Seven qualities of winning blogs
- Creating a mission statement and values for your blog
- Making inroads with other bloggers
- Growing your blog
- Be Nice (Blogger etiquette)
- 6 ways to improve your posts
Photo credit Richard Dudley