10 February 2014
I wonder if you've noticed I'm not posting as often here on my blog? The reduced frequency of my stories popping up in your inbox or on your reader may have you asking, Hey what gives?
Or, more likely, you didn't even realise because you are actually out there living your life, instead of waiting with baited breath for something new from me to materialise.
My husband says this to me quite regularly: "You know Simoney nobody will die if you don't post something on your blog today. it's not like people are sitting there at their computers, holding on, waiting for you to write something."
I know this, I do. At least I thought I did.
In my head I knew this was true, but deep down something was pushing me from the inside as if the fate of the world rested upon me updating my blog on a daily basis.
Towards the end of last year things were starting to get to me. Facebook was the trigger. Anyone with a fanpage will know what I'm talking about - the frustration of trying to increase your "reach" after Facebook changed the rules of engagement. Now only 4% of your fans get to see your post unless enough of that 4% engage with said post.
I got sucked in there briefly as madly, obsessively I tried to "up my reach" all to no avail. Even if one post did well, the next post was back to square one. I was fighting a losing battle which seemed to me to be just one symptom of everything that had gone wrong with blogging in the last few years.
Amidst the push to grow readership, interpret stats, work with partners and promote your blog on social media I had all-but lost the simple joy of blogging. And in the meantime the obsessive anxious media-holic that I had become was disengaged from life and family as - wait for it - the need to succeed drove me onwards on the performance treadmill to the detriment of all else.
One day I woke up to the fact that I was disatisfied, unhappy and over it. I needed to make some changes and I needed to face facts. This whole blogging thing was way out of kilter.
I committed myself to a blogging go-slow, promising myself (and my counsellor and my husband) that through December I would blog just once a week.
I made no announcements, I declared no blog-holiday. I just... pulled back.
There was no December Christmas Linky, no Christmas craft tutorials, no mad Christmas blog-fest here. Once a week I checked in and shared a story, some photos, some thoughts.
Meanwhile I started trying to re-engage with my real life again.
By the time January rolled around, things were different. I felt differently about blogging and social media than I had for a while. I felt... free. That awful inner drive to prove myself and find a sense of significance through blogging has loosened its grip.
That inner drive has always been there; it didn't start with blogging. My life has been dogged by a deep-seated sense of inadequacy which created an unquenchable desire for approval that saw me pushing myself to all kinds of extremes throughout my working life. Blogging is just the latest manifestation.
"Keep going, keep going, when you get there you can finally relax and know you're enough..." Or so I believed deep down.
But I will never "arrive" at that mythical place where I can rest and be satisfied and just be... unless I deliberately get off the performance treadmill and change the record.
So this isn't really about the blogging. It's about me being enough just as I am. Recognising what was driving me and not yielding to it anymore.
The main thing with me blogging now is that my motivation needs to be different. I need to just do it because I love it, not because I'm trying to keep my pageviews up or build a famous blog so I feel significant or worthwhile.
So what if I never write a post that goes viral? As long as one person gets something out of what I write, it's worth it.
My blog doesn't need to be Big to be worth reading, right? I don't need a gazillion random pageviews, just loyal readers who think it's worthwhile coming back because they like what I have to share.
As for Social Media, it can be an endless treadmill of self promotion and anxious blog-pushing if I let it. A trap for young players, a quicksand of trying to get ahead. Enough already.
Facebook you can have your reach, I'm done with trying to beat you. If only 40 people see my posts in their feed, so be it. I am not going to lose any sleep over it any more.
I'm just going to write my stories when the inspiration strikes, I'll share my heart and my ideas and my life with my readers in the hopes that they find encouragement, inspiration or just get a good laugh and know they're not alone on this crazy journey of life.
That's why I blog. Come read me who may.
Unhealthy obsession, YOU'RE OVER. Back to the basics of writing cos I love it? YOU'RE ON.
Do you ever find yourself stuck on a performance treadmill? If you blog, have you battled with this issue at all?