I hope I can keep this post relatively short and coherent. I don’t know if it will have any pictures. But I don’t want to not write it.
I’ve been having a little bit of what I’ll call “blogger depression” lately. I guess you could say it’s a combination of not feeling like I have anything to write about or time to write it, a noticeable dip in comments and interaction, and not being chosen for some great opportunities that I thought I would be perfect for.
This is of course coming at the same time that we happen to be in transition (or more accurately, a “waiting period”) as a family, while we wrap up an incredibly busy school year (which is proving to be crazy busy down to the very last day), try to find a house to move into, move, finish out the last two months of pregnancy, have a baby, and start my oldest in Kindergarten.
I know I should “find the happy” every day rather than saying “after (insert something here) I will be able to relax and be happy” but it’s been hard to stay positive while being constantly uncomfortable. I tried to explain pregnancy to my husband by saying, “It’s something I can’t escape from or take medication to feel better about.” True. Sleep is a struggle every night, and I still have about 50 nights to go. Also, there IS an end in sight, even if it’s a few months away, so it’s hard to focus on enjoying the now rather than just getting through it. I will have the baby. We will move into a larger house. I will be able to work during the days again instead of in the evenings.
Back to the “blogger” part of my “blogger depression.”
When I was in college, majoring in theatre and following both the musical theatre and the theatre education tracks, at one point I had to step back and realize that I was killing myself trying to be friends with some of the other theatre majors. It occurred to me that friendship shouldn’t be something that you have to work so hard at maintaining. When I realized that, I took a step back from all the ego stroking and took a big breath of relief. The constant competition and “fakeness” was too much to handle. It just wasn’t for me. But guess what? I stopped getting roles and opportunities. I was no longer part of the “in crowd.”
I’ve been feeling a similar tinge of that lately in my blog world. Please note that I say MY blog world. Aka in my head. I am not referring to any specific blogger, nor am I accusing any bloggers of being fake or exclusive. It can just be hard trying to keep up with everything when there is so much to stay on top of.
After getting back from the conference this weekend (which WAS fantastic), I just felt down on myself. Like “why isn’t that big blogger commenting on any of my photos,” or “I guess I thought I had a closer relationship with this blogger than she thought we had,” or “does anybody care about my blog at all?”
Yes, I am clearly the neurotic girl in this relationship metaphor.
In addition to feeling somewhat insecure and unimportant, two other things have been bothering me:
First, I’m so embarrassed by my appearance. I’m well-aware that I am extremely pregnant, but I’m also well-aware that that’s not the whole problem.
At the conference this weekend, I had the opportunity to get up and speak in front of the whole group. I snatched up that opportunity thinking, “Hey I paid for my ticket and traveled all the way out here; why not take advantage of every second and get the most I possibly can out of this experience, including a chance to introduce myself to everyone all at once.” I felt super comfortable and even had the group laughing several times, but once I sat back down and saw photos of me up there, it was like none of that even mattered. I was so disappointed.
Second, I’ve heard blogger after blogger after blogger encourage us to “be real” or “write our struggles” or whatever you want to call it. I feel like unless I reveal my deepest darkest secrets on my blog, I’m doing something wrong. I don’t think that I’m one of those “sunshine and rainbows” people who always act like they have their life together. Nobody does, and I don’t pretend to! However, there are certain things that I just am not going to talk about on my blog. I feel pressured to be totally open about everything, but this blog is very public, and some parts of my life are very private. On top of that, some people wear their hearts on their sleeves, but I tend to be more of an emotional closed book in real life. Maybe that makes me a bad writer/blogger. I don’t know.
So now that I’ve made the complaints, what are the solutions?
1. Define my purpose for blogging and write to that end (and yes, this solution is directly inspired by Ashley‘s talk this weekend). This doesn’t even mean that I’ll get more comments or page views, but it’s a place to start (or restart).
2. Give other bloggers a break. It’s not that my blog is unimportant, but that the market is saturated. There are so. many. blogs. And I KNOW that there are a handful of lovely ladies out there who have given my blog much more love than I’ve given back to them, so I’m guilty as well.
3. Love without expecting retaliation. Continue to show love to the bloggers I, well, love, without expecting the same from them in return. In addition, try to go the extra mile by giving attention to those who have supported me and my blog.
4. Have the baby. This will go a long way in helping me feel better!
5. Work on writing great posts and keep applying for relevant opportunities. Despite how I may have come across at the conference, I don’t only care about making money from my blog! It’s a nice perk, and I had a good run of opportunities for a while but nothing lately.
6. Realize that others aren’t judging me as harshly as I judge myself. I can look at women who are much larger than me and see their beauty, but still be ashamed of myself. Nobody else is thinking the horrible thoughts that I think about myself.
Well I think that’s it. I think I got it all out! If I had written this a few days ago, the whole solutions section would be missing, as I wasn’t ready to think rationally. Now I think I can move onwards and upwards. And have this baby already…