Personally I am not surprised, this lapse has been a long time coming. I’ve been having an internal wrestle with the whole concept of blogging for about 3 months now. There have been times I felt my hand hovering over a big metaphorical “CLOSE” button, willing to walk away from it all without a backwards glance.
Blogging, as much as it has brought me (and I have been very blessed along this journey!) is no longer able to sate my creative desire, and disillusion has been creeping into my consciousness for many reasons.
I discovered that blogging was beginning to feel like a chore, or worse – an unpaid job.
It was fate then that yesterday I would stumble across a blog post by author Anne R Allen entitled “The Slow Blog Manifesto...and 8 Reasons Why Slow Blogging Will Help Your Career, Your Love Life, and Protect You From Angry Elephants” and I had me one of my very own Oprah-style “A-HA!” moments.
Everything made sense, especially these points below that Anne articulated so perfectly, it was if she had phone tapped into my stream of thought.
"The average life span of a blog is three years. But you want your writing career to last longer than three years, don’t you? A neglected blog hanging in cyberspace is worse than none…. So you’ve got to plan a blog that’s going to beat the odds. A slow blog is more likely to do that.”
It’s the ideal solution – I can still blog when I feel I have something worthwhile to share, but thankfully eliminates the pressure to post regularly, the stress that I’m not interacting enough on social media mediums, and the guilt that I’m not reading as many other people’s blogs as I should be to maintain established networks.
Most of all, it saves me from halting altogether and frees me to write when I feel I have something worth sharing. It also opens up a much needed chasm of time that I can dedicate to my other writing goals. Namely my novel, which leads me to the next sage suggestion for slow blogging:
“If you spend every day working on your blog, you’re going to neglect your novel. When you neglect your novel, you’ll forget why you wanted to be a writer... Writing nonfiction—which is what you should be writing on your blog—uses a different part of your brain from fiction… When you’re on a roll with a novel, and have to stop to write something perspicacious on the subject of sentence structure, you can stop that flow dead.”
The thing that makes my heart sing most of all is losing myself in creative writing, yet blogging has been halting both my progress and my imaginative flow. And thanks to Anne, I now know why.
I’ve been dedicating most of my scraps of spare time to the creative writing pursuit and while I have been buoyed with the feelings of joy this act brings me, I’ve not been able to embrace the act as freely as I wish I could. There is a little devil sitting on my shoulder whispering that I’ve been neglecting my blogging responsibilities which leaves me ill at ease. This ties in with the final point that sums up perfectly why slow blogging will be my cyber saviour.
“Trying to blog every day is impossible to keep up, so you’ll constantly feel guilty. Guilt is bad for your mental health.”
The writing goal posts have changed for me. When I started blogging 3 years ago it was basically because I craved a creative outlet and it was the perfect platform to not only distract me from the everyday tedium and tiredness I faced as a first time mum, but to help me find my voice again. I’m so grateful for that, but it’s time to tackle fresh challenges and dust off old dreams that require more dedication without guilt strangling my inspiration and imagination.
So while I will remain in awe of those bloggers who can successfully post daily witty pieces, I personally am all for adopting Allen’s advice and choosing to re-model myself as a slow blogger. This more relaxed mantra will both save my sanity and inspire me to pursue and produce my best.