Monday, 5 August 2013

Questions, Comments and Reflections. Oh, and Where I Have Been Lately.

I've been gone for a while. Well, physical I've still been in the same place as ever, but in Internetland, I've not been quite as "on the radar" as usual. My Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts have still been pretty active, and I've been scrolling away the hours on Pinterest and Tumblr, but my blog presence has been practically non-existent. I'm sure this has left some of you wondering why, but I'm not sure there is really any answer. Right now my unread posts on Bloglovin' stand at 664 though, a number I can no longer ignore and I feel as though I need to jump back in to my online life. I'm ready for it!

In the last few weeks, life has been crazy. I started back at uni, and all you students out there will know what a massive time-consuming monster that is. I have had to make the decision to move house, I have cried over that decision, stressed over that decision and had multiple panic attacks over that decision, and that has also taken up a lot of my time, and on top of all of this, I have been sick. Not just with my usual CFS aches and pains and exhaustion, though. On top of that I have had a flu, and I guess that is a big part of why I have been absent from the blog lately. But before I give you all a proper update on what I've been up to, there is something I'd like to discuss. Blog guilt. Or rather, my lack of it over the past few weeks.

I'm sure that many of you bloggers out there know exactly what I mean when I talk about blog guilt. You will all know how it gnaws at your soul when you can't tend to your blog. How even though you know that you need time out, have taken too  much on, or just don't have anything to say right now, you can feel the guilt nagging at your brain, tugging at your heart and eating your soul whenever you go on a hiatus from blog world. It's a horrible feeling, and one I have felt many times, but over the last week or so, I haven't felt it once.

Does this make me a bad blogger? Does the fact I haven't posted in a week render me hopeless and doomed to fail in this overly competitive, PR driven world? Do I not even care about my blog anymore? These are the questions that I have been asking myself over the last few days, and they have been nagging at my brain more than blog guilt ever has. I'm not sure what it is about blogging, but this fun little hobby has a way of taking over your life after a while. You end up spending more and more time sat behind a computer, and less and less out in the real world doing things. You stress over content, over pictures, over how many times you should post a week. You compare yourself to other bloggers, stress yourself out over why no PR companies have contacted you yet, and find yourself getting caught up in silly little numbers. If you need to take a break for whatever reason, the guilt shimmies in, and the thing that you once loved to do all of a sudden feels like a massive chore. You want to do well with your blogging, you want to have hundreds of followers, and get sent free stuff and have people respect you, but in that moment, it all feels like too much. You wonder if you should even be blogging at all.

I have felt like this too many times. I have felt like a total blog failure just because I'm not noticed by PR or because so-and-so started blogging at the same time as me, and look how many thousands of followers she has. Feeling like that is total crap. Getting caught up in the business side of blogging, in trying to be successful and trying to be better than everyone else is total crap. I don't want that, I just want to write and make friends and read about all the fantastic things that my friends from all over the world have been getting up to lately, which is exactly why I decided today that my lack of blog guilt is a good thing. Not being guilty over not posting for a few days is the most liberating feeling! Finally I feel like I can step back and start enjoying blogging for what it really is again - a hobby. I'm removing advertising from my sidebar, having a total blog overhaul and starting fresh with blogging for me, and for fun without getting caught up in the competitiveness. It's going to be great, and you know, if good things come my blog's way, that will be a bonus but I'm not feeling pressured to stick to a schedule, or post about this or that, or gain followers. What happens happens and I'll be grateful for the supportive friendships that I make along the way.

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