Thursday, May 7, 2015

the comparison game took the joy out of blogging.

Well hey there. It's been months since I've written anything here. I kept making excuses for myself, thinking "well life is just busy right now, I don't have time." And that was sort of true. We moved in kind of a rush, were long distance a few days a week for two months while Drew finished out his job in our old town before starting his new one back in our hometown, and my work schedule was changing and becoming more demanding.

But I'm an early riser. Weekends mean sleeping in for Drew if he's off but getting up early and enjoying a morning of quiet for me. Now he works night shifts and I've got a few hours before bed of just being by myself after I've finished my to-do list for the day.

Yes I've had some health problems show up that knocked my energy levels down pretty darn low for a few weeks. But I write naturally, so energy really wasn't an excuse for not writing.

Here's what it really came down to: I was busy comparing myself to everyone else's success and stage of life and didn't feel like I had anything exciting enough to share and couldn't get over the fact that my life didn't look like I thought it should.

I can't promise I'll be a consistent blogger ever again. I live with OCD and sometimes it really does make it hard to not spiral into comparison on probably a deeper level than people with normal brain chemistry. 

I can promise I'm not going to have sponsorships again. At least not for a long time. And I won't be doing any ad campaigns for any companies. If I'm going to write at all I'm going to write from the heart.

So many posts in blog world these days are promotional. I see new product reviews, posts promoted by other bloggers because they're obligated to because of sponsorships, and superficial writing constantly because numbers and dollars are taking over the blogiverse. Page views, sponsorships, ad some point it stops being genuine. And it stops being exciting or interesting or heartfelt. 

I want to read heartfelt. I want to see the person behind the screen. Is the person behind the screen sometimes really telling their friends about a really great product they just discovered? Absolutely! I do sometimes! But most of my conversations with my friends are about things that happened that we found hilarious or upsetting. They're about what we've been feeling lately. They're about real life.

I don't want to blog if it's just about making a list of how to do this or that or why you should try this new thing I got paid to tell you about. I don't want to share posts that didn't actually make me laugh or inspire me or hit me on a heart level, so why on earth would I ever write those posts? 

I also don't want to blog if it becomes a thing that steals my joy because my life doesn't look like yours, and for some reason I think it's supposed to. For a while it did take my joy. It did leave me wondering what was so wrong with me that I couldn't be ready for the same things someone else was ready for. It made me question whether my life was even worth writing about because it wasn't full of so many new or glamorous or attention getting events as someone else's. 

So I'm not saying I'm fully back or that I'll have a posting schedule or even that I won't someday choose to quit blogging entirely. That's a real possibility someday, maybe even someday soon. 

But once upon a time blogging was fun. It was real. It was enjoyable. It let me write frequently, and I love to write. So I'm semi-returning. When I feel like writing, I'll write. When I feel like sharing, I'll share. But if I feel my joy slipping away in the comparison game or the numbers game or the growth game, I probably will quit. And you know what? That's good. Because anytime something you're doing for fun starts to steal your joy, it's time to leave, at least temporarily.

I'm glad I left for a while. I'm glad I didn't think about numbers. I'm glad I didn't focus on comments or shares or campaigns or anything else I'm seeing take over blogging everywhere. 

Time will tell whether or not I decide to quit blogging for real. For now, though, I'm just going to let myself write when I want about what I want, and not worry for a second about what my blog is "supposed" to look like. Or what my life is "supposed" to look like either.

Comparison game, peace out. Ain't nobody got time for that.
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  1. Yes, yes and yes. I am going through the exact same thing right now. I fell down that slippery slope of comparison as well. So, I backed away away from my blog for awhile and I'm still rather distant from it now. Like you said, I will write when I feel like writing or feel I have something share-worthy. I actually went through and deleted a bunch of my posts from the past 3 years. I felt like many of them where just "filler" posts that I felt I had to share to fit in around here. Bump that! I don't want to fit in. I'd rather stand out :) So, I definitely understand what you're going through.

  2. Welcome back! That ole comparison thing really is a pain isn't it? It's so easy to get caught in that game and wonder why you're not where others should be. I just have to constantly remind myself that I'm in this season right now for a reason. God has put me here for a reason and I just have to ride it out :)

  3. I love this and I am glad you are back in whatever capacity that is. I have stopped reading some blogs because they no longer seem authentic. My blogs that are must read seem to be dwindling. It's a question that I have had to confront because while money is short right now, if I do a promotional post, it has to fit into my life. And whenever I find myself thinking, is this pinworthy? I make myself stop...Some weeks I fail. I have to take it one day at a time. Thank you for your honesty.

  4. So happy you're back- even if it doesn't mean in FULL FORCE. I can definitely related to the comparison. I have also been talking with a lot of other bloggers about improving my WRITING over other things so that's something I'm striving for right now too

  5. Welcome back dear! I've missed you. I agree, comparison is huge in blogging-- I was the same way with all the sponsorships, etc. I've finally decided to just write for myself, hence a lack of quality blog posts lately

  6. I've been Mia lately with my blog. I have found so many excuses but I really missing blogging friends that j have mAde.

  7. I love everything about this, and I SO applaud you.
    Less of the competition and the promotions and the advertising...and more writing from the heart and sharing real life.
    Thanks for posting this!

  8. Augh. I HATE the comparison game too! It's so hard to enjoy blogging when you're comparing your life with others'. Sometimes I have to go through my blog feed and just delete bloggers who make me feel insecure about myself.


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