Saturday, September 19, 2015

How Blogging Stopped Being Fun... & How I'm Getting My Groove Back


My blog posts are few and far between these days.  They have been for a little over a year now.  No one is more aware of my absence than I am.  So why?  What's up?

Truth?

There's no simple answer to this.  A combination of life's interruptions and blogger stresses put me into a tailspin.  I lost focus on what I was trying to accomplish here and made a few feeble attempts to bring the blog back home.  But something still wasn't sitting right.

I made all the mistakes a new blogger could make.  I posted a ton of original content in my first year or so.  I was all about my blog.  This was easy to do since my day job wasn't very taxing and I was in a personal environment that begged for DIY and craft projects.  Then I added the shop idea - cranking out card sets left and right.  In my first few months of business, I got a custom order, I was featured in the Arizona Republic, and my projects were shared by Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Jo-Ann... I was on Cloud Nine.

Then the burnout set in.  I was spending every weekend, all weekend, doing projects and getting them put up on the blog as fast as I could - sometimes posting 5-7 times a week.  I was creating projects that I never would have done were it not for the blog - therefore, not honoring my personal taste and style.  I was doing all the things bloggers were supposed to do for the sake of generating pageviews, ad clicks and shares.  I was exhausted and even worse... uninspired.
Ironic, isn't it?

Then life started to change.  I didn't adapt my techniques to my new environments.  Instead I tried to power through with the old mindset.  And my blog lost momentum.  I tried to reignite, leveling up my tools by buying a new camera, Photoshop, a new computer, and a new layout for my site.  However, I only did half of the work.  What's the value of a fancy DSLR camera and Photoshop if you don't really know how to use it?

To be fair to myself, I have skills to get me by.  I never shoot my camera on "Auto" and using YouTube, I can find my way around Photoshop.  But as I continued down my path of new blogger mistakes, through comparison with other bloggers, I found myself lacking.  It wasn't enough and while I wanted to get better, I didn't have the personal drive to take on the monumental task of learning.  The first couple of stages of this journey had come so easy to me.  The thought of slowing down, taking a looking back, and working harder than ever to move forward was not only daunting but quite frankly, felt like failure.

I am Alice and this is my Rabbit Hole.
Recentering myself as a person, as a crafter and as a blogger is going to take a lot of work.  I will have to take it back to basics - what do I hope to achieve here?  What will success look like day-to-day? - at the end of the month? - at the end of the year?  What inspires me?  How do I wish to connect with readers?  How do I create a blog that speaks to me but also my readers?  What content will keep not only my readers but me engaged?

I recognize that this will be a ton of hard work but this is what I really love.  I love crafting, writing, sharing and connecting.  So... I'm getting my groove back.

I've already started my journey by indulging in a little self-help love.  I just finished reading You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero.  I had so many takeaways from this book but the most important is having faith to be myself and make my mistakes.  I highly recommend this book to those who feel like their in a slump or against a wall.  Not only has it reinspired my blogging path, but also sparked my fitness and financial worlds as well.

Currently, I'm knee deep in the wildly successful How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.  While not a book about crafting or blogging or self-confidence, I find that people skills are an integral part of connecting with people on- and off-line.

Teed up I'll be reading Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media by Aliza Licht.  Because who doesn't need a little social media help.
On top of being a bookworm, I've made an investment via A Beautiful Mess in some courses.  I'll be slowly and thoughtfully making my way through the following courses:
Normally, I would skim these type of courses, but I'm buckling down this time and really engaging.  I'm on the path for improvement and I'm not taking short-cuts.  You can tell I'm taking it seriously - just look at those study materials!
There is a lot of homework for these courses, which I will very happily share the output.  I would love feedback on ideas, aesthetics, etc.  Tips are always encouraged too!

Here we go!  Wish me luck!

2 comments:

  1. Your comments are very honest and insightful. I might look into the "badass" book myself. I read How to Win Friends and Influence People a long time ago and it really made valid points that I used in business. Good luck getting your mojo back. Sometimes a break from electronics period can be a good thing. (Think: Waldons Woods".

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    1. Thank you very much for your kind words, Sephora.

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