It took me a few days to figure this out, but I think the real issue here is not that I don't have anything to write about. Nor have I lost my passion to write. If I could, I would update this blog three times a day. I'd write about so much more, if I only had the time.
The real issue here is that this blog isn't my career, and I highly doubt it ever will be. For the past several months, I've seriously thought about what it would take to get my blog to the next level. I've considered doing a total overhaul on my format and redesigning the layout. I've thought about marketing strategies and building an audience.
When the internet is pickled with success stories, it's hard not to imagine. It's hard not to imagine doing something that you already enjoy doing while earning a living. When you hear from person after person (after person) who suggests, "You should advertise! You should network! You are totally missing out an opportunity!" you can't help but wonder if you really are missing the boat. Especially when there are people out there who are making a fortune off their blogs.
Since we'll have four children heading off to college at about the same time, we could really use a fortune. Of course in fashion typical for me, I haven't done anything about any of this, but just having those thoughts swirling around my mind has damn near paralyzed me. Instead of sitting down with a passion to write about something that is important to me, the thoughts dance through my head that my blog isn't currently good enough and what do I need to do to improve it?
When you are a blogger, you try to remain cognizant of what you write because you are fully aware that blogging is a social activity and people will read your words. The problem is, if you are overly concerned with how you are portrayed, you stop writing what is real to you. Take me for example. First, I must stop griping. If I need to gripe, I'll do it in a private forum. Then, I must not write about anything that has anything to do with religion or donating to a cause. Because those two things are BIG turn offs. Then, I must be funny and thought provoking all the time.
My God. The PRESSURE.
What does it take to have people like me?
It's like being in fourth grade all over again.
What with raising four children - and working a full time job - now I've got these asinine thoughts about popularizing my blog and if it doesn't work, will I be a failure? And in the quest to grow, will I totally lose sight of who I am?
Like most damaging behavior, this is all self induced. But in the midst of it, I do receive actual requests for advertising. None of those requests have included anything about "real" compensation. They are requests that I spend my time writing about their product. Then again, maybe if I wax really good poetic about chocolate milk, it will be a leg up to bigger and better things.
A blogger can dream...
In the end, I don't want to give up writing. And although I genuinely care about the people who read this blog, I don't want to care whether or not they like me. Sure it would be great if all of a sudden something landed in my lap, but I don't have the energy to pursue it. As for now, I want to get back to where I was when I started this blog four years ago, today. The days before statistics meters and when the number of page views and comments I received was not a gauge of how well I was doing.
Last night, I was feeling so disgusted by this modern age of computers and popular influence marketing, that I turned off all the electricity to our house.
We ate dinner by candlelight.
We brushed teeth by candlelight.
We tucked the kids in to bed by candlelight.
And it was the most peaceful I've felt in months.