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September 30, 2014

On Being in a Blogging Rut

I read this article last Friday, and it struck a chord with me, like I’m sure it did with many other bloggers and readers alike. It’s caused me reflect on my own intentions with blogging moving forward. Let’s be honest -- a lot of the blogging community seems to have hit a wall in the past year or two. I personally feel that when the Google Reader went away and Pinterest and Instagram were born, the blogging world struggled a bit to find its footing. Sure; there are still tons of bloggers who keep the momentum going with original and creative content, day after day, week after week. Some of them have teams working for them to help, while others are super bloggers, going at it mostly on their own. Those that keep a successful blog going all by themselves truly amaze me -- especially those who have families and a full-time job besides blogging to keep up as well. I’m guilty at looking at these people and thinking, seriously? How do they do it all? (Compare, compare. Guilty.) But really, the truth is, they probably aren’t doing it all, and it’s important for all of us who strive to be like the rock star makers and bloggers to remember that. The Petersiks are a couple I previously thought did it all and did it beautifully, and it seemed like they were balancing everything on their plates extremely well. Obviously that wasn’t the case -- they were feeling burned out and overwhelmed just like the rest of us. Coming up with new, original content every day, or even every week, is hard. Blogging is fun for those of us who enjoy it, but it’s also a lot of work. There’s a lot that goes into writing a unique, successful blog post -- the actual time it takes to complete a project, photos, styling, writing, proofreading, heart and soul. Even a post that’s just about “life lately” takes time. No matter how small or big your audience is, you never want to feel like you’re letting them down. No blogger wants to just post any ol’ thing -- we want it to be worth our time and most importantly, the reader’s time. We want to build meaningful relationships, because the whole point is to connect with other people. And to do all of these things and do them well, time is a major factor. And time for all of us is often stretched thin.

The older I get and the more my business grows, blogging has been pushed aside more and more. However, I don’t intend to take an indefinite break from blogging or stop altogether. I love this space and I feel like it’s part of me. It’s grown with me through some very formative years, and a lot of positive things have come my way by sharing my work and my life during this time. I love to create and write, and this place is the perfect outlet for me to do both. I still feel excited when I share something here that I feel passionately about or something I’m proud of. I get even more excited when someone comments or e-mails me about a blog post. It’s even better when I make friends by way of this blog -- online and in real life. Blogging is still really fun for me -- I’ve just learned to blog only when I have time or feel like it instead of making it a daily or weekly chore.

Right now I’m at a bit of a crossroads with this blog, kind of like I am in real life. I’m in limbo. I’ve already touched on the fact that my creativity hasn’t been what it was lately -- I’ve been so tired with this pregnancy, for one thing, and for another, our cave-like temporary dwelling isn’t doing much to spark any ingenuity, either. Does this apartment inspire blog content the way our house did? No -- but that’s ok. I’m not going to force blog posts about it or go out of my way to make it something it may never be, because it's temporary. I feel thankful we have a roof over our heads, and that’s about as far as I can go with it right now. And it’s no secret that it’s easier to “micro-blog” on Instagram about what I’m up to vs. writing a blog post online -- words are minimal because the photos do most of the talking. It’s nice.

These things aside, there’s so much on the horizon I look forward to sharing about the new house and our life with Archie, and I intend to come back here and share more soon about all of this and even more in the New Year. This fall posting will likely be random, because I’ll be busy finishing up work projects before November all while getting our little apartment ready for the baby. I can’t promise that I’ll be posting very often, but when I do, I’ll do my best to make sure it’s something worth sharing. I’ll always be sure to cross post on Facebook for anyone who follows along there, too. I think those of you who check in regularly will understand (and I don’t intend to slow the pace on Instagram -- it’s one of my favorite things!)

So, in short, I’m not breaking up with you…or this blog. I’ll be back here and there with some fun stuff to share before the baby arrives. And to those of you who check in, please know that I love you. This blog would not be nearly as fun without y’all and your comments and e-mails. Not even close! So thank you for stopping in from time to time to see what’s going on. You make this blogging thing way more fun by sticking around and hanging out with me. 

Until next time, whenever that may be…soon! I’ll look forward to seeing you then.  -- Natty

Image found here

Update: Grace Bonney of Design Sponge posted a response post to the New York Times article today as well; you can read it in full here. My favorite takeaway is the following quote: 
" one is expecting you to do anything but do your best. Deadlines will be missed every now and then and the world will still go on. You may forget to Pin something for a week (!) and I promise you, your readers will not abandon you overnight. But if you forget to write from your heart, slow down and take a break when you need one and give in to pressure that encourages quantity over quality,  you’re guaranteed to burn out. Will it be hard to not feel guilty or scared sometimes? Absolutely. But you’re not alone. I’ll be right here, happy to welcome both new and old friends to the blogging community at large. Because there is room for all of us here and I, for one, am excited to see how we all continue to change and evolve and find ways to keep our voices a part of the larger fabric of the blogging world." -- Grace Bonney
I couldn't have said it any better myself. 

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