Blogging for over ten years, one of my biggest identities as a grown up has been that I am a blogger, the creator of this blog, writing up and sharing new inspiration every week… But if we lose that ability to write and share blog posts – how do we go about finding the Invincible-blogger-self again?
I am the Invincible blogger. I might not post very often right now, but I am not giving up this thing called blogging. Not this year, and not next year either. Or at least that is my plan, so I keep coming back – and then loosing it. My voice. The momentum. The identity as a blogger. Maybe I’m not the only one?
One of my biggest identities as a grown up has been that I am a blogger on this journey to share stuff with you guys for the long haul. But this year I haven’t as much, and that makes me sad and a bit stressed out. I feel like I have, in a way, lost my identity as a blogger. But is not true, because as long as I am alive and trying, this will be alive too.
To find my way back though, I have been reading other’s advice on how to become a more consistent blogger, even though I know the trick already…
Oh, wanna know the secret trick right now? It is the simple truth of: Just start and then continue, as with writing and blogging as well as how to become more creative in anything.
The blogger gurus is all giving the same blogging advice, and it is about brainstorming: listing and jotting down a lot of ideas at once so that you have a back log/bank of blogging ideas to use from day to day. As if the problem would be that there one day wouldn’t be any ideas in your head. Or that the problem of writing would be solved with a list of ideas… I find it is more difficult than that. Because oh man, do I have ideas.
I have more than enough ideas of what to write about! The question: “What to write today?” is something that has not yet come up for me. Ever. My problem is usually that I have way way too many ideas in my head. There is not enough room for them all. I always ask myself: how to get them all out at once (wish I could, oh how I wish I could). They seam too many to even make a comprehensive list of, at least if I don’t divide the ideas into categories to make it manageable.
And my categories are not all about writing either… I’ve got huge lists on what I want to create in many different areas: Books I want to bind, knits I want to finish, embroideries I want to start, art journal projects I want to dive into, collage art I want to create, classes I want to teach – and so on. I totally understand why some people give the advice that you as a creative person/artist should concentrate on ONE thing at a time. At times I have tried that approach, but it doesn’t really work that great for me. I need to mix things up, daily.
An ideal day for me would include photography, photo editing, writing, painting or doing collage, sewing and then some reading to finish things of. But the hours of the day does not accommodate that, especially as I know I should also add in exercise, going outside, meditation, cooking, socializing – and cleaning! On my wish list for Christmas, as it is every year, is more energy hours of the day. But back to blogging for now. It’s why you’re here after all. To get some content, some inspiration, some ideas.
I always love reading about blogging, and I always have been. That is because I am multi-passioned. I love not only this thing called writing, I am also a big fan of the geeky side of writing online: wordpress as a platform and tool, with plug-ins, hacks, social media, marketing, sharing, learning, coding, and streamlining things. So of course recently I have been drawn to blog posts like this one, asking: Do you struggle with blogging consistently? by Daniele Uslan, who writes:
Creating a successful blog is a journey, and no matter what you do, it wont be perfect. So just let go of thinking it will be, and write anyway.
Start writing is what she is saying. But with the addition: Time for a plan. Fran of the Freeborboleta blog on Tips for Consistent Blogging:
…blogging consistently is more than just quantity, its also about quality. Find that sweet spot that works for you, ask yourself, how many times per week can you write a quality blog post? Once? Twice? Maybe three times per week? Or maybe youre a blogging maven and can write five quality blog posts per week? Whatever the answer stick to that.
Consistency is the key in many of these advices. Planning for upcoming blog posts, and sticking to your plan. I think that this might be my biggest obstacle here, and in life in general. If I don’t have energy to write, the whole plan goes hay wire in a day. But like my advice on being more creative, doing it daily is also a key component. Being creative daily, or as daily as you possibly can, is the road forward. Because nothing fuels making as much as making itself. Nothing helps start the writing process today as good as the fact that you already started writing yesterday…
My biggest problem as a writer/blogger is this: the more time that passes where I’m not writing, the harder it gets coming back to writing. It just feels too big, too wild, and too much. The back log of ideas, that has not been blogged about, is ginormous.
I know I am the only one who knows about the “missing content”, because it’s only in my head, but it feels like a problem that it’s not here. All the things I haven’t yet shared becomes obstacles of what to share next. So maybe the planning it out better is something I should try, even though I find it hard? I am printing a calendar overview of the last two months of the year right now, and committing to at least THREE blog posts each week until the end of the year. I know I want to share a lot more than that, but hey, let’s take it slow, shall we? Who is with me?
Someone might ask How To Generate Blog Post Ideas When It Feels Like Your Brain Is Broken, as did Christy O’Shoney. She writes:
You have had great ideas in the past and you will have great ideas again. And even though creative blocks happen, its totally possible to work your way back to your invincible-blogger-self. In fact, it actually doesnt have to take as long as you might think…
Thanks Christy for the idea of the title of this post, and for the encouragement. She also suggests taking notes, reading others blogs, creating a mindmap and other fun activities. But since I have loads of ideas, I am only linking to that one for your sake, in case you need idea generating help.
What I wanted to say with this post, as an encouragement to myself and anyone else struggling out there:
I know I am Invincible when it comes to blogging, because I am here – ain’t I?
Or as Holly Becker wrote earlier this autumn, in her post A Blog Is Only Dead When You Are:
…Many bloggers are struggling currently, have you noticed? Content is boring, posts are few and far between, content is constantly sponsored, passionate opinions are few (or gone)… Many bloggers feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of social platforms that exist now. […]
I guess this is why Im writing this post. To say that all of us can fall into the boring rut but whether we remain in it is up to only us. And I have decided to get out, and Im starting with this post…
Boring rut indeed! If you are finding the Invincible-blogger-self missing, I suggest you decide on sharing just one blog post this week, about anything that makes you happy – and then go from there! That’s what I plan on doing. And if you’re not a blogger, maybe encourage a blogger you love? That helps a lot too. I would love to know your thoughts on the trend of blogs dying, writing ruts, and the scope of this post in general. Chim in.
If you cant fly then run, if you cant run then walk, if you cant walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tomorrows blog post: sharing pretty things on my desk. Yay!
Great post Hanna. Gosh I could almost have written this myself… not so much about lapsing, but having so many ideas in my head that I end up overwhelmed and not sure what to write about. Because also like you, I also am passionate about so many things. I am currently doing a 30 day Blogging Challenge which is really exhausting, in the amount of hours I spend each day, but tomorrow is day 28 and I have not missed yet! Rather than run out of ideas more just keep coming and coming! I started the challenge because I wanted to become more knowledgeable and to find ways of being more efficient. It has been an amazing challenge, run by Sarah Arrow and I recommend it. It is free by the way! I started it because a friend and I noticed that less people are commenting on our posts, and like you I have noticed some people are posting less often or not at all. It’s good to have a brief pause to catch your breath sometimes and reflect. I plan to do that when this 30 day challenge is over. I have a list of things I want to practice and perfect as my blog is lover overdue a tidy and update.
I look forward to seeing more posts and it’s reassuring that everyone flounders now and then. It’s a sign of being human!
Thank you Sandie, and a big congratulations for blogging for 30 days straight! That is just an awesome achievement. And such a challenge I would be afraid to take on, because anything “must do daily” that is that big is difficult for me. But maybe I should try it sometime next year – Just to see if I could pull it off… :-) Not making any promises!
Hi Hanna, Your blog is one that I get through RSS feed and the updated posts show up on my “dashboard.” Every evening I look forward to the new posts on the various blogs and have read many of them for years. It never occurred to me until just recently that it is important for the people who write the blogs to receive comments from the people who read them! Please bear with me, as this is one of the few comments I’ve written but it is kind of long!
I have noticed that new posts are less frequent than in years past, and some blogs aren’t updated anymore at all. I agree that all the social media platforms make it overwhelming for both for the readers and the writers, but I think that people who are really interested in something will stick with it.
I used to be a Creative Memories consultant (a scrapbooking company) back in 1997, before digital photography and cell phones became so popular. Only a few years after I started, scrapbooking supplies became available everywhere and Creative Memories lost it’s novelty and eventually went out of business. But in spite of all the changes in society, those who were interested in traditional scrapbooking (not digital) stuck with it and Creative Memories is back in business again. So all that to say….in my opinion everything goes through “seasons” or “cycles” and I think those who choose to continue write blogs will find their way through the ups and downs and changes and those who choose to read them will also continue to do so. So if you write it, I’ll read it and try to comment now and then, too. :-) Best wishes to you! Your creativity is inspiring!
Great post….. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself. I also follow you in a reader so I don’t miss any posts. As with everything, I think blogging is going through some changes. I’m not sure about the tips from Fran of the Freeborboleta blog…. Seems to me that putting stress on ones’ self to always write a “quality” post would be overwhelming. As a blog reader, I prefer to see the real person behind the content… not perfection. Do what feels right for you… be true to yourself… that’s when your post SHINE the most.
We love you Hanna and always love your posts. I too know what you mean about ending up overwhelmed because I suffer from paralysis when doing things [not blogging but other things] because I have too many ideas and no idea where to start and so, I don’t [except for gathering even more ideas!] It can be frustrating, for sure.
My dilemma right now is trying to get a new planner system started [bullet journal] and how to set it up, what layouts do I want in it and on and on and on. I’m glad you wrote this post ‘cuz it makes me feel like I’m not the only one who gets this way. ((Hugs))
i’m not a blogger so i will encourage a blogger i love—YOU dear hanna :) i’ve been following yours for several years and i always look forward to your posts. your writing, pictures, ideas, etc continue to be fresh and motivating! i also love how you share a few previous posts at the end (related posts) many times, i click on those and find something i missed or forgot about. your blog is easy to read and navigate-filled with eye candy, and so much inspiration. be gentle on yourself…. quality not quantity might be the new way of blogs. whatever is best for you will be whatever is best for your blog ;)
Well, yes, hmm, I recognise a lot of similar thoughts in your post Hanna. I had a 4 month haitus, that I was travelling for a major part of it is not really a particularly good reason. The fact is, I simply decided not to blog for a while. I find when I place demands around frequency of posts (or doing anything else to a schedule) I get this little rebellion going on inside me and I’m more likely to resist because it feels like being back at work where my time was scheduled and regulated by bells, and it’s not the kind of work I want to do so I tend to post when I feel like it. If it’s not a pleasure I won’t do it. If I don’t have something current to say or show I don’t do it. I have little interest in how many visitors I have although comments and ‘likes’ are most welcome and, like you, I always respond . . . in fact rarely leave a response on a blog where there is never a response.
I guess the need to blog regularly hinges on why you do it and what you hope to get out of it. If I can encourage one person to follow their creative urges, to learn to play again after years of having to please and work for others, be a little selfish if you will, then I’ve succeeded.
Wow, it’s incredible to read how much we are alike…the amount of ideas we have for blogging and we don’t blog about, the hobbies we enjoy, the lack of time and our love for blogging, is just incredible and refreshing at the same time to know that I’m not the only one out there with this dilemma. Thank you for the encouragement and tips, you definitely will see (read) :-) more of my invincible blogger self coming out to chat with all of you :-) thank you so much again :-)
i can relate to all of this dear Hanna. I love your blog and open it daily in the hope to find a new post. I loved the time when you showed your mail art daily ; I just love your collages. What I look for in the blogs I like is that kind of eye candy and some explanations about how they created it…it may be a give away but not every technique has to be taught in an online course. The way I blog is like that: I want to explain why and how I made things. I just blog when I have news things to show and that it often enough. I blog like I write in a journal; in fact I don’t write in my journals as much as I used to because now I blog. It helps me to keep grip on the world around me.
sometimes it’s enough to just show one picture, a photo or a small collage so that your readers know you are there and concocting bigger things.
What struck me most in your blog is how you said you just can’t focus on one thing at a time….it is so me as well! And if it feels sometimes like your brain is broken, then well just have a peek at my blog where i tell how, with belief in yourself and interest in many things and a sense of humour, the brain heals!
I love your ideal day – that sounds fun to me too. Its easy to get overwhelmed by all the social media platforms that we’re supposed to be contributing to in addition to blogging. There’s only so much time in a day so I just pick three to focus on and let the rest go. Otherwise I don’t have time for creating and then I have nothing to post about. I also feel its OK to take a break now and then to recharge or try something new. Maybe you could combine your favorite blogging topics into something new like collaging photographs or sewing hand-painted canvas into little bags. Good luck restarting your blogging mojo.
Hanna! Oh my gosh, I feel like my brain just exploded. I feel the EXACT SAME WAY! I have so many ideas, all over the place, and constantly feel tugged between what I want to write about, what I think people expect me to write about (it’s usually in the same theme), making the plans to write, shifting ideas around, not writing enough, burning out from writing days on end and still not publishing. OHMYGOODNESS, and I constantly feel like I’m not publishing enough and other times when I convince that voice in my head to quiet down so I can focus and write and get stuff out there. I’m pretty sure I have enough ideas for content for years so I think that it’ll be okay. I think the most important thing is that we still love it, even when we don’t. One of the greatest quotes ever on writing is, “If you say you love writing, you’re not doing it right” because we DO love writing, and sometimes we don’t and that’s okay. It’s all about finding that awesome middle ground and balance and sometimes there isn’t any balance. Sometimes the best thing is simply going at it and getting words written, photographs taken, and ideas share. The how isn’t so much something to get caught up with as the picture is. Whatever each of our bigger pictures may be. Sorry if I’m rambling, I just had no idea you had a blog and am now smitten with it and love the way you write and this article completely spoke to me. <3 Thank you so much for sharing :)