Are Your Blogging/ Real Life Out Of Balance?

This is a post I am writing from experience. I sometimes feel like my blogging is taking over my real life.

I find myself checking my e mails for comments, checking my stats, and checking for new followers way too often.I put many hours into photographing projects, writing posts, and participating in link parties and guest pots.

Aside from the small amount of money I have earned from Blog Her and a few sponsored posts, my blog is mainly a hobby but also serves as an online portfolio. The money I have made from it is a part time job at best. I have met some great people since starting it,  had some good opportunities come my way, and best of all, it has helped me to grow as a creative person. Learning photography, challenging myself in blog challenges and competitions, and figuring out how with this internet works has been very mind expanding….

I started my blog as a way to document our families’ lifestyle change from living in fast paced Santa Monica, a busy area in Los Angeles County near the beach, to moving to an old country house in the middle of what I considered nowhere. We were an hour plus from LA, in the orange groves, and wanted to try homesteading practices. Blogging has been a great venue for promoting handmade living and maybe inspiring others to try it.

But there is a downside to blogging. And after blogging for over two years, I feel I may have some advice to give on some things to watch out for when blogging and a few things to avoid.

Are you comparing yourself to other bloggers and being hard on yourself? Do you wonder why some other blogs have thousands of followers and you have to work your butt off linking to parties just to get a few comments? Many of us crafty bloggers are full time mothers, and comparing ourselves to other bloggers, we are just putting more stress on ourselves. The last thing we need, right?

Comparing ourselves to others instead of just enjoying the process is just throwing a stick in the wheel of the whole purpose of blogging. I know, it’s easier said than done. I don’t only do it with blogging, I do it all the time. At the gym wondering why I can’t get rid of those last 5 pounds, out shopping wishing I was younger and thinner, even at church. It’s an affliction of being female, I think. Insecurity.

Instead of trusting in God that we are just where we need to be in our lives and thanking Him for all of the riches He has reaped upon us we want more. How lucky are we to live in a world were we even have a computer much less the free time to even write a blog?

Just because a blog has thousands of followers doesn’t mean they are any more talented and fabulous than you are.

Don’t get caught in that trap. We all have something to offer. If you are a mother and or wife, is your family starting to feel like they are playing second fiddle to your blog? Do you tell your kids, “I’ll be done with this on a little while”…. just a little too often?

The truth is, those mega bloggers with thousands of followers take a huge amount of effort to get where they are. That, or they started blogging six years ago when no one else was doing it. Growing a big blog is hard work. Something has to give, because the truth is, WE CAN’T HAVE IT ALL.

Maybe you need to let things go a little? Post a little less often and spend a little more time with the family? Are you not spending as much time with your friends as you used to because you are always glued to the computer working on your blog or commenting on other blogs?

Do you find yourself reading your i pad in bed instead of chatting and spending time with your significant other? Do you check your e mails several times a day for comments? Do you check the computer several times a day to see what your page views are and if you have new followers?
I have been guilty of all of these things at times and they are all signs that it may be time to re-prioritize my life.

Here is what I am going to do for now. It’s just something little but maybe it will be a good thing.
I am going to turn off my computer on Sundays. That will be my day to focus only on my family. We will have a nice breakfast, go to church, and I won’t check a single e mail much less visit my bog, or kill time on Pinterest.

Now go read some other blogs!

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-McKenzie

Comments

  1. says

    I am completely guilty of comparing myself to other bloggers. I constantly have to remember that people will read my Blog, because they like me and the things I do. I really do enjoy sharing the things I love! Thanks for this blog, it really hit home!

  2. says

    Applause! Well said and I love your Sunday idea. Being a brand new blogger I confess I have been a little overwhelmed and after seeing all the other fab blogs and bloggers out there was feeling a little insecure. But really that is not what it is about. So I will make sure to keep it all in focus! :)

  3. Emily says

    What a thought provoking post. I do need to spend less time on the computer. Actually I just had carpal tunnel surgery and physically can’t spend as much time at the computer which isn’t a bad thing. :) Love your idea to unplug on Sundays and your honesty.

  4. says

    Thanks for your honesty, Justine. I started my crafting blog this summer after keeping a family blog for five years. It’s been fascinating to join the crafty blogging world! The balancing thing is tricky, for sure.

  5. says

    Thanks for writing this. I’ve been thinking of starting a blog, and this is great food for thought. I also applaud anyone who takes Sunday off. It’s a good idea. Thanks for being honest. I’m pinning this so I can remember it.

  6. says

    Fabulous post. My blog has grown slowly. Partly because I won’t narrow down my focus to just sewing/crafts, and partly because I am a full time mom with full time employment to boot. I just don’t have time to participate in every linky and look at the all the other posts. I feel like I often don’t get the looks from a linky that I am giving to others. So yes, I do compare myself to other bloggers. And then I have to remember that I am a mom first, the few followers I do have are fabulous, and that I enjoy improving the creative side of my life. And yes, keep Sunday for the day it was meant to be. Great reminder, thanks. Going to bed now—-without the laptop.

    • says

      I wanted to reply via Foster’s comment… because she has a blog of interest to me, as yours is, Justine.

      I have personally been dealing with pride and covetousness lately regarding blogging. This required a prayer meeting.

      I decided everything eventually boiled down to Joanne.

      Huh?

      Joanne is my follower who stated, “Yours is the only blog I follow.” So you know what, I blog for her. Not for hundreds or thousands of followers. Not for comments… because literally the only time Joanne ever left a comment was when a post I wrote frightened her that I was “shutting down” my blog.

      Which believe me I have considered. I’m a homemaking empty-nester who got off Facebook and Twitter because I deemed them time-wasters. And I will NEVER join Pinterest for the same reason. I have had to prioritize my life in order to be the woman I want to be. At 51 I need to live intentionally. For me, for my man, for young women who look up to me, and for the Joannes.

      So, thank you, Justine. Balance is not a dirty word.

  7. Stacey says

    Great post, Justine! I have to go back and remind myself every so often that blogging is really just a hobby and a way to keep myself motivated to stay creative. I started keeping the weekends for my family a few months ago and it has been very beneficial to my “blogging health”. It really helps to step away and realize that most of your readers are following along in a reader and may only play catch up on the weekends.

  8. Faygie Fellig says

    i am so with you .
    i think blogging is lots of fun and rewarding but like everything in life,
    it can become what it DOES become to all of us.
    we all love the attention.
    it’s totally normal.
    we are all guilty of it.
    taking a day off is the best way to handle it because it’s hard not to get obsessed with something you love.
    so keep on blogging and learn your balance. it’s a lifelong lesson…

  9. motherof5bears says

    I have not come to this point yet. I blog for me time. I set the timer and give myself 30 mins of time to do what I enjoy(surf the web for intresting things).But I can totally see how it could over run ones life. Thanks for making us stop and reflect. We need more blogger sisters like you to remind us the internet is great in controlled portions.

  10. says

    Excellent post, Justine! I’ve cut back on my blogging time recently because I noticed that I was getting a bit obsessive about it. I had to remind myself why I am blogging and what my goal is (to keep a record of my projects…that’s it!). But I get caught up in the validation of people commenting on posts, following, etc. It’s something I struggle with and at times I’ve considered closing the comment section on my blog. I tell my kids that it doesn’t matter if someone likes something they’ve created/accomplished as long as they are pleased with it but I have a hard time living that!

    I think blogging can be a positive experience. I, for one, enjoy the camaraderie that blogging brings especially since other than my mom, I don’t have any sewing people in my life. But it’s easy to get sucked in to the black hole of blogging (where you blog because you feel like you have to). If you’re going to blog, it should be a part of the big picture(life), not the focus.

  11. Mie Brindle says

    Ohhh, I SO love this post and it came at the exact right time. After my long we-are-moving-break I have finally started to blog again but even though I link to the same link parties I am getting way lower visitors and almost no comments so I have doing exactly the wrong thing. Questioning myself and thinking what could I do different even though I kind of do with the blog what I originally wanted – a strictly sewing blog, no money involved (yet?) and a post when I had something to show.
    Thank you Justine you clever woman ;-)

  12. says

    I like this post Justine..I like sweing and I started blogging to make more sewing freinds :) I dont look for followers .. But I feel little dejected when I follow some one and they dont follow back :) I kinda feel my blog isnt interesting enough .. But then I am still new to all these blogging and all :) SO i cheer up.. I too dont spend hours on Net.. But only to read the blogs I follow.. NAd once a while upload post :)

  13. Merche Martinez says

    Hello! I find that I spent much more time reading and commenting on other blogs that minding my own, but I know it feels so good when somebody leaves a nice comment that I cannot help myself!
    Besides, my dad reciently said that I don´t sew for others, or for home, I sew for the internet… that gets me thinking!

  14. says

    Wow you have some good advice in this post. I decided awhile ago that two posts a week was a max and two posts a month were a must. I have never been down to 2 posts for the month yet. I enjoy blogging and I enjoy sewing but it is not a job. I haven’t made a cent and I doubt I ever will. But there is a lot of merit in what you write – it is easy to compare yourself to others, to become blog-addicted and to lose yourself in this blogging life. I think Sundays off is a great thing to do, I’m going to do the same thing.

  15. says

    Thanks for all you said, I too compare myself with the other bloggers and always come up short. I haven’t blogged now in over a month and feel a bit guilty about it, but really I have been busy living my life, much more important. After blogging for over a year I don’t even have 100 followers and rarely get comments. So I too have stepped back. I may keep up the blog or not. But for now I will blog infrequently and only so I can show others something I have been working on. It does come in handy when my family lives so far from me. I can post something and tell them to check it out rather than trying to send a bunch of photos. It is fun to do but not my first priority. Thanks again for addressing a real problem we as women seem to have, that is comparing our worst to someone elses best! Happy Blogging.

  16. says

    Great post! I have a small blog, but I don’t stress about the lack of comments or followers – I know a few people read what I write every now and then, and that’s enough for me! I also have an online business, and I do find that it’s so easy to be constantly checking and replying to e-mails and forgetting what needs to come first in life. You are so right – God has blessed us so abundantly, and we so easily forget to give thanks to Him for that and to relish these blessings. Taking Sunday off to be with those you love, rather than chained (mentally, if not physically) to the computer, is a beautiful way to enjoy them!

  17. says

    I have never compared myself to other bloggers, I think there are so many bloggers out there
    and I tend to follow someone if I like what they blog about, if I feel I have something in common. I have read a lot of blogs that have thousands of followers, but just not very interesting to me. My kids are grown and out of the house so if I did spend all day blogging it wouldn’t matter but, I’m also lucky (if you can call it that) that my internet really sucks, there are days I can’t even log on. It frees up my time to do things other than obsess about how many followers I have.

  18. Madeline says

    and that dear Justine is why I keep returning to your blog! Down to earth advice, beautiful creations and just a happy blog to visit! Thank you very much:)

  19. says

    No need for you to compare yourself to other blogs because yours is one of the best. You have a beautiful blog that touches on many different areas. All of them are of quality, and not quantity. Taking off one day of the week is optimal for your own self preservation. In fact, I would seriously suggest you take Saturday off, too. Your devoted followers will remain, and others will come back in time.

    I was rather worried when first reading your post. I thought, like others, that you were ending this wonderful life journey, which you have graciously invited us to follow though your precious blog. Keep enjoying the blogging experience, but don’t make it such a priority that it destroys your sanity. Celebrate and enjoy your personal time and family without worrying about the bolg’s viability. The blog will survive your absence during the time spent with family and other loved ones. Upon returning to the blog, you will come back refreshed, and even more inspired. Thank you for sharing so much, and allowing us to partake in your journey through the virtual world.

  20. Vanessa@Designs By Sessa says

    You are so right in all of this! This is EXACTLY why I decided to take a 3 week break! I was tired of allowing my priorities to be out of wack and jumping on the computer every “break” I got. It’s been very neat to see how God has been using this break for his name! It’s like taking steps back refresh and he can show you what to do next. It’s something completely unexpected and I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store!

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