I am back, after a lengthy hiatus from this blog.
I had been away because I felt unfulfilled with my blogging. I wrestled for many months wondering what was missing, until I realized today that it was the ‘casual, fun, simple old blogging days’ that I missed.
As digital media and platforms progressed, so did blogging. The present blogging scene is filled with Alexa rank, Google Page rank, SEO, content strategy, content marketing, keywords, hashtags and more. Picture perfect images, regular published posts, social media optimized posts, and catchy titles are the norm now. Besides these, NaNoWriMo, A to Z, and other community-based blogging campaigns have rooted themselves in the blogosphere.
I’m not saying that any of these are bad. I have been a digital media executive and content writer since the past 7+ years and I know that several of these tools are effective and helpful for many bloggers (I myself have benefited from them). However, all of this simply put me in a state of overwhelm.
I joined the tribe of bloggers who pursued all of these blogging methods, strategies, groups, tribes, and campaigns. It’s not that I wanted to blog my way to the top or something, it’s just that I like trying new stuff (from both a personal and professional level) and so I did. I explored a lot and didn’t enjoy a lot of it. I still followed the blogging trends though as I thought one needs to change and adapt with the changing times.
However, blogging no more felt fun. That genuine feeling of satisfaction on publishing a post whether anyone read it or not was no longer there. I was trying to be too perfect, to match all the requirements needed for a blog to gain traction and visibility.
Blogging started to feel robotic, mundane, obligatory – and that’s dangerous.
Checking my stats, follower count, ranking – all of that didn’t really make an impact – I thought they did, I felt a momentary thrill but that was it, it was just things ticked off a checklist. It was like alright then, follower count – check, next stop is ranks – yup could do better, next up is stats – fairly okay… blah, blah, blah.
The purity of blogging was missing.
I also miss the genuine ‘voice’ of bloggers, some of the blogs I read today sound so similar to one another that they just put me off. And then I wonder if I’m doing the same, and it scares me!
It was then that it hit me, that I really missed the old ways of blogging for the sheer love of expressing myself without thinking about optimizing it for ranks, and views. When I blogged for the simplicity of it, I found joy, satisfaction, new friends and true readers.
I had stayed away from my blogs for a long while because I knew that I was misusing them. I couldn’t keep filling them with posts that didn’t fulfill me and them. But I could never abandon them. These blogs are my best friends. I could no longer cheat them with ‘optimized’ posts.
So I sat back, I bide my time until I could understand what exactly was troubling me so much that my writing had stagnated. While I was on this sabbatical, I also wondered if maybe I was somewhere wrong because everyone else seemed to be enjoying blogging the ‘new’ optimized way. I guess everyone has their own way of things working for them. What worked for others didn’t work for me, or rather, didn’t satisfy me.
It has been nearly two years of writing off and on – writing only when I felt like it or when I found a worthy enough campaign that was in line with my values. After two years, I finally found what was blocking me all this while from blogging like I used to. I’ve decided to return to blogging for the fun of it, to keep it light, simple, genuine, imperfect,with only basic blogging tools helping me out!
Here’s to finding your way out, and never quitting what you love to do!
Is there anyone else out here like me who misses blogging for fun like before? Would love to hear from you.