Well. I definitely didn’t intend to disappear from my blog for three weeks, but that is certainly what has happened. And it wasn’t just here. I kind of disappeared from all my standard internet hangouts (socials, awesome blogging groups, etc.) Why? Well, I wrote a big ole caption on this Instagram post covering that, but in case you don’t follow me on Insta or don’t want to click over, allow me to sum up with a nice list.
- The inauguration happened.
I began ingesting way, WAY, too many articles about politics.
I got depressed.
Then I got super sick for ten days.
Once I felt healthy again, I felt stuck in a fog about what to do other than exist on a day to day basis.
I am now pulling myself out of said fog.
I know I am not at all alone in feeling depressed about the current political climate in the US. I’ve got a whole post about this coming up, so I won’t ramble about it much here. Suffice to say, I’ll continue to stay informed and take action, but in a way that doesn’t entirely overwhelm and depress me.
As for pulling myself out of the fog, that is taking more effort. I definitely still have days where I just want to do nothing but nap or play video games all day. Which is not only not productive, it’s not healthy. So while it is taking effort to be a normal, functioning human being, it’s effort I’m willing to put in. Cheesy as it sounds, I’m focusing on little things. Taking ridiculous selfies with my daughter (and also hilarious videos of her). Appreciating the friends and family I have. Indulging in a healthy amount of video game time. Making time to read.
I’m also getting back into standard self-care stuff – literal basics like drinking water and eating well regularly. For the two weeks I was super sick, I barely ate, and drank water really irregularly (which I’m sure was not the least bit helpful in recovering). I also stopped daily yoga completely. Simple things like that make a huge difference in my mental health, and I am getting back on track with a regular schedule for them.
As for art, it is still a wonderful refuge. An activity that makes me lose track of time completely, focuses all my attention, and makes me feel both accomplished and proud. Right now I have a good balance of commission work and personal projects that are keeping me both busy and happy. I often struggle keeping a balance of making art for myself when I have a lot of paid work. It’s a balance I really want to achieve. Right now I’m really inspired with a new mini-series of portraits for February, and I’ve got one in the works for March too!
So with my personal life and creative life getting back in order, that still left the blog. Sitting here, untouched. I would think about writing, and then just…not sit down and write. I am certainly not unique in my blogging qualms. Every single blogger I’ve ever interacted with has at some point experienced a slump, a lack of interest, doubt about their content, worries over monetizing; the list goes on. Even though I’m not alone on this boat, it doesn’t really make me feel any better about it.
My current blogging struggle? I don’t feel like I have anything to offer you guys. My posts don’t feel like I’m providing anything to my readers. I have lists in my bullet journal for post ideas, and that list is pretty damn bare. I’ve read countless articles on growing blogs, bringing in new traffic, and they all say pretty much the same thing. Provide your readers a service! Give them useful content! Solve a problem for them! Riiiiight.
Here’s the thing. I totally understand what all the articles are saying. I get that it’s better marketing to provide super useful content, I get that it makes more sense to have a niche blog, I get that consistent blogging brings in more readers. But honestly? I don’t want to do that. Or more accurately, I don’t want to ALWAYS do that, or feel like I HAVE to do that.
So I’m not. I’m changing a lot of the blogging goals I had for this year. While I still want to be posting twice a week, the content is going to be what I want, when I want. Some days I might actually have useful content for you. Other days you may just see what I got up to this weekend. I’m throwing SEO to the wind, along with most strategies to grow my readership. Since I have no intention of monetizing my blog, pageviews should be the least of my life worries.
I’ve put a lot of thought into what I like to read in a blog as well. I don’t enjoy blogs solely about one topic or even worse, blogs that feel like a commercial. What I love are personal blogs, where people share what they’ve been up to, doodles they’ve made, or their latest obsessions. So why wouldn’t I write my own blog in the same way?
I had goals of making my blog a lot more content focused this year. This is an ART blog so I’ll write only about ART and ART related things! ALL ART, ALL THE TIME! Yuck. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love art (duh), and there are sure to be art related posts, but this blog is a representation of ME. Therefore, I want to share about all the things I love not just one section of it, or only posts I think people can get use out of.
Will my views go down? Probably. Will I bring in a lot of new readers? Doubtful. Will I be 100% happier? YES. SO MUCH YES. And that is absolutely worth it.
TL;DR: I’m embracing ‘you do you’ and writing about whatever the fuck I want, pageviews be damned.
How do you deal with blogging woes? And what kind of content do you enjoy reading in a blog? I’ve never done any kind of reader survey (maybe at the end of this year), so I’d love to know what types of blogs you all get excited about. Share links in the comments if you like; I’d love to check out some new ones!