I’ve been too paralyzed to write lately. I’m not really sure I’m burned out, per say. I have stuff I want to write about. There are definitely ideas swimming around in my head. But it just seems like so much effort to blog nowadays, I get frustrated before I even begin.
Those of you who are Honest Mom readers and don’t have your own blogs may have zero idea what I’m talking about. So let me back up.
I used to just sit down and write, write, write. I’d proof that blog post, love it, and then hit “publish.” Post on Facebook, tweet here and there, watch the comments roll in, and interact with my readers on my blog. Good times, circa 2010.
Now blogging is so freaking COMPLICATED. I think of something to write about and immediately think — nah, that’s been written about too many times. I mean, everything I think to write about has been done before. There aren’t any original ideas out there anymore, it seems. What can I possibly have to say that hasn’t been said a zillion times before? I’m flummoxed before I start.
But then I remind myself that my audience hasn’t read all the things I’ve read, and I have my own take on whatever topic I want to write about. So I go for it and I write that post. However. That’s just the beginning.
I have to think of a clickable headline to get people to read my post. And deal with the SEO stuff so Google will pay attention to my post. Oh, and find a great image to create a pinnable graphic for Pinterest. I have to actually make the graphic. Don’t forget a clickable, pre-written tweet to make it easy for my readers to share my post. And on and on and on… Many hours later, I have done All The Things that make a blog post primed and ready to go. And I’m freaking exhausted.
But wait! Now it’s time to promote, promote, promote on social media, or else no one except my blog subscribers will know I wrote anything! I must figure out optimal times to post on social media, schedule social media shares, participate in Facebook blogging groups and promote other bloggers’ posts so they promote mine…
So I do All The Things to help drive traffic to my blog post and get eyes on it. Hours and hours and hours of time — for what? Several thousand visits to my post?
What’s the point?
This is what I keep asking myself.
Am I blogging out of narcissism? To feel popular? To go viral and be the center of attention for a few days?
I can honestly say the answer to those questions is NO. The reasons I started blogging are still the reasons I blog today: to connect with other moms and to help moms who deal with depression and anxiety to not feel so alone.
But even those good, solid reasons haven’t been enough to make me want to write blogs posts, because writing a post means having to deal with all the other crap that blogging now encompasses.
Blogging used to be about writing and connecting. And it still is, really — but now to connect, we have to manipulate social media to “increase our reach.” The blogging world is oversaturated, and it seems that in order to be heard above the noise you need to write a click-bait headline and a controversial post.
That’s not why I blog. I don’t want to write Buzzfeed-worthy headlines and top 10 list posts about Things That Will Blow Your Mind.
So will my blog posts be seen by anyone, anymore, ever again?
If a writer writes a blog post and no one ever sees it, did she really write it at all?
Sigh. I don’t know.
WAIT. I do know.
Here’s the thing that I have to keep reminding myself: When I write a blog post, typically a few thousand people see it. More, if I do All The Things that social media requires bloggers to do nowadays. That’s thousands of people who read my words. And hopefully, a whole bunch of them are impacted in some positive way.
And even if just a few hundred see my blog post because I don’t do all the promotional crap, that’s a few hundred people who read my words and hopefully get something out of them.
That means something.
That’s why I write: to reach people. To share thoughts that hopefully help my readers in some way, whether it’s comforting them or making them laugh or commiserating with them.
So I will keep blogging. I won’t quit. I might take some breaks here and there (it IS summer, after all!), but I’ll be back.
And I hope you will be, too.