Is it time for me to quit blogging?

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?

Why?

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.

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photo credit: Thinkfull via photopin (license)

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36 Replies to “Is it time for me to quit blogging?”

  1. keep on, but only when you want to. you are right. if you touch ONE person, you have changed someone’s world. I like to think I’m made up of the authors I’ve read (from the Dr to, well…YOU!). Your thoughts on why to stop is EXACTLY why I don’t want to actually write to be published. But, as for my blogs? I don’t care. I know lots who read the family one I ‘promote’ on FB and very few who read my other one. I enjoy your words, I’m glad you are around!

  2. Sorry to hear about the rough patch. I do hope you keep at it. I think you offer an important resource for women struggling with the ins and outs of mood disorders and motherhood. It inspires me. It’s funny, though, what you wrote is pretty much spot on with my thinking when I kept putting off blogging. Sometimes we have to put in the crap work to get to do the things we really love, giving support, telling a good tale, making people laugh or think. If those things outweigh the downsides with operating a business, then the cost/benefit scales keep us plugging along. All the best. Hope to keep getting your posts in my inbox.

  3. I feel lucky to be on the email list, no song and dance necessary to get my attention. Thank you for your courage in reaching out to connect. If you are moved to, keep at it, I appreciate your posts.

  4. I have a blog, but I write to share myself and put minimal effort into promoting, because I’m not interested in making any money off of it. I only promote on Twitter. I’m excited if 30 (yes that’s 30 with one zero!) people read my posts. If you stop worrying about the numbers and the “flash” maybe some of that initial inspiration will come back. I subscribe through email by the way, so you don’t need to shout to get my attention…

  5. I’ve felt the same lately. Blogging has become so overwhelming, but I still love to get in there and write and the satisfaction of hitting “publish” when I’m done writing a good post. I think it makes sense for us to remember why we started, because even if our stories help just one person, it’s all worth it. xoxo

  6. I get this. I wonder the same thing all the time and the amount of work it takes to make everything social media ready has me quitting before I start too. Do whatever makes you happy and I’ll be here. xo

  7. As you know I too have been feeling this way. I think it’s interesting that so many of us are experiencing the same thing. I love that you are focusing on the why you blog, about the connections that matter. Thanks for saying what I needed to hear!

    1. So I wrote a long, passionate Manifesto about all of this just the other day that got crazy-great feedback. Then I read that IHeart Organizing (a big, huge DIY blog that is wildly successful) is also feeling all of this.
      All this to say : no one is alone!! You came back to what is important, and I love that.

  8. Write to write.
    Not for SEO.
    Not for page views.
    Not for Google.
    For you.
    For your readers, who obviously love what you write.
    I have been down this road and believe me, it’s a hard one.
    Do what is in your heart and the rest will follow.
    ❤️

  9. Well said and I totally agree. I took a one week break back in April and didn’t miss it at all – in fact it it felt like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Today I am in the middle of a two week break and I am seriously contemplating how to cut back without totally quitting. It’s everything you said – everything has already been written about, too much work to get any eyes on it, etc. I don’t want to quit because of the connections, but at the same time I’m a “over it.”

  10. I’m not a blogger. I’m just a mom. One of the many many moms that your words have helped, encouraged, inspired, even saved some times. Please, write when your ready…we’ll be here.

  11. Sometimes I have absolutely nothing to write, then a bunch of post show up in my head at once. Then I think I really need to read some other blogs before I write one. Then I don’t do anything. Sigh. It is overwhelming. Seriously I rather go clean something.

  12. I love this honest post. In the days of yore when "only" about 300 people were seeing my posts in a week or even a month, my husband said something that still sticks with me. In terms of the internet a few hundred might not seem like a lot, but those are real people. Imagine putting all of them in the same room. Through each post you are speaking to 300 people at the same time! That would be a huge crowd for a speech. Why do we make it seem like less of a big deal online? Even if it was just one person whose life was made better it would still be a big deal, and I know for sure lives have been touched by this website and the group that has formed because of it. You make moms- hundreds and thousands of real, live women who are struggling and dealing with real issues of their own- feel less alone. And that is important work.

  13. It is so frustrating to work so hard and feel like you're blogging to the wind. You just have to hold onto the fact that, as you said, there are people who WILL see your post, and you are making a difference to those people!

  14. Loved your honest account of all the behind-the-scenes things we bloggers have to do to get readers. It’s a shame that FB has devalued use with their new algorithm … deciding for people what they get to see, unless we pay them to “promote” us. It seems like extortion.

  15. I know this so very well. I hate all the BS. I want to just write. But I’m so overwhelmed, I’ve been going back in time to old posts, trying to add images and change format and update titles. It’s exhausting, but not as exhausting as writing more. I just want to write a book. A real. live. book. One that I can cradle in my arms and smell the good book smell.

  16. I HEAR you. I’ve felt the same way lately. It can be overwhelming & discouraging. But like you said in the end it’s about expression and connection and hopefully improving the world in some small way. I began like you – to connect with other moms & hopefully help those who felt like they were drowning under the tremendous pressures of modern parenting. I still believe in that. So I’ll keep going, but I’m trying to focus on the few things I can do b/c I can’t do all of them. Like your pre-made clickable tweet at the end!

  17. Reading this, as someone thinking about blogging, I don't know why you do the promoting, if it is the promoting that is sucking the joy out of it for you. Why not cut out some of the bits that you don't enjoy – and see if that revives your interest?

  18. I stopped blogging a few months ago. I became so fed up with the level of narcissism (which is outrageous) and high school level antics, I just had enough. Been happier ever since. I'll wait for the great blogging crash and then consider returning. It's good to hear you're staying true to you.

  19. You took the words out of me! I have been feeling this way for quite a while now and can't seem to break through the paralysis, or mental constipation is what I like calling it. It's there but I just can't let it out but know that I need for it to come out. But thank you for making me feel less alone in this. Good luck to us. P.S. I hate doing all that stuff—SEO, etc. I just try to write and hope for the best. We do always need to remind ourselves why we do this. May the Force be with us.

  20. I hope you don’t quit blogging. I’ve only just found your blog, and as a very new mum who suffers from panic disorder/anxiety/agoraphobia, I really want to connect with other mums who’ve been there and know what they’re talking about.
    I think the whole increasing your SEO and all that can be exhausting, but like you said – it’s all about connecting. If promoting and pinning and thinking of keyword-friendly titles is for anything, it’s so that it can drive more people like myself to you.

    Blog on! 🙂

  21. I hope you don’t quit. I just found you recently, so you’re still reaching newbies. I get it, though. I help run PregnancyAfterLossSupport.com, and between the editing and networking and SEO and social media crap, there’s hardly any time left for writing. But, I know we’re reaching people who need us, so it’s worth it in the end.

  22. I’ve watched my numbers slowly decline for a while now, and at times, I feel like that child actor who was adorable at age 6 and awkward and hearing crickets for roles at age 11. But, I have a ton of ideas backed up and could write three times a week for at least three years without coming up with one more new idea. I want to write an ebook or whitepaper or manifesto about how to keep the wheels spinning! Even if it doesn’t get the writer to HuffPost or a guest spot on Oprah.

  23. I completely and absolutely get this. And it's hard not to be discouraged, and distracted, by the dog and pony show style blogging that is getting the most eyeballs these days. So some soul searching is to be expected. From what I have read here so far, you should continue. You are doing a good thing. Even helping just one person can make a difference.

  24. Thanks for sharing what I think a lot of bloggers feel. As a fellow writer I also struggle with the promotion portion of my writing. When I write something I often think about the one person out there who really NEEDS to hear what I am saying. I don’t know who they are, but I like to think what I write will be life changing for them – anyone else that happens to read it is just a bonus.

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