This afternoon, I had planned to post about a search engine optimization class I took recently, as part of Tuesday's Blogging Tips, but then, last night I got really down. (I hate to put this out in the universe, but being a writer and an extrovert, the best way for me to deal with my feelings is to write them out. Bear with me.)
It was about 9 p.m., and I was in my usual computer daze, with several windows open, mainly Pinterest and my favorite blogs, when all of the sudden, a wave of sadness came over me. I was looking at my editoral calendar and there's tons on there -- I have a whole series planned on personal style, and another series on the healthy tidbits of wedding industry pros -- but yet, I felt like throwing in the towel. I did. I really did. And I often do.
While I love Fit for a Bride and truly believe in the content of this blog, combining wedding and fitness inspiration, blogging is a daily grind. Daily. And every night I'm in front of my computer preparing content for the next day.
Don't get me wrong, I love blogging, which is why I've been doing it so long, but with a niche blog like this one, where there's less of my own personal voice and a lot less dialogue (such as, comments from you guys), it's easy to get discouraged.
Some days I post three and four times and there's no response. I'm not blaming you, of course (if you're reading this please know that I am so, so thankful for you!), but, I'm a feedback person; my love language is "words of affirmation."
I don't think it helps that I don't quite understand my analytics either. So, truly, I'm putting everything I have out there every single day, and as far as I can tell: crickets.
I've been doing a lot of comparing lately, too. Comparing myself to other bloggers, the ones with Wendy's, Reebok, and Juicy Couture partnerships... and I know that's bad. I know those bloggers have been on their grind for years, but it does make this climb (up the blogging latter? Is there even such thing?) feel pretty exhausting and impossible. It makes me wonder if I should even be doing this? Why am I doing this?
There's tons of amazing conferences going on right now, too. BlogHer was this past weekend in Chicago, this coming weekend is Cultivate in Flordia and Amber Housely's Inspired in Tennessee. I really want to go to another conference (I haven't been to one since 2011, when I attended Making Things Happen), but financially, it's just not feasible.
Are you exhausted yet?
^^ If you got through all that, bless you! This is what my mom likes to call, "throwin' it all in the pot." ^^
So, what did I do?
I cried to my hubby.
Aaron was in a computer daze, too, but he turned his attention to me and listened intently. He's been by my side since before I became obsessed with Fit for a Bride and he believes in it, too. In fact, he encouraged me to start the blog and, just like he did last night, has encourages me to keep it going.
It's' funny because Aaron used the random dolphins on our TV as this analogy for my purpose as a blogger. The dolphins were violently thrusting themselves ashore to catch these tiny fish; sloshing in the mud and competing with other bigger dolphins.
In Aaron's words, "that one little fish is the means of their survival."
Comparing that fish to the little notch I may get (such as being featured on Style Me Pretty!) in this longer, bigger blogging journey.
And, he was spot-on. That's how I feel as a blogger sometimes - violently throwing myself onto any and every idea, grasping for more content, more fuel to get me to the next, hopefuly better destination. All the while, being sucked back into the ocean, but the strong pull of the current. Being sucked back into the BIG ocean. Among all the other bloggers. Sometimes feeling defeated, exhausted; but yet, still hungry for more - more content, more followers. more little fishes.
Let me stop there for a second and say, if I've lost you, it's OK. I understand this doesn't fit the blog niche too well (weddings and fitness, that is), but this is my life at the moment and the only way I think this blog is going to survive is if, in at least some part, I make it about me.
And, so, Aaron finalized the analogy by giving me - the dolphin - a choice.
I could give up on those fish and on this daily, messy, exhausting grind. Or, I could realize, there's a lot of fish in the sea. Lots! And there's other places to "fish." I could simply redirect my energy or take a new approach. Or maybe I need to just look at the bigger picture... and like my husband said: "be happy to be a dolphin! Dolphins are awesome!"
Guys. It might sound nutty, but that made so. much. sense. to me. I'm a dolphin! (Lol. Just kidding. Haha!)
I'm a writer. I love fitness. I love weddings. That's it. That's my purpose. The blog doesn't have to be anything more. It can be. I hope it is. But really, all that matters is that it is what I love.
So sorry for the mini-pity party but I had to take a step back. In fact, I'll be taking an even bigger step back this week and evaluating content and possibly restructing when I post/how often, etc. As always, I'll keep you informed.
Thank you SO much for reading this.