04/06 Life

Real Talk: Blog Life

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This photo pretty much sums up today’s post, both in what it’s kind of about and how hard it was to write, HA!  I’m sharing blog life as I know it, which is something I’ve chickened out over many times because I didn’t want to risk coming off as whiney or like I’m complaining.  The opposite of that though would feel like I’m giving off the false image that I’m getting by without struggle.  So as I begin by admitting to you that I failed over the weekend at coming up with this week’s scheduled DIY, my hope is that there’s something here you guys can relate to and that we can be encouraged to talk openly and honestly about the things we struggle with, whatever they are.

I think you guys know I work a full time job, so I reserve nights and weekends for working on my blog.  My entire struggle lies in how that same time needs to be shared with everything else that’s important in my life, but with the pressure of trying to “keep up” with the blogosphere and dedicating precious weekend daylight hours to photographing content for the blog, I often reject plans with friends and family and sacrifice taking care of my basic needs (I know that wouldn’t fly for a second when I have kids… blogging mamas, HOW do you stay alive??)  So far I’d try to wear this sacrifice as a badge, like it was assurance that I’m following in the footsteps of every success story, but the reality was that it kept me from living a vibrant life offline, which makes it very, very difficult to stay inspired.

Lately it’s been rough for me in that sense, to consistently come up with ideas that are relevant to me rather than something I forced in order to create a pretty picture people would want to pin.  It’s teaching me that while this blog takes an immense amount of time and work to grow, I cannot effectively churn out creativity in a way that’s genuine and true to myself if all I do is live for the blog.  It’s a little counter-intuitive, to spend time away from something you love that requires a lot of your time to do, but I think a huge part of success in blog life is knowing when to remove yourself from it for a minute, like when the inspiration just doesn’t come, when creativity starts to feel like a competition, or when it feels like a bombed Instagram post is ruining your day (hate how petty that is, but I’m guilty of it!)

I’m making it sound all bad, but it’s definitely not.  The tricky thing is just that blog culture encourages carefully curating the better parts of our lives, which is fine, we want to be inspired by beautiful and happy things, but it can be exhausting trying to keep up with that all the time, or if everything you do offline starts to feel contrived because it needs to be something you can blog about.

So my point… I’m making an effort to spend more time enjoying things outside of blog life with the intention that what I do share on this blog comes from a real place.  Even if it doesn’t work out that smoothly, I recognize that there’s a limit to how much time should be spent cooped up at home trying to force ideas to formulate out of thin air.  It’s what happened this past weekend, and I went outside and enjoyed my city instead, something I’ve been loving doing a lot lately, and  is a little bit of how I’m navigating through this funk that has been hanging around for what seems like since the start of this year.

I know a lot of us were feeling that funk too, and I don’t know if any of you still feel it lingering around, but I’d love to hear any insight on how you deal with similar issues, or if you have been feeling any of the same frustrations!

47 comments on “Real Talk: Blog Life”

  1. I definitely feel the same way! You just can’t beat the SoCal weather, right? Besides, I end up being super busy on the weekends for the blog when spring/summer rolls around, so I decided to do absolutely nothing before it all starts up. All of the crafts and food festivals start to call my name, and I am definitely starting to have fewer and fewer blocks of just “me time.” Glad to know that I’m not the only one who feels that blogging is a double-edged sword when it comes to creativity!

    1. Haha yea that SoCal weather makes it reeeeally hard to stay inside so much. I like that you can acknowledge how busy it’s going to be later and therefore take time for yourself to prep. So often I can forget that’s even an option! But it’s a healthy choice to make. Thanks for sharing, Diane.

  2. I hear you. I do find myself obsessing over my blog especially because I want to make it successful such as you have. I’ve been reading books upon books to try and figure out ways to make my blog the most successful it can be. You have been a huge inspiration to me during this blog journey and yet again you inspire me. Your words are true and I’ve realized my husband gets annoyed when I’m constantly working on the blog rather than spending time with him. I don’t get a ton of time to blog as I’m caring for my little one so like you it’s nights and weekends. I need to make my family a priority but still love what I’m doing and it do it in a healthy way! Thanks for this post! I needed it!

    1. Definitely the beginning days was when my blog obsession was the craziest. It’s hard not to feel like you need to put in quadruple overtime to “catch up”, so I totally understand that struggle. It’s funny though, I can’t totally recommend not doing that either, because it was that craziness that propelled my blog to grow so much in its first year. So like anything, the sacrifices are tough as hell, but can be so rewarding if it takes you where you want to go. Definitely though it’s good to recognize when you need to recharge and tend to important things that have gone ignored, and to feel good about giving that to yourself. I for sure can be better about that.
      I’m overjoyed to know that I could be a source of inspiration for you, Ruthie. Thank you for taking the time to share that with me!

  3. It is hard! Usually, I get a lot of work done at night after I put my kids to bed, but lately I’ve had lots of nights where I say I think it would actually be better for me to just read a book. And I might get a little behind (on mostly self-imposed deadlines), but it is better for my soul and ultimately, for my creativity. P.S. you are doing an amazing job!

    1. Oh man, reading… I’ve back-burnered that so hard, which is a problem considering it’s something I really enjoy. Good for you for actively prioritizing it. The self-imposed deadlines can wait, for sure ;)
      Thanks for the encouragement, Alexis <3

  4. As a blogger mom, I can say, the first thing to suffer is always my blog! Lol… I work full-time and am a single mom…sooo… finding the time to blog is tough! But it’s such a great hobby that I love the challenge of somewhat keeping up with it, too! Life happens… so you just do the best you can! I hope you have fun spending more time with friends and focusing more on you! Sometimes you have to breathe.


    Amber
    All the Cute

    1. Totally, the challenge keeps things interesting for sure, even if it gets so stressful. I applaud you and all the other moms out there that are doing it!! Gives me hope for when that time comes for me :) Thanks for the insight, Amber.

  5. You are not alone! Thanks for sharing your story. I also work full-time, and with 2 kids and a husband, finding time for the blog can be hard. I chose to go down to only posting 2 (sometimes 3) times a week in order to make the best use of my time, and it has also helped with not feeling so burned-out.

    1. That seems to be the general trend in blogging, posting less not only to stay charged for the long term but also to keep up the quality of content. Good to hear you’ve done that for yourself and definitely the right move- you have so much on your plate!!

  6. I feel like the month of December was my funk. I WAY over committed and just wanted Christmas to hurry up and be over. it was a great learning lesson. I feel like this year, I’m striving for excellent work, but being much less stressed about it. I still want to rock the blog, but I’m striving for more organized productive time and then I make myself be with the family. It’s always a struggle but I do feel much better about it all this year vs. last year.

    1. December was awful for me too haha, which is terrible when it’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year.” Being much less stressed about the work is definitely something I’m trying to focus on this year, too. The stress is definitely self imposed, so I can always afford being more aware of it. And YES, setting clear boundaries and scheduling work and play time. Constantly an area that needs improvement for me!

  7. Yes! I really feel you on this. It’s nice to see another voice coming from someone who also works full-time. It’s a real challenge to prioritize, get things done, and still — as you so perfectly put it — live a “vibrant life offline.” Definitely a balance I continue to struggle with.

    1. So glad you can relate as a fellow full-time worker. Sometimes it feels like “balance” is some imaginary unattainable thing haha. I so often find myself wishing there were more hours in the day, or that I didn’t have to sleep :P

  8. Yes! Blog life can totally feel overwhelming and I know I only have like, three followers (lol) I still want to TRY to keep up with all the pretty! I also work a full time job and have a little one, so I mix blog and pictures in there whenever I can. It’s part of the reason why my blog is more a lifestyle blog and not just one category of things. I look at my blog like an online journal. :]

    1. Lifestyle blogging seems like a natural shift when having a family. It’s encouraging to hear that’s how you’ve managed to keep up the blog life and have it intersect with real life :). Feels like it would be enjoyable to incorporate more of just the everyday things that go on. Hoping I can start to move towards doing some of that too!

  9. Oh Amy, thank you for writing this.

    I feel this way much of the time too, and my photos don’t take nearly as long as yours since I do not create an entire project from scratch! (You amaze me!) Each weekend/free evening I make sure I have time set aside to shoot outfits…which also means finding time to style and wear those outfits in real life. In fact this past weekend I took off from blogging entirely because I just wanted to wear yoga pants and a messy bun without makeup, and for this weekend I decided that was ok because I would come back this week more inspired. My point is we have to make sure we don’t lose why this is fun. I started blogging because capturing my outfits was fun for me, so if my outfit isn’t good enough to be captured, I am just not going to force it from now on. I think it’s all about balance and knowing that your core audience is willing to wait a few days longer to see a great post! Keep up the great work, you’re killin’ it!!!! <3 <3 <3

    1. Yoga pants and no makeup is usually how I roll on the weekends! So planning all those different outfits ahead of time and looking good, I don’t know if I could do it… what you do is amazing, too!!! Thanks for the reminder to take a little longer on something if it means it’s going to be great. I can get so focused on keeping to a strict timeline that I won’t stop and think if I’m putting out my best, or if I’m having FUN. We do this for fun, indeed. Thanks for having my back, Megan <3

  10. Oh Amy, this post reminds me of a painful post I wrote last month, about how my life is not a mirrored reflection of what I produce on my blog.

    In my opinion, blogging is very addicting! I find myself thinking, ok, this is it, I’m not going to spend as much time on the blog and go do stuff.

    Then I go back and get cooped up at home and craft away. My excuse? Crafting is my therapy and I’m doing something good for me. Yes, that is true, but when I sacrifice time with close friends, it is not healthy.

    Now, I’ve been praying for a “sober minded” mind and to have the ability to see life with an “eternal” perspective… My kids are growing up so fast, and I do have time for myself but I want more and more time for me. However, their precious childhood feels like is slipping away, and all I should do is spend time with them…

    I’ve been cutting down on how many posts I do a week. I use an editorial calendar plug-in and write down the posts that I’d like to accomplish. And I would love to write more but my kids are dragging me outside to ride bikes with them… I’m semi terrified of all the hills over here. yikes, so i have to run.

    Amy, thank your for your transparency! You are doing amazing with your blog!

    hugs,
    Ursula

    1. Ah, Ursula, that’s so tough… I don’t know at all what it’s like to have mini-me’s tugging at me for attention, but I can imagine that’s impossible to reject, and that there will come a time where my kids are going to be my priority and this blog cannot consume me the way it does now. I do agree though that especially since crafting/blogging is what feeds your soul, you absolutely need to keep going. I wouldn’t have guessed that your time was so thin just based on your blog- it’s looking amazing, and I’m so encouraged that you’re getting things DONE. You go, mama <3

  11. I know 10000% what you’re feeling. I’ve had the exact same thought lately how my offline life has become LESS interesting since i’ve become consumed with maintaining my online life….and I quit my day job! For me, the hours would be easier to swallow if I was making more of a living from it. I’m struggling right now with finding the right balance and making decisions about my future. I’m kinda just waiting for the answer to pop up but somehow I don’t think it will happen like that.

    1. First, round of applause for taking the jump and leaving your job. As much as I daydream about doing that, I’m sure it has opened up a whole new world of stresses and tasks that I’d be lost over trying to handle! I feel like I’m in a period where I’m waiting for answers, too, and I’m also pretty sure it doesn’t work like that ha. It’s an abyss of mystery!

  12. Amy! Thanks for writing this! I definitely feel the same way at times and it stinks! I was actually going to talk about this on my post today, but thought I’d better not because I sound a little bitter hah!! Blogging is fun, but it can end up consuming your life a little bit…like saying no to hanging out with friends (guilty!). Usually when I’m in the funk, I just remind myself that I’m doing it for myself because I enjoy doing it and I enjoy sharing it with others! If you don’t get the best response…oh well! You do what makes you happy! I think you’re great at what you do! Honestly all of your posts on here are wonderful!! What your readers can appreciate is your honesty!

    Keep staying awesome Amy!! xoxo

    1. No, really, I re-wrote this post so many times because it would start to sound too bitter, so I know exactly what you mean! It’s fun, but also at times really not fun, but still fun. It’s weird. Blogging gets weird. Exactly why I needed a reminder that I gotta stick to what I truly truly enjoy and want to do.
      Marianela- thank you for your constant support. Thank you thank you thank you. You are what makes the world better <3 Seriously.

  13. This is such an honest post Amy! I also struggle with the issue of prioritising my blog vs. other life stuff. And I find myself asking whether the hard yards I put in are a normal part of growing a successful blog/business/brand or whether I’m just being silly and I should spend more time doing the things that really matter like being with friends and family. I haven’t got any solutions, but I’m so glad you shared your story because I totally relate. You and your blog are always an inspiration to me :)

    1. I don’t think it’s silly at all, even though this posts touches on questioning priorities. Everyone has their own limits and it gets clear when things just get unhealthy and some changes need to be made, but for the most part I’m a believer in that the hard yards always pay off. You’re KILLING it, Steph. You inspire ME!

  14. I definitely relate SO much to your heart in this post…I am constantly having to choose between real life and blog life, and all too often I choose the blog…Balance is something that completely alludes me, so the reminder you’ve given me today is a welcome one. Thank you for your honesty and know that we are ALL cheering for you and appreciate all of the inspiration you offer—if you ever wonder if the precious hours you’re putting into your blog are being noticed, know that they DEFINITELY ARE!!!! You rock =)

    1. Right, what is balance?? I’m always choosing the blog too. I finally stopped to think about how weekends would go by without me going outside at all other than to get supplies, and I’m finally admitting I’m just not ok with that. At least not every weekend :P sometimes there’s just no other way and it needs to be done, but it helps IMMENSELY to know that I’ve got friends like you sticking by. Thank you for EVERYTHING, Carrie <3

  15. Thanks for putting this out there, Amy. I appreciate that us as bloggers are being honest with ourselves which changes the nature of blogging for us all.

    Blogging-wise, I’m giving myself a summer sabbatical to develop and indulge some skills that are blog related but aren’t necessarily post/pin worthy. I am actually sitting on a post that has been difficult for me to write, too much like this one.

    Just like in real life, I think in blogging we have to develop and tweak what we do to work for us. Do keep us posted. And thank you for putting your heart and creativity out here on the interwebs for us to enjoy and be inspired. Hugs!

    1. I hope you do get that post out. This was really difficult for me to write too, but I’m already feeling 10000 times better because of it, and I’m wishing you the same relief.
      It’s interesting to hear you say that you’ll be up to non post/pin worthy posts. I think I know what you’re saying. A lot of blogging pressure comes from maintaining a level of shareability in everything we post, “viral” potential in more dramatic terms, but I’m hoping we can move towards talking more about the everyday things that are unique to us. I’m already intrigued about what you’re going to be up to… I’d for sure be interested in seeing you post about that even though you’ve already decided that you won’t be! (think about it ;) )
      Thanks so much for the encouragement, Jennifer, and really appreciate you sharing what’s going on in your blog life.

  16. Amy! I feel like I could have written this post, word for word. Everything you’re feeling, I am RIGHT there with you. I go in waves where I’ll take a weekend “off” to spend time with Ben, friends, family, etc. and it will be great. Then I get really behind on blog stuff and spend the next weekend totally overwhelmed and absorbed in blog work. Sometimes I think if I could quit my day job and JUST blog, everything would be fabulous. But I’m not sure if that’s really true! Work tends to expand to fit the amount of time you allot for it. There’s ALWAYS something more you could be doing. So I’m *trying* to learn that lesson now and be more selective with the things I say yes to (it’s hard for me!). One thing I’ve started doing is posting less, only 2-3 times/week instead of 5. It’s helped a lot! Anyways, not a ton of insight or advice here, but I’m definitely in the same boat if that helps :)

    1. Are we twinsing again?? <3
      I think ALL THE TIME about how if only I didn't have to work my day job, THEN I could do 9-5 for the blog and just chill at all other times, but you and I both know it isn't going to be that way! Blogging is so consuming, there's always more more more, and being already so obsessive about it I'm sure I'd lose all control in that situation hahaha.
      YES to saying NO! Good for you, Aileen. I've started saying "no" more too, and it hurts sometimes. Feels like I'm missing out, but I also feel less spread out and more free to finding what's really me.
      You make a great boat companion. We'll figure this thing out!

  17. Love your honesty girl. Pretty sure we all go through this and know that you’re not alone. Creating just to create is something I’m trying to stay away from too and it’s so hard to not feel like your letting yourself and your blog down. I think taking time to focus on the little every day things is only going to strengthen your creativity.
    And seriously, I can’t wait to have kids, but I don’t know how those blogging mommas do it!

    I know there are great things in store for you and you’ll find your groove again <3

    1. I can’t wait to have kids too! I’m already here thinking about a plan for how I’m going to make this blog thing work when that time comes.
      Let’s all just chill out and get back to creating what we want to create, HAHA. That totally oversimplifies everything, I kid, but it’s true- we all go through this!!

  18. Good for you Amy! It’s sad to see less content from favorite bloggers but the content that is shared is amazing because you’re happier/relaxed/more creative/inspired! :) I hope this is helpful for your well being in relationships with others as well as yourself. <3

    1. I know, I totally understand the other side of it too when I think about how I wish I could see more from my favorite bloggers, but I also see that sustaining a consistent pace is much more important!
      Thank you Shelly for such a beautifully thoughtful comment <3

  19. I’m right there with you Amy! I don’t have much to add that other commenters haven’t already perfectly expressed, but it’s just good to know that we all feel this way sometimes! I want to be successful and “make it” more than anything, but personal time and balance is absolutely vital to keeping this passion sustainable! Love what you are doing and love seeing personal posts like this from my favorite bloggers :)

    1. Absolutely. Part of the problem can be when we feel like everyone else is doing better, or having more fun, but if we take a moment to talk about it, it’s clear that we ALL struggle, and no one is having an easier time. We’re all in this together! Thanks so much for the encouragement, Brynne!

  20. Yes to this entire post! I never could fully explain what I meant when I was in a funk or burnt out from blogging and/or lack of creativity (my blog is a hodge podge, but my passionate posts where I get my own creativity out are food posts)…and so many weekends I find myself up early cooking, photographing, editing, cleaning and declining dates with friends. But you SO said it about the creativity coming from experiences, and without it’s hard to draw from. Great post, and thanks for sharing!

    1. Yup, I always get asked how I don’t burn out, and the truth is that I feel like I’m constantly on the brink of burn out, and through this post I was able to pinpoint that it was because I was mostly experiencing life through the computer screen. Going outside has been vital to keeping me happy and inspired, even if that means ignoring my beloved blog for a bit! Glad we could figure this out together!

  21. Thank you for sharing this, Amy! It is SO important for all of us to take time away from whatever pressure we feel, be it blogging/work/self-imposed or anything else! And nothing kills creativity quite as much like trying to FORCE it! I think we bloggers are an interesting set, at once winging it and supporting each other while also trying to nail those increasingly better traffic numbers. For what it’s worth, I am constantly looking at your blog marveling at how active and inspiring it is! I think you can definitely afford to slow down a bit without it hurting your blog one iota! xoxo

    1. Exactly, forcing creativity is exactly how to not get it, which can make deadlines, as necessary as they can be, so restricting. We really are in an interesting world of contradictions :P
      It’s incredibly uplifting to know that you find my blog inspiring, Marlene. Can’t thank you enough for your constant support- I’d be lost without it!

  22. I totally agree! It’s sort of like living a double life, so I end up spending so much time thinking about the blog that it becomes exhausting. I’m so glad you shared! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one struggling with running a creative blog, especially when I admire yours so much. Everyone struggles with ideas once in a while, and you should never let that burnout overtake your life. Sometimes a break to let the creative juices flow naturally is just what you need.

    1. It is absolutely like having a double life. All of us in blog world seem to feel this way, so none of us are alone! I think the anxiety comes from thinking you have to keep up with everyone else, but everyone does need a break here and there. Glad this post spoke to you Holly, and thanks for the encouragement!

  23. This is so relatable Amy. Staying up with blog life and real life is a thing I struggle with as well. Its just a matter of whats most important to you because at the end of the day as soon as blog life ends its the people around which are the most important. Thanks for posting this, so refreshing.

  24. I love this post! Please do more posts like this. I completely understand the feeling of pushing life aside to blog with working full time. It’s so hard to make time for friends and family; it seems like I have to “schedule them in”. Could you do a post on how you manage everything and maybe some tips on how you became/started becoming successful?

  25. I’m currently going thru the same thing. Having a full time jobs and being a single mom takes a toll on my blogging. I don’t stat blogging till my lil girl is sleep then I stay up so late I’m tired at work. We visited my mom out of town and I didn’t take my laptop out the car. I and such a good weekend and got good sleep lol. Now I’m going to rethink my blog days to enjoy life more and not be tired.

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