Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bloggy Resolutions

Towards the end of 2008 - I would say probably the last two months - I hit a huge bloggy slump. Huge. All of my motivation to write was out the window. I still had things to write about, and I still wrote posts in my head , but they never made it from head to my fingers to the page. I seriously considering just packing it in and calling it quits.

There were a lot of things contributing to it... holiday busyness...a lot of silly comparing myself to other bloggers...and some not-so-fun emotional issues that really deserve an entire post to themselves, one that I hope I can get to soon.

But back to the comparing thing...I know it is so incredibly silly, but why do we compare ourselves? I know - ok, well, I hope - that I'm not the only one who does this. There's always gonna be somebody out there who is funnier, wittier, more thought provoking, has better kid stories, takes better pictures....whatever. And once you get caught up in the whole vicious comparing merry-go-round, it's hard to step off.

So many times, I would sit down to write a post, and if the words didn't flow just right, didn't just come pouring out of me, I would take a break - "just five minutes", I would tell myself - and open my Google Reader. And then proceed to read post after post that would speak to me, make me laugh or cry, or just wow me with it's general awesomeness. Problem was, after I was done reading (2 hours later -ahem), any creativity inside me would curl up in the fetal position, refusing to come out because it was sure it wasn't good enough, and then I would proceed to talk myself out of whatever post I was going to write.

Then there is that whole issue of time management. The thing that we all love about blogging is the sense of community - the meeting of friends that we would never know otherwise, finding common ground and exclaiming over things shared, rejoicing and praying and crying with one another. Leaving comments and emailing. And I love it all - like every other blogger I know, it thrills me to death when I get a new comment.

But seriously, I could spend 3 hours every day just trying to keep up with my Google Reader. And that can get exhausting after awhile. I am not sure where the balance is for me - I have gone back and forth, cutting down the number of blogs I read to try to make it more manageable, but y'all, I guess I just hate missing out on what is going on in your lives.

So, it's a little late for New Years Resolutions, but if I were going to make some, they might sound a little like this:

- I am a wife and a mom first - not a blogger. So when a little hand reaches over to tap my leg and a sweet baby voice asks, "Mama, you do puzzle wif me?", then I will put my laptop aside and do puzzle wif her. And enjoy every second, because pretty soon, not only will she not be saying "wif" anymore, she won't even want to do puzzles with me.

- I'm me. And that's ok. So I will write what comes to me, and not worry about those that have the gift of funnyness (so not a word) or wittiness or that special little knack that makes people cry or just feel good all over.

- I'll work on keepin' it real. There's a lot of stuff in me that I don't let out...and I'm not sure why. I guess years of practice of keeping it in? This one...well, it's gonna be tough. To quote my sweet friend Linda...."Have you ever pushed *publish* on your post and then felt that ball of insecurity drop like a weight in your tummy? What did I just write, what will people think, what if they take that wrong, what if they think I am legally insane, what if I offended someone, what if they DON'T think that is funny..." Yeah. For real. That is me almost every time. And until she wrote that awhile back, I really thought I was the only one who felt that way.

- It's ok if I go a week (Gasp! An entire week!) without catching up on everyone's lives. The world will not stop if I don't get to leave a comment. And...a successful day is not contingent upon whether my Reader gets cleared out or not (repeating this one over and over to myself)...

Ok - I feel like a little weight has been lifted off my shoulders - a totally self-imposed weight, by the way. And now that I am noticing the time - 1:10 a.m, thank you very much - here is my last resolution....

I will go to bed EARLIER.


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44 comments:

Casey said...

Amen, Amen and Amen!!!

My thoughts exactly, from beginning to end. Glad you're not quitting altogether b/c I have never met anyone else who loves a red wall as much as I do. :)

Colored With Memories said...

dear jackie...i echo your thoughts on many, many, many levels.

but mostly the level about the little hand wanting to lead me to the playroom.

i think these resolutions are great! now try to carry them out...GUILT FREE. Go on now...with our blessing!

Rachelle said...

You are wonderful! I love your blog and reading your post.

Have fun with those little hands....she is a doll!

Heather of the EO said...

We are on the same page sister! I too need to check myself (pretty much daily) how much time am I spending and at what cost? Am I people pleasing? Am I trying to find my worth through numbers? Stuff like that. You said this so well. :)

kaleytaylor said...

First, for a little boost, I want you to know that I think your writing is awesome. You are so good, and so talented, and your words just flow so well on your blog - so much so, that you are one of the bloggers of which I try and learn from and write similar to!

It's funny, because I feel the same way as you do about my reader- if I let it all pile up on me and don't read it all everyday for some stupid reason I get so stressed and feel like I'm all behind and out of the loop! So silly. I also have to remember that this is simply a hobby, not my life source. But why is it so easy to get so caught up in it? GAH.

Anyway - good points, and great resolutions. I'm with you!

Cheri said...

I had to push myself to read to the end of your post because I wanted to jump right in and comment after the first paragraph. Then after the second.

And even though my son doesn't tug on my pants anymore, those moments when he DOES want to spend time with me are few and far between, so I need to grab them with both hands when they're offered.

So, I too have lots to say, but post very little these days. (And google readers, etc, are great because you don't NEED to check in with everyone everyday - it's all right there when you you're ready!)

Jenn said...

I think you just echoed every bloggers sentiments. I have a very hard time comparing myself to other bloggers at times too! I mostly wonder what I can do to get more people reading my posts. When my mind starts wandering this way I turn my thoughts to the Lord. If he wanted my blog to be huge and popular, I guess He would make it that way. So, I have for the most part become content with this fact!

You know what I think about ya! And whenever you feel able to post, I'll be right here reading all about it!

Love ya!

Rach@In His Hands said...

Amen girl! I have trouble keeping up NOW...what will it be like when our little one comes home?! I know that I will most certainly have to take a break and step way back. The little one will be THE priority. Until then I enjoy the blog world while I can, when I can.
I'm so happy to have found a friend in you.

Tracy's Porch said...

Jackie - First off, I think that each of us as bloggers has felt this way at one time or another. I decided I just have to be me and those that like me will come back and it is okay if I don't connect to others.

But you connect to a lot of people. Those blogging qualities that you see in other blogs - you have them!

I love coming and checking in on you so don't stop.

sara said...

It is interesting what God uses to get your attention! I was just praying (confessing) about this in my quiet time this morning. My kids are out of the house most of the day, so there is no one to interrupt my blogging, but when I don't get things done to make my home a safe place to come home to for my husband and boys then I am making basically the same mistake.

Then I read another blog this morning who had posted about this exact problem with blogging. Now your post. hmmmmm, I think some one is trying to speak to me.

there is such a wonderful side to blogging, new friends, prayer partners, laughter, etc. But as in most things in life there is an ugly side too. One where your pride slips in and counts followers or comments. One that encourages your mind to find your self worth in comparison with others.

i am finding that I have to pray each time BEFORE I blog that God would not allow me to make it about ME but about HIM. And if I get to the point that what I am doing is not glorifying to him, then he would put a stop to it.

thanks for this honest post. I do love reading your blog.

Rachel said...

Thank you for this AWESOME post! I struggle with just the same things and thought that maybe I was a little crazy :) The comparing trap is so easy to fall into - in the bloggy world or the real world. This was a real blessing to me and I appreciate you share!

The Miles Family said...

Say it with me now... PRIORITIES. :)

We all need to take a step back from time to time and make sure we haven't mixed up the order!

Aspiemom said...

You know what keeps me coming to read your blogs, Jackie? Your sweetness. You are such a sweet lady and it comes through in your blogs.

So don't worry about comparing, don't worry about your frequency- or lack of- just take care of your family and when you blog I will be there reading because you are such a sweet and nice person to "be around."

photomama said...

I am there with you.

tirz said...

Well said Jackie!

Tater Mama said...

I think every blogger goes through this. How could we NOT go through it?

But keep writing, because apparently a lot of us really enjoy it!

And I am right there with you about setting the laptop aside and playing with these little ones who are growing up so fast. I don't want our son to remember that Mama was always on the computer. So I'm trying to scale back my blogging to times when he's playing by himself or napping.

:)

His Girl said...

oooh, girl. you speaketh the truth.

Elena said...

I like your blog Jackie! You are doing a good job and God will give the balance you need. Have a great day! Elena

Jodie said...

You've seen my open struggle with these same things, so you know it's not just you. :) And truly Jackie, your words are very well crafted. I love reading you because I like the way you string words together. And I just like YOU.
Absolutely, I understand your struggle. I wish I could make you see you how I see you. :)
Write when life allows. Nobody's keeping score. It's quality that counts - not quantity. And you're definitely quality.

Rachel @ Unexpected Blessings said...

I can totally relate to both the comparing and time management troubles. Please know that your words are precious! Your blog fills a space that no other can... yours! Thanks for sharing your Resolutions with us!

Marci @Finding Joy in the Journey said...

yep...I'm with you!

I totally echo your thoughts. I too keep telling myself "if I would only go to bed earlier"

I know why I started my blog and somewhere along the line I started changing it, totally based on reading others. Not at all based on what my priorities were originally. I'm tryin this year to go backwards. To take pictures because I love them...do you know how many times I've not posted pictures because someone else does it so much better? I don't want someone to laugh atmy thought that I might be descent.

It's funny with the joy of blogging comes this high school comparison. Good for you for seeing it and backing down! I'm with you!

RosyRose said...

Comparing.... what a trap so easy for me to fall in to!
We all face it! I think for me, it all boils down to motives...if my motive is to make me look good~I fall apart when that expectation isn't met.
If the motive is love for another than that becomes my focus!
I think you are right on target when you say your priorities need to be your daughter and guy first!
Blessings to you friend!

Gretchen said...

The beauty of a blog is that you can share what you want, when you want, and how much you want at any given time. I'm glad you are being easier on yourself, Jackie. It's tough. But you're exactly right: you won't be playing puzzles wif her for too many more years.

Ah, balance...

Let me know when you figure it out.

Also, the comparing, IMHO is spiritual warfare. We just need to tell him to go back from whence he came.

hugs...

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

First of all, I am just really proud of you (and not in a "I think I'm your mommy" talking down to you way, more of a in awe of your open honesty way) :)
This isn't exactly easy stuff to contemplate or admit. I have been aware of your struggle and I think that by writing these goals it will really clear some things up for you!!
Great job! Great post. I can relate so, so much!!
You know I love you and look up to youa sw a writer!

Becky said...

Well, your blog has an unbelievable following so, I would say that many enjoy what you write. I blog for me and my family. If others enjoy it too, that's great. I'm sure not making any money at it! HA!
Yes, so many others things have to come before the blog!

Jules from "The Roost" said...

Wonderful Jackie, wonderful! You speak what many of us feel and battle with too. Blogging can be fun and rewarding and helpful & it can suck the real life out of us if not careful. Your post is a important reminder to many of us!

Krystal said...

Oh Jackie I am so glad you didn't throw in the towel! I just love your blog and find such inspiration here! But I do understand what you are saying! You play with that little girl of yours and don't ever feel guilty about not leaving me a comment everytime!

Jennifer @ Taking My Time said...

Well, see? We all love you! :)

And about your question on my blog, I did make those curtains. They are the ones you remembered. And thanks for the compliment!

The Sullivan Sitcom said...

I'm so with you...I have wanted to stop this blogging thing several times because I feel that I don't measure up....but you know what...at those times, I remind myself that I'm doing this blog for me and my family...to help those who aren't close to know what is happening with my kids. If I meet some wonderful people (like you) along the way...bonus for me! Hang in there girl...we'll all be here to read whenever you can post, even if it's only once every few weeks...we'll be here!

Growin' with it! said...

way to lay it all out there and oh how i wish you could hear so many of us *sigh*...totally "getcha" on this one. i've come to a point that i am blessed beyond words w/ the friendships i have made and i have found the ones i connect with and love and stick with those. it was hard to take some of the blogs i enjoy off my reading list, but balance is oh so important!

i've always loved & enjoyed every post you do!

SarahHub said...

These are great resolutions!

But, I have to say, I love your blog - every single post!

Have fun with Savannah!

The Fritz Facts said...

That is wonderfully written. You hit it right on the head. Good for you putting your priorities into place.

I too love your blog, and love your writing style.

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

Just a thought... I clear out my Reader every once in a while. If I find myself 'marking all as read' to some sites over and over, chances are they'll get cleared out. :) Not my bloggy FRIENDS of course, but, you know... :)

Lisa said...

Gretchen put it so well. And I take the same approach that Tracy has. My blog is first for my family; posterity and those far away. I also want to make sure God is glorified. Those motivations help me.

The comparing thing can get depressing. I remember a couple weeks ago reading a mommy blog and she was laying out her schedule for the day and how she was so organized with all areas of her life (well, that's what I read anyway). I got off the computer thinking, "Man, I am SO not up to par. My poor family that has to bear the burden having me for their wife and mom!"

I'm sure I'm missing out on my new friendships, but I've become very choosey about which blogs I visit. Especially because I work from home and because of that am on the computer so much already.

You are a good friend with a great blog. Please continue to take the burden off of yourself and seek balance...but please don't leave for good! :)

Gwendolyn said...

Oh, I understand perfectly. I'm in a HORRIBLE blog slump right now, and my google reader is so full that it's alarming, and I will probably never get caught up. I keep meaning to write a post and then I need to change a diaper or cook a meal and it doesn't happen...and then I feel guilt. Blog guilt is a sad, sad thing. LOL

Rachel said...

Girl, I totally feel you. I have a 188 posts in my reader right now. Sometimes there just isn't time... and that's OK. :)

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Jackie, I totally felt like you were reading my mind. I have experienced every single thing you wrote about int this post. And yes, I have felt the same thing when I compare myself to YOU. We are all the same, and we all have our strengths, weaknesses, and insecurities. You are in good, good company. :-)

See how many of us love you?

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

Oh, friend, I can so relate! Thanks so much for this post, I'm right there with ya. I have been in a bit of a bloggy slump myself and have been away from the computer all week...trying to get my priorities straight. Thanks for keepin' it real!

jennifer said...

yes. yes. yes.

i totally relate to this post.

baby brain has made me feel totally bloggy paralyzed.

i love reading your blog, but you have to do what is best for your family. you are precious!

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...

You said this all so well! I didn't even realize until reading this that a part of the reason I haven't been blogging much lately is because I'm worried what others will think. I have drafts saved that didn't seem just right. Silly, silly, silly. I need to adopt some of your resolutions.

And, by the way, your writing rocks. I'll be here reading when you get the chance to write.

Enjoy those moments with your sweet girl!

Michelle@Life with Three said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this post, because I'm pretty sure God had you write it just for me. At this very moment. I can't even begin to explain how appropriate this was...

All I can say is, I'm right there with ya. Mind if I adopt some of those resolutions, too? :)

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

This post really resonates with me...

I'm finally sitting down to catch up on my unread posts in Google reader. I probably won't finish today, but that's okay.

A couple of weeks ago, I deleted some from my reader (gasp). Mostly blogs I just lurk on anyway. I haven't missed them.

I've also seen a couple of posts this week along these lines...feeling pressure to post, to write something creative, and decided to put family/motherhood first.

I applaud you, Jackie!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

This post really resonates with me...

I'm finally sitting down to catch up on my unread posts in Google reader. I probably won't finish today, but that's okay.

A couple of weeks ago, I deleted some from my reader (gasp). Mostly blogs I just lurk on anyway. I haven't missed them.

I've also seen a couple of posts this week along these lines...feeling pressure to post, to write something creative, and decided to put family/motherhood first.

I applaud you, Jackie!

Alana said...

Girl, I could have written every word of this post myself! I am right there with you!