Did you notice that I missed this week’s Thoughtful Thursday post? Or last weekend’s Review feature?
Probably. Or maybe not. But, either way, that’s okay because I know you are in the midst of another important thing called Life. Yes, that caught up with me this week and I could not find the time to come up with a post in time for Thursday, by any time zone.
At first, I felt guilty, then I decided that worrying about it wouldn’t help. This did get me thinking though, about what else I was doing with my life, apart from blogging.
Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging. I love the idea of reading blogs, visiting others, building community, enjoying the rapport that comes from it all, sharing the love, recommending the blogs that I read and of course, writing on my own blog. But, you have to admit that at times, blogging can become a full-time ‘job’ and it leaves little room for much else.
This became especially clear to me after two things. One was the A-Z challenge that I did in April this year and the other was the start of my Fiction blog, The Moving Quill.
There were reasons I did the challenge and began the new blog, and I don’t regret either of them for a single minute.
Just the fact that I have these two spaces to express what I feel, is an overwhelmingly gratifying fact. I can say what I want to say on Parenting (with due diligence) on this blog and express myself with far more freedom and creativity on my writing blog.
However, as much as I adore blogging, I do realise that I cannot do it all, day in and day out, on an ongoing basis, with the same fervour.
In addition to writing here, I teach music offline, twice a week. Every weekday, I am also the unofficial chauffeur/ chaperone for my daughter and her classes. Once a week, I participate in a community activity in my apartment. Every other day, I work out with a group of enthusiastic badminton and squash players.
Online, I moderate a few groups on facebook, one on parenting, a couple of alumni groups and also participate in blogging challenges pretty regularly via groups that are very supportive, stimulating, thought-provoking and just plain fun!
All of this effectively takes a big chunk out of my daily routine. I simply adore every bit of that too, so I wouldn’t give any of it up, if I can help it.
What did get me down in between was the worry that I wasn’t doing enough justice to those visiting my blog. Sleepless nights ensued where I couldn’t find the time to get back and visit the blogs of all those who had been kind enough to stop by and say something about one of my posts. Guilt crawled up my spine when I didn’t even have the thirty seconds it took to respond to a comment left on my own blog.
There are things I have done that I am not proud of: Messaging bloggers whom I admire, asking them to read my latest post; Reading something I loved and sending the link to a friend and then checking every day if she did read it; Feeling upset and annoyed that people whom I visited frequently never bothered to return the favour.
Then, it hit me! These were exactly the things I disliked having shoved on me! Why should it be any different when I was the one doing it to others? Realisation dawned and this made me glad for so many reasons.
So , when the epiphany struck, I decided to let go and do what makes me happy, where blogging is concerned. In no specific order now, I try to:
- Write when I can and don’t lose sleep if I miss a scheduled feature on my blog.
- Visit as many people as I can and leave genuine comments on their posts.
- Take blogging breaks and catch up on my reading, both online and off the web.
- Understand that people will visit me if they can and not because they should feel compelled to do so.
- Blitz blogs every once in a while, just to cheer up the blogger whom I may have neglected for a while.
- Accept that some people will read whatever I write, just because they choose to: a fact that I am incredibly grateful about.
All said and done, you or anyone, for that matter, should do something as an amateur* would: for the love of the job and nothing else.
Amateur: a person who engages in a study, sport, or other activity for pleasure rather than for financial benefit or professional reasons.
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