|Giant 3-Way Plug - Artworks - Philadelphia Art Museum|
Back in 2007 when I first started this blog, I had a completely different job with no set work schedule. I had the luxury of being given a certain amount of hours to work each week and the freedom to choose what days and what time of the day I wanted to apply them. I only worked 5 hours per shift and got paid a very good hourly salary. I had this job for 10 years and loved it because it gave me lots of free time to do other things, such as blog. And back then I was a very dedicated and somewhat obsessive blogger. I posted on a set schedule (three times per week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday), I responded to comments quickly and frequently throughout the day, and I also visited and commented on other blogs quickly and frequently throughout the day. Yes, I spent a great deal of time and energy blogging, but it was time and energy that I thoroughly enjoyed putting forth and never regretted.
Then, a year and a half ago, things changed. I began looking for other employment because my hours were slowly being cut and needed to find a job that was more stable and offered more hours – which I did find and was extremely grateful. However, I went from working a 25-hour flexible work week to a 40-hour set schedule work week. And with that, I lost a lot of the free time I used to spend blogging. But rather than change my blogging routine by cutting back, I stressed myself out by trying to blog like I used to. Slowly, blogging became something that I angsted and fretted over instead of looked forward to. I could feel myself losing a sense enjoyment. Yet, I kept on doing it because I didn’t want to disappoint my readers or want to believe that I couldn’t work a full-time job and blog the way I used to when I worked only part-time.
And that’s when ‘burnout’ started to set in. It happened during last summer.
And that’s what I believe led to my recent long hiatus from blogging. I pushed myself to the point of losing all inspiration. And there were times when I even resented it and would avoid going online and even looking at my blog because I felt completely dry; unable to think of anything to post about. I felt as if I had lost my voice and had nothing else to say.
I also believe that back in August when I got sick with the flu, it had to do with getting rundown from stress and running myself ragged. In fact, the whole time I was sick, all I kept hearing over and over again in my head was, “Slow down, Ron. You’re doing too much.Take a break. And stop moving so fast.”
So that’s what I finally did. I completely surrendered by unplugging from the self-imposed blogging pressure I had placed on myself and actually started to enjoy not blogging because it felt like a heavy weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I even said to myself, "If I go back to blogging, fine. But if I don't, that's fine too. I mean, I've been blogging for 8 years, so if I quit now...I can walk away knowing that I gave it a good go."
But that's not what happened. No.
Because it was during that break, I got some much needed clarity about what I was doing wrong.
You see, rather than change and adjust with my change in jobs, I kept trying to blog the same way I had been doing all along and it didn't work.
I also could see that I was taking this blog much too seriously and thinking of it more of a strict obligation, rather than a place of enjoyment.
This blog is and always has been intended for my enjoyment. It’s a place where I can express my thoughts and opinions, as well as share my interests and passions. It’s a space where I can also socialize, share, and discuss topics with you guys.
Therefore, I decided not to take this blog so seriously anymore and remember why I started it to begin with - to have fun. I also decided to make some changes. I will no longer be posting on a set schedule, but rather whenever I feel like it. I may post once a week, twice a week, or even once every two weeks. I also decided to no longer stress myself out by compulsively checking my emails so that I can responded to your comments immediately, or checking my feed reader five times a day so that I can immediately read and comment on your posts, but rather take my time and do both of these things it when time allows. In other words, I want to be more laid back and relaxed about this blog and blogging.
And since making a conscious effort to remove the blogging stress I placed on myself, my creative muse seems to have returned, and I feel more like blogging.
It was not only my recent blogging hiatus that gave me a clearer perspective and restored my creativity, it was also a sudden and scary experience that happened last month that altered my perception.
Which I will be sharing on my next post.
So stay tuned!
Have a grrrrrrreat weekend everyone!