Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Struggling

I've been writing and re-writing this post in my head for a good eight months. I love the blogging community and the people I have met through blogging and the constant source of inspiration that blogland is. I love that my blog has motivated me to sew my butt off for the last twenty two months and create things I never dreamed I was capable of making. But I am really struggling with blogging right now.

Here's the thing... My blog has become a chore. It causes a lot of stress for me. This is not my job. This is my hobby. It's supposed to be fun. And since it no longer is, I need to make a change. I took an unofficial step back from the blog in January, but I am now officially taking a significant step back. I'm not closing the doors completely, but I am no longer going to stress about writing posts or coming up with the next amazing project or staying up all night to get a tutorial put together. This is a bit of a selfish post... I am writing this post for me. 99% of you probably haven't noticed that I took a step back six months ago... everyone has their own life/stuff/blog to worry about. But I feel like I need to write this post to give myself permission to let it go.

The root of the problem is that I spend more time working on my blog than creating things. I feel like the blogging and networking is taking all of my creative time (and energy). What little time I do have just for me ends up being spent on all the bloggy stuff, not making stuff. The reason I started this blog almost two years ago was to motivate myself to carve out some creative time just for me. That's no longer happening. I've really been wondering why am I doing all of this? Why does it matter? When I came back from SNAP, I felt like there was something wrong with me. Don't get me wrong... I had a fantastic time, and I'd go again in a heartbeat, but there are so many bloggers who want to make a living blogging and have (or want to have) two or three blogs going at once and assistants and babysitters so they can blog and on and on. I'm not interested in that. There's so much I want to do. So many things I want to sew. So many quilts I want to make. I think I eventually want to try my hand at selling things that I make. I'd like to be able to spend my time on these things. This would make me happy.

In addition to no longer having the creative time I'd like, my family has had to take a backseat to the blog on many occasions, and I've been struggling with a lot of guilt about this. My oldest was thrilled when I told her I wasn't going to be blogging as much because I'd be able to "play with her more". Everything became crystal clear to me recently... I just threw my oldest daughter her very first "friend" birthday party. Initially I started getting wrapped up in the party and finally came to the realization that I wasn't planning this party for my daughter - I was planning it for me. She didn't care about any of the decorations or the food presentation. She just wanted her friends and a pinata. So I stopped stressing about the party. I decided I wasn't going to blog about it. I decided that blogging the party takes the fun out of it for me. Staging everything to perfection is a killjoy. I've ruined the enjoyment of many a birthday up until this point because I was more worried about getting great pictures for the blog than the actual celebration itself. And you know what? It was the most relaxing, enjoyable birthday party we have had so far. This is how life should be lived, and this is how I'm going to start living it.

So... Thank you for reading. Thank you for being supportive. I have said it many times, and I'll say it again... I truly believe that I have some of the most loyal and supportive followers in blogland, and I am forever grateful. Things may change in the future. I may decide to start blogging regularly again at some point, but now is not the time for me. I'm going to spend the summer soaking up every minute with my oldest before she starts Kindergarten in the fall. I'm going to spend the summer breathing in every second of my two and a half year old's final months of chubby, lovable toddlerhood. I'm going to sit on the couch with my husband and enjoy the few hours I get with him at the end of each day. Because that's what life is all about. And I'm going to play with my children... and try to find some time to sew here and there :)

This isn't good-bye... I'll still be around. And I'll still be posting when I can. See you later...


48 comments:

Sharon - Lilabelle Lane said...

Thank you. This is just the post that I needed to be reading. I was at the crossroads with my blog and you have just told me what I already knew deep down. Enjoy the summer, have an absolutly wow of a time with your family and know that we will all be here for a random post or two. You know it wouldn't bother me if it was only for a quick "Hello... having a blast with the family this summer" kind of post :o) Sewing and creating should be a fun outlet for us all (especially if we are not doing it for a job/income). Lay back, and relax. Ejoy those little people, they will be big before we know it. Hugs, Sharon

suzi said...

Good for you! As they say...life's short...you're doing the right thing! Have a GREAT time!

ourlifeinaclick.blogspot.com said...

Great post, Gwenn!! I'm sure lots of us feel the same way! Good for you seeing what's important and concentrating on that!! Enjoy this special time with your family.

Wendy @ Ravenwood Whimzies said...

I have felt a lot of what you have said in the past few months. I have stepped back a bit too, trying to make time to do all the things I want to, and not stress about interesting posts every few days or having a lot of new items in my Etsy shop. Perhaps I'm just needing some ME time as well. Still reading, but not worrying about posting so much.
Family definitely comes FIRST. Enjoy them.
Blessings

Darcy said...

You rock! I think living life is always the best choice! Hopefully you'll have some great memories come the fall and look back on this summer with no regrets (or only a few that revolve around too much ice cream). I'll be excited to hear about the wonderful things you make because you want to FOR YOURSELF on your own schedule! I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with you and you're so smart to choose to nurture yourself and your family. I'm a subscriber forever, no matter what :-)

Lorene (just Lu) said...

Yay Gwen! It is never a bad choice to do what makes you happy. Well, I guess that isn't *exactly* true because there are some crazies out there... but you aren't one of them, for sure! Have an amazing summer enjoying your family and being the awesome awesome that you are. :)

Tricia said...

I've had/have so many similar thoughts. Blogging has been a great escape for me, but at the same time has been one of the most unnecessary stresses on me and my family. I think that it's good to let yourself off of the hook.

Cheryl @ a pretty cool life. said...

Right on.

And you said what I've always secretly thought about those conferences--everyone's there high fiving blogs and being creative, but I'd walk away feeling badly bc I'm not interested in hiring babysitters or an assistant to turn my blog into a business.

Do what makes you happy. xoxo

Lynne Tilley said...

Oh, sweetheart, you are SO right in doing this. I'm very envious, in fact, that you have come to this realization at such an early stage of your life. I'm 54 years old and spent so many years working full time (before there were even computers), trying to create the perfect home, do the perfect job, raise the kids, make everyone happy. I should have just been concentrating on my family and enjoying the small things. I'm doing that now. We all turned out fine, but KUDOS to you for seeing it so early in life. ENJOY, no guilt!! :)

chris said...

So many of my friends have posted similar things, and I really respect that you need to do this for you and your family. Thank you for having your priorities where they need to be. I have pulled things way back as far as blogging goes...and it feels really good. Thank you for being my friend, and know I'll be around if you ever need anything. Lots of love your way.

Meg said...

Yes! I couldn't agree with this post more. I was blog excited too and had a similar experience after going to Sewing Summit. I dont regret stepping back a bit and I have been thinking of dropping the blog too. This post only confirms what I was feeling and thinking about this week.

Debra said...

What a wonderful post. I am so happy for you, for doing what is best for you and your family. You should have fun creating!

Gisela Suski said...

You are doing the right thing, I don't blog everyday and you know what I am getting things done. Think about yourself and your family, they are #1.

A.J. Dub. (Amy) said...

It is good to see that you are taking care of yourself and your family. Blogland will still be here whenever you feel like sharing. Have a wonderful summer!

heartsease54 said...

Which is exactly why I don't blog-I don't get enough time to sew as it is. And I don't have kids. So you do what you need to do for you & your family. We'll be here if you need us, until then enjoy your children while they are still around! All too soon they will be grown up & out on their own.

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

Good for you. I don't know how people blog huge posts everyday. If I get one or two post made a month just to log down the things I did, for my own reference I am lucky. If I lose followers in the process, their loss, not mine. My blog is for me, if others follow that is their choice. So when I get around to it, is when I get around to it. In the meantime life is taking over.

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

You must have had an enormous weight lifted once you pressed publish. Family priorities and making time to do what you love is so important. Hugs, K

Catherine said...

Good for you - blogging can be a great incentive to do stuff, but it shouldn't dictate your life!

Mindy B said...

I should just cut and paste this onto my blog! I have been feeling the exact same way. I am glad to see a blogger (way more successful than I) take this step and focus on her family. What an encouragement! Thank you!

Jennifer said...

Gwen, first I just want to thank you for all of the wonderful, inspirational ideas and artwork you've shared. MUCH appreciated, admired and inspired by!

Second I must say BRAVO! I hear ya sistah! While I'll miss lots of posts from you, I know and understand fully what you are saying. Again, another point of admiration for you to take this step as well as write this post.

Big virtual {hugs} to you. Enjoy your family! Enjoy your creativity and artistry! Enjoy life...we only get one chance (well, unless you're Shirley MacLean!) LOL

Looking forward to seeing more posts WHEN YOU HAVE TIME and inclination to do so.

Thank you so much for all you've shared.

Cheers!
Jennifer

Jennifer said...

Gwen, first I just want to thank you for all of the wonderful, inspirational ideas and artwork you've shared. MUCH appreciated, admired and inspired by!

Second I must say BRAVO! I hear ya sistah! While I'll miss lots of posts from you, I know and understand fully what you are saying. Again, another point of admiration for you to take this step as well as write this post.

Big virtual {hugs} to you. Enjoy your family! Enjoy your creativity and artistry! Enjoy life...we only get one chance (well, unless you're Shirley MacLean!) LOL

Looking forward to seeing more posts WHEN YOU HAVE TIME and inclination to do so.

Thank you so much for all you've shared.

Cheers!
Jennifer

LeAnne said...

I agree 100% and am glad you are disciplined to turn away from the computer! My granddaughter is now pulling me away from the screen when she wants attention....what does that tell us! I am feeling the same frustration of so much time looking at other people's creations, I don't do much of my own! Thanks for the inspiration.

elle squared said...

There is no way you could *ever* possibly regret this decision. Blogging is virtual. Family is reality. Go for it.

Jennifer @ Ellison Lane Quilts said...

Good for your Gwen. I think you are a wise woman and agree with all of your feelings. I have them too. I'm glad you gave yourself permission to step back and reevaluate. Now go have fun with your family, sew when you feel like it, take a picture because you want to and enjoy life. :) xo

Patty said...

I will miss your blog, but I can go back and re-read it. Enjoy yourself with no regrets,

Queen Mary said...

Hey Chica! Just yesterday I discovered all these blogs by some young quilters in Utah and I was overwhelmed with all the work they do! I subscribe to tons of blogs, mostly for the pictures of projects! I have totally loved reading your blog (and looking at the pictures). I have no idea how a blog works because I have no intention of starting a blog -- but lately I've been thinking about if I had a blog, what would I write about? I'm thinking of starting a journal of my reactions to blogs, books, whatever - for myself. Too many of you energetic young women have taken a step back from your blogs for me to ever think it would be a good idea for me. I commend you for recognizing your needs and taking care of them -- some of us -- I think especially my generation of women who worked because it was politically incorrect to be a stay at home mom -- took a long time to figure it out. Thank God we raised smart daughters! I look forward to your occasional posts!

Desi said...

I think one thing "bloggers" may not completely understand is; your readers really do understand how much time and dedication it takes to post frequently, and I for one do not envy any of you. I am amazed that "bloggers" take time away from their families to dedicate themselves to people they don't even know. I've definitely learned a lot in the past from reading blogs, but now with pinterest; you can learn to do anything! You are wise (before it's too late) to realize your family comes first; they grow up soo quickly and then they're gone on their own. I think the worst thing for a grown child to say is, "you didn't have time for me when I was younger."
Good luck to you, and stick to your guns, family first! I won't unsubscribe from your blog like I have from so many, because if and when you decide to post again, I'll be an interested reader.
Desi

Mimi said...

I so often wonder how you bloggers do it!! I follow quite a few blogs and really enjoy the posts, tutorials, creativity, and all that great stuff which I appreciate whole heartedly. You shouldn't have to stress over something that is supposed to be a pleasure, so you do what you must... we as followers, will understand. Hugs!

Catskill Quilter said...

Enjoy every moment of the summer! You seem to have a very reliable inner compass, and it is leading you toward your family - how great it is that you know what you need and are doing it! I have so much respect for that.

Claire Jain said...

This completely resonates with me. Keeping up a blog is a lot of work. I kept a journal as a kid and was so frustrated that it would take me so long to write about what happened during the day when I really just should have been enjoying life. I've definitely felt the same way you described feeling in this post. My husband and I don't have kids yet, but I would like to spend more time sewing and creating rather than reading every blog written by everyone whose work I've ever liked and trying to figure out what I'm going to blog about. I hope you find the balance you need and have a wonderful summer with your family.

Calista said...

Good for you! My blog is only eight months old and I have asked the same questions and come up with the same answers as you. And I don't even have young kids at home anymore. My motto is "Blog Responsibly."

Danielle Bartran said...

I feel the same way and ultimately decided my blog was something I only want to do when I have the time...I blog for me...so I don't forget what is happening in life. The blog isn't my life. That being said, I do love your blog and like seeing what you've created, you are very talented. I hope you find your balance, and I will look forward to seeing a new post from you in my feed...whenever that is...

Celeste said...

I stopped blogging a few months ago and it's been a relief. I sometimes wish I could show the world the cool things I'm making and I miss contact with the crafty world. But I'm doing better at the things that count and that's what really makes me happy.

Narelle Heath said...

I had noticed that you'd stepped back a bit (and totally understand why you have). Sharing a post or project that you love here and there, rather than feeling compelled to make/do just so you have something to blog about, makes for a better blog anyway. I look forward to the occasional post from a happy, lower-stress Mom!

LAPLibrarian said...

Great post! I totally know what you mean and where you're coming from. Perhaps you could just post the photos of the projects that you complete (in their final form). Personally, I find a lot of inspiration just from seeing what other people do...especially all of your projects b/c you're so creative! Thank you.

Kerstin M. said...

You are completly, totally right! Go ahead with your life, live it like you want or need. Don't care about us, because we will be waiting for you :D
Love, Kerstin

Wendy said...

Good for you! That's how blogging should be. I'm not interested in earning a living from my blog, I've enjoyed making on-line friends and I know they'll still be my friends if I only blog once a month. Enjoy the process and blog about it when you feel like it.

Jen @ My Own Road said...

Good for you. Blogging isn't worth missing out on life. Best of luck to you (and hopefully we'll see you soon!)

Christy said...

here here! I totally get where you are coming from.....remember, you are your own 'boss' when it comes to blogs, there are no deadlines, no demands. Will look forward to peeks into your projects, but will enjoy it even more knowing they are truly your heart and not a to do list item!

CindyC.wannabequilter said...

I think you are making a very wise decision; you can't buy back these years with you children! I hope you will enjoy this very precious time in your life!

Bless by Tone said...

such good writing - I too still love to blog - when I have the time and energy - and wanting to spend more time creating and not feeling guilty if I don't make it into a tutorial. Thank you -

Fowl Single File said...

It sounds like you've got a healthy outlook on the situation, and I'm so glad. You're right, it it hard to step back and start doing things without thinking about how it'll look on your blog. It's hard to find that balance between blogging and enjoying the moment but I'm sure you're on the right track. Have a great summer and I'm sure we'll bump into one another somewhere in blogland!

Simone de Klerk said...

Good for you! I can read that you have put a lot of thought in this and it is the very best decision. When my kids were young I used to give courses to moms in doll making. So much time went into that. I missed some real quantity and quality time with my kids and there is no way I can get that back. So yes, it is good, very very good that you came to this conclusion. Enjoying your family is so important! Have fun (((:

Laura said...

Thank you. (if you can't tell, I'm behind even in my blog READING these days)

My blog never really "took off" and I know I haven't given it the time or energy that it needs to be successful-- and EVEN SO I have been feeling this EXACT same way. After stressing about it for a bit I realized that I'm OK with only posting when I feel like it instead of trying to keep some sort of schedule. And I'm OK with the fact that my only followers are my actual "in person" friends.

I will keep you in my Google reader to see what fun projects you've come up with that you want to share and I thank you for all the inspiration prior.

See you when we see you... :)

Cathy said...

A great entry for sure!!! And I can relate. I do not blog that much--months go by sometimes. I think I have 3 followers and that's OK because it is just a place for me. I commend you for giving yourself permission to do this. Enjoy life and your family! Thanks for a great site and I just wanted to let you know that I mentioned you in my blog---(but do not feel like you need to respond!!) Be well Cathy
http://justwannacraft.blogspot.com/2012/07/musings-and-ramblings.html

PinkGranny said...

Oh my...I haven't been reading much lately. I am so proud of you for making a difficult decision. I know you won't be gone forever and surely not forgotten. I have struggled too and feel like it eats my time both reading and writing. I was working for a while and have some down time now so reading again. I know that for me if I sit at the computer I can pass hours in a moment and once I stand up I am not even motivated to do much creating. Once in a while I catch myself wondering what to look at next and realizing that nothing is that important if I have to search for something to look at.

I have been considering weening myself from my technology a while. It would help me in many ways, especially in the area of focusing on the moment. I would probably be more active as well if I am sitting in this chair less!

Good luck and stay in touch...

{northern cottage} said...

real life...go girl!

Katie's Nesting Spot said...

I never actually wrote a post like this but it sums up so much of what I have been feeling for the past year. Once it was so fun to blog, so cool to create and share. To find inspiration, meet new friends, and get to know them through blog posts. But then as I got bigger and began adding the business side to blogging the fun began to fall away. It felt like a job and not one I'd necessarily pick. I've been struggling to find a balance and while I am sad you can understand my dilema all too much, it is nice to know others see the same drawbacks. My ah ha moment came after I had my son. I knew I didn't want to have to spend all his napping moments try to keep up with bloggy stuff. I wanted to scrap and do things, like can you imagine...read a book?! I have felt a lot better since slowing down.

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