Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reclaiming My Blog!

 I want to tell you about a new direction I am taking for my blog.  I am very happy that I took some time to stop and rethink about why I am blogging.  I want to share why I did this and what I have discovered.  I am considering this my very first post for;

Wellness Wednesday

Until now I have been blogging by just following along with whatever has been going on in the community of bloggers that I follow.  While I have felt very secure in this little group of of bloggers, (yes, we are only a small portion of the blogging world) and I have enjoyed developing and renewing my creativity in ways I hadn't imagined, I have allowed blogging to take over my life rather then reflect my life.  How did this happen?  I have two theories here; 1.)  I think it was because I was too busy trying to keep up with all the partys I enjoyed joining in.  They were a lot of fun and exposure but not always convenient to my own schedule.  2.) I didn't have my own guidelines set in place already.  Basically, I have been blogging for my readers but not necessarily for myself always.  I didn't even know this was so important to me, but boy do I believe so now!  Let me tell you why!

Blogging too much for your readers can be a double edged sword.  While it may help you to increase your blog numbers and make you feel great, it can also enslave you to what others want to see.  Let me explain, we all want our readers to be interested in our blog and continue to follow but it can be quite unsettling when you find yourself in the midst of a fall from grace.  Suddenly, the comments aren't there from those you are used to hearing from or they are few and far between when they do come.  Then you find out you are no longer on someones blog roll because they are just not that into you.  Why?  Who knows?  It can be a fickle world out there in blog land!  It's especially hard when you thought that someone was a real friend and would support you always with your own blog.  Yep, it can happen!  It can make you question every blog friend you ever have and their motives.  It is a very awful place to be and can literally suck the joy right out of you and your blog.  I know this because that is what happened to me.

  I know some may think I'm being negative to speak about this, but the truth is I am a realist.  I always have been so and do NOT live with rose colored glasses on, my life has never allowed me that luxury!  I have however, attempted to let my blog survive that way by attempting to keep everything pretty and appealing all the time.  Funny thing is, it didn't work for me!  I don't always have pretty things going on and that is not my whole world, so why was I trying so hard to keep my blog that way?  IDK!  Maybe, I was too afraid to leave the comforts of the community of bloggers I have come to know, maybe I was afraid of more rejection if I venture out on my own.  Maybe I just hadn't put that much thought into it at all until now.  Why now?

Because under the weight of my own personal trials and endeavors that are going on in my personal life combined with the negativity in our own blog community that everyone has been posting about caused me to collapse.  It has caused me to question my motives and every one else's too.  It made me question if I have done anything wrong.  Seriously?

Then it occurred to me, if I had really done anything wrong, it was that I have been blogging FOR everyone else.  I was not really showing my readers who I truly am, by following the crowd!  Also, that I have been letting my blog monopolize all of my time to do so.   By understanding this small but crucial detail I realized how easy it is for others to develop their own perceptions of how one may or may not be based only on what they have seen on your blog.  Without taking the time to truly get to know another blogger, it's easy to make assumptions based on what you read, even though we all know what they say about assuming.
  I now consider it a blessing to have gone through this most recent slump in my blog life.  I think somebody must have been praying for me!  Fortunately, any time you shine a light into the darkness you show things that originally you could not see.  What I had not seen was that because I was trying to please my followers too much, I was not pleasing myself.

This is my blog and I own it, well me and blogger anyway!  LOL!  From here on out I blog as I please, when I please and about what I please, and if you are still following me, God bless you!  I have given myself a schedule to follow that I hope will help me manage my time blogging and may also better help my followers really know whom I am.  This is not my own idea, I have seen many bloggers doing this, making their own schedules.  Sure wish I had done this from the start!   My guidelines may change over time, but here's the new schedule I created for myself for now.  I have also put these on my tabs page with more explanation, so here's what I intend to follow;

Sunday- Sharing Jesus
Monday- Mary's Meditating Mind
Tuesday- Take a look Tuesday
Wednesday- Wellness Wednesday
Thursday- Tablescaping Dreams
Friday-Free Fridays
Saturday-Skip A day

I may join a few partys again eventually, but for the most part I have decided to pull back on most all of them except for one that I have always truly enjoyed over the past year.  I even committed a whole day just for it.  I may not ever be amongst the best of the table scapers out there and may not even participate every Thursday, but I will not give up something that I found has brought me so much joy in my life.

I plan to blog only as I feel the urge to do so, using the guidelines set forth.  This means I may or may not blog daily.  Some days I may blog more often then others some days not so much, but you will know what to expect on those days when I do.  I am in control now and if you are here I hope you will enjoy it, but if you leave I will still carry on because this is my blog!

 
 Thank you so much to those of you who continue to follow and support my blog.  Atleast, now I know if you are here it is because you want to follow ME.  Now do you understand why I am considering this a Wellness Wednesday post?  Because for me to continue enjoying my blog, it's got to truly reflect ME.
 
Free Fridays will most likely keep you updated on my life's goings on's, including my new business.  There's still time to enter my giveaway here, if you missed it though. 

  I am very happy to be restoring "JOY" to my blog life, and hope you will enjoy too!
Mary

17 comments:

  1. It's so good to set boundaries, Mary! That way you don't put guilt on yourself as to what you should be doing. I feel the same way. Sometimes I will post a lot and sometimes I will post a couple of times a week. Just depends. I wouldn't feel obligated unless I had sponsors, then I would feel compelled to post at least 5 times a week. I love that you have a theme for certain days. Makes it so much easier on yourself.

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  2. I think there are alot of bloggers feeling the exact same way, I have read alot of post about this! good for you!!!!

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  3. Good for you Mary. I applaud you. It is very easy to get caught up in the "keeping up with the Jones" in blogland. I don't blog everyday and I blog about what I want to, things that are fun and important to me or that are a part of my life. I've asked for prayers and I've prayed for others. I've shared thrifts and I've done a million tablescapes. When it fits the rest of my life and it is fun, then I think blogging is a very creative outlet. I've made wonderful friends and lost a few. I guess that's part of the whole thing. Seems like that happens in real life too. I enjoy your blog and I know I will enjoy it more now. God Bless and good for you. Hugs, Marty

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  4. I really like this and it certainly fits with a WELLNESS WEDNESDAY theme. If our mental outlook isn't healthy, nothing else is. We are just an ill blogger with a sick blog.

    Stay true to yourself, Mary. I enjoy you just the way you are.

    You know, you said something once way back on "Sailing Simply" that I have always liked and remembered. You spoke of blog parties as a good source of inspiration. I loved that. It's not about being the biggest party girl in town, imo, it's about being inspired to do something you truly like.

    Hope that came out right. Anyway. Blog On, Dreamer!

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  5. Yay for you!! I appreciate the honesty and I pray you are blessed as you make these changes

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  6. Mary I bet you feel so much better now! I completely understand! I have been struggling with some of this also. I enjoyed doing parties and have always done so when I felt like it, now that I host a party its a pressure to make sure I have that post up on time. I think I am enjoying it but it has cut into my other blogging time. I started Whats Up Wednesdays for my own blog just to talk about whatever I want too and it does feel good. After the first of the year I gave myself permission to only join parties when I wanted and when I could. I will continue to be your follower because I like you! hugs, Linda

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  7. I loved that. It's not about being the biggest party girl in town,it's about being inspired to do something you truly like...it's suppose to be FUN!!!..And when it isn't fun anymore,WELL!,then it's time to gain control,and do different, I'm with ya gurl...I also have had similar things happen :(

    I say let's do what we want to do, and what we enjoy.
    GURLS JUST GOTTA HAVE FUN, too.
    ~Jo
    LazyonLoblolly

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  8. Thank you for your honesty. I am a fairly new follower of your blog, but I can so relate to a lot of what you said in this post. I find myself trying to "fit in" with certain blogging cliques sometimes and when I catch myself doing that, I try to step back and reevaluate why I am blogging. I want to blog for me and do projects that I enjoy and decorate in ways that suit me and my family's lifestyle. Yes, having lots of followers is nice, but it can be very tiring as well! Keep on keeping on ~ I'm still following!!
    Hugs,
    Donna

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  9. Way to go. You've placed a lovely, white picket fence around the garden that is you...and you've been gracious to include a gate for others to enter...when the timing is right for you. Boundaries are so healthy. I generally blog once a week...Tablescape Thursday. Every once in a while, I'll see something else that sparks my creativity...or not. Thanks for sharing your journey. Cherry Kay

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  10. Good for you Mary..I have been blogging now for 2 1/2 years and I only post about once a week now..as the first year I got burned out and my family and home also suffered because of it..Now I do very few parties too many hours spend doing them...Hey you aren't getting rid of me girl..ha ha!! I adore your blog and always have..You ROCK mary..Hugs and smiles Gloria

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  11. Now honey, didn't that just take a huge weight off your shoulders? I know we've had this discussion before, blogging is supposed to be fun. We don't have a time clock to punch, we have no obligations (other than to be nice) and just like I don't go knock on my neighbor's door everyday, I don't visit all my blogging friends every time they post. How could I? It'd be like choosing between my "other life" friends. No SoAndSo, I can't come see you, because I only have time to see WhatsHerName and she calls me everyday.

    It depends on what I'm in the mood for, my online life is like my "other life." I need a new recipe, I think I'll call/visit Sally. I wonder how the weather is in New York, I think I'll call/visit Michelle. I wonder what ThatGirl is up to, I better go check on her. The list goes on…I need a laugh, I need inspiration, I wonder this or wonder that. Variety is the spice of life and wouldn't it be sad if we only visited the same blogs all the time and never looked at others?

    I write about what I'm interested in and if others enjoy it that's great, but not everyone I blog with is going to be interested in every single post I do. And I don't expect them to come by every single time I post, I just do my thing and I'm glad to hear that's what you're going to do. Go for it!

    The best thing I ever did was stop joining the weekly parties, it was too much pressure and I found I was planning my life around what I needed to post about. I still stop by and visit now and again, but I reclaimed my life for myself.

    btw, I looked back at your last post and I'm so happy about the support you've been getting! How exciting and your display is awesome and I mean that sincerely, lol.

    Hugs and best wishes, you know you'll be seeing me!

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  12. Good for you! It's so important to have your blog reflect you and not what other's want it to be. As others have said, I think blogland is a lot like real life. They both have their ups and downs and you've got to make them what you want them to be. We only go around once.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the changes in your blog.

    - The Tablescaper

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  13. Great insight Mary!
    I have been watching my granddaughter full time and I have seen my blogging time cut away.
    But she comes first and I am not going to fret over it.
    I love your blog and will visit when I can!
    Hugs,
    Cindy

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  14. I am glad you found what you like to do, Mary. Blogging should be primarily for us and not for others anyway so I am very happy for you creating your own schedule. I'll be following right along. I do a lot of posts myself and it consumes a lot of my time but I have a lot of time and I do advance posts most of the time and just schedule them accordingly. Take care!...Christine

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  15. Wonderful post Mary! I think there are a lot of us who feel the same way. I do join a lot of parties but, I have cut out about 50% of them! I love all the parties in blogland but the pressure to keep up with them and visit all the participants is just more than I can handle. That was one of the reasons I started doing my Saturday "Weekly tip". It doesn't get linked to anything. It is just my little post. I have been working on a schedule as well. I still don't have the timing to where I want it but, it is a start!

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  16. I applaud your honesty & courage. I'm having similar feelings & have only been blogging less than 6 months. It's kind of an adrenaline high when you see people are actually visiting your blog and making nice comments. So, of course, you want to feel that way again and again. It truly becomes an addiction. It's not necessarily all bad, because for me it has been such a boost to my self-esteem. That, in turn, has reflected in a very positive way on other areas of my life. It's just very hard to set those boundaries so that blogging doesn't take away anything. I'm working on that, & I truly appreciate your insightfulness on the matter. I wish you all the best & I will continue to follow & enjoy whenever & whatever you choose to post about.
    CAS

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  17. Happy Wednesday!! I am blog hopping today and decided to stop by your blog.

    Please stop by and say hello and even become a follower (if you aren't already) at either of my blogs:

    So Stylilized is where I am currently offering FREE Custom Blog Designs at http://sostylilized.blogspot.com

    Jessicas Lil Corner is where I blog about life and family at http://jessicaslilcorner.blogspot.com

    Have a blessed Wednesday!! :0)

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Hi Fellow Dreamers! Getting back into blogging and would love your precious feedback. I greatly appreciate and really enjoy reading your comments. Thank you so much!