I’ve started this post about 20 times in my head. That’s when I know I’ve got something important to say. I really didn’t plan to post here until June 1st, but my mind won’t rest until I get all this out of my head.
I love to write. I really do. From the days of teenage angst when I would stare out the window and write moody poetry or scribble in my journal–to my life now where I see the world in terms of blog post headlines.
My mental headlines have transitioned from titles like:
How to Minimize Self-Doubt
and Creating Family Vacations to Remember
to headlines like:
Wonder Woman Doesn’t Live at My House
5 Surefire Ways to Kill Your Passion
and Where Did All My Goals Go?
Not only had my mental viewpoint taken a negative turn, my writing had turned from something I loved to do, to something I had to do:
- I had to post three times a week.
- I had to write about only practical decluttering and minimalist-y topics.
- I had to get back to work on finishing other sites I had started.
- I had to write more guest posts.
- I had to come up with something both funny and philosophical to say on Twitter.
But who had decided I had to do all those things? ME! I tend to be somewhat stubborn by nature and I know this much about myself: If someone tells me I have to do something, that’s the best way to get me to not want to do it. Turns out, even if the person telling me I have to do something is ME, it still has the same effect of shutting me down.
Where Did I Go Wrong?
I don’t know if it’s my background in counseling or just being a girl that likes to over-analyze things, but it’s been driving me nuts trying to figure out what went wrong. Because as we all know, if we don’t figure out our mistakes, then we’re doomed to repeat them. This hasn’t been a fun place for me to be, so I definitely wanted to get to the bottom of it all and get my blog luvin’ groove back.
I tracked down a few of my mistakes and here’s what I came up with:
- I was trying to focus on too many projects at once. Being exhausted is not great for being productive. It’s hard enough to try and pay your dues and get a project off the ground without spreading yourself too thin between multiple projects. I’ve had to learn to focus on one thing at a time to get it to a point where I’m content to move onto something else for awhile. Then I circle back and get back to that first project. I don’t think I’ll ever be down to just one or two projects but this circular pattern creates a type of mental break and seems to be working pretty well for me.
- I cared too much about what other people said about me. I admit it…I want people to like me. It always hurts to be left out of certain cliques whether you’re developing your high school image or your online persona. So whenever I would hear less than flattering feedback on a post of mine or on my book, it bugged me probably more than it should have. Here’s the thing…the Internet is huge and people have different opinions. I don’t like everything out there that I see and while I may not be as vocal about it as the next person, I can’t deny someone else their personal taste. Do I think people online should learn to keep their mouth shut sometimes? Yeah, sure I do…but that’s a topic for another day. So for now, I’m wearing anything negative I see about myself as a badge of honor.
- I lost sight of my purpose. Somewhere along the way, I think I lost some of my vision for this site. When I first started blogging I was so excited to be a voice for family minimalism. Lately I’ve fallen into the pressure to perform: to get lots of comments, subscribers, likes, hits, tweets, etc. It’s just crazy how fast you can lose sight of the WHY behind your writing and your life. I started this blog to be helpful and to give other people a window into my life so that in some small way it might impact their life in a positive way. While I want to be liked and to have my message spread, that’s not the real reason that I’m here.
- I imposed unnecessary rules on myself. Like I mentioned above, I don’t need to write posts three times a week, make sure I include lots of links to other posts, or even keep my blog looking a certain way. I started this blog as much for me as I did for you, so if how I blog needs to evolve with my journey, then that’s what it needs to do. The only constant in life is change so we shouldn’t be afraid of it.
- I paid too much attention to what other people were doing. I used to wear myself out trying to stay up to date with blogs on minimalism, simplicity, and reading how-to articles on social media, building my brand (whatever that means) and increasing my traffic. I felt this pressure to fit in with the crowd and try to do what others were doing. Even when you try to follow all the advice out there, you’ll find so many conflicting opinions that it’s hard to make progress or feel successful. I’m tired of trying to keep up with everyone else. I have a hard enough time keeping up with myself. I’m moving on and focusing on what matters.
Leaping Into the Future
I don’t really have this blogging thing figured out, but there are certain things I plan to do moving forward. Here’s what you can expect:
- I will post when I have something important to say. Now that I’m removing the restraints I put on myself I anticipate being more free with my posting. You may not be able to plan on a post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. But I can promise you this: if you see a post by me, you can bet that it’s something I feel strongly about. I won’t post just because I feel like I’m supposed to post. You might want to sign up for RSS or weekly updates so you don’t worry about missing a post.
- The price of my book will permanently be lowered. I could get into a discussion about all the research I did for pricing my book, how hard I worked at creating valuable content, or compare it to other books out there…but I won’t. I want my book to have the opportunity to reach more families so I’m lowering the price and keeping it there. ‘Nuff said.
- I will be more open with how I share my thoughts here. I’m through with avoiding topics that didn’t fit the exact “minimalist mold” that I felt was necessary for this blog. I write to help you become a minimalist at home, but I also write AS a minimalist at home. So much of life ties into the foundational truths of minimalism that I won’t avoid posting it if it isn’t the perfect cookie cutter list post.
That’s pretty much it. You get the real me. Now you know where I’ve been and where I’m going. I hope you’ll stick around for the journey.
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Article originally published on 04/22/2011