I have a confession to make. I quit. I know all the old adages: “Quitters never win and winners never quit.”, “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”, and my personal favorite:
But sometimes quitting feels good, sometimes it feels like survival. I quit blogging. I wasn’t sure if I was coming back. I last posted on October 23rd, it’s now December 23rd. You don’t even want to know about my pitiful stats.
But there’s something they don’t tell you when you begin this process. They say it’s hard work, that it takes dedication, but they don’t tell you that blogging becomes a part of you. Once you’ve experienced sharing your thoughts and feelings with the world, once you’ve made connections with people in different countries and walks of life based on shared interests it’s hard to walk away.
Blogging becomes a real part of your life and quitting follows the familiar trajectory of ending a relationship. So when thinking of the best way to format this post I decided to employ the help of the person who sings the truths of my heart, the one and only Taylor Swift.
Stage 1: Dreaming about starting a blog
Song: You Belong With Me
This is a magical time in a young bloggers life. You read
hundreds thousands of blogs dreaming about the way you would have described that character and how you would format that post to flow better. I personally spent a long time in this stage, the fear of putting yourself out there is hard to overcome.
Stage 2: Ownership
That moment when you finally sign up for WordPress (or whatever platform you choose) is pure bliss. Your blog becomes your prized possession even though you have nothing figured out and are honestly just bumping along. This is definitely a fun stage where you stay up the entire night working on layouts and watching endless youtube videos because you just can’t get you title to center.
Stage 3: Love is Blind
“It’s miserable and magical at the same time.”
“It’ll be alright if we just keep dancing like we’re twenty-two!”
At this point you say “I love blogging!” while literally holding open your eyes open because you stayed up until 3AM writing a blog post, after completing a student’s IEP for the career your getting a paycheck for (even though the blog feels like it’s taking up the lion’s share of your time), and designing a Christmas shirt to post on Etsy. I decided to stay relevant I had to post everyday or every other day. Even though I was caffeine fueled and slightly crazed I was still having a blast “living the dream”.
Stage 4: You’re not good enough
Remember that crazed smile? Yeah that eventually cracked. The pressures of being a speech therapist, running the special education department at my school, creating t-shirt designs for Beautiful Nowhere Designs (shameless plug), being a wife and fur-mom, and looking at my filthy house all weighed down on me until I felt like I would break. There was a point where my blog, something that brought me such joy in the beginning, became a bully constantly telling me that I wasn’t good enough. I put way too strict expectations on myself and when I couldn’t meet them I felt like a complete failure. The Kingdom of Ash release was also a low point for me. If you’ve followed my blog or twitter for any length of time you probably know that I am a HUGE Sarah J. Maas fan, however when KOA was released I felt that I HAD to read it, not because I wanted to but to keep up with the times and again stay relevant. I have a complex about being told what to do so you can probably guess where we’re heading.
Stage 5: I’m done
Song: We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
My go-to defense mechanism is avoidance. Seriously there are probably still some math assignments under my childhood bed because “out of sight out of mind” is a way of life. For about a month I was happy to be done with blogging.
This is actual footage of my face every time my husband asked if I’d posted on my blog (not really, but we do have similar glasses).
Stage 6: Longing
Song: Back to December
Like all break ups, it didn’t take long for the regret to creep in. I finished books and was back to not having a platform to share them. I opened many drafts but every time deleted them. Similar to text messages that stayed in draft after some heartbreaks.
“It turns out freedom is nothing but missing you.”
I go back to October all the time……
Stage 7: I’m Backkkkkk
Song: Blank Space
What did this whole experience teach me? Blogging is for ME. I blog because I love it, not for views, not for money. I do this because I have a passion for reading and love sharing all of my crazy theories and fangirl obsessions. If I want to post twenty times a week that’s phenomenal, but if I have too much going on that’s ok too. My New Years resolution is to not get in my own way and keep myself from doing something I love. If my words brings you joy as well there’s nothing greater in the world.