(This blog is super wordy. If you’re into photos and only a few lines, come back later.)
< disposable camera selfie, 2001 >
Let’s go back over 10 years ago, when I was in high school. I loved photography. It was all I could think about and all I wanted to do. I made time for it – prioritized it. You couldn’t see me without my cameras (yes, they were the disposable film cameras back then.) And people were always commenting on the fact that I was always taking pictures.
I had full control over what (or who) I took photos of, how I took them, how long it would take me to get them developed, or if I wanted to put them in an album, a frame or just throw them away. Photography was mine.
Then, it came time to choosing my career path. Although I had no idea what I wanted to do, I knew exactly what I didn’t want to do – photography. Somehow, the thought of taking my hobby and making it my day job gave me the completely wrong feels. I would have no choice but to do this every day. How, what, where and when I took photos would probably be someone else’ choice and not mine. My creative outlet would no longer be mine.
This is how I feel about blogging, here and now.
Blogging has been my hobby since I had dial-up internet and “blog” wasn’t a real word. (I actually have a journal entry where I talk about how much I hate the word “blog” and hope it never catches on. Oh, the irony!)
When I created B+AB last year, it was my primary creative outlet. I whole-heartedly love to blog. Along with social media, it is the definition of everything I love about… the Internet. (Next time you see me, ask me how much I love the Internet. I dare ya.) Through blogging, I am able to share, to connect with likeminded (or totally different people), to learn, to experiment, to organize my own thoughts and so much more.
When I started B+AB, I had a strategy. Yes – I had an objective, goals and tactical plans. (I am a huge strategy/marketing nerd lol) and it all worked. I was successful in my objective. I had reached my goals – surpassed them, even. You’d think I’d be jumping up and down in celebration, right?
Well, the thing with blogging, especially for lifestyle bloggers, in my opinion, is that being a “blogger” is a lifestyle on its own. My actual life I had wanted to blog about eventually turned into my new “blogger life”. Sure, being invited to events is fun. (Ok some events are really fun.) And getting free stuff is cool, too. But neither of those were the reasons why I love to blog. They were just perks that came with the hobby. But deciding to be a “serious blogger” meant that I had to give up parts of my “real life”. Instead of bumming around at home with Kris & Hovi baby, whenever I actually had time to kill – I felt like I should have been working on my content calendar or my editing photos for my next post. I felt like I couldn’t go out and enjoy a meal with my friends at a new restaurant without having to take photos for a restaurant review. And I constantly felt guilty for not talking about the dozens of products that are sitting in my house right now that I haven’t had time to review.
I no longer felt like I was in control of my blog. I felt like my blog has started to control me/my life.
So, I had to take a completely unplanned hiatus.
Life has been crazy lately and I have had to refocus my priorities. I have been trying to work out the balance between keeping my “real life” and still continue to be an active lifestyle blogger. Because, like, I really love blogging and sharing. With a demanding full-time job, travelling for work, moving into our new house, planning our wedding and everything in between, it is definitely a challenge.
But you know what…? Everything is a process and I have learned a ton from this experience. I’m back, with a better sense of direction and I vow to no longer be a slave to my blog. I’m taking control back, baby!
TL;DR –> Real life is crazy. Took a break. Now, I’m back. ;)
If you’re a blogger, please tell me I’m not alone in this? Share your tips on balancing blogger life + real life! I recently spoke to a full-time power blogger and he didn’t believe it was possible to do it and have a FT job at the same time! Do you agree with him? Or can this be done?
(My very predictable answer is that it depends on your objective and goals! Ha!)