I’m trying to start the process of getting back into the routine of blogging after taking somewhat of a hiatus these past few months while I adjusted to all the changes that were going on in my life. And after trying several time to write a discussion post on a topic I’ve been thinking about for a while, I realized that I couldn’t just jump back into blogging. I want to take the time to discuss why it’s a bit of a struggle for me to return to blogging and how that’s impacted by the changes in my reading. There’s much to discuss!
I think that there are 3 things holding me back from going back to easily blogging like I used to. The first one might be the most obvious. Or maybe it isn’t. Regardless, you won’t have to guess, because I’m just going to tell you. The first struggle is timing.
Now, you can take that in a number of ways, really. It’s a struggle because so much time has passed. It’s a struggle because my schedule is so different. It’s a struggle because I need to learn to make time for this hobby again. All three of these interpretations are correct. Lots of time HAS passed since I’ve been blogging regularly. And blogging is not like riding a bike. (Which by the way, I hate bike riding, so if bike riding and blogging were similar, I’d probably never return to blogging.) Blogging is more like running. It can be so rewarding, but you have to build up the stamina. That first run/post after a while is difficult, and makes you never want to run/post again. But if you keep it up for a while, you begin to remember why you loved the activity so much in the first place.
But of course, making time for blogging is difficult. I now have a full time job, which means I get up early to get ready and drive to work, I spend the majority of my day busy as a bee, and then I come home just in time to make myself dinner and do some chores before the whole process starts over again the next day! That might be an oversimplification, but it’s true that I only have an hour or two every night where I have to choose between a chore, socializing, or relaxing. Up until now I didn’t have the energy or the routines to even attempt to choose blogging as an option during that small window of time! And having blogged before, I know what a time commitment I’m getting myself into. I know that writing a blog post can be the quickest part. The editing, the commenting, the reading other blogs, those take time too!
Now, time passing directly relates to my second struggle, which is engagement. If you’re reading this post to begin with, I am so very grateful. Because with every break I take, I lose engagement. Not just followers, but readers. People who remain subscribed, but don’t care about what I write anymore. People who have stopped engaging with blogging for the time being. It’s really upsetting to feel like you’re starting from the beginning again. To feel like you may have spent several years building an engaged readership, only to lose everyone when you choose to take a break. It also makes wanting to find the time to blog so much more difficult because my motivation always has been for people to read and engage with my content. So if no one is reading what I write anymore, should I even go back to blogging?
Of course, if I keep on blogging and start engaging more myself, my engagement will pick up again. But I’m impatient. I want time to have stood still while I was gone. That’s not the case of course, but knowing that it will be a time consuming activity getting back to a place where I’m happy with my engagement again can be scary at times!
But say that time and engagement weren’t an issue. And technically, they’re not. I’ve made the decision to start blogging again. I’m going to do my best to be consistent, unless life ends up getting in the way. There’s also the fact that I need to have what to blog about. I know I’ve written a post titled “What It Takes to Write a Blog Post“. But there I focused on discussion posts. But now I’d like to be more general. It’s really hard to be consistent with content about books and reading, when you’re no longer reading as much. Doing tags that ask about recent reads becomes harder because you’ve only read 5 books in the past 3 months to pull your answers from. There are less reviews to write. There is less inspiration for a discussion based on what you’ve been reading. Any and all bookish posts take a hit when you’re reading less.
Those are some of my apprehensions returning to blogging. I thought it would be helpful for me to be transparent about why it has been so difficult for me to return to blogging. I’m curious if anyone else has had a similar experience.
However, with this post now written and shared, I’m ready to start the hard work of blogging consistently again! Reading less doesn’t mean not reading at all! I still have plenty I want to share about reading and blogging and books and whatnot! And I hope you’re ready to read it all!