The Blogging Blues

Blogging can be a total roller coaster.

Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down.  Sometimes your traffic spikes and grows, sometimes it plateaus and declines.  Sometimes you have tons of new ideas and stories to share, sometimes you have total writer’s block and nothing to say.  Sometimes you feel confident, sometimes you feel discouraged.   Sometimes you achieve the goals you want, sometimes it seems like everyone else gets there first.  Sometimes you feel like you’ve been given the best job in the world, sometimes you start to wonder if this is where you’re supposed to be.

(You might have guessed where this is going…)

For a handful of reasons, I feel like I’m riding the downswing again.  Some might call it burnout.  I call it “the blogging blues”.

Trust me, this is not unchartered territory for me after 4 years of blogging.  I’ve been there before.  And when other bloggers write to me about this, I’m the first to assure them that these sort of seasons don’t last forever, and things will swing up again.  (And that if you’re a blogger, these sort of ups and downs are pretty much guaranteed, so it’s wise to anticipate this roller coaster as part of the industry.)

But the fact remains that I’m simply not feeling it right now.  Don’t worry, traffic is fine, income is fine, my blog is fine, but the blogger in me is not.  I don’t feel like I have much to say.  I feel like everything has been done before.  I question if this is the field for me, and whether my voice needs to be heard amongst so many other talented bloggers out there.  I compare myself to bloggers I admire who seem to “have it all”, and find myself falling short.  I feel like I can’t keep up.  I doubt myself.

In a nutshell, I just feel kind of discouraged.

My instinct when these seasons come (which I credit on being good ol’ 3 on the Enneagram) is to try and “do” everything I can to change the situation.  I convince myself that I need to work harder, work smarter, put in more time, push myself, and basically do more in order to “fix” whatever seems to be the problem.  Achieve, achieve, achieve.  When I’m in a healthy place, this sort of personality instinct can be motivating and fruitful.  But when I’m not, I end up spinning my wheels and end up absolutely exhausted.  (Which I am right now.)

I mean, let’s be real.  The truth is that there’s really only so much you can “do” to turn things around, especially in the world of blogging.  And really, what I need to do (if anything) is just be patient.  And keep putting one foot in front of the other.  And trust that  (as one blogger recently noted) this really is a marathon, not a sprint.  And that the best thing I can do is stay true to myself, and do the best that I can.  That’s really all any of us can do, right?

I’m trying to remind myself of that multiple times a day this week.  But sometimes it’s just hard.  And sometimes I simply get discouraged.  And rather than pretend like everything is bright and shiny and oh-so-perfect, or offer 10 easy steps to bounce out of a slump, sometimes it’s helpful to admit that there are seasons that are challenging.  That’s all.

So anyway, if I’ve been a little quiet on this blog lately, that’s why.  Hakuna matata, I’m totally ok and will bounce back from this blogging slump sometime soon, guaranteed.  But for anyone else who might find themselves ever experiencing the “blogging blues”, just thought I’d offer a little post to let you know that you’re not alone.   And to remember that your blog is not your identity.  And that this season, too, will pass.  And, as my favorite character says in Finding Nemo, we’ve gotta “just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming”… :)

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35 comments on “The Blogging Blues”

  1. LOVE this down to earth post, Ali… perfectly written and I am totally feeling you! XO

  2. Love this post Ali! This has totally be me on more than one occasion including right now. This was just the post I needed. Sometimes it’s nice to see that others go through the same things too so thank you :)

  3. Dear Ali,

    You are amazing, and I totally admire you. Thank you so much for sharing this post.

    Hugs,
    Amanda

  4. Wow..did I write this? It sure sounds like I could have! My hope is that my blog will open a door to a new opportunity (hopefully in photography or related) but who knows. You said the “p” word and that’s the hardest part of all…being patient. Hang in there Ali :)

  5. You’re awesome at being honest and vulnerable, Ali–that’s a huge inner strength. You know this (you said so in your post), but for what it’s worth at times writing the GPS is a real high, and at times it’s a matter of “Great–same old Bible verses again.” You did the terrific guitar-accompanied song about blogging–maybe this is the time to compose a blues number. (I recall Rob Winger, years ago, doing a version of Cat Stevens that went “Another Saturday night, and I ain’t got no sermon!”) Don’t let this rob you of your ability to smile. The world needs you, and your smile!

  6. Yup, I know exactly how you feel and you express it so well.

  7. Perfect way to say what all of us feel at one time or another! If not about blogging, then something else! This too shall pass, sometimes it feels like forever before it does. Love this post.

  8. You’ve described this slump so well and you really give a positive and hopeful way of looking at it. I’ve been blogging for just over a year and have been feeling just like you’ve described. I’ve spun my wheels to exhaustion. I finally stepped away for a week and jumped back in. Thanks for being so honest and expressing those feelings all of us go through.

  9. I so completely and totally hear you. I also think it’s very hard to stay creative all the time, if we never have time to step away, take a break, soak up the world and feel inspired. Know that you are not alone! :)

  10. I felt the same just last week, wondering what others are doing that I’m missing & feeling like “how can I do it well” with 3 little ones. The passion always shines through the difficult times, but those times can be a bit dark. Thanks for your honesty & sharing!

  11. Thanks for sharing, Ali. I can feel those ups and downs sometimes all in one day! I recently walked away from a professional situation that felt really wrong to me, but was bringing me a lot of traffic. At times I feel very discouraged when my traffic is no longer as high as it was, but on the same front, I am SO proud of myself for walking away.

  12. It’s so comforting to know that we all go through these downswings at times. Beautifully written post, friend. I hope the sun shines for you today!!

  13. I am feeling much the same way lately. Thank you so much for your honesty! It’s so reassuring to know that others deal with the blogging blues, too.

  14. “Just keep swimming…” I so know that feeling, having struggled with it A LOT this winter. I like how you compare it to a season… This, too, shall pass. You are too awesome for it not to! ((HUGS))

  15. Ali, I could have written this post myself (although not as articulately as you!). I am currently going through this same downtime. I feel like it hits most after the holidays and after some time away (I just got back from traveling for a family funeral). Hugs to you, the good news is that these stretches always seem to find a way of turning themselves around :)

  16. Thank you so much for sharing this, Ali! I’ve been feeling the same way lately and it is not a fun mental place to be. It is definitely comforting to know that other bloggers go through similar emotions. And for the record, your blog never lacks in creativity and gorgeous photos from the outside!

  17. Oh Ali…seriously, can I relate to this even more? I’ve been feeling the funk lately, not so into it. And that email I sent you the other day? It kind of set a spark for me. So like you said, one foot in front of the other. Blogging is a unique “business” (though for me I still can’t grasp the idea of it being a business still)… it’s always a learning process.
    Just Keep Swimming is one of my favorite parts of that movie :) love ya girl!!

  18. I was just talking to my husband about this it other day. Right now I’m in one of those blogging slumps. I feel like I have nothing interesting to say and I feel like when I do have something to say that no one wants to hear it. haha. But hopefully in a few weeks, I’ll be back to feeling normal!

  19. Love this, my friend! I’m glad you wrote about it; writing can be so healing. Be assured that you have a community of friends here in this little Internet world who love you and love hearing your voice.

  20. Thanks for sharing your blogging blues. I’m so glad there is a technical term for this! Just last night I kept thinking “What is wrong with me?” I was feeling so blah about blogging. It helps to know others feel this way too sometimes. My main problem is posting consistency. I’m good for one post a week, but any more than that I start feeling like I have nothing to say and wonder if anyone will care. I love the “just keep swimming” line. :-) I’ll quote another great movie Moonstruck “Snap out of it!”

  21. Word. Ditto. All of the above. #bloggingbluesneedtobounce ;-)

  22. One of my favorite quotes that brings me comfort when I’m feeling like you at this moment is this, “One must go into the darkness to see the light”. I love it, it sweetly reminds me that I’m growing in a wonderful way, more insightful, knowledgeable and with a new beautiful mind.

    I’m not an avid blogger, for me it’s more about being creative. Although, my blogging began as a keepsake for all of my mothers/family recipes, I did find myself wanting to “Keeping up with the Joneses” and struggled with many of the issues you mention here. I can say this… regardless of what field we are in online, medical or retail I believe we all experience these moment. So I like to lift myself up and think I’m growing right now more into the women I’ve always wanted to become. This may sound silly but it works, for me.

    P.S. Love your blog and your writing.

  23. As a very new food blogger, I enjoyed reading this post. It is all very overwhelming at times!

  24. Ali – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the “blogging blues”, look around and my creativity comes to a standstill. Granted most of it could be due to the day to day which is makes it a struggle to find the creative side. Thank you SO much for being so open about it and reminding us it’s just a season.

  25. I am experiencing this right now too. I know there are lots of factors contributing to it. My dishwasher is not working, my oven is on the fritz, I am waiting for a kitchen remodel, sickness has run rampant through my house these last few weeks, this Nebraska winter can take a hike….it is hard to push through. I am sorry you are experiencing these blues, but it is oddly comforting knowing that someone whom I think “has it all” experiences the slump from time to time. Cheers to the upswing and the arrival of Spring (soon I hope!).

  26. As grandma said, “Inch by inch, life’s a cinch. Yard by hard it gets hard. Mile by mile, it’s truly a trial.” I say, slow and steady will win the race, hopefully with a smile on my face. XO

  27. These kinds of things happen, but still, It needs to be said! Know you’ve got a whole community behind you hoping you find you way out of it soon!

  28. Hey Ali :)

    I just thought I would share this with you, b/c it struck me as slightly significant: I was feeling very, VERY gloomy the other day, and I was listlessly scrolling through the list (pun not intended) of blogs to which I subscribe, and if my stream of consciousness could have been captured, here’s how I think it would have read: “Oh look, new recipes, oh – more vegetarian food, oh my gosh, you can mash parsnips? Oooh look at that blog – ruffles and oh, look – more foo foo stuff, oh look, WOW. do you seriously produce something EVERY DAY???, oh, look – more foo foo stuff, oh, would you look at that – what a cute idea for decorating stairs, but I don’t have stairs, sooo.. wait. look. there’s that blog where I think the blogger is sweet and fun but not foofooey (yes, I realize this is not actually a word). Like, I think she’s real, and has a really good heart, and that means something to me. Maybe I’ll check that one out, and it will lift my spirits.”

    So, I did check it out, and tadaaaa – It was yours :) Gimme Some Oven (and it did lift my spirits!)

    I can tell you that out of all the blog updates I receive (quite a few!), you are the only person I have ever thought about – who I think would be a really cool friend.

    Rock on, my dear :)

  29. Thank you for being so honest and open, Ali! I’ve been in a little blogging funk, too, and feeling oh-so-guilty about it. I’ve tried everything I know (in my type-A personality toolbox) and nothing seems to be working. Knowing that someone as talented and successful as you is going through the same thing gives me hope and the patience to ride it out. Enjoy your trip and break from blogging — it’s deserved! :)

  30. Almost 8 years for me, sister! Ups and downs, go with the flow, don’t compare. Keep writing to inspire and help change the world, Ali. You have SO much to share, and that is why your blog is a favorite of so many! Love you, girl!

  31. Pingback: The Friday Five | Gimme Some Oven

  32. Ali, you are such an inspiration to me! I’ve loved following your blog over the past few years and have really enjoyed your real and honest posts lately. I’m looking forward to hanging out in KC and maybe finding some new inspiration together! Can’t wait!

  33. Ali, I just found your blog (via Pinterest and your wonderful rainbow pizza :-) ) and then went on to read this … and I’m so glad I did! I’ve just been blogging since the beginning of the year and so am feeling content to just enjoy it right now, but I can totally see how this ‘up and down roller coaster’ effect might kick in later on if I let it. I think your point about ‘being yourself’ and ‘doing your best’ (while not comparing yourself to others) is fabulous advice and I’m definitely going to try and follow it. I don’t know if this is a wise thing to say or not as I guess I am sort of comparing you to others by saying this, but my first impression of your blog is that it is extremely high quality indeed (the writing, photos, design and recipes!) and you really have no reason to doubt yourself :-) Anyway, really nice to ‘meet’ you and I’d love to visit again!

  34. Thanks so much for your honesty, Ali. As much as I wouldn’t want you to feel this way, it’s comforting to know I’m not the only one!  <3

  35. So glad I came upon this post.  A little late as it is from 2014, but I am a new blogger of a little over a month and just came across your site.  Even though I just started blogging, I already have my moments of ups and downs and get discouraged that I’m not seeing better results with the traffic on my blog.  As you quoted from Finding Nemo, just keep swimming, which is fitting since Finding Dory is coming out this summer!  :)  I will try to do just that and thanks for your words of encouragement when things get kind of blah.  Your site is amazing!