Some of you may (or may not) have noticed that I disappeared from blogging for a little while and I wanted to share with you all why that happened, and my thoughts on returning to blogging.
Reasons Why I Disappeared
As I rapidly hurtled towards the end of my degree, I started to panic. I had spent 3 and a half years in education, hadn’t been unable to line myself up with a job immediately after the end of my degree, and felt very low about the prospect of not having anything to do. I had already created my blog and thought that putting more time into my blog would not only provide a nice transition out of education for me as it would give me something to do that I enjoyed but would also help me to feel validated during a period of unemployment, depression, and low confidence.
That turned out to be very far from the truth.
Some of the biggest demons I battle are to do with serious low self-esteem, paranoia, and obsessive behaviors. Instead of blogging serving as a nice outlet for me to share my opinions, reviews and make friends in the book review community, I found myself fixated on all the things that weren’t going great for me.
- As a perfectionist, I would spend hours on a blog post only for the post to have barely any post engagements.
- Despite reaching out to others and trying to network in the community, I found it hard to make any friends and ended up feeling horribly alone.
- I felt under constant pressure to turn out blogs according to a schedule and would beat myself up about missing blogging days which took me out of action for the entire day
- I became obsessed with statistics, especially lack of engagement on my posts, and used it as fuel to reinforce ideas that no one liked me
Instead of being a nice activity, blogging served to reinforce all of my paranoid feelings about myself and put additional pressure on myself during a time when what I really needed was a rest. Blogging turned out to be a lot more pressure than I ever thought it would be. After weeks of feeling under so much pressure to turn out blogs, failure to stick to any kind of posting schedule, and feeling upset about lack of post engagements, I decided to step right away from the blogging sphere.
At first, the negative voices continued to creep back… No one even noticed you left. Told you no one cared about you. No one cares what you write and no one cares that you left. But the more time I spent away from blogging, the healthier I began to feel.
I began to read more. I hung out with friends. I went for coffee. I caught up on TV shows and films. I reviewed books on Goodreads but didn’t feel under too much pressure doing it because it was the review that mattered – not the stats, the likes, or the comments. It no longer became about building myself an audience or turning it into a way to make money but reverted back to being something that I simply enjoyed.
Returning to blogging?
Now, I’m in a much better place. I feel much more stable, I have just got a dream job working with animals, and I’m reading more books than ever. I have been debating about returning to blogging because I do miss it. Although there were many hard things about blogging, especially as someone with severe mental health problems, I missed sharing posts with others and joining in with book tags. Now that I’m employed (or about to be employed) I hope that it will take away a lot of the pressure I felt from blogging – it doesn’t matter if my blog isn’t “successful” anymore because I’m not relying on it to generate an income.
My estimated start date is on the 9th December and luckily I have been able to secure a great part-time job for the weekends, leaving me with lots of time during the week. So maybe I’ll stick around and see how blogging goes for a little while, especially with the end of the year coming up. There are lots of opinions to share about books of the year and plans for next year. If I do stick around, it’d be great to hear from you.