The nature of blogging brings with it an innate requirement to juggle multiple roles at once (whether that's of photographer, editor and social media consultant, or simply a wife, sister, best friend or mother.) Blogging is never the only thing someone does, being able to dedicate all their time to writing and being creative. Being creative and continually coming up with new ideas is also a strain in itself: sometimes my brain actually aches from me thinking too much about that really engaging new post or fab new angle! All this pressure we place on ourselves, spending weekends and evenings stressing about writing another post or editing those photos that won't fix themselves, is simply helping us on our way to a mid-blogging crisis.
A couple weeks ago I found myself in a metaphorical black hole, gradually falling deeper and deeper until I found myself unable to climb out. I was physically and emotionally exhausted, having taken only a handful of days (including weekends) away from my computer in a year. I could feel it coming (the lack of enthusiasm, the lack of creativity, the lack of caring whether or not I got any content up that day,) but I couldn't do anything about it. I'd put so much pressure upon myself to grow the blog, be writing amazing content and taking brilliant photos, keeping my social channels running and negotiating brand opportunities that would actually pay the bills. The end result was unsurprisingly a 'crash and burn' week where I barely did anything but watch episodes of Orange Is The New Black. (To put it into perspective, I was the entire first season in about four days.)
I don't to make it seem like the world has ended, but I do want to talk about the fact that we ALL experience days or weeks like that and we're ALL capable of losing our blogging mojo. We're not robots, we can't run on empty and even the most creative minds can't continually come up trumps. It's ok to have a bad week (or month.) It's ok to take some time out and come back when you're feeling better. It's ok to check out and experience 'the real world' before the blogging one makes sense again. Blogging has evolved into a completely new entity from when I first started, with everyone continually competing or trying to be the best they can be - be it to get that exclusive, that brand to notice you or simply to get your readers excited about your latest post. It's serious hard work and can be utterly exhausting. It's no surprise that we all have 'crash and burn' moments when we're putting so much pressure on our shoulders.
So how did I get my blogging mojo back? I let myself check out, removed all the pressure and naturally found my path and inspiration again. I realised I missed it and that a few days out worked wonders for my creativity; ideas rushed back, I remembered lots of new things I wanted to write about and I rediscovered my hunger. It's not something you can force and it's not something you can time, but you will find what you've lost - just don't give up. If you're tired, take a break. If you feel lost, then talk to your friends. If you're not sure where you're going, take the time out to find that perfect path. It's made me realise that I do need to take weekends off, I do need to say no to things, I do need to book holiday time and I do need to regularly take some time for myself.
The reason that blogging has become so huge is because of the personalities behind blogs. It's because we feel a special kind of bond and relationship with the person behind the words and we want to share in their experiences. Forcing content, forcing ideas and forcing yourself to write when you'd rather be surfing Netflix will only ever end up with insincere content that your readers will be able to see through instantly. In 2014 we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect in every way, competing and measuring our successes against others, that we often forget what it's all about. I've realised recently that I don't have to be the biggest blogger or the one with every single opportunity to be classified as 'successful' - I just have to be the best I can be and be happy doing what I'm doing. And you know what? I am. (I could just do with a spa break every now and then.)