I’ve been a terrible blogger. I haven’t blogged in seven months. It started out with just being busy for a few weeks. Then I didn’t really feel like it (we’re having a baby in a few weeks and I did not feel like blogging or using the laptop more than necessary). Then I realised I wasn’t really into blogging much at the time.
Going off blogging and social media
It’s not that I don’t like blogging any more, I’ve been doing it on and off for ten years now (post on that still to come!). It’s just that I was starting to blog in a way I didn’t enjoy. I hate having to use social media and everyone knows you need to use social media all the time if you’re a blogger. In fact I’ve cut down and hardly use it now. I don’t even have the Facebook or twitter apps on my phone or ipad anymore. I don’t want to go back to using it more.
I’ve never been good at self-promotion either. It’s just not my style. For me, blogging began in 2006 as something I did for fun and as a way to keep friends and family updated during the multiple times I lived overseas. In recent years I have also enjoyed being part of the travel blogger community and I’ve befriended many other bloggers at conferences and online. Some bloggers have very successfully made the leap from hobby to professional blogger and that’s wonderful. These days, many people even set up blogs specifically with the goal of making a living from them. Personally, like I said, I can’t keep up with the social media and self promotion needed to be a professional or super popular blogger. I don’t like it when I feel I have to blog or have to use social media. I preferred it when I just posted when I wanted and occasionally used social media. That doesn’t help get more readers and it means I’ve missed out on certain opportunities but, oh well.
Another reason I went off blogging has been living in California. Not that I hate California. Oh no. There are lots of good things about living in California and, as an immigrant, there are still lots of quirks (both good and bad) about life here for me. But it’s definitely not as blog inspiring as when I was living in a Beijing hutong, seeing completely new things everyday and travelling all over Asia in my 15 weeks holiday per year (perks of being an international school teacher).
Although I’ve travelled to Nicaragua (which I still haven’t finished blogging about) and Justin and I did a massive road trip up to Canada and back (not blogged about..yet), most of the year has been spent in Newport Beach. Saying this, I don’t lack for things to blog about. I have lots of ideas and I still have about 300 (slight exaggeration..probably) drafts of posts I never wrote when I was in Beijing because I didn’t have time. But at this point, it feels too late to write them now.
I’m no technical wiz and I’ve had a bunch of issues with my blog lately: slow loading times, colours looking completely different on different screens, fuzzy images. Most of the time I just can’t work out why. I couldn’t keep researching solutions that didn’t work all day everyday and it got too frustrating. When your blog isn’t looking as good as you want, it’s hard to feel motivated to do anything to it. I also miss when I just used to upload my photos and not bother about resizing them (I didn’t even know you had to resize photos until about 2 years ago!). It’s time consuming resizing images, renaming them, exporting them, uploading them and then I find I have issues with image quality I don’t know how to fix. It seems like a waste of time.
Community and motivation
This year a couple of my favourite travel blogs have either stopped posting, taken long blogging hiatuses like me or even taken their blogs offline completely. It’s such a shame when that happens but, as the creator of three different blogs in ten years, I understand the feeling of being done with blogging. (At least temporarily. I always start again eventually). Many of these bloggers cite similar reasons to me- lack of motivation or time, disinterest in having to perform on social media or lack of travel. Some have even started a family and presumably don’t have time to blog anymore. There are still many blogs and bloggers out there I love but I’ve also stopped interacting much with the blogging community. Not because I don’t like them (you’re all great!), but because I feel less interested in it when I’m not really travelling or blogging myself. I still read my favourite blogs of course, but not everyday and I rarely comment. Sorry 🙂
I’m still here
After all of that, I don’t want to close this blog down. I still have many things to write about. I am pleased with the way this blog has helped people. I still receive emails from readers asking for advice on visiting different parts of China or thanking me for some tips I gave somewhere along the line. If only I could have written all the posts I intended, this blog would be even more of a useful resource.
I’m not saying goodbye
I’m going to keep the blog open and I’m going to blog if I feel I have the time and inclination. I actually have a few blog posts I really want to get out in the next couple of weeks so hopefully I will manage to do that. One of the hardest things about having left the blog empty for so long was the ever growing gap between the present time and my last blog post. The bigger it got, the more daunting writing a new post became.
From now on I’m not going to restrict myself to travel posts. I probably won’t blog much about anything other than travel or living overseas, but you never know. It’s nice to have options! I made an origami mobile the other day so perhaps I will write instructions for that. Who knows? One thing is for sure, though I am mentioning it here briefly as it would be weird not to, I will not be blogging about our child once she is born. That type of blogging is not for me and I personally don’t want to put details of my child on the internet. Then again, children today will know nothing different. Children born today will never know a time without the internet. Crazy.
Anyway, thanks for reading. If you managed to get through this and you have any good blog posts I should read (whether yours or someone else’s, about travel, blogging or anything else), feel free to leave a link below.
Do you blog? How do you stay motivated? Have any of your favourite bloggers stopped blogging this year?
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