It’s already been several weeks, but I hope you had a good New Year’s. Whether you were to celebrate it with family and/or friends (even just in your own good company) at home or elsewhere, I hope you started off 2019 well.
I guess this post could be classified as my typical “I’m Back!” post, as I’ve written plenty of them in the past three, maybe four years. Technically, yes, I’m “back” from a two-and-a-half-month hiatus (albeit with a few random posts sprinkled in-between), but at the same time, I don’t want to label it as that. Because I already know that I’ll soon have to write another post about “taking another break from blogging,” because I’ll be on vacation (just a heads up, in February).
Here’s the real deal: I feel lost. With blogging. As I’d mentioned in one of my posts during “hiatus,” I haven’t really been into blogging as I had since…2016? It’s taken me a while (heck, nearly three years) to figure out why something was off, but now I know:
…and the fact I’ve changed.
Might sound cliché and oh-so-obvious, but it’s true. For the past two years, I’ve started to feel like blogging was a chore. I was blogging daily, which I’d been doing since 2014. At first, daily blogging was enjoyable, as I had so many ideas and was really on that creativity streak– that went on for two-ish years (2014-2016, maybe first half of 2017). But, at some point, it became a burden, especially when I moved cities, started a new job, and wanted to focus my energy on other activities, e.g. traveling, hanging out with friends, etc.
Now, at some point, I knew that daily blogging would be unsustainable: I knew that I would run out of creative ideas, and/or that I would start getting busy with work and would have to put aside blogging for that. But, at the same time, I was naïve, that it wouldn’t happen anytime soon, and that, when the time did come, I would be ready to do so.
…guess I was wrong (and super idealistic).
After all, I was 20 when I first started this blog. I was still in college, and I created this blog, because I liked to write, and I had so many ideas I wanted to write about (plus, I was bored). Fast-forward five years later, and I’m no longer in college, having graduated and working abroad in Europe (although that might come to a close soon…). It’s safe to assume that I’ve changed in five years, and I can confirm that I have. Still naïve in some cases, but much wiser in many others.
However, the problem is that even though I’ve changed as a person, I don’t think my blog content has changed nearly as much. Sure, I’ve incorporated a lot of travel posts since 2015 (which I hadn’t done prior to that), but that’s pretty much it. What I’m finding is a lot of recycled material, from “Man Crush Mondays” to “A Favorite Poem” issues, and everything in-between.
I suppose in defense of these so-called “recycled material,” I originally started them as a way to keep my creative juices flowing, for I would crank them out as a monthly issue. They kept me writing, paradoxically as means to soothe any potential writer’s block I might have had then. But in recent years, they’ve started becoming a chore: even if I didn’t have a “current” male celebrity crush or a poem I liked, I forced myself to find one for the sake of filling up a day on the daily blog. Admittedly, there were a few issues in which I didn’t even have a celebrity crush on the person (or even enjoyed the poem)!
It scares me to realize that I’m losing my love for blogging. Even more so, in writing– it’s been a huge part of my life since I was a kid, and perhaps I…exploited it?? And to think I’ve been preaching about “writing what you love” on this site throughout the years, I feel like a hypocrite. Because really, I don’t really think I’ve been writing what I love on this blog for a long time.
That’s why I want to try something different. After all, it’s a new year: what better reason than to start fresh than now? First thing I’m letting go is daily blogging– especially when I’m juggling work, travel, and a social life, it’s impossible to blog every day, let alone consistently. I’m also getting rid of the excuse of constantly “taking a break” to go on vacation, then “I’m back!:” I’m not obliged to announce that, because a break is a break– it’s not like I’m under some contractual law to do so.
Next thing to go is the monthly series (e.g. “Man Crush Monday,” “Woman Crush Saturday,” etc.). While I’ll constantly be fawning over new celebrity eye-candy, it’s not like I have to announce them every month. Should I really want to post about a celebrity crush, it’ll need to have substance, and not just fan-girling over how “hot” they are. Likewise, I’ll be removing the weekly “Song Sunday:” if I have a current song I’m obsessed with, I’ll just write about it without the “Song Sunday” label.
*note* Changes will also be made to the monthly “A Favorite Poem” issue and the occasional “A Letter to My Crush” post. Compared with the monthly celebrity crush issues, I actually find these posts rather stimulating to my writing, as I’m flexing my English, analytical skills and reflecting on my feelings, respectively. What I’ll do is just limiting them to when I really feel inspired, and from there I hope quality will be served.
As for my travel posts, I’ll reserve them for my actual travel blog. After all, this blog is more of my personal one, in which I share more about myself that I wouldn’t otherwise do on my travel blog. Just dispersing the content, so that I’m not repeating myself on various platforms– really, it’s exhausting. Also have a French blog, should you be curious in checking it out; I do plan to continue writing regularly on it, because I want to keep up the language.
For publishing/scheduling my posts, I’ve decided to do it “The Captain’s Speech” way. If you don’t know what I’m talking about (or whom I’m referring to), fellow WordPress blogger Paul from The Captain’s Speech tends to publish his post, and then re-publish them several times throughout the day, so that it can reach more people in different parts of the world. Granted, I’ve already been doing that with my posts, but the difference this time is that I’m not daily blogging, but when I do write a post, I’ll continue to re-publish them a few times to show to you. Perhaps it’s still a habit I can’t (or refuse) to break, but let’s call it a compromise.
Finally, I plan just to write…whenever I feel like it. Sounds like common sense (even redundant, since I just wrote that I plan to stop daily blogging), but for me having daily blogged for well over four years, it can be tough cycle to break. One reason why I started daily blogging in the first place was to gain followers by increasing my presence on WordPress– it’d worked for some time, since I was just starting out and I had plenty of ideas in my mind. However, I’m getting older, more preoccupied with work and life, and I really want to focus my energy on posts that I know will make me proud– the ones like social commentary, poems that I put time and care in, even personal rants. I have opinions, and I did name my blog “The Finicky Cynic” for a reason– I think it’s time to bring that critic back.
I know that this will be a lot at first, since change can be hard. I’ll still probably get frustrated over few “Likes” and “Comments” I receive on my posts, but I’ll have to remind myself that stats should not influence me: I shouldn’t base my happiness with a post on its engagement with others, but rather on whether I’m proud of writing it. I’ll also have to accept that, due to not blogging every day, I might lose some followers, and that’s okay– after all, many of them are spammers or bots, which can actually harm blog engagement with other genuine bloggers. Besides, I’ll be grateful for those who choose to stay and read my posts, because that’s where the true connection is.
Essentially, I’m hoping that this will all help me to find my love for writing again. Again, it has been a rough few years of feeling directionless on this platform, and my blog content suffered because of that. While I’d been using daily routine before to keep my creative juices flowing, I hope that doing the opposite (aka no daily routine) will refuel that writing inspiration. There will be no plan as to what I’ll be writing, and even if it means that I won’t be as omnipresent on WordPress, at least I’ll know that I’ll be happy writing/publishing good content when I actually do.
Thanks for reading up to this point. See you in the next post, whenever that may be. Take care.
— The Finicky Cynic
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