Guest Post: The ups and downs of blogging
The best and worst thing about writing a blog is the complete freedom of writing whatever I want.
Lately, I have been struggling with maintaining the integrity of my blog material. When I started Wandering Outside the Box, I had intended focus on all things travel: advice, tips and tricks, destinations, cultures, and people. However, as I write dozens more of travel posts, I realize I was also interested in writing about everything. I wanted to write on issues, books, crafts, history, TV. My writing ambition and inspiration left me problem. How am I supposed establish my supposed “niche” that way? I look at what I’m writing, then look at my stats- what the readers are reading. I see that most of my readers are interested in daily life that they can relate to. For myself, I also prefer writing on random thoughts as they capture my mood in the moment very well. Lifestyle blogs take less time as I am just transferring the thoughts from my head onto the computer. Travel posts require a lot of research and time. I search for pictures, recall the story, build the post, engage the reader, and more. Constant travel writing can become overwhelming. So what do I want to do?
When I look on the bright side, the freedom to write whatever I want has shown me what I like and don’t like to write about. I am always learning something and experimenting with new writing techniques and interactions. My peripherals have expanded. I have learned to tag and organize my categories better. Blogging, like everything else, takes discipline and patience. I look at my younger self and I realize several things that I didn’t have back then. I have to commit to writing. I want to share my adventures, lessons, and writing with the world. What I see on my blog page now is me. I write my good days and I write my bad days. I’m blessed to know that my readers love my writing just the way I am.
At some point, I reach a time where there are so many possible things to write on, that I lose inspiration to write. I would write and cut, write and cut. I wouldn’t be sure what direction I’m taking. I know what I’m writing about, but don’t know how to get there. My mind is not focused, my writing is messy, and it stresses me out to lay my fingers down on the keyboard. I avoid going on my blog at all costs, dreading what can possibly come out of me. Why can’t I focus?
I feel that I lose the inspiration to write for several reasons. Perhaps I feel the pressure to force the outcome instead of patiently nurturing a thought to grow at its own time. Perhaps I am thinking of too many post ideas that I can’t focus and write one topic really well. When I come across this particular feeling, I can only step back and take a deep breath. I go for a walk, cook some food, watch movies, for days if it’s necessary. The WordPress’ Daily Post community is an excellent page to read other writers’ works and find inspiration. If it has to wait, so be it.
I have improved my way of life in so many ways because of my blog. I constantly jot down ideas for new posts, reflecting on my habits that I can improve on, new ways to write and what to write about. I’m overjoyed to find readers that relate with me. The list is endless. Regardless of what I choose to write, there is no point in blogging if I feel pressured or stressed out by it. When I take a step back and see the bigger picture, I find the words flow with harmony and that it brings me peace.