Thursday, January 26, 2012

Where Do I Go from Here?

I have been agonizing over whether I should blog about 2011’s major events (namely, my son’s Make-A-
Wish party and trip) or if I should just go ahead with my thoughts, plans, desires, and word-of-the-year for 2012.  I can come back to 2011 later.  I mean, the end of January is already fast approaching….the agonizing cannot go on much longer!

Let’s be honest….

It has been quite some time since any real, heartfelt content has been posted here on my blog.  It is no real secret that I have been struggling for months.  Oh, I have been writing; it isn’t writer’s block.  I have written hundreds of posts over the past six months or so.  Some I have written in my head, some in notebooks, and others are sitting right here in draft mode, just waiting.  So….why can’t I just click ‘publish’ and stop agonizing, you ask?

Good question.

I don’t know.

Or, I didn’t know, but I think I have finally figured it out.


See, when I first started blogging way back in 2006, the purpose was to preserve memories.  I had just been handed a hefty dose of mortality--my son was not supposed to make it to birth and if he did, it was not going to be pretty.  I had already buried one son, so when my baby was born alive and very stable, well…  I wanted to make sure I recorded life in a way that my memories would be preserved and available.  Plus, blogging was gaining ground with my circle of homeschooling, stay-at-home moms.  

Part journal, part scrapbook, my blog was a fun way to save photos, to talk about homeschooling (and record our progress), to show off my art, crafts, and DIY projects, and to tell what it is like to have a bunch of kids and everything that goes along with parenting.  Life, really.  


One day I received an email inquiry asking if I would accept a free product in exchange for a written review on my blog.  Then another came.  And another. 

How exciting!

It was not long before my purpose for blogging shifted.  It was not so much about my life any longer.  It became a little bit about the stuff.   Soon, it was page views, followers, and wanting to be one of those bloggers who go to conventions, the ones who get front-loading washing machines and Frigidaire refrigerators to review and to give away to their readers.

There is nothing wrong with that.  Nothing at all.  The problem?  You have to *really* put yourself out there.  You have to be REAL--every day you have to post without fear or abandon.  I did that….to a tiny extent, for a short time.  Then I started questioning myself.

I could not decide if I wanted to be ‘that real’.  To post and tweet my every move, to post unplanned photos (*gasp* and YIKES….  I am NOT photogenic, and I’m always wearing this fat suit.  *sigh*) just seemed like too much.

Did I really want to deal with the controversy surrounding something I had posted?  Could I handle it if someone questioned something in which I strongly believe?  Or something that I am strongly against?  Could I handle personal attacks?

Shaken by blogger horror stories, I pulled back.  I questioned every single post.  I practically stopped tweeting altogether.  I teetered on the edge and then…

I developed full-fledged blogger anxiety.

I gathered my resolve on numerous occasions, promising to post something meaningful tomorrow.  

Always tomorrow.  

A few days ago, I received a comment from a new reader that set me back on the right path.   This new reader was searching for support.  Her baby was just diagnosed with Congenital Heart Disease.   After receiving her comment, I realized (finally!) that it has not been an issue of laziness or a lack of motivation holding back my blogging.  The fact of the matter is…..

I lost my direction.

My blog is meant to tell my story.  Period.  It is not meant to bring in a paycheck (which is a particularly laughable statement at this point).  It is not about page views and unique visitors and ad clicks and LG appliances, or any other branding.  

It is about ME.  My family.  My life.

This does not mean that you will never read a new book review or see a product review and giveaway here at The Box of Rocks--(I have a NOVICA $50 GC giveaway coming next week!)  It just means that if/when it happens….great!  If my blog generates a little interest in the blogging business world….terrific!  And if it doesn’t?  No sweat.  Do I want readers and followers?  Of course!  If my life experiences can help or motivate others….wonderful!  If I can share an occasional good book or awesome product….all the better!

No more tomorrows.  Today is tomorrow.  

Now that I have found my focus, I am all set.

Thanks for reading~

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