An Inadequate Blogger

Feeling Inadequate

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I really feel I’m not doing this blogging business justice. As I’ve endeavoured to juggle this return to work, so many of you have been kind and understanding, letting me know it’s okay to take my time. Yet I can’t help feeling inadequate.

I started blogging because I wanted to dive into this vibrant community that I’d been observing from the sidelines for so long. But if I can’t finish half-written posts, steal moments to reply to comments, or squeeze enough time in to read and comment on my favourite blogs, I’m no longer engaging in the community. I know I’m not obliged to do anything, but I want to. I’m at odds with myself.

I see so many of you fly by on Facebook, page refresh, after page refresh, and marvel at your ability to keep engaged. I stopped loitering on Twitter because engaging there is about keeping in the loop and communicating “in real time” and I can seldom do that. Also, it’s no fun hovering on the sidelines, for me or anyone else, waiting for a conversation when I’ve only a minute or two to pop in and out.

The one luxury I rely on, because it fuels one of my core passions and because I can literally pop in an out, is Instagram. At least it enables me to touch base with some of you. So I’m hanging onto that one with gritted teeth.

In writing this, I’ve had a realisation. It’s time to specifically rethink how I “do social media”. I knew I would have to cut back but that’s not specific enough.

My days used to be peppered with ad-hoc social media interludes from waking to sleep. I can’t do that now I’m back at work. Nor can I cannot justify this non-remunerating personal hobby as a main priority amidst family, home and work commitments, in that order. In writing that, I even realise I’ve not found much time for myself in the priority list for “self-care” which is something I’ve just started seriously pondering.

So social media has slid, not just to the bottom of the ladder of priorities but beyond, underground even. And surreptitiously “underground” is where I steal a minute here or there to write the rare post like this one when I should be doing something else.

So my thinking now? I might have to schedule my social media time but only in bite-size chunks. It’s not going to be the same. But at least it’s a more specific plan, and at least it’s a start.

How do you schedule social media into your life?

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30 thoughts on “An Inadequate Blogger

  1. I’m hardly a great person to give advice, because my own social media engagement is hopeless. My blog hasn’t grown much for a while, because I simply don’t have the capacity to engage any more than I do, especially now that I’m struggling to keep my eyes open past 8 pm. When I make new connections, I lose some old ones. But here is my 5 cents anyway. There is no ‘inadequate’ in this game. Especially if you are not trying to make money, but just blogging for you. It’s for you, right?, so you have to do what works for you. Scheduling social media time is way not to let it take over your life and once you get into a routine, you’ll learn to make the most of it in the time you have.

    • I really appreciate your insights, Tat. You’re right, this is a hobby for me, not a job. But also, as I’ve (finally) gotten through replying to these comments, I feel much clearer about why I wrote this post. I felt “inadequate” on two counts – firstly because I’m really missing the engagement and secondly thinking I needed to do things out of a certain degree of obligation because I didnt want to be a fair weather friend. The engagement was a big part of why I started blogging so to not find the time to engage does distress / upset / disappoint (???) me. But so many of you have shared great comments and I need to focus on what works for me. “It’s not inadequate; it’s just prioritising.” “It is what it is”. “What else can I do?!”, as Bron from Maxabella Loves said so wisely. “Define your own rules and play your own game.” “Be kind to yourself.” I guess in summarising this, I’m highlighting how much I miss this type of engagement and shared wisdom when I don’t blog and get to replying to comments. But, I go back to, “It is what it is” and “What else can I do?!” Now to figure out what schedule works for me!

  2. I’m much the same and I don’t have work making me fall behind. I just don’t do it enough, I guess. I’ve got a bit of a post rolling around my head about all this, too. Because, the social media side of blogging is important to continue to grow and engage your community but it’s simply not working for me.
    I would love to hear how your scheduled social media time works out for you – that might be something I need to look into, too.

    • I was thinking about your comment, Becky, and apart from time to spare, what we do with social media and how we do it does depend a bit on why we are doing it. It’s just a hobby for me. But in saying that, it has an important component that meets a deeper need for me and that is the engagement. But I’m not making money off it or championing a cause (at least not yet). It’s really more about friendships. I guess that’s where this post came from – missing the engagement but feeling I didn’t want to be a “fair weather friend”. As for you, you are quite busy at home with your art journalling and other activities so that’s important too. It’s part of the real life experiences that feed back into your blog and online interactions. I’ve not found a good schedule yet but I did get a few great comments about scheduling and I think, in a nutshell, it’s about squeezing it in and being happy with what you can do in the time you allocate to it.

  3. One of my mom blogger friends got a full time job and now can only write in her blog every few weeks. It is what it is and you can’t beat yourself up about it. I try to sneak in my social media time here and there – if I have 5 minutes on the computer I’ll do what I can. It’s definitely hard to find time on top of everything else.

    • Thanks for that perspective, Maria. “It is what it is”. I’m getting a lot of good one-liners from this post to go away and mull over. At the moment, most of my sneaking in time is late at night which is doing no favours for the ongoing sleep debt so I’ll just have to learn to rearrange that. I’m not productive when I’m so exhausted. Hopefully, Lil S will start sleeping through the night soon. Fingers crossed!

  4. It’s hard. I totally see where you’re coming from. I think for me, because I know that there are specific days when I’m child-free, I schedule in my head when I’ll be posting. And I try to make it realistic. (2 – 3 times a week, perhaps?). But everyone’s perception of reality is obviously different.
    Sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and accept that for the moment, you don’t have the time and it’s not a priority.
    It doesn’t mean it won’t be again. And like I always say, we’re always here.

    • I just realised last night, Grace, that hubby and I probably need to schedule more “me-time”. If we are not at work, we are with both girls all the time. I don’t know where to fit in exercise even. Then I notice how so many of you get out for that run, obviously sans kids, and it dawned on me that I need to consider leaving the girls with him sometimes and then doing the reverse so he can find time to get things done. Hopefully in that time, I’ll find both the time to exercise and to organise my blogging better. Mondays off just haven’t been working for those things right now.

  5. I totally hear you Veronica. It can be so difficult to fit everything in, and social media is so time-sapping. I think scheduling is a great idea if you can stick to it. I find I get lost in SM and before I know it hours have gone by and I haven’t done anything I was supposed to! That’s such a trap.

    • I was lost in social media a lot in 2011 after I started blogging and realised once 2012 started that I needed to reprioritise. Returning to work has but extra pressure on that which means my blogging has slid even further down the long list which is my life. I do miss the engagement but I am more considered about not wasting time on Twitter or Facebook too much now. I don’t mind the time on Instagram. I just wish I had more time for my blog and replying to comments in a more timely manner (instead of two weeks late!). Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

  6. I read this this morning but wanted to wait to comment, cause I really didn’t know what to say.
    What’s the idea of blogging justice? How many times should we be posting, how often should we visit others, do all comments need replying to…. These are so many questions that really don’t have any kind of definitive answer If you write when you want, what you want, then you have done your blog justice. If you follow the ‘rules’ and end up stressed out and writing drivel, then you aren’t doing anyone justice.
    Just find where you’re comfortable V. Xx

    • Thanks for writing such a considered comment, Jess. You are right. In my current circumstances, I am doing what I can. I do understand that. I guess I miss the engagement most of all by blogging less and replying to comments so many weeks late. Even though there aren’t rules set in concrete, I always felt there were expectations of how we “do” social media. Maybe I need to turn that on its head too.

  7. I was reading this and nodding. I love my blog and love writing it and love connecting in social media…but it’s actually full on trying to be present in all forms of social media whilst juggling the day to day ins and outs of lifeI I don’t see it as inadequate – just prioritising. Hope you find your balance and what suits you best!

    • Hi Mandie, and thanks for putting it that way – it’s “prioritising”! And it truly is. I just miss the engagement through blogging. It’s both about the people but also about the things I learn about and how it expands my perspectives. When I’m so busy with just myself, I don’t get that same stretching at times. I do hope I’ll find that rhythm soon too.

  8. I’ve had my time doing the exact same thing. Except it wasn’t work my life just got busy. Take your time. You will fit it in when you can. There is no rush. The beauty of blogging is it can fit in around you, or go on a break. It will still be here waiting for you lovely. X

    • Thanks for your lovely words, Jocelyn. I know I wrote this, in part, because I miss the engagement with you all, but am just struggling to find the time for it. Thank goodness for Instagram!

  9. I totally agree with Tat – there is no ‘inadequate’. I understand about sitting on the sidelines watching too. The social media side of things can become so all-consuming and addictive. I’ve become so swamped lately with work and study that my blog etc have had to slide. And it’s made me reassess the direction and focus of it all and what really matters. Don’t be hard on yourself – define your own rules and play your own game.

    • I can relate to being overboard with social media and then being almost at the other end of the spectrum. I think two things motivated this post for me – missing the engagement with lovely people like yourself and feeling a sense of obligation to do my bit in reaching out. But as someone else said, “What else can I do?!” Probably not a lot else right now. Thanks you though for those simple but helpful words – “Define your own rules and play your own game.” I’ll have to ponder what that means for me but I like it.

  10. Social media is hard. I almost want to employ someone to promote my blog through twitter and Facebook while I’m doing my day job.
    But it’s not all about promotion either, it is about engagement.
    One thing I’ve found is Twitter’s quite exclusive, especially among quite prolific writers. I make convo with tweeps but dint get a response. It’s disappointing.
    I have a theory that blogging is 60% creation of content and 40% self promotion. Good luck V xx

    • I appreciate your thoughts and perspective, Carly. I agree that it’s about engagement, at least for me. I dropped off Twitter for the most part because of the reason you’ve outlined. When I weighed up the value of my time and priorities and the degree of engagement, I realised it was much better to be on IG (where I see your lovely meals!!!!). I any case I love taking pics and trying to be creative so IG wins hands down. I like your thoughts on the 60-40 approach. I’ll keep that in mind. I might finally get to finish some of those draft posts!

  11. Rather than ‘inadequate’, I’d say you’re pretty terrific!

    I guess it’s a matter of dropping your own expectations and just doing what makes you happy. What fits in and makes sense. What else can you do!? x

    • Bron, you’re too kind. I never thought of myself as “terrific”. I know I need to drop those expectations. I suppose I know how much I miss this community when I’m not interacting. I know I needed to cut back once 2012 hit because I’d gone overboard the other way but now I’m on the other side of the pendulum. But you’re so right. What else can I do?! I think I need to write that up in bold and stick it on my mirror to remind myself of being more realistic with my expectations!

  12. I’m nodding in agreement with Deb…Define your own rules and play your own game! I used to comment on around 50 of my favorite blogs all the time but have reduced that number to around 5-10 a week (so consider yourself lucky today lol!). I have given up on google plus, am on twitter for about 5 mins per week (although I have it linked to FB so it seems like more) and as for FB – I set myself limits. I’m more effective now that I have a system. Do what you can, when you want to. Sometimes you might feel like you are giving less but it all evens out in the end. Seriously though V….be kind to yourself, you have seriously high expectations. There are ebbs and flows and you’re doing just fine!

    • Thanks for the concrete ideas, Kirri. I have given up on a lot of social media too but could do with a more concrete system to manage what I will/can do. I then need to stick to it and stop being fickle. I tend to get fickle when I am too tired (which is sadly often) or emotional. I know I set the bar high at times both for my own needs and then sometimes because I feel obliged to. I know I need to cut myself more slack. Thanks for your vote of confidence. I really appreciate it.

  13. Hello – dropping in from FYBF. I absolutely know where you’re coming from. I have recently jumped back into blogging and it is completely overwhelming. I constantly feel the pull of all those social media platforms. I would like to be writing and commenting and liking and retweeting all day. But I can’t. I try to keep my blog content at number 1 priority, and blogging community at number 2. But both of those come AFTER everything else. Because without all that I have in the real world, I have nothing.
    Having said that – just followed you on instagram, cos I love that for little snippets too 🙂

    • It was lovely to meet you via FB and to see you on IG too, Kylie. I like your approach – life, blog, social media. I have thought the same but I get torn between putting out my own content and trying to keep in touch with others. Blogging is me “talking” but unless I reply more regularly to comments or get on social media too, I’m not getting that interaction back which is important to me. I want to “listen” as well as “talk”. I’ll just have to accept I can only do what I can do while I try to find a new rhythm.

  14. It is tough juggling it hun, but please do not put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Soon enough you will find a routine that will work for you and your new working schedule. For the record – I think you do an amazing job juggling it all 🙂 xx

  15. Please dont be hard on yourself hun. You are adjusting to a big change and you will find a routine that suits you before too long. In the meantime, we are loving every precious post you do have time to make. I hope you had a wonderful Mothers Day xxx

    • Sonia, thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate you checking in and reading what I’ve been up to and where I’m at even though I’m so irregular with this blogging business. My new lifestyle is still a learning process. I must say tiredness does thwart my ability to do and be all I probably could be but I hope to get to a new rhythm soon.

  16. Pingback: Beating social media blues « Mixed Gems

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