In this ongoing series of Blog Exercises, I’ve covered much about the philosophy of blogging, and the challenges that come with blogging over time. One of the most common excuses to pause or stop blogging is “life happens.” Examples include:
- Blog Exercises: Self-Control and Distractions
- Blog Exercises: Identify the Life Suckers
- Blog Exercises: What If You Knew You Could Not Fail
- Blog Exercise: Take Yourself on a Bloggy Vacation
- Blog Exercises: What Are You Talking About?
- Blog Exercises: What Are You Talking About Revisited
We’ve also talked about how to choose and maintain the focus of your blog topic. Sometimes when we lose track of what we are blogging about, and our purpose and goals, we lose interest, and life creeps in easily.
As with everything, we teach best what we most need to learn.
Over the past few years, my life has been consumed by teaching WordPress and web publishing at workshops, classes, and in college. I love teaching. It is my life, my passion to share the joy of self-publishing and having your say on the web. I adore it. I adore my students who challenge and test me constantly. Yet, it is exhausting. Not the teaching, the bureaucracy of it all. The forms, the meetings, the evaluations, the rules, the judgments, the decisions without cause nor explanation, the demands of time and patience pushed to the extreme, and the lack of communication and support that leaves so many teachers swinging in the wind of self-doubt and frustration. As a freelancer and contractor, I’ve controlled my life and work exclusively. The past five years or so has reminded me of how creativity is squashed by arbitrary decisions and decision-makers. Those who can find creativity and self-fulfillment through the rigors of bureaucracy, I applaud you.
As I’ve plowed into that new career path, I’ve learned much along the way, and I’ve shared much of it on this site, but it also has taken me away from this site more than I like as life does while you are making other plans.
Has this happened to you?
Is there something you’ve been passionate about, enjoyed zealously, and relished each moment you do it with a glow about you, a sweet smile on your face? Something that drives you to keep returning back to it, no matter how challenging it gets, no matter how many times people tell you that it isn’t worth it or a waste of your time, but you can’t help it? You just love doing it that much?
Then life stepped in and redirected you away from your love?
How do you return?
In this blog exercise, I want to talk about how to return to your passion, specifically the passion of blogging about your passion.
How to Come Back to Your Blog
Rebooting your blog is more challenging than most people realize.
There is much inner and outer directed debate to have with yourself. Will it work? Can I come back? Can I find the passion again? If I lost it the first time does it mean it’s really gone? Or was I doing something wrong?
You did nothing wrong. Life interceded. It happens to all of us. One philosopher said that life is one series of distractions, one after another. How we deal with the distractions tells us much about our character.
The outer debate is the great “What will others think” battle. Will my readers still be there? Do they think I let them down? Have they forgotten me? How has things changed? Will they come back? What do I say to them? What will they think of me?
Let’s deal with these one by one before we get to the process of returning back to your blog.
Can I Come Back to My Blog?
Of course you can. It’s your blog, your words, your images, your work. D
Welcome yourself back.
It’s like returning to a vacation cabin or favorite hotel after an extended absence. Check out what’s changed, what’s different, but rejoice in the return to an old friendly face and space.
Yes, you can find the passion again. It really didn’t leave you. It’s just hibernating, waiting for you to light a fire in your soul again. Start slowly, warm the coals, and examine what it is about your blog topic(s) that gave you the energy and joy originally.
Sometimes when we come back, our focus is clearer. In the beginning, it was all about the “thing” and getting it out there to share with the world. Today, you are older, wiser, with a few bruises and scars well-earned. With time and wisdom comes clarity.
What is the kernel of truth in your passion? What is the real reason you do this?
You might find a renewed sense of commitment and determination in the return. Use it.
What Will Others Think?
I only have two words about what others will think: #$%* them.
Seriously. Who cares. It’s your site, not theirs. It is your topic, not theirs, though you share it through your common interest. It is still your head, your fingers, your experience, your imagination that kept them coming back for more, and it will bring them back again.
You do not need to make excuses, give justification, or explain anything to anyone unless it specifically relates to your site’s topic and enhances it. If you are blogging about your cancer or a disease, then your excuses may matter as you share the process as well as the experience. Otherwise, just get on with it and don’t be concerned about what other people will think if you return to your blog.
They might cheer.
How to Reboot Your Blog
There are two ways to reboot your blog.
First, just start publishing. Make a new plan, line up the topics you wish to cover as you move forward, and start blogging. Make no excuses, no “welcome me back” or “did you miss me” posts. Just publish the next post and get on with it.
Act like nothing happened. Just move forward. If people noticed the absence, they will ask, and you may choose how to answer, but get back to the business of blogging.
Second, make some design and format changes to refresh the appearance of your site, and then do the first step and get blogging. Sometimes a fresh coat of paint gives you and your readers a sign that life is returning.
Again, act like nothing special happened and start publishing again. No excuses.
By stepping forward and not looking back, you continue on your journey with the illusion of a life uninterrupted, but also with a strong self of control, power, and self-discipline.
We missed you, but we’ll get over it. Now you get on with it.
Your blog exercise assignment today is to get back to your blog if you left it behind, and if you haven’t had life interrupt, consider what you would do if it did.
Make a backup plan, a plan of action, something to help keep you on track and recognize when life takes a left turn when you wanted to turn right. Take steps to keep yourself on the right path following the joy in your heart and on your blog.
You can find more Blog Exercises on Lorelle on WordPress. This is an ongoing challenge to help you flex your blogging muscles. You may join us at any time, but I recommend you take a moment to visit past blog exercises to help invigorate your site.