It was tumultuous. It was crazy and my mind was fuzzy and my eyes were picking up my blinky anxiety tics that I get when I’m overwhelmed and confused. Yes, I have blinky tics. You have permission to totally make fun of me.
So I decided to give myself a sabbatical from blogging, and it was exactly like when cops on TV are given time off because they are at the brink of snapping since they’ve been pushing themselves to the damn limit. There was even moody music, and lots of scenes of me staring out the window, turning my Glock over in my hands and throwing back whiskey.
My plan was to get organized, create some focus, rearrange and pare down, and generally learn to love blogging again. Here’s what I figured out:
1. You should never ever let something stress you out to point of insanity:
I did it, as is my custom. I let something I love to do grow so big and unwieldy that it consumed me. I got anxious, I couldn’t make decisions about it, I wasted tons of time obsessing over it and whether I was making the ‘right choices’. I got very annoyed with myself and finally decided to just make any choices, already and got myself out of analysis paralysis.
2. THINGS MUST BE SIMPLIFIED:
Commenting on blogs, keeping up with social media, planning blog posts, researching everything! right! now! (I read about and listen to far too many podcasts on blogging/social media/creativity, business) a lack of systems and organization, trying too many new things, general mayhem, all combined to burn my ass out.
Combined my blogs, unsubscribed from lots of email lists (except the ones that are super-excellent, like mine), planned out a basic schedule for Facebook posts- batching tasks works beautifully to help you focus and free up time.
I Stopped trying to comment on every social media post from every person I follow. Alternatively, I have chosen to chat with people on social media instead of their blogs. Sometimes I’ll leave blog comments, but mostly I have swiped that off of my list. I don’t know why I hate doing it so much; I guess it feels forced most of the time.
3. Oh sweet mother of gob, it’s nice to take a big chunk of time off:
I didn’t actually take it totally off, but while I wasn’t posting new posts, I spent the time tweaking a lot of behind the scenes things, thinking about my direction, weeding out some extraneous crap. Sometimes taking time to think is as important as getting all sorts of work done. I rekindled my excitement for blogging and thought up some fab new ideas.
4. I grow massively bored and horribly useless-feeling when I’m not blogging:
Blogging gives me purpose, pride, excitement and creativity (in addition to tics), and it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever found to do. Not doing it for too long makes me feel like Beckett looks when he’s in the final stages of a massive pee-pee dance and doesn’t know if he can get to the toilet in time.
Bottom line: I will schedule in a couple of 2-week periods each year to get the hell away from blogging and let my brain gelatinize for a while. Yes, I said schedule, because I am “miss organization-pants” now. I even have 2 giant dry-erase calendars to plan my blog posts on.
I will not worry about if my posts are being scheduled for the optimal times, or if I am posting enough of a certain type of thing on Facebook, or if some phrase I write will cause one person to unsubscribe from my email list. Ack. Basically I have distilled it all down to: Organize and simplify, work really hard, don’t give a shit about rules. Oh my God, that’s good. Time to go make a pinnable image.