Care Less, Why I’m Questioning & Challenging My Focus

I have had this post in my drafts for about 6 weeks now. I’m not sure if it was a lack of sleep, something I ate, conversations that I had with others, or if I am just loosing my ever lovin’ mind. But something sparked, clicked, or possibly exploded and it came out as word vomit. I’m sorry. I know that isn’t the best or most visually pleasing expression to use, but it’s the only one that makes sense. After a period of sitting on this post I finally decided to click the publish button. 

I feel I should put out a disclaimer to warn you that I am speaking from MY heart. What I have to say is completely directed towards myself. My goal is not to offend anyone, just to share how I am feeling.

So…

I recently came to the realization that I will never be a Ree, or a Sherry, or a (insert the name of any famous blogger here). Not that I ever expected to and not that it was ever a goal. But, my attitude and the way I treat this little space of mine would suggest otherwise.

I guess what I am really trying to say is I came to the realization that I was building an idol. I prioritized it, sacrificed for it, protected it, and let it dominate my thoughts. From letting the blog control my to-do list, family activities, and schedule. To obsessing about the “perfect” graphics and placing entirely too much stock into making pinnable posts, page views, social shares, and how many people were following me on Instagram.

What the heck?!
I have cared way too much about stupid things that have absolutely no eternal value.

I mean seriously, think about it. 20 years from now there is absolutely no stinking way I am going to be saying “If only I had gotten a few more followers.” or “I wish I had written more blog posts on how to make potholders”… or whatever. I feel pretty certain that the answer to that is going to be a loud no.

So here I am questioning the madness and it looks a whole lot like this …   …   …

I know that the friendships I have made through blogging are diamonds in my life. Some of the very best friends that I have, I have never even met.

I also know that blogging has been a huge financial blessing to my family as well. As annoying as sponsored posts can be, they have paid for things and provided for us. As a one income family extra money is always a blessing. It has been SO hard to not want more & more of that.

But at what cost?

Blogging as a “career” in 2017 is a dog eat dog world. Nearly everyone has a blog and a large chunk of those are desperately trying to monetize them. Setting yourself apart and competing with the insanity is nothing short of absolute chaos! You can invest HOURS into looking for sponsored opportunities and never see a dime. I can’t live like that anymore. 

I recently made the decision to scale back my blogging from 5 days a week to 4 and eventually over the summer I plan to scale back again to 3. I will still share some sponsored material but I can guarantee that it will be less frequent than it has been over the past year. I will no longer go desperately seeking it out. If it finds me and my inbox and fits into my life, great.

I have also decided that I will no longer obsess over my IG feed and how many followers I have. My social media followers and the affirmation they give me doesn’t determine my worth. Say that right now out loud and REALLY grasp that. Say it 20 times if you need to, just let it really soak in. 

My hope and prayer is that my goals will change as I prioritize the things in life that matter most. God, family, friends.

So why am I putting this out there. 

#1 I know I am not alone
#2 I know that I may be tempted to lose sight and return to the craziness and I want accountability.

I am so excited to continue on with blogging and sharing our life with you. But I am even more excited to do that more genuinely than I ever have before.

Pouring out my heart in today's post about my feelings on blogging. Click To Tweet

Now itโ€™s time for Tuesday Talk!
We would love to have you link up whatever you have going on today!
 
We have a brand new logo for Tuesday Talk!
Feel free to grab our button and add it to your posts!
 
OPLG Blog
 
 Loading InLinkz ...
  • Heather Bramlett

    and all the bloggers said “amen”….I recently started get that anxious feeling of taking the right pictures, sharing “popular” material, etc and it was DRIVING me insane! I couldn’t do it anymore! I am about to start scaling back on the number of days that I blog too~ Summer is right around the corner and splashing in the pool with the kiddos is so much more important!
    Thank you for sharing your heart, Beth! And you are so right some of the friendships I have made blogging are complete diamonds!

    • Diamonds are forever. YES! I am so thankful that I am not alone in how I feel. When something is stealing your joy… things just have to change. Wish y’all were closer!

  • Yes, yes, yes! I think when we get to this spot, is when we are able to let go and just enjoy blogging. I realized the less I tried, less I posted, less I was focusing on it, the more things just fell into place. There are days when I just have to remind myself, the blog is just a blog, and I never want it to dominate or take over the moments I have with those around me. Thanks for sharing this Beth! And I agree- the friendships are just gold, aren’t they!?

    • It is just a blog!!! I am going to frame those words sweet friend. Thank you so much for reminding I;m not alone.

  • Three boys and a girl blog

    Love love love!!! Couldn’t agree more with you. You’re speaking the words straight from my heart. I’ve decided to stop trying to keep up with everyone. Im sick of trying to pull good content out of thin air. I’ve cut back to 3-4 days a week and I enjoy it so much more!! Thank you for sharing!!

    • You are SO welcome. I have been so amazed at how much more free I feel only posting 4 days a week. I cant even imagine how much sweeter 3 days a week is going to be!

  • You always know what to say!! Man, I wish you lived closer! It is so hard right now since everyone and their dog seems to have a blog, so standing out can be so hard. Then I am always comparing myself, which is never a good thing. Yet, I still struggle because I want to be able to contribute to our budget, which means content/ follower. But, like you, I’m really trying not to stress over followers (and never really stressed over my picture on IG, I posted what I wanted, when I wanted… “curated feed” be damned ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Anyways, that was a lot of rambling… but thanks for sharing, and reminding me whats important in life.

    • Oh friend I wish that too. Are you a hugger? I totally am and goodness I would squeeze you, lol! You and I share SO many of the same struggles friend. sometimes I feel like I am looking in a mirror when you speak. We have to stay focused on what really matters. I am glad to have so much support around me.

  • Lizzie Simantz

    Thanks for sharing such a raw post Beth!! I too felt this way once upon a time but the past months I have had a way more laid back attitude about it. I love blogging because it’s fun and I want to remember these moments in my life but I can’t let it consume me. I know so many people will be nodding their head the entire time they read this!

    • Yes they have and once again I feel overwhelmed with the support. It’s as if we are all feeling the same exact things but we’re all hiding it from each other. Being more laid back is restoring my joy and that is always a good thing.

  • tacy

    This is great. I share so many similar sentiments. I have had to focus on what I love about blogging, which is writing and sharing my heart and let the other things fall into second place or even no place at all. Good luck with your own personal goals.

    • Thank you so very much. It is good to remember that sometime things can fall into no place at all and that is just fine.

  • Loved this. My main goal for blogging actually isn’t to make money (although, yes that would be great), but to have something for my daughter to read later on in life. I would love to have someone organize my blog because I simply do not have time to do so, but I also don’t really care – it’s a true, honest showcase of my posts over the years. Thank you for your transparency on this subject. I think many others feel this way, but aren’t as bold enough to say it.

    • The support from this post was nothing short of overwhelming. It is as if we are all feeling the same things, but we just pretend we are all okay. That is crazy, right?! I started my blog for the same exact reason, my girls. I need to stay focused on that.

  • Thanks for sharing from your heart Beth! I’d lie if I said I never battled these same feelings. While I do hope to earn a little $$ from my blog, I have to remember my main focus is wanting to document our lives while also sharing from my heart but it’s so hard not to take a look at those numbers to see if people are reading. IG for sure has been a tough one…it’s hard not to get sucked in when you see someone else have numbers suddenly explode and you’re wondering why them and not you. Anyway…I’m sure I could go on and on but again thanks for putting this back on my mind and reminding me this space is for this world only.

    • This space is for this world only. Oh my goodness I need to write that above my desk. It is SO true. Thank you for relating and sharing your feelings too. Every time you speak up I always take something good away. Makes me wish you were closer friend.

  • Jessica

    It’s like you took my thoughts and feelings and write them for me! That’s how I felt and still feel when I shared my Personal and Private post a while back. I do not want to take the time or money to grow my blog in big ways. I see the way it makes me spend too much time online and away from the real focuses I should have so to do more is not what I want to do. I won’t be a big blogger and that’s okay. I want to focus on having with with my family and doing my thing. So thankful for our friendship and that we’ve connected through blogging.

    • There have been so many posts that I have read and felt the same way, yours included. It seems like so many of us have felt challenged and had a desire to change recently. But few are really acting on it. Which is why I wanted to put this out there. If you see me biting off to much, knock me on the head with a stick, or whatever. So thankful for you too friend.

  • My sentiments exactly! “My social media followers and the affirmation they give me doesnโ€™t determine my worth.” – I needed to hear that. I’ve been doubting myself a lot lately (especially on IG where you gain 20 and lose 30 followers within a minute, like what the heck?). I scaled down from 3 times a week to two. I commend you for posting that often, I don’t know how you can do it. Setting our priorities straight gives us a better perspective about everything and surely makes us happier and more balanced. Thanks for pouring your heart out. You’re not alone! XO

    • IG is SO frustrating. Honestly I just give up. I don’t care anymore. I don’t have the time to care and I simply can not. Thank you for reminding me that this struggle is not mine alone!

  • I LOVED this Beth! How true is this? I am just starting out and really don’t know what my goal is other than my number one goal, which is to document our lives and connect with people. I love and appreciate your way with words. You really got me thinking about my ultimate goal, and what does really matter to me in regards to my blog. Thank you for sharing your heart!

    • I think that is the place where SO many of us started and then somewhere in the chaos our focus shifted. I am so glad this post spoke something to you. Just remember to not loose focus on what really matters and it is all good friend. Thanks for listening and reminding me I am not alone.

  • I’ve read so many posts/updates on how hard blogging has gotten. How it’s become a very big numbers (followers/reach) game. I’ve got caught up in myself, most bloggers have, will and do. But a week away in March opened my eyes to what’s important to me: my family, the memories we make daily, taking a weekend and filling it with all things life instead of blog business. I’m still blogging, I’ve just decided to stop putting it before everything and everyone.

    You have spoken such truth this morning and I am so proud of you for speaking out on the behalf of so many bloggers who didn’t know how to voice their thoughts.

    • So good friend. I have really seen a difference in you lately and it has been so good.

      Thank you for encouraging me to speak and for being a sounding board for all kinds of crazy things. I can’t remember what life was like before you but I do know it wasn’t nearly as fun. Love, JW

  • Melissa

    I don’t have a blog, but I can say as a reader I prefer a life blog that is just simple and not a huge advertisement everyday for some product or something you “have to have”! I feel like that’s why I like your blog, you are honest and open and share life and love for God and it’s just refreshing! Thanks for your blog and I hope it can be all you want or don’t want, in the future!

    • Thank you so much. I have totally wrote some of those posts in the past and it is TERRIBLE! I always feel so bleck when I sell out like that. I don’t want to do that anymore. Thanks for sharing some thoughts and supporting me.

  • Great view point. You’re defintiely not alone in your feelings. I have taken a step back, too. I realized I didn’t have a spare moment. I was either blogging, pinning, commenting, or something. It had taken over. I’m scaling back to 3 posts a week and I love it. I hope you find the right balance for you.

    • Yes! It was like honeysuckle. You know it is pretty to look at and smells good, but it chokes the life out of everything else. So glad to hear you are feeling more balanced too.

  • Karen Tucci

    I love this post so much! I have been blogging for over 10 years and I have hit this point many times during those 10 years. I scaled back several years ago when I found myself putting way too much value into the numbers game and missing the whole reason to why I started to blog in the first place. Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

    Karen
    http://www.karenathomeblog.com

    • YES! It is so easy to forget the reason we started. 10 years?! That is amazing. So cool.

  • I love this post, friend! I have seen so many people taking a step back lately. I only blog on days when I have something to share. I do not try to force a post that is not there. That’s just too much stress! I truly hope you find your balance and continue to share life updates. Those are my favorites! I just adore your sweet family so much!

    • There have been LOADS of people withing our circle stepping back. It makes me super proud of them for realizing what is really important. Thank you so much sweet friend. There will definitely be more of those.

  • To me, you are one of the “big” bloggers I look up to and wish my blog was like! You’re doing great as you are. If blogging gives you joy, do it. If not, don’t, but know I’ll miss you! Personally, I do worry about the numbers and wish I could do better, but I try not to stress too much if I feel like I’m not getting anywhere. I just hope it picks up eventually when I put my effort into it – but I only put in effort that I enjoy. If it’s too much, I don’t worry about it. Or that’s what I’m trying!

    • Aaaawwwwww!!!!! That was just the sweetest thing to say Dara. Blogging can give me so much joy but it can also kill my joy too. I just have to find balance and I feel like I am doing that. I think you are doing a great job.

  • Ugh, I totally feel you on this, Beth. I’ve had a similar post in my drafts for several weeks now, but I just can’t seem to get the words to come out right. This blogging thing is SUCH a tricky business. I know it’s what I want to do because I feel like I’ve found my passion, and my ultimate goal is to be able to monetize it in some ways to make a little bit of monthly income so I can eventually quit my job. I DESPISE working a corporate job now that my babies are around and I would love to be able to stay home, but I just wouldn’t be able to do it without having at least a little bit of income in some other way but it is SO HARD to monetize a blog. I’m struggling with it horribly. The blogging world these days is just SO HARD because everyone is trying to stand out, and it’s really hard to be original when everyone else has already thought of everything. It just stinks because some days I feel like I’m really onto something… like I’m right on the edge of greatness, and then the next day I snap back to reality and think, “This is never going to happen.” Sigh. It’s extremely discouraging some days but I refuse to let it turn me off to something that I love so intensely. I’ve pretty much decided these last couple of weeks that if it happens it happens, but I’m not going to be going to extremes to get me there. Aaaand now I’m also trying to figure out a different way to make money so I can quit my day job… write a childrens’ book? Write a novel? Sell t-shirts? Lol. Never going to happen.

    • Oh friend I want to hug you. I actually thought about you when writing this post. I know your ultimate goal and I have nothing but respect for that. I don’t know if you know but I used to be a working mom. I worked the whole time that Marissa was a baby all the way up until I had Emily so I totally get how bad it sucks. Sometimes I feel like people who have never done it, just don’t understand how bad it sucks and they hear you and act like they get it, but they don’t. The worst part about blogging for me has been the famine or feast aspects. I would work like a dog and see nothing then in a really good month I would make like $600 all while killing myself to try and make sure then next month is alright too. I was being a half a$$ mom at home because I was working so hard on all things blog related. It just got to be too much for me and I realize my baby is nearly 9 now…. what the heck man. I gotta soak every bit of her up and not have her feel second place to my blog.

      I’ll be praying God opens a door for you friend.

  • Beth, as A Caffeinated Moments friend, I have only recently become familiar with your blog, but I think what you’ve written today is very important. As a grandmother in a group of young mom bloggers, I want to let you know that you might be surprised by how many different bloggers from varying seasons of life, are feeling the same exact way. There are FB groups that I’ve had to step back from just to avoid getting sucked into the numbers and comparison game. You are so right about what’s eternal and what matters and I pray daily to keep the right focus. Thank you for sharing your heart!

    • Thank you so much. I have really noticed that A LOT of people are starting to feel the same way I do too. Focusing on numbers steals all of my joy. I think its because that isn’t where my joy should come from anyways.Thanks for reading and sharing.

  • Yup- I’m all over this too. Since letting go last month, my life has been sooo much simpler and happier and the ironic part is that my numbers haven’t changed. Insert face-palm here.

    • I have heard Stephanie say the same exact thing.That is hilarious and awesome.

  • Totally feel you on this! This year I decided I wasn’t going to post for the sake of posting. Last year I made it a goal to blog 5 times a week and it was just stressing me out. Now I just try to post when I have something interesting to say. Glad that I’m not the only one…even those that I feel are the “bigger” bloggers feel this way, and have their doubts.

    • It is stinking stressful, right? Just cutting back to 4 days has been FANTASTIC! I think we all have our doubts for sure and lately we all have been feeling a lot of the same things.

  • Way to go girlfriend! I post 2 times a week, it works. I have stepped back from blogging FB groups. Mostly, because I don’t care. I also don’t care about my numbers. I love blogging, but doing it my way works. I hope you find peace and balance with your decision. I think you are wise.

    • When you said “mostly because I don’t care” it made me love you even more. I recently hid them all from my feed and that has been UH-mazing. Thank you friend.

  • Whitney Jordan

    I LOVE this!! I think you’re spot on. Do what works for you, and don’t let your blog run your life. I’ve been doing some reevaluating and rethinking of how I do things with my blog, too. I’m planning to scale back a bit this summer, set specific times vs working on things off and on all day and then focusing on connecting with my friends. Love your thoughts on blogging right now!

    • Scaling back this summer is going to be amazing. So glad I am not the only one planning to do that. Thank you Whitney. It was good to share them and have them be so well received.

  • This was very well said and I can definitely identify with so much of this. Thanks for your honesty here! If I let it, my blog can take over my life too, but I’ve been trying over the last year or so not to let it, and it has been freeing.

    • Freeing. That is exactly what I need a little bit of. I am tired of chaining myself down. Thank you so much for reading. I love that so many people are able to identify with how I feel.

  • Beth, this is wonderful and so beautifully written. Good on you for realising what you and your blog are about! You do you, girl!! And good on you for not stressing out about scaling back just a bit!!

    • Thank you so much. I really feel like this is the best possible choice I could make right now.

  • Amen and amen. If you want accountability, Im here for you ๐Ÿ™‚ Stepping away from blogging has been crazy wonderful and I have no regrets.

    • Yes please, just whack me with a stick m’kay? I am SO happy to hear you say that.

      • I could go on and on about my new found “freedoms” ๐Ÿ™‚

        • You could blog about it…. errr, not. Lololol

          • HA! You kidder, you. The best way to show the break is just not posting at all.

  • A. MEN. This is exactly what I said in my post a couple weeks ago. I have scaled WAY back and my life has been SO much happier. I actually have posts I want to share right now, but life is busy, and I haven’t, and I don’t care! I will share when I have time. Maybe a month late, but it’s when it fits in to my life and I have time and it feels amazing for that. Do I want to grow my social media? Sure. But I’m not willing to spend time away from my family to do so. If they come, they come. If they don’t, they don’t.
    Seriously I am so proud of you for coming to this realization and know you will be 100% happy with your decision to scale back and do less sponsored posts.

    • I know! I totally had this in my drafts when you posted that I think I had just recently wrote it so I felt like “is she in my head, lololol. Then I had some sponsored work that I was in the midst of “wrapping up” and I felt like it was too soon to post it. I needed to give a little distance between those and really let it soak in and make sure this was more than just word vomit.

      I love you approach friend. Just do things in your time, nobody cares if it is a month late and if they do, they don’t have to read. Thank you. I am not going to lie the money will be missed. But the stress of it all won’t. I’ll still do some on occasion too, but not like I did before.