I proudly consider myself a “blogger.” I have blogged for over three years now, and I [try to] do it consistently. A lot of folks have made comments in the past about how easy I make it look. Here’s, the thing, though: it’s not. I mean, it can be, if you approach it the right way. But, every now and then we hit patches in our blogging where it just doesn’t seem as fun or easy as it has in the past.
Don’t take this as me saying, “Blogging isn’t fun.” No, blogging is one of my favorite hobbies. Most days it come fairly naturally and enjoy the connections and new insights I’ve gained because of it. The more I think about it, though, the more it becomes clear that there really are nuances to this hobby that so many other people partake in alongside me. I’ll make a list.
- Originality takes work. It takes a careful blend of “being yourself” and conscientious attention to what’s going on around you. While you want to keep up with the trends that tend to draw in traffic, you also want to stand out from the herd in one way or another. Sometimes, this gets hard, especially when something big happens and all the bloggers in your community are writing about the same things (i.e. a reaction to new legislation, pop culture events, or big industry news). It’s an odd balance to keep.
- Sometimes ideas run short. This is a problem almost every blogger will face at some point in time. My big point of issue is the fact that my blog has a lot of focus on agriculture and rural lifestyle, yet I attend college in the suburbs. Being geographically disconnected can cause a creative block in that regards, although social media has made it much easier to stay in-tune with my rural roots.
- Sometimes ideas are too plentiful. If that’s the case, then write. Write and write and write and keep those ideas flowing, even if you’re just saving them as drafts on the back-end of the blog. At the same time, too many good ideas can lead to rushed work. Oftentimes, I find the things that are most blog-worthy are things I’m experiencing in a more in-the-moment type way. When you’re experiencing something like that, you either think, “Man, I should blog about this!” Or you don’t think about your blog at all. Either way, living in the moment during those moments that would make the best blog material, sometimes means that you don’t always prepare yourself properly to blog about it. This happened with my Cross-Country Chronicles while in California. I was so busy enjoying the experiences, that I wasn’t always able to give a very good blogging account of what really happened.
- Sometimes inspiration runs low. Even if you have some fantastic ideas, they are hard to take from that rough thought to a finished product. I have this problem a lot. A burst of inspiration pops up, I start a draft of a post but don’t have time to finish it, or don’t have the desire to right then. I call this “Draftitis,” where you have several barely-started or half-finished drafts sitting on the back end of your blog and no muse to finish them. I’ve been suffering from Draftitis for about a week now.
All of this sort of adds up into a blogging deficit in my life lately. Also factoring in is my Christmas break; I have no routine, which means my blog has no routine, either.
I love blogging. But, it’s important to remember that real life is valuable away from the digital communities of social media. What have I been doing when I haven’t been blogging lately?
It wasn’t just any date, either. It was an “agvodate.” I was out with a guy named Aaron, who I got to know through #Agvodate, the rural dating chat that I founded over the summer. It takes place every Tuesday, directly after #AgChat. Aaron and I had known each other via Twitter for some time, then Facebook. He was very helpful in getting #Agvodate off the ground. I don’t generally write about my dating life on here much anymore (aside from a few vague references to trying to date city slickers) but this is important for two reasons: more and more people are going on dates with folks they’ve met through #Agvodate, and Aaron outright said, “I’m looking forward to the day you blog about me.” Here ya go, Aaron.
This is Runt. His sister, Rowdy, is all black except for a tiny white patch on her chest. They are entertaining, frustrating, endearing, and mischievous. There is never a dull moment with them around.
Christmas decorating is a huge tradition in my family. As long as I can remember, we’ve always put up the tree(s) on the day after Thanksgiving and over the following days we would work on other decorations throughout the house. This year, as we’re just getting settled in on the new property, we don’t have any lights up outside.
I’ve been doing a lot of DIY craft projects over break, most of which are Christmas gift ideas I found on Pinterest. Here, I’m melting crayons on canvasboard with a blowdryer to create a fun piece of artwork.
Following our move to the new property last winter, we began renting my childhood home out. Recently, we had to do some remodeling work in the basement. While my stepdad, my sister, and some family friends worked on removing walls and decorations and whatnot, I ran the burn pile. It was actually an emotional day for my mother and I; much of the stuff we burned were aspects of the house that my father had installed, many of which had been there since before I was born. It marked the end of an era for our family, but in many ways it’ll make it easier for me to avoid feeling homesick when I return to that house to visit the tenants (friends of mine) or help with my parents’ work as landlords.
I also had a chance to meet, for the first time, my Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) chapter down at University of Illinois last night. It was a fantastic experience and I hope to have a few more chances to interact with them face-to-face before I graduate. Thank you to Dr. Abrams, Jennifer Shike, Jill Johnson, and Tori Frobish a(and Tori’s gentlemanly boyfriend from down under, Terry) for making me feel welcome and comfortable!
The trouble with blogging is that there are tons of troubles with blogging. The trouble with blogging is that I’ve been so busy “living” lately that blogging has been hard. The trouble with blogging is that I’d rather not write for big chunks of time, than write something that I don’t think is good enough. The trouble with blogging is that I feel guilty when I go through dry spells like recently. The biggest trouble with blogging is that I love it so dang much.
My question for you, the readers: If you’re a blogger, how do you remedy the problems that cause postless stints? How do you combat writers block and come up with unique, creative content in a pinch? What are your tricks and tips for other bloggers who are having difficulty getting into a good routine? Share your thoughts and ideas. And while you’re at it, share what it is you enjoy doing when you’re too busy living life to blog!