2016 has been a slow starter and I know I am not alone in saying that blogging, well as in sitting down to write the posts has not come as easy as it has used to. Before you click exit assuming that I am going to whine (I do enjoy a good grumble), I promise this won't be a self indulgent post; rather I want to help others out there going through the same thing, and maybe shine a little light on why we are perhaps feeling this way.
1, It's not shiny or new.
Blogging has been HUGE for a good few years now and as such some of us have been around for around five to seven years or even longer. Now also bear in mind, chances are like myself you began blogging when you were really young and maybe in some instances became lucky enough to call blogging your full time job? Either way you are allowed to be a little burned out, entitled to ask yourself where things are going, and like everyone question and doubt your decisions. Basically you are no longer the same person who began typing from your bedroom with a dot blogspot address and that is okay. Ask anyone who has worked the same job (I realise that blogging is not a vocation for everyone) for an extended period of time, if they still have the same levels of enthusiasm as they did on day one and the answer will be no.
In the same way you may feel your site has become stale, that you've reached the end or you may have simply lost interest. If I may, can I please suggest that you don't give up - the fact that you are worried about the state of blogging shows you care. This is just a lull, a little bump in the road that I truly believe we will all get over. If you love something you will make it work, you'll find a way to re-inject a little life, vigour and magic, one way or another. Grab a pen, a piece of paper and jot down all your ideas, take a risk, add a new feature or two and know that you can and will become a better and stronger blogger for it.
2, Expectations have changed
Blogs are beautiful and in a lot of instances on par with glossy magazines, this is not something you should be annoyed about. You can embrace it and allow the growth and sheen of other blogs to encourage you to up your game, or you can continue to blog as you always have. Either way there is room for us all and frankly I don't think complaining about picture perfect blogs is a constructive use of time nor energy.
You don't have to like glossy blogs/sites but accept and respect that we all have our own styles and aspirations. Change, don't change, but please don't belittle the success and growth of others. Realistically the only pressure we are feeling is that placed upon ourselves, no-one is forcing any of us to blog or to alter aesthetically - take your foot off the peddle and enjoy all you have achieved and please, please stop worrying about what fellow bloggers are doing/not doing. One size does not fit all and there is no blogging mould to worry about.
3, Blogs aren't going anywhere
That's right they aren't and neither are your readers, yes you will loose a few subscribers over the coming months but guess what, that is life - interests, tastes and priorities change both for you and your following. On the flip side, you will more than likely gain more readers than you loose, and as long as you are creating content you will have a readership - it really is as simple as that.
Undoubtedly YouTube, Instagram and Twitter are huge and look set to explode once more in the coming months but ask yourself what would you do without blogs? Your lunchtime and commute home would be a lot duller, now wouldn't it? Words fill a void that no amusing vlog or instagram image could overtake. As an extra step of reassurance, if blogging was truly on the way out, why would Bloglovin' add a sponsorship feature and why would there be a sudden increase of blogging agencies? This is not the end.
We have not yet reached peak blog, blogging is still a very new industry and as such there is still a few creases to be ironed out. Think just how far this seemingly "silly" industry has come and imagine where it could go. When I was at school (I'm in my 20's) blogging wasn't even a thing, now it is a viable career choice for many, and one of the reasons many a physical publication no longer exists. We have all helped create and shape this frankly fascinating industry and as such we do still posses the power to change the landscape once more if we wish.
4, It is only February
Ease up on yourself; we are only two months into the year, things take time and there is no ticking time bomb. You can still achieve all that you want to do in 2016, change anything that is the cause of stress and should you wish re-launch your blog. March is entirely a new beginning if you want it to be and as I said above your readers and blogs in general aren't going anywhere - take a deep breathe and know that everything is not falling apart around you, you've got this. Take a few days off, plan what direction you envision yourself going from here, and start working on making it reality - I promise in a few months time you will wonder why you were ever worried to begin with.
5, You can walk away whenever you wish.
Perhaps not the most uplifting message to end a post on but freeing none the less; once you realise that you don't have to do something, you may just find the joy and motivation you once lost re-appear.
I apologise (I truly do) that this is not the most articulate of articles, I struggled gathering together all my thoughts and general well wishes and placing them down, none the less I felt I had to get it all off my chest. Hopefully you will find a little reassurance in what I have mentioned above and realise that you are not the only one in this current predicament. You can and will overcome this.