WHAT IS A BLOGGING MOJO?
The blogging mojo to me is a phenomenon that fills a blogger up with enthusiasm, inspiration and plenty of ideas for topics to write about and the motivation to sit and type up blog posts on those topics and to engage in the blogosphere across relevant social media.
I also think that the blogging mojo is an ability to write in a way that connects with people. It’s not all about writing ‘technically’ well. It’s about writing how you would chat with someone, and when the blogging mojo is full to the brim, the words just flow … easily and prolifically!
And there’s this quote I found by Marshall Goldsmith:
Mojo is that positive spirit toward what we are doing now, that starts on the inside and radiates to the outside.
MY BLOGGING MOJO IS MISSING & HERE’S SOME REASONS WHY
General decline in activity & engagement across the Aussie Blogosphere
It started with the general feeling of a decline of activity and engagement across the Aussie Blogosphere and grew from there. Each day I find myself saying to myself … “I’ll just do this, and this, and this, and this and THEN I’ll sit down and write a blog post”. But by the time I get to THEN …. I’ve got to cook dinner, or I’m too tired or I change my mind on what I’ll write about so need to wait till I get new inspiration … you get the picture. Mojo – lost!
I’ve lost my bloggy mojo before and it always comes back again before too long. I’m kinda used to it and I’ve ridden the waves of it now for nearly nine years! I think it’s quite normal for bloggers to have a fluctuating mojo. I take a break now and then and when the mojo comes back I come back with restored enthusiasm and usually a heap of inspiration and ideas.
This time feels a little different. The Blogosphere here in Australia used to be a lot more active, fun and prolific and I’m kinda mourning the loss of it. There were lots of link ups to choose from and participate in. Participation was very high and engagement between bloggers was also very high. There was lots of collaborating between bloggers. There were conferences and courses a plenty all year around. I couldn’t afford to go to everything but having the option there was fabulous! There were blogger meet ups! They were always fun to meet people you know online in real life and to be able to talk to people who just ‘get you’ and the whole blogging thing! There were far more agencies making contact with brands interested in working with you. There were fabulous opportunities and it was fun and exciting. It made it feel like you were doing something worthwhile and of value and it provided the drive and inspiration to keep doing better.
Many long term Aussie bloggers have closed up their blogs. I think Denyse Whelan has the only remaining Aussie Link-Up which is #LifeThisWeek Good on ya Denyse!! Even if you start a new link up (I tried but probably should’ve had a broader theme) the participation is very low. Blogger engagement has dropped off. The list goes on.
Blogging is a lonely hobby (or job) because you don’t have workmates to banter with and discuss ideas with through the day. This is why all of the above was so important and it was such a joy to have inspiration, collaboration, learning, companionship etc available and to look forward to.
Overwhelm & Guilt
This might sound in complete contrast to what I’ve said above but the social media expectations of being a blogger can be a strain and I think that it can be too much to keep up if you try to do it all. Most bloggers have various social media platforms attached to their blog – Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and a Facebook page. Many also set up a Facebook group because the FB page encouraged us to do so. I never created one because I knew it would be too much for me to keep up with. I joined a lot of other bloggers FB groups though because I wanted to be supportive, but I rarely engage anymore as I find it is just too much for me to keep up with. I get overwhelmed trying to do it all. Planning and writing and all the work involved with running my own blog plus reading and commenting on other bloggers posts as well as engaging across social media (mostly Instagram) is about as much as I can do (in addition to all my domestic and personal stuff).
Because I can’t keep up participation across all media’s I often feel that I’m letting people down and falling out of the loop. I feel guilty that I’m not being supportive enough but at the same time I know that I am applying self care in knowing my limits and sticking to them.
Is all the time and effort worth it anymore?
In 2018 I was a finalist in the Bupa Blog Awards. I didn’t win but as a finalist it meant I was now part of the Bupa Blog Awards Aluminae and I loved it. It meant trips to Sydney and Melbourne (and they came to Brisbane once) and catching up with other bloggers and learning new things and so much more, but all of a sudden after an organisational/structural change that all ended without even a word to us. No more blog awards. No more Aluminae. That’s life, but so sad because despite the fact I suffered some ‘imposter syndrome induced anxiety’ I loved it all and miss it very much.
Blogging is a lot of work! It takes a lot of time. It’s not just typing up a post and hitting publish. There’s a lot of stuff to be entered into the background of a post. There can be a lot of time spent editing photographs. There is all the sharing across social media and responding to comments. There’s spending the time to read and comment on fellow bloggers posts and to engage and do the mannerly thing. There’s the copious amounts of emails to deal with. I get a lot but there’s many I don’t respond to anymore (ppl with poor English wanting to write for my blog – ugh – they don’t give up).
Then there’s the questions I ask myself. Is my blog adding any value to the world? Is anyone actually reading what I write besides a few supportive fellow bloggers? Is having my blog as ‘therapy’ and a ‘creative outlet’ for me worth the costs & effort? Do I share too much of myself and is it safe? And there are many more questions. There are LOTS of bloggers out there. It is a very competitive medium. There are even lots of midlife bloggers out there now (across the world). There’s all the ladies who embrace the grey hair and are prolific and popular on Instagram. I’m not embracing my grey hair. I’m not a fashion blogger. I’m not a fitness blogger. I’m not a travel blogger. I’m just me – sharing my thoughts here with whoever cares to read them. It’s often hard to not feel enough in this blogging world. Yes I know – comparison is the thief of joy but it can get to us all. Which leads me to the next topic …
The Digital Drain
I find myself wanting to spend less and less time in front of a computer and on my phone and more and more out there living ‘real’ life. I also find myself getting drawn into the comparison trap and not feeling enough. There’s so many beautiful people, successful people, and popular people on Instagram and though you know that mostly you just get to see highlight reels, there is a real danger of the comparison trap and not feeling enough anyway, and I’m feeling it.
So this is probably why I’m choosing art, domestic stuff, family, pilates and walking a little bit more these days. (see more on this below under ‘other interests that I want to pursue’}
Is the state of the Blogosphere a cyclic thing or is it done and dusted now?
I wonder if the state of the Aussie Blogosphere is a cyclic thing and it will come back around to the good ‘ol days again or if it’s had its day and now it’s done and dusted and people have moved on to other things and will continue to move on to whatever the latest new and most popular thing is?
Currently Podcasts are popular and I can understand why. We’re all time poor and we can listen to Podcasts when we go for a walk, or are driving, or even washing the dishes (which I do). I do love to listen to a few when I get a chance but I can’t see myself ever hosting one. Though I’m not one to say never, I know I’m not so much a talker. I like to write. I also don’t want ‘busy’ anymore. I want to live an ‘unbusy‘ life after decades of busy. I think hats off to those that do Podcasts though – there’s some fabulous ones about and to create a successful one is such a wonderful achievement.
Other interests that I want to pursue
CREATIVITY. I’ve been really exploring art lately. I started by doing a few online courses in painting with watercolours. Now I’m attending some Art Mentoring Classes. These classes are run by an ex Art School Teacher who started her own business. Each week the art-journaling style program gives you the opportunity to ‘taste test’ a wide variety of different media to build Art skills and Art confidence. It’s beginner level but that’s ok as I want to wake up my creative side and this taste testing approach is doing just that. I look forward to the 2 hours each week that I attend class and love the ‘mindfulness’ that it provides. All problems, jobs, things to do etc are pushed out of my mind as I am very focussed on the task at hand and I love it. I’ve also joined their social club. They have a coffee morning on the last Friday of each month and sometimes do day trips.
DOMESTICITY. Catching up on things around the house. Having the house painted recently sparked the inspiration to get some things done around here. Decluttering. Sorting through cupboards and drawers. Rearranging. Getting some art/photography on the walls. Things like that!
HEALTH & FAMILY. Making time for movement. I do Pilates twice/week and need to get back into my walking. I stopped when it got too hot but it’s not hot anymore so I need to get that back into my routine. I’ve had a flu shot and my first Covid shot. My second shot is booked for 28 July. I need to get some other health checks booked and done. I took Mum to have her first Covid shot recently and stayed a few days with her. I also like to get over to visit her more frequently than I used to these days.
ADJUSTING MY SAILS BUT NOT GOING ANYWHERE
No I’m not closing my blog or giving up blogging. I love it too much. It’s in my veins! I might blog a little less frequently for a while though, till I get the mojo back.
I think that it’s not just the decline of activity and engagement in the Aussie Blogosphere and the other reasons I listed above. I think it’s that combined with the last couple of years of Covid and I think everyone is just T.I.R.E.D.
This quote by Jackson Brown comes to mind:
When you can’t change the direction of the wind, adjust your sails
So I think it’s just a matter of acknowledging that things don’t stay the same. Change is inevitable. It’s ok to take some time to adjust my sails before setting sail again when I’m ready.
Have you noticed the change in the Aussie Blogosphere too? Does it affect your blogging mojo? Do you think it’s cyclic or had it’s day? How about digital drain – do you feel that too?
Ciao for now,
Linked up with Denyse Whelan for #LifeThisWeek