While I was busy stressing over my exams, I still worried about my blog. Although I’ve learned how to deal with blogger guilt, I kept asking myself a lot of questions. Will I be able to blog as much as I used to? Should I increase my publishing rate again? Do I really enjoy blogging when I stress myself over how much I should post?
Most of the time, my answer was “No”. That’s why I decided to write down a set of ‘rules’ to follow soon after my hiatus. Instead of collecting practical tips for beating the stress (I’m still preoccupied with that, though) while trying to keep my blog activity high, I chose to rethink everything and adopt a more laid-back approach to my hobby (that’s an important word to keep in mind).
Well, these are not exactly ‘rules’, more like positive statements. That’s why I turned it into a manifesto which anyone in my situation can follow. My intention with the Manifesto for the Empowerment of the Stressed Blogger (MESB) is to offer a motivating plan for a compromise, a healthy balance, between blogging and life (work, study, family, etc.). The final aim is to instil confidence in my (and our) abilities, to limit the stress and to increase the enjoyment of blogging. That’s what I call empowerment.
Interestingly, after I had already decided to write a manifesto, I stumbled upon the Slow Blog Manifesto. I found Anne R. Allen’s post where she explains the benefits of blogging less and, although they’re geared towards book authors who blog, I found most of the reasons to be relatable.
Now here is my own 5-point MESB!
Manifesto for the Empowerment of the Stressed Blogger (MESB)
1. I love blogging, and I won’t let a self-imposed strict routine ruin that.
I won’t deny the importance of scheduling, but it can be counterproductive if my timetable is stressful and lowers the quality of the posts. Therefore, I’m persuading myself to take it easy and write when I really feel like having something worthwhile to say.
2. I believe in my blog, and I won’t allow ‘blogosphere pressure’ to affect me.
Other bloggers’ performances often feel like peer pressure, inevitably influencing my choice of subjects. It’s time to recognise that my own topics are just as worthy as theirs. I also need to prioritise my writing according to mood and relevance, not statistics and popularity.
3. I vow to remain loyal to my blog, but I acknowledge my offline life as a priority.
I will not stop blogging, even if I have to take regular breaks. Still, studying, spending time with my boyfriend and chillaxing are my top priorities right now, and I refuse to feel sorry for pushing my blog on the back burner once in a while.
4. I believe in the free flow of words and style.
‘Blogosphere pressure’ also affects my way of writing; it sort of imposes a limit upon me. I want to return to my blogging roots when I wrote more openly.
5. I will cut back on the blogging-themed posts.
Self-analysis can be beneficial. And let’s face it: posts about blogging attract a bigger audience. However, it’s time to take a break because such posts sometimes tend to bring more doubts than self-confidence.
(That doesn’t mean I’m renouncing my own posts and tips… if you’re interested, I’m linking them below)
Does any of this resonate with you? Are you asking yourself my same questions and finding that your answers are “No” as well? Then come and join me in following the five points of my MESB or come up with your own motivational statement!
Admittedly, my suggestions don’t apply to all bloggers. I know that for some, blogging is more than a hobby; it’s a profession and a (sometimes sole) means of making money, and so they cannot afford to relax. Others insist on adhering to a rigorous routine because it’s their way of showing their responsibility and passion. That’s perfectly OK, of course.
Finally, remember that this does not mean giving up. It means sorting out our priorities, extending our blog’s life in the long run, and preserving our love for this amazing hobby!