One early Tuesday morning (precisely at 3:50 AM) of August 1987, in the hospital of Malta, a baby girl was born. It was right in the middle of a heatwave, with temperatures soaring above 40˚C, and little did this child know how many other heatwaves would bring torture to her.
Yep, that’s me! Today I’m turning 30. How do I feel? Eh… I’m not entirely sure.
Unlike many others, I have no bucket list to turn to. I don’t care about tying my goals and wishes to a particular age. And hell, I never liked birthdays, not even my own. Maybe it’s because I grew up with a lack of gifts (except money from relatives) and parties and cakes (before you start feeling sorry for me, I never cared for these things as a kid!).
However, this big, rounded number still beckons for a particular post. So, I’m using this occasion to look back on what has brought me to this point in my life, with the hope of finding positivity and motivation.
Coming up with 30 thoughts seemed difficult at first but, once I started, the flow wouldn’t stop, and it turned out to be a good freewriting exercise. Beware: although you might find something that resonates with you, it’s going to be extremely personal!
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!
Last December I started a ‘slow phase’ with my blogging, which culminated in January when I couldn’t post anything. I had a good reason for that: four exams and four assignments to write by the end of the month. Since I always wanted to prioritise my studies over anything else, I felt I had a clean conscience.
However, I still had a feeling deep down. I was secretly feeling bad about my lack of blogging and my inability to juggle both of them. I was feeling like I wasn’t doing enough for my blog, my ‘baby’.
That feeling is called blogger guilt. Alternatively known as blogger’s guilt, blog guilt or blogging guilt.
With today’s post, I want to let you know that you don’t necessarily need to post regularly to feel ‘productive’ at blogging. If you’re feeling guilty like me – whether it’s because you’re busy or unmotivated – there are small tasks you can do to keep the ‘machine’ going.
Take a look at the five small tasks I’m proposing, together with a tentative time allotment for each of them.
Hi, I’m Tiziana. I’m a blogger, an introvert and a socially awkward girl.
By introvert, I mean that I can enjoy a limited amount of time in a small group of close friends but that I derive most of my energy and satisfaction while on my own.
By socially awkward, I mean that, despite my best efforts at mingling with people, most of the time I feel clueless about socialising, and I often end up feeling uncomfortable or frustrated – both at others’ social expectations and at myself for not meeting those expectations. (By the way, being socially awkward differs from person to person, and in my case, I’m not talking about social anxiety, which is much more severe.)
The Internet is a helpful tool for shy persons who wish to communicate more but find it difficult to do so in face-to-face situations. And blogging, I’m sure many of you will agree, is a wonderful means for us bloggers to express ourselves in a way in which we can’t always do in the offline world. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all our insecurities are wiped away as soon as we turn into our blogging persona.
Today I want to move slightly away from the positivity of my last blogging-themed posts, and instead, I will explore my fears and the ways my real-life awkwardness infiltrates my blogging process. It’s an entirely subjective and personal point of view (it’s so personal that for the first time, I’ve put my awkward self in the cover photo!) and therefore I feel like I’m confessing to you readers.
Here it goes!
In this month’s series of posts about blogging, I already wrote about the ways this online activity can impact university students. I also hinted at the amount of time and work required for blogging and that, therefore, aspiring bloggers need to follow a schedule, among other things. A few months before, I also wrote in detail about the lessons I’ve learned so far from my blogging journey.
Today, I want to expand a little on this. I want to tell you how my blogging process affects my daily life in three specific ways.