That "meh" feeling. That feeling of being obligated. Obligated to post and obligated to comment.
Of being in a continual paradox. Of loving the community of blogging but feeling totally overwhelmed by people to follow, read and communicate with.
I too am struggling with balance. Of working through the day and then wanting to cook and spend time with friends but also engage here because at the heart of it I love this creative space.
I am feeling battered. Battered with keeping up, battered every time I see that number on bloglovin of unread posts.
I am feeling swamped. With Project Life and with creative projects and not enough hours in the day. That quote "you can do anything but you can't do everything" is sticking with me at the moment.
I am so aware that it was this comparison, this need to keep up with new trends and new ideas that brought scrapbooking crashing down. I don't want that to happen with PL but gosh is it easy to be swept away.
I have been so encouraged in the last few days to read posts from wise wise people about these things.
To read Amy's words about scrapbooking and hobbies and how they are for enjoyment not keeping up with trends.
Rinda vocalised exactly what I was feeling about obligation in blogging and that "social contract".
Deb wrote a lovely post about where blogging has taken her and particularly about finding the balance of writing for yourself and writing to an audience.
And Alexa wrote words that brought tears to my eyes because many times when I look at my computer screen I feel like that plant that needs some more water and the dead leaves brushed away.
I don't really know what I am trying to say here but maybe that I/we are not alone in feeling these things.
That these four posts and more besides are a good indication of where we are all at with blogging and being creative.
I think I need to vocalise on here for myself as much to anyone else that this is my space and PL is my hobby.
I choose how much time I will commit to those things. When to be influenced and inspired by others and when to just do my own thing.
I think I need to give myself permission to cut some slack. To be silent sometimes, to finish that layout when I am feeling ready rather than when I feel it needs to be published on the blog.
I think as a community we need to tear up that "contract" that we feel we are in which says "you comment on my blog, I comment on yours". No. I want to comment on your blog because I like reading your words, because you are my friend and because I find what you make/photograph/write inspiring.
I think we need to dispel the obligation to comment. That niggle that says we need to keep up our online appearance.
You are my friend. I know you may have read and haven't commented and I value that.
You are my friend and I thank you and love that you did comment.
You are my friend and I understand with all my heart that you didn't have the time to stop by today, tomorrow and perhaps all week and you know what, I probably didn't either.
Blogging is beautiful and magical and so inspiring, as is the world of craft.
But it is also fast paced and selective. We rightly show the good bits, the things that made us smile, the photos, the craft.
I think it is good to admit though that we struggle, that we compare and that sometimes this blogging thing is a chore.
I think if we recognise that, if we cut some slack, if we value the silence in blogging sometimes as much as the posting, we will have a far richer experience.
This is really a thank you to all those women who put into words what they were feeling the last few weeks about blogging. It's a thank you to everyone who stops by and reads/comments or gazes from afar. It's me trying to put into words where I am at and as always trying to keep it real and honest.