Before you ask; yes, this is going to be one of those posts that every blogger writes. And I’m not even ashamed.
2016 was a bit of a “nothing” year for me personally. Ignoring all the masses of celebrity deaths and all the political upheaval of the year, we’re left with the bits that really matter. You know, the bits that are all about me, myself and I.
I didn’t get a new job, I’m still in the same relationship as I was in 2015 (thank god), no new house or even a puppy (despite popular and very frequent requests). I did buy a new car, so there’s that? And I suppose the fact that I got a cortisone shot to alleviate my back pain should be mentioned. But all in all, it’s been very uneventful.
I started out the year like I do every year; super positive of how I was going to change completely. THIS was the year I’d grasp my studies by the dingly danglies and complete all the exams I could. THIS was the year I would start my blog with a vengeance. I’d lose weight and I’d quit smoking.
And here we are, one year later and none of these things happened. And as I plodded on through the year, I knew none of these things would happen. Because this has been a year of self-discovery for me. And this has ended up in the realisation that:
I’m a planner, not a doer.
And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I like the idea of doing things a lot more than I do enjoy actually doing the things. Let’s take my studies for an example. I have all these plans in my head of how I’m going to do them, timelines on when certain things need to be complete, and then life gets in the way.
2016, I decided, was going to be The Year Of The Blog. I was going to write daily, I was going to do all my promotion, and I was going to get great content out there that people were going to absolutely LOVE. Then I’d monetise and become a millionaire overnight. (not really. But maybe a little bit.) I read all the guides to great blogging, I spent time and effort on reading how Instagram should work. I took hundreds of pictures and spent hours after hours on editing them. I tried doing a weekly feature. I wrote 133 posts and published 44. Because yet again, the plan was better than the doing.
The thing is, when I originally started blogging in the year dot (2002?), blogs were personal diaries. I enjoyed putting my thoughts out in the blogosphere, connecting with people around the world. And I did this for years, making connections and making people laugh. But then I had to take a break over a couple of years. I had two jobs, working 70+ hours a week, a new relationship to uphold and the slowly swinging scythe of debt hanging over me. Something had to give, and it was blogging. And whilst I was away, the whole thing blew up. Bloggers became famous. It was no longer a hobby you did in the corner of your bedroom under a pen name, without telling anyone. In 2015/16, everybody had a blog and it became “cool” and a legitimate source of income. And I felt that if I wanted to pick up my beloved hobby again, I’d have to do it the way everybody told me to do it. Pictures had to be perfect, writing had to be “useful” for people, and OH DEAR LORD if you took a day or two off, you were horrendous. Monetising became a mantra so often repeated that I started dreaming about it. And if that’s for you; great! But it’s not for me.
The more I read, the more I felt pressure over the whole thing. I don’t want to be one of those people who are constantly “adding value”. I want to just blab about junk that comes into my head. I want to be able to just write down my thoughts and add pictures if I do happen to have some that suit the post. I don’t want to spend hours every week in promoting to various groups, pushing my content out there. What I want to do, is to just write. That’s what it’s always been about for me; writing to get all that crap out there. Writing to clear my mind and just writing for the sake of writing.
So that’s what I’m going to do in 2017. I’m going to embrace the person I truly am and I’m going to DO LESS. I’m going to study at my own pace and not put too much pressure over me. I’m going to blog about what I want and when I want. I might promote, or I might not. I’m going to post things on Instagram if I have stuff to post, rather than just because I feel like I have to.
Saying that, I do have something brewing for 2017.