Let’s Keep Blogging Fun

I’ve recently been reading some posts and messages on Facebook where people are asking for advice because blogging has got to the stage of stressing them out and/or making them feel guilty. I’ve written about this subject before, and know exactly how these bloggers are feeling, having been through the whole blogging ‘feeling guilty’ trip, myself.

One of the reasons why I signed up to WordPress and created my blog was because I thought blogging would be fun. One year in and I found myself becoming very stressed and feeling guilty because I wasn’t able to keep up with reading all the new blog posts being published by the bloggers I was following. Some days, I was finding myself doing little else but reading and leaving comments on blog posts. Heck, some of the bloggers I was following were publishing more than a few blog posts a day, and I soon found myself apologising to people for not reading their posts or for not being on WordPress 24 hours a day! Then it struck me that I was not doing the main thing that I’d come here to do – to write!

Now, although I do possess a few super-powers, I’m afraid that one of them is not being able to read every single new blog post from bloggers whom I follow. I began to see this as a problem, and my blog as a monster that was doing everything it could to make me want to fight it. Then, one morning, I woke up, switched on my computer and got that horrible feeling I would get when I didn’t want to go to school or go to work. I soon realised that I had two choices about blogging. Either I gave it up, or I had to change the blogger I had become.

It didn’t me take long in making my choice. After all, I’d created my blog so that I could write and share my thoughts with anybody who stopped by and wanted to listen to what I had to say. I decreased my reading time and began to write more. I took some time to make a list of the people who were commenting on my blog posts and who were sharing my posts on social media. I stopped following back every single blogger who followed my blog. If they didn’t have an ‘about me’ page, so I could find out more of who they were, or they blogged about subjects that did not interest me, then I passed on by.

As time went on, I began to unfollow bloggers whose blogs changed into material I didn’t find interesting anymore. I unfollowed some bloggers who continued to fail to or respond to questions or acknowledge comments other bloggers and I were leaving on posts. I didn’t feel guilty about this because it was freeing up time for me; time which I could either spend writing or supporting those bloggers who took the time to read and comment on my posts.

If you find yourself in a situation where blogging is making you feel guilty and/or stressing you out, then you need to face the questions I was asking myself. I’m afraid there’s no magic answer. What worked for me may not work for you but, whatever you do, ensure you do all you can to make blogging fun again. Isn’t that why you came here? Take control of both your blog and your blogging habits and stop feeling guilty about not reading and commenting on every single blog post or unfollowing blogs that you no longer have any interest in. Sure, you may lose some followers along the way (don’t we all?), but it’s not going to finish you off as a blogger. In fact, most of those that do unfollow you probably don’t comment or read you blog posts anyway, so it’s no big deal (unless your only interest is as a ‘follower’ hunter). If like me, you decide to stay (and I hope you do), the passion you had for coming here in the first instance will come back and put you on the right blogging track.

Have you ever found yourself feeling guilty or stressed out because of blogging? Are you somebody who keeps apologising because you’ve not been able to spend as much time as you like reading and commenting on posts? What did you do to get over feeling guilty or stressed out by blogging? Leave me a comment and join in the debate.

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228 thoughts

  1. Reblogged this on Kate McClelland and commented:
    I used to try and keep up with every blog, but I follow a lot of bloggers. What I do now is check the blogs of people who interact with me the most and then ‘dip’ in and out of other blogs as much as I can. I don’t feel guilty about not reading every post as bloggers do that to me and I don’t feel bad about that. People have lives to live. I’m just grateful when someone even reads my blog and it’s lovely when they give it a little star or even comment – that’s the best :0)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I still do, Hugh! I hatdly do any blog reading since I started uni. People think students have an easy life, but the pressure of essays and exams, on top of looking after a family, including carys, and trying to write the occasional blog post and books, well it has me stressed out all the time. When i decided not to read so many blog posts, well then i felt guilty for letting people down. And that is stressful too. I have 5 essays to do in the next 4 weeks, and then exams. Then i have 3 months off to catch up with some blog reading! 😂😂😂

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    1. And not forgetting The Bloggers Bash 😀

      You’re not letting anyone down, Ali. Situations in your life have changed, and you’re doing something that you always wanted to do. I know that many people (including myself) admire you for following your dream of going back to Uni to study a subject you have such a huge passion about. And I know that you also informed your blog followers what your plans were, so why would any of them think you were letting them down? Far from it. You do right by focusing your attention away from blogging for the time being. As you say, you’ll be back, and there will be a big welcome awaiting you.

      Weekend hugs to you.
      xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Other than seconding your good advice, I have to say that this is THE tidiest desk I have ever seen! I would never publish a photo of my ‘blogging desk’, as people might think I was a tramp!
    Best wishes from Norfolk. Pete.

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  4. EEK! It is one thing to put up with a boring job but a boring hobby makes no sense. When blogging starts being a source of stress I will hang it up and take up knitting or something.

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  5. Always good for some sensible advice Hugh! I’m with you in the way I go about it all. I enjoy some blogs more than others so check them out first and then have a look around others when I have some spare time. I enjoy the interaction the most and having genuine comments left for me. I always try to reply to comments and attempt to do the same on others’ blogs. In my eyes, it’s all about fun, sharing and being creative. Enjoy your Sunday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That all sounds great, Deb. Seems to me that you are enjoying blogging for what first brought you to it. Keep on looking at it that way and you certainly won’t need to find the right blogging path again. Fun and enjoyment are what it is all about.

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  6. I’m not surprised there are so many comments on this post, Hugh! I think it’s something quite common in the blogging world, unless you actually blog full time. I’ve felt the guilt too and ended up turning off all my notifications as my inbox was so stressful. Like you, I actually want to write as well as blog, and so I’ve had to make the decision to put my writing first, then blog when I have the time (including looking at other people’s blogs). Also my work situation has changed, which is a good thing, but means I have less time than before. So, like you, I have a list of bloggers I check in with whenever I can, and that’s all I can do. Hope you’re well and looking forward to seeing you at the Bash! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I’m glad you too have got over feeling the blogging guilt, Helen. Life changes for all of us, but we should always remember why we first started to blog. We all need our ‘fun’ time and should cherish it and what we do during it. What’s the saying I hear so much – “Life’s too short.”

      Can’t believe the Bash is only just over two months away. Looking forward to seeing you there.
      xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s it exactly, remembering why we started to blog. This journey has been more than I ever imagined it would be, but the key thing is that it remains fun, rather than becoming a burden 🙂 Looking forward to seeing you too xx

        Liked by 2 people

  7. So it’s not only me then – some of my linked blogs post almost a dizen times a day, so i changed them to weeky and now, come Monday morning in they flood and i cringe. it takes me until Thursday in between other stuff to get through. Yet there is such good stuff out there – sigh

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    1. No, it’s not, Lucinda. I think just about every blogger goes through this stage at some point. Some go through it more than once, and all it does is make many give up on the world of blogging because something that was meant to be all about fun and enjoyment becomes a bit of a monster. Still, at least there’s lots of advice out there on how to handle the situation.

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  8. If you’ve been blogging for a while, most come to this conclusion. You need to priorize your time. Burn out isn’t fun and it drains your creativity.
    Personally I’ve cut back alot on blogging and I’ve stopped feeling guilty. I do what i can. My baby takes up much time. This is a phase that will only come round once. I won’t feel guilty for enjoying my time with my kids and husband.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, I think most bloggers do come to this conclusion at some point on their blogging journey. Finding the right balance can be very difficult, and what works for some may not work for others. I am so pleased that I opened up a subject that many bloggers find themselves in and which many didn’t want to admit to.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I think it’s easy to become stressed or feel guilty about the flip side of actually writing a blog. Writing is the easy part. The responsibility that I think some people feel about not commenting or having the time to read other blogs who comment on their own is difficult. I never considered that when I began blogging but then I never considered or imagined the number of very nice, fun people I found on here. So I comment when I can, which is usually in spurts. I may not get to read posts for a couple of days, then carve out a few hours to read them all. I comment when I I think I’m not repeating what others have said but always like something when I like something.
    It’s complicated, but it’s rewarding and fun…:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All makes perfect sense to me, George. Sounds as if you have found the right blogging balance. Couldn’t agree more with what you say about comments. I’ve stopped replying to those where there really is nothing to say but will acknowledge the comment with a like.
      Thanks so much for your thoughts on this subject. I appreciate you sharing them with us.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Arrgh Hugh…I read your post and tentatively hold my hand up from the back of the class and squeak, ‘Yes, that’s me, always apologising and getting stressed over not being able to keep up with reading blogs…never mind posting my own blogs!’ But…we’ve talked about this before and you’ve always encouraged me greatly not to feel guilty and I know that there is no way I will be able to finish my memoir while blogging at the same time. In fact, I will be signing off again soon for several weeks as I have now reached the point where I know I won’t have any peace until my memoir is ready to hand over for editing and I know if I can focus 100% on it (and please no more derailment…) I can do it. Writing my book is more important than blogging at this moment and I have faith in my true followers, so lovely they are, including you. And as you say here, those who disapper, well they are not following for the right reasons anyway so why worry about them? Thank you so much for this post Hugh, it’s come at just the right time for me… xxx

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    1. That’s great to hear, Sherri. This seems to be a subject that many bloggers don’t want to approach, so I thought talking about it in the open would help many of us.

      I’ve said many times that there is nothing wrong with taking a break from blogging. I’ve done it several times and I have reaped the benefits of it. My only advice to those considering taking a break is to take that break and not come back to publish the odd posts or to comment. And, let people know you are going to take that break. That way, folk won’t worry about you while you are away getting on doing what you need to do. I know you’ve done the latter and you always inform your followers what is happening in your world and why you are taking a break.

      Good luck with getting the book to your finishing line. You’ve so made the right choice in taking the time and getting it finished. The world of blogging will still be here upon your return and although many people will miss you, they will just as much congratulate you when you get back and be very happy to see you back in the blogging world again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hugh, you have made my day with your reply…thank you so much. You know, I read your words and it’s as if we’re chatting in person! You have such a lovely, calming and wise approach 🙂 My mind is chiming full with so much noise that I know absolutely that now is the time to make that break..and you are so right, not be tempted to return for the ‘odd’ post or comments. I need to make a clean break until I’ve accomplished my goal. Otherwise I think I’ll go quite mad!!! I will miss you and everyone very much but I’ll take your encouragement with me which will help greatly. I will be around for another week and will let everyone know. I want to read a few more of your post too, I see you’ve posted about the BB – can’t wait to see you again! – and your ‘orb’ post, I read and replied to your comment on Debby’s post. Fascinating! Hugs Hugh…and thanks so much again… xxx

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      2. That’s so very nice to hear, Sherri. Thank you so much for your kind comments about my comments. I always like to extend a friendliness in my replies. If I can, I’ll always include the first name in my reply as I think it makes the reply that little bit more personal. But, that’s a post for another day. 😀

        So pleased to hear that you have acknowledged that now is the time for that blogging break. I’ve seen people say they are going to take one before, but then they come back and continue to publish posts which, of course, generate comments, unless comments have ben turned off. Go for that clean break and you’ll achieve your goals far easier and quicker.

        Hugs to you.
        xx

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You are naturally a lovely, friendly person Hugh, and that comes across in your writing and comments in a wonderful way. And yes, another good idea for a post, always important to use a first name, definitely. And I do mean every word – your support and wisdom really does help me tremendously. That clean break is the only way forward, otherwise I’ll be here saying the same thing over and over again. Blogging is hard to leave behind even if just for a short while but it really does help get the job done when it’s important. And writing our books is very important isn’t it? Thanks again so much Hugh…you’re a star…and big hugs right back…until the real thing in June of course 🙂 xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I have had to cut back too but I do take the effort to visit and reply to my 70 or so most loyal followers .Unless it has to do with cartooning I have stopped subscribing to new blogs and deleted those who post dozens of things every day.

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  12. I really enjoyed the post, and the point you have discussed is popular among beginners.

    They try to be everywhere, I myself have made this mistake for long time. And I was feeling the same as you were, ( hard as going to school in the winter morning) Lol.

    So now I meet 5 people on daily basis of same taste.

    You are number 2.

    Thanks.

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    1. Thank you, Zada. ‘Trying to be everywhere’ is a great way of putting it. I try and read and comment on at least 5 posts a day as well. After that, I’ll only continue to read and comment if I find myself with time to do so.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this subject.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks, Hugh. We sometimes end up caught up on similar routines we had in other arenas (work comes to mind) and I agree. Each person knows why they blog but if it starts making one feel bad, it’s time to change something or quit… Great advice. Thanks!

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  14. How funny, my blog post tomorrow refers back to a previous post of mine where I was stressed out about blogging. I talk about dealing with perfectionism and how we often forget why we started blogging in the first place!

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  15. Hi Hugh,
    Did you see Debby linked to both of our Flipboard articles? Exciting! I really love our blogging community. Like your article says, blogging is fun! I’m stumbling your post.
    Janice

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      1. I’m going to have to investigate, Janice. Ivan, who guest posted on my blog on Saturday, said that he believed the more you use Flipboard, the more results you will get from it. However, I also believe it has something to do with the title of the post and the name of the magazine you put that post into. It’s still early days for me and Flipboard, but I do intend on writing about it some more.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Hugh,
        I wrote you on your blog. Can I see the link to Ivan’s post? I tend to agree with you. I go in all the time, and I’d like to see my Flipboard traffic increase. I’m guessing it has to do with the magazine name.
        Janice

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      3. I wanted to thank you again for the Flipboard tips. I went into Flipboard after reading your comments, changed some of my magazine titles and tightened up the descriptions. We shall see. I’ll keep you posted.
        Janice

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      4. I compared our magazines looking for a difference that might explain things. We have 4 with the same titles. Are you commenting on people’s articles?

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      5. No, that’s something I’ve not done yet. I’ve had a good look around and I haven’t seen many comments on other Flipboard accounts. I think it’s more about reading articles that interest you and then flipping them. For example, I found an article that told me how to increase the size of the font on my iPhone. I liked the article and then flipped it. The more ‘flips’ one of your articles gets, the more people will get to see it and, of course, as they are directed to your blog to read the article, they are more likely to leave a comment there rather than on Flipboard. That’s my thinking of how it works anyway, but I could be wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I have over a hundred followers while you are just getting started there, so it couldn’t be that. I often go in and flip articles, sometimes daily.

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      7. On your dashboard, when you click the plus sign next to Flipboard, can you tell what article people are clicking? What topic are most of your Flipboard clicks for? Thanks so much!!

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  16. Hi Hugh! I did like this article, it struck a lot of chords. I must say I didn’t want to even start a blog, but was nagged at so much by agent and indie publishers and social media groups and Amazon and Goodreads etc etc when I first published my to date only novel, that I did. To my surprise I loved it, straight away, and still do! But maybe that’s because a) I only post once a week and b)I’m a little bit parsimonious about reading and commenting on other people’s. I do, sometimes, but a rule of thumb is never to let it take up more than 30 minutes of my time every day.

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    1. Hi, Jessica. Thanks so much for joining in the debate.

      It sounds as if you have your blogging habit well and truly under control and don’t get stressed out by it. It seems to work in different ways for each one of us. The most important aspect of blogging is that we should keep it fun and never allow it to feel like a chore. When it starts to lose its fun appeal, then we need to think about changing the way we blog, or even giving it up.

      Keep on having fun with blogging.

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