Discovering THE BIG QUESTION about why we blog, how to reset, start at the very beginning, and JUST WRITE.
In 2007, when I started this blog, it wasn’t a food blog. It wasn’t under the gingerandscotch domain but under my nickname. It wasn’t on WordPress but on Blogger. I chose the cheapest web hosting available (I’m still with them). My main intent at that time was to share my experience of being an expat – moving from New York to Dubai. I had so much to share.
I didn’t share 99.9% of it.
But everyday I would think, “Oh! That would make for a great blog post!” or “I can’t wait to write about that on my blog” and I would take lots of photos with the intent of using them on a blog post. My hard drive was so full of photos I had to buy a 2 Tb external drive (which is nearly full again so I’m in the market for another external drive).
I was doing a blog audit last night where I went through old posts and deleted some totally outdated or irrelevant ones (I mean, come on, who wants to read about blackouts or when President Bush visited Dubai?), you know, to make the blog “EVERGREEN,” that buzz word that’s going around these days, when I noticed that I had nearly 300 published posts, but also 150 drafts in WordPress and another 100 drafts in my Evernote iPhone app. That’s 300 published thoughts/recipes versus 250 unpublished ideas!
So it’s not that I’m lacking in content. Big Sigh.
So what was lacking?
The Big Question
That’s THE BIG QUESTION I have been asking myself every day for man years.
By November 2008, about a year after I arrived in Dubai and started blogging, I went from posting once or twice a week to barely eeking out one post a month and then I went for long stretches (months!) without publishing a single post.
In April 2009, I had a partial answer to THE BIG QUESTION: I was lacking motivation. I was lacking passion. My blog was suffering because I lost the motivation to write because I didn’t have something I was passionate enough about to share.
A New Beginning
At that time, I was asked to join a local food blogging community in Dubai. “What!?” I thought, “There’s a community of food bloggers?! Awesome!”
And something sparked in me. Everyone who knew me knew that I could not shut up about food. Where to eat, What to eat, What I was going to eat for dinner that night or the next night, Why I hated so-and-so restaurant. Why I loved so-and-so restaurant. And so on.
In May 2011, nearly 4 years after I started blogging, I rebranded my expat blog and launched Ginger and Scotch to be primarily a food blog – my About Page said: “a food-centric blog on life in Dubai.”
From that point forward, I was gung ho about blogging because I had found a FOCUS, a motivator: Food.
I completely lost my motivation to blog for 2013, 2014 and most of 2015.
2016 Will Be My Year
And now we come to May 2016. Four years after I rebranded this blog.
2016 will be my year to reestablish my blog and to rediscover blogging again. I am giving myself until the end of this year to get the blog to where I want it to be. There is so much to do and so much to relearn. Things like:
- Creating long and hidden Pinterest images
- How to work with brands
- How to manage ads on my site
- How to take nice photos again
And there are so many hurdles to overcome:
- Time management
- Online jealousy
- Not being too hard on myself
- Blog burnout
Start (Again) at the Very Beginning
And I am struggling once again with THE BIG QUESTION. What motivates me? Why do I blog in the first place?
And sometimes you have to channel Maria von Trapp and “Start at the very beginning.”
Instead of learning to sing (I need to learn that too), I am learning to blog again. Learn to enjoy blogging again. Learn how to not make blogging feel like a chore. Learn to just write. I think I need to start there before anywhere else.
So this begins my Back to Blogging Series. Where I learn to start at the very beginning. A blog begins with sharing via words. So that is today’s exercise: To just write. To just put my thoughts down on “paper” and publish. No edits. No deleting the gazillion times I start a sentence with the word “so”. Just write.
Now it’s your turn.
This has become quite a lengthy post so maybe I can turn the the attention over to you?
- Can you tell me if you’ve struggled with THE BIG QUESTION of why do you blog?
- Can you tell me if you’ve once felt gung ho about blogging but then left your blog dormant for a long stretch?
- Can you tell me if you’ve managed to break out of your blogger’s block and share how you did it?
- And if you haven’t broken out of your blogger’s block: Can you start from the very beginning? Give yourself a jump start?
Feel free to leave a comment below or send me a a private message.