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Friday, March 8, 2013

Lessons :: The End of an Era

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I've been thinking about quitting blogging, well, pretty much since I started blogging. I know, I know. Super weird, right?

The thing is, I'm an all-or-nothing person. And when I feel like I can't give something one hundred percent, than I believe it's best not to do it at all. That's how I am when it comes to my relationships, my career paths, and every other area of my life. It's unfortunate that I've never really had the time or energy to give this blog my entire heart and soul; I kinda just squeeze it in whenever and wherever I can, and it ends up on the back burner. But I don't feel like giving a half-ass effort is fair to anyone, especially myself, so what I'm trying to say is that maybe it's time to call it quits.

At least for a little while.

I was discussing this via e-mail with Fenn a few months ago, and she said something about bloggers that totally made sense: "I know, from my own writing experience, that heavy cloud over your head that is the Next Blog Post. So even if they are out there, doing something, I am sure they are thinking about whatever they have to do next for a blog post. They must have some days when they just want to run to the store in sweats and not have to worry about getting all cuted up and going somewhere to take good photos. I just think that being a blogger, especially one who makes a living at it. Must kind of suck. Digging for content, SEO, whatever...it can be really time consuming, and instead of the internet being a source of entertainment (which is really what it is), it becomes a big office that never ends."

Sometimes, I just want to mindlessly click through the internet without intentionally working on something having to do with my blog. And sometimes, I want to hang out with my friends without having to get a picture of my outfit or what we're eating. But other times, blogging is really fun and rewarding, and I want to take pictures of everything and everyone and post it all for the world to see. It's just hard to find a balance. I've talked about this before, and I don't think I've ever been able to figure it out, and I don't know if I ever will or if I even want to anymore. I don't know if I want to keep struggling with it, when I already have so much going on. I don't think that I should keep doing something that adds even more stress to my days.

As with any relationship, I'm trying to decide if the one between my blog and I is worth it. Do the pros outweigh the cons? Am I getting as much out of it as I'm putting in? Does it add or take away from the quality of my life? And, the scariest questions -- is it emotionally abusive? Is it an unhealthy addiction? Is it making me feel bad about myself?

Something happened earlier today that was the final push I needed to really step back from this blog, re-think my motives, and figure out what's best for me. It gave me answers to many of the questions above, as hard as they were to admit. Here's what happened a few hours before I began writing this post.

Our story starts at work. No, wait, it starts a few months ago. I had been wanting to include the above quote from Fenn within a post entitled "On blogging as a hobby, and why that's okay." I had saved her entire email in a scheduled post that I was going to work on in the future. Unbeknownst to me, that post got published earlier today while I was at work. I only know this because I had a spare moment to check my email, and I was shocked to find multiple, hateful messages calling me a horrible, mean-spirited person. I was completely shocked and confused. They were referring to a new blog post, but to my knowledge, my most recent post was this one about San Diego.

I headed over to my blog. My heart sank, my face flushed, and I immediately began to panic. The entire post was made up of that email from Fenn. And amongst the above quote, she also wrote some not-so-nice things about Delightfully Tacky. Everyone who had seen the post had thought it was something I had written and intentionally published.

I immediately deleted the post and emails and hoped that not many people had seen it. But then I received a comment on another post that was along the lines of, "Why did you delete that post from earlier, and why did you write it in the first place?" I knew I needed to provide an explanation. I drove home in the rain, my mind a mess, unsure of how to begin. And I'm still not sure if I began this right.

I don't know if I'm ending it right, either.

All I know is that I feel sad. And stupid. And so, so sorry.

Fenn has given me permission to provide her email address if anyone would like to discuss things with her: fennablue AT gmail DOT com

17 comments:

  1. You will be truly missed.

    Vintagehoneybee.blogspot.com

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  2. Sorry to hear this, girl. It's important to focus on yourself, forget the blog for now. I understand :)

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  3. I completely understand where you're coming from. I didn't read the email that was published by mistake, but I read the couple of lines which appear on the homepage feed... wish I could read the whole thing :P
    I really have enjoyed reading your blog, even though I wouldn't read it as regularly as I hoped. You will be missed!

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  4. I'm sorry that blogging hasn't been the best thing for you and I hate that people were so harsh on you. I did not see the mistake post that you are referring to, but I hope it and the mess that came with it haven't hurt you too much. Just a lesson to move on from.

    As for you leaving blog world - sometimes it's necessary. I left it for two years and am now still working to build up the readership I once had so I understand it becoming a "job" and not fun. I love your posts because you seem like you'd be cool in real life and you always look like you're doing interesting things and having fun. So if you have to quit blogging so you can feel that way about your life, do it. Best wishes to you.

    -Chelsea
    chelsandthecity.blogspot.com

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  5. "I've been thinking about quitting blogging, well, pretty much since I started blogging."

    Yup. I think about it at least once a week. While you would definitely be missed, I respect your decision. I know that I could never give my blog the time and energy to make a living off it, but I love being able to look through the archives and see/read what was happening in my life a few months ago, a year ago. On the other hand, that suffocating feeling of the "Next Blog Post" and stress as you watch your stats plummet due to lack of posts can be absolutely exhausting.

    I haven't been as active on my blog lately either, because sometimes you just want to wear a t-shirt and jeans and go get a burrito with your friend. Or sit at home watching Arrested Development and eating way too much cheese. Anyway, the point of this is to just do what makes you happy. If you quit Twitter or Instagram, though, we are going to have major problems ;)

    Also, I did read the email that was accidentally published yesterday, and when I finished I was just confused and thought, "This doesn't sound like Stephanie." I almost called you to make sure everything was okay because this didn't seem like your voice. Now I know it wasn't, it was Fenn's! haha.

    As far as the angry comments from some of your readers are concerned, I'd like to leave you with this little bit of wisdom that my mother shared with me when one of my friends was making life difficult: "Bitches be crazy."

    Hang in there, babe. And feel free to email/text/call anytime. :)

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  6. (My comment is almost as long as your blog post. I probably should have just emailed you. haha)

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  7. Oh Stephanie! Those darn scheduled posts. I read it before this one as it stays on my reader even if you've deleted it from your blog (scary I know) and I thought it was very funny and honest. I wasn't offended at all, except I was a little confused about your mom picking you up from work because I'm pretty sure she lives in the mid west!

    Anyway, I agree with a lot of what your friend fenn said. Most days i wear jeans and a t-shirt, though I do get dressed up on the weekends and that's when my husband takes most of my photos.

    And there are plenty of times when I wonder why I'm blogging too. Mine takes hours and hours of work but makes very little money. I want to use it as a stepping stone to something, but what? Is it enough for it just to be a hobby? I don't think so. But I keep doing it. Sometimes I think I'll just cut back and only post twice a week, but that seems like a cop out. I understand your "all or nothing" sentiment. I'm either going tonREALLY do it, or not do it at all. In between would be pathetic (for me).

    Your voice will be missed, but there are lots of ways of staying in touch and sharing your creative interests on the web, from Instagram to twitter to Facebook! I hope to see you around. (:

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  8. Oh, I didn't even see that email or post. I was wondering what you were talking about in a comment on the last post you wrote. I would be so sad, but you have to do what's best for you and maybe it just means that you need a break? Either way we'd still be friends, and, hey, they do say, that things happen for a reason. In the end, you really have to blog for yourself, especially if it's not your main or a major source of income for you, or you will drive yourself insane. And I do understand how it feels to impose pressure on yourself to come up with content and take photos of everything. But take care of you. That's how I feel about it! Love ya! -Jess

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  9. Well, this saddens me so much cause this is probably my favorite blog, I've learned so much from it, the really introspective stuff that you don't get everywhere, not so much about hair and what you wore but about what life has taught you, those are my favorites and I'm really going to miss them... the good thing about them is that they'll still be here to learn from in the future.:)

    Do you boo!

    I'm sorry that mistake happened to you, i can only imagine how stupid and silly and bad you feel, here are some cyber hugs.I hope you feel better soon..

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  10. I'm glad the people who have commented to far took the accidental e-mail post with a grain of salt. But here's my response, lacking a quoted e-mail because I don't have it anymore. So, any haters can now come to the right blog and hate the shit out of me!!!

    http://shortgirlphoto.blogspot.com/2013/03/157-to-blog-or-not-to-blog.html

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  11. What a shame this mistake led to such an unpleasant and hurtful experience for you, I'm guessing though that it has just been the catalyst or final straw for your decision rather than the main reason. I don't blog full time and like you squeeze it in whenever I can amongst other things I'm doing - I wonder if time spent on it would be better spent on other things but I do enjoy writing and I've met some wonderful people through the blog. There can be a lot of pressure in blog land to be a certain way that is just too time consuming for people with lives off line (post every day! reply to every comment! comment more! tweet and instagram different content to your blog!) I'm one person not fifteen and I find that kind of thing exhausting and tend to just ignore it and do my own thing when I can, but meaningful exchanges with other bloggers on topics I've written about has been the most satisfying thing about blogging. Whatever you decide to do regards blogging I wish you all the very best with it!

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  12. Only do what brings you joy! That's it, that's our whole aim as people. Joy, bliss, love. But I sure will miss your blog in the meantime. xo

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  13. you know, I totally understand you, I used to feel that way myself, but somehow I got out of it. I never stopped blogging, but something happened in my head where I stopped worrying about my stats, and my comments and my blogging frequency. I get maybe a third of the views now as I did at the peak of my blog's popularity, but I'm so much happier. Back then I spent SO much time writing these posts that i never really had time to properly enjoy the comments, or respond to them. And my work did suffer, because I was always checking my comments at work.

    I do hope you manage to come back, and enjoy blogging again without the pressure. You'll be missed.

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  14. That is crappy. I feel more for your pal Fenn than you though, Steph. You kinda dropped the ball- professionally wise on having a sheduled post that shouldn't have been there. Your bad.

    Move on, and don't make that mistake again. You've got a good voice but could learn a lot more (said by a middle age I don't give a fuck what you think of me, woman) about blogging, writing, photography, fashion etc. I hope you still are committed in learning and growing whether or not you are actively blogging. Blogging about your life is communication and a by-product of what you do. Don't do stuff to blog about it- learn the craft and art of sharing to blog about what you are already doing, wearing, etc.

    I hope you don't give up- but get clear on what you what from blogging and what you can offer.

    I've been a fan of YOU, whether or not I'm always appreciating your blog posts, and hope you will still be you being an incredible person whether or not it's scheduled in a post.

    Hang in there. Learn the lessons and move on.

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  15. MrB always quotes Voltaire to me: "The perfect is the enemy of the good." Why does it have to be 100% perfect or not happen at all? Sometimes that's not the best choice. Just something to think about.

    Personally, I spend plenty of days in sweats and find other things to blog about than what I wore.

    As for the email being posted, that's unfortunate, but mistakes happen. I've been at huge corporations that have posted things inadvertently...you're not the first. If Fenn forgives you, that's the most important thing. Anyway, good luck with whatever you decide to do!

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  16. Well, I'll totally be missing you! Don't let everyone bring you down though... I blog when I feel like it and honestly I don't look for content, I just post. It's kind of for me and I like that other people enjoy it too. I can definitely understand the pressure that some feel though. I hope you'll still be around every once in a while!

    Christen
    An Unordinary Hello

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  17. OMG, I am so sorry that happend to you!

    I thinknthe pressure of blogging can be very overwhelming and the fact that you werr able to recognize thay and realize that life is more than just the next blog post is admirable. I do hate to see you go but your real life is much more important! :-)

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