It's been one month since I last published a blog post (which I find kind of ironic, considering my last post was called How to Be a More Productive Blogger). I'm not going to make any excuses about being sooo busy I just haven't had time to blog, because I believe that you can always make time for your priorities - and I just haven't been making the time.
Mostly I just haven't had the motivation to sit down and write. I seem to go through phases of being extremely motivated and can work on my blog for days on end, followed by periods of low motivation, self doubt and lack of inspiration. Whenever other things are happening in my life, blogging is usually the first thing to go. And I've noticed that the longer I go without blogging, the harder it is to get back into.
I also haven't been as active on social media, which is very unlike me. I've been tweeting a lot less than usual so my engagement has decreased. I dropped the ball with Pinterest and my views have plummeted (I was receiving around 300k unique monthly views on there last month. I've just checked and I'm currently getting 180k, which isn't terrible but I'd obviously prefer it to be going up rather than down). This is entirely my fault because I haven't been putting in the effort, but it's still demotivating.
To be completely honest, I became a bit disillusioned with the whole thing. Blogging, interacting, putting in hours of effort for little reward.
Last week, Moz updated how they calculate domain authority (which is quite an important thing for bloggers, especially if you're looking to work with brands or monetise your site) and my DA fell from 24 to 18. I know that's not a HUGE drop but it definitely makes a difference. Personally, I'm motivated by positive reinforcement - when my numbers are up and people are leaving nice comments, it inspires me to work even harder. When my stats (in this case my DA) are going down despite my hard work, it makes me wonder why I bother and that's when I consider quitting.
I deal with self doubt A LOT, which is why the positive reinforcement helps. I often have thoughts like Why are you even writing this? No-one will care and you're a terrible writer anyway. When I'm in one of those moods I have to stop and take a look at my stats, which suggest otherwise (most of my posts receive around 500-1000 views each and my most popular post currently has 6334 views, although I think that's somewhat of a fluke). People take the time to comment on my posts or tweet me to tell me they enjoy my content. This is what makes blogging worth it for me, but when that doubt starts creeping in, it's hard to make myself believe I'm any good and at those times I just don't want to create anything. I may not be good at many things, but I'm great at the old self sabotage.
I also often struggle to come up with ideas for blog posts. I want to be unique and not just rehash content that's been done thousands of times before. On top of that, I'm a perfectionist so it's really hard to produce posts that live up to my high standards (and let's face it; nothing is ever going to be completely perfect). I deliberate over proper grammar, spelling, punctuation and syntax and am mortified if I notice a typo in a post that's already been published. I want my posts to be interesting, engaging and entertaining all at the same time - and that's not always possible.
Don't get me wrong; I enjoy writing. I love words, I love language. I honestly don't know what I'd do without writing. It helps me make sense of what's going on inside my head. It provides me with a creative outlet. Hell, it even makes me money. It's just that, sometimes...blogging is hard, man!
Do you deal with self doubt and lack of motivation when it comes to blogging? Please tell me I'm not alone!
Related: Six Things I Hate About Blogging