I am an addict.
I’m an all or nothing kind of guy.
This is a problem!
When I do things, I do them with everything I have in me. When I don’t do things, I just don’t do them.
This has been a pattern in my life for as long as I can remember.
The problem I have with blogging is that I throw myself into it and then I get obsessed with my blog stats and spend every spare minute of every day, and lots of minutes that aren’t really spare checking my stats, seeing how my latest post is doing, who has read it, whether they responded etc etc.
I just can’t switch off.
So then I get obsessed with finding ways to promote my blog and with writing blog posts every day. I find as many different ways as possible to get statistics on my blog and try to employ different strategies to promote my blog.
Some of this is pure vanity but much of it is down to the fact that I’m thinking to myself “I’m doing all of this work writing and I truly believe that I’m writing what God gives me to write so I’d love for more people than just me and my imaginary friend, Bob, to read it.”
On top of all that, my site starts doing OK in Google searches and I’m getting people arriving every day from search engines because they have been searching for things like:
- ‘More of Christ and less of me’
- ‘How to show Christian love’
- ‘How to die to yourself’
- ‘what the bible says about hating people’
- ‘How to find a church that actually loves God’
- and for a while, every week I was getting people searching for where President Obama went to church that week – why they got sent to my site I have no idea!
Every day people are visiting my blog looking for the answers to these and many, many other questions – and I’m feeling the pressure of maybe not having to give them the right answer but definitely not giving them the wrong answers.
All of that leads to pressure on me. Pressure to write better posts, pressure to find more readers, pressure to interact with readers who comment. Pressure which is all imaginary.
On top of that, I cant be in the blogging world without reading blogs – and there are SO many great blogs out there to read. There are currently 46 blogs in my feed reader, the majority of which post every day. It takes a long time to read all of those and then comment on all of them. Then I have to check back every 15 minutes for the rest of the day to see if anyone has replied to my comments.
Before I took my little sabbatical, which I don’t really seem to be back from yet, I was probably spending 6 – 8 hours a day reading blogs, writing mine and monitoring stats and responses.
That was on top of being a pastor, being a full-time stay-at-home dad to 3 kids, trying to be a good husband, running a web-hosting business and trying to find time to have a life.
I burned out and I don’t know what the answer is. It has taken me weeks or even months, I don’t remember how long it has been, to get to the point where I can even write this.
Blogging is such a great cognitive tool for me and the replies I get to my posts are so helpful, they help me see more clearly and learn more of what God is trying to teach me but how do I blog without becoming addicted and obsessed?
I’m really lost here. I don’t know how to go forward in 34 years of life I have not yet worked out how to have a balanced approach to things. How do I stay in the blogging world without committing every moment, every fibre of my being to it? How do I do that with anything?