Blogging is seriously hard work. I’ve hit a major roadblock when it comes to being inspired to write, and so have deliberated over several half-finished posts for weeks. I work in short, sharp bursts of energy that mean I can finish an entire blog post in one hour, and then not write again for four days.
Unfortunately, my perfectionism starts to kick in, and then I start to feel like a failure for not being a non-stop creation machine. Blogging courses recommend posting at least three times a week when starting out, and I feel disheartened that I don’t have the time or energy to meet that quota.
I think that blogging seems like a light, fluffy job to people on the outside. You write a bit, you post some photos, and you rake in the likes on Facebook. Advertising from successful travel bloggers also perpetuates this myth that anyone can blog successfully and make money from it. What they don’t like to admit up front is that you won’t make any money for about a year, and that until then your blog will be a true labour of love.
Don’t get me wrong. I love blogging, and I especially love raising awareness around mental illness and breaking down stigma. However, pretending that it’s easy and fun all the time would be dishonest.
Constant creativity is hard work.
I’ve been an avid writer since I was a child, and read books voraciously. My mind operates completely in words and sounds, which has always aided me in being able to write more easily than I can speak. When I am writing about something that I feel truly, deeply passionate about, then the words flow easily from my fingers.
However, creativity does not always come easily. I heavily scrutinise every piece of writing that I put up, and I never feel like it’s good enough. I pay extra attention to articles that I write about living with borderline personality disorder or depression, to make sure that I’m not coming across as too crazy.
Creativity is a deeply personal thing, and one which every single person has an outlet for. However, when there are so many people creating things around you, it is easy to become discouraged with the quality of your own work.
Being constantly active on social media is hard work.
I don’t think that people are aware of the hours of work that I put into my blog behind the scenes. As well as the technical side of configuring my search engine optimisation, editing photos, and pitching articles to paid and unpaid sources, I spend hours every day on social media.
When you are a small blog, Google does not show your articles very high on their list of search results. Therefore, to drive traffic to your blog, you need to invest a lot of time and hard work in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. I spend hours in social media groups for travel bloggers, posting my content in reciprocal threads and reading the work of others so that they will read mine. I spend time creating aesthetically-appealing pins on Pinterest, correctly filtered photos on Instagram, and commenting on larger blogs than mine.
I have actually had to cut back on my social media presence already because it was driving me up the wall. I became obsessive about checking my Instagram for new followers, and commenting on other photos so that the owner would comment on mine. For the benefit of my sanity, I have reduced my time on social media.
Fitting in blogging around my job and regular life is seriously hard work.
The hardest part of travel blogging is that I also have to work a regular job. I can work an eight-hour shift at my retail job, and then come home and have to write a blog post. During quiet shifts at work, I even stand there and scribble notes for blog posts between customers. Bloggers who blog full-time for a living can focus the entirety of their energy on their site, but most people do not have that luxury.
I struggle to fit in blogging around my job and extensive therapy sessions that I now attend for my borderline personality disorder. I honestly don’t feel like I could attend university at the same time as all of this without having a huge meltdown, which is why I’m currently deferred in my course.
Is blogging worth it?
It may seem like I’m just complaining and moaning, but I honestly do love blogging. I love having a creative outlet that other people seem to enjoy, and bringing awareness to issues that are important to me. I love having something that is wholly mine. It is seriously hard work, and sometimes writers block truly gets to me. That being said, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Do you struggle to always stay motivated with the creative pursuits in your life? Do you sometimes feel like it’s so much hard work for little return? Let me know in the comments below.