Friday, February 4, 2011

She's Got A New Attitude...On Blogging

Maybe it was the impending blizzard. Maybe it was the meteorologist's forecasted  foot of snow manifested outside my door, trapping me and my family in our house for 2 days. Maybe it was that the Internet connection has been less than stellar. Maybe those are all excuses for the real reason...
Maybe I just didn't feel like blogging.

There. I said it. I didn't want to.

When I started this blog I was blogging everyday. I put immense pressure on myself to generate lots of content, leave comments on everyone's blogs and spend copious amounts of time on it. And it was good.

I was striving to get more readers.

I was stressed if I didn't post everyday.

I did the PFB contest- had a blast.

Then I got really tired. Pooped.

We moved and I had time to think, because I didn't blog for 2 weeks. The first time since I started the blog. I was so concerned. What would it do to my blog? Would my readers forget me? What would happen!!! (dramatic music plays)

It gave me time to step back and think.

Why do I do this?

Is it a business? Do I get paid? No and, um, no.

Well, I slowly got back on the blogging horse, as it were, and started up again on January 1st. But I had realized something, I only wanted to blog when I FELT like it. That's the whole point of this blog for me- to be a creative outlet. Creative comes in spurts. It happens when it happens.

I felt burned out just writing about recipes all the time, even with the passion I have for cooking, I wanted to step out of a box.

Good blogging friends have given me sound advice, which was this: you can write about what you want, when you want, how you want.

I've found myself apologizing, at times, for my blog being too "mommy" and not enough "foodie"! I mean, really? Why on earth am I apologizing?

So now I am at the point where I haven't blogged for like 2 weeks...AND FOR NO REASON, other than I just didn't feel like it- that and I was more interested in some of my other passions like beadwork and crafting than blogging. I know, kinda dorky. I look like I belong in a nursing home with my afghan, cradled in my recliner, with my box of beadwork supplies and and cup of tea at night.

"Oh look! There's Grandma Lauren's little nest of beading supplies. How sweet."

I was also very busy taking pictures of my beat-up kitchen chairs, with intentions of coming up with something "arty". Hmmm.

I did come up with an egg-free chocolate orange bread pudding recipe for you. I know, you're thinking "Egg-free bread pudding? Aren't you missing the point?" But it was actually very good. Let me know if you would be interested in the recipe and I will post it. And no, that is not milk streaming from a cow's teat. Looks like it though, doesn't it?

I was also making my children pose in frigid weather...with sticks.

And I was REALLY busy watching the Hubs do manly stuff like shovel snow in a blizzard. What a man.

I was tired of balancing my laptop on my lap (with my afghan while reclining) and trying to crank out a post in the evenings when I was so exhausted from the day. All I wanted to do was zone out and watch Gordon yell at people. (Ramsey, silly. Not just any Gordon.) But I will admit, there is nothing quite like hitting that "publish" button. That is a good feeling to be sure.

So chime in. What do you think? I mean, what drives you to blog? Do you put yourself on a schedule? Does it help you? Is your blog that important to do such a thing? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your blog? If so, why do you think that is? Is it pressure from others or yourself? Is what I am saying utterly ridiculous?

You know, it like that saying, (I think it's a saying anyways. I say it a lot) "As the pendulum swings..." Meaning, you go from one extreme to another until you balance out. I started out as a psycho blogger, now I'm plain, straight-up "on-strike" blogger. I'll find my middle. Until then, you'll never know when I will blog next. But if I'm not blogging, you know what I'll be doing...

Love ya, Foodies! Good to be back.


  1. Amen to that! I started this as a hobby...a place to go when feeling creative. It's fun to share, and I'm constantly inspired by others.
    I think I have a pretty good balance, but whenever I feel the need to do more I remind myself that it is not a job...not a necessity...but definitely a fun and creative outlet.
    That said, I love visiting you, and I'm so glad God caused our paths to cross last spring! :)

  2. I'm in the midst of renaming/redesigning my blog site and have been stressing out about it. And tonight, right before I logged onto Foodbuzz, I was thinking, "Why the hell am I blogging? Why do I care?" Then I logged on and saw your blog post in my inbox!

    When I first started, I posted only when I had the urge which was not so regular or frequent. I never read a blog before I started mine!

    Then I joined FBZ and did PFB. That's when I "met" hard-core bloggers with their DSLRs and their daily or weekly schedule of posts. Then I got hung up on number of comments and analytics, etc etc. I started to worry and thought I need to get my blog out there!!

    This led me to coming up with a new blog name that I felt represented me more and redesigning my logo and site b/c, well, it's what I do and it's fun. I've been killing myself over what new features I could add to my site to make it more attractive.

    All this stress over what?? It's certainly not a money-making project (I just got my $2.61 from FBZ last week).

    So where is this going? Well, I decided that I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing which is posting when I want to (well, at least twice a month) and to just HAVE FUN. No new features, no new gimmicks. I don't want it to ever take over my life...I do have other interests and loves in my life!

    I've talked to fellow bloggers about the same stuff you mention in your post since I've been trying to figure out where I'm going with my blog. Thank you for this post! You are still a super blogger to me!

  3. hi Lauren

    you have to be true to yourself no matter what it might be.....I see no reason why you can't blog about anything you want to, it doesn't have to be about food, as long as it interests you, you will right well about it. I know I would certainly miss your presence if you were no longer around, so bring on the beads!!
    good to see you back

  4. Personally, I'm glad you started up again because I just found you recently. I blog food, but the blogs I follow are more about the crafting of words than anything else. I love reading good writing.

    I think, like with everything in life, balance needs to be achieve and that you've finally realized that. One thing that's made a big difference for me is that cooking has become my main hobby because it's one that Dudette can't rummage through, ruin and have me get mad at as a result. Scrapbooking and crochet are still exercises in futility except when she's asleep, and at that point, all I want to do is sit down and .... write. :)

    I'm glad you're enjoying life. It's the only one you have, you know. Cheers!

  5. I totally understand where you're coming from on this. In the beginning, I was very strict about posting something every three days. If there was a four or five day gap between out! But then I ended up getting burnt out as well, and the blog became a chore and not a hobby.

    Whenever your blogging starts to feel like another chore and another stress weighing on your shoulders, that's when it's important to take a breather. As time has gone by, I've gotten more relaxed in my blogging schedule, especially now that the spring semester's in full swing at college.

    Hits, stats, referrals, links, blah, blah blah. Your readers, buddies, and people who think you're generally awesome (*waves*) will be happy to hear from you, whenever the creativity sparks. :)

  6. You know something? No one really wins any prizes for blogging so you need to do it for fun. I finally gave myself permission to write what I want when I want. I have a knitting blog that I barely post to. I love reading your posts but you need to do it for fun.

  7. So weird, did you notice, could you even, that I was rummaging around your site just earlier today, wondering were you've been. I couldn't find an email me thingy and I'm technologically challenged. But I was thinking of you. I was smiling when I read this post because I just knew that this was exactly the reason you've been 'MIA'. I have some of the same feelings but maybe not quite as deeply as you. Maybe.
    I always try to remember to 'be careful what you ask for' and that the people who have the most are almost always NOT the happiest. Does that make sense, is it in context. I've had a couple of glasses of wine.....
    any way, I'm glad I was right and your o.k. and that your still bloggin.
    Do what ever makes you happy my friend!

  8. A great post! Thank you for your refreshing honesty - love what you do! There is nothing dorky about's a talent! =)

  9. Hi Lauren,

    So glad your finding your groove. I just do what I want when I'm inspired. I couldn't set a schedule even if I wanted to. I just enjoy reading others recipes and ideas on food. But if I have more important stuff to do, I do it. I don't care about my numbers or submitting my photos to all the sites or any of those other time killers. Stay warm over there and have a great weekend.

  10. Glad to have you back...but no worries if there are two weeks till your next post again! I think we all know how you feel...i know I took two weeks off this year already too! Your real readers will be there when you get back to listen to whatever it is that you have to say! :-)

  11. I definitely understand everything you're saying! I blog because it's an outlet for me to relieve my stress! I don't have a "set" schedule, but I do blog Monday through Friday (with only Monday, Wednesday, Friday being food-related posts, and Tuesdays and Thursdays just being random life posts). I don't have a certain time I post a recipe each day, because my schedule is always changing so I just blog when I can. So remember, the blog is first and foremost YOURS... so you should write on it when YOU want to!

  12. My blog for me is a creative outlet as well. I'm an at home mama and it has become my "five minutes to myself". I needed a hobby. It's not an obligation to anyone not even myself. I'm happy for all of the FOLLOWERS I do have but doing this for myself comes first. If the creativity bug hits you and you are feeling up to blogging or already have a post on the blog you could check out and link your recipe up for the Culinary Smackdown Battle I am hosting.

  13. You know what, Lauren? You're not alone in feeling this way because I feel exactly the same! I've decided that in 2011, my blogging will not be on a set schedule and I do NOT have to post everyday or every week if I don't want to. And honestly, I don't really mind if the readers are there or not to read my posts. It's better to be happy being yourself and doing what you want whenever than doing it to please everyone else and be so-called popular. The funny thing is, the less frequently you post and the more you post about the things that really interest you, the more anxious people will be to come back here to check you out! It's just bizarre the way we humans behave, isn't it? ;-)

  14. Oh Lauren- I think anyone who has a blog went through this. I know I did. JUst remember- you make your own rules- what, when, and how you post. I am looking forward to more from you :)

  15. make no apologies bella, I know I don't ~ for me, this isn't about keeping up with the Jonses' in the blogosphere, it's about a journey that I've embarked on, and to share it with all who have chosen to pack their bags and walk with me - a place I can hopefully inspire people to not just be alive, but AWAKE, and get the most out of this life share life and love, and the things I love - the things that stir me from my innermost being....and I am delighted to be sharing my journey with you, and to be able to share your journey as know I believe it was no coincidence you and I exchanged heartfelt emails last May in the thick of the RWoP was sheer Providence....I could not resist sharing Waking The Dead with you and watched in delight as you came alive, spreading your glorious wings, stepping outside of the comfort zone...what a joy! Sweet bella I am so happy that you have taken the pressure off of yourself to perform and "be"...because the truth is, you already in that....enjoy the journey, every solitary moment....and coming to this revelation is a beautiful piece of that are lovely my dear.....

  16. Hi Lauren - honestly, I wondered how you did it, posting so often and so well - with three little ones to take care of! My favorite posts of yours have pics of the kids in them. Especially loved the one where they were your campaign managers.

    As to when and how often I post - if I've cooked or created something that is worthy of sharing, then I share it. If I've eaten at a fabulous restaurant worthy of sharing, then I share that. Sometimes a week will go by, and if there is nothing blogworthy, then no post. Usually that doesn't go longer than a week, because I'm itching to create...

    Good luck with your process, I plan to keep checking back.

  17. I found your blog shortly before your two weeks away, so I'm glad to see a post from you. Personally, the thing that keeps me coming back to a blog- food or otherwise- is the voice behind it. I'm a new food blogger but had a personal blog (and mommy blog) for many years. So when I started the food blog, I made a deal with myself that I wouldn't post more than twice a week. I figured that would prevent me from getting overwhelmed and/or taking it too seriously. We'll see if it works. I think if I can keep that in check, it really is a wonderful creative outlet for me. If I can't, it's a stressful, non-paying job that takes me away from fully participating in my life. Fine line there that I don't want to cross!

  18. I totally feel you girl. My blog started off as a mixture of mommy, random me and food. It's turned into more food-love than anything recently. Maybe since I became a FBZ publisher, who knows. I know I would love to stay consistent, because children, food, random stuff is my life and would love for my blog to reflect that more. "specially with the husband leaving. Ain't gonna have time to get the perfect shot of the food stuff.

    Loving the photos of the kids holding sticks in the snow. That made me laugh out loud. I wish I was creative in other ways, as well. I've tried the knitting bit, but my children destroys way too much stuff. My youngest will be two soon, so maybe just maybe.

    The eggless bread pudding is very intriguing. I'd love to see a post on it. I try to make my bread pudding less eggy tasting because I am not an egg fan at all, and if I taste egg, I feel sick. So share, share! Bread pudding is my husband's fave.

  19. Girl, thanks for writing this. I kinda feel the same exact way. I only posted once this week and I had a dinner party yesterday WITHOUT taking any pictures of the food. The horror! For me, I need to take time away from blogging when it takes time away from interfacing with other people. I'm no longer putting undue pressure on myself to blog all the time either, because I need to concentrate my efforts on my job that actually pays me! I'm noticing sometimes that people are posting up to two or three times a day and i'm wondering how in the world they get everything else done! Love hearing your voice whenever you do post, whatever the frequency! Have fun playin' with the kids in the snow!!

  20. You hit the nail SO on the head, Lauren. It's tough to blog when the creative juices aren't flowing. And, where you've got three kids, I've got a business to run. Sometimes, it runs me and there's not the time or energy to do anything else. We dont' starve those times but I go back to the old faithfuls that I blogged about eons ago. When I started, I was blogging seven days a week. Then, I realized that's a lot for folks to read - especially if they're trying to follow several blogs. So, I cut back to at most five days a week. That feels more comfortable. And, weeks like last week where I was just totally slammed at work, I missed two days. Based on the number of hits I get a day, my readership has grown as I've cut back slightly. And, I went for a week without posting anything on Foodbuzz and was pleasantly surprised at the number of direct hits. So, do what's right for you. Show us the beadwork. Show us the kids. Show us the hubs. Just write every once in a while because you have the BEST sense of humor and I'd really miss you if you quit blogging!

  21. I was wondering where you had been, too! :) I'm glad you are back.

    I agree with Chef Dennis...bring on the beads-that sounds so awesome-you are incredibly multi-talented, and I have no idea how you balance it all.

    No matter what, you have found yourself dedicated readers who love your writing-whether it's about kids in the snow with sticks, beads, or eggless bread pudding.

    "Food" blogging should be about the food. It should be from the heart. The only competition you should be having (stats, hits, guest post invites, etc) is with yourself. Sounds like you know how to take good care of yourself. I personally cannot stand the blogs who are obviously just posting to post, you know? I don't read them. I go to blogs where I enjoy reading the thoughts of the writer, including yours. :)


  22. Love it! First, I love that you had your kids posing with sticks! LOL! And second, I would LOVE to see the recipe for the bread pudding. AND... to answer your question, I also see blogging as a creative outlet... and as a venting outlet. But about a month in, I too, started feeling self-imposed pressure. The new year and getting back into my meditation practice has helped me chill out. There are all of these 'trends' and 'rules,' that I do not really want to have a part of. I like cooking. I like sharing. And I like reading about other folks adventures. I don't care if cupcakes are last year, if I want them, I'll make them. LOL. Thanks for your post! And for sharing your new attitude (I hear Patti LaBelle singing in the background!) :D

  23. Ridiculous? Not at all. In fact, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed myself. I know that I get in a habit, and I feel compelled to continue to do the routine I've established (whether or not I still want to). So I'm reavaluating my own blog right now, and I'm thinking I will probably cut back. Like so many have said, we need to blog about what we want, when we want. All I know is that I love what you share with me, and I will always be excited to see a new post from you. Thank you for sharing, my blogging friend. I'm sending you wishes for a happy and delicious week!

  24. Lauren, Great to see you back, will read your posts whether they're daily, weekly, or randomly (isn't that what a reader is for?)

    Also lovely to know that I'm not alone in the same thoughts and anxieties about blogging, which I seem to have often!

    Some days, Shanghai just gives me the sh**s and I can't think of a single thing about the city or its food that anyone would possibly be interested in. Like today. Six nights of broken sleep and constant firecrackers, and I don't want to make dumplings and write about it, I would just love to have a grilled cheese toastie and a cuppa, (where's my afghan?) and take the day off. So thanks Lauren, I think I will do just that!

    Cheers, Fiona

  25. I just love to blog. I like putting my life down in print for others to read and being able to reflect on it myself. I loved your daily life/mommy posts, they were some of my favorites. I think you have to do what's right for you and if that's not blogging at the moment then oh well. I don't have a schedule I just aim for once a day and if I miss it because of something important then I don't worry about it. I'll still be here when/if you come back!

  26. Hey Lauren! I know exactly what you mean. I used to freak out if I strayed from talking about food, but then I thought, screw that, this is my online journal. Good for you for giving yourself creative space to explore what you want the blog to be like for you and how it will bring you joy, not stress. I lovelovelove the pic of the chair. That looks awesome. Cheers to you spending your time the way you really want to. In saying that, I love reading your blog, lol.


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