Monday, February 3, 2014

Pause / Reset

There's no way to introduce this elegantly, so I'll just go for it: I'm taking the month of February off blogging.  I know I should blame the break on a lack of inspiration or something else that makes it sound like I'm burned out, but that's not the truth.

The truth is, right now I love what I put into blogging but I'm not loving much of what I take from it.  Up until recently, the satisfaction I've found in connecting with the many bloggers with whom I have wonderful relationships has always outweighed my discomfort with what blogging seems to be for others I follow on various platforms.  For some reason, though, that's changed, and my focus has been less and less on the positive aspects of blogging as I've been increasingly distracted by unappealing attitudes and trends.  I tried to work out some of these negative feelings through writing - herehere, and here, for example - and I was generally able to manage them.  Unfortunately, that's no longer the case.  My discontent with some aspects of blogging has infected the camaraderie I share with others, and I'm disappointed to admit that I'm spending more time and energy angered and annoyed by the bloggers who bother me than being encouraged and inspired by those whose online presence I enjoy.  That's untenable, and it's no way to be part of a community.

I think it's important for me to note that this is a situation entirely of my own making.  There's no reason I need to get so worked up about how others blog.  There's no reason I need to follow these women via any social medium.  And there's no reason I need to let it ruin my view of blogging as a whole.  So, in short, I'm taking a break because I feel I have lost sight of my blogging priorities.  That's my fault and mine alone, as weak or cowardly or insecure as it may be.

It goes without saying that the readers who engage with me on Betsy Transatlantically are not those who have precipitated this; the conversations we have here will be very hard for me to pause even just for a few weeks.  But, since I'm having a hard time separating the blog life I love from the blog life I don't, taking some time away from my own blog will allow me to focus on the blogging relationships that make me happy.  I will still be active on Twitter and Instagram because I can't give up social media all together, but not posting here will give me the opportunity to reevaluate and reset, to reengage with the bloggers I love by reading their words and sharing their lives and being part of what they - you - are creating in a positive way.

Thank you in advance for understanding, and I absolutely look forward to coming back here in March with a more optimistic mindset.

 photo 866de425-8336-4c63-9efd-1c4dd8bf0e62_zpsafe0d56b.jpg

68 comments:

  1. Well, you will certainly be missed, but I entirely understand how one can get deeply frustrated by how other blogs mysteriously affect one. I hear you! And I think you're doing entirely the right thing. Hope the break helps, and look forward to seeing/hearing you back on here in March!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The blog community in itself is frustrating. I try and blog without letting others and their blogs affect me but I find it really hard, and therefore don't blog or write as much as i'd like to. I will miss your posts dearly, hope you have a great blog free month and are able to think a bit clearer being separated from the blog world for a bit. See you on Twitter and stay positive :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I also have a hard time clicking on post that I know will make me worked up, it is a weird pull of self torture I guess so I commend you to be able to pull back completely.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You do what you need to do Betsy. I'll see you on Twitter! xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree that the internet can be a frustrating and rage filled place. I'm sure you're doing the right thing for yourself. But you will be missed! (I never fail to read your posts though I sometimes am rubbish at commenting.) All the best and I hope you come back soon xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks, Flora! "Mysteriously" is DEFINITELY the word - why can't I seem to shake this normally? yargh. but thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. thank you - I do suspect I'll still write, but I think just not hitting the publish button will sort of move the goalposts for me mentally, you know? or, rather, it will do away with the goalposts all together so blogging remains a game that I enjoy but one without winners and losers.

    ReplyDelete
  8. YES to "weird pull of self-torture" as we 100% do it to ourselves! comforted to hear I'm not alone in this...

    ReplyDelete
  9. haha I hear you on the commenting bit because I've gotten bad at it too - but it really means a lot that you're here commenting now, so thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love this post, Betsy…and can totally relate to your feelings toward blog world as of late. There's been so many snarky posts, blogger bashings, inflated egos, and self-righteous 'let me tell you how blogging should be' posts infecting this community and it's made me a bit irritated with the whole thing myself. Take all the time you need, girl. We'll still be here when you get back! Maybe I should take a page from your book and step back as well…wouldn't that be refreshing! And just in case you didn't know (probably because I'm the worst at commenting!), I so enjoy your blog!! See you on Twitter, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Aw man! Your posts will be missed this month, that's for sure...but as ever I commend you for paddling your own canoe and knowing what is going to make blogging the most rewarding, life-enriching hobby for you. There are a lot of invisible pressures (self-imposed or external) that seem to come along with blogging and hopefully this month will be a way to shake them off and get back to the parts you love.

    ReplyDelete
  12. HAHA 'paddling your own canoe' - I've never heard this phrase before and it crack me up. I'm definitely doing that :) THANK YOU for your support!

    ReplyDelete
  13. oh thank you - sometimes I feel like I'm crazy because everyone else seems to be good at compartmentalizing different aspects of the blog world and though I obviously don't want people to feel bad about blogging it is good to know I'm not crazy alone!

    ReplyDelete
  14. You're absolutely not alone! I let it get to me sometimes, too. In fact, I think my husband has almost had enough of my whining about blog world to him lately. Sometimes I wonder what a little time off would do for me. Let me know how you find yourself after your hiatus. If it ends up being as centering as I think it would be, you might be on to something big, girl!

    ReplyDelete
  15. As someone new to the blogging community I have been surprised several times by snarky post and when I read post that make me feel insecure about my own small blog it makes it hard to love blogging at times. Enjoy your break, it is always so good to have a refresh time period looking forward to reading whenever you feel ready to make your return:)

    ReplyDelete
  16. oh good, thank you. I was sort of worried I was making a mountain out of a molehill, you know? but I will DEFINITELY be back :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. it's amazing how much power blogging can come to have over us, isn't it!?

    ReplyDelete
  18. oh I'm sorry to hear that! honestly, I think it takes a lot to start a blog these days because of everything that's out there - it's so worth it but you do have to fight through a fair bit of poo sometimes! thank you SO much for understanding.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I told Jon that I was taking a break and why and he replied, "Can't you just write about you and your life and forget about everything else?" it was the sweetest thing :/

    ReplyDelete
  20. I understand where you're coming from completely, and while I'll definitely miss your daily posts, I'm glad I'll still be able to follow along via twitter and instagram :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Well you will certainly be missed! I think the phrase that some people use, about how they "don't blog for themselves," is mostly untrue. If you didn't get some sort of intrinsic motivation out of it, then what is the point? Like anything else in your life, any time something starts to drag you down, you owe it to your emotional health to take a break and rediscover on your own what you loved about it in the first place.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hey hun, I think this makes total sense. For a long time, my blog was a fashion/personal style blog and I became really bogged down comparing myself to others in that genre and feeling disgusted with many of those bloggers. I took a step back and came back later as a lifestyle blogger with no editorial calendar. I just post when something feels post-worthy and have no pressure or worries about whether I'm being a "good blogger." I think you'll feel much better after stepping away for a while!

    ReplyDelete
  23. You'll be missed! I completely understand where you're coming from though. Blogging should be a fun, positive experience so stepping back to reevaluate makes total sense. I hope you come back rejuvenated and excited to blog, because you're awesome at it!

    ReplyDelete
  24. This makes me sad. You will definitely be missed by me!! Totally selfishly too becasue after crazy December/January months for me work wise with March to follow, February is my slow time when I can get caught up with my important blog reading. :) But you have to do what you have to do for sure. I've been a reader in the blog world for quite some time and it does make me kind of sad where things are going. I feel like so many of my favorites have taken a step back, totally understandably, and it makes me sad. Other blogs I read for awhile and find myself getting annoyed at this or that so I stop. All of this means that my blog reading, something I have loved for years, is slowly dimensioning. I miss reading about people's lives, travels, and ideas. Makes me feel like I'm getting old or outgrowing this world. Anyway, I hope you come back refreshed and happy and ready to blog, because I'll be here to read!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I just have to comment on this thread. Casey, if you take a break too, I will be devastated (too dramatic?). You two are two of my absolute favorites, and two of my only favorites who post consistently anymore. So both of you taking breaks is not allowed. :)

    Betsy, I also like what Jon said. :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Also, Betsy, you never showed us how you wore you booties. :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I KNOW. THAT WAS ONE OF THE PROJECTS I HAD SCHEDULED TO SHARE. UGH. I AM MAD ABOUT THAT. (but I promise promise promise to post the photos in March!)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Super sweet! Just wish it were that easy, huh?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hahahaha dualy noted. :) And too sweet of you to say! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'll miss your posts, lady. But will continue to stalk you on instagram ;)

    ReplyDelete
  31. We will miss you :( but I totally understand the need for a break. :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hope you have a relaxing blog holiday, Betsy! Looking forward to your return :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. This just gives me an excuse to read more of your archives! :)

    Anyway, I totally understand needing a break. I rebranded this time last year and took my blog offline for a whole month. Breaks are great. Can't wait for your return in March!

    ReplyDelete
  34. This is imminently sensible. I'll miss your observations so I'm glad that you'll still be bopping around social media. Enjoy the break and hopefully it helps make blogging a lovable activity when you return in March!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hugs Betsy, it takes a lot of self reflection to realize these things - I have been through this, and then realized that I needed to blog for me, and that the style/popularity/whatever of other blogs shouldn't influence what I loved to do. Can't wait till you are back because I know it will be with a bang! xx

    ReplyDelete
  36. laurasviequotidienneFebruary 3, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    I can completely relate to this point. I've stopped reading a lot of other blogs and "engaging" in the community for similar reasons. If I'm honest it's part of the reason I was blogging less for a while there, not uniquely because my master's schedule was so demanding (and it was demanding). Anyway, I do think it'll help you to take a break. It helped me remember why I started blogging in the first place; for me! All the best for you and I look forward to continuing to read your blog come March. Bisous et courage.

    ReplyDelete
  37. You know I feel you -- and my solution was to quit blogging all together. And I still, a year later, toy constantly with the idea of picking it up again. There seem to be so many people who would like to blog and read blogs without all the utter nonsense. But they're not the ones who make money, who have giant readerships, who dominate social media. So we're all sort of scattered and under the radar and feel like we're alone or at least a small minority. I keep thinking there must be some way to "take back blogging"...


    Hopefully a month's rest will give you some perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  38. So sorry you're going through this! I must admit, I have similar feelings. We'll miss you, but enjoy your break!

    ReplyDelete
  39. thank you - and I know you want to get back into blogging after finishing your MA so I am glad I'll be able to comment ALL OVER THE PLACE when you do :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. oh thanks, Kate! and you're so right - I AM motivated by the community which is why I need to rediscover what I loved about it in the first place, as you said!

    ReplyDelete
  41. on the one hand, I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way! on the other hand, there's SOMETHING wrong with our community that so many of us do. I hope I'll have some ideas or tools for change when I come back!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thank you, as always, for your insightful and honest words. Although I'll miss reading your blog this month (and I'm glad you picked the shortest month to do this ;)) I just wanted to thank you for your writing. As a relatively new blogger--one with about six followers, most of whom are my family--I always look to your blog as a reminder that it is possible to be positive and successful but, most importantly, genuine. I struggle with the ever-present "comparison trap" and while I love your blog, I never feel less when I read it or wonder why I don't have the perfect relationship, blog, friendship, body, closet, etc. etc. Instead, I just feel inspired! I hope your break leaves YOU inspired and refreshed.

    ReplyDelete
  43. you will be missed - but I bet Charlie's happy! :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. have you read Design Sponge's 2014 State of the Blog Union? Much of what she talks about in terms of advertising and business isn't relevant to me, but I really connected with what she said about how readership and engagement has changed - and I shared her frustration! You might find it interesting. http://www.designsponge.com/2014/01/state-of-the-blog-union-how-the-blogging-world-has-changed.html

    ReplyDelete
  45. It give me an excuse to keep cleaning up my archives!

    ReplyDelete
  46. haha why thank you - and don't worry, I will still be jotting down my observations so you'll probably get an ESSAY on March 1 :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. thanks, Andrea - it's SO true. just need to get myself back into that mindset!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I know! I wish we could sit in the sun outside the Wallace Collection and talk blog shop again :) maybe we can email instead... I like the idea of taking back blogging!

    ReplyDelete
  49. It makes me sad that so many people have similar feelings - but also it makes me more determined to figure out how to change things!

    ReplyDelete
  50. haha honestly I think Jon's annoyed that he's missing this :P

    ReplyDelete
  51. oh THANK YOU Amy! This means so much to me. THANK YOU. But I think it also tells me I'm doing the right thing in stepping back right now because I wouldn't ever want you to not feel that way about my blog and I'm afraid that my blog might suffer if I don't get a handle on some of my negative feelings. Fingers crossed for a productive 28 days :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. I agree. There certainly seems to be a bunch of us out there but it's so hard to find one another. I wonder if we could somehow put together a list or a directory of some recommended reads with bloggers who are genuine and in it for the love of writing/connecting/photographing/etc?

    ReplyDelete
  53. I don't think it's necessarily the blogging community that is the biggest reason a lot of people feel taht way. I think it's just the fact that we have so much acess online and in social media. I can log into Instagram and see a photo of someone working out in their sports bra with their perfect six pack abs that makes me feel lazy and fat or log into Twitter and see people live tweeting some blogging conference they're at that I didn't even know about or Facebook and see people starting new jobs, posting engagement rings, posting gorgeous and expensive wedding photos, and then we have the blogging world where you see bloggers just like you blowing up and getting sponsors and money and being able to quit their jobs. There is just so much access to other people, and people tend to focus on very carefully curated and positive things, that it makes us feel slapped in the face with things to compare ourselves to constantly.

    I think as long as you don't let yourself feel bad because your blog is not a huge deal or making a ton of money or "perfect" and just blog because you like it and blog about what you want to blog about, then it will be fine. I make a point to no longer follow blogs, instagrams, twitter, or facebook accounts of people that make me feel bad - of their own doing or mine. If i feel jealous or bad about myself because of a blog, I stop following it. If I feel pressure to change my blog because of someone else, I stop reading them.
    They have actually done studies showing that people on Facebook or more likely to be depressed then people who aren't. It's all this constant access/constant judgement/constant comparing and that definately happens in the blog world too.

    I think we're all awesome and all that other shit doesn't matter. :)

    ReplyDelete
  54. Breaks are always a good thing; they give you a much-needed rest and when you return you'll be full of enthusiasm again. Enjoy your break, Betsy; I look forward to your return in March! :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Wishing you a good break! We'll be here when you come back :)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Betsy, you've been a huge blogging inspiration to me, and while I'm sorry to see you're feeling discontent, I'm actually kind of relieved that it's not just a relatively new blogger - okay, I'm not that new, but I still feel like I'm clueless - getting fed up with the process and taking a break. Excited to see what kind of insights you pick up from your time off!

    ReplyDelete
  57. thanks, Eliza! hope this sort of explains where the grumpy email I sent you last weekend came from :/

    ReplyDelete
  58. oh thank you KC! that means a lot. but ditto to YOU - you always seem to have a direction and to be focused on that, which is really encouraging when sometimes I feel like my head it going to spin off!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Don't worry! Half the joy of a blog break is not worrying if you've responded to e-mails!

    ReplyDelete
  60. I'm on some sort of hiatus at the moment and am admiring that you're taking a step back and acknowledging something that you'd like to work on/think about. Trying to figure out what blogging is for myself at the moment, hence the decrease in content, and find the energy/inspiration to (really) get going again.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I try to keep focused on things I'm passionate about. It takes a special kind of crazy to devote this much time and energy to producing content - you just can't do it unless your heart is totally into the content!

    ReplyDelete
  62. It sounds like this is an important pause button to press. I will definitely miss reading your musings this month, but it seems even more important that you are being genuine and real with this break, and what I love most about your blog is that it is so unapologetically honest. I hope that the next month brings you some clarity and some fun!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Very Nice.. This is Awesome information. I Agree this

    Wedding Websites

    ReplyDelete

I love reading your thoughts and suggestions! Please do leave a comment so we can get to know each other better.