Oh, What’s In a Blog?

It’s been slightly over six months since my last post.

To whomever has been checking this blog regularly in that quiet period, thank you.

There are a lot of reasons that I’ve quit writing. The new job that I mentioned back in January has certainly has kept me busier than I expected. The narcissism that is all social media and personal blogging has held me back. The uncertainty in what value I can bring to an already cluttered internet has also stopped me.

But, I haven’t shut this blog down for a reason. I’m not quite sure what that reason is.

In the back of my mind, I’m always thinking about writing, wanting to write, wishing my writing was better and, of course, I online stalk other writers who I admire. But one question I keep asking myself is, does blogging even count as writing? And, if it does, am I providing any real insights, help, or value to others?

Full disclosure, deep down inside me, I have always hoped to write a book. Of course, I wrote a children’s book that lives on my laptop. But, I mean, I want to write a novel. A book that women can identify with, based on my limited life experience, only funnier and fictional. If I keep blogging, I’m at least practicing writing … but does it get me any closer to a book? Not so far. However, during my six month hiatus from blogging, I haven’t written one word. Not in a journal, not in a draft for a novel, nothing at all.

So, does blogging get me closer to a book? Unanswered.

The marketer in me asks, what do I hope to achieve by blogging? (What is the ROI?) Is it an image? Is this simply a platform to share what I’m proud of and to shape a picture of me in your mind? Maybe. But, is it real? Am I really the person I try to be online? A lot of studies suggest that few (and more likely none) of us really share who we are on Facebook or any social sharing platform. So, if I’m blogging about only my best self, does that elevate my writing, move my career forward, or make me a better mom? Does creating an image help anyone else?

It doesn’t.

To create value, you must be genuine. You must be passionate. You have to believe in your message. Oh yeah… you must have a message. Without a genuine, passionate perspective on something you’re truly obsessed with, what is your message?

That’s what I keep asking myself.

So, maybe this is a goodbye forever post. Or, maybe this a kick off to shaping whatever it is that I keep thinking I need to share with the world. If another post follows this one, it may be different than all those that came before it.

Unplugging

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It’s probably safe to say we’re all addicted to technology. One day at work I got a sneaking suspicion that I might be addicted when I had three social media sites, my company blog, two email servers, and my Google reader all open simultaneously. If that wasn’t enough, I compulsively checked my phone for updates and texts every few minutes.

It sounds exhausting, right? It is so easy to get caught up in always being online. And, in my line of work (marketing), being connected is extremely important. Not only am I concerned about updating my own social networking tools but I”m responsible for updating my company’s online personas as well. And, as a marketer, I see a great deal of value in social networking and a lot of opportunities for businesses to utilize social media for search engine optimization, lead generation, and brand awareness.

But that said, I also believe that most everything should be done in moderation. And lately, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about Nicole Antoinette’s point over at a Life Less Bullsh*t: To add in new activities or get more done, you have to cut something out. You can’t just keep piling to do items on your list without taking a few of the unimportant items off. Right now, the only online life I have time for is my work life. In my personal life, I need to make some changes to the amount of time I spend in cyberspace.

While I deeply enjoy catching up with friends on Facebook or pinning pictures on Pinterest, I’ve become addicted to scrolling through status updates and viewing image after image of fancy shoes and pretty rooms. I’ve recently added Instagram to my social profile, I waste hours most every evening reading through many, many blogs and I constantly check both my personal and work email on my phone. So, it’s time to cut some things out.

Blogging is too much like therapy for me to give up, so you will be able to find me here. If you want to keep up over the next few weeks, be sure to subscribe via email on the right sidebar. Also, I’ve set up my blog to push automatically to Twitter so you can follow along there if you’d like. However, you won’t see me on Facebook. Google Reader won’t be opened for a while. I’m taking a break from Pinterest. And I’ll be disconnecting my personal email and all social networking apps from my phone – only using my phone for my work email (and phone calls … weird).

I’m hoping I’ll get to use the extra time to finish a few books, write more posts on Here’s to Life, and spend more time with my tiny man and spouse.  And who knows what else … the possibilities are endless! Wish me luck ;)

Image Source.

Thankful Thursday: Disconnecting

Last weekend, the spouse and I went camping. It was a wonderful trip! We met up with some close friends for a few days of wilderness, fishing, campfires, and disconnecting from a very hectic world.

It’s truly amazing how much time slows down when you’re in the middle of woods without access to email, Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Google Reader, Pinterest, and all the other fabulous sites and tools we have at our fingertips. Instead of Facebook stalking (so guilty of this), attempting to shrink my wordy (and what I think is witty) message to 140 characters, or jealously reading about all the activities that other bloggers have been up to, I sat under a tree with my dogs and read a book. Really! I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever sat under a tree and read a book (without compulsively checking my phone for an update, email, poke, tweet, or comment).

It was incredibly relaxing (although, to be completely honest, the book I was reading was about better utilizing social media). In fact, the weekend was so wonderful, we’re packing up and heading to the mountains again this weekend! I can’t wait for another get-a-way and break from all things technology. So today, I am thankful for the calm that comes from disconnecting the computer, turning off the cell phone, flicking off the t.v., and enjoying the technology silence. Even if you’re not going to the middle of nowhere, where you’re forced to shut down, I recommend you take a day and try it out. I’ll bet you’ll enjoy it.

Happy Thankful Thursday!

Via 365q.

Via Etiquette for a Lady.

Via Pinterest.

Via Unstitched.

Via Care Daily.