I have a pretty intense job that keeps me hopping from Monday through Thursday. I work 6:30am to 5:30pm and try to squeeze in workouts and healthy eating. I still sleep with my youngest and since I need lots of sleep, we tend to start bedtime at 8:30, so most of my internet time is on the weekends (which includes Fridays for me).
I was just catching up on reading some of my favorite bloggers (and can we smack whoever came up with that awful term?!?) this morning and ran across a post from Fairytales and Fitness that really spoke to me. It was all about The Lifespan of a Blog. Go on, check it out, I’ll wait… So, the average blog is abandoned after about 33 months… As someone who is in month 26 of writing here, I can certainly understand why the third year is kind of a “seven year itch” sort of year.
It’s kind of like being in a band, it’s a lot of effort and it’s a big time and money drain (trust me, the majority of bloggers (and bands!) actually pay for the privilege!) and at some point you’ve got to decide if you’re doing all this work just for the chance to “make it big” or if you have deeper reasons to keep expressing yourself creatively. After two years, if I was going to “make it big” I already would have, so now the only real reason to keep on is the non-material things.
I’ve thought about this a lot lately. I actually came really close to closing down this shop a couple of months ago when I had two crazy negative drama episodes of negativity. Interestingly, both were related to the same post which was about Disney and not running or fitness. I’m not entirely sure why (lower number of opportunities, less market saturation?) but it seems like there is much less competitiveness and drama in the runDisney and running blog community.
So, why did I decide to continue to put in the hours and effort, despite already having a really full plate from a crazy demanding job (that actually pays me!), two kids and a husband, and the time drain of training for races?
- The creative outlet. For someone who deals with numbers and calculations and governmental accounting standards (oh my) all day long, being able to spend a portion of my down time writing about what I’m passionate about is important to me.
- Documenting my journey. For those of us who struggle with weight or being unfit, it is so easy to forget where we came from and to slide back to where we started. Having a history of where I was and all the work it took to get to where I am and hopefully all the way to my goal is very helpful when I start to doubt my ability to make lasting changes.
- A photo history. One of the reasons I branched out into adding a non-running Disney-focused post each Monday is to archive my amazing memories of the time spent with my family at Walt Disney World. I have taken so many more pictures since I started blogging and I love having this rich collection of special moments.
- Accountability. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve wanted to skip out on a race or workout but I sucked it up and did what I said I would do because I didn’t want to have to come back here and post that I let fear or laziness win. To be honest, I probably would have skipped the Trail of Payne 10k yesterday if not for this blog. And I’m so glad I did run it! And posting here keeps me from giving up on my weight loss journey!
- Making a difference. I mean I know people read this, but every now and then someone will come up to me at a race and will say that something I posted was helpful to them or inspired them or helped them make it to the start line. It is a really wonderful feeling because I know that it wasn’t runDisney ads or Runner’s World articles but actual real-life average people’s experiences that inspired me to change my life and start running. If my story and journey can do that for even one person, it’s worth it.
- Sparing my family and friends. I’m kind of obsessive. When I get into something, I get really into it and feel the need to share all my new found excitement with my friends and family. Let me tell you, they get tired pretty quickly of hearing about repeats, foam rollers, ITBS and corrals. So, this gives me an opportunity to talk about all these things to people who actually are interested! And lets me get it out so my family and friends aren’t subjected to it (too much!).
- Possibility. My husband makes fun of me because I love getting the mail everyday because you never know when you’ll get an amazing envelope. It may never happen, but it could! And with blogging, there are amazing opportunities out there for conferences, products, trips and collaborations. I may never personally get a huge offer, but that’s ok. I love the exhilaration of POSSIBILITY. There is magic and excitement in the sheer prospect and potential that I might get invited to a once in a lifetime experience. It reminds me of the Year(s) of a Million Dreams at Walt Disney World where cast members could walk up and hand out magic fast passes or other surprises.
- Friends. As a socially awkward introvert, this space has connected me to so many friends from different backgrounds and locations that I would never have met. It’s encouraged me to expand out of my comfort zone to attend meet-ups and to socialize with new people. I’m still not very good at it, but I’m better than I was 27 months ago! And I am so grateful for those of you who have encouraged me along the way.
I’m sure there are more reasons that I’m not thinking of yet. It’s sometimes tough to keep going and I really need to work on the “thicker skin” thing. Hopefully I can break through the 33-month barrier if I stay focused on all the real reasons I write.