Monday, August 22, 2011

I'M TIRED...

"Simply be who you are, do what you do best, be where you are called by joy, and let life work its magic on your behalf."
~Alan Cohen

 Rays of Hope by Zoomion


I’ve been thinking a lot about my blog and the direction of my blog. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve teetered on the edge of ending my blog or at least greatly reducing my number of posts. I must say that I was nudged by two recent blog posts that I read. One was by Dave Hearn (http://bit.ly/p3EOCB) and the other by Tony J. Alicea (http://bit.ly/q5UxYE).

The reason? I’m tired.

I’m tired of stealing time away from my wife at night when I’m writing a blog. I waited 37 years to get married and I’m not willing to let a blog steal time from Aimie.

I’m tired of stealing time away from my relationship with God. Since I began blogging in April, I’ve spent every morning reading and commenting on blog posts. Before blogging, I had a fairly rich devotional time with God each morning. I’m tired of putting God second to a blog.

I’m tired of acting like I know what I’m talking about. I realize that most of the things that I write about I struggle with myself (although I believe they are true). Sometimes I feel so hypocritical to write about intentional living when I feel, at times, that I lack direction for myself.

I’m tired of opening my Google Reader each morning and seeing 38 unread posts. It’s too much.

I’m tired of feeling the pressure to comment on other people’s blogs to drive people to my blog.

I’m tired of reading all the blogs that tell you how to grow your blog and monetize it. Do these sound familiar?
  • Give a list of 3-5 things (i.e. 3 ways to become a better listener). When I read other blogs and they give a list of things, even if they make sense, I don’t remember them. 
  • Use the right words in your blog title that optimizes your blog for search engines. 
  • Give away free content.

I know these things are all true, but I’m tired of worrying about doing what everyone else tells me to do to grow my blog.

So, my plan going forward is to narrow my focus. I’m eliminating most of the blogs that I’ve been reading from my Google Reader. Below are the exceptions. These people have become blogging friends and I will continue to support their blog and hope they will continue to support mine. One of the greatest rewards from writing a blog has been the other bloggers that I have met. These are genuine, honest, Godly men who have a heart for God and others. You should be reading these blogs:

Arny’s Blog – The Analogous Truth - http://arnyslight.wordpress.com/ 
Brandon’s Blog – Big B - http://bigb94.wordpress.com/ 
Randy Cantrell – Bula Network - http://bulanetwork.com/ 
Cathy Family Blog - http://www.cathyfamily.com/ 
David Santistevan - http://www.davidsantistevan.com/ 
Jeff Goins - http://goinswriter.com/
Jon Stolpe – Stretched - http://jonstolpe.wordpress.com/ 
Ryan Haack - http://www.ryanhaack.com/ 
Tony J. Alicea - http://www.tonyjalicea.com/ 
Dave Hearn - Warrior Shepard - http://warriorshepherd.com/blog/ 

Other good blogs:
Don Miller - http://donmilleris.com/ 
Jon Acuff - http://www.jonacuff.com/blog/
Michael Hyatt - http://michaelhyatt.com/ 
 
I thank those of you who read my blog regularly. There are days when I’m surprised by the number of page hits that I have. Other days, of course, I’m disappointed by the lack of readers.

As I’ve previously stated, the main beneficiary of the blog has been myself. I want to record my thoughts for my future self and a blog is a great way to do so.

So, moving forward, I will likely blog a bit less and I will definitely try to write more about what I know. I still want my blog to surround the idea of intentional living, but maybe I’ll write more about my attempts at intentional living.

I want to be genuine and sincere and if my readership and “tribe” grows, then great. If it doesn’t, then I just know to move in a different direction.

In the meantime, I look forward to more interactions with my blogging friends and meeting new people along the journey.

QUESTION: What are you tired of? Please post comments below.

13 comments:

David Santistevan said...

Thanks for including me in this list, Jason. Honored. I really appreciate your transparency here. Don't give up, man. You're making a difference.

Haack said...

Thanks for your honesty, Jason. I've felt the same way (http://www.ryanhaack.com/not-a-burden/). Still often do. Even if you don't post as much, please keep writing. I'll take what I can get. :) And thanks for counting me a friend!

Diane Rivers said...

I often scroll through the unread posts I get daily and delete many of them without reading them. Yours is almost always the exception, Jason. The things you have to say always ring so true and your writing is very accessible. Please don't end your blog. As was already said above, if you choose to cut back ( for all the very valid reasons you listed), I'll take what I can get! Thanks for your honesty!

Tony J. Alicea said...

Overwhelmed by 38 unread? Wow, that would be a dream come true! :)

I regularly would see 500+ unread in my Google Reader. Clearly I had subscribed to too many blogs!

I know exactly how you feel in this respect. I'm learning that my number of posts per week isn't as important as I thought. I'm scaling back to twice a week and not using every single morning or evening to stress about writing.

That may go against every "rule for writers" but it's my passion right now, not my profession. It's not about balancing everything I'm doing as much as finding the rhythm in my life as to what is a priority. As much as I love writing, it's just not my top priority right now.

Hoping you find your rhythm. When you do, you'll find it doesn't distract from your relationship with your wife or with God. If anything, your writing will be an overflow of the beauty of those two things.

jonstolpe said...

First, thanks for the mention. I'll continue to follow along as you post, and I appreciate you pointing people my way.

Second, I think many of us can relate to your words. Blogging should not be a chore, and it shouldn't be something that takes away from life when we permit it to be misplaced on the priority list.

Thanks for sharing!

arnyslight said...

Wow. Jason.

These thoughts come from a very honest place. It's great.

I feel tired some times too. it's funny cause i tell myself...on saturday...hey...u haven't written anything for monday or the rest of the week...so...just take a break or just write one on wed. or something...but come sat. night...God floods me with all these thoughts and i feel "lead" if you will just share them...i don't know who will need them...mostly myself...but i just obey...even if i'm tired...
BUT, i can assure you that if nothing came to mind to write...i wouldn't...
So Do YOUR THING...BE YOURSELF!!
It's the only way to be.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SUPPORTING ME....AS LONG AS YOU POP UP ON MY READER...I'LL BE READING...
THANKS.

Randy Cantrell said...

Jason, sometimes it's good to be tired. :D Thanks for the props. Some of the hardest work on the planet is learning to "be there" - right where you are. To be so connected to the moment that you don't let it slip. A quiet moment with your wife. For me, less quiet moments with grand kids! As for Google Reader, I'm with Tony, if I have less than 300 I feel like I'm caught up. Keep writing.

Jason said...

David, Ryan, Diane, Tony, Jon, Arny, and Randy, thank you all for your kind words. I wasn't fishing for compliments, but they are appreciated.

Although blogging is overwhelming at times, I love the feeling when something I write resonates. Thank you all so much.

Sherri said...

Jason I could have written this post and I've only been blogging since May. I started as a way to build a platform with the hope of publishing some day, but that is going slowly and has been very overwhelming. I am actually trying to refocus not only my blog posts, but the entire way that I deal with the whole social networking thing. There has to be a balance and I think it's like so many other things in life: you control it, or it will surely control you! Give this back to God for his blessing and make sure he is your first priority - everything else will fall into place. I'm not there yet, but I'm working on it. I pray for God's blessing in your life and direction for your blog.

Jason said...

Sherri,
That's exactly what I'm trying to do. Allowing this blog or anything else to overwhelm me is a choice - it does not have to happen. Thanks for the comment.

Dave said...

Jason-
Thanks for the shout out. I'm glad I could be an inspiration to you... it sounds like we go through a lot of the same issues (Google Reader- Commenting- Stressing about Blog Titles- Taking time away from Family)

It feels like there is this swell of new bloggers that is slowly finding their rhythm and 'sweet-spots'... and all trying to fill a niche!

I've decided that if I can help those I already know read my blog (family, church, disciples, friends) then that's also great. Building a 'following' is great for my ego, but not necessary in the long run.

Jason said...

Dave,
I agree that it is about helping others. I think if we focus on writing truth the numbers will take care of themselves.

dustin said...

I can relate to how your feeling... I appreciate your transparency in how your feeling. Really, I do.