Never blog for someone else

So many people have asked me: how do you manage to do all you do?

Believe me, it’s a question I have asked myself many times too, and the only answer I came up with, and am sticking to is: I am passionate about what I do, and I am highly organized.

Now the first part of that answer has been true from the moment I started blogging, and will be true until the moment I stop, if ever. The second part — being highly organized — there I have faltered, and many times in late 2018 and a big part of 2019 the thought crossed my mind: I shouldn’t get a burnout because of my blog.

Burn(t) out

You see, I am no stranger to a burnout. Back in 2012 I had a burnout after taking on too much (read: not being able to say ‘no’ to managers who kept on piling up more work), and that’s a feeling I never want to experience again. The first blow came at my work, where I started crying after a simple, normal remark by a colleague (“take care of yourself”). She forced me to call in sick the next day, which I did. By the end of the next week the HR wanted to call me to discuss how to move on, and I decided that after the weekend I would return to work. I logged in on my email… that’s when I got the second blow, and all I could do when the HR called was cry, and cry some more. I was home for 4.5 months, before I slowly returned to work again, but never fully recovered from the burnout. I only started to feel stronger again when I cut back to four instead of five days of work in 2016. I’m off from work every Wednesday, and that’s just the break I needed.

Then my mom died. My mental health was on a downhill slope, to the point where I had suicidal thoughts. In 2018 I saw a psychologist, who turned me away from the cliff, and I was offered to take a step back at work, and lay down my managerial tasks. That saved me, and prevented me from having yet another burnout.

But, as I said above, back in 2018/9 the thought that my blogs might cause me to have a burnout crossed my mind many times. No matter how passionate I am about what I do, I put a lot of energy in it, and it took me some weeks to realize I had to change some things. No one but me would notice, but it needed to be done.

True to myself

One thing I realized is that I had fallen into the trap of wanting to write for absolutely every prompt and meme out there, even those I had no knowledge of. The biggest mistake I ever made on this blog was writing the post Cum tributes. While I wrote it, it didn’t feel good, but I pushed on, pushed pass my own boundaries, ignored all the personal red flags and posted it. It wasn’t received well. I should’ve listened to my intuition. I never got my point across, and by the time I wanted to explain, there was so much bad blood already that an explanation wasn’t welcomed anymore. I retreated into ‘not-wanting-to-say-anything-anymore-because-it-won’t-be-understood-anyway’, and that is where I still am.
(Note added on 15/4: The negative things that happened after I wrote this post was not about me not liking cum, but because I misgendered MxNillin, something I am hugely sorry for. At the advice of others in the community, that post has since been edited to remove the harmful content.)

The post definitely served as a wake-up call. I was preaching to everyone to stay true to themselves, but not following my own advice. I started my blog because I wanted to get my words out there, my thoughts, my feelings, and write about things I am passionate about. I needed to return to that, to only write about things I know something about, and not force a post out only because I feel I have to write about it, for whatever reason. By staying true to myself, motivation to blog would (and did) return.

Acceptance

One thing I — and I am sure my readers too — have noticed, is that I am writing less posts about sex. Yes, there are still quite a number of posts that have a sexy aspect to it, but there are much less posts dealing with actual sex and sexy encounters. This really bugged me for quite some time, and was part of what made my blog feel more like work, and less like pleasure. It was a process I went through, to accept that my blog might be hovering on the line between being a sex blog and a lifestyle blog. And you know what? Once I accepted that, the words seemed to flow easier, and it felt less like work. But it was not all that was needed.

Being organized

To make sure I didn’t burn myself out by keeping my blog going, wasn’t only not forcing words onto paper, but also make sure I keep a balance between reading and ‘me-time’. I realized I needed to rest more, to be more organized. I started using my planner differently, started planning the posts I wanted to write. I didn’t write for every prompt, every meme anymore. If I had nothing to say, I didn’t write anything.

And you know what? It turned out I still had a lot to say AND it felt good to get the words out. I felt like I had found myself again. All words on the blog had always been my own, and they always will be, but I returned to writing for myself, and not for others.

In all of this I have my planner next to me, and have blocked my time to blog, time to sit on the couch, time to do chores, time to sleep. On Saturdays I plan the posts I want to write for the coming week — my #SoSS posts are not only for you; I also use them to keep an eye on interesting prompts. I am blessed with the ability to have a high productivity (also in my work), which sometimes makes me write extra posts, but I don’t feel bad anymore if there are memes I can’t participate in for a specific week.

Advice

My advice to anyone who has just started a blog or is planning to start one, and even to those who feel a bit dragged down by their own blogs, is to ask yourself a couple of questions:

  • What is the goal of your blog?
  • Why did you start the blog?
  • Who do you want to reach with your blog?
  • Who are you blogging for?
  • How much time to you have to blog?

Your answers to these questions are just that: YOUR answers. And those answers should help you to decide how to keep your blog going while at the same time making sure you keep a balance with the other things in your life, AND stay true to yourself.

NEVER blog for someone else — ALWAYS blog for yourself!

Note: If anyone needs blogging advice, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me. I don’t know everything, but I have learned a lot through the years, and might be able to help you, and best of all, my advice is free.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
© Rebel’s Notes

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20 thoughts on “Never blog for someone else

  1. I have to remind myself often that I blog for myself first. I often feel guilty if I don’t write, as if I am somehow responsible to others, which is silly and it adds unnecessary stress in my life. I’m one of those people who feels beholden to my plans. If I write it on my schedule and do not accomplish it, I feel lazy…like a failure in some way. It’s unhealthy, I know. Much better to simply revise my schedule and let it go. I’m working on it, but it is a process.

    1. Oh I understand that so well. That’s the one thing I went through in the past two weeks, looking at my planner and feeling like a failure because some things I have put down as goals in the beginning of the year, are no longer going to be done. It took me a while to understand that it’s MY planner, and MY goals, and everything is subject to change. I will just make new goals 🙂

  2. I think the title of your post is 100% the best advice for any creative endeavours you might go on. Never do it for someone else, it’ll show. It will make the content less interesting, authentic.

  3. I remember when you put the cum tribute post out. I commented that i wasn’t keen on cum either but that’s fine as there were plenty of people who were and it is good we all think differently – or similar.
    Then I remember what happened next on Twitter – it changed my view on so many things that day. I felt shaken even though it was you getting called out for what? For writing a post on “your own” site… And no you never did get a chance to back up what you were trying to say – but no mind really as it taught u something and many others like me saw how Twitter interaction can just be poison.
    That day I lost a big feeling of community – u were a rock in that community and were being stoned. That is my opinion and it is only recently that I am feeling a sense of some kind of community again
    I am one of those people with a strange memory for numbers or a sequence and one tweet on the twitter thread about your cum tribute post stood out for me – It was from Isabelle Lauren asking why the initial disagreement with you had not be dealt with personally rather than for all to see and add their bits. One voice of reason in there. All the others are now a blur in my head.
    I am very much agree with writing for your self – the person you are – and being proud of that.
    Long may you blog Marie
    xx

  4. Great post Marie. So much food for thought. It’s just what I needed at this time, especially about being true to yourself. Certainly there are times when it is good to stretch yourself and push your limits a bit, but there’s no shame in pulling back for your own health.
    I’m at this point at the moment with my A-to-Z-challenge. For me, its not the time or effort, but I find myself rehashing old stuff just for the sake of a deadline. I write a couple of days ahead of the deadline and I’m at ‘Q’. Now, sure, finding words or subjects starting with ‘Q’ is hard enough, but you have inspired me to ‘Quit’. Well, not quit totally, I already have ‘U’ and ‘XYZ’ already written that I would like to publish.
    That’s the key right there, isn’t it, “writing what I would like to publish”. Like you say about memes they are good to prompt you for ideas, but if nothing you like comes to mind, there’s no shame in skipping a weekly meme post.
    As always, love your work

    1. I have actually completed all my AtoZ posts roundabout the 10th, which gives me some relax time for the rest of the month, but in past years I was writing a post a day, and it was grueling. I need to catch up on your posts. Thank you for your kind comment xox

  5. I want to stand on a street corner and shout and cheer in agreement of this post. You must be true to your own self. Do what makes you happy. Write when inspired and never ever comprise your integrity.

    Sounds easy doesn’t it? And yet we all at some point push the line to try and conform or fit in with the ‘in crowd’. I’m certainly guilty of it, but no more.

    Stay safe and well and definitely don’t stop being you!

    Sweetgirl x

  6. Thank you for sharing your very real experiences with burnout and blogging. I’m just recently back to writing after experiencing tremendous overwhelm in my life last year, but because my blog had become more about the sexy erotic stuff and I wasn’t feeling that way, I felt I had nothing to write about. I’m in the process of reevaluating what I want to do and your message here is very helpful. ??

    1. I am happy to read my message was helpful, Patty, and wish you well on your journey of reevaluating yourself, and your return to writing. I will hop over to your blog to read some of your stuff 🙂

  7. This is a great post and I also find the comments interesting. I was blogging for quite a while in my own little world and was writing just for me. I think somewhere along the way I also got a bit lost and was trying to fit in. This caused me some issues and things have been easier since I went back to the focus I had originally so I think that the advice you give here is really sound. Thank you ?

  8. I think I am spared a lot of negativity because I don’t participate in social media. I can only assume that’s where your “I give up!” response to feeling unheard after your cum tributes post stemmed from.

    I went back and re-read the post; I’m pretty sure I can figure out what the bad blood was about, but for what it’s worth, I thought you were very clear in your point about cum not being your thing and the reasons why. The instructions for KOTW have always included the the option to write about a topic even if it’s not your thing; that’s what you did.

    As to writing about sex (or not)…

    I think I come at my blogging activity a little differently than the majority of people I’ve ‘met’ in the sex blogging community, in that I never set out to be a Sex Blogger, so if I blog about sex stuff, that’s okay, and if I blog about not-sex stuff, that’s okay too. It’s not something I worry about. I can understand – intellectually – why other bloggers *do* get concerned about whether they are meeting some sort of sex-content criteria. It’s just not something that makes much difference to me. Not in my own writing, and not in terms of whether or not I’m interested in a blog/post written by someone else.

    Is it real? (‘Real’ meaning genuine, in effort or experience.)

    Is it relate-able?

    Those two qualities are far more important to me than whether it’s “sex/y.”

    Just my two cents. For what it’s worth. 😉

    1. In the past years I have mostly moved away from being a ‘pure’ sex blogger, for as much as a pure sex blogger actually exists. I find it actually quite a nice position to be in now, to write about anything I want – mental health, menopause, every day things… and sex of course. I don’t care anymore whether my posts meet any sexy criteria. I blog for me.
      Full disclosure, Feve: I added a note to this post after you have read it.

  9. Back to your own basic guidelines sounds like great advice to me.

    I’m not new to Harassment and online bullying.

    I was almost destroyed by a certain crowd that attacked without asking questions.

    It takes a lot of strength to self evaluate where the misunderstanding occurred and whether its possible to repair that breach if mis communication.

    I’ve only ever known you to be authentic and decent – unfortunately there are too many quick to “take offence”, yet their own insidious behaviour, in the main, goes unchallenged.

    I’ve not posted much in a while, I’ve taken time to re-evaluate the direction my blog space (kindly editorially supported by @sissymaidmelody).

    You hopefully have an immense body of work to be proud of producing

    Thank you for sharing your trauma and thoughts

    Best Wishes
    Swirly ?

    1. And thank you for reading and supporting, Swirly. I am always slow to any party, slow to understand undercurrents and double agendas. My bad, I suppose.
      Thank you for your kind words xox

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