I’m Done Blogging the “Right” Way

Dear Readers,

Some of you are bloggers, some aren’t. Those of you who aren’t probably have no idea what happens behind the scenes for each and every one of the lovely blogs you read, or how much time those things take. Those who are, you are well aware that there is a “right” way to blog, according to the “experts” of the field. It requires constant blog growth, constant attention and maintenance, constant social media activity… Well, I’m sick and tired of constantly doing it the “right” way. As you may know, I think that the “right” way is often wrong.

I began blogging because I was passionate about sharing what I was learning about home birth, natural remedies, real food and all the other things happening in my life. I was especially eager to create a community where Christian mamas could learn about herbs without having to resort to some New Age site. Christian natural living sites were few and far between when I began blogging over two years ago. Now, you can find hundreds of these wonderful sites! I’m thrilled to have helped pave the way… but…

I’m finding that the “right” way to blog is now about competition. As a blogger, nearly every post I write is in competition for your attention. There are so many other bloggers who are out there saying many of the same things. There are so many bloggers out there with “virtual assistants” to help them, because their blogs are so big and busy that they can’t keep up with everything on their own (by the way, there’s nothing wrong with virtual assistants, but it’s not the answer for me). The “point” of blogging (according to the experts) is to grow bigger to make more money. Well, if that’s the point, then I QUIT. At least, I quit when it comes to doing it “the right way.”

The “right” way is about far more than just writing a post that I hope will bless my readers. The “right” way is about visits per month, pageviews, social networking, numbers of shares, numbers of “likes”, number, numbers, numbers. But you are not just numbers! You are wives. You are mamas. You are human beings. And so am I.

I am missing out on my life while I blog about living. I’m busy “growing” my blog, when I should be busy growing my children up in the Lord. I’m making decisions on how to spend my time based on whether or not my blog will benefit, rather than whether my family will benefit. This is wrong.

When I first started blogging, I had anywhere from 15-25 hours a week of “free” time. Both my girls napped for a few hours every afternoon. My hubby had a job where he often worked well past their 8PM bedtime, so I had time to burn then, too. Now, my eldest has homeschool while my youngest naps and my hubby is home well before their bedtime (yay!!!!). The season in my life when I could spend 20-30+ hours a week blogging (and, yes, that’s what it takes to “do it right”) is over.

So, am I shutting down Creative Christian Mama? Nope. But it will be changing. I will have one “computer day” per week. That will include writing posts, editing photos, replying to e-mails, answering questions/comments, updating Facebook (did you know we bloggers can pre-schedule things on Facebook?? Cool, huh??) and doing any necessary blog maintenance (all that yucky behind the scenes stuff). You, dear readers, might not even notice all that much of a change, but it will be very different for my family. My girls will see my face all day, rather than the back of my head.

For you, the things you might notice are that I will not be able to answer every question or comment, though I love to hear from you! Those that I do get to answer will probably not be answered in a timely fashion. It’s not because you’re not important, but because I will only be dropping into the social media scene (what I call the “bloggy world”) once a week. I want to write for you and I can’t do that if I’m busy answering countless e-mails, questions and requests every day. I will be keeping my online store open and we even have plans to expand it and make it into a part-time family business! That is something that I can include my girls (and even my hubby) in, so it’s a blessing for you and for my family!

If you might not even really notice a difference, then why am I telling you all this? First, because I don’t want you to think I’m ignoring you. Most importantly, though, is that I want to encourage you to take a close look at how you’re spending your time and see if you need to make some changes, too. Whether you run a blog (for profit, or not), read blogs, spend lots of time on Facebook, spend hours a day watching TV, keep your smart phone in front of your face… whatever you’re spending your time on, make sure it’s what you really should be doing. Do what matters. In twenty years, few of you will remember much about me, but my children will remember how I spent their childhoods. I don’t want them to remember me with my face glued to the computer screen. They are too important for that. So are your children, mamas.

Blessings to all of you!

Justyn

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34 comments to I’m Done Blogging the “Right” Way

  • Justyn, this is something we have to balance so carefully too! It is so easy to get both wrapped up in and discouraged at the same time with how the experts tell you to run your online business, in our case. We simply dont have the time! And we know the Lord doesn’t want us to be completely consumed with “success” either. And that is what a lot of it’s about…isn’t it? The competition part of it? Everyone wants to be successful in whatever they are out there doing, and that means lots of competition and growth. For us, we had to come to the realization that if we are managing our online business in a way that is pleasing to GOD, then He is more than capable of blessing our business with growth…and the more we’ve turned things over to Him, the more He’s done just that. So, KEEP IT UP! You are so right about “missing out on life while blogging about life”. Been there too. Love in Christ <3

    • Thanks, Loran! It really does extend to all the business parts, too, doesn’t it? My online store is a lot smaller than yours, but there is certainly the draw to grow as quickly as possible. I’ve created limits for the time I spend on our store, too, but it’s more of balancing the parts that the girls can help me on with the parts I have to do alone for safety. My eldest has nearly taken over the job of putting the labels on, so people are going to see a lot of off-centered labels, until she really gets the hang of it! ;-)

      Thanks so much for the encouragement, friend!! *hugs* and blessings!

  • Great post. I can so relate. I am trying to grow a blog and wondering some days if I am putting too much time in. It is a constant wrestling before the Lord about how my time is used. May God give you and I both wisdom in this area. Many blessings on you. Thanks for setting a good example.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment, Jennifer! I hope that you’re able to find the perfect balance for your situation and that you, your family and your readers will be very blessed. :-)

  • Karie

    God bless you!!! I thoroughly enjoy your blog, and I hope it continues to grow but your children will THRIVE with you more focused on them! I believe that God will bless you beyond measure for this decision.

    • Aww, thank you, Karie! It’s already made such a difference in our home and we’re all loving it! The girls really are thriving and I am feeling so refreshed and ready to have my “bloggy” day, today. All the comments here have been a big surprise and blessing, too. :-)

  • LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!!

    Especially this: But you are not just numbers! You are wives. You are mamas. You are human beings. And so am I.

    I love to write but yes, my family is far more important than a blog. The financial benefit is nice, but I pray it never takes over, and if it does, I hope I have the wisdom to know when to back down.

    Thanks for sharing your heart. :)

    • The impersonalization of all the stats just got to the point of making me sick! And, yes, the money is nice, but other things are so much more important. Thanks so much for letting me know that you “get” it- I’ve been so encouraged and blessed by all the sweet comments I found on this post, this morning! :-)

      Blessings!!!

  • Lauri P.

    Justyn,
    I am so proud of you!! I have so many friends on Facebook and who blog…. While they do that, I watch their families suffer. I am a Facebook rebel along with just a few people in my church of around 1,000 members. It is just so sad. If you spend most of the your time at the computer….something will suffer. Stick to your schedule because the devil will try to pull you away from it, again.

    • Aww, thanks so much, Lauri!!! We have already been so blessed by this change and anytime I feel the pull to dive back in over my head, I’ll be rereading all these encouraging comments. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. :-)

  • maria

    Thank you Justyn, this was such a timely message – yes, nothing can buy back the time spent away from our children!! Thank you so much for this post!!! No need to reply – just thank you! maria

    • Kev thought that it was hysterical how excited I was to read your post after talking for DAYS about everything I wanted to say. You encouraged me to go ahead and tell it all and I’m so glad I did! :-)

  • Kendall

    Blessings on you and your family. I am not a blogger but I can still understand that we all need to look critically at the way we spend our time. God has called us to glorify Him in all we do and you are first called to be a wife and mama. Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do for those of us looking for healthier options.

  • This is excellent! I stopped writing on a website (no blogs yet), and being a support group leader for a homeschool group, stopped moderating for The Elijah Company (a homeschool curriculum company), because my children needed me. That was when I did these things mostly when my children were sleeping and not taking near the amount of time that blogging the right way takes. I think some bloggers with small children with huge blogs will have regrets someday. I have regrets nevertheless even though these things didn’t take over my life. You have regrets no matter what just because of our human frailties. Why make them worse? Thanks so much.

    • I agree. If I already *know* that I’ll regret all these missed moments with my girl, why would I knowingly continue! I’m so, so, so far from perfect, and I know I’ll have plenty of regrets for things I never even realized would be on the list (thank God for His grace!). These last several days have been such a huge blessing for our family and I am excited to see how God uses this blog to bless my readers, too! :-) Thanks so much for the comment, Judith, and for linking to my post. I really enjoyed getting to read your thoughts, too!

  • Margaret Mills

    Good girl :-)

  • Delia

    Your Life Is Your Time

    Ephesians 5:14-17

    Our lives are governed by time. That’s why we’re surrounded by clocks and calendars that dictate our activities. As the minutes tick by, we wonder where the day went. When responsibilities and pressures mount, we complain, “I just don’t have time to get it all done!” But the reality is that God has given us enough time to do exactly what He’s planned for our lives. Perhaps the bigger issue is whether we are using our time to do our will or the Lord’s.

    Time is a gift from God, and He has allotted each of us a measure in which to live and accomplish His purposes. We have only two options—to spend it temporally on our own interests or invest it eternally. Since time can never be retrieved or reversed, it’s critical that we make the most of every opportunity the Lord provides.

    The key to investing in eternity is following God’s plan for your life, not just filling your days with activities. Jesus was allocated just thirty-three years of life on earth, but only the last three were spent in fulfilling His Messianic ministry. To us that seems like a waste of time. Yet Christ accomplished everything His Father gave Him to do. That’s why on the cross He could say, “It is finished” (John 19:30).

    Scripture compares earthly life to “a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14), but eternal life never ends. It’s foolish to spend your life on a vapor when you can reap everlasting benefits by following God’s will for your time here. Each day is an opportunity to choose.
    For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit http://www.intouch.org.

    • LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this: “God has given us enough time to do exactly what He’s planned for our lives.” That is so true. If we don’t have time to “do it all” then we are spending our time doing the wrong things. For me, it was blogging. For others, it could be obsessively cleaning or running from one “extra” activity to another. There’s so much distraction in the world and so much of it is disguised as things we “need to” or “have to” do. I love the perspective I get when I take my to-do list before God and let Him whittle it down. ;-)

      Thanks so much for sharing, Delia!! Blessings!

  • THANK YOU! I needed this post, soooooo bad, and thanks to Judith at WHOLEHEARTED HOME for pining it to Pinterest.

    I’ve wanted to have a good blog, but I didn’t think I could spend all the time it takes to get the results i]I thought I ‘should’ have. I was right–I can’t spend all that time, and that’s okay. My blog isn’t about all the ‘right’ tings, either–sometimes I don’t speak the way the other Christian Moms do, and that’s okay too. My blog isn’t about numbers–it’s about showing how God is always faithful–even when we aren’t. It’s about second, third and umpteen chances. I don’t have a lot of followers, but somewhere out there, I’m reaching someone who won’t read the ‘right’ blogs. And hopefully, I’m leting them know that God is the answer for them.

    Thanks again.

    Evelyn Edgett (aka Bible Babe)

    • Your are so, so welcome! It was a bit uncomfortable sharing so much, but I prayed it would be a blessing for at least one person who read it. I’m thrilled that you were encouraged and I really appreciate that you took the time to let me know. Blessings!!!

  • I loved this post! I gave up my singing career years ago for the same reason you’re stepping back some from your Blog. We can’t give 100% of ourselves to multiple things. Recently I shut down my blog and started a new, simple one. I cancelled my facebook page and have been thrilled with the time it opened up for my family. And I wasn’t a money making blogging machine. I will admit that as I have read many mom’s blogs about how they raise their children, keep their home ect.It made me wonder how they could spend so much time blogging and give their children the time they said they were. I always asked my husband how they could do it. I’m an organized woman and I can’t. There just aren’t that many hours in the day. I’m a mama to 5 girls and there is no way I could give that much time to blogging and be there for my kiddos as much as I would want or they would need. I would show my husband these ladies beautiful, well maintained blogs and he would tell me that they’re not capable of doing it all. I believe he was right. *hugs to you mama* Your blog will still be wonderful and ten years from now you won’t really care too much how well your blog did or if you did it “right.” That won’t matter at all.

    • Thank you so much, Kristy! I completely agree, we can’t do it all. I know for a fact that most of the “big” bloggers have virtual assistants, babysitters, kids in school (instead of homeschooling) and many other “helps” that free them up to write. I happen to know quite a few (not Christian ones) who have ghost writers, too, so they aren’t even really writing their own blogs, anymore. Though a virtual assistant would have been a nice option, I’m just not willing to do any of the other things.

      I love that you cancelled your Facebook page! I considered doing that, but then decided that I’ll just update it once a week as I’m able to, after the actual writing gets done. Who knows, though, I might end up ditching FB, too. ;-)

      Your hubby is very wise. We only see the very best of the lives of all the bloggers, not from deception (usually), but out of people wanting to share the very best to bless other people. And you were wise to listen to him and brave to make some serious changes! Good for you!! :-)

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Kristy! Blessings to you and your family!

  • [...] writing a blog post or working on the behind scenes for my amateur blog. I thought you might like to read what I read over at Creative Christian Mama to continue the thought process and conversation. You might even [...]

  • [...] I’m Done Blogging the Right by Justyn at Creative Christian Momma [...]

  • Pam

    So very true, and what a relief to know that there are other bloggers out there who feel the same as I feel–we must have our priorities in line if we are going to truly minister for Jesus. Thank you for putting into words what many of us are feeling these days.

  • [...] I’ve been making some huge changes to the way I blog (I quit blogging the “right” way), I’ve also become much more aware of how I am spending my time. What makes me decide to do [...]

  • Christi

    Thanks for writing this! Good for you! I am in agreement with what you said here! Go live your life with your children and share when you want what you want. Blogs are better that way anyway! At least we will know it comes from your heart when you are just doing it naturally instead of “right”!! Hugs!

  • Three cheers for you! I’m just getting back into the blogging world and, wow, have things every changed of the last couple of years! But I’m right there with you. I’m blogging on the side and it’s staying on the side. And I thank the Lord for a husband and children to help me stay accountable to that. Now to check out the rest of your site…. I’m very intrigued!

    • Yay! I just love all the like-minded bloggers that are popping out of the woodwork since I posted this!! It’s so encouraging. :-) I’m eager to take some time to explore your blog, too!

      Blessings,
      Justyn

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