Friday, 17 July 2015

3 Ways To Maintain Your Blogging 'As a Hobby' Status

Blogging is a hobby that has a habit of becoming an unpaid job. The amount of time, effort, thought and sometimes, cost that goes into creating and maintaining a blog can be enough to make somebody wonder whether the're actually working two jobs and only being paid for one. I don't know about you, but I can't buy my weekly shop in books as a currency, can you? There are a few easy things you can do ensure that blogging continues to feel like a hobby rather than something much more demanding and pushy, and here's how.


Create Timed, but Flexible Occasions For Blogging

Much like any other hobby, the way to keep it so is to only dedicate a limited amount of time to it. People that play football as a hobby don't spend hours every day, kicking footballs, or practising shots, they have set times in their schedule to play, and they save it for then. While blogging is a much more complicated hobby, you can use the same theory to make it happen. Instead of dedicating a whole day and coming up will nothing, dedicate an hour or two to focus entirely on blogging, and use the rest of your time to do other things.

I personally enjoy gaming, and also, in order to continue reviewing books, need to actually read them too. Taking a step back from blogging 24/7 isn't a bad thing. Taking time out to enjoy the other things you like to can help fuel your creativity, or bring inspiration in a way you never thought possible. If you put time aside for blogging, as you would with any other hobby, you're more likely to think of it as a hobby. You may even start to enjoy it more.

If You're Not Feeling It, Don't Do It

Only too often I hear about other bloggers experiencing blogger burn-out. They've exhausted their ideas, they not feeling inspired anymore, and their blogging hobby starts to fizzle out. Chances are, they're trying to force something to happen when they're really not feeling it. If you didn't want to play golf, would you force yourself to go out onto the field and play, knowing you won't enjoy, you won't play well, and any company you have probably won't appreciate it anyway? More than likely not, so why do it with blogging.

If you're not feeling inspired, don't sit down and try to churn out something that feels okay, but could be better, wait until you're ready and really in the zone, then do it. Of course, sometimes your mind will be ready while you're busy doing something else, and if it's another hobby, then take a break, pause and dedicate a little time to getting that blog post or piece of advice or tutorial out into the world. There's no shame in having creatively dry days - all creatives have them, whether it be designers, artists, crafters or bloggers. You never saw Van Gough force a painting out of his mind when he wasn't inspired. Your content is your artwork, and you are Van Gough, don't force bad paintings out of your imagination when you're not feeling it.

If You Can't Blog For Any Reason, Stop

Life has a habit of creating stumbling blocks and issues that just pop up out of nowhere. Lets face it, it could be anything - a family member taking ill, a new job that demands more of your time, lack of money to pay your internet bill, something somewhere is going to crop up, and you can either push through, putting a lot more stress than is necessary on yourself when you could easily take some time out, or do just that - take some time out and stop being a stress-head.

If you can't blog because something has come up, then don't. Don't be afraid to take time for yourself in order to figure out where you are both in mind and body. You wouldn't be going to watch the golf in person if you're mother was in hospital, so why should you feel pressured to blog in that scenario? Learn to accept that sometimes, blogging isn't as important as you think it is, and it's easy to stretch yourself thin.

While the methods are few, it's very easy to keep yourself in the mind of blogging for a hobby rather than as a second unpaid job. The only person that makes blogging stressful is you. Remember that your hobby is only as demanding as you let it be, and you're only capable of so much, don't go pushing yourself to your limits, stopping yourself from enjoying what you love, and pressuring yourself to be what other people are. If blogging is a hobby, keep it so.

What do you do to keep blogging a hobby?

10 comments:

  1. I totally agree that if you're not feeling it, don't do it. It's definitely difficult at times to keep the "hobby" title on the blog. I love the advice you give! :)

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    1. Thanks Lisa! It's always important to remember you're not in a slump, but just not feeling it, and that happens sometimes, you know? We're only human after all :)

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  2. Such true words here Amanda - sometimes it's necessary to take a step back from blogging when life gets in the way, and it's necessary to prioritise. Great advice!

    Eugenia @ Genie In A Book

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    1. It definitely is. In order to keep anything a hobby, you need to not be doing it all the time, you know? It's no fun otherwise, is it.. Thanks Eugenia! :)

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  3. These are such fantastic tips to keep blogging Amanda! I'm a big advocate of taking a break and not forcing yourself to churn out content if you just don't feel like it. After all we should treat it as a hobby not a chore!

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    1. Thanks Jeann! I never previously considered taking breaks, but it's something I definitely want to start doing - we need to regular have breaks from hobbies, it's only normal :)

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  4. I'm really into my blogging at the moment, but it was a real struggle before - as you know!!! Taking a break and concentrating on my health was way more important and helped in the long run. Breaks can be so good and SOOOOO needed! I might start to plan breaks ahead of time. I feel two weeks here or there every few months is needed and good for you. Keeps the blog feeling like fun rather than stressful work.

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    1. I agree, breaks are such a welcome spot for giving yourself some time to recovery from anything and everything - and it can top up the creative juices too, which is always a good thing :)

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  5. I blog at my own pace. It's easy to get pressured with new releases and to be intimidated by other bloggers, but I ALWAYS remind myself that blogging is just a hobby for me. I don't mind not posting everyday. In fact, I'm such a lousy blogger, I only post once a week. Haha.. :D And for me, reading comes first before blogging. :)

    Julie @ Books and Insomnia

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    1. I agree Julie - the pressure to be on the scene all the time is HUGE, and it can seriously bring you down, but taking time for yourself, giving yourself breaks and being certain you're blogging because you want to is so important! As long as you're happy with your blog, that's what matters :)

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