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I’m Back (Finally)!

 

Hello Blog Readers (if any of you are still out there after my sabbatical)! It’s official. I’m back. I ended up taking an extra week in there because of catching up with work after my husband and I’s anniversary trip. I could have tried to get a post done before last Monday, but I just decided it wasn’t worth it.

 

The Theme of My Sabbatical

Actually, that was kind of the theme of my little sabbatical: realizing that there are a lot of things I’ve been doing that aren’t worth it. I’m not talking about writing for the blog necessarily. I actually like writing. If nothing else, it’s good practice and a great space to work things out that are going on in my head. The writing is good, but a lot of the pressure I’ve been putting on myself has not been so good.

 

I want to be consistent. The goal is still to write every week. I actually think that’s a good discipline. However, I’ve also been trying to be consistent on social media and come up with fun, creative content there. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to do affiliate marketing and doing some stuff on Pinterest with that.

 

The Problem

Over the last year, I’ve come up with a ton of tasks that I’ve told myself I “have to do” in order to get published or build a platform or make a difference or whatever this thing is that I’m trying to do (and to be honest, I’m not 100% sure what that is). I’ve read lots of blogs and taken courses and joined membership sites and done all sorts of things. Have those things been helpful, yes. I’m glad that I did many of them. However, it started to get overwhelming.

 

With my job change at work (slightly new position, instead of the assistant I’m the big boss, and I’m working more hours), I just felt really overwhelmed by the idea of working more and trying to keep up all these things on the side that I “had to do”. It just stopped being fun. So I decided to stop for a whole month. I quit social media (besides looking for recipes on Pinterest). Instead, I just did other stuff like read and clean my house on the day I usually spent writing and planning.

 

Why My Sabbatical Isn’t Permanent

I really enjoyed it. I actually considered stopping this whole blog business or at least toning it down. However, two things happened that kept me from doing that. One, for some reason a bunch of people in my “real life” have told me in the last couple of weeks that they read by blog and liked it/got something out of it/etc.

Two, someone at my church was praying for me (during the event I was leading) and got a word for me, a picture, like I was dog chasing something down and I needed to keep sniffing it out and searching for it. This isn’t even a person I know. I wasn’t even there. It was passed on to me second hand. They have no idea that I have a blog or I want to be published or anything like that, but I felt like part of that word from God might be not giving up on this whole blogging adventure quite yet.

 

What That Means for the Future

So here’s the sitch (that used to be a saying, right?): I will keep writing. I plan on continuing to write weekly. However, I’m doing it on my own terms, not on the terms of somebody else and what all the “experts” say. I’m done trying to use this blog as a money maker (I’m making more money at my job, so that helps), though I’ll probably still do affiliate links and such just to try to offset the costs of web hosting and all that good stuff. I’m not going to make any products just to try to sell them or do blog posts strictly to try to get affiliate links in there. I wasn’t doing a ton of that anyway. However, I was told that I needed to do so I tried it. No more.

 

I’m also not going to worry about social media. My life is so much better without it. I’m not deleting my accounts. I’ll still post occasionally, but I’m not trying to schedule it. I don’t want a social media strategy. I don’t want any of that. I’m just going to post what I want to post when I want to post it, which may not end up being all that often because honest I hate social media. Scrolling through social media will be limited. I’m not going to feel pressured to respond to people or comment on other people’s stuff just so I look “approachable and engaged”. I’m doing this on my own terms now.

 

After All, It’s Not on Me

Because the truth is, if God wants this to become a big deal or to reach a million people or get me a book deal, he’s going to do that. I honestly don’t have the time or energy or skills to do it. Not that I won’t try my best to do everything I can to write well and make my stuff easy to find. I’m just not trying to make it happen. The goal is to live more in the present instead of spending tons of time trying to get myself somewhere else in the future. I’m not going to kill myself trying to get my stuff seen. While I’ll always try my best, I’m not going to worry about page views or followers or subscribers or any of that. I’m just going to do what I think God has called me to do. I’ll trust that that’s enough.

 

 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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2 Comments

  1. Welcome back! I too am just returning from a sabbatical. I completely understand the “have to do” list and the overwhelming drive to “do it all”. It’s too much. Good for you for resting.

    1. Ashleigh Rich

      Welcome back to you too! I hope you enjoyed your sabbatical as much as I did. Ugh, the do it all mentality is exhausting. I’m hoping I’m able to keep my current mindset of not trying to do it all. Thanks for reading!

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