I can pinpoint to the minute when I knew that I no longer wanted to be a pro blogger. It was May 6th, 2016 and I was seated at a table at one of the most sought-after conferences in the blogging/social media world (no names, but if you are a blogger you probably can figure it out). No more than an hour ago, while I was in the shower (the best thinking place ever, amirite?), I felt the need to write this as a bit more closure to what had been a huge part of my life.
I started this blog as a creative personal project in 2011. I’d started a few other ones before that, kept at them for a few months, then deleted them. I just wanted somewhere to share my recipes and the fun I was having in the kitchen as a new stay-at-home mom. A few of my recipes were noticed and offers started arriving in my inbox. You know the drill, first small products to review, then some really nice products to review, then actual paying work! I had NO CLUE when I started my blog that a blog was even a job, let alone such a lucrative one.
Looking back, except for maybe a couple product reviews early on that I never should have took on, I have no regrets about any sponsored work I did. I picked and chose who I would work with carefully and never felt I was a ‘shill’… that is, until I did.
It wasn’t that I no longer believed in these products or brands, but that was ALL I was doing. The recipes had dried up… everything I had to share had been shared and then some. THAT was where I got the pleasure from blogging – from the creativity in the kitchen. Even at the end of the recipes, I found I was creating recipes for the page hits more so than my family’s tastes – this blog post I read recently sums it up perfectly (click on it below if you want to read it too):
So yeah, there’s that.
Back to that day at the conference. I was sitting in the middle of what was supposed social media heaven, when tears started rolling down my face. I didn’t care one bit about the speakers I was listening to, the inside scoops I was getting, or the ‘prestige’ – all I wanted was to be out enjoying the beautiful day with my family. Looking around the room, I knew this was definitely not my tribe (a term I despise with a passion, but it was all the rage at the time), it was a group of strangers, some of whom would, and I’m not exaggerating, elbow you out of the way to grab another 3-pack of free underwear to shove in their SWAG bag. One of whom was so concerned about my head being in all of her pictures that she asked me if I’D move to another seat… I shit you not. (There were also some very lovely people there, don’t get me wrong… but still, not MY people).
So, why did it take about a year and a half AFTER that to fully stop blogging? Well, old habits die hard… I had no idea what I was going to do next and truthfully I still don’t. I tried to focus on the travel side of things for a bit, and then I realized I just don’t want to share those moments anymore. Step-by-step recipes, yes. Family moments, no.
If you follow me on social media (I’m not a complete luddite :P) or know me personally, you know I’ve used this time to focus on my health. I’ve lost the 100 or so pounds I put back on while I was creating all those delicious recipes, got my health back, and am more fit than I’ve ever been in my life. People ask me all the time why I don’t blog about that. It’s simple… I don’t want to. I don’t get the creative rush sharing how to count net carbs that I did from learning a cool new baking technique. Also, I’ve learned SO MUCH from other health/fitness bloggers that I’d just be regurgitating their content – and there is MORE than enough of that going on already IYKWIM.
So, in a nutshell, this is why I no longer blog as my job. If I find something in the future that sparks my creative juices and I want to blog again I will, but if not, it’s sure been an interesting almost 8 years 😉 Thanks again for putting up with my no-so-great grammar and amateur photography for so long.
See ya on the interwebs,