3 Years Blogging: Why Write a Blog? How Do You Balance Blogging with Life?
The Deliberate Owl has been going for three years now!
Time flies like an owl.
What is the goal of blogging? Why blog?
When I first floated the idea to my husband Randy of us writing a joint blog about our life, lifestyle, and values, I remember him asking me, but why? What's the purpose of a blog like this? Who would read it? Why bother writing it? He wasn't trying to be a downer; he was asking realistic questions that we needed to think through before starting a blog. As we paced through the neighborhood, chatting as we pushed the double stroller full of napping children, we came up with a few answers… which you can read here.
This year, I'm realizing that part of the purpose, part of why I write, is for me. Which I knew, but this year, it's extra clear. Sure, it's nice to know that there are other people out there who think whatever I write happens to be interesting! (Thank you for reading!) But it's better to have intrinsic motivation: blogging to learn about different topics, blogging to practice writing, blogging to flesh out thoughts and ideas.
Blog writing is a way of putting thoughts into words, and by the process or through the process, making the thoughts concrete enough to be shared. It's a place for the first stab at ideas. Blog posts are practice writing something toward a finished stage and sharing them regardless of their polish (and generally, they are not as polished as writing that goes into a book or an article). It's the practice of avoiding perfectionism, and letting ideas go out into the world for feedback and revision. Ideas need to breathe, too. The blog is, in part, a place to try out ideas, see which resonate, and which need revision after further reflection.
Whether I'm writing about books I've read, ideas Randy and I are discussing, life or kids or how we live life or what's growing in my garden, blogging is, in part, a way of ensuring I do take time to reflect. Reflection is part of the learning cycle.
Balancing blogging with life
This year, I learned that when we have a lot of other things going on in life—Randy running for city council (and thus scaling back the writing he was doing on the Owl), revising my book, gardening, working on many other projects—it can be difficult to produce a blog post every week.
Faced with the rest of life, some people may have decided to quit blogging. I scaled back instead. Last month, I officially switched the blog to biweekly. One post from me, every other week. This way, I do have time for my other writing projects—many of which are longer form, and require a longer burst of sustained effort to get anywhere.
I couldn't scale back too much, because all the reasons I blog are still worth it—all the learning, processing, and reflecting that comes with writing blog posts. I still enjoy writing; I still have thoughts to share and explore; I still want to write shorter pieces. But I also want to switch my primary focus to these other projects (which I will share more about in the future, I'm sure). This scaling back on the Owl is what I'm trying to see if I can get the balance right. (If it's not right, I'll shift it again—iterative improvement!)
Further Reading: A few of our most popular posts
Here are some of our posts that were most popular this year:
- Tutorial: How To Make a Braided Rag Rug from Old Sheets or T-Shirts
- How to Practice Self-Denial—and What You'll Gain By Doing So
- Forming Good Habits and Breaking Bad Habits: Aristotle's 4 Levels of Virtue
- Book Review: Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans by Michaeleen Doucleff
- Why You Should Pursue Excellence, Not Success