Some of you may have been wondering, “Where is Shellie? I haven’t heard anything from her in months!” If you’ve actually noticed that I haven’t been around, then bless your little heart! Yes, I have been away from the keyboard for quite a while now and I thought it was about time to let some of you know what happened to my blog.
It all started innocently enough two years ago. I had been having such success with a new approach to fitness and I wanted to find a way to let others in on it. At that time all I knew about blogging could be categorized as a general hazy realization that some people would write about things in a short story-like format. I didn’t know anything about WordPress or finding your niche or promotion or marketing, let alone developing your “brand.”
All these elements unfolded as I dove into blogging headfirst with The FABulous Journey. The more I learned about the process, the more I realized I still needed to learn. The first several months were consumed in stacks of scribbled to-do lists; future blogging tasks or features that I absolutely had to include in my blogging website. I also determined that I was excited and inspired by more things in life than fitness, so I broadened my scope to include different aspects of fashion and fulfillment.
Quite frankly, I loved the creative burst of learning something that was so new and completely out of my skill set. My son had recently left home for college and I found a welcome diversion in my new blogging venture. I spent hours learning new techniques and adding new features to my blog…good enough just wasn’t good enough; it had to be done right! I wanted my blog to look professional, so it could better reflect my message and attract new readers.
Actually, my “message” was a driving force for blogging in the first place; therefore, I was driven to make sure everything else was appealing enough for readers to hang around long enough to hear it! In this modern-day atmosphere, bombarded by competing images, my blog had to stand out from the pack, and by all means, it had to pass the Google test so people could find it!
Here’s where the workload really amped up. I soon learned that it’s not enough to have a good looking blog if you don’t have an equally impressive marketing strategy to promote it, thus entered the world of social media. Before I knew what hit me, I had opened a new Twitter account, followed closely by Instagram and Pinterest. Each of these social mediums required my time, my attention and a constant supply of new, visually optimized content to attract readers to my blog, which in turn also required hours of preparation and creative input.
All of this moved on at a steady clip until my schedule changed with a move back to the United States last summer. Here, my time was no longer my own as it had been in the Philippines. I had family and work responsibilities that required extensive travel and I no longer had access to a photographer for my fashion pics. Above all else, I was worn out…tired of the incessant, albeit self-imposed, time clock of the blog machine I had created. So, what happened to my blog?…I just stopped blogging.
Who told me I had to post every week? What would happen if I took some time away from blogging? Was I getting paid?…no. Had I signed some type of contract?…no. Would I lose the following I had worked so hard to build…possibly.
Here’s the thing, I wanted to offer a message of hope and life to women over 40, but somewhere along the way my life had become consumed with blogging about my life. I guess I just finally got to the point where it was more important to live my life than it was to write about it…and in the end, just how many different outfits does a woman need?! I don’t think I realized in the beginning that every new fashion shoot would require a different article of clothing…hmm.
So, where does this leave me as a blogger and you as a reader? Quite frankly, I am not quite sure at this point. I can say I am not ready to hang up my blog altogether, but most likely it will be a few more months before I am in the position to consider posting with any regularity. I’ve mostly written this post to let you know where I’ve been and also to give some food for thought to others who may also feel like mice caught in the blogging wheel as I did.
Does this mean I’ve lost my message…absolutely not! I honestly feel God has given me a fabulous life in which I live and move and have my being. I have an awesome husband, two great kids and a pretty fine fashion sense (if I do say so myself…smile). I just need to focus on those things for now and I’ll be back in a while to let you know what I’ve decided to do with The FABulous Journey.
I so appreciate the inquiries I have received from some of you over the last few months and I would love to hear your thoughts. As always, I am humbled and honored that you would take these few moments to spend with me.
Thank you for sharing this insightful journey (fabulous!) with us. It is a great deal of work, and I fully understand. I took more than a year off as well. So glad everything is well!
Hi Shellie, thx a lot for your honesty. I have to tell you that I also felt like a mice cought by the blogging weel a few months ago. I started blogging because it was suppose to be some fun, somthing new and inspiring for women over 40. I love learning new stuff so I learnt a lot but then I started writing too often beacue “my readers are waiting”. I also felt tired of posting fashion/outfit posts every week because it’s not the essence of my life. Like you, I decided to make some changes and I write a post only when I feel that I want to do it. First life, then blogging! All the best Shellie, Renata xo
Thanks for commenting Renata…I have to figure out my groove.
I had noticed your smiling face wasn’t popping up on any of the linkups (hadn’t realized so many months had passed though – time just flies these days). Glad you’re doing what feels right for you and I think we can all identify with the fact that our blogs have taken on a life of their own. I’ve tried to keep the social media promotion to a more manageable level and that has helped, but there are times when it does seem pretty full one. Hopefully you’ll be back with a new lease of life in the not too distant future x
Hi Shellie, it has indeed been a long time! How nice that you blog once and it gets all those clicks to be featured! I tried self-hosting last year and it was a rat-race to keep dealing with social media to promote my blog, even though I went from posting 4x per week to two. Plus to truly engage, you must read others’ blogs, too! It is very time consuming. Welcome back to your life! I have found some balance and am writing another eBook, this one on fitness. So now I’m involved in creating a mailing list and newsletter to work amidst the self-publishing process. It may be a little time consuming and I still am writing, but at least I have my own schedule, although summer is my down-time. I wish you well and hope your life is going as you wish!
Thanks Terri, we all have to find what works for us.
Now you look really beautifully….I totally understand sometimes we all need a break in this fast paced life
Shellie, this post was the most clicked on the Blogger’s Pit Stop so it will be featured on Friday. Maybe an indication that you have a gift, the message may change, but use your gift.
Blogger’s Pit Stop
I love your honesty, Shellie. I always look forward to your smiling face, and what you have to say. We all have 24 hours a day and the responsibility to fill it wisely. I feel confident that you will come up with the right answer. To be totally selfish, I hope we see you back in some capacity. Thanks for all you have shared and encouraged us with in the past. God bless you and your family.
Blogger’s Pit Stop
I’m in a similar place at this po9int in time, re-evaluating which blogs are still important to maintain and which I should leave in limbo. I found this post on the Bloggers Pit Stop, so your blog is new to me, but I’m glad I saw this post. It makes me feel less lonely. I don’t want to stay chained to a computer keyboard while real life and non-virtual relationships beckon me. I don’t have too many years left to enjoy life. I’d like to enjoy as much of it as I still can.
Yes Barbara, I’m with you. Honestly, I never even considered the fact that I may want to stop blogging one day. Then, what do you do with your website, which is the product of literally hours.
Shellie, I wondered where you were! Welcome back! Perhaps once a month would be a good blogging schedule for you? No sense blogging frequently if it’s going to be a burden. I know a lot of my fellow food bloggers post several times a week. I have NO idea how they can possibly do it! I knew from the outset over seven years ago that I couldn’t possibly post more than once a week. You’ll find your rhythm!
Hi Jean! I am feeling more cono identify that I will be able to come up with a schedule I can live with and enjoy at the same time.
First of all – beautiful pictures. And I kind of knew part of the story from when we met in January and I think we e-mailed about it. Thanks for the update. I hope you’ll be back in some capacity. You have such an encouraging voice in the blogging world! But there is a season for everything!
I am such a believer in seasons and the necessity of flowing with them. I am confident I will find my stride. Thanks for your blogging friendship.
Great to hear from you and I totally understand your thinking about blogging. You are such a talented woman and your message to women is wonderful. Take the time you need to decide the direction you want to go with blogging. I always enjoy hearing your thoughts on your blog. I keep plugging along with blogging but put limits on my time spent on the blog. As you said, I’m not getting paid to do this and it needs to be on my terms. Enjoy your break sweet lady!
Thanks Debbie. I have really appreciated your faithful support and regular notes along the way…we all need each other.
Well there you are, I too had been missing you, and like others checked my emails to see if I had missed an update. Im glad that you have shared your thoughts, I totally understand a blog break and reflection, and know one knows how much goes into regular blogging as you mentioned. We all need it a break. You have so much to offer to others and hope that it will fit into your schedule again….soon.
Thank you for stopping by #OMHGWW this week to share your update.
Have a wonderful week, stay safe!!
Thanks Karen! As always, your encouragement is extremely appreciated.
It certainly is time consuming, Shelly!! And sometimes a break is just what the doctor ordered!!
I hope you do return even if it’s only monthly—it’s nice to see other women over 40 in the blogging fashion world!!
Thanks Jodie, I hope to figure out a schedule that will work better for my life.
Best of luck in whatever you decide to do. I enjoyed reading your blog and hope you find the right balance to keep you creatively happy but not stressed out. There are so many ways to express ourselves, glad you decided this is one way to share your journey.
Good to see you again on your blog! I understand being over-committed, I have been there done that. I do not know how people do multiple social media outlets, that is a lingering question for me. Enjoy what you are doing now and give yourself time to figure what your next step is. Blessings
I was thinking the other day that I somehow had missed your blog. I even looked in my SPAM folder to make sure it wasn’t somehow there. Anyway, looking forward to having you back in the Philippines. 🙂
Thanks Marla! I look forward to seeing everyone again.
I did notice your absence. Blogging can be time consuming and a couple of years ago I stopped for a month because I realized I was all over the place trying to match other people’s blogs. I needed to oul back and figure out what my niche was before I could keep going.
Yes, I think this time away has been great for developing perspective.
Bfavo for you, Shellie! Glenda Harrison at So What To Twenty just did the same thing…..bhd bye for now and is taking time off! I can not post regularly because im busy living. I don’t write for money or stats….just myself. It’s like the selfie phenom….not really living the moment….only documenting every moment! You are not alone. Bloggers who can write on demand, schedule posts to go live throughout tbe day and have thousand of followers….bless their hearts. Not my style, not my rat race. Thank you for sharing from your heart and happy wishes as you enjoy summertime fun and write when you want to, not ’cause you have to!
Thanks for the encouragement, Joanne. It felt better just to put my thoughts on paper.