How to Sabotage Your Life

January 6, 2014

If you’re like me, you might be looking ahead to the rest of the year, hoping to be successful.

And if you’re like me, you forget that “successful” is relative. Why does that matter? Because I’m not trying to achieve what he or she or them or you are trying to achieve.

I need to do my own thing.

I often feel like I’m drowning. I can’t seem to keep up, things fall through the cracks and my to-do list only seems to be lengthening, never mind getting done.

Being the introspective person I am, I’ve spent a fair amount of energy reflecting on this can’t-catch-my-breath feeling.

My conclusion? I have absolutely mastered a skill I wish I never knew in the first place: comparing myself to others.

Comparing myself to others is killing me. Here’s why.

1. It kills my perspective

What we see online is largely not real. Now, I’m not suggesting people we encounter online are all fake. What I am saying, though, is that it’s hard to get a complete picture of someone online. We show what we want and hide what we don’t want others to see. It’s why Facebook makes people sad.

Consequently, when I start comparing myself to others, 9 times out of 10, I fall short. Hopelessly short. (I wish I could write like so-and-so, or, I wish I had that kind of traffic or those opportunities or that _______.)

I do believe there is such a thing as healthy competition. But you’ll know competition is healthy when you feel empowered, invigorated and excited to try something new. You know it’s unhealthy when you feel resentful, bitter, envious or like a failure.

2. It kills my purpose

There is not a single person on this earth like me. And there’s not a single person on this earth like you.

I often catch myself trying to emulate what I see others do, or, not trying something because I haven’t seen anyone try it in the past.

I’ve also had to review what I’m trying to do with my work in the first place. What really is my purpose here?

I started out with the idea I would supplement our income so I could preserve my freedom to stay home with my kids and pour into them. Somewhere along the line though, it seems that got flipped around. Many days, as I’m shushing them and telling them to “hold on a minute,” I realize it looks a whole lot more like my work is my focus and my children are secondary.

3. It kills my productivity

I can’t tell you the hours of my life I’ve wasted trying to “keep up” with others in the world. Whether it’s posting, tweeting, Facebooking, networking, commenting, building traffic, etc., there always seems to be more I should be doing to “stay ahead of the curve.”

If one thing’s true, it’s that the internet can be a gigantic time suck. Keeping up with The Joneses among the dozen or so families in your neighborhood is one thing. Keeping up with the hundreds of thousands of people online is something different entirely. It’s no wonder I have no time left to actually accomplish anything when I falsely convince myself I’ve got to keep tabs on them all.

4. It kills my posts

I dislike writing. Many people are surprised to learn that, but it’s completely true. To me, publishing one post is quite an agonizing process. I’m much more of a math girl. I like to have the formula, plug it in, get an answer, done. Writing is too subjective, too variable, too nebulous. I never know when it’s done.

So, as difficult as posting is to begin with, you can imagine what it’s like when I throw in a good dose of “I wish I was like them” into the mix. Near torture.

So, how to beat the comparison trap?

I wrote some thoughts about that here.

155 thoughts on “How to Sabotage Your Life”

  1. Very honest post you have here, Amy. I can relate to the comparing myself to other bloggers and the agonizing process of writing. 🙂 It sure is unproductive and triggers pressure on creating good blog content.

  2. Amy, thank you for this reminder and your raw honesty on here recently. I do this all the time: holding myself up to an impossibly high standard and falling dreadfully short, only to see others succeed.

    Thanks for the permission to write freely.

  3. Thank you for posting this. I appreciated it and most of the time feel the same way. You are amazing and helpful and I’m thankful that I found you! 🙂

  4. Ha! I just read the exact same problem/solution on Money Saving Mom! (http://moneysavingmom.com/2014/01/beauty-being-authentic.html) She put it “don’t compare your weaknesses with others’ strengths.” It’s so, so true that we compare (and berate ourselves) so, so easily. I think one thing that has helped me tremendously is that my husband is a VERY “do your own thing and don’t worry about everybody else” type of person. I think it’s starting to rub off on me which is helpful! Happy blazing-your-own-trail through this year! 🙂

  5. Oh, Amy, don’t compare! It’s all about keeping our eyes on God, not on others. That’s the only way to keep our priorities straight.

    Last fall I read Chris Hadfield’s book The Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth and it had an eye-opening idea: Aim to be a zero.

    That has transformed how I think about a lot of things and is helping me think about balance. I actually wrote about it a few days ago: http://anniekateshomeschoolreviews.com/2014/01/why-i-aim-to-be-a-zero-in-my-homeschool/

    Have a happy, purposeful day.

  6. Yeah, I totally get this. I do it a lot. It’s really hard to keep plugging away, writing my heart, praying, and hoping I’m doing the right thing and start focusing on what I must be doing wrong. It’s so easy to want to be the next “it” girl online. To get that book deal etc. How do I stay humble while moving my career forward? It’s hard!

  7. AWESOME post! I find myself getting discouraged at times when I see that my blog isn’t getting the results I want it to. Now I see that my problem during these times is ENVY, plain and simple. Instead of comparing myself with other bloggers, I want to be “me” first and foremost. Then maybe people will like me better!

  8. So helpful, I know the feeling and since returning from a holiday, I feel less inclined to stress about ‘trying to keep up’ and just focus on the reason I blog in the first place- to keep track of all my sewing projects. Thanks heaps.

    1. Oh, yes. Time away always does that for me too. I feel “reset” afterwards. Glad it was helpful!

  9. Your honesty is refreshing! Thank you for the insight. I hushed my kid the other day when I was running to post something after we did an activity and I realized I just did exactly the opposite of what my goals were!

  10. I recently discovered that I had mastered that skill also. Bleh. Had to step back to get a ‘grip’, remember why I started my blog, and for who I started it for. Deep breath. Back on track…(or at least for now). Funny thing is…I looove the writing part. It’s like I finally get to empty my brain of all the delicious words inside. But the technical mumbo-jumbo…brings intense panic. I mean, I can turn on my computer and tv, but after that?…hmmmm. So, thanks for this. I see other people looking like they are shooting off into the stars with all their new projects and goals and here I am, the lil’ turtle, just plodding along. I will continue to plod. Touching one life was the reason I started…and the reason I will continue. I needed this….so thank you!

  11. Wow I am a new reader just found you today. Not even sure how I got here lol. But I think I need to read this post once a day. Honest. Over the past year my personal family blog grew into a crazy product review blog. And while the opportunities I have been blessed with are fun and helpful for our family in some ways, in other ways I have seen they have sucked me into a “full time job” of blogging and now I too feel like I can’t keep up, like I will never be as good as other blogs I admire, like my focus is distracted away from God and my family at times, and that the whole point of starting my blog ( to be a resource and help to new parents) is getting lost in the ‘business’ and ‘busy-ness’ of blogging. Sorry now I am acting like this is a confessional. I am not usually like this in comments. But this post really spoke to my heart. Thank you and I am bookmarking this to reread over and over while I implement some changes. 🙂

    1. These sorts of things I have to remind myself of over and over. They’re timeless. Thanks for your encouragement.

  12. You know how sometimes God guides you to the right place at the right time to hear just exactly what you need to hear? Well, that’s what He just did with me and this post. Thank you for being honest and thank you for letting God use you to speak to me! 🙂

  13. Wow, the timing of me reading your post is impeccable. I am experiencing this same exact thing today. Thank you so much for your honest post. Your blog has helped me immensely. In fact, I followed your blog posts step-by-step to move by blog to the self-hosted version of WordPress and launch http://fiveadaythefunway.com.

    Please know that you are not alone. I definitely feel the same way and I am going to take your advice again and take a step back and re-evaluate my priorities. Thanks for the inspiring post!

    Thanks,
    Stacy

  14. I haven’t read all the comments, but what a great post! The internet is a huge time sucker! I find myself doing the same thing w/ my 9 month old-when Dad’s home at least-having him take her so I can finish something up on the computer.

    This is awesome advice for a newbie! I will make sure to keep this in my mind as I start out and see all the different blogs I’ve never noticed before!!

    Thanks,

    Bridget from http://www.bumluxury.blogspot.com

  15. Sometimes I feel like I compare myself to others SO much that I’m tempted to just stop reading blogs for a while and focus on my voice and my style of writing and just WRITE.

    I love to write. But I get discouraged when I see how others write better than me. Then I try to mirror THEIR writing and it comes out all wrong — choppy and lame. LOL I still struggle trying to find my voice again. I used to write very fluidly and passionately. Now I’m too busy trying to write like everyone else and my thoughts don’t flow as well. 🙁
    Thanks so much for sharing this. I think i need to take a step back just to refocus and find my own voice again. Perhaps I should stop reading other blogs for just a short season.

    1. I think we can all relate, Christin! I know I can. I can’t agree more — just be yourself!

  16. Good for you. The blogosphere can wear a girl out–creating a false sense of urgency, and an artificial means of measuring ourselves. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I need is encouragement to measure myself! I’ve scaled back too, and it’s been one of the best things I’ve done in ages.

    1. Hey Shannon,

      “a false sense of urgency, and an artificial means of measuring ourselves”

      Exactly. Thanks for your wise and experienced perspective. Very well said.

  17. Amy just a quick note to say…you are missed!! Even if you can’t keep up the pace you previously maintained on this blog…I sure hope you will continue post once in awhile. I keep coming back and hoping to find something new here! 🙂

  18. I don’t know about you, but I find that Twitter stresses me out the most! If I keep Twitter open all day, I’m tempted to keep checking what’s getting posted there, and compare stats (Facebook does this too, but not as much).

    I find that when I just stay in my own little “deal finding world” and pass on what I believe is a new and unique find, I can do what I love, and love doing it!

    1. I agree! We decided to not even start on Twitter and after doing FB for 4 months we are wondering “what’s the point”. We have dumped our personal FB for the most part and now I just put new posts on the business one and respond to comments which are very few.

  19. I absolutely agree and I see myself in this post….wow… what a revelation! Thank you for your honesty!

  20. Wow Amy!!! Thank you so much for this post. You do not know how much this blog entry has made my day…goodness made my MONTH! I wish you and your family well!

  21. Wow Amy, I am there with you! It is like you are in my head saying what I am thinking. Thanks for being so honest with your readers and yourself. Your kids will only benefit from this. So often I remind myself of my priority to be a stay at home mom, and it does not allow 8 hours a day to blog like other blogging mommies. Not sure where they find the time and still run a household, but more power to them.
    If we are not out there experiencing life there isn’t much to write about is there? I think you are on the right track with slow and steady. Love it! Thanks for the reality check!

  22. Hi Amy!

    I’m so glad to have found you via a comment referal at Like a Warm Cup of Coffee. I think many bloggers are having this same revelation, myself included. Thanks for the insight – I’m going to be revising my blogging schedule as well as my computer time as well!

    Cheers!
    ~heidi

  23. Christie @ Tree Hugging Mom

    Thank you thank you thank you.

    I have felt like this as well and it’s so awesome to know that i’m not alone. I also hate writing posts. I am NOT a writer by nature (a math girl just like you) so I panic and over criticize my posts to the point where I can’t find any motivation to write any.

    But I recently decided that, so what if I’m not the best writer. I’m just gonna try to write. Practice makes perfect and I figure eventually I will come into my own and hopefully I will find that I can write great posts.

    For now, I just need to share info. 😉

    Thanks for this blog. It’s been so educating.

    1. so I panic and over criticize my posts to the point where I can’t find any motivation to write any.

      Right there with ya, Christie!

      Have you tried using a timer? “I’m going to set this timer for 30 minutes. When it rings, I publish, no matter what.” Scary, but effective! 🙂

      1. Whitney @ Coupon Wonder Mom

        I should give that a try! I get way too distracted with Facebook & Twitter every time I get on the computer, it definitely takes away from blogging (and my kids, and my house, and and and…). Sounds scary but I imagine very effective.

  24. Well, I am glad you wrote this for other reasons. I have been trying to go back through your old posts, to fix my blog, and I was just not able to keep up. I wanted to write and tell you, but thought I might be whining.
    It will be so much easier for me if you post less often, and I know everything you do, you do it for me. 🙂
    So don’t feel bad at all.
    A blog mission once or twice a week is all I can handle these days anyway.
    So Thanks

    1. I was overwhelmed by all my posting too, so it makes sense you were!! 🙂

      I was posting a lot because someone somewhere said I should post a lot. How silly. {{smacks head}}

      Gonna doing what right for me now, though! Thanks for the encouragement. 😉

  25. Wow! I am new to the blot life and I can see what you mean. You can really put pressure on yourself if you do not limit your time on the computer. I see myself in you and because of this I too will only be posting a couple times a week. Thanks for the great advice.

    Mrs. Mix It

  26. Really great post, Amy. I went through something very similar awhile back. I turned off my blog stats, stepped back and reevaluated what I was doing and why I was blogging.
    I’ve kept the stats off and now blog on my own terms. It has been a huge relief and burden off my back! I hope you find it to be the same.

  27. You also have to remember, when looking at other blogs traffic, they may have been blogging for years to get those high numbers. I agree, comparing yourself to other bloggers only makes you feel down. Just do what you want and don’t worry about the other bloggers!

  28. Amy, this post has helped me tremendously! You read my mind. Every single word you have written in this post is EXACTLY how I feel. I thank GOD (and you) that I am not alone. Sometimes I feel I am in a competition, when really we should be focusing on helping our readers and delivering good, precise content. You are a very brave women for “handing” over your heart to us! I will definitely follow your steps, and stop and smell the roses!

  29. Thank you for this article. It was so timely and a blessing for me. I find myself feeling like I “owe” my readers posts, and I have to remember that this is fun, not a chore.
    I’m definitely realizing that I need to slow down and spend more time with my girls. A Coupon Chick is not going to go on forever! And, my girls are growing up so fast.
    Thanks again!

    1. A Coupon Chick is not going to go on forever! And, my girls are growing up so fast.

      Such a great reminder! Thanks, Heather!

    1. Way to go! It’s funny, when I’m at home, I’m always drawn to the computer, but whenever I’m away, I never miss it!

  30. It’s so easy to get to that point of comparison- even when you’re doing it for the “right” reasons! I had such a letdown after the SavvyBlogging Summit because when I got home I felt like I couldn’t tweet enough or FB enough and my blog was so backward “compared to others.” Now I try enjoy it and not focus on what other’s are doing, but it’s an ongoing thing…

    Thanks for these real words!

    1. “I had such a letdown after the SavvyBlogging Summit because when I got home I felt like I couldn’t tweet enough or FB”

      I have to say I was considering going to one of those and have now decided against it for that very reason.

      I am chronically ill, with 4 kids and I can’t do that much. I am so glad to see all these people having “blogging breakdowns” and to know that I”m not the only one. There were several other “major” people who are saying the same thing as Amy! There are days I wish hubby just had a “normal” job. 🙂

  31. Georgina Niemeyer

    Love this post! This is encouraging me to actually get my blog going. I got started on it, but then started comparing myself to others and just about gave up. I just have to remember to stay balanced.

    Hey, now maybe you and I can meet one another IRL.

    ~Gina (Heath’s wife)

  32. SO many people can relate to this. I for one. You hit it right on the head when you said that the reason you started was to stay at home with your kids. I think this pertains to really any work-at-home job. I have the same problem. It has completely shifted. That is something that bugs me daily. Thanks for a great post that we can all relate to.

  33. Wow! It’s unbelievable how many people out there in the same boat. I too compare myself to others all too often. My kids are in school full time and I STILL can’t blog as much as everyone else.

    I am not a writer, it’s not natural for me at all. However, I feel like I have information to share with people. I started my blog thinking that if I could help just one person realize homemaking was a “job” then I’d be happy.

    Well, pretty soon it turned into how many comments I was getting, how many carnivals I participated in, how many people visited my blog that day, etc. Then I was trying to figure out how to make money off it and my focus totally went that way. It’s been about a year and I make about $2.00 a month…enough to pay for my blog name. I realized last week while on vacation (no internet) that it wasn’t fun anymore. I was looking more at trying to figure out how to make money than I was at helping someone.

    My blog will be changing as well. I’m not sure to what degree, but I’ve been challenged to spend an hour of the day with and for God. Whether it’s reading the Bible, doing my volunteer work or finding random acts of kindess to do for my neighbors. My blog is taking the backseat to real life.

    Good luck to you while you figure this out! As the mother of a 14 and 11 year old, the time really does go quickly. The hours in a day some times go slow, but the days in the year fly by!

    Thank you for such a meaningful post.

  34. you are SO right! I’ve been doing all those things but will step back a bit. I will save thispost to refer to when I slip back along that slippery road!

  35. Wonderfully said! I constantly struggle with the “I’m not good enough’s” or shooshing my kids. Thank you so much and I think I am going to reread this a few times!

  36. This was very well written with a lot of good thoughts. This is joining in with all the reminders I have had lately to not worry or concentrate on what others are thinking of me, I want to instead completely focus on pleasing God and doing His will in my life. My sister and I were just discussing today how silly it is to worry about what others think of us, most of the time they aren’t even paying attention.

  37. Your post comes at a perfect time for me.
    Last night I was so panic-stricken with all the things on my to-do list (whether they need to be on the list or not), I couldn’t fall asleep until 3 in the morning. And being the mother of 2 young children, that’s just unheard of for me!!! Plus I wasn’t doing a darn thing to help abate my to-do list!

    I take all that you say to heart and have felt tortured by writing (the topic of my dissertation can wait for another day) and at other times very proud. I’m on such a roller coaster sometimes!

    Thanks for such a REAL post!

    1. Last night I was so panic-stricken with all the things on my to-do list (whether they need to be on the list or not), I couldn’t fall asleep until 3 in the morning. And being the mother of 2 young children, that’s just unheard of for me!!! Plus I wasn’t doing a darn thing to help abate my to-do list!

      Boy have I been there too! And I’m a roller coaster too. 🙂

  38. Great article! I wish you the best of luck and hope you find the balance you are looking for! :o)

  39. <> Bravo, Amy, for being willing to do the right thing and for being so transparent about it. I’m getting ready to launch a new blog in a few days (I already write one about our sick son), and I’ve hit so many roadblocks just from being totally overwhelmed due to comparing myself to others. I’m a perfectionist who loves to write – it’s a dangerous combination. I’ve spent way too long preparing to launch my blog because everything had to be perfect and 100% first. I’ve come to realize that something is better than nothing, and that if I wait to learn everything and master everything, I could spend a lifetime getting ready to blog and not actually doing it!!

    Being available to my family and IRL friends is so important to me, and I’m looking forward to your time management stuff. Because my son’s health is so volatile and unpredictable, and because I want plenty of time with my family, I’ve investing a lot of evenings planning out articles that are nearly ready to launch. I’m hoping that will reduce the time I have to spend on my blog when it goes live.

    I’ve been feeling the pressure to do at least an article a day, 5 days a week. It’s been freeing to hear that lots of other people are realizing that this is possibly an overambitious goal.

    Thanks again for your transparency and courage;
    Kate

  40. WOW – Great post! First, I want to tell you how much your site has helped me move my blog to WP. My husband & I did the move all on our own. We could not have done it without your how-to posts and videos.

    Now on to THIS post. It’s as if you were reading my mind. Every single point, from the “wait a minute” to my kids TO constant comparing myself to more successful bloggers TO the I hate to write part.

    The constant comparing to other blogs was a BIG problem for me. In my niche – it feels like there are 1000s of us and we must post often! I would get so down some days when comparing their success, etc. that I finally had to stop reading their feeds and posts. Not on twitter but mostly on FB since that’s where I’m at most times. Don’t get me wrong and no offense to them, but it was doing me no good. Now, I don’t feel this constant need to post every deal and to be like anyone else.

    Slow & steady is the key. I’m now starting to find the balance. I like to compare my blog to my town. I am VERY content with that because I like the feeling of knowing people and the sense of community in a small town. I love where I live! I also rarely look at the “numbers” now. I finally came to this conclusion – As long as my readers are happy with my blog, I’m HAPPY 🙂

  41. Amen! I feel the same way sometimes. I have cut down the number of days a week I post as well so that I can be free to focus on other things. Thanks for posting this!

  42. I really needed to hear this. RIGHT NOW. Thanks Amy! this is why I like you- you’re honest and keep it real.

    Allie

  43. I love you for you. I think you are the best sis’ in the world, blog or no blog! I just wish we lived close enough to hang out IRL! 🙂 I am encouraged by you, inspired by you and think God will bless the “less is more” approach! Thanks for the wonderful reminder to focus on the important things.

    1. I love you more. And the feelings of inspiration and encouragement are mutual. And we still like the idea of you living next door… 🙂

  44. I have been struggling with the decision to delete my blog. This helped me decide it was the right thing to do! I also deleted all the accounts attached to it. A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Time to go play with the kids!

  45. I find that I only have time for one thing online – either I blog or I participate in social media. And because I chose to blog, I rarely even tweet or comment on other blogs. I just don’t have the energy for it because I have a lot of other hobbies other than blogging. And you are right, sometimes I wonder why I am not offered opportunities like other bloggers, but it is because they send more time than me connecting with others. I am happy with being a small time blogger because the bigger you are the more time you need to devote to your blog. Then, it will be like work instead of the hobby (a low paying job compare to my day job).

    1. Great points, Asithi. My dad is so right when he says life is all about tradeoffs. I *wish* I could do it all, but then again, I probably don’t.

  46. Amy, I think you have done a great job and you should know that your site it THE #1 resource I used in setting up my blog. I think your posts are all informational and well-written. None of that probably matters if you’re struggling to do it though.

    The one thing I have found helpful is not reading other similiar blogs, which, at some point is counterintuitive, right? But if you need some time, take a break from reading other blogs so you no longer give yourself the opportunity to compare yourself and your writing.

    Keep keeping it real!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Jill. It is helpful to hear those comments because helping people is definitely something I enjoy. And when I can offer help about one of my favorite things (i.e. everything internet), it makes it even better. Thus the reason I plow through the writing part of it. 🙂

  47. I enjoyed your post. Good for you, Amy, for realizing that you need to cool it down. You probably got caught up in the world of blogging without realizing it. My blog might be considered boring, and I don’t have thousands of viewers, but the few loyal ones that I do have? I am SO grateful to them. I also email a few of them, and they email me, and they are lovely people. I would rather know a few great people, than to have a few thousand followers. That was MY goal for my blog, and I have accomplished it. Yes, it would be nice to make some MONEY from my blog, with a lot of followers, but I just don’t have it in me. Too lazy I guess? LOL! Anyway, enjoy yourself and enjoy the time you take that’s AWAY from your blog. 🙂
    Best regards,
    Gloria

  48. You may need to take a break if you have too many irons in the fire. I am guilty of staying in front of the computer all day every day– and it’s not b/c I don’t like to be around people. Matter of fact, I love to read and write, but I tend to neglect the important things. So it’s good that you’ve decided to follow your heart and re-focus your priorities. You may also want to ask God for His direction– where is He leading you to use your energies? In any case, this blog has been most helpful to me and I for one appreciate the work you put into it.

  49. Whitney @ Coupon Wonder Mom

    All I can say is THANK GOD I’m not the only one who has felt this way. Phew! I have backed off my blog entirely because I feel at such a standstill in all of this blogging stuff. I love blogging, but being a frugal blogger is tough. It requires multiple posts per day and there are SO MANY coupon blogs out there, I have a hard time finding my unique spot amongst everyone else. I too struggle with comparing myself to others. The biggest thing running through my head the past few weeks has been “She is already really good at this. I should just hand the baton to her and be done with it.” I’m so discouraged by another blogger that I don’t even want to blog myself. I never wanted to be a blog that is just re-posts of what every other blog writes, so I haven’t written at all. *sigh* Anyway, thanks for this great post!

  50. Amy, as usual, so well said. I’ve been running the website I write for for the last week since the creator is on vacation, and I’ve been so overwhelmed! Once she’s back, I’m really going to evaluate my time spent on the computer and tell myself “enough is enough” when it needs to be said.

    I asked you a while ago about a time budgeting series/ebook…are you still working on that? (No pressure, just curious.) I look forward to reading it if/when it goes live.

    1. Yes, I agree. It can be so overwhelming. And consuming!

      Regarding the time-management ebook…yes, I’m still plugging away at it (although, ironically, it got put on the back burner this summer when I couldn’t seem to manage my time very well)! I started out with the idea that I’d share the steps I used with Money Saving Mom to help her get her time organized. But as I wrote, I realized I had a lot more to say about it. It is turning into a step-by-step guide to managing your time in a way that (a) you don’t feel overwhelmed and (b) the important things don’t fall through the cracks. I’m using my own schedule as the primary case study. (Although, given the last few weeks, I need to apparently practice what I’m preaching better!!) I hope to have it available within the next 2 months so stay tuned….

      1. Laura @ Pocket Your Dollars

        Amy, thanks so much for your response! I truly look forward to reading your time management series whenever it’s posted (even if it’s next year…lol). 🙂

  51. GREAT post, Amy! I look forward to following you (and to tell the truth I have a HORRIBLE time of keeping up with blog reading, so 1 or 2 times a week is a breath of fresh air to me as a reader)… (uh, not that I wouldn’t love hearing from you more… you know what I mean, right?) 😉 Thanks again! Love, Michelle

    1. I know what you mean. 🙂

      Actually, I think you bring up an excellent point. There are some blogs that benefit from being updated a lot. I think others don’t need as much posting. Like you suggested, nowadays, information-overload is a huge issue. I am hoping my less frequent posting will make at least a little bit of difference. 🙂

  52. You literally just wrote out my exact “blogging feelings”. I have felt that way for a while now and have been so frustrated with myself that I am losing perspective. I almost cried at the part where you said you started doing this to have more time with your children, but instead it has been that your blog has become the focus. That is just what I was bemoaning to my husband about 2 days ago. I feel like the worst mom – my kids are trying to get my attention, and I keep saying, “Just one more minute” or “as soon as finish what I am working on, I will help you”. And the poor kids just want something as simple as a snack! Yikes! It hit home when my oldest said, “Mom, you never will be finished. It is always just one more minute with you!” Ummm. Ouch!
    So, yes. I get it. I am so proud of you for creating a new plan. I am going to be a copy-cat and try and follow suit. I need to. For the sake of my family, and the hearts of my children, I need to.
    Thank you for sharing your feelings! There are more of us that feel this way, than not.

  53. You’ve obviously touched a nerve that many can relate to; and I see the competitive, judging, emulating craziness every day in the food blogging world. I’ve seen friends I know go crazy over how to push their blog forward; on top of the blog post itself is the constant self promotion and bragging if they get on one of the food photo sites or Food Buzz. The next day they are heartbroken when their photo is rejected (oh yeah, who knew if you love to cook you also have to become a photographer!).

    I had a lightbulb moment a few weeks ago; I realized that despite my verbal expression of the craziness; the reality was that I had been sucked into some of this same mess and as I have two businesses to run on top of my blog; am thankful for that moment. I had a great photo of a martini rejected and it hit me…this drink looks beautiful, my peers on Twitter flooded my stream telling me so; so as of that day? I will submit but then walk away…it makes it, cool, if not I’m OK with that too because what matters is my own feeling of accomplishment and a decision to not let some unknown entity without rules for success define mine.

    I have a lot of clients who are food bloggers; it’s been a boon to my web business to be one of them; it gives me an extra advantage in knowing what works for them and I do have a voice that they will listen to. What I’ve been saying? Funny, but you said it too. ‘Be the Tortoise.’ Slow, steady, stay the course AND do it with integrity. Write from the heart, don’t try to be someone else, you can’t.Try to curtail envy over someone else’s achievements; be happy for them and that ability to share someone’s joy will come back to you tenfold.

    If I can be honest…your cutting back is perfect. I actually get a bit perturbed at someone sending me a post a day. I read some desperation in that effort; wonder what else they could have going on in their life, etc. You have a family that needs to be your priority; you could one day have the number ONE blog in the world and look back and regret the time it took away from your kids. That time can never be recaptured and despite lies we tell to ourselves…we will never get more caught up working longer hours looking at the future for that time. Take it now.

    Great read…makes me think I should do something similar!

  54. Good for you, Amy! I just recently discovered your blog and your info has been easy to understand. Like so many, I have limited time to learn about my blogging hobby. Enjoy your computer-free time!

  55. Amy, thank you so much for sharing this! You made me tear up at the “kids are secondary” part because that is what I have been struggling with since my second daughter was born 14 weeks ago. I appreciate your honesty and wisdom and your courage to step back from it all. Best of luck finding your balance! I’m going to work on it too…

  56. Amy – sincerely…thank you for this! I am in the process of developing my new blog…one that I hope someday will be a launching point for so much more. But I got myself got in the trap of reading EVERYTHING I could get my hands on for what I needed to do to set up my blog, build readership, monetize, etc., etc. I spend most days feeling utterly overwhelmed and doubting myself before even getting out of the gates! This post helps me to refocus on my original intentions and goals, and allows me to give myself permission to do it “my” way with the time that I have. I have to remember that I have a full time day job in addition to this, and I just will NOT be able to sustain 5 posts a week, guest posting, building relationship with my readers, etc.

    THANK YOU! I really needed to hear this today!

  57. Hi, Amy.

    Great post. I get caught up in the “what is a success?” question. For me, it was proof (or lack thereof): money. Since I’m making little to none, I must work harder. And harder. And do what SHE does. And implement this strategy and that one. Ugh!

    Personally, I’m always in process as I feel that God continues to refine me through the skills he’s given me. He has given me the skill of writing for his purpose; I just need to faithfully walk daily. Blogging fits in there somewhere; still not sure where. 🙂

    So my blogging plan has become more relaxed during the last few weeks: mainly writing as I feel “led.” If the “numbers” come, so be it!

    Comparison is the devil’s tool!

  58. had to comment on this. i just said to myself yesterday, “i need to put parameters on my computer!” the computer sure does suck me in and it’s going to take some discipline. very encouraging and thanks for the post!

  59. Thanks for this post! It’s just what I needed! I think your blog is quite awesome and has been a huge resource for me. I would say that many would compare themselves to your high standard.

    Great message today!!

  60. You are so right, I have been there too. In fact I have cut down my blogging alot over the summer, you have to do what is right for you. No comparing.

    But just to say, you are pretty great!

  61. Prior to attending Savvy Blogging this year, I was here. I felt like the blog was running my life. I felt like all my children saw of me was the back of my head bent over a computer screen. Yet, I felt totally powerless to change that. (sad, but true)

    Since then, I’ve come to the same conclusions. My answers…
    I’ve moved the computer out of the living room so it isn’t always right there beckoning me.

    I’ve made up regular “work” times and stick to them like glue.

    I’ve spent much more time in IRL relationships (mostly due to implementing the first two things)

    Life is so much fuller when you are living it and not blogging it!
    Way to go, Amy! 🙂

  62. Thank you, Amy, for being so honest and open! I’m new to the blogging game and now that the initial thrill has worn off, am feeling the same way. It’s probably in part due to the fact that I’m gearing up for another year of teaching so I need to make sure my priorities are in line. There are many amazing people that surround us but we need to remember that God made us unique! Thank you for a wonderful reminder!

  63. Amy,
    I can TOTALLY relate to this post! Wow, you said it ALL so perfectly. Your hard work writing really showed. I was drawn in by every word. I don’t even have my blog up yet, but I feel this way in real life and I’ve had multiple conversations with various friends and my husband about this. Your fix it strategy sounds perfect and a great way to manage the infringment on your life that this recent path has taken. Great ideas!
    Thanks for keeping it real…
    Molly

  64. Good for you! I appreciate your honesty and look forward to the fruit of a contemplative life. I’m new at blogging, but have found the busyness never ends. I’ve stuck with the 2 posts per week and have felt behind the curve on so many occasions, but it seems to fit our lives for now. I dream about someday writing in advance and just pushing the ‘publish’ button – but I am not there. 🙂
    I hope you blog your progress – so many of us are watching and learning.
    Bless you~

  65. This is great; I can relate to so much of it. I’m the opposite, though, in that I LOVE to write. And I see people doing all sorts of cool things and feel like I need to keep up and then I have to remember to focus on what I do best and what I like to do and the rest will work out.

    Very well written, for someone who doesn’t like to write! 😉

  66. I’m fairly new (3 mos.) to this craze, and this post really spoke to me. (Even the part about shushing my kids, telling them to hold on a minute…*cringe*!) I LOVE your plan. I think I’m going to save this page to my favorites and re-visit often as a reminder to me. Because I can see how easily this could take over my life if I let it. Thank you again.

    Jennifer
    http://www.thefarriswheel.blogspot.com

  67. Thanks Amy! It’s so easy to get stuck in the “comparison trap”. I regularly tell my daughters that they should never compare themselves to others. There will always be someone who is better at something than we are and there will always be things that we are better at than others. Comparing ourselves is just a recipe for disaster and disappointment. I need to remind myself that this is true in blogging as well!

    Thanks for the reminder!

  68. Such a great word! I have been feeling the same thing for a while. Often I want to just scrap it all. I feel a strong calling to focus on the needs of my family, my home, the church, and just shepherding my own heart/life. but at the same time, I feel like if I scrap the blogging now, I will lose my platform. I feel like I have things to say, but need focus on what my vision/purpose actually is for my blog. What am I trying to really do here with my blog? I don’t know. But I do know that my children and family are much more important. What a timely post!

  69. Yes! You said this perfectly. I’ve taken a step back and re-evaluated SEVERAL times over the last few years. This is know: No one has died. 😉 Not even my blog died. Imagine that. 😉

    You do what you gotta do. =)

  70. Having been in business for 10 years but just entering the social media and blogging space in the last year, its surprising how all consuming it can be and that the end result of being overextended isn’t always positive. Our online lives are an extension of ourselves and amazing things can happen here, but not at the expense of what happens offline, in real life, every day. Confidence in the unqiue woman you are is perhaps the greatest key to success no matter where you are…thank you for making that so clear and concise.

  71. Excellent post, Amy! I frequently have to remind myself that I quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom, not a blogger. And taking the time away from the computer not only helps me be a better mom, it also ends up helping me be a better blogger.

    Thanks for making me think about my own goals!

  72. YES!!! Thank you so much for your honesty!

    I have gotten sucked into the comparison game and realized it has made me a very unhappy person. I cannot keep up nor do I really want to anymore!

  73. This is just what I needed to hear this week. My blog originally started as a way to help others and I still want to do that. It’s so easy to get pulled into the numbers, what others are doing, and how I’m not measuring out.

    Meanwhile I’m right there with you shushing my boys and letting other things in life slide. I want to make sure when I’m with my husband, boys, and friends that I’m fully presence.

    You are not alone, Amy. Thanks for your honesty.

  74. Hey Amy…I’m glad that you are making the necessary changes the get your “real life” rebalanced. One thing my husband always says is,”You are your own boss and if you are stressed out, tired and overworked, you need to fire yourself”.

    The thing about being a stay at home mom who blogs as a hobby or as an income stream is that we are primarily responsible for how we manage our time. While I can’t say that I’ve mastered balancing social media, blogging, homeschooling, marriage and homemaking, I will say that I am much better than I was.

    Over the summer I allowed myself the liberty to be online as much as my hearts content and found that I began to hate it. Now that school is back in it wasn’t so hard pulling away because I already experienced (over the summer) the stress of trying to update my blog, FB page and Twitter hourly. It was draining and stressful.

    I appreciate everything you put into this blog but I respect you and other moms who blog, when they have the honesty to say that “HECK no! There is no way that I am giving my children & husband the attention they deserve and still managing to update my social networks every 10 minutes”.

    LET”S JUST BE REAL…SOMETHING IS BEING NEGLECTED.

    I hate to come an ramble on peoples blogs but that’s my 2¢

  75. I hear you! It is so easy to think there is so much to do online when really there’s not. I look at my reader and my blog drafts and my email and so on and feel the need to “keep up”. But I just have to stop and leave it. Glad to hear you’re reminding me too 😉

  76. I recently came to the exact same conclusions, yet keep getting sucked back in. Thanks for encouraging me to stay the course!

  77. I feel you with the time suck that is blogging and social media. Getting my “brand” and blog off of the ground has taken months of surfing, commenting, learning, tweeting, etc and when I am not on the computer, I am thinking that I should be on the computer. They say if you keep posting, they will come, but notice they never tell you how long it will take to really get it in gear? You can lose the point of why you started and sight of your priorities really quickly. I struggle with it daily and am at the point where I have to have a sort of weekly meeting with myself to go over my goals and focus. (Strangely, having a meeting with myself is often just as unproductive as having meetings with others!)

    You have already given us a lot of great content to work with, take a break of sort and let the work you have already done do the driving for a while. You deserve it!

  78. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!! As always Amy, you hit the nail on the head. I am doing way to much shushing and feeling I am not keeping up. My family is more important than that and so am I.

    TIME TO RE-EVALUATE! Thanks for the reminder.

  79. I totally hear you. I’ve come to grips with the fact that I cannot launch products, run a BlogFrog community, write for other sites, and do a bazillion other blogging-related tasks.

    I can blog and I can do a little bit of Twitter/Facebook, but that’s just about it.

  80. I just want you to know that your blog is of value to me. I read your posts and implement many of the suggestions. So if you ever feel like you are blogging to no one, you at least have one fan. Keep up the good work, not matter what you do!

  81. Fabulous post, Amy! I’m doing much the same for very similar reasons. I just wrote about this, too, but not as eloquently as you did. But I’m not comparing! 😉

    My blog posts may be slowing down, but I’m SO excited about being a family again.

    I loved the time we spent together at a table at the original SavvyBlogging round table discussion! Thanks for sharing your heart, then and now.

  82. You’ve written a lot of great posts, but I’m just about sure this one takes the cake.

    Thanks for keeping it real and honest… and thanks for being YOU!

  83. I thought your posting had slowed down, but I’m so glad for the reason.

    I published a post on Blogher a few months ago about feeling like a hypocrite as a blogger b/c I simply couldn’t reply or link back to all those that commented, tweeted etc. about me.

    My ultimate conclusion was that the readers worth keeping will understand the demands on my time and that I would much rather be seen as a hypocritical blogger than a hypocritical wife and mother.

    I think I’m going to try John Morrow’s approach and post less and try to guest post a little more and spend more time with my daughter.

  84. Hi Amy,
    I think you are taking a great step in your life. I hate that the computer takes a big part of the day. I was writing a frugal blog a few months ago and decided it took too much time so I started a pet blog. It doesn’t take as long and like you I hate writing but I like to pass what I learn onto others.

    I want more time to persue my photography, devote more time to my dogs, travel, see friends, go to church etc.

    Still my emails and the blogs I try to keep up on take so much time. Good for you for making a goal and sticking with it. Hopefully I will learn to do that soon too.

  85. I think you are very, very wise to take a step back.

    I agree that it IS hard to not compare yourself and want to grow, grow, GROW!!

    Just last night I was tellling my husband that I want to really understand my intention in doing everything that I do… everything.

    For me, I want my actions (and heart) to glorify God. If they don’t, they need to go. (And just for anyone who might think that is extreme, I firmly believe that things as little as painting my daughters fingernails count as glorifying God. I’m enjoying His blessing and showing love… So it isn’t as lofty as it sounds.)

    I don’t want to write posts to bring traffic. I want to write only the ones I truly care about in some way… either for me or in sharing with others.

    It’s easy to get caught up in the blogging rush… Kudos to you for taking a step back.

    1. I want to really understand my intention in doing everything that I do…For me, I want my actions (and heart) to glorify God.

      Right there with ya, Amy!

  86. Having just started in the blogging world, I quickly realized that I feel like I’m stuck to the computer more than I am to my son or activities with ‘real’ people. This post has really helped me a lot, I’ve been trying to get my blog going, so I know that takes time; however, my prime responsibility is my faith, husband, son, and family…then my PT job and lastly my blog.

    I am now realizing I have to set restrictions on myself not to be on the computer certain times a day and if my blog doesn’t get posted immediately no one will die without it! It’s very easy to get sucked in and start comparing, I’ve realized that quickly.

    I am happy for you and the plan you set, I think we all need to take lessons from that.

  87. I can relate in many, many ways. I have taken a step back lately, too and I have to remind myself more times than I care to admit not to compare myself to others online. It’s hard not to, but it’s not helpful or encouraging at all to do so, either.

    I think you’re taking some very positive steps!

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