Spoiler Alert: This is my final post.
What a journey we have been on for the last two and a half years. I never saw myself as a blogger but it has been a wonderful journey. Several things have led to my decision to end my blogging career . . . hobby . . . or whatever this is.
In January of this year I read the book Essentialism by Greg Mckeown. The basic question is what is absolutely essential in this phase of life and what isn’t? I have a two almost three year old son. He will never be this age again. And I want to enjoy this season as much as possible.
Later in the year I was at a Writer’s Conference. I remember talking with other people who write on the side and they had such a passion for it. They couldn’t wait to get home from their 9-5 job and continue writing their novel or blog or whatever. At this conference I was again exposed to the importance of social media and being present on line. I am really terrible at having an on-line presence. It is not essential to me, thus the struggle began to write consistently.
In the summer I was talking with a friend and she was telling me the steps she was taking to becoming a serious writer. She said, “I want to become the best writer that I can. I want to be known as a writer.” As we were sitting there at lunch I remember so clearly thinking, “I don’t. I don’t want to be known as a writer, I want to be known as a truly good friend.” I sat on this thought for quite some time.
Also during the summer my husband and I began marriage mentoring. We took a 250 question assessment about ourselves and our marriage. Some very interesting things came up from this. The main one being I had a ridiculously high stress level. This surprised both of us. As we were trying to decipher which things in my life were causing the most stress, I was challenged to draw an energy circle.
An energy circle is where you draw a circle. Then you divide the circle into pie shapes. A pie shape represents how much energy you are putting into that particular activity. My husband suggested adding a second layer and coloring in the amount of stress that each activity caused or inflicted.
I did this. It was enlightening and life changing. One of the categories was blogging. And the stress was fairly high because it is just me. I don’t have a collaborator. I don’t have anyone to help me with the online presence stuff. I began to really evaluate why I started the blog and if those same reasons were motivating me.
Then two more books came along, the first book was Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. This book has forever changed how I see my life and myself in my life. I have lived much of my life trying to prove that I am worthy or capable. The blog was a place that I was sorting this out. But I have sorted many things and have managed by God’s grace to not constantly live in a place of proving my worthiness. Or proving that I am capable. As I have strived to be an excellent friend I have found that I haven’t made time to write notes or emails to friends because all of my writing energy was going into the blog. As you may have noticed I have hardly posted in the last few months, and it is because I have been putting my writing energy other places.
The second book that came along was the Listening Life by Adam McHugh. As I finished this book I was so challenged by how a listening life is so much different than a telling life. By engaging the blog two times a week, I was spending much of my energy telling all of you about what I was learning or what was happening, but then not having the bandwidth and energy to truly listen to my people. Listening to my husband, listening to my son, listening to my extended family, listening to my friends. This is where I want to put my time and energy and where I have been putting my time and energy and thus the writing has been pushed to the side.
I started blogging because I had written a book. The book was amazing and fun to write. But then everyone told me I needed an on-line presence and I listened to them. I enjoyed the blogging experience and learned much about web design and widgets. But I don’t want to keep learning more and in an industry where the technology is changing ever so rapidly and what once was manageable and good has become cumbersome and stifling.
Also by blogging for two years I have finally accepted the fact that I am a writer. Apparently publishing a book was not enough to convince me, it took over a 100 posts to help me realize I am an author because I use words to communicate.
Thank you. Thank you for checking in every week to read about my small simple life. Thank you for leaving comments and being encouraging. Thank you for traveling on this journey with me. I found a website called Blog2Print and I am going to be working on getting all of my blogs printed into a book, not to publish but just for me to have. And who knows maybe another book will slip out of me again if I am not pushing myself to write twice a week here in this space.
I would love to hear from you. If you want to email me at SuzyHillegas@gmail.com I would love to spend some time writing a lengthy personal email back to you.
Be blessed and purpose to encourage the everyday woman in her everyday life.