Maybe you’ve noticed that I haven’t been following the rules of Blogtober or you are too busy living life to keep up with my internet disasters, either way, I feel like I owe you an explanation. When I became aware of Blogtober, I jumped at the chance to participate, thinking that by doing so I would up my follower count and finally my blog’s momentum would start rolling. If I am, to be honest, a certain level of FOMO played a role as well. With my impetuous nature firing in all directions, I jumped head(not feet) first into the sea of bloggers and launched my first Blogtober expedition. I didn’t consider the logistics of having to publish a post everyday. I didn’t consider how my day to day life would be impacted, what appointments I had scheduled, nor how my family would continue to call me or demand my attention despite me constantly telling them that I have deadlines to meet, I mean why should they change because I want to have a life, right? The fire of my impulsiveness was lit and I let those flames roar.
I’ll let you in on a secret, I had OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The way OCD operates in my life is complicated, I mean, would it be me if it weren’t complicated, c’mon. While I am not gonna get into a list of my OCD traits, one of the ways that OCD affects me the most is my number fixation(obsession is probably more accurate). I remember numbers to funeral homes(don’t ask), I know the times of my grandma, mom, and sisters passing to the minute and sometimes I watch the clock in a trance-like state waiting for those times to strike, feeling like someone is choking the life out of me, don’t worry, I am in therapy. If you put me on a rigid time schedule or attempt to give me a timed exam, I will dissolve into tears because I won’t be able to stop looking at the clock nor will I be able to stop the clock ticking sounds that I hear in my head, it’s a whole thing. So, why am I telling you all of this? Because I want you to understand why committing to Blogtober sent me tail spinning into anxiety and panic. If someone would’ve told me that Blogging, the thing that I love and am building a career upon would one day cause me to have full-blown panic attacks, I would’ve laughed in their face, until Blogtober!
I am not a blogger who has a bunch of blogs waiting in queue to be published. I write by inspiration. My posts may come from a dream, a memory, an experience, and of course life lessons. Inspiration will hit and I grab a pen and start writing, I have many unfinished works in my notebook but I have to be inspired to finish them, if the wave isn’t there the words don’t flow. Blogtober, in my opinion, requires a lot of prep work and planning, both of which I hadn’t done. Because I lacked a full understanding of what my undertaking required, I set myself up for failure. My anxiety spiraled, I became focused on clicks, likes, and the most crippling of all, numbers. I saw how I was only gaining about 3 followers per post, the Instagram algorithm had me reeling, and I was losing my sh#t, rapidly. Finally, I realized that I just had to take a L and opt-out of Blogtober.
Now before you cry for me, there is a light at the end of this self-imposed tunnel. Because my quest was so hard on me mentally and I wasn’t able to be a productive as I wanted to be, I sat still and asked myself what was causing all of this, I am such a “get the lesson type of person.” What I learned changed how I run my day to day life as a Blogger. From my inquiry into me, I saw how attached I had become to outcomes and how deeply my love-hate relationship with social media runs(we will discuss that in a different post, it’s coming). In a matter of weeks, I had become everything I vowed to never be. I pride myself on being a person who doesn’t really care about the numbers. Of course, I want growth and I want people to click on my links, otherwise I would be back in a classroom and not on the worldwide web, but I wasn’t one to beat myself up for not having 2000 likes and 10,000 followers, until Blogtober. Yet, there I was being defeated by the lie that I wasn’t growing because I had re-branded, not true at all. Once the anxiety cloud lifted and I balanced my internal world, I got busy restructuring my days, arranging a schedule that would give me flexibility and help me increase my productivity without driving myself insane. I implemented the use of Buffer, the scheduling app, so that I could take the job of posting to my social media accounts off of my plate. Once a week, per my new schedule, I sit down, plan, and schedule my content for all of my accounts. Having one fewer item on my daily to-do list has done wonders for me. I am less anxious when I sit down to my desk and I am writing more. Most importantly, I have detached from the outcome. I know that I am putting my best out into this virtual world, consistently educating myself with books, classes, and webinars; my efforts are paying off. My engagement is good, my numbers climb daily, and I am making connections with awesome women whom I will be collaborating with in the future. Blogtober didn’t unfold the way I envisioned but I think it did exactly what it was supposed to do, teach me a lesson.
THANK YOU BLOGTOBER!