Escape from the land of "shoulds"

This week I wrote about 2011 being the year of doing less and saying goodbye to my list of "shoulds".  Well, this applies to my blog too.  The sad truth is I've felt tired of blogging lately and it's mostly because of the expectations I impose on myself, a nasty little list of shoulds.  I have tried many times to free myself from this list of shoulds, but they keep coming back. 

I should... post a predefined number of times a week, and post something extraordinary and exciting and dazzling. It doesn't matter whether it's what I want to post, it should be something I think people will like.
I should use my own photographs.  And I should be a good photographer.
I should be visiting and commenting on other blogs all the time and aggressively developing relationships with fellow bloggers. I should be ambitious about my blog.  I should be committed.  I should act like it's a business.

All these shoulds can smother the freedom and joy of blogging, and I've been struggling with them for awhile.  I keep trying to cut the cords - unsuccessfully. So I want to redefine my relationship with this blogging pastime. I don't want to swallow the culture of blog-land lock, stock, and barrel.  What makes for a brilliant blog may not make for a wonderful life. And I don't want to confuse the two.

I'm tired of the oppressive need for the new.  New outfits, new rooms, new finds, new crafts, new books, new ideas.  There is nothing wrong with new.  But I'm tired of the speed of it all, the demands.

I'm tired of "doing" and "consuming".  I want to "be" more.  And guess what?  "Being" can be dull to blog about. This leads to a sense of guilt and shame - isn't my life boring if I have nothing exciting to blog about?  But where do I get this idea from? Who says our lives "should" constantly be exciting and new at a constant bracing speed? Isn't that a dangerous expectation?

I think what it comes down to is that the blogging culture and pressures and rules I feel immersed in are just not a good fit with where I'm at and what I want in life right now.

So there's going to be some changes... I'm escaping from the land of shoulds!

What I want to blog about in 2011:

Writing - my journey as a writer trying to get published.
Books and movies - as I'm inspired.
Philosophical musings - these just happen, I can't help it.
And the things I've been afraid to write about, but where I really hope to inspire and help others.  One being my own struggles with growing older and losing my rose colored glasses -  endometriosis and growing and grieving through the loss of my dreams around motherhood.
Bits of beauty here and there - it might be visual inspiration, craft, fashion, style, decor, food, but this is as I feel inspired and not the focus.

And I want to blog as I'm inspired.  Not on a schedule.  I'm burning the shoulds.

And while that bonfire is crackling, I'm going to be on a blog break for at least two weeks.

I wish all of you a Happy New Year!  And the bravery to finally do that thing that's been nagging at you for a long time...


  1. Can't wait to start hearing what's really on your mind! To 2011!

  2. Good for you. I think you are a very wise woman and are most likely hitting a chord with many other bloggers out there. Did you know I have endometriosis..just thought I'd share because I remember thinking the same thing on motherhood.

    Well take us along on your journey as a writer and may you be very fulfilled in 2001.

    xx - Christina

  3. Excellent post, look forwards to seeing you back in the New Year x

  4. Wow, yes, talking about hitting a chord with ME! Sister, you struck me right where I live.

    I love this post and your 'should-ing' post too. Loved them so much that I blogged on my own dusty,long-neglected, shut-down little blog.

    I'm kinda in a hard,dark,sad little place in my life right now and I haven't wanted to blog about it because, really, who wants to read my b*tching and moaning when there are so many happy,shiny,sparkly blogs to read,right? Then I read your 'should' list and KAZAAM, I realized just how badly I've been should-ing on myself with a few of many of them being "I should only write beautiful positive happy thoughtful perfect blog-posts" and "I should keep my woes,troubles and darkness to myself and not advertise it to the world."

    So, I blow a big fat raspberry to my own 'shoulds' *PPFFFFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTTTTT*

  5. Thanks everyone for the encouragement and comments!
    Christina - I didn't realize you had the endo too. Thanks for letting me know. It's often so good to know I'm not alone and that others have had positive outcomes.
    CM - I'm glad I hit a chord - I very much relate. We can't all be fairy princesses riding on a cloud of sugardust and sequins all the time. Life has it's shadow times too - I get it sista!

  6. dear christina..
    this is one of the most refreshing posts i have seen in a LONG time... i sure hope you will feel better about blogging and dont put so much pressure on yourself... blog when you feel like it... not pressured that you have to.

    wishing you peace, happiness and love this new year... and i agree... let;s just be... and not make ourselves nuts... (i will give it a try if you do!)
    xx pam

  7. Hi,
    Your comment, "And I want to blog as I'm inspired. Not on a schedule," struck a chord with me.
    I CANNOT blog anything unless I'm inspired in some way. It has to "hit" me. If it hits me at 2:00 am while I'm in bed, I'll get up & type.
    Possibly when we MAKE ourselves blog, we don't say what we really want to say.
    (I was INSPIRED to write this comment :)

  8. Once again you have articulated exactly where I'm at....or not at - as the case maybe....I have only managed to get two posts done, havent even officially launched my blog yet and already I feel encumbered by the "shoulds" My new mantra is let it happen, relax - I have a lot to learn and it won't happen over night. Thanks for the reminder to be kind to myself.

  9. I just discovered your blog today and I love it. If this is your boring everyday writing, then sign me. It is what makes you easy to relate to. Life IS the everyday moments and making them count. So to hell with the "shoulds"!