Blogging is a funny old game. It can easily become all-consuming even when it’s just a hobby. I have loved it as a creative outlet for over a year now but recently I’ve not had the same motivation to write a post.
In fact, in all honesty I’ve felt downright uninspired of late.
You may, or may not have noticed
that I’ve only published two posts this month – one about the MP Tracey Crouch and the other about our family day out to Hall Place, Bexley. Yes I’ve been busy with the family. Teaching and running some mindfulness sessions have also taken up my time, but this constant juggling act that most people are contending with doesn’t usually stop me.
So what’s changed? Well I think there’s a number of things in play here.
A major factor may well be that a few weeks ago I went self-hosted. To the non-bloggers out there this may not mean much. However what it does mean is that I feel a little more pressure (self-imposed of course) to blog. As explained by Williams and Penman in Frantic World pressure like this (internal or external) can quash creativity. This is because the parts of our brain connected with being creative ‘close down’ when fear becomes involved. The fear doesn’t have to be something nightmarish; just a small dose of uncertainty that can creep in is enough to hold us back.
It could be:
- fear of missing a deadline
- fear of what people may think
- fear of whether you are making a wise investment of time and resources
- fear of failure
Any of these – and much more besides – can stop people from feeling inspired to do something.
This is demonstrated very clearly by the ‘mouse in the maze’ study carried out in 2001 and referred to in chapter 7 of Williams and Penman’s seminal work.
In summary, a group of students were asked to solve a maze puzzle. The idea, which most of you will know, is to draw a line from the middle of the maze to the outside without crossing a line. The students had been tasked to help a ‘cartoon mouse’ escape. However, there was a difference – one group were working to help the mouse get to a piece of cheese and a second group were challenged to help the mouse escape an owl. Initially the results were similar – both groups completed the puzzle in around two minutes. However, after that there was a divergence. Both groups were set an apparently unrelated task that measured creativity – the group that was in a negative frame of mind (escaping the owl) did 50% worse than those who had had the more positive mindset of helping the mouse get to the cheese.
So what does this tell us? Well for me maybe I’ve become ‘trapped’ by my own ‘sense of responsibility’ to a new self-hosted blog which has in turn dampened my feelings of creativity, playfulness and flexibility when it comes to blogging.
This does ring true. Somewhere along the way I have started to see the blog as ANOTHER commitment in my busy life as opposed to remembering that it is a hobby. For others, who have also lost their love for blogging, or another hobby, or who are just not feeling as creative as they once did, this information certainly is ‘food for thought’.
So what’s the solution? Well luckily I don’t blog to make an income so by just being aware of the negativity that I’m feeling right now and noticing it may help it dissipate. Losing the ‘blogging mojo’ is fairly common according to some lovely members of this blogging community who I contacted and who all immediately got back to me with supportive and reassuring words.* It means I can afford to ‘wait it out’ and from now on I will not put any pressure on myself to blog every few days. I will just sit down to write a post when I feel inspired to do so.
So if you don’t hear from me for a while you know why. But I will pop back when I feel like it. Removing the feeling of being trapped by my own blogging routine will hopefully activate my ‘approach’ mode to writing again soon.
In the mean time take care and enjoy your summer.