Is This Just Hammer Pants?

When you’re trying to grow your blog, you have those days when you question yourself. Today is definitely one of those days for me.

I’m questioning what the heck I’m really doing here. I think about where I want to be and look at where I’m at, and I wonder if I’m doing the right thing.

Will we all look back at blogging one day like we look back at Hammer Pants?

I can see it now. Mom bloggers will be one of topics on VH1’s I love the 2010’s.

Whenever those episodes come on TV everyone at our house will point and laugh at us.

It could totally happen.

I think one of the problems I have is that I’ve never really been able to establish myself under any one niche. I homeschool, but I’m not one of those moms. I’m a christian, but I write about everything, not just my faith. I’m a mom, but I’m also a wife, friend, sister, and woman. I have a son who has some special needs, but I get tired of writing about that too, because he’s more than a label, and sometimes I want a break from focusing on that.

For the most part I liked that about me. I have never been able to define myself with a tagline, so I quit trying. But, I wonder if that hurts me as a blogger?

Would it be easier for me to build my blog if  it was more clearly defined?

I’m beginning to see that it’s difficult to build a blog brand centered around me writing about whatever the heck I want to, whenever the heck I want. But, that’s the nature of my writing. I write about life. Everything under the sun affects my writing. My mood, my interests, my day, the direction the wind blows…

So, is that a winning blog strategy? Probably not.

Every once in a while I get a new “like” or a new reader stumbles upon me, and I get all excited. Because, I cherish each and every one of you. And I love each new face that comes by! But, the truth is there aren’t that many new faces each day. I don’t really grow all that much, and things just sort of stay the same.

So I do what can to read posts about improving this or that. I’ve even taken courses to help me with content and building blog community.

I try to get myself out there by submitting guest posts for other sites. Often times for free, because I just hope to gain some exposure for the blog and enjoy meeting new people.

I try to visit others, but I can never get to everyone. I try to respond to each comment, but I miss some. Because, I run out of time.

I try to do this thing, but I wonder if its all worth it.

Is this blog dream worth the time I spend away from my family?

In some ways, I’m doing this for my family. I’ve been paid enough for things here and there that my boys know that blogging does bring in a little pocket change every now and then. So, that helps, but it doesn’t make it easy to brush my kids off so I can write sponsored content, or try to make the time to turn my notes into a useful blog post. I don’t get paid for things enough that my time in the blog world is respected as “working”. Most of time it just seems like I’m on the computer a lot.

There are things I do outside of this blog that take time. I believe that community involvement is an important part of building your blog, and I love meeting new people. But it takes time to be a part of things elsewhere.

How about social media? I struggle to keep up with the Jones’, and I probably end up doing a mediocre job. Because, it takes time.

There are things I want to do that I don’t ever get to, like submitting my writing to more places or finding a blog sponsor to work with. Who knew? That takes time.

I find myself questioning my priorities, and I don’t like that. Whenever I feel like I’ve gotten of track I know what I need to do.

I need to spend some time with my Heavenly Father in prayer and in The Word.

There’s got to be a way to do it all.

I just wish I knew how.

It’s my dream to find something that allows me to write professionally. I’d love to find a regular freelance opportunity or submit my work to magazines. If this blog can be a stepping stone in the process than that is awesome! I just hope that’s what it is.

Because if I’m chasing pipe dreams, then this blog is just Hammer Pants.

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Adrienne is a Florida homeschooling mom of two boys, follower of Jesus, and lover of words. She's an imperfect parent surviving on God's grace and mercy, lots of yoga, and regular doses of salty ocean air! Find her as @TheMommyMess on Twitter and connect with her on Facebook.

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Comments

  1. says

    I hope the blog brings you everything you want! I bet it will because you are working at it and things are happening for you!

    I’d love for blogging to lead to other opportunities (love it) but if it just turns out to be hammer pants for me, I’m okay with that. I really liked hammer pants back in the day, and they made me happy (even if they are embarrassing now!)
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..It’s All Fun and Games Until Your Child’s Head Itches During A Lice OutbreakMy Profile

  2. says

    ABSOLUTELY GET YOU!!!!! I could have written this EXACT same post…except I don’t make a cent yet!!! Oh Adrienne… what do we do?? I am still trying to find a balance of it all… my passion/prayer/patience/parenthood… it’s always a struggle. I just blew off volunteering at school so I could get through all the blogs I need to read! Wise choice? Ugh. I want what you want. I want to write and be seen and find professional pursuits too! I wish we could just have a publicist take us by hand and make it all happen!!! Until then…let us agree to balance this juggling act with God’s wisdom and discernment!!! Have faith my friend…that’s all we can really do.
    Chris Carter recently posted..Coach Daddy Asks…My Profile

  3. says

    I understand how you feel, Adrienne; when you put so much of yourself into your blog and then it feels like the growth is slow to come. I feel that way sometimes, too. But in the end, any discouragement I may feel is countered by the fact that, when it comes right down to it, I love my blog. I love to write. And I love making friends and finding that connection with others when I read posts just like this one.
    Kim@Co-Pilot Mom recently posted..Super Boy!My Profile

  4. says

    I began blogging more as a journal of our home ed journey and so that my relatives and nay-sayer friends could see all the incredible things that we do and the opportunities that our family has because of the choice. Now my blog has become a huge resource for myself and other families, however I have no idea where we would be without that focus. I have made some really incredible and true connections that I never would have made without my blog.
    As with everything in life though, if at any point the work begins to outweigh all of the benefits I gain from the endeavor, I would stop doing it.
    I enjoy reading your posts and hope that you continue!
    Best of luck!

    • says

      Thanks for your kind words, Gina! I love some many aspects of blogging. I can’t imagine saying good bye. But, I think I need to look at how often I post and time spent online. It’s all about balance.

  5. says

    Hi Adrienne – Yes, I really feel what you are saying. I, too, wonder whether the effort involved in blogging has been worth it. My growth has been slow, and I have yet to do anything that makes money. I enjoy doing it very much, but the pull from all of the other things I should be doing too is strong. In terms of really developing a focus, I am working on that but it’s still a work in progress. Like you, I have writing dreams, but am not sure if I can make them come true (some days I am more confident, some days less!).

    Gaye
    Gaye @CalmHealthySexy recently posted..Strategy #8 – Organize Something! – CalmHealthySexy 2013My Profile

  6. Nancy says

    I totally understand what you’re saying. I started a blog a few years ago and never really went anywhere with it. Like you I can’t focus only on 1 aspect of who I am and what I do. I’m a stay-at-home homeschooling mom. I have only boys, so things get a little crazy around here some time. My oldest is a high functioning asperger, my youngest is the poster boy for ADHD. I have my own health issues to deal with. I think that’s why I like reading your blog, I don’t feel like I’m the only one. My life is always going in 4 or 5 directions at the same time and knowing that there is other moms like me makes me believe that I may be doing it right after all. So keep writing about your mess and know that you are not alone either.

    • says

      I like reading other blogs that share a look at everyday life. Whatever that may be. I’m drawn to those bloggers who write. Who share a piece of themselves in their post. I hope that’s what I give others. I’m just going to keep chugging along. :)

  7. says

    Blog for you. Blog when you can. Keep at it. The right people will find you and you will make your dream come true…because you want it so much. That is what I got out of reading this. Blogging may be Hammer pants in the future but at least you can say you knew how to rock them! ;-)

  8. says

    I’ve often struggled with where I want my blog to be but after some soul searching and thinking about it for awhile I realized that I write for me.
    Once I came to that realization things fell into place.
    You have a great blog.. keep it up
    Leighann recently posted..Just Hold My HandMy Profile

  9. says

    Hi Adrienne! I just found your blog. I’m totally with you as far as blogging whatever on any given day and “keeping up with the Joneses” with social media. I agree with Kristen… just keep plugging away!
    Jeanne recently posted..Because He Is AwesomeMy Profile

  10. says

    I totally get this and often feel the same way. I have a general niche in that I write about fitness and health but I also write about whatever it is that I want to write about – I write about my life. And frankly, those are the blogs and the writers that I’m drawn to – people who are open and share their stories, no matter what those stories may be or what niche they fall under. But it’s also a matter of finding out what works best for you and your family. I struggle with this a lot in terms of how much time I spend on blogging and social media and thus away from my family. You’re definitely not alone in this!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Am I a hypocrite?My Profile

    • says

      Thanks, Christine! It’s nice to know I’m not alone on this one. I also write about whatever I want. Generally speaking, I have a mom blog. I mean hello! The MOMMY Mess! I certainly have more direction than I had two years ago, and I think my niche is sharing honest stories about being a mom. Hopefully people can relate and they enjoy the time they spend here. That’s all I can really ask for.

  11. says

    Thank you for this post! I just happened to find your blog on the SITS site and I’m so glad I did. I’m a new blogger trying to find my place in the blogging world. Just tonight I thought to myself I should just give up, I’m not a real blogger and I don’t have a niche. However, your post gave me the encouragement I really did need this evening. I look forward to reading more about your journey as a wife, mother and blogger!
    Kristi recently posted..Top 5 Ways to Make Money OnlineMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks, Kristi! I really appreciate that. To be honest, I don’t really want a niche. I want to be able to write about any old thing, and hopefully people will like it. I guess when it all comes down to it. I love blogging! And the reasons I love it have nothing to do with the the professional side of things. I love the community, the outlet, the therapy of writing, and I love meeting new people like you! Thanks for coming by and leaving such a sweet comment.

  12. says

    Yes. SO much yes. This is where I am – hoping that my blog will lead to something that will pay regularly. Not wanting to be confined to one or two subjects. Feeling like I spend a lot of time on something that is not bringing in that much money. A little discouraged. Trying to find balance.
    Tracie recently posted..Today’s Special Time TravelMy Profile

  13. says

    I know exactly how you feel! I’ve been blogging for 3 years and I often question my direction, voice, etc. I am actually getting ready to redesign my blog, for a fresh start. I think it’s part of the process and we all go through it at some point. I’m with you – I blog about whatever I feel like it and sometimes I feel like I need more of a niche..or do I? I have used my blog as a stepping stone to land work. Don’t give up, keep doing this for you….you are a great writer :)

    • says

      Thanks, Tina! I really appreciate that! I love your blog and think it’s great too! I think changing things up sometimes just goes with the territory. The design and writing is based on our moods and thoughts, and let’s face it, mine are all over the place! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I don’t have a niche.
      Again, your kind words put a smile on my face. :) < -see? that's me smiling.
      Adrienne recently posted..Featured Blogger-The Dose of RealityMy Profile

  14. says

    Will we all look back at blogging one day like we look back at Hammer Pants? – I laughed out loud! Your writing on this post has so clearly spoken to all of us bloggers out there, so take heart! Because most of us feel the same way, the same doubt, the same (lack of) growing pains, and the same joy of writing.

    In some ways, we’re like crafters who don’t sell a lot at craft shows. Or actors who spend their careers as extras rather than the star of the show. But we write because we love it and can’t imagine not writing. Will we get a “big break” one day? Invent the Topsy Tail and sell out? Who knows! I’m rambling now. I’ll stop.
    Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom recently posted..Parenting Classes That YOU Wish Were OfferedMy Profile

    • says

      I feel the same way about my son. Although, this blog has never been focused on that, I have shared about his struggles a lot, but two years later, he’s 14 now. I don’t want to invade his privacy. I have actually set many of my old posts about him to private. I’m not sure how I will continue to share his story. But, I hear ya. It’s hard to pick a niche. Our lives change so quickly. Good luck with any direction you take! It will be great!
      Adrienne recently posted..Featured Blogger-The Dose of RealityMy Profile

  15. says

    You are not alone on this, but you have articulated it in the coolest way I have ever heard! I’m no niche blogger either – ie, yoga, fitness, being a mom, life, etc. and I have asked myself so many of the same questions – I don’t have an answer for you but I do know that I’m not ready to unplug the laptop yet. I really love blogging!
    ilene recently posted..Three Things That Make A DifferenceMy Profile

  16. says

    I just found your blog today as a result of the January 2013 blog hop. I picked the blogs I chose to visit by random. I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason and that God does in fact have a plan for our lives. With all of that being said….

    You are NOT alone in your quest to find balance with the blogging world and life in general. I also home school my two boys and deal with a 1 year old as well. My house is NEVER immaculate as much as I wish it was, but my husband is very supportive and understanding and does what he can to pitch in. Our family has seen a lot of fruit from the laboring hours I put in blogging. It’s far better in my book to be at HOME working on my computer able to still interact with my kids than it is for me to be gone working 80-90 hours a week in a restaurant and not see them like I was doing prior to quitting work.

    I started out blogging just for me as a means of releasing what I was feeling on the inside and also to gain some “adult” interaction. The good Lord lead me into the other directions of gaining income and products for my efforts. I’m not getting rich by any means, but my income has steadily increased and the amount of products has definitely increased over the past year and a half.

    If you stay true to who you are and follow God’s lead, I promise you that it will work out. I look forward to getting to know you more!!
    Crystal Green recently posted..Weight Loss Challenge 2013 #2 UpdateMy Profile

    • says

      Haha! Of course you would have a clever answer to this conundrum. It’s true! I look back through posts and I feel the same way. I love to write. I love the people I’ve met, and I love the opportunities that have come my way. I’m just gonna keep truckin’ along. :)
      Adrienne recently posted..Featured Blogger-The Dose of RealityMy Profile

  17. says

    Adrienne girl, two years ago, i was where you’re at. I can tell you this, this blog looks awesome, I’ve read two awesome posts so far, (got to go check out that brazil butt post) and i think you’re doing great and just need to have faith girl. everything takes time. besides the services i offer from my blog, i also write review posts every now and then based on products/services that pay real commission. it will happen for u girl, just have faith and feel free to drop me a line anytime.
    vanita recently posted..Make Google Love Your BlogMy Profile

  18. says

    I’m a big believer in doing what you love. In my mind, as long as writing on my blog makes me happy and feel fulfilled, then it’s all worth it. But, then again, I’m not trying to use it as a stepping stone to anywhere else. I can see how that would be frustrating.

    I hope you find what you’re looking for. I hope you do spend some serious time in reflection with God to see if this is what your heart really needs. And I hope many good things come your way.

    Thanks for sharing. Happy Sharefest. I hope you have a lovely weekend.
    misssrobin recently posted..What are My Options When My Husband is Mean?My Profile

      • says

        I suppose it makes it harder to distinguish yourself as a blogger, but if your voice and writing style are unique that can be what sets you apart.

        I’ve got another blog about the parallels between motherhood and running, and that niche is so small, I seem to be the only one in it : (

        It’s at http://www.momshomerun.com. Most running blogs are about races and how fast your heart rate is going, and I write about the psychological side of things. Sometimes I wonder if a nice can be too small!
        Momfever recently posted..Children&#8217;s birthday parties: am I selling out?My Profile

        • says

          This post came at just the right time! I have a son with special needs and I’ve blogged about that journey (www.christiansjourney.com) for the last 4 years. I wanted to branch out and have fun with my writing so I started my new blog. That was a wake up call! People followed my son’s blog because it was compelling. I didn’t have to work at all for followers. Just wrote and they followed.

          But now, I’ve had to work for every. Single. Follower. And it takes a lot of hours! Sometimes I wonder what I got myself into and if I’ll suffer from blog burn out. I also struggle with finding a niche because we are so many things! And that’s why I started my new blog – to write about whatever I want!

          So where do we go from here? Just forward. That’s what I keep telling myself.

          Loved this post with my whole heart. And avidly wore hammer pants when they wee around.