Time for a Change

Almost two and a half years ago, I wrote this post about “blogging burn-out.” After a mere three months of blogging, I experienced my first speed bump and true test where I had to decide to quit or forge on. Obviously, I decided to push forward and I’m so grateful that I did, but let’s revisit some of my thoughts that day:

August 4, 2012

I’ve hit that point. That point when you question whether or not you want to continue what it is that you’re doing. You question whether or not you have the time or energy or resources to do it. And you know that if you stop it now, you won’t pick it up again (at least, not for a long time).

Blogging the past few months has been a great experience. I have loved being more creative, putting myself out there, and learning so much about photo editing, writing, fashion, style, and more. I know I have a long ways to go, but it has been a rewarding experience. However, I’m at that point in the summer where my priorities are taking over. I have a teaching job now that will require all of me–my heart, my brain, my energy, my time. I want very badly to be that super woman who you see all over the blogosphere: the woman who can balance a full-time job, a family, a spouse, friends, crafting, AND blogging. I often wonder, “How do they do it? And how can I learn?”

So, I’m at a standstill. I’m not happy with where my blog is now (even though I am proud of how far I’ve come in such a short time), but I have major plans to improve it. The problem is, do I have the time and the energy to do it?

I think I want to prove to myself that I can do this. Even during my first year of teaching. Because what better time to document my life than when I am moving out and everything is changing?  

It’s strange to me how much has changed in my life over the past few years, yet after reading this, seemingly nothing is different. At the core, many of our thoughts, desires, and ambitions are largely the same; they just take different forms as we grow and emerge into the people we are meant to become. While I am in an extremely different place now than I was then, I still go through periods of blogging burn out and have to ask myself if I should continue on or not.

When I began blogging, I had no idea what I was doing. As a result, I just decided to do it all. I published multiple DIY posts, fashion-inspired posts, and ramblings in the same week and held a giveaway after a week of blogging. I talked about everything and anything, without having a clue what it really meant to generate good content or to have a brand or market to an audience and certainly not how to monetize or manage sponsorships or anything that would come later. In some ways, I envy that ignorance. It was always fun and exciting and I could make big strides quickly, celebrating mini successes more frequently.

Blogging has changed dramatically in the past few years that I’ve been a part of it and, for the most part, I’ve remained flexible enough to rise and fall with the ebbs and flows. With each new rising “trend,” I would adapt but still stick to my own ideals for what this space means and will continue to mean to me. What was known about being creative online then is different from what it is now. Even marketing one’s blog has altered so significantly over the past year. And now, nearly everyone has their own blog. And that’s more than okay–it’s welcomed, even. We all have a place and a purpose in this blogophere. But this inclusion has definitely changed this avenue in ways we’re still learning so much about.

Back in May, I finally scratched an itch that I had been experiencing for many many months by doing a complete overhaul of my blog–switching themes and making things pretty. It was instrumental in propelling me forward with my blog and giving me the creative juice to stay motivated with a new business and content-driven mindset. While I’m certainly no where near that ambitious goal, I am proud of the progress I have made over the year.

Still, somewhere along the line, life happened. After the last two tumultuous years, I was finally experiencing fulfillment in my work and in my personal life that took precedence over the blog at times. And that was more than okay. Life (family, friends, work, etc.) first, blog second. Always. And in the midst of this, I’ve hit another speed bump, roadblock, obstacle course, burn out.

I’m stuck.

And for the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why or what to do about it.

Before you get ahead of yourself, I’m not going anywhere. I still value blogging so very much and want to continue to blog for the unforeseeable future. HOWEVER, I do think it’s about time for a change. A big change. I don’t know when or how or even what some of these changes will be like or take place, but I do know they will happen.

I sat down with Kristin this past weekend for yoga and brunch (which is the perfect combination, by the way) and we had a heart-to-heart about blogging. That’s how we met, after all. One of the many amazing things about Kristin is that she is fantastic at taking in your jumbled, disjointed thoughts and constructing them into logical steps to move forward. She was able to take things I hadn’t even worked out in my head once and generate an understanding and direction I’ve so been missing these past few months. I left with a to-do list of things I am going to work through and while I am nowhere near the implementation, I am at least taking those initial baby steps.

I don’t exactly know what form this blog will take or if I will start fresh or what I will do just yet, but I know that I am so blessed to have such wonderful and loyal readers who will support me no matter what. Change is uncomfortable and painful and it may turn some people away for good; while I will be sad to see some inevitably go, I will welcome the opportunity to pursue something I wholeheartedly believe in and enjoy. I will never downplay anything I have posted or created up to this point–without these growing pains and bits that I’m really proud of, I would never be in the fortunate place I am today to continue to be creative every single day.

All I ask of you, dear reader, is that you try to be patient and kind with me as I work out the kinks and pull on a coat of bravery. Maybe I won’t be posting as often. Maybe I’ll be messing with the design. Maybe I’ll be doing something very dramatic. Whatever it is, I would truly appreciate your support. It’s not easy to do this, sometimes. But it is always, always worth it.

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Hi! I'm Marissa. I'm a twenty-something dedicated to living life positively, sharing inspiration, developing my best self, and dressing the part. You can find me diving into a good book, looking for the ideal swing dancing partner, swooning over fabulous typography, or doing something ridiculous for blog's sake.

22 thoughts on “Time for a Change”

  1. Marissa, your integrity and honesty with yourself is so refreshing. I value change when it’s done for good reasons and it seems like you have run into a roadblock. I believe that if you communicate your true passion to your audience, you will shine, regardless how often you write. I come back and read blogs that have value, enlighten me, and are simply a joy to read whether they are posted once a week or once a month. Your website design is minimalist, which I love. If you know who you want to write to, you’ll find your path and the right audience. Regardless of the direction you take, you have a fan! Happy Holidays!

    1. Marlene, what did I do to deserve such an amazing and supportive friend? You really nailed it when you said about communicating my true passions. I’ve been figuring out what all of those are and so many things have changed in my life that I am excited to move forward with more intention and purpose. Targeting my ideal readers is the key, like you said! I am so grateful to have you!

  2. I read this post before on my iPad, but I wanted to comment and say that I’m with you 100%! Our blogs change over time, whether it happens subconsciously or not, because we’re always changing as people. I can’t wait to see what new things you bring to this blog! :)

    1. Sara, this comment was the best. Thank you. I completely agree–we’re living, breathing, changing people, and our blogs always reflect that. Thank you for always being so supportive! I know that you will continue to have amazing things on Sincerely, Sara and I’m so looking forward to it!

  3. You have to do you, and I am always a fan of change when it is needed. But, I hope you don’t move from this space – or at least keep your archives – because I think it’s so valuable to have a record from when you first began blogging. (I no longer do.) Penelope Trunk once told me in an e-mail, “a blog is a record of how you think. And it is normal to shift your thinking. If you keep starting over every time you shift your thinking you will have a hard time making a solid imprint of yourself online. People look you up online to see how you think over time, not just right now in this moment.” I really like that and I think it rings true. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, go for whatever changes you want, but hold onto your roots!

    1. Kate, I really really appreciated your comment. Thank you for taking the time to write and share that invaluable advice. I don’t think I could ever discredit ANY of the work I’ve done with TMA, no matter how silly or fluffy it has been because it’s also full of great and enjoyable content and, most importantly, a chronicle of my life post-college. I will likely (spoiler alert) move away from this space, but I will keep the archives alive and kicking.

  4. I completely understand. I feel like I’ve hit a mini road block as well. I know you will overcome and move forward, no matter how things go with the blog, you’ll still have me as a reader! :)

    1. Thank you so much, Jess! I really appreciate it. I hope you find your way around (or over or under) your road block. I know you will continue to do amazing things with your creativity! We should meet up again some time soon.

  5. You always have my support! You have been so instrumental in helping my find my direction and grow my blog. I’ve always loved what you’ve done here at TMA. I am excited to see where we go!

    1. Oh my gosh, Meghan! That is SO nice! I am honored to have made an impact–I had no idea. I hope you will find my new direction useful and interesting. I am so blessed to have been connected with you this past year!

  6. Marissa, I love you – your honesty, willingness to be vulnerable, creativity, huge heart, and friendship all are so inspiring and valuable to me. I have certainly been through periods of burnout with my blog as well, but I really am not ready to give it up. I know that my blog is changing and I am trying to figure out exactly which direction I want it to take, but I feel optimistic about its future. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for TMA!! Love you tons, buddy.

      1. Hello my dear! I did get your email a few weeks ago! Thank you so much for sending it – I am so sorry I haven’t responded yet – I’ve been having major struggles with my computer lately (such a dinosaur!!) and I hate doing any substantial typing from my phone, so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to respond to you on my lunch breaks this week ;) Also, thank you SO much for the sweet holiday card…I’ll be sending you something in the mail as well soon!!!

  7. it seems like so many of us are going through a questioning transition with our blogs lately, myself included! i wish i had read your post before i published the one i wrote today because it gave me so much encouragement that i’m not alone out there in wondering what this is all for! i look forward to seeing what you decide to do; you are so creative and passionate that i know it will be so positive! <3 ya marissa!

    1. I just read your post the other day and I want to reach out and talk more in detail about it, but it does seem like so many people are going through this interesting transition! Regardless of what you wrote or didn’t write, you still have a world of possibilities in front of you moving forward. I know that you have a voice that has a lot of very interesting and useful things to say. Don’t be afraid to (continue to) use it :) I’ll share more of my thoughts in an email soon, but I always always appreciate your support! <3 you too, Heidi!

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