The Winter of my Discontent

Fear.

Judgement.

Analysis Paralysis.

These are all words that go through my head when I sit down to write a blog post these days. I can barely bring myself to put my fingers on the keys, let alone actually hit “Publish” anymore.

Will I offend someone? Will I be judged for my lifestyle choices? Will my kids read something about themselves on my blog in 20 years that will make them hate me as a mother?

Blogging used to be a fun little side hobby where I posted about potty training my kid and working on my house projects. Basically whatever randomness floated through my mind was going on the blog without much of a second thought.

Now it’s my full-time job and I’m not gonna lie. I don’t like it anymore. In fact, there are days when I REALLY kinda hate it.

Which feels incredibly self-absorbed and entitled to say that because hello, first world problems, right?

But for the past three years, this fear and self-loathing has been at the top of my mind whenever I blog. I have been waiting for that feeling to change but if anything it’s gotten worse. The world has gotten louder and angrier in the past few years, and there are days when I just want to shut down all my social media sites and go curl up in my hidey-hole with a good book and not share a single thing about my life on the internet anymore.

Also, giving birth to a beautiful baby girl has made me hyper-aware of all creeps on the internet. I thought nothing of sharing every minute of motherhood when Garrett was a baby but with Caroline? It’s totally different. I look at every photo I post of her online and my paranoid delusions kick into high gear thinking of all the ways someone might try to kidnap her if I share too much of her life so publicly. Does that sound crazy?  Maybe, but it’s where I’m at these days.

I’m taking my meds, I promise.

But the world has changed, right? Can you feel the difference in it lately? The weight and heaviness of everything? How people communicate and respond and react differently to things that might not have even been a blip on the radar five or ten years ago? How polarized we all are and how we are not allowed to have middle-of-the-road opinions anymore?  We are forced to pick a side on everything but as soon as we do, the other side unfriends us immediately because apparently being friends with someone whose ideas differ from yours is totally against the rules.

Tolerance is gone. Respect is out the window. Honor is a ghost from some by-gone era. It all just feels very different to me these past few years.

Even blogging has changed tremendously.

What once felt like a sweet community of online friends getting together to chat online a few times a week has morphed into a cut-throat comparison trap where we all humble-brag about our “perfect” lives while squeezing in some odd product placement so we can collect our checks for our sponsored posts. I’m so tired of playing this game, but it’s all part of how bloggers earn money, so I don’t have much of a choice if I want to continue to get paid.

I die a little inside every time I open my Instagram feed because it’s completely filled with the perfectly fluffed and creamy corners of blogger’s homes, nary a pile of clutter or booger-smeared heaps of clothing in sight. Nothing is spontaneous. Nothing is real. It’s all staged. There’s not a single thing that is “Insta” about Instagram anymore. It’s all about perfect curated content that is supposed to show the world that your life is better than everyone else’s. We all get sucked in by the comparisons even though we know most of it is fake.

I feel like I have to play the game because brands and sponsors are making it increasingly harder to work with bloggers unless they have a huge Instagram following. For the average reader of this blog, this all probably sounds like crazy talk, but it’s something I have to think about on daily basis. If I want to pay my bills, I need to do some sponsored posts. In order to meet the post requirements that brands are putting out these days, I need to have a certain number of social media followers.

To give you an idea of how things work in the blog world, here is an actual sponsored post opportunity that came into my inbox recently.

Vicks VapoRub Instagram Post: 75K Instagram Followers Required
$500 for 1 photo on Instagram, 1 tweet and 1 facebook post

Sounds like easy money, right?

But here’s what it’s come to.  In order to feel like I was doing a good job for that brand, I would have to create an immaculately styled photo of my sick child in bed with a perfectly poofed box of Kleenex and a tub of Vicks turned at just the right angle on the nightstand. And of course, add the hashtags #sponsored #ad at the end to keep the FCC happy.

Am I really willing to use my sick children as props and sell my soul to the blog-marketing devil for a few hundred bucks and a tub of Vicks VapoRub? I’ve done worse things, I guess. But it doesn’t matter anyway because I don’t even have 7,500 Instagram followers, much less 75,000.

Forget my 140,000 Pinterest followers. I don’t meet the qualifications. So I’m out.

Do I really want to continue to be a part of this industry? How am I going to be competitive in an online world that changes by the minute when all I want is a hot fudge sundae from Dairy Queen and some peace?

Should I just shut down the blog and go find a real job? Should I step out in faith and start my own business? Should I say “Eff it” and go back to blogging about every mundane thing that happens around here? If y’all can’t tell, I’m at a big crossroads in my life and I’m praying that I can figure out the best way for me to proceed that’s good for me and my family.

Calling out Vicks VapoRub publicly like this is not exactly the best way to win friends and influence people, though, so I will probably never hit Publish on this post.

Or maybe I will. I’ve been in this blog game long enough to know that controversial posts like this one can bring way more traffic than another boring picture of a karate-chopped feather pillow on a booger-free creamy white sofa.

Lord knows I will need the ad revenue when I get blacklisted from brands who work with bloggers.


Dear Y’all,
I wrote this post without much thought of ever actually putting it out into the world, but I’ve decided to do it anyway since I don’t have much else to talk about this week. There is not a single photo to pin and I will not be sharing it on any of my social media channels. I’m going to be deliberately antisocial with this one, and see where it leads. If you’ve gotten this far, let me say thank you for reading. You totally deserve a hot fudge sundae from Dairy Queen. And a free tub of Vicks VapoRub.

Love, Me

PS: Sorry Vicks. It’s nothing personal. I really do like your product. Hopefully, I won’t need it anytime soon, though.


Disclaimer: This post was in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Vicks VapoRub or Dairy Queen hot fudge sundaes. All paranoid delusions and crazy opinions are my own. #notsponsored #notanad #antisocial

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Comments

  1. Amen, sister. Love you and your blog. no matter which way you go, you’ll do great things. XO.

  2. Colleen Wheeler says:

    I’ve been a reader for a long time but don’t think I’ve ever commented…I’ll keep reading the blog regardless of how often you post, what they are about or if they are sponsored or not. I like finding folks who are real and lay it out there, nothing has to be perfect, lord knows my house and life isn’t. But I enjoy reading about your family and house and I’ll keep reading. Definitely has to feel hard to keep up though, just know the people who choose your blog like you for you! Many prayers as you figure it all out, or at least a little bit…Lord knows none of us have it all figured out! 🙂

    • Wow, Colleen, thanks so much for commenting on my blog today. I really appreciate it so much, especially from a long-time reader. It means SO much to have engaged readers who come to my blog often instead of just popping in from Pinterest and leaving without returning. I don’t plan on shutting it down just yet, but you might see more real life soon and less staged photos. 😉

  3. Great post. And anyone who has followed these types of blogs for years can feel the difference and I can’t imagine how you deal with the harshness that seems to be present in every comment section of a post. It is almost like blogging started for most as fun, then once people took notice and monitized it, it became something different all around. I do admit that the amount of sponsored posts or Instagram influencer ads are a bit much lately, but I completely understand the income side of it so I just let it roll by, it doesn’t impact my life like it does for you.

    I enjoy the blogs that give me some great home decor and DIY ideas and also include a bit of every day life stuff. I can’t remember how I found you, but your post the other day about your daughter has been my favorite, because I somehow gave birth to her twin! And it makes me feel better to know that I am not alone and also hear how others deal (or don’t) with things in life and home.

    Hang in there and be gentle with yourself, the internet is like an anonymous version of Thunderdome these days.

    • “anonymous version of the Thunderdome” cracked me up! Yep, that’s a great way to describe it. I appreciate your comment so much, Denise! Thanks for reading my blog and commenting. It really does mean a lot to me. And I’m not sure if I should say “congratulations” or “I feel your pain” about your daughter. I think we both need to order t-shirts with this slogan on them. ;D

  4. I stopped doing sponsored posts over a year ago. I don’t do Instagram at all. I’m probably a fool, but I don’t equate business with my social media accounts. I want social media to remain fun. So yes, I’m kind of poor. I rely mostly on ad revenue. I don’t sell anything. And when I recently did a survey and asked my readers what they wanted to read, they said real life. My ordinary real life. So maybe you just need to step out of the place you’ve found yourself in and do it different. Not that I’m an expert on anything. But it worked for me.
    Brenda

  5. Love your blog, but totally understand where you are coming from. The world is different, and I don’t like what I see and hear. Maybe, just maybe, this season is a time God is wanting you to step away from some things. I don’t know I’m not Him, but I hear the frustration in your writing. I’ll be praying God will give you the answer quickly.

    • Thanks, Brenda. It honestly feels good just getting all of my thoughts out of my head and onto the blog. Maybe this is what I needed to get the blog-ball rolling again. 🙂 I think I’m going to try to give up the fear of being judged and just put things out there again like I used to. Stop trying to be a one-woman magazine and just be me. 🙂 Folks appreciate real people these days more than ever, I think.

  6. I enjoy reading your blog so much, I agree so many blogs I have been following are in the trap of how much money will I make, and so many have not started back blogging since 2018 started. I have found that blogs were my way to escape, for a few minutes. I have judged myself looking at some blogs, that I don t match up to the perfect house,garden. Whatever you decide My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • Hey Lou, Yes I’ve noticed the trend of bloggers quitting in 2018 as well. It makes me sad that we’ve gotten to this point where we let sponsors inundate our happy blogging space, but it’s something we all have to juggle. I appreciate you reading my blog SO VERY MUCH. Seriously, it means the world to have engaged readers like you in a time of Pinterest fly-by-night readers who don’t stick around to comment.

  7. FINALLY! someone put words to my thoughts. since I’m just a reader, not a blogger, I can’t possibly understand your quandary. I hope you don’t suffer for speaking out about the fakeness and ridiculous expectations of blogs today. If it’s any consolation I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts. however, I totally agree with your concerns about your children.

  8. Hey, I hear you. I’m a different age than you and I need to sell my soul to the blogging devil. Want to do some good for another and hopefully feel better. Coach me. On starting a blog. I’m serious. My household is a multigenerational family of 7 with 3 of us having autoimmune probs! Lupus. Sjogrens. And recently, Type 1 Diabetes. Insurance, of course, doesn’t cover everything. We need the $$$. There are 2 working supporting 7 and we need a 3rd income.
    Thank you for ur honesty. It’s refreshing.

    • Hey Diane, there are bloggers out there who have assembled some really great courses on how to start a blog. I started mine about 12 years ago so what applied then definitely doesn’t apply today. 🙂 My friend Abby has a great course, though, if you’re seriously looking to start a blog. Here’s my afflink: Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook by Abby Lawson

      Best of luck to you my friend! It’s a lot of fun and there are some great women in this community who can offer lots of support.

  9. love this! There is nothing insta on instagram.

    laura

  10. Cassandra e says:

    This is great. You always pull me in when you’re speaking your mind. I was just laughing (lamenting?) with my husband this afternoon that everytime I rean the comments on a house tour on Facebook, they are so harsh. There’s real things to care about and too much white is just not one of them.
    The ads are over the top, and I try not to care, I try to remember this is not a free service, but if I can commiserate with you, I’m becoming increasingly cynical. I’ve noticed some bloggers living increasingly extravagant lives almost in a fever for clicks, and now the vlogs. Oh please don’t take my confession and fear it will come down on you too. I really like you. And I so appreciate your thoughts, and no, you are not crazy.

  11. Cassandra e says:

    I’m sorry. I started to fall asleep and realized someone may take my snarky comment personally. I don’t mean to cause offense. I’m sure some vlogs are much appreciated. But, increasingly, blogs have felt like McDonald’s when they used to be like a delicious dining experience. Apparently, I also am in great need of some Dairy Queen.

    • No worries at all Cassandra, I totally understood your thoughts and echo them with my own. And I’m still debating about deleting this post altogether so Vicks VapoRub won’t take my snarky comments personally. 😉

      You nailed it though- blogs have become fast food drive-thrus when they should be an enjoyable sit-down meal with friends. There’s a big difference and I don’t like it, either. Thank you for reading and commenting. It truly means a lot to me. <3

  12. You sound very disillusioned….and rightly so.
    It IS a very very difficult time we live in because of the effects of social media.
    Take a break. Take care of yourself, in a million different ways! We’ll all be here when and IF you come back. But this moment in time is never ever going to present itself again. YOU ARE very aware of what is working for you and what is not. Take a rest kiddo and replenish your soul.
    God bless you.

  13. Beth, I’ve gone back and forth on all of this too and have given very serious thought to quitting completely. I would miss the conversations and friendships though. My decision is to stick with blogging – only when it feels right- and only when I want too. No more obligations or deals to worry about. I want to have fun again and just chat over coffee about decorating and life. Blogs can still be that!

  14. Helen L. Adams says:

    You go girl! I read your blog, but I’m not on any other social media – insta-whataever, Facebook, Twitter, you name it, I avoid it! Perfect lives are a sham, and seeing them all the time makes me miserable. I read your blog because you’re real. Keep this up!

  15. I really appreciate your honesty and I think it’s great that you did publish this.

    Personally I never liked Vick’s vapor-rub.

  16. I feel it too! Over the past six months there has been a huge shift… huge!!!! And social media is is the main reason. Fake news, buy, buy, buy mentalitly!!! I am trying to stick with what I love and forget about the rest. Life is too short. No matter what you decide to do, I know you will rock it.

    • the buy buy buy mentality is borderline vulgar. I always wonder where to put all the stuff once the photographing is completed or is it returned to the store? what ever happened to using the stuff we have…as grandma would say “make do”. that was a generation that reused, recycled or used up or used up. they were honest. today it’s all only talk. I’ve stop reading a lot of blogs because perfectionism is a lie, it does not make good on its promises. the pace is crazy. It boggles my mind.

  17. I’m just a reader…not a blogger. So I can’t say I understand exactly what you are going through with that pressure. But the world has changed, and not for the better. I love reading your blog and am guilty of having that pleasure and then rushing off to something else……not stopping to take time to comment. But love your down to earth view and a glimpse into another life that is not picture perfect, because my life is so far from it. May God direct your path, but will sorely miss your talent and wit should you decide to forego the blogging world. Wishing you peace and comfort with your decision! A satisfied reader!

  18. I love this post and praying that you can find clarity of what your next step should be. Maybe it’s blogging differently. I’m sure there has been a ton of work to get you to this level of blogging, which is something that many others would probably be envious of. So maybe you can continue in a way that feels better to you. I follow so many of those perfectly curated spaces and people on IG and I also follow a lot of regular folks. I love to be inspired by them but I also know that it’s all staged and or promoted half the time. That’s ok because I consider IG like looking through a home decor magazine, which is something I always loved doing but now I don’t have to pay for it!.

  19. I’ve enjoyed your blog for a while now, and I don’t remember where I first found you. Personally, I have become tired of the sponsored posts and feel that they are not honest. They are being paid to advertise for those companies so of course they have to say good things! I get it that bloggers make a living from this and it’s my choice to read or not. I enjoy your blog for the honesty of what’s going on in your real life. You do a great job, and I will continue to read yours. I hope you find the answer to what makes you happy.

  20. I miss blogging back when blogging was about people making connections and not “brands” making “connections”. I miss being able to read a blog without a lens of “who sponsored this?” cynicism. I miss when blogs were about real people being real about their real lives. (Heck, I miss when ‘blog’ was for the New Kids and the REAL writing was done by online journalers, which was definitely not the same thing thankyouverymuch.) I miss the real people – some of whom have become real friends, and some of whom (like you) I only know through their published words – behind the curated brands.

    I have never been more than an occasional online writer at best, so the hard decisions that come with that being a livelihood (or not) don’t come into play for me. But I’d ask the same thing about any job – if you don’t love it any more, then why are you doing it? Could you still love it if it weren’t your job and you felt free to do it the way you love(d) doing it? None of us can answer the income/job question for you, but I would never recommend staying “stuck” in a job you no longer love, no matter what that job is.

  21. You are dead right about the dog eat dog world we are in. I totally agree with everything you said and commend you for it. Sometimes we have to reasses I lives to finally figure out if it is not feeling it is right, maybe it is not. I know you will continue to be the person you are no matter what you decide.

  22. I’m not a blogger, don’t want to be, but I understand what you are saying. And, I admire you for having the courage to stand up and say it. Keep blogging – I love your blog – and forget 75,000. Those of us who follow you love the blog whether we are a small group or a large group.

  23. Gotta love a southern gal with down home guts and honesty (grins real big)

  24. I think a good approach is to achieve authenticity through balance and context. Maybe posting pretty pictures will feel more acceptable to you (and perhaps your readers) if they’ve also seen the “ugly.” Take them through the entire process of creating as a blogger. As far as personal information goes, frankly, I don’t expect it as a reader and you are not obligated to share it. Blogs like yours have always been an escape for me; a source of ideas and inspiration. Not perfection. Be true to yourself and what you want to do.

  25. This is actually the kind of post I wish I would see more often. Like you I’m really tired of the perfectly staged photos (no one lives like that, cut it out). I’ve shut down my Facebook page, and the only “social media” page I have is on Instagram, where 90% of my feed is pictures of dogs. I will unfollow pages that are so obviously trying too hard, and I will unfollow pages that karate chop every single pillow (again, no one lives like that. Do you chop it when you get up to pee? If you do, you need therapy.).

    There is way too much unpleasantness in the world. When I get on the computer I want to see happy things, useful things. I’ve made so many changes in my “online life” and it all feels great! I can’t tell you how nice it is to not have Facebook anymore!

    Good for you for recognizing the blogging world for what it’s becoming. I understand the need for sponsored posts, but some of them are downright ridiculous. If I was sitting on your boogery couch with you, I’d tell you to let this go as a full-time job. Life is too short to be miserable. If it’s not bringing you joy anymore, then it’s not your path.

  26. I found you when I was researching fairy gardens and yours was gorgeous. Post what brings you joy. The more we have, the wider it spreads.

  27. Laura Dennison says:

    Aww Beth. It is a tough time out there on social media and I sympathize with how you are feeling. We need your voice out there and I appreciate your blog. Before you quit and go back to get a “real” job go back and read some of your blog posts you wrote before you left your family business(?) It might give you some perspective, or lead you in a different direction.

    • Oh yeah, you’re totally right. I need some perspective for sure! LOL I know how I felt back then and this is something different. Back then I was super stressed and under pressure from lots of different angles. Now I’m just in a major funk of depression and loneliness I think. I’ve come to realize that I am not doing well as a Stay-at-home whatever I am. As an extrovert, I need people and daily interactions to give me energy and while these past three years have been SUCH a blessing to stay home and raise my babies, it’s time for me to find something outside of this house. I’m going a little crazy, if you cannot tell from this post. 😉 Now the question is… what’s it gonna be? I have a few options in front of me but I need to figure out which one I’ll take.

      But it’s kinda like Jimmy Buffett says… My occupational hazard being my occupation’s just not around. 🙂

  28. Beth, I love you. Got your email today and immediately wanted to read the “yesterday I was being real,” post over the “today, I’m playing the game,” post. Real is good and anyone worth their salt is going to realize that and choose the real influencers (influencers who are being real?) over the perfectly floofy ones. Keep being awesome and I hope you don’t quit b/c I love your blog!

  29. I agree with just about every comment on here, so I don’t have a lot to add. I do really enjoy your blog-it’s one of my favorites, because of your honesty & keeping it real, buggers & all. I’m in awe of the amazing pics of your sweet babies. You manage to get the cutest angles & expressions. Possibly, the one of your son in front of the Christmas tree got me hooked on you blog. I had no idea the sponsors were so demanding. Commercialism has gone too far. Sometimes it seems, there are more ads than actual content, especially on Instagram & Facebook. I do enjoy the fact that reading blogs, allows us to become “friends” with people we would otherwise never have the opportunity to meet. I also like the sharing of ideas of all sorts of things. I learn a lot from everyone’s blogs, even from some of the comments. It’s amazing to be able to share all of this. I don’t like the negativity, competiveness, & the danger it can cause for everyone, especially the children. I agree the world is a different place, & not a good different. There’s too much anger, hatred, indifference, etc. It’s scary for all of us. Our so called leaders of our country are some of the worst. I don’t have any answers. All I know to do is to pray. I hope you continue to blog, but wish you the best, no matter what you choose. Thank you my friend for sharing your life & your knowledge with the rest of us.

  30. Hey Beth, I love blogging but there are days when I just want to take a break and in a self-made business that’s starting to feel impossible… I completely get where you’re coming from. So many people saying “with x amount of pageviews I make x million trillion bajillion dollars a second” and I’m sitting over here with the same number of pageviews trying to figure out how to pay two bills with one penny… not really one penny but you get the idea. Comparison really is the thief of all joy. Just keep doing you, that’s all I know how to do. Focus less on all the crap and enjoy blogging for the sake of it.

  31. Oh, Beth! I just want to {{{{hug}}}} you and have my little dog Max sit on your lap for a spell to calm your spirit. I’ve been “starting” a blog for like forever and guess I’ve never had the nerve to dip my toes in the now shark-infested waters and hit publish. It seemed so much more attractive when it was goldfish-infested.

    And regarding Instagram, you mean life doesn’t happen as a flat-lay?

  32. Beth, you are a fantastic witty writer and you have a beautiful family, the stories you share on your blog are all up there with Rich Bragg. One blogger recently wrote…close the door and write like no one is looking over your shoulder censoring everything. Do what you do best and be happy.
    Your blog is very real and down to earth, you go Alabama Girls rock!😊

  33. OH girl, you know I’m right there with you! I have no intentions of quitting my blog, but I do get tired of all those games too and that’s why I just look with blinders on and just do my own thing. I can’t get all caught up in what everyone else is doing and that’s the only way I have been able to blog for 11 years now. It’s changed SO much and everything you said is true. I try my darndest to keep it all in balance and not get swayed too far in one direction. I’m not on the bandwagon and trying to sell everything in sight, that really gets to me too. I do some, but definitely not over the top. It’s all about balance. Find yours and stick with it. You’ll be just fine! You know you don’t want to go back to a normal corporate job now. I could never do that again and still very happy to be here in this online world even though I don’t agree with it all. I just wrote my 11 years blogging post yesterday and my readers were so sweet and supportive with me always feeling like I can’t keep up with what’s out there. I just want to be me! And you just need to be sweet and funny YOU! Don’t quit, find the balance!

  34. Thank you for saying what I think every time I open Instagram and feel just gross for being a part of this superficialness that makes people look at their own lives and feel like it’s not good enough. I miss the old days of blogging and community too Beth!!

  35. Thanks for your candor, Beth. I think you’re saying what so many people have been thinking. While I don’t want to give up blogging because I do still enjoy it for the most part, I’m looking into new ideas to grow and generate income in other ways as well.

  36. Beth, everything you have said expresses what I’ve been feeling recently, too. We cannot let the sponsors control the blogging community the way the insurance industry controls healthcare system!!! You are so brave to speak out and you are my blogging hero! Just today I took many of the ads off our site, too. I guess we all have to find what we and our readers can tolerate and accept.

  37. It’s a great post here, I’m sure you’ll be amazing whichever way you go! Best of luck!

  38. Love this post! I really don’t do sponsored posts since I’m rarely contacted to do one with something that actually works with my blog or it’s just cheap crap that I don’t want or need. I’m just going to keep on blogging like I have for eight years now and make some decent money from the ads on the blog. Instagram is slow going and I don’t spend a ton of time there either. I have seen so many others start their IG account after I did and they have gone flying past me with oodles of new followers. Instagram was for instant shots and when and how did that get changed? I still share instant shots most of the time or shots from new blog posts. I try to spend more time pinning to get that to grow since most of my traffic is from pinterest. I have always said when I get tired of this and really don’t like it anymore then it’s time to step away. I thought I was about there not long ago, but for now I’ll keep trukin on.

  39. Girl, you put into words what I’ve felt for years. I’ve never been able to articulate it. I don’t have any words really, I just want you to know you are not alone and this post will resonate with many many people. Xoxo

  40. Lee Jacobs says:

    Dear Beth at Unskinny Boppy ~ This is the President and CEO of Vicks VapoRub. I’d like to have a word with you, Missy. Would you step over here for a minute please? Ha ha, just joking! I couldn’t resist! Besides Vicks VapoRub should thank you for the free advertising you just gave them. And besides that, Vicks brings back nostalgic memories of my childhood so there’s that. I have only just barely found your blog and have subscribed to it so I would be disappointed if you left the scene! I enjoy your humor and your genuine quality of telling it like it is. You’re right in that as a reader, I don’t care for ads and for sponsored blogs. Yet, I can imagine that the amount of time that a blogger spends on her photography and script would warrant some payment and how else to do it? It’s probably a necessary and an important part of blogging these days. By the way, I also hate the karate chop on a pillow and don’t do that in my house. I think that look is too contrived. But anyway, selfishly speaking as one of your readers, I hope you don’t leave just yet. On the other hand, I guess you have been at it for a long time so I guess I can understand your feeling the need to reassess priorities. Good luck with your decision. And don’t forget the Vicks when you have a cold, eh? LOL!

  41. Can’t help but love this post. So much of it I was like “SAME”… I hate that even in this comment section, I found myself second guessing my comment again and again (“you’re talking about your own experience too much; erase that, you’re getting off topic!”). I’ve decided instead to say that I’ve seen where you’ve commented on venturing out into another business, and I hope that answer comes with a sense of resolve (and if you do, that it is better than you hoped for!). Wishing lots of good things for you in 2018.

  42. AMEN! Oh but I could shout it from the rooftops! I’ve pretty much quit blogging – I blame it on the handmade business I’ve been growing that has been successful. But underneath that very good excuse is the fact that FEAR has been a huge part of my resistance to keeping up the blog. So much has changed. So many haters who don’t hesitate to share their opinions. And that hurts. I don’t deal well with that!
    I’d encourage you to go back to blogging the way it used to be – at least most of the time! LOL! Bills still have to be paid right? Keep praying and the right doors will open. And know that this post was a HUGE encouragement to me!

  43. Hey girl, we started blogging at the same time. I completely understand what you are saying, I’m there with you. All of it. The fear of judgement is the worst and I never use to feel that way. I try to keep in my own lane these days just to stay sane and thankfully blogging is only really a part time gig for me. But I definitely feel like I’m at a crossroads too yet unfortunately don’t really have any other options at the moment. For now I’ve just been keeping on. The loneliness is tough to handle for me as well, it makes me sad. I miss the days of conversation and connection. So no real answers or solutions from me but just wanted to say that you are not alone.

  44. Amen! You go, girl! This is why you started a blog, to speak your mind and it is yours to do. Dig deep and listen to your heart and what GOD is calling for you. You will find the answer and when big bloggers like you start dropping out maybe the brands will realize it’s not about big numbers and it is about sincerity and true followers.

  45. Oh Beth, I love your blog with and without the sponsors. I am sure it is hard. It is such a tough decision. We all started reading blogs and never knew where they could lead for some. The fact that a sponsor is interested in you tells me one thing for sure: you are talented. They see something in your blog. The fact that you have many followers also screams that we loved reading your blog.
    Along the way, I have not liked so many ads, but one day I stopped and thought if I were younger I might have done it as well to stay home with the babes. I taught school for 31 years and was blessed with the summers. It is a different place and I think my daughter’s generation got a little tired of us moms working and being stressed and would like to stay home.
    I am sure of two things:
    1.You will figure it the BALANCE of it all…sponser and sharing your creativity AND
    2. Give a little flick to the devil sitting on your shoulder making you feel insecure. You are wonderful and have lots to say and we need to hear it!

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