On Having a Blogger Identity Crisis & Changing Directions

*WARNING: there will be rambling due to the fact that I have no idea how to articulate the emotions & thoughts I'm having*

I've been blogging since November of 2010

You'd think by now I'd have some kind of indication as to what purpose this blog is supposed to serve.

By now, the social media & blogging "experts" say I should have found my "niche" or "voice" in the blogosphere.

The honest truth though, is that I don't and I haven't.

In the year and a half I've been posting, you have read about my struggles with motherhood, some of my battles with postpartum depression, my Bipolar Disorder diagnosis, and my up & down relationship with my ex (who by the way, is no longer my ex, but that's forthcoming in a future post).

You've watched me dance, seen me cry, I've shown you my dirty house & my stretch marks, and you've traveled with me on my self-love journey.

I've shared all of that with you and my goal throughout it all has been to be as open, real, and transparent as I can, even if it terrified me to do so.

So now the question is....what now?

Where exactly do I go from here?

Should I be a PPD blogger? A Bipolar Disorder or Health Activist blogger? A faith blogger? A "mommy blogger"? (I hate that term by the way...and to be honest, I've never really been a huge fan of labels anyway)

I don't know the answer to these questions. I don't know what this online space is supposed to be for me anymore...or what it should be for you even.

I started off just wanting, needing to write...feeling compelled to get outside of my head and into tangible words in black & white. I started off vowing to share my struggles, my hurts, my joys & triumphs...

Then my social media consulting background pushed me into the "mommy blogger" machine : what will get me more readers? Vlogging? Giveaways? How do I brand myself? How do I increase traffic to my site? This stumbleUpon campaign should do the trick! Should I do reviews & pitch myself to brands? How can I maximize my SEO? Should I monetize my blog? I must be published on BlogHer! Getting syndicated or featured on a larger platform will get me more readers! Maybe I should feature ads? Awards, it would be nice to win a few awards wouldn't it? Maybe if I subscribe to & comment more on other blogs...guest post over there....or get a fresh new design...I need a Facebook page so I can keep my readers engaged! I need to join this directory, and get linked up in this linky....

All any of that did was frustrate, discourage, confuse, and convince me that while I may be a half-decent writer, despite my background in social media, I am NOT good at the above mentioned aspects of blogging.

It also led to my constantly comparing myself to others. From fretting over my blog design to comparing its contents and my writing style to others, the comparison game has been a brutal one for me these pasts months. I've gotten so wrapped up in comparing myself as a writer to others that I've completely lost any sense of who I am and what my little space on the Internet is supposed to be. Instead of continuing to carve out my own identity as a blogger, I just put more pressure on myself to fit a mold...I hate molds! I despise labels! Yet I found myself eyeing the glitz and glamour of blogging and wanting so desperately to be a part of it.

And as a result I've lost my voice and my confidence as a writer....I also lost sight of why I love writing in the first place.

The past few weeks I've been wrestling with whether or not I want to fight to get it back. I've been undecided on what direction, if any I should go in.

While I still don't know what this blog will eventually evolve into, I do know that I want to get my voice back, but that means I'm going to have to make some changes.

No more stress over how many people read my posts, sign up to receive them via email, or leave a comment.

No more freaking out over page views or other stats. (They were never that impressive anyway)

No more comparing.

With the college semester behind me and the summer ahead of me, I'm looking forward to just going back to my basics and just doing what I love to do-write.About any and everything. The good, the bad, the awesome, the ugly. Sharing & owning my story, even the parts that seem meaningless or boring. I want to actually enjoy writing again, and not have it become a chore. I also love to help people and I've always wanted to do that with my writing in some way. I'm hoping that I have up until this point and I hope I continue to moving forward...

So what does this mean for you, the reader? Well, it means some days I might post a thousand word entry...others I might post a sentence. I might post once a day or be inspired to share two things in one day. It means no format. There may be a Dance Party Friday or Self-Love Saturday post sprinkled here or there, but I can't promise one every week. It means for the next 3-4 months, you should expect the unexpected. It means I'm going to talk about whatever's on my mind or heart...there may be a few rants...I'll probably talk more about my faith and what kind of Christian I've been evolving into these past months....most importantly it means I'm writing with abandon, not placing any limits on myself or this space for awhile.

I know this may lead to you not reading every post. This might mean you won't stop by here very often. You might even unsubscribe for fear I'll bombard your inbox. If that's the case, I completely understand. THANK YOU so much for reading up until this point. Thank you for all the comments you've left, the encouragement you've given me, and your love and support. Thank you for being with me the past year and a half...

So there you have it. This post is 1063 words long, so I guess I've gotten it all out....and if you've made it to the end of this post, you're a trooper. Thanks for reading these jumbled up thoughts.