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Finding your ‘thing’: blogging motivation

Blogging can be a wonderful thing. It gives a person the opportunity to express themselves and share their opinions; it can open the door to a network of people with similar passions and interests; and it’s a great way to learn from others and refine your writing skills. No wonder it’s estimated that more than two-million posts are published every day on over 156 million public blogs.

But on the other hand – and putting it quite bluntly – it can also be a pain in the butt. Having to come up with ideas for new articles on a regular basis; finding enough time to properly read the posts created by the bloggers around you; trying to keep up with numerous conversations on social media. Fitting all that in while dealing with family, work and other commitments can be exhausting.

So what motivates us to keep blogging? That’s the question posed by TWOTALL4UFOOL as part of his Liebster Award nomination earlier this month and it’s to him this post is dedicated. What is it that inspires us to keep writing when we have so many other responsibilities in our adult lives and just want to crash out in front of trashy television on the sofa?

Ultimately, I blog because I enjoy it. This was something mentioned by Retro Redress when I asked the question on Twitter: “A huge backlog of games to write about. Truthfully, it’s fun to discuss games and opinions with people.” There have been times I’ve felt like leaving the blogosphere but something always manages to pull me back, whether it’s a new release which motivates a post or a few words of encouragement from a friend.

My brain is firmly founded in logic and processes; being creative therefore isn’t something which comes naturally to me and so having a channel which inspires that side of my personality is a positive thing. Creativity was picked up on by Kevin from The Mental Attic also: “If I don’t use this as a creative outlet and as a vent for my horrible work weeks, I might just start killing people. So it’s best that I continue.”

He also gave ‘stubbornness’ as a reason for blogging and I completely get where he’s coming from. I’m a perfectionist who likes a routine and sticking to a regular posting schedule therefore keeps me going; I know I’d feel a little disappointed if I missed a Monday, Wednesday or Friday. Shelby from Falcon Game Reviews commented on this too: “I don’t like quitting things. Plus, writing about games is what got me to try new things. I want to continue experiencing new stuff.”

Trying new things is something which appeals to Will from geeksleeprinserepeat also: “I enjoy writing about new gaming experiences. I think blogging makes me try new games that I wouldn’t normally play. My taste in video games has dramatically changed since I started writing and it’s helped me discover an amazing world of indie games, one that I wasn’t as aware of before.”

Rob from I Played The Game! mentioned the therapeutic benefits: “I find writing quite therapeutic sometimes which helps. Mostly it’s just down to me wanting to put down my thoughts somewhere. People reading it keeps me coming back to it too. If literally no-one was then I’d probably have stopped, but even just a handful makes it feel worthwhile.”

This is the other side which keeps me coming back: you lot. I’ve the opportunity to meet so many awesome writers since I started blogging and have learnt so much from the WordPress community. Several bloggers from the UK are now friends in real life (you know who you are!) and there are others with whom I’ve developed great online friendships. They’re a source of inspiration, advice and support.

The other person in my life who fits that description is my other-half. Pete has always encouraged me to continue writing when I’m going through a ‘down’ period and feel like giving up; but at the same time, I know he’d support me if I ever chose to stop blogging. He and my stepson Ethan constantly give me ideas for new posts through their opinions on games, (funny) things they say or events we go to together.

Pix1001 from Shoot the Rookie gave a lovely shout-out to the community: “I realised that I have things to say that I didn’t see other people saying and blogging gives me a way to express myself. In essence, it gives me a voice when I often don’t feel I have one in my everyday life. The other thing, which I didn’t expect when I started, has to be the community. If I stopped writing I would inevitably lose touch with all the people I’ve met, I guess I feel it opens social doors for me, which again is something I struggle with in my offline world.”

Each individual writer must find the ‘thing’ which inspires them to push on. Blogging is challenging and it can be demotivating during those periods when progress isn’t obvious. You need something that’s going to motivate and drive you forward when it feels as though the odds are stacked against you – be it a love for writing, a passion for your subject or the awesome people around you.

What works for one blogger may not necessarily work for another however, and it’s important to take a break if you need to. If you’re not enjoying your pastime, then stop: a hobby is no longer fun when it starts to feel like a job. I learnt myself that if you’re always on the lookout for material for the next article, you forget about the sheer joy that comes from something such as playing video games.

Thank you to TWOTALL4UFOOL for nominating Later Levels for the award and for giving me the opportunity to write this post (and to everyone who responded to my tweet!). To sum the answer to his question, let me take a quote from Flannel Fox: we keep blogging because it’s too good to quit.

14 thoughts on “Finding your ‘thing’: blogging motivation

    1. I received some great answers when I asked the question on Twitter, and it’s interesting to see such a wide range of motivations among bloggers. That in itself is motivating. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love this. And yes, I believe you need a network or a support system when it comes to writing, not just online but offline as well. My trouble I find when it comes to writing and blogging is that I write for a living, I work in a marketing firm and I teach and am a student, so sometimes writing feels like a chore.
    Any insights on what happens when even you “fun” writing feels like a burden? I’m glad you keep on because I love you blog.

    Like

    1. That’s very kind of you to say, thank you! Here’s what tends to work for me:

      If I’m trying to write a post and the words just aren’t coming, I take a step back and try to figure out what the problem is. Sometimes it’s the subject matter and it helps if I change topics completely; and at other times, it’s the format itself. A change of perspective can be more enjoyable and yield unexpected results – for example, a collaborative post last year started off as a business case and then ended up as a sea-shanty poem when my original idea wasn’t flowing!

      And if I feel like stopping altogether, that’s what I do: stop. I’ll do something different, or go play a video game or read posts on other blogs. It might take a day or two but I usually end up coming across something which inspires me to write again. I think as bloggers, we tend to put ourselves under so much pressure to produce regular content and it’s important to remember it’s ok to take a break if you need to. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a really timely post for me personally, because when you posed this question to us I honestly couldn’t think of an answer. I have a lot going on in my non-virtual life lately and with traffic down on my blog there are definitely days where I think “why bother?” But seeing all of the reasons listed above is a great reminder of everything – and everyone – that makes this hobby special. Thanks for sharing this bit of encouragement!

    Like

    1. And thank you to everyone who shared their stories!

      I hope everything is going ok over there, Ian. It’s normal to have those ‘why bother?’ moments and we tend to put ourselves under so much pressure to write regularly and achieve as many views as we can. Sometimes it’s important to have some time out and remember that the community has got your back. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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