LIFE| SHAKING THINGS UP

I mentioned in my review of Shonda Rhimes’ book that I’d been reading but not writing book reviews. Confession: I haven’t been on my blog in TWO weeks. I realize that that’s not a million years or anything but I love blogging. Even when I’m not posting, I’m thinking of what to blog about next or tweaking things or promoting blog posts. When I can’t do any of these things, I’m a bit bummed and wishing school gave me more time to do them. But in the last three weeks, all you’ve seen are scheduled posts. The book review was the first “real time” post in a while.

I’ve been overwhelmed, I think. In my mind, I call it blogger burn out.

The month of October was for my writing and if you follow my newsletter, you’ll know my start of month routine and what I like to do to get re-centered.

This month, I just did not care about my blog. It was scary because I contemplated deleting my blog for the first time ever. I’ve never wanted to delete my blog. Ever. I’ve stepped away consciously many times but I always knew I’d come back and this time only my friends stopped me from clicking “delete” and wiping away 4 years plus of dedication. They asked me why I wanted to delete all my hard-work.

  1. I was bored.
  2. I felt like no one cared about reading about the things I enjoy blogging about (because I was bored, I thought everyone else was)
  3. I was stuck in what I like to call “the consistency trap”. I felt enormous pressure to keep posting three times a week, as my new mental schedule dictated.
  4. I was tired of my photo summary posts 🙁 The editing and selection wasn’t “fun’ anymore. The goal had been achieved: improving my photography and making it a part of my life.
  5. I felt all-shared out. I needed time to live and love things. To amass beautiful things to share. To be creatively “dormant”. To let the land lay fallow.

And so, my friend Esther said: “Take a break. I think we complicate our lives a lot of the time. If you don’t want to do the photo posts anymore, then don’t”.

I felt relief. I was going to be off till April next year. Like just vanish off the blogosphere and live a little. Honestly, I was sure I wasn’t ever coming back.

During my two weeks off, I thought nothing about blogging. NOTHING. I forgot when already scheduled posts went up and I only posted about style posts on Instagram for grid decoration purposes (I have major grid OCD). It was blissful. I focused on school and it felt nice. It dawned on me how much stress I was putting myself through. All by myself. A labour of love had so quickly become just a labour.

I spent time listening to good music, retreating into real life, reading good books (without feeling a huge weight thinking “man, now I have to write a review. how many stars do i give this?”) and just being off duty from my nagging blogzilla self.

I woke up this morning and I just knew: I’m ready.

Ideas were bubbling over in my head. I changed my blog theme for starters. I was terrified for the first half hour afterward. No picture of me up top. Very minimalist. No side bar. Just the blog, just the work. Just the labour of love.

I proceeded to write a review of Shonda’s book, because I wanted to and the words came so easy. It was “organic” and I thought this is how it should always be.

I made myself a few promises after my (unnoticed) hiatus:

  1. Do it for the love always. Do not ever be trapped by “consistency”, especially because I’m very self motivated already, putting myself under extra pressure quickly turns counter productive. I’m reminded of Liz Gilbert’s words about putting pressure on your creativity to feed you. While it can feed you, it’s so important to remember the real reason, always.
  2. Take many steps back, ever so often to evaluate. Sometimes a little perspective changes everything. Seeking the perspective of others is also a good idea.
  3. Don’t make impulsive decisions like irreversibly deleting 4 years of work. No. No. No.
  4. I’ve always believed that writing or creating needs living to thrive. Not just being alive, living; feeling, seeing, hearing; tasting. Living. So take a break to live once in a while.

“One reason that people have artist’s block is that they do not respect the law of dormancy in nature. Trees don’t produce fruit all year long, constantly. They have a point where they go dormant. And when you are in a dormant period creatively, if you can arrange your life to do the technical tasks that don’t take creativity, you are essentially preparing for the spring when it will all blossom again.”
— ~Marshall Vandruff

5. Sometimes, all you need to do is shake things up. Ditch some old routines. Go somewhere you’ve never          been. Listen to new music. Eat new food. Read new books. Glory in the ever renewing nature of life.

I’ll be discontinuing the 52 weeks series, sadly, but I’m ready to move on. I have thoroughly enjoyed doing it and I’m so thankful for all of you who have too. I’ll keep blogging but I shall try to pace myself so you might have more spontaneous posts just like the newsletters (but more often, of course).  I have also finally embraced the fact that my blog really is about books, style and all the living in between.

I hope you stay with me.

Love, Afoma x

 

 

 



  • This new layout means I have to retype my name, mail and site and I’m pretty lazy. Ugh

    These days, I try not to stress so much.
    Sometimes I also feel like people don’t really care about reading my blog much anymore ( side eye) and I get that ‘oh well, whatever. Might as well just quit’ thing for a second there but I guess its the love that keeps me going.

    I haven’t gotten to the point where I feel I need a break yet but if I ever get there, I’ll definitely take one.

    http://www.cassiedaves.com

    • Lmao like I say, madam, I READ YOUR BLOG! Smh. ? Thanks for commenting, Cassie. I guess now I have to stop being a silent reader. Yes, breaks are good.

  • Hi Afoma,

    Thanks for sharing this, I can relate to this on some level. I love your photographs & hope you’d still post them once in a while. I promise no one is bored yet. X

    • Aww, Thank you, Des. I still will! I love having photos in my post so you will see them! Thank you ?

  • I think most if not all personal bloggers get here. Maybe not the ‘delete my blog’ but just being under pressure to write write write…CONSISTENCE.

    Living my life, to blog.
    Nah.

    I set myself free in the last quarter of the year.

    Haven’t also been on my blog since my last post. I see notifications from the app but to enter my dashboard? Or even respond to comments? Nope.

    The emails of ‘E’ where are you?’ are def well meaning but if I ain’t careful, it packs the pressure on…I calmly defuse. That tree quote is PERFECT. So baby take ur time, pace yourself and keep d LOVE in d labour. Hugs .

    • ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Thank you, E’

  • Awodein Tofunmi

    thank you for not deleting 🙂

  • Oh I recall when I was doig the #challenge45 on IG on my Weight loss journey. It felt CHOKING. I quit. Posting to IG daily that is, but I am still on the journey.
    Btw boo, I love ur blog. I don’t care so much for all those nice photography/nature pictures u post (yeah I know) but I ooh and aah sometimes and say ‘this is one cool doc’ but I love ur other posts- boom reviews, med school, SOME style posts, and then you. Now you are one doctor I wouldn’t mind being on my case (eg pregnancy/delivery/regular check up) cos I don’t intend to be sick haha

    E’
    http://Www.eziaha.com

    • Lool! Thank you so much!

  • Talk about candid… It’s pretty amazing how none of us would have know had you not shared.
    Thanks for being so real. Continue to be you, that’s what brought me here and I plan to stay. <3

    http://www.thegracedmisfit.com

    • Thanks so much. I appreciate the support ?

  • I love this so much! Thank you for not deleting your blog and being so honest with us about the things you struggle with. You made so many valid points. It’s really okay to take a step back and shake things up a bit. ?

    • Love you babe! Thanks for everything ❤️

  • I’m glad you didn’t delete your blog, and you made some valid points I won’t be forgetting soon. *Big hug*

    • Thank you, Phaena! ❤️

  • I’ve been at this point too.

    I almost deleted my blog until I backtracked and did some soul-searching.

    Why do I write?
    Who do I for?

    I needed to answer these questions before I could fully move on.

    When I finally did, it was liberating. I didn’t care about the pressure to be consistent.

    I just did me.

  • I love this. I’m so happy you’re back!!!

  • I was at this point last month after I was going through a tough time, and I’m like “who cares anyway?” but I’m glad I didn’t delete it… Always remember why you started, let that keep you going. And you have readers… At least I know about one (:D)

  • I thought I commented on this already, came back to read again. This is so important, thanks for sharing. I’m sad to see the photo series go but I also appreciate your honesty in knowing when to end things! well done.

    Thank you for not deleting, you shine so bright and we are all the better for your light.

    Love xxx

    • Sigh. Thank you sissy! ❤️

  • Hey Afoma.
    Lol, funny how I can totally relate to this. I stopped blogging for some time too cos I felt that no one even cared to read my stuff and all. And I started getting bored. I just figured that writing is actually something I’m passionate about that’s why I decided to start all over. I didn’t delete my other blog though.
    I love your write ups a lot even if I don’t usually comment. Earlier this year, i was so in love with your short stories and beautiful pictures. I still love them though.

  • Dew

    Thank you so much for this Afoma.