not to have a blog

This day in age, it’s almost too easy to start your own website. It’s addictive! Have a great idea for a blog title? Buy the domain name for a couple bucks. Feel like you need to make an ode to your favorite character on The West Wing? Grab a new tumblr account! Suddenly have the urge to liveblog Big Ben? Sorry, that Twitter account is actually already taken.

However you want to express yourself creatively, there’s no question that the blog is the default personal website, especially for those of us who have grown up with the Internet. We’ve talked about having a blog a few times here on GenTwenty, and there’s no doubt that having one can have some major advantages, but I’m here to give you permission to do the same thing I did: NOT to have a blog.

Let me start by saying the number of blogs I’ve had over the course of my history on the Internet reaches into the double digits. From a fashion blog with my college roommate to daily musings on Harry Potter from the mind of a 14-year-old, I’ve done it all. But as I entered my final years of college, I felt more and more pressure to brand myself in the Internet. I felt like I needed to create something important, something substantial. I felt like I needed a home to consolidate and clean up the past decade of my life online (a daunting task to say the least).

Especially as a writer, it is was hard to escape this digital fear of missing out. How could I not have a blog? Isn’t it some kind of prerequisite nowadays? On the other hand, it’s hard not to to compare myself and my potential blog to my favorite bloggers online, women who have been building their own websites for year and are now professionals.

You look at any professional blogger’s FAQ page and chances are there’s a question about starting your own blog. Inevitably, the answer can be boiled down to doing it because you love to do it for yourself.

I always assumed they were talking about money here. They are to some extent, I’m sure, and it’s important to know that blogging is by no means a get-rich-quick scheme. And I always knew I didn’t want to start a blog for the revenue. But when I finally paid attention to that answer after all these years, I realized I had missed something big in the answer these bloggers gave.

I can’t start a blog if the only reason I want to start one is because I think I should.

That’s not starting a project out of inspiration or passion. That’s starting a project out of obligation. I have more than enough creative outlets in my life right now. In fact, creating a blog would only drain me and make the work I already do suffer.

At this point in my life, I know I’m already working my creative muscles and stretching myself as a writer in a number of different ways, like contributing to GenTwenty. Personally, I love being part of a website contribution team. It allows me to grow as a writer and be a part of something bigger than myself.

I love being associated with a group of women as intelligent and dedicated as the GenTwenty contributors, and I love having that support when creating, crafting and promoting my articles. While it’s not the same as running my own blog, this is the kind of outlet I want and need in my life right now. I shouldn’t feel pressured to take on something else just because I feel like that’s what I ought to be doing.

I will never say never to a blog. I love blogging and if my creative endeavors change, or if I feel like I need to contribute in a new way to the conversation online, I will eagerly grab my next domain name. But, for the time being, I know that a blog isn’t the right project for me to tackle and there are better ways for me to spend my energy.

If you find yourself in the same boat as me, I encourage you to give yourself permission to let this one go. Sometimes it’s okay to just say no to blogging.

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