Hello. I’ve been absent from this blog for a few months, and I want to explain what happened, where I went, why I’m back, and what’s new. This post will have a lot of insider baseball terms (insider blogger terms). If that’s not your cup of tea the too long didn’t read (TL;DR) summary is I got tired of blogging, took a break to refocus, am back.
It was around the start of 2018, and I was looking at this blog and came to realize that it didn’t entirely reflect me. A friend of mine did the original design for Take Me to the World. As much as I loved it (because I did), I also know I have changed since I first started this blog. The design no longer reflected who I was, and what I wanted the blog to represent.
I had a few posts and pages that I had published because I felt I needed to release “something.” I felt compelled to keep some schedule and publish content, but not write about what I wanted to write about.
I am not a full-time blogger, but I have tried to make this blog a success. I started thinking about things that non-bloggers wouldn’t know about or care about. Traffic, SEO, page views, user engagement, social media followers, how to measure ROI from a blog post, etc. It made me exhausted. I lost the reasons why I wanted to blog in the first place. I needed a break.
Where I Went
Physically, I’ve been at home in Dublin for most of the past few months. I went to London with some friends in February. I went a couple places in Ireland like Waterford and Cork.
Mentally and emotionally I took a break. I put up a maintenance page on Take Me to the World with a general note that this website would be back at some point. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to blog anymore.
Then I realized it wasn’t that I didn’t’ want to blog anymore. It was that I didn’t want to worry about the numbers. I didn’t want to worry about traffic, page views, blog rank, and how many people were following me on what social media platform.
It was time for a do-over. I put in a new theme that’s simple and clean. Made my photos a bit bigger. Edited my posts. Deleted a few posts and pages that I didn’t like. And thought, fuck the numbers.
Why I’m Back
I’m back because I am a writer. This blog is an outlet that I need. I must have a space to be creative. I need a place to practice my writing, and to hone my craft.
I’m back because I still love to travel. I still want to share my travels with people. I want to encourage other people to travel. I want to document the things I’ve seen and done in various places in this beautiful world.
I’m back because I still love theatre. I’ve changed the theatre category to shows. This includes festivals, seeing live music, and going to the theatre. I still love that. I am going to get super nerdy about shows I love. Did I mention I saw Hamilton and it was terrific? I am sure I did, but I’ll repeat it. Hamilton was fanfuckingtastic. I want to write more about that and other musicals I love because I love musicals.
I’m back because I want to be back. I am not going to focus on the numbers. I’m not going to focus on how “successful” I am at blogging/writing/photography/life compared to others.
There are a few behind the scenes changes, tech stuff, I did that will make Take Me to the World run better than before.
I’ve changed the design as mentioned before. It’s clean and straightforward. I made the photos bigger than before.
I made the pages all full size. I have a sidebar when you read a post. The sidebar has a search function to help you find stuff. At some point, I might add something more there, but I don’t want to make it too crowded.
The menu at the top of the page stays static. If you’re reading a post about Canada and want to go to another category (like a post about Ireland), you can go to the menu without needing to scroll up the page.
I don’t have a logo for this blog right now. There is just the title. Regarding “branding” that’s not good. Regarding my mental health, I can no longer focus on promoting myself or my blog as a brand. This could cost me advertisements, sponsorships, and work with companies and tourism boards. Perhaps it won’t. At some point, I might get a logo, but it’s not a priority.
I also added a new life category. There aren’t a lot of posts there yet. Right now there’ll be this post and my posts about living abroad in Ireland. I wanted to create a Life page, something separate from my posts about travel and shows. I have other interests aside from travel and theatre. There are things like writing, reading, trying recipes, spiritual stuff, and trying to figure out life in general that I want to share.
I’ve cut back on social media. I have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that I might post on now and then. I’m not going to focus on other social media channels.
None of it matters
One thing I want to mention is no one has said, “you need better numbers” or “you need to be more successful.”
That stuff was all in my head. Me, looking at the world of blogging and comparing myself to others, wondering why I was where I was. Me getting anxious and depressed as I was comparing myself to others.
I don’t spend enough time on this blog to make a living from it. I’ve seen, from others, that to make a living from blogging you’ve got to hustle and be on 24/7. And that’s great for them, but that’s not me. Not at this point in my life.
None of that stuff matters to me. I was trying to make it matter, and I was only making myself frustrated. So I’m letting go of all that bullshit. I’m getting back to writing about the things I love. No longer am I going to force myself to only “create content.”
And I don’t know how things will turn out. I might not be a success in how other people regard it, but I can’t go back to stressing over things that don’t matter to me. And I can’t go back to comparing myself to others, because I know we all have our struggles and insecurities.
Follow Along If you want
Despite how this post might sound I don’t want to alienate my readers. I would love you to follow along with me. I want to foster community engagement on here and on my social media channels. I still want to inspire people to travel, to see shows, to share their passions. This isn’t a big screw you to my readers who’ve enjoyed reading Take Me to the World since it started. It’s actually a thank you because I appreciate the support and encouragement. I’d actually love to hear your feedback and comments, either on posts, through the contact page, or on social media.
And I’m not calling out bloggers or travel bloggers either. I’ve met amazing people in this community. They are supportive and encouraging. I’m just not going to engage in comparing myself to others. I’m not gonna look at the numbers and try to measure my value from that. That’s not how I value myself, or this blog.
I want to keep growing and improving, and maybe that will mean making this more of a business. If it does, I’m gonna do it on my terms. No more stressing over things that aren’t important to me.
Here’s something I have written on a little chalkboard heart hanging in my room. It’s how I’m approaching life and this blog from now on.
Find your joy point.
Thanks for reading.