The Hazards of Blogging

May I be frank for a moment? Since we are in the middle of Adopt-a-Blogger, I thought that this might be the perfect time to write about something that has been on my mind for quite some time. The Hazards of Blogging. No… I don’t mean getting flour on your camera and cake batter on your laptop. I mean the physical and emotional hazards of blogging. You are probably thinking, “Well, that sounds silly. What kind of physical and emotional hazards could take their toll on a person blogging?”

Blogging, like any other hobby, can turn into something that is a bit more obsessive and can take over portions of your life. When people turn to me for blogging advice, one of the first things I ask them is to share their goals with me. 99.9% of the time, people want to attract more visitors and more comments to their blog. This is a very common desire. If you enjoy blogging, having visitors come to your blog and then having people leave comments on your post tends to give you that extra push of confidence you are seeking. You know, through comments, that people are listening and their comments help to validate the purpose of your blog. Most people start out blogging for themselves, but then easily get caught up in the desire for comments, links, and higher visitor stats.

I remember when I first started Dine & Dish way back when there weren’t nearly the number of food bloggers that there are now and getting your blog noticed among the pack wasn’t as difficult as it is now.  I would always pride myself in the fact that I tried to remain on a personal level with the visitors to my blog. I would always respond to their comments as well as visit their blogs. Dine & Dish grew and grew some more and keeping up that promise to myself has become more and more difficult. Visiting and commenting on other blogs is extremely important if you want to keep your blog in front of others. Responding to or acknowledging comments is something I personally wanted to do. By keeping up with all of the comments and blog reading, I one day recently realized that my blogging time was starting to take over my life. Balance was something I have always had trouble with, but more so now than ever.

This past weekend my husband and I went to a movie called Fireproof. It is a Christian based movie about marriage and it was probably one of the most eye opening, moving movies I have seen in a very long time and I highly recommend anyone (Christian or not) who is married to see it. During one scene, the husband (who had an addiction to internet porn) took his computer outside and crushed it with a bat. It was at that moment in my head that I thought “Wow… sometimes that would be so nice… to be able to just get rid of technology for awhile.” It was then that I realized blogging, commenting, reading other blogs had taken a place in my life that was not healthy. I was spending less time with my family and more time with my laptop. Between writing my blog posts, cooking for my blog, photographing what I cooked, reading comments, reading other blogs, writing posts on Twitter about my blog, etc. I realized that Dine & Dish was getting more attention than some of the most important people in my life, and that was unacceptable.

I wanted to write this post to all the new bloggers out there. Some of you can balance this and balance it well. Others may have a more difficult time with it. When you are blogging, I want you to remember the sole reason you are blogging…for me that reason is to document my life for me… for my children… and for my family. Everything else (the friendships, the connections, the information), which I appreciate so much from each and every one of you, is just icing on the cake. Live your life and then blog about it. Don’t let your blog become your life.

Because this is a food blog, I’m adding a recipe. I made this a long time ago for the 3-A-Day Blogher campaign, but thought the photo was not stellar so didn’t blog about it. Well, I’ve decided…who cares if the photo isn’t great? You are going to get the recipe anyway!

Chicken, Mushroom and Cheese Quesadillas from Cooking Light Magazine

45 min | 15 min prep

SERVES 4

  1. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Combine ground cumin, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper; sprinkle over chicken.
  3. Add chicken to pan, and sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Remove chicken from pan; set aside.
  4. Add onion, mushrooms, garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper to pan; sauté 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from pan; let stand 5 minutes. Wipe pan with paper towels.
  6. Heat pan over medium heat. Sprinkle each tortilla with about 1/3 cup cheese.
  7. Arrange 1/2 cup mushroom mixture over one-half of each tortilla.
  8. Arrange chicken evenly over mushroom mixture.
  9. Carefully fold each tortilla in half. Add 2 quesadillas to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and cheese melts.
  10. Repeat procedure with remaining quesadillas. Serve immediately.

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Comments

  1. says

    Thank you so much for leaving this post…I am right there – right now! Blogging has definitely become an obsession for me… More so than worrying who will leave comments – I’m obsessed about what to blog about…what pics to post, etc. At the moment – I’m single and don’t have a family – but I do have a full-time job and a full-time social life that take up a great deal of time as well.

    So…it’s not just me…good to know and yes – I’ll keep reminding myself why I started blogging in the first place.

    BTW – I like the photo – looks yummy!

    Karen Kirklands last blog post..Cookie Monster

  2. says

    It is easy to get caught up in it all! I have been very busy over the last couple of weeks and haven’t had much time for blogging. I feel so guilty about it. It is silly really.

    Adopt a blogger, ahem, better get on with it ;)

    hollers last blog post..Veggie Sausage Rolls

  3. says

    You are 100% correct in your post! I too want to keep my blog on a very personal level w/ folks and always return the favor of commenting and visiting others blogs! But it is VERY time consuming. I dont want there to be a day when I cant be personal w/ my readers..but if my husband bitches enough about not getting enough attention..I suppose he will have to come first!!LOL Damn men are sooo needy!!!

    leslies last blog post..The Death Of Chocolate

  4. says

    Such a thoughtful post and, obviously, appreciated by the many who have commented here before me. Conversely, though, it’ll be a little tough to step away today because “CommentLuv” has given me so many new posts to explore. :)

  5. Julie says

    Standing ovation! Loud clapping!!!! Bravo!! Well said!!
    Good for you for going on a date with your husband.
    Would love to hear more about the movie.
    Hope you’re doing well.
    Thanks for all your insight and great advice.
    I was blessed by your friendship.

    Julie

  6. pat/Mom says

    Wow, Kris, you have touched so many lives with this blog entry. No wonder you were so good in HR. I am so proud of you!

  7. says

    I could have said the same thing!! I’ve been lucky to have lots of down time at work where I can blog and comment, but when I get home, I rarely check the computer. I try to keep my family first. I know it’s all going to change when the baby comes, and blogging is going to become even harder, but I know that is when it’s going to be even more important to stay balanced and keep it all in perspective!

  8. says

    Great post! When Cookie Madness isn’t fun anymore, I’m just going to tear it all down. Right now I’ve got a pretty good balance, but it is definitely hard to respond to every comment and comment on other people’s blogs. For that reason, I LOVE Twitter because I can keep track of everyone at a glance and it doesn’t take much time to tweet at someone.

    Annas last blog post..Maida Heatter’s (Spooky) Oreo Bundt Cake

  9. says

    your opening line reminded me of that famous scene in “airplane”:

    Surely you can’t be serious.
    I am serious… and don’t call me Shirley. :)

    meanwhile, awesome post. i think you’re so right–a balance is definitely necessary. good for you for bringing it to everyone’s attention. :)

  10. says

    Kristen,

    You are wise to get it figured out! Hey, are you related to that Pat girl?? I see where you get your wisdom. Balance is what we all should be trying to achieve in our lives. In everything. Hang in there and always try to think about the balance.

    Keep up the good work. Nella

    Nellas last blog post..On the road again.

  11. says

    Kristen,

    Thanks so much for sharing – you’re totally right! I constantly have to remind myself that I’m striving to be a better WIFE, not a better BLOGGER!! So, if I have a choice between writing a blog post and cleaning my house, as much as I’d love to sit on Twitter or write my blog, I need to do my job as a WIFE first.

    Thanks for the recipe, too…. I love quesadillas… and chicken… and mushrooms…. so this should be great to try!! :)

    Looking forward to seeing Fireproof, too…. waiting impatiently for it to come to my area!

    Thanks again for your post,

    Heather Marshall

    Heather @ The Striving Wifes last blog post..The Gracious Wife versus The Angry Wife

  12. says

    Hi Kristin,

    I am going to blogging for a website other than my own soon. This is a timely post. I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to get organized and make a schedule so that blogging whether it’s personal or professional doesn’t entirely take over my life. I love coming to your blog for a dose of reality. Your photos look cozy and inviting while some bloggers make the food look too good to eat. I am sure your home is as warm and inviting as your blog.

    AJ

    Alicias last blog post..Momma’s Gonna Have a Brand New Gig

  13. says

    You are so right about achieving balance, Kristen. It’s easy to let your blog run roughshod over other more important parts of your life. I’ve achieved a measure of balance a couple of ways. First, from the outset, I decided to publish once a week. To me, Blue Kitchen is a weekly online publication; I don’t feel pressured to put up posts daily, and regular readers come to expect my Wednesday posts. That said, I’m on it every day, checking comments, and I’m always thinking about future posts, so I never totally turn it off in my head. But just giving myself a weekly deadline and sticking to it helps.

    Second, I really lucked out in the spousal department. My wife Marion is an excellent cook and a writer; I occasionally have her doing posts on the blog. She’s also always on the lookout for food ideas, new products, photo props and other things, just like I am. So my blog is something we share, rather than something that takes time away from the family.

    Terry Bs last blog post..Homemade pizza, quick enough for a weeknight

  14. says

    Thanks for the heads up on the movie! That is always such an important message to remember your priorities! Thanks for the reminder! It looks like a good movie!

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