On Lacking Focus

blogging and focus

Sometimes I worry that my blog lacks focus. I think about fabulous bloggers that I know who write about one thing, more or less. Whether it’s food, photography, environmentalism, parenting, fitness, product reviews, politics, fashion or what-have-you, there are people who do a much better job than I do of sticking to a central theme or topic. I think it benefits them, as well. Their readers know what they’re coming for, and they know they’re going to find it.

I’ve spent a fair bit of time thinking about what my focus should be. I can’t come up with one. I have some loose themes that I often stick to, mostly because they reflect my personality and where I am in my life. Call it crunchy granola suburban mom in search of a greater sense of purpose and presence. That’s too broad to be a focus, however. On top of that, even that broad categorization is too confining, sometimes. My mind is a big place – vast, in fact. It only makes sense that my blog should reflect that.

Still, I wonder. I wonder if writing would be easier if my choice of topics were more confined. I wonder if I’d receive more accolades, or have more readers, if I wrote for a targeted audience and worked all my search engine optimization magic. I wonder if I’m being overly self-indulgent, by telling myself I simply cannot be confined. I wonder why I chafe so much at imposing more structure on my blog, when I’m such a fan of it in every other area of my life.

I think, perhaps, that last wondering provides the answer. My blog is like my safety valve. It’s one of the places that I don’t have to be ordered and focused. It’s a place where I’m allowed to ditch the structure, and nothing all that bad happens. My kids don’t suffer if my blog lacks structure. Dinner still gets made. My work still gets done. The dishes still get washed. Everyone still gets to school and back on time. I’m at a point in my life where I have a whole lot of responsibility. This blog is a space where I can just be me, not Mom or Employee or Environmentalist or Wife or Responsible Adult. Because the truth is, while I wear all those hats, they don’t always fit me.

Recently, I’ve made a decision. I am re-claiming this space, and owning my lack of focus. I’ve ditched my blogging schedule. I took down my “Advertise Here” buttons. I have eased up on my podcast, interviewing truly fabulous people when they cross my path, but not scrambling to find guests when they don’t. Most importantly of all, though, I’ve given myself permission to just let things happen, instead of making this one more space where I try to impose structure, whether it’s needed or not.

Maybe what I’m saying is that I am trying to accept myself as I am, by accepting my blog as it is. We may not always have focus, but we’re both still pretty good. In any case, the only opinion that truly matters in the end for either one of us is my own.

Sometimes I worry that my blog lacks focus. More and more, though, I’m totally fine with that. More and more, I’m choosing to believe that small is beautiful, whether we’re talking about my blog or my life. More and more, I’m remembering that I’m living my life for me, and that comparing myself to other people is just not helpful at all. Those other bloggers are awesome in their way, and I’m awesome in mine. I don’t have to share their focus to be okay. I’m okay already, just as I am.

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    Comments

    1. Glad I’m not the only one who feels her blog lacks focus. Phew! I feel better.
      Mama and the City’s last post … There’s no M in Father’s Day.My Profile

    2. Fabulous! this is the process i went through late last year in finding my way back to what i wanted to blog about and when and how (+ with social media). once i changed tack in January i fel in love with blogging. and today my kids have end of term (we are in australia) and are on 2 weeks holiday – i am closing up shop for 2 weeks – no guest posts, no facebook = time for writing, art, my kids and friends!!

      enjoy your new directions!
      Deb @ Home life simplified’s last post … Taking breaksMy Profile

    3. Bridget says:

      I just wanted to let you know that I love reading your blog regardless of your focus. Thanks for inspiring me to be a better human and mother.

    4. I’m with Bridget! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I appreciate your unconfined focus. It’s never redundant or boring (as those with extreme focus sometimes can be. To me your blog is a lifestyle blog, it reflects your interests and values, many of which I share. Go with your flow, Amber, I think it works!
      -Dana
      Dana’s last post … No Bake Chocolate Dream BarsMy Profile

    5. For me, the common thread woven through your blog is found in your strong writing skills, your being informed and having heart! I enjoy the variety of your blog and podcasts! .
      Renee’s last post … Heart of a DoulaMy Profile

    6. I like your blog and your attitude of peace on this issue. My site (I still don’t think of it as a blog; we started it years before blogs existed) has a loose focus, and I feel I’ve wandered away from even that sometimes to post things that are more storytelling about my personal experiences than “guidelines for life on Earth”…but it seems to work well enough. When I look at the stats, I compare myself only to myself, looking at my slow but steady increase in readers and the enduring success of several specific articles–instead of comparing to other bloggers whose readers number in the thousands instead of hundreds. I’m writing for those who need or want to read it, not competing in a popularity contest. Also, I don’t want to spend my time doing some of the things you “have to” do to promote a blog. I think your choice of topics is great; I am interested in most of them!
      ‘Becca’s last post … Buying Bulk Food in Reused ContainersMy Profile

      • When Strocel.com started in 2003 I asked for a website and my husband built me a blog. It took YEARS for me to not be annoyed with him about that.

        And I like your attitude, as well. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

    7. I totally agree with previous comments that your blog is great just as it is! No narrow focus needed.

    8. Sounds like a good plan to me! At times I’ve wondered if I should post something when it had nothing to do with necessarily being a ‘mommy.’ But then I suddenly feel restricted in what I say and the whole point of my blog is for me to express what’s going on currently in my brain.

    9. A blog otta change with the person IMO. If you over focus, you can’t touch on all those other important facets of your life and creative expression. Solidarity!
      harriet Fancott’s last post … The happiness listMy Profile

    10. Amber, I am totally on the same page as you. Maybe this is how bloggers start to identify as ‘lifestyle’ bloggers? I think it is not only totally fantastic but also necessary to regroup and refocus about what you give to your blog. I love your take on how you are going to be doing this.
      Andrea is…Mama in the City’s last post … 2013 Vancouver Mom Blogging EventMy Profile

    11. Most of the blogs I like reading fall into the same category as yours – not about any one thing but with an interesting, real person behind the writing. Renee calls her blog, http://fimby.tougas.net/ “A Family Story blog” and I think that’s a good title – us “unfocused” bloggers are really telling our stories with all the variations and questioning that comes with that.
      Michelle @ The Parent Vortex’s last post … Favourite gluten free baking recipesMy Profile

    12. Ha! Ha! Ha!

      I often worry that my blog lacks focus, and I try to rein it in through the use of categories, which only kinda sorta works. But I laugh because I look to your blog as a model of one that covers many topics but in no way feels unfocused, likely because of what Michelle points out. Everything you write is infused with your perspective and sensibility. That’s focus enough!
      Rachael’s last post … Just Like His Big BrotherMy Profile

    13. You don’t lack focus, you’re eclectic and have wide interests. :-)

      And yay for relaxing on self-imposed restrictions and deadlines!
      christy’s last post … Summer Bucket ListMy Profile

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