It’s been an entire week since my last blog post. There was a time when that would have stressed me out. A time when I would have felt like I was falling behind, letting people down, or practicing bad blogging habits. Those days are long gone. My blogging ideology has evolved over the past three+ years from a one post every day habit (that lasted all of two months), to a self imposed rule of three posts a week leading to the creation of my This Week in an Instagram & Link Love Posts (also short lived), to a single long detailed post once a week, to an attempt to write shorter, more frequent posts (which failed because the words “write” & “short” do not go together in my world), to my current habit of writing what I want, when I want.
Blogging is a personal pursuit. The blogs I enjoy most are those that reflect the personality of the writer, and when you try to force yourself into a certain style or posting schedule it tends to come off as less than genuine. It also takes the fun out of it. We started this blog as way to keep our family and friends informed of our whereabouts, and while these days we have far more readers who are strangers than personal acquaintances, the core principle remains true — to share our journey of living full-time in an RV.
For me that means writing about our campground experiences, our outdoor adventures, our Airstream, and little bits about our life that don’t necessarily fit any category. That doesn’t mean we share everything about our lives here on the blog. In fact, there is a lot we choose not to share.
Not because we’re trying to deceive you into thinking that our life is all fun hikes and great views, but because those are the things I like to write about. If you want to watch a how-to video on unclogging your black tank, or read a 1,200 word post about a tire blow out, do a Google search and I guarantee that you’ll find more than enough to keep you entertained for a long time.
Despite these convictions and a clear idea of what I want this space to be, I sometimes get blogger anxiety. I start to feel like I don’t measure up in terms of research, story telling, photography, expertly crafted videos and the amount of feedback and comments that each post receives. That’s when I have to step back and remind myself what this whole blogging journey is about. What began as a means to keep family informed of our whereabouts has turned into a way to make new friends, share Airstream upgrades and travel tips, provide inspiration to others, and so much more.
More than anything though, this blog is for us. It’s how we record where we’ve been, what we’ve seen, and who we’ve met. Now that we’ve been at it awhile (1255 days to be exact) and have over 400 blog posts, I love nothing more than scrolling back through old posts and reminiscing about all the amazing places we’ve been. Remember when we used to print out photos and organize them into photo books? This blog is the ultimate photo book + journal all wrapped up in one.
I sometimes imagine us far in the future sitting in our loungers at the nursing home looking back through all these blog posts. It makes me happy that we have a record of this time in our lives. This is why I blog, and this is why I don’t need to follow a posting schedule or try to measure up to others. Because when it comes down to it, a travel blog is as much a personal journey as the journey itself.
By the way, all the photos in this post were taken last Saturday at Fall Creek Falls Lake. It was probably the coldest kayaking excursion we’ve been on, but so beautiful and totally worth a bit of chill.
I couldn’t agree more. I’ve struggled with the idea that I’ve “let people down” by being behind on my blog posts. I considered abandoning the past year’s potential blog posts completely and just starting from “right now” so that my posts seem more cohesive and current (nothing like posting where you were last summer only to have someone invite you over for a meetup, not realizing that you’re now half way across the country). It makes me tense. But then I, too, remember what my original intentions were when I started my blog…it was for me (us) and actually, writing my posts well after the fact gives us the opportunity to “relive” experiences that would otherwise been forgotten (in some cases). Of course, I remember too that my blog makes us exactly zero dollars…it’s not like I’m going to get fired or lose money…haha. I like the personal blog posts…sometimes I don’t need a how-to video but need to feel connected to fellow travelers..even , and especially, when much of this lifestyle can appear mundane and, dare I say, a bit like “ordinary” living. Laundry anyone?
I’m really glad that you’re not going to skip over the last year’s post just to get caught up. I think you would regret it down the road when you want to go back and read about all your adventures. Personally, I enjoy reading your blog posts and it doesn’t matter to me when the actual events happened.
Oh my gosh….I think you hit the nail on the head with this blog.
I feel an urgency to keep my blog up to date with our motorcycle rides, and now the new 5th wheel has come into the picture.
I haven’t written about the 5er that much yet, but I am sure it will come….but I do totally understand your feeling.
My blog doesn’t have a large following but my friends are always anxiously waiting for me to post about our last trip!!!
I also can see us sitting in the rocking chairs reading the blogs of yesteryear, and I love having mine printed each year and put in the hard back binder. My hopes are that my grandkids will be able to see how much fun their grandparents had during our crazy life.
Keep on blogging and remember why you are doing it…It is for yourself!!!!!
Thanks for the reminder! :) Happy Thanksgiving
That urgent feeling seems to be common among bloggers. Happy I could help remind us all why we do it. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!
Amanda, you are so right about this blogging thing! I always feel inadequate as a cruising blogger because of all the witty and talented bloggers already out there. Then I remind myself that the blog is for me, for us, as a way to remember the trips, the places, and the people we have experienced. Doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks or if they even read the darn thing. I laughed when I read the nursing home comment – I say that all the time! BUT, we truly do enjoy your blog – keep posting, on whatever schedule suits you.
As someone who reads a TON of different travel blogs I can say that I truly love yours. I always eagerly await a new post so we can see where you’ve been and what you’ve been up to. I think we all need to stop comparing ourselves to others and just write for ourselves. After all, we’re going to need that reading material at the nursing home :)
Great reminder, especially for those of us just starting out on this journey. You make your own path! Happy trails!
Yup, with so many travel blogs out there it can be difficult to resist the urge to emulate and compare ourselves to others. On an unrelated subject – it’s always nice to hear from a fellow Vermonter :)
This is so perfect. <3
I'm glad to know I'm not alone in my thoughts about blogging. :)
I’m glad to know I’m not alone as well!
Blogging is a journey, for sure. You are further down the trail than I am. I haven’t reached 50 posts and I have already changed my mind about my direction several times. I have found it to be fun and grueling at times. But always I agree it’s a great record of a point in time in our life. And I once it’s over I love that blogs can be transferred to book format. So it really is a journal and a photo album combined. I enjoy following your travels. And thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences through your blog. -Chris http://www.cuontheroad.net
Three and half years in and I’m still changing my mind about the direction of my blog! I think it’s naturally going to evolve along with your journey. Great idea about turning it into a book. I’ve started to compile posts for this process, but who knows when that will actually happen!
Regardless of the number or frequency of posts, the objective for us is to broaden our horizons and share the wonders. We applaud you and yours for sharing your travels and tips.
Thanks David! I really enjoy sharing our adventures even if I don’t do it as often as I once did.
I feel the same way about blogging. If we didn’t have followers I would still write the blog to help us remember where we’ve been and what we did there. Whenever I get tired of blogging and contemplate stopping, I go back and re-read some old posts, and then I remember why I must keep it up. Our nursing home days are much closer than yours ;-)
Yes! Re-reading old posts always inspires me to keep it up.
I don’t know how my blog can measure up to your post.
Well, I don’t have pictures of cute kids in my blog, so you’ll always have me beat ;) Seriously though, I think your blog is the only “part-timer” one that I actually read. I love the detailed descriptions of all your adventures, and you’ve even inspired us to hit up some of the same campgrounds.
I am right there with you. I don’t need to write (or read) any blog every day. The evolution of a blog over time is an interesting thing in and of itself. Thanks for naming it and being in the present moment with your blog and yourself.
The evolution of a blog is interesting. In a way it reflects how we’ve evolved in this traveling life as well.
Amanda, I’m with you — post when you feel inspired to do so, and write what you’re inspired to write. That said, I always enjoy reading your posts — your “voice” is authentic and entertaining. And your photography is gorgeous. Your comment about the nursing home is so funny — we’ve had that exact conversation. Although I prefer to think of us someday in some very cool assisted living situation where we can entertain the staff and fellow residents with photos and stories of our travels….;-)
Thanks for the kind words. It means a lot coming from someone who’s blog I greatly admire. I LOVE your thoughts on old age – if you find such a cool place we’ll definitely sign up!
I agree, you ultimately write the blog for yourself. Then add a few posts of things that interest you that you want to share. That’s what blogging is all about, sharing ideas and experiences with other people. I rarely get any comments on my blog and there aren’t that many people who actually read it. But it doesn’t matter. They are my experiences for me to look back on, or to remember where I was at a point in time! Post when you want to, take a break when you want to. It doesn’t matter. We will all be here waiting….
It sounds like you have the perfect attitude about blogging. In the end it’s your personal story and how many people read it will not change that. Keep it up!
With ya here, for sure! We’re taking a hiatus ourselves from blogging for similar reasons. Trying to feel like we’re ‘keeping up’ with our story, creating useful content, the perceived expectations of being ‘perfect’ and feeling like we’re comparing well to other contact creators was getting to be too much.
When we come back, we want it to be for the right reasons and to come from a place the feels right. We too started to keep a journey of our travels, and a place to reflect back on.
Sometimes, a reset is just what is needed.
Post on.. and do hope our paths cross one day!
Yup, sometimes a reset is the best way to go. There’s no reason why a blog should make you feel like you need to be perfect, or always creating stellar content in a timely manner. You’re generously sharing your life and your knowledge, which means it should happen on your terms. Looking forward to your return when the time feels right.
And, yes…we do hope our paths finally cross one day. Maybe it will happen this winter.
whatever works for you! but i certainly enjoy following along! thanks
Great thoughts that, apparently, have struck a note with many others. Love how your honesty has brought out similar vein of truth in the comments.
My blog is on life support at the moment as it needs serious updating…note to others…leave your trailer brand out of your blog’s name! You may change brands some day.
But the blog was created to make me write, and it is a success because this I have done..
Love how you are show casing some of Tennessee’s great places. I live on the next mountain east and across the valley from Fall Creek Falls. Very proud of our area!
Ha! I agree with the “leave your RV type out of the blog name sentiment.” You never know what the future will bring.
What a beautiful state you live in! We’re really glad that we decided to spend a few weeks here and look forward to a return trip someday.
So true. I just had major “bloggers block” after returning from Alaska and felt so guilty about it. But I let that go, took some time off and then started again. Blogging has been a journey for me.
I would have needed to take some time off after the summer your guys just had too! I was so impressed by the amount of detailed blog posts you wrote. It know it must have been a ton of work. You deserved a rest :)
I’ve enjoyed your posts for years and my spouse and I agreed your’s are among the best because they are:
-Accurate and not Embellished with exaggerations.
-Interesting due to your choices of places and activities.
Post if you please, I’ve already realized the frequency has diminished, no apologies needed. Not a blogger myself. But please retain the honest approach.
Thanks so much Anon!
I could not agree with you more. I mostly write blogs about our adventures, the ups, the downs and things we find interesting. If there is nothing interesting to write about then to me, there is no need to write a post.
You said it perfectly – if there’s nothing interesting to write about, then there’s no need to write a post.
Yours is one of my top must-read blogs, and I read dozens. We’re a little over two months from departure and I’m still not sure if I’ll blog. I’ve purchased a domain, so we’ll see. I just retired from a long career as a technical writer, and I’m afraid blogging will seem too much like work. I see why some people use only Instagram. I appreciate how long it takes to put a post together and I’ll take whatever you care to share, no matter the frequency. Thanks, Amanda!
I have been tempted so many times to only use Instagram. But then I think about all the people I would be leaving behind (mainly older family members) and I can’t do it. I think once you start traveling you’ll know if you want to blog or not. Maybe you’ll only feel the desire every once and while, but that’s okay. Also, I know a few people who turn their Instagram photos into a tiny post that atomically goes on their blog. I think this is a great option that would feel less like “work” than writing an entire blog post.
” the words “write” & “short” do not go together in my world” Ain’t it the truth! I often times beat myself up because my posts are way too long. But when I try to tailor the post to the length I think they SHOULD be, it doesn’t feel authentic. I am grateful for the platform to get my words out of my head, and also grateful for those like you and Tim who share so genuinely!
I almost always set out to write a short and sweet blog post, and then four hours and 2,000 words later I realize that I failed again. I say write what you want regardless of length and if people don’t like it they can skip over the words and just look at the pretty pictures :) By the way, I never think your post are too long. For me the authentic voice makes up for length any day.
This TOTALLY connects for me. I think you’ve achieved a fabulous balance with your blogging. Whenever you write you’re always engaging & personable which is a direct reflection of your authentic approach to blogging. And whenever you don’t write…well, I honestly never even think about that (despite the fact that I get those same anxiety feelings about my own blog). Your blog just feels natural, and I totally enjoy whenever a new post comes out. And in the end…it’s for you. I’m so totally with that. I enjoy your blog for exactly what it is (and by the way your pics are awesome too). Don’t change a thing.
Thanks Nina. That means a lot coming from someone who has long been my blogging inspiration :)
Well said. Your last two paragraphs sum up perfectly why I blog. As a blogger, it’s so easy to stray from my purpose. To chase page views, bounce rates, or to try and what I think readers might find value in. But I have to keep coming back and write for me. Stephen King had it right when he said – “First write for yourself, then worry about the audience”.
Yes, it really is easy to stray from the original intent. That Stephen King is one smart guy!
[…] respect. I also happen to agree with what they have to say about blogging. Amanda of Watsons Wander wrote about blogging late last month, and Nina of Wheelingit fame posted about the same subject two days later. See, I […]