Slow & Steady

erin loechner in the new york times

When The New York Times calls you to ask your opinion about blogging, you answer. You fight the sweaty palms, fearful that you’ll say the wrong thing or your words might be minced or your good intentions to be honest and truthful and mindful might be misconstrued.

And then, you state your peace. I stated mine in this NYT article published today, nearly two years after I penned this post about slow blogging. It is still true. It is still timely.

If you’re a blogger, may I share with you some encouragement?

You are not a machine.

You are not a brand.

You are not expected to produce daily content that teams of 9-5ers are strategizing over for weeks, months, seasons.

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You can admit that you’re a little tired. Or that you need a breather. Or that you’re re-prioritizing. Or that you don’t know what’s next. It doesn’t make you ungrateful for the platform you’ve been given, and it doesn’t make you unprofessional. It makes you real. It makes you human. It makes you you.

There are challenges to every job, many of which are only seen behind closed doors. And those challenges aren’t often seen within the cropped restraints of an Instagram grid.

There is a season for everything. A time to plant and a time to uproot. A time to search and a time to give up. A time to be silent and a time to speak. (That’s from Ecclesiastes, lest you think I’m a wise soul.)

Rest your weary heads, bloggers, if you’d like. Breaks are good and healthy and constructive, and a fresh perspective changes everything.

And sure – when you return – you might have less of your readers. But you’ll have more of yourself.

Image Credits: Michelle Litvin for The New York Times

p.s. My thoughts on the future of blogging.

  • I remember when you wrote that article 2 years ago. It still rings true today. Because of that post, I felt comfortable enough to “slow blog” myself and not feel the pressure to be the latest and the greatest, but just to be true to myself and my business. Thank you!

  • Yes, yes, yes. Applauding over here. I watched the YHL story unfold and was beside myself. I feel like every blogger who is gracious enough to share their story (monetized or no) should be given the space to grow, change, breathe and just BE. We ARE human, after all. I couldn’t have said it better myself, friend. So glad you were able to add your wise voice to the story. xo

  • I really enjoyed the article in the New York Times and appreciate your honesty and priority in being authentic. This blog post echoes that as well. Thank you!

  • Yes! Perfect timing as I enter my third trimester and have less energy to spread around and really want my family to get the best me. I have been slow blogging for a while now, and it keeps it in it’s rightful place for me.

  • So, somehow I totally missed that you were in Fort Wayne until it was mentioned in the NYTimes. So crazy! I’m in Indy, and I always complain that everything seems to be out of NY, Utah and Atlanta :) Good to know you are in the middle.

  • I’m so fascinated by the fact bloggers feel the need to apologize to their readers for taking a break (and having other priorities in life). But, though I’m not blogging as a profession I also understand that readers are needed to generate revenue, so keeping them informed is in your best interest. I think you strike a lovely balance, Erin.

    • Ah, thank you, Jamie – it’s a really interesting concept, isn’t it? Thanks for the encouragement! I, too, appreciate bloggers that have outside priorities and are unapologetic in those commitments, yet have still found a way to show gratitude for the platform they’ve been given. It’s a very tricky balance!

  • As a blogger who just penned a post announcing a self-imposed break in order to go home to care for my mother who is going through chemo, I am encouraged by any of us that know when family and self need to come before career and goals. I’ve been enjoying DFM so much more since you’ve been doing fewer, deeper, more personal posts. Thank you for being such a light of encouragement and positivity!

    • Sorry to hear about your mother!

      I agree, I’ve enjoyed DFM even more with fewer but higher quality posts. I read fewer blogs overall as I find that I cannot take in so much visual imagery and text. I also don’t want to be bombarded with round ups of this or that to buy, buy, buy.

      Quality over quantity and personality/opinions over generic round ups.

      Just as a corporate job doesn’t love you back, neither do mass internet audiences. Everything in moderation, whether it be social media or blogging or screens or food or whatever. When we’re all 80 we won’t be looking back and wishing we had written another blog post.

    • Oh Lesley, I am so so sorry to hear of your mother. Sending her warm thoughts and prayers – is there any way we can help support you?

  • Yes your words are like honey dear Erin to this weary and worn out mother and wanna-be blogger for her non-profit, who has written one blog post (as yet unpublished) and is still fighting to find time to write a second one months later…I am a good example of slow blogging…lol. Bless you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom and words xo Renuka

    • Ahhhh, I hear you, Renuka!!! I hope you’re not banging your head against the wall too much. Inspiration for blogging will come in time, but for now, keep taking care of yourself and your family. It’s the ultimate inspiration, and it’s real life. :)

  • Oh Erin,

    Running a blog is ever so much a labor of love. I love that article of yours 2 years ago (how time flies!) I feel that bloggers place such pressure on themselves, and it can consume one’s life. I’ve started to slow down too, and like you I chose to go deep with each post, and made the blog into a chronicle of my own self-discovery a couple of years ago. It was liberating, and as I gave permission to myself to put down my thoughts instead of merely going through the paces of what was expected of me, my perspective began to shift. Instead of writing for others, I began to write for myself. During the shift in thinking, here’s what my process looked like – written down for all to see: http://www.pikaland.com/2013/08/06/why-do-you-do-the-things-you-do/

    Don’t stop whatever you’re doing.

    • Ah, I loved this post, Amy – we’ve had similar paths to blogging, I think. I love how you’ve let yours naturally evolve! :) Keep up the lovely work!

  • Hi Erin; actually i was reading that New York times post this morning and remembered about your post about slow blogging, funny how it takes that long to them to notice that bloggers are not machines, uh. I´m totally agree with you its always better to do less but better, deeper; than more but superficially. For us your audience, i think is the same, is better to consume few well written content than a lot of trash.
    You are such an inspiration to keep an eye on what we do and what we get.

  • BOOM! every time I come to this space I am uplifted, encouraged, motivated, and inspired to live life with intention and for a moment I put down my own blogging “weight” (this rarely or never happens when visiting another blog). You are the real deal miss E! xo

  • Hi Erin,

    I’ve only just discovered your site (it’s cozy here in my internet cave!), but your writing voice and opinions really resonate with me. I started blogging in 2007, but have never been as hardcore about the whole thing as others. I’ve been lucky enough to spin my blog into three cookbook deals, and now sort of see that as my future path, as long as I can continue to sell book ideas and copies–it’s kind of the ideal job for a work-from-home mom to two little ones! But I know I have to continue to blog as a marketing tool, and will be getting back into regular posting now that I’m in the editing stages of my latest book. If I’m not careful, just the thought of having blogging more often turns me into a crazy person because of the insanity of the blogging game these days. I’m so glad to have found your words as a way to keep perspective about the whole process of publishing online, and not end up having to be institutionalized. Thank you!

    • Oh I love hearing from another slow blogger – thank you for sharing this, Shauna! Keep up the good and worthy work! :)

  • I appreciate so much reading your thoughts on blogging, I have raised a large family and wrote letters and journals for and about my children throughout the years. Now I have turned to sharing my writing with the world and everyone says you need to blog a lot but I agree with you about keeping the pace slow and sustainable. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience! My blog is here if you would like to visit, http://deathiswhat.com/

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