Summer of the Blog
Jealousy and envy are topics that comes up a lot in the blog’o’sphere. It’s easy to look at the snap shots of other people’s lifestyles and creative endeavors or the number of followers and comments a blogger has and get envious. You might wonder, “Why am I not getting the recognition I deserve and they are?” “Why can’t I be that creative?” “What am I not doing well enough?” “Why isn’t my life like that?” Those thoughts are neither enjoyable nor productive and aren’t worth your time. This is my unsolicited advice on how to avoid them. These aren’t perfect solutions, but they’ve helped make my internet time more pleasant.

1) Unsubscribe. Seriously. If reading a blog plagues you with jealousy and envy, just stop reading it. The internet is full of good blogs out there. Fill you feed reader with stuff that makes you happy, makes you feel good, and inspires you. It’s hard to break away from blogs with good content, but if you can’t read them without being jealous every time, they’re really not worth it.

2) Remember that you’re just seeing what a blogger chooses to show you. You have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes. A blogger can make their life look perfect by leaving out the negative and boring details, but let’s be real. No one actually has a perfect life, or learns a craft without trial and error, or does everything right on the first try. Just because they choose to not show you the unpleasant work and their failures doesn’t mean that they don’t happen.

3) Think about how much work it would take to do something yourself or get whatever you’re envious of. As easy as it is to imagine a lucky fairy that chooses to bless everyone but you, most accomplishments take a lot of effort. Promoting, networking, knitting, crocheting, writing, and photography all take time. You have to develop the skills and put them to work and those bloggers had to do it too. You could spend all of your free time doing that or you could make other choices that might be better for you. I’d like to have an amazing, popular blog, but when I have to choose between putting together good blog content and doing something fun with my friends, my friends always win. That’s a choice I make that more successful bloggers might not and I’m more than okay with that.

4) Learn from what you admire about other blogs instead of being envious over it. Envy comes from a desire to have something yourself. Since we’re just talking about blogging, why not make it happen? Look at what you admire and draw from it when working on your own projects or blog. I’m not suggesting directly imitating another blogger. What I’m suggesting is looking at how you can translate things you like about other blogs into your own work. Think about what the other blogger is doing well, why it works, and then use it for inspiration.

14 Comments

  • GREAT topic today! I just did a huge purge on my google reader last month, and it makes me feel much better about how I’m using my time. No more reading blog entries (that mostly bore me) from people that I don’t really connect with. It’s not even that I have negative feelings toward them – I just know that putting my energy into people and places that I will get a response is better for me!

  • Thanks for taking on this very difficult topic. You’re right – unsubscribing and refocusing your energy is the best solution if you can’t deal with envy.

  • Great topic, and it’s important as well! I recognize myself in what you describe here, and I don’t like it at all, trying to avoid being envy, but it’s not always easy. But it’s generally a waste of time, so why bother? 🙂 Good tips as well, I’ll keep them in mind.

  • These are some great points. I sometimes struggle with envy, and get easily frustrated with blogs that only show perfectly curated content. I’ve found that, like you said, either choosing not to read those blogs or treating their content as inspirational rather than aspirational has really helped. I think there’s a common mindset that another person’s success or beauty subtracts from the total amount that’s available – therefore, more for them means less for me. It can be really hard to shake that mindset, but I find I’m a much happier person when I stop trying to measure my success against the success of others.

  • It’s so easy to feel competitive in the blog world. Excellent post, Andi! I definitely have to clean out my reader occasionally, or just take an internet break.

  • Great Post! I often forget that other people are only showing ‘snapshots’ of thier lifes, It’s important to remember why you are blogging- and who you are blogging for.

  • I loved the advice Andi! I really enjoy reading your blog (and I subscribe, lol) because you give us a real look at what goes on. Sometimes it’s a design mistake that needs ripping back and sometimes it’s a success. I loved that and decided to give it a go on my own blog this year. I was pleased with the response from readers, and the removal of pressure to look perfect online. Thanks!

    • Thanks! I felt weird about sharing that stuff when I first started, but now I would have nothing to write about half of the time if I didn’t! The tough stuff is more interesting for me to write about than the projects that just go smoothly.

  • What a good topic! Personally I find it applies more to Facebook than blogs but perhaps that’s because I really only subscribe to knitting blogs and I love them all and only get jealous of beautiful knit goods and that translates as a goal rather than something to beat myself up over.
    But yeah. I’m unfriending all those people in fb who seem to be out having a good time ALL the time. 😉

  • This post is such a good reminder. Just because someone appears to “have it all” doesn’t mean they didn’t work for it. And just because someone has their blog featured in various places doesn’t mean they don’t have a day job.

  • I have really enjoyed reading the posts in your Summer of the Blog series. So glad that you included this topic because I think envy happens to most of us in blogland to some extent. Great advice as usual!

  • That’s an interesting post. Sometimes I do feel jealous that other sewing bloggers have more free time or so many finished projects, but I have to keep in mind that their life is different from mine and perhaps they do have more free time.

  • This is a wonderful post! I recently discovered your blog through the OAL and have been reading back posts, it’s very cool to see the evolution of the patterns I’ve admired on ravelry – you are a really talented desginer and have a great sense of style and color. I just got back into knitting and sewing after taking about a decade off. I used to blog back then just to keep track of my projects and be connected through the knitty forums. Now the indie sewing and knitting blogsphere is amazingly rich and full of inspiration and tutorials… but it’s kind of overwhelming. Like – can I only have a blog nowadays if I am tall and skinny and have gorgeous hair, a perfect house, and no other commitments in life other than curating my blog?! I still like to keep my new blog as a journal of my projects & read all the star blogs with gorgeous and informative content. I like this post because it puts things all in perspective & btw – your blog totally rocks! 🙂

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