Consumed – The Negative Side of Blogging

Have you noticed how the Olympic games have captured the world’s attention?

Viewers are consumed by the footage of the opening ceremonies, competitions and rivalries. As for the athletes, they’ve trained relentlessly for this world event for years—some for decades—and are consumed with winning. 

London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony
Opening Ceremony of 2012 London Olympic Games

It’s true that sometimes there are legitimate reasons for a consuming desire. But more often than not, being consumed results in being “saddled with trouble” rather than “adorned with gold”—especially if we’re consumed with the wrong things.

In the next few weeks, MM will be tackling a series of ways that we become consumed, and the first consuming subject I want to address is …

Blogging.

Blogging is a good thing. I’m not here to bash it. But I am here to admit that blogging can become an unhealthy obsession—a consuming addiction—that can interfere with one’s life and marriage.

It’s not the actual writing that’s all-consuming for me … it’s the constant compulsion to increase my traffic and build a platform. It’s like I’m trying to go for the “gold” in my own little blogging world—even if that “world” is all in my own little head.

I worry about how many pageviews I get for each post or don’t get. I worry about how many followers MM has or doesn’t have. I worry about how many subscribers I have or don’t. I worry about how many comments a post generates or doesn’t.

It literally drives.me.crazy sometimes! 
(Can I get an “Amen” from all you other bloggers out there?)

Since it drives me crazy, this usually translates into driving my husband crazy too, because he sees how this impacts my “Monday and Wednesday blog hop” mood. It probably takes me until Friday to recover, so that I have about two good days (since I’m consumed with writing on either Saturday or Sunday of the remaining three days).

I think this can be true of any job that we allow to overtake our lives or, worse, look to for validation.

I’m trying desperately to let go of my Tom Cruise-like “need to succeed” in blogging, and simply learn to serve. I remind myself regularly that if I’m serving some of you out there by the stories and truths that I (and others) bring, then that’s all that’s needed. Even more importantly, I remind myself to give these stories as an offering to Christ … 

After all, He’s the only consuming desire that really matters in the big game of life.

“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:14 (NLT)

Photo credit – shimelle (Flickr)

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  • Amen! Thanks for this much needed reminder.

  • I totally agree with you! When I start to get too consumed with stats or comments or Facebook followers and comparing myself to other bloggers, I have to remind myself that this is about the message, not the numbers. Not the traffic. Not the popularity. Write what God has put on your heart and He’ll take you where He wants you to go.

  • You have really hit at a tender spot here. I regularly have to step back, readjust my attitude. My heart will be in the right place, and then ever so slowly my desires will outpace God. I will walk and run forward in my excitement or worry, leaving him behind.
    I will then realize, again, it started being about me rather than not about how I can help and serve others. My walk becomes a dry and dusty solitary journey, not refreshing and enriching travels.

  • Amen. and Amen again. I have to daily give the blog over to the Lord and reassess myself and my motives towards writing.

  • Jody Collins

    Amen and yes! I’m new-ish to blogging (7 months in) and it’s been very up and down. Initially it was because I knew I could write and had something to say and God said to say it to glorify Him. Then it became a consuming ‘what will my post be this week?’ Just last night my husband said, “Is the world going to fall apart if you don’t post your blog?”(we’re getting ready for vacation). No, actually it won’t. Like Kim says below, I need to step back and readjust my attitude.

    And remember my audience is One…

  • Meghan Carver

    Amen! I think connecting with others is important and a valid mission of blogging, but a definite balance is needed. And the focus should always be on God’s will. I agree with Elizabeth — follow God’s will and He’ll take us where He wants us to go.

  • Becky Kopitzke

    Amen, Beth. I fall prey to this, too. And yet, at the core of it – the reason I began and continue blogging – is my hope that I can encourage someone else, even if it’s just one person. Sometimes the most “successful” posts are the least read. Thanks for your honesty! I’m sure many of us can relate.

  • Ro elliott

    I don’t think there is a person who would not relate to this…I took last week off since my husband was home…I told him last night…part of me doesn’t want to post…I liked the freedom…sometimes I just want to stop all together…it would be easier on may levels…but i think God wants to purify me through the process…on one post I called it my winepress…squeezing out the impurities…great post…blessings to you~

  • Ouch. I can relate. Blogging can consume me, too. And not just the writing, but the visiting around and answering comments, etc. Things I do love to do. But there’s never enough time. I’m still working on finding balance. I’ll look forward to more of what you’ll share here.

  • Patsy Paterno

    Hi Beth, yes we really have to be very careful! Our enemy is out to get us all the time. We may start out with the best of intentions and then very subtly, the enemy gets us where we are vulnerable. I listened to a seminar once where the teacher said we will be successful in blogging if we “sell” our hero. I’ve kept that on the forefront of my mind. I’m selling Jesus Christ! He’s my partner in my blogging. I don’t want to sell Him short, I want to give Him my very best, but it has to be the very best of my whole life, and not just blogging which can be very consuming!!! Blessings! patsy

  • messymarriage

    Thanks so much for saying, Jenni! 🙂

  • messymarriage

    Yes, I’ve posted Bible verses and other messages that remind me to gain perspective all over my bedroom. I’ve worked out certain boundaries that I use when I do the blog hops. But if I’m having a rough day (usually because of other matters), I can easily fall into a downward spiral. I appreciate your kind and encouraging words, Elizabeth. It means a lot to me. 🙂

  • messymarriage

    You’ve hit the nail on the head, Kim. It really is so subtle. We start out with really pure motivations, seeking to give it all to God, and then it slowly turns into a personal mission. I’ve accepted the fact that if I continue to blog, it will be a struggle. I just need to learn to surrender it better to God–still a work in progress! 🙂

  • messymarriage

    Yes, Mary Beth, it really is a “daily” battle that I didn’t anticipate when I started blogging. Thanks so much for your encouragement!

  • messymarriage

    Blogging really can take on a life of its own–holding us hostage if we let it, Jody. I’m glad that your open to your husband’s challenging words. And I hope your vacation refreshes your spirit so that you can come back to it with new energy and perspective! Thanks so much for your encouragement to me. 🙂

  • messymarriage

    Yes, Meghan, when I think of all that God is doing through us as bloggers, I feel overwhelmed. There’s really so much support, perspective and biblical encouragement out there for people that there never was before the age of blogs. Now, if we will just keep our eyes on Him all along the way, we’ll be able to move mountains!

  • messymarriage

    I cannot tell you how many times I’ve wanted to quit too, Ro. Like I said in my post, it often drives me crazy–and sometimes I just want the craziness to end. But like you, I also want to be used and purified in this process. It’s often painful, but I’m willing to face the pain as long as Christ walks with me.

  • messymarriage

    Although I’ve made it out to look like blogging always drives me crazy, I’m like you, Lisa, because I’ve found it also to be very rewarding and fun at times. I love the blogging relationships and am amazed at how we can come to know one another and support one another from all over the globe. But finding balance is still something of an elusive project for me. Thanks so much for coming by and encouraging me. 🙂

  • messymarriage

    I love that thought, Patsy. It really does put things into perspective. I’ll have to write it down and remind myself of it from now on. And yes, there is a spiritual warfare element to all of this, as well. I often feel that Satan is intimately involved in the discouragement of bloggers since we have immediate access to help so many. He must be working himself to death trying to stop us. 🙂 But thankfully we are more than conquerors!

  • Laraj

    I’m giving you an amen, Beth. How susceptible I am to idol making. Good thoughts here. I only want One to consume me that way. The all consuming Fire.

  • Alicia Bruxvoort

    Stopping by from L.L’s.. thanks for just naming it as it is. YES, I hate the consuming nature of blogging, too- seems I’m ALWAYS wrestling with myself and God to make sure I’m ACTUALLY writing for Him and not me. So glad I’m not alone in this fight! The only thing I want to consume me is JESUS CHRIST- easy to say, but not as easy to LIVE.

  • soulstops

    Love your honesty, Beth…I took an almost 3 week break from blogging recently, and it was good although I missed keeping up with my bloggy friends…I have to go to God with every post to ask Him to guide my writing and my heart…it is a process, and probably always will be this side of heaven…

  • messymarriage

    You and me both, Lara! Wish it wasn’t so easy to idolize things in life because Christ clearly outshines them all! Thanks so much for stopping by and saying!

  • messymarriage

    You are NOT alone, Alicia. I see this issue being discussed somewhat all the time at other blogs. I think we are all so much alike in this area and yet feel so alone sometimes. But I am so grateful that we can acknowledge this to one another and turn to Christ for our soul-satisfaction. Thanks so much for your encouragement!

  • messymarriage

    I’ve taken some little breaks here and there but haven’t stepped away from it completely. I think I’d like a 3 month break from it too. This post has me reevaluating things. I’m not saying that God wants me to give it up, but I do think there’s plenty of re-prioritizing I need to do in my life. Thanks for your authenticity and encouragement, Dolly!

  • JosephPote

    I’ll give you that “AMEN,” Beth!

    It can get a bit crazy. And, even though a good post does take me a few hours to write, edit, and prepare, I spend more time in activities peripheral to the actual post writing.

    The last few weeks, my schedule has moved from busy to hectic, and blogging has had to take a back seat. So much so, that I had to completely set it aside for a week, to focus on other things.

    Setting it aside was not too difficult…my bigger concern was whether, once set aside, I would have the discipline to pick it up again and be consistent.

    So far so good…but schedules for the next several weeks are still crazy…so we’ll see…

  • JosephPote

    “I love the blogging relationships and am amazed at how we can come to know one another and support one another from all over the globe.”

    This is what I’ve truly come to love about blogging!

  • JosephPote

    I’ve been at at about a year, now, Jody. I’ve found it can be a bit of a balancing act, at times. Not terribly different, though, from teachign a Sunday School class.

    It’s something I fell like God has led me to do. I want to do it. I enjoy it. And, yes, I’ve committed to trying to be faithful and consistent in posting.

    I found I didn’t have time for multiple posts per week. So, I post just once a week.

    However, sometimes I have been late on a post, and once I have skipped it entirely.

    Sometimes, other priorities simply have to come first.

    My biggest concern, I think, is that, like exercise, it may be easier to stop for a while than to start, again…

  • Oh Girl…AMEN! I am grateful for your kind post on my blog…which then led me to your beautiful blog, which so speaks to me. I can’t wait to read more!