…love, Maegan’s chandelier necklace DIY

So normally I’d post a “DIY Links of the Week” today…but I found the blogosphere strangely lacking in DIY tutes this week…or maybe I wasn’t on it looking hard enough.  Of course, there’s always …love, Maegan and her great DIY’s (this week a Prada chandelier necklace DIY, above), and OnePrettyThing‘s daily roundups…but otherwise, nothing really caught my eye.  (Please let me know if there’s any majorly fashionable DIY tutorials out there that I’ve missed!)

But instead I wanted to throw this out there and see if anyone else who maintains a blog is going through this too.

(img source: Getty Images)

Yup, that image pretty much sums up my last 2 to 3 months.  (Love that she’s either plugged in to her computer, or she’s using the power cord as a banana clip.  Gotta be fashionable whilst collapsed!!)

I’m currently just starting Week 3 of my second bronchitis infection in a year.  (My last one, if some of you may recall, began March 30 of last year, the day before we had to go to Hawaii for a wedding, and lasted until mid-August.  Even after I “got over” it, when I was working late [on this blog], and/or dehydrated, suddenly *cough cough* would come burbling up out of me, unbidden, with no warning.  I’ve never been a coughy person before…just after the bronchitis it’s like my lungs would start to weaken if the rest of my body was tired or run down.  The surprise coughing would only happen once a week or so, especially when I was staying up late or pushing myself really hard to cut back on sleep and get a lot done otherwise.)

So now, after 3 colds in a row after getting back from Hawaii this year, (the second cold bringing laryngitis for a week with it – FUN!), I’ve now come done with bronchitis, AGAIN.  I also have pityriasis roasacea (2nd infection in my life – it’s like a rash on your torso, arms, and neck which appears for no known reason, has no treatments, no cure, and just goes away on its own about 8 – 12 weeks later) and a mucocele on my inner lip which I can’t get an oral surgeon to remove until May 25 [10 weeks after I first got it] b/c that was their first appointment available.  LOVELY.  I’ve not been able to exercise since getting back from Hawaii due to the recurrent colds and bronchitis (except the odd walk around the neighborhood here and there), and have added another 5 pounds to my frame, losing almost all the muscle tone I gained last summer while training with P90X.

In other words, I’m a mess physically.  Well, none of these diseases/infections/afflictions are particularly serious…it’s just that it feels like I’m doing something wrong here, like the balance of my life is off. For example:

Here is me in Hawaii on our first trip in early February for Hub’s best friend’s wedding:

and here is me in Hawaii (at the beach, Hanauma Bay, to be exact) when we were there again in March for my brother-in-law’s wedding.

Yes, folks, I was on the beach, in Hawaii, WORKING on my articles on Fashion Week for FashionTribes.com (which have STILL not been posted – Lesley, what are you doing???) and for write-ups for this blog, while Hub and Lil Tot and all my inlaws frolicked in the water.

Now, of course this was my choice – no one put a gun to my head.  Wasn’t that stupid of me?  But in turn I got stuff done, and I faithfully updated this blog almost every single day, and answered formspring.me questions, and networked online, and added widgets and whatnots and things day in and day out to this site.  Oh, and navigated going to New York Fashion Week, and seeing 9 shows, and conducting 5 interviews (many of which I haven’t posted yet…*sigh*), and taking photos throughout.

But at the end of it, here I am, sick yet again.  I’ve imposed this once-a-day posting schedule on myself, I know that, but at the same time, it feels…almost pointless.  My day has gotten to be where I am doing so little of the things I enjoy (making things, spending time with my family, re-connecting with friends, gardening, working out, watching movies, surfing the internet, laughing) and instead is 3 – 9 hours a day of sitting in front of this computer, writing, editing photos, creating posts, reformatting the blog, researching, posting on other forums/blogs…or taking numerous photos.

I work every single day on this blog.  I do write, sometimes: “I’m not posting today,” or I skip a post in a day (but I’ll double up on posts on another day to make up for it) – but I’m still checking email, answering formspring.me questions, answering Cut Out + Keep questions, responding to Threadbanger comments, editing photos for future tutorials, hashing out my editorial schedule, pulling inspiration for a number of sources, combing the internet for DIY info…  I mean, I’m on the WWW every single day working on this – whatever this is.  I work almost 24 hours a day some days – I check my email first thing in the morning (6:30 AM), and often posting something is the last thing I do before I go to bed around 12:30 AM.  Some days I’ll be working until 2 or 3 in the morning.  I’ll be on the computer numerous times throughout the day to deal with the huge amount of email I get, comments/questions that need to be responded to, etc.  Plus, I work 7 days a week doing this- there are no “days off” from this, from trying to be available and helpful to everyone who requests it.  I work 40 hours a week on this…and the funny thing is, to be completely honest, the revenue I make from this blog (since I don’t sell advertising space just yet) is barely enough to buy a grande drink at Starbucks once a month.

So why do it, right?

How many of us would work a full-time job at something, around the clock, 7 days a week, for $5 a month?

But that’s what blogging is, for many of us.

There is a great post over on Wardrobe Refashion entitled Free is Expensive that speaks to this issue, if you are interested. (click thru the links to the articles she provided if you want to know more re: “Your Own Personal Blogging Sweatshop” hehe.)  The webmaster [blogmaster?] of the site has decided to make it a paid membership site in order to make it worth all the work she’s put into it, and many people objected to this, so she posted about how much work blogging really is, and how many of us who are putting out quality content don’t see a dim
e for all that work.

I, meanwhile, have left FashionTribes as Contributing Editor, and now post once-a-week step-by-step tutorials for Threadbanger.com.

As you have probably noticed, I have barely been able to make DIY tutorials for this blog here in the meantime.  I really want to.  But moreso I just want to make things, because I like making things, and that’s how this ol’ blog got started in the first place: I thought “I’ll share with everybody what I’ve made and tell them how to make something just like it!”  The response was phenomenal.  (Imagine me, squeeing, running around the room saying “They like me!  They really, really like me!”)  Yes, validation.

I know I am in the wrong since I did not hash out a business plan before starting a blog, nor did I create a specific monetization goal or a squeeze page or any info-product or upsell or anything tied in to Chic Steals.  I started it because it was just doing something that I liked: finding bargains on the internet, making stuff and showing other people how to make it too.  But it’s gotten to the point where I can’t keep putting so much time into it – where it’s literally affecting my health, my family life, my ability to get a full-time job – if there is so little “payoff” from it.  I’m obviously not a very smart businessperson because I would have done something prior to this to make Chic Steals more “worth my while,” not let it get to this point where I start to feel dissatisfaction with the situation.

Having followers, “meeting” you guys through comments, having online conversations with you – it’s fabulous, like a virtual sisterhood, and that’s what keeps me going many days.  (Don’t doubt it!  I’m not trying to minimize your readership and what it means to me.:-)  But in the end, it really is virtual, and if I don’t turn my computer on for the day, there is no connection to any of you.  I’ve begun to feel like I spend just too much darn time in the virtual world and not enough time in the real one, and that’s why I keep getting ill with one thing after another, and why this blogging thing is feeling like “work that I don’t get paid for.”  Does that make sense?

So anyway…this is just a long-winded way of saying There are going to be some changes happening here.

Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week…but there will be some changes in the offing.  Total redesign of this site.  Re-branding.  Narrowing down of content.  (Wait a minute…isn’t that more work???)

As of right now, I’m trying to keep the computer off more, cut down on email, not jump to answer questions or comments immediately, and perhaps…*shudders*…not posting every day.


Plus, I’m trying to eat more healthy, get out more, and get back to making things without snapping a photo every 5 seconds.

So if I slow down in posts, I’m sorry.  If I can’t post a how-to video for a DIY, I’m sorry.  If I don’t visit your blog, or don’t respond to a kind comment you have left me, I’m sorry.
The above is why.

Sorry, this post ended up super-long.  I could be inscrutable and lofty and just post some editorial photos with a one-sentence comment but that’s not me.  I guess my thing is transparency.  “This is how, this is why…” and all that.  I’m sure a lot of you don’t want to hear some random blogger ranting about how hard she works and how she gets no money for it, and the love she gets from it isn’t enough anymore.  But that’s the long and short of it.

But any of you out there – how many of you are feeling similar in regards to your own blogs, and how much working on them starts to encroach on your lives?

Also: tell me what you want to see here!  (A forum?  Community voting on what DIYs you want me to turn into video tutorials?  Online workshops?  DIY kits?)

I’d really like to hear your feedback and know what you’d like from this site.

Thank you, as always, for your time and readership.


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