Blogging can be a lonely business, and sometimes it’s tough to deal with the personal implications of stepping out of a busy office and in to the dark recesses of your home office.
Your entire life can be thrown off balance, and everything you knew before disappears, leaving you with just the blank cold stare of your monitor for comfort.
It’s all very well celebrating the power of the online community, but sometimes Skyping and e-mail simply can’t fill the void left behind from when you worked in an office. Office life can be fun sometimes, for all we try and escape it as soon as possible, and we make friends quickly in an environment where we are thrown together for seven or more hours a day.
Celebrating the social side of office life
Most of us who have worked in a corporate environment still have great friendships with the people we worked with.
Pulling together over a project, or bemoaning the negative side of the company we work for can be a great way of bonding and forging new relationships. Add to this the draw of the communal coffee area, car-shares, and after-work socializing, and it’s not hard to see why people seem to get close to one another more quickly in this environment than any other.
You only have to look at the number of relationships that are going on in any office to see how important our work colleagues are. Regardless of the kind of industry you are in, the office environment throws people together with an intensity which we don’t get in any other area of our lives. Sharing stress together, bitching about the boss or pulling together to reach a tough deadline all bring out the best – and worst – in people, and sometimes our work colleagues know more about us and our lives than our family!
No matter how alluring running your own business is, there’s still something missing from our lives when we make the jump in to working for ourselves. Unless we rent office space somewhere with other business owners, we’re faced with the prospect of not seeing anyone sometimes from the minute we wake up and switch our machines on, to the moment we log off at the end of a busy day.
Gaining support from online networking
Since I started my blogging business, I’ve made some amazing contacts that I keep in touch with every day.
Sometimes, every hour. Some of these people live on the other side of the world, and I’m unlikely to ever meet them, but they are as much a part of my business as my old colleagues from my corporate world. Through Skype I am able to speak with people and have meetings online, and video and audio technology have made it possible to run your business without ever getting up from your chair.
I’m not saying this is the answer for self-employed loneliness, but it does go a long, long way to remove feelings of isolation when we start to build up our network of relationships and contacts. I’m glad of the people I have met virtually, and it’s good to know that there are thousands of us out there, all looking for someone to talk to!
How do you overcome the loneliness of blogging?
Please share your views in the comments below.
I’ve found the YouTube community to be a GREAT outlet for friendships, networking, and general human interaction expecially when the blogging gets really lonely.
It’s much more prominant for producers as opposed to people who exclusively view, but there are a ton of people and a ton of opportunities to interact.
It’s fun, challenging, and a great outlet for person-centric creativity. Swing by my channel if you want to connect!
I’ve never got into the YouTube community. I know I should and I intend to create more videos…so I shall.
I’ve found frequently engaging my cyber buddies helps in this area. I also take long walks and set aside a few hours daily to go offline and outside. We are social beings who crave interaction at times. Depriving yourself of human contact makes one miserable which is not the ideal mindset for a business owner.
Thanks for sharing your tips and have a wonderful weekend 🙂
I like the ideas of walking and going outside.
I also like social interaction. I talk a lot with people via Skype.
Yeah, what is even more interesting – even hiring some additional editors not always helps 🙂 Everyone gets so busy these days.
Andrew – I don’t miss being in an office a minute.
All the interruptions – questions – activity – people in and out.
I used to stay until at least seven PM so I could get some work done.
Love all my friends on the Internet. They fill in any blanks I may have.
I understand exactly what you mean!
I do miss some of my ex-work friends, though.
Having been a nurse most of my working life I was used to working all hours and having heaps of activity going on around me. How different is the blogging world eh??!! I found it lonely at first as most of my friends tried to be supportive but didn’t know what I was on about most of the time. Finding a blogging community that I can connect with has been great. And I love Twitter as I have some great interactions with other tweethearts on there. The encouragement and help I have received has blown me away. Love it and like you Andrew, I am meeting up with all sorts of people from all over the world.
Patricia Perth Australia
It’s weird isn’t it?
I do feel I am talking to a number of people throughout my working day even though I am only Tweeting, Skyping, commenting…
I faced this problem for the past 2 years, and honestly I don’t find an easy answer besides renting an office (which can be expensive).
I am planning to return to the workforce because it’s just too much. Humans are meant to be social creatures, not left in a room for the entire day =)
Going back to the workforce just for the company – that’s a new one for me.
Perhaps you should start a ‘blogging club’ for the town you live in or something like that. Regularly meet up.
Sometimes I feel like I am spending too much time on twitter to compensate for both a lack of a 9-5 office social environment and to distract me from the frustration of my slow blogging progress. Having said that I’ve ‘met’ most of my best, most supportive contacts through twitter, from all corners of the world as you say Andrew and view many of them as my friends. Blogging has made me feel more sociable than I have in ages. I’m on facebook socially a lot more than I used to be for example. Of course tweetups are the best of both worlds really.
For me it is about getting the balance between the social side and working on your business plans.
Doing a few minutes social stuff can be a welcome break.
I still hold my office job, but I still know what you mean. I spend my off time on the computer blogging and blog surfing. Most people can’t relate to what we do. So even when you have people around it can be a lonely activity.
There is a huge number of people who don’t get what we do!
I have to tell my Father-in-law everytime I see him!
It is hard what we do, maybe even more so for the part time bloggers. Agree that you need the online network to help get you through it, and existing friends and family to balance it all out.
Build a team around you improves your chances of success.
There’s a lot of differences between blogging and having an office job and you’ve highlighted the most important ones very well. I also agree that online networking will help a lot when you are into blogging. These people could help you from your blog design to increasing traffic in your blog. And when you’re too tired from a day’s blogging work, a little cup of hot tea would be nice.