Perspective

You know sometimes I have to question why I am still blogging? Have you, all you wonderful bloggers out there, ever felt like that? Sometimes I feel like I am blogging not for myself, not for my love of baking, but to give the audience what I perceive they want.

I have to stop then.

I have to take a step back and survey my surroundings. Blogging for me is not a career choice, it is quite literally, a hobby. Some people pay for dance classes? I pay to keep a website running. Some people decide to go out every night. Some nights, I prefer my pyjamas and baking 😛

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So why is it that sometimes, I feel pressured to post? I hate the feeling of forced typing, where my words don’t flow, and I don’t put my diary-talk into a post. Can you tell the difference? Though for the most part, I will be honest with you and provide a bigger slew of food porn than usual instead of words 😉

For the past two-three weeks, I have been pretty MIA. Firstly for exams, but honestly after they finished, just because I was enjoying uni life. People to meet, places to go, things to do. But, dear readers, I felt… guilty! I felt guilty that I was not baking everyday to post for you.

I felt a little guilty because it felt like I was neglecting my blog, in favour of more frivolous pursuits that are SO much fun 😛

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I’m just asking… can you blame me for that?

All I can tell you, my wonderful readers, is that I am NOT keen on making my blog to become a stress-filled, project almost, instead of something I write because I love to. Surely you can understand that?

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To the crux of it, I am a student. I have newly acquired a university lifestyle, and as much as I love it, I spend a lot of time with uni-involved things, not so much work as a more hectic social life mind you :P! BUT as a result, my blogging takes the backseat, and becomes a MASSIVE backseat driver, forcing me, pressuring me and causing unsafe lane changes in the road of my life.

JOKES, I could not be more corny, just thought I would lighten the mood. 😀

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Blogging is… I just feel like it is forcing me in its direction sometimes, even if I am meant to be going elsewhere. There was a period, going to be a little bit honest with you all here, last semester, where I felt like my blog was just going downhill. Less readership, a lot more expensive running my own blog and less automatic SEO searches, something I learnt is also an additional expense.

I hope to go on exchange next year, to some foreign mysterious land where I can drin-…. party… um… ‘collaborate with new peers and experience my individuality to the fullest’… yes… that is what I am going to do 😉
But because of all these little niggling thoughts of my blog, and how I was going to maintain it etc. etc., I actually considered not going!!

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But then I kicked myself in the shin. Hard.

What am I going on about?! Why am I being so negative? Why am I not enjoying my blog as the online diary it was always meant to be? Why am I making it into such a big deal? Why am I allowing it to become a pressure, instead of a passion!?

So I came to some decisions, some guidelines if you will, about the key rules to enjoying blogging, and to remind myself WHY I am doing it. Not to feel like it is a chore, not to impress other people. But basically, to share with people my love for food, and encourage their own!

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That is it.

I mean, just the other day, someone I barely know chose to eat my brownies over a store bought chocolate cake, complete with ganache and everything. Oh. My. Gosh. I felt so happy!

So here is why I blog:

  1. My blogging is not an incentive to bake. My baking is an incentive to blog.

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  1. I love sharing food porn. Yes, it is a completely valid reason. I mean, have you seen my Facebook page recently?
  2. Meeting all of you amazing people all over the world – yes, I want to keep in contact with you all and read all your posts! Because that is one of my favourite things to do 😀
  3. Its unique – yes, I love being known as ‘the blogger’, not even an ego thing, it just makes me feel special 🙂

And after some thought, this is how I blog:

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  1. Don’t overdose on social media – people think I need to get twitter, and instagram, and… every other social media platform there is – yes, it would help my blog, but I am already sharing in so many other places, it’s ok. No need to overload. Although, I am thinking of getting instagram… just because who doesn’t love the perfection brought by filters?
  2. I write when I can, when I want, and when it is natural. Not because I feel pressured to. However, this being said, when there is no pressure, I write more often because it is more enjoyable – go figure!

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  1. Like it is a diary – I try to please no one in my diary, and if you read it (HA), you could see that. I write my blog because I enjoy it, not because its expected
  2. Accept what you get – But do not go over the top 🙂

Wow, so not that I have told you all this, what do you think? Has anyone else ever fell in the rut where they blogged not for themselves, but because it was expected?

Say it loud, say it proud.

BLOGGING IS PASSION NOT PRESSURE

I’m preaching it, sister!

Ok no, ignore that last sentence, I can’t pull of that kind of sass 😛

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But I can pull off these extraordinary brownies. A bit of tweaking here and there to a recipe I found in My Little Chocolate Book’ and I give you some super citrusy, super rich decadent little squares of heaven.

Too much? No, I don’t think so 😉

It is mandarin season right now down under, and my grandparents and mum went mandarin picking the other day. They came back with a box the size of the couch (ok… maybe a touch smaller), and it was stuffed to the brim with fresh, juicy mandarins. IDEA TIME! I mean, who even needs oranges anyway, I have such a blasé attitude towards them right now!

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So with a sprinkle of zest, a squeeze of mandarin juice and of course, the use of NuNatural’s amazing orange Nustevia essence, it took these normal, run of the mill brownies to a whole new level jaffa brownies level! I love my perfect brownie recipe, but if I am feeling like ‘refreshing brownies’, I know to use this!

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I have also added in a version of these brownies, which become even thicker and fudgier, if you use the NuNatural Cocoa Syrup 😀

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Hope you enjoy this recipe for jaffa brownies!

Oh and before I forget to mention it – you know how I am always talking about this blog being like a diary? Well, you all respond back to me when I write, right? So I feel like this is Tom Riddle’s diary!!! How exciting is that – it makes you all the dark lords? OMG #harrypotterfangirl 😉

Maybe I will write a post on that next time… hehe

RECIPE 😀 – PDF FORM

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52 Comments

  1. akshata says:

    Hi
    Just discovered your blog..
    It seems to be interesting..
    I am going to follow your blog..
    will let you know when I try your recipes
    Thanks for sharing

  2. Oh CCU, I love this post so much, I love that you shared your raw thoughts and fears and aspirations. Its inspiring and a solid reminder about staying true to you and what you want. I remember going through that, but I quit for 12 months, in hindsight I shouldn’t have ever stopped, but taken a step back like you and found all the positive things. High fives, fist bumps & happy dancing for you. Thanks for keeping it real, its a pleasure to know you. xx

  3. What a wonderful post, CCU, that speaks to so many of us. Life is about balance, and at almost 60 years of age now, it’s something I still have to remember. Blogging is such a wonderful, unique creative opportunity, and it’s easy to get caught up in the bigger is better race. Some weeks I post a lot because it’s where I am that week and it’s what I want to do. There have been months were I posted exactly once, because I was enjoying living life. Enjoy uni life, it’s a fleeting, special time and it’s to be embraced, along with all the opportunities for life expansion and experiences it brings. It will keep your wonderful posts fresh, genuine, and a part of our lives too 🙂 Life is to be embraced and enjoyed.

  4. I Wilkerson says:

    I am so glad you wrote this–I have been feeling a bit more blog pressure than I like lately–and wanting to get perspective. This helps. I think if you study abroad next year, you will find plenty of interesting things to write about, and we will be excited to read and happy for your adventure! (My oldest did a great year in Edinburgh and my 2nd is hoping to spend some time abroad too…)

  5. Asmita says:

    Hi Uru,
    I love your honesty. Yes, many times I would feel pressured too. But honestly I have other priorities and besides this is a hobby that I enjoy a lot!
    Loving the chocolate and orange. One of my favorite combinations!!

  6. Reeni says:

    Yes! With blogging comes pressure but once we figure out it comes from within ourselves then it’s a cake walk! Heehee. It should be fun and not a burden. Love these fudgy brownies! Orange is lovely with chocolate.

  7. Balvinder says:

    It feels that you are speaking my mind. Blogging for me is passion not pressure. I used to feel guilty when I started but now I have learnt what my priorities are. Love orange with chocolate and these brownies are to die for!

  8. Debra says:

    Amen, sister! I think the blogs that I frequent the most are just like yours…people blogging for fun, not for prophet. I guess when I first started I had some grandiose ideas, but now it is just for fun (and I love it as a journal of where we travel, what we eat, when ____ was harvested last year out of the garden, etc.) Take a sabbatical if you must but don’t but off the exchange!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love your honesty, Uru!

  9. Annie says:

    Yes, yes, and yes! Your post nails my feelings perfectly. Sometimes the pressure is just – awful! And I want to unplug everything and hide. I love blogging and I hate blogging, too. Realizing that being “here” or not is a choice we make helps lighten those self-imposed loads. Thanks, CCU!

  10. If this is your diary, then wouldn’t that make you the Dark Lord? Unless we’re the horcruxes inside the diary… I’m making my brain hurt. (Potterhead4life!)

    My opinion is that when the blog starts to feel like work, take a break. You shouldn’t write this blog for anyone but yourself. (And yes, social media is a huge timesuck, but Instagram’s not so bad, especially if you’re the type that already likes taking photos and sharing them). And NEVER turn down a study abroad opportunity for the blog. EVER.

    That being said, I love these brownies! Chocolate orange is a favorite combo, and I’m sure the mandarins made it extra special!

    • Oh god… being a Potterhead is not easy 😛
      Haha I will take your word for it and I definitely DO NOT intend to miss that opportunity!
      Thank you!!

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  11. Oh, Uru, I know where you are coming from and totally agree with your philosophy. At the junction where you are with your life, you will find a sea of possibilities that you want to try out and you’ll have make time for those. As you said, blogging is not your choice of career, so do it only for fun, as a hobby. It should not feel like pressure. Have fun with your time.

  12. Debra says:

    I love this recipe, and to be honest, I always do! You have a wonderful blog with wit and boundless enthusiasm for life beyond baking. But I have really enjoyed this today. You are being very honest, and that’s a powerful way to let us know you better, Uru. I think the most important thing to remember is that you have a rich life away from the blog, and when you can share it with us, we all enjoy. But don’t ever let the blog take you away from doing things that give you pleasure. When you’re ready to post, do so. And when you are busy with other pursuits, just remember we’ll be glad to hear from you when you have time! 🙂

  13. Beth says:

    Your blogging rules sound great. I’ve told myself that as soon as blogging becomes a chore, I should give it up. Right now, I love the chance to write my story, and to meet all kinds of wonderful people! Enjoy whatever path – including an exchange trip – your life leads you to.

  14. Oh Uru, I know exactly how you feel and I made the mistake of actually neglecting my blog for over 6 months. Yes, there were/are serious issues in my personal life, but to just disappear because I was in the funk wasn’t the right decision. My blog has taken a serious hit, but I went through the same realisation as you and came back!

    I’m glad I did, and it’s wonderful to see you back in the kitchen, but never ever feel pressured. Your true followers won’t ditch you, we will wait for you. 🙂

  15. mjskit says:

    There are so many comments I could write about this post! You make some great points and in many ways express me. The main difference however is that my passion is cooking and always has been and blogging is an outlet that allows me to share with others. I can’t say I’m passionate about “blogging”, but it is fun for many of the reasons that you expressed. With that said – I am now putting on my old lady hat to tell you that as young as you are, you should never, never, never let yourself get stressed out over blogging! You do need to be enjoying friends, family, traveling, partying…life! Blogging should not be your life. Live and then blog. 🙂

  16. Liz says:

    Your brownies look amazing, Uru! I totally agree with your blogging philosophy. I stopped joining every single blogger event and group b/c I was blogging about food I didn’t really want to make or eat. I’m still doing too much, but I have worked on scaling back. I hope you can figure out what works best with your new life. You’re at such a fun stage, don’t miss out on any of it!!!

  17. Uru, I have felt that so many times that I have stopped counting. One day I just decided that I will blog because I love blogging, love my blog, it’s my labor of love, but won’t be presurized into doing stuff that I don’t have time for. It’s a great perspective to have. Beautiful post, and of course, fabulous brownies. Alspice…how interesting!

    Maybe one day you will own a baking business that will span the world 🙂

    • I am glad I am not alone in my doubts 😀 And I love seeing your blog, you can see the effort and awesomeness you put into it!
      Haha what a dream!

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  18. I think that all bloggers can relate to the pressures of constantly posting, creating, and sharing… These are some wise words you’ve shared to help guide those in a similar situation. Your perspective is a strong, smart one, indeed. I’m glad you were able to find it and continue sharing such delicious treats with your adoring fans. 🙂

  19. Brittany says:

    SO funny you say this because I have been feeling the same way, and have a post in my drafts somewhat similar to this. I felt overwhelmed for a short moment about feeling the need to post, but then reminded myself why I blog..NO pressure is needed!! These brownies though..I NEED.

  20. Cakelaw says:

    What fab brownies – I would choose these over store bought cake any day. I blog when I feel like it about stuff I feel like blogging about (except for group participation, and then I only write what I want, not to be the popular kid). So I think your approach is right – don’t let blogging take over your life. Just enjoy it, and if you go MIA for a while, there should be no guilt in that – you are out there living your life in other ways

  21. Oh girl, I’m in the same spot as you are – including the mandarin season happening here too, jaja! – been mia for 3 months (oops), and still feel like I should make a bigger effort and not loose all the wonderful things blogging has given me these last years. But life changes so it’s a no brainer that our blogging will change with it. It’s life.
    In the meantime, let’s stuff ourselves with amazing brownies like these, and ponder about it, shall we?

  22. Veronica says:

    Our little Uru, who started out as a young teen blogger, is all grown up now! I’m so glad you’ve realized that blogging is for your pleasure and should not be a pressure. I also had to come to a place where I was OK with not being on Twitter or Instagram, and OK with posting whenever it was possible or when I felt like it and not forcing it and stressing myself out. I probably could have a lot more “success” with it if I did more to try to promote myself but I don’t care. Like you said, it’s a hobby, and I’m just glad there are a few along for the ride b/c it makes it that much more fun. I don’t need more. Except maybe your brownies. I need lots and lots of those.

  23. Swathi says:

    Don’t worry about blogging, it is hobby or passion,you do it according your convenience. By the way this dish is delicious I wish I can get some bite.

  24. The Vegan 8 says:

    I hear you Uru, I’ve just recently been taking a step back to remind myself what is important, and mostly, to have balance. It’s work. I love blogging but it can get overwhelming at times, so I have to remember why I love it. The brownies look amazing too! So rich and fudgy!

  25. Social media is definitely an overload. I’ve always taken blogging with a grain of salt. It should be about enjoying the whole process, instead of an obligation.

    Glad you are reflecting on blogging in the most mature and positive approach 🙂

    And now, I could use some of this delicious brownies!!

  26. Suzanne says:

    You should never feel pressured to post or bake or do anything you don’t want or have time to do. As one of your readers/fans that thoroughly enjoy your posts I would miss not seeing something in my inbox from CCU but I would be more upset if I thought you were doing it because of pressure. Love the brownies, have fun, study hard and things will all work out.

  27. Basically, we all have our own valid reason (s) for blogging and end of day, we make choices. Suppose that says why some blog more often then the rest.

    I love the flavor of mandarin oranges in the brownie and Nustevia; indeed the right choice.

  28. Brownies with perspective! Great post. You are absolutely right. If you don’t feel like writing it, people won’t enjoy reading it. I haven’t posted in the last month because I hadn’t eaten anything I absolutely had to share. Blog when you have to share that latest delicious morsel rather than when you simply feel obliged to, and take the time to enjoy the next few years at uni. Hx

  29. Louise says:

    Hi Uru,
    I think we all need to be reminded as to why we blog and for each and every one of us it’s for different reasons. The fact that you are evaluating your priorities where blogging is concerned is a good thing. Depending on the circumstances, because some who blog do it for commercial reasons, blogging is not an obligation and yet, I suppose we all do feel obligated every now and again. I have found the food blogging community to be very understanding when it comes to taking needed time. I took off an entire year once and worried that no one would be there if and when I were to return. But they were, Uru because we all go through moments, days, weeks etc when we just need to tend to other hobbies, or personal conflicts or just want to explore something else.
    I am often asked to join FB and other social media plugs but, I am quite content with my little corner of the blogging world. I don’t think blogging, for me anyway, should be a competition. It is a wonderful way of “meeting” new people, sharing deliciousness and yes, sometimes reevaluating publically our aspirations.

    Of course, I wish I were eating one of your delicious brownies as I am writing this but, ah, tis the way it is in the world of food blogging:)
    Thank you so much for sharing this subject, Uru. Whatever you decide and whenever those decisions change, because sometimes things change, we will be here:)

    • Hi Louise, yes I absolutely remember that year – but we were always waiting for you 😀
      That kind of companionship gained from blogging is why it is so enjoyable!

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  30. Erika says:

    I feel you, Uru! Most of the time I just want to share a recipe that I think my readers will enjoy without having to write an intro or anything like that – you see, I’m not a talkative person and unless I’ve got anything useful to say I’d rather stay silent. Same goes with writing. And I feel guilty too when I don’t post because I’ve got nothing to share, except for a recipe. But I don’t think we should feel pressured to it. Many of the bloggers I know are stay home mums or retired, many have decided to make a living out of it – which is not the case for either of us. So I totally get you, my friend ❤

  31. Uru, I’ve asked myself the same questions a time or two and I think you’re well on your way to achieving balance! Blogging has changed a lot, especially since ‘marketing’ climbed into the sandbox — and with it, a multitude of ‘rules.’ (When to post, social forums you ‘must’ be on, etc.) Unless you want to make the leap to income-producing land — which some folks have done well — that leaves us relegated to the ‘hobby’ category as you mentioned. Which means, we get to make our own rules! 😉 Follow your heart, write when you want to, and please pass the brownies. xo

  32. Absofuckinlutely! You will be in uni for 3-4 years of your life. If you are feeling guilty for enjoying yourself because you haven’t blogged or you have blogged and missed out on fun, you’re doing it wrong.

    This is a hobby. If you post once a month.. good for you. I love your blog but I would never ever say write instead of having fun during this time of your life.

    I can tell you I enjoyed my university years and I never felt guilty once. 🙂

  33. Gina says:

    I gave up keeping track of my stats and how often I post long ago and I actually enjoy when I do write one now. If you try and keep up with all of the social media your grades will only suffer. I know I can’t keep track of all of them or I get no work done. Blog when you can so I can see how far you’ve come.
    -Gina-

  34. Really nice recipe! Although, of course, it’s not really the point of this post. 😉 I thoroughly enjoy your blog and hope you keep up with it, but do it only if it’s fun. You’re at a point in your life where you’re going to have more and more stuff to do, and you’re going to have to make a choice about what’s most important. Blogs are fun, but food blogs jumped the shark several years ago. Only a few people make any real money at this, so do it for a hobby, but don’t let it own you. And post only as often as you think you have something to say, not just to keep to some schedule. Or at least that’s my opinion — others think otherwise, I’m sure. This should be fun — if it’s not, change it to make it fun. And did I mention this should be fun? 😉 Which I think is what you’re saying. Anyway, thank you for being you.

    • I felt so pressured by all the posts I read about using my blog to make money, it began to confuse me and my motives – I am glad you agree with my blogging philosophy too 😀

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

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