The ‘Business’ of Blogging

We all have a place we go to when we need to ponder, reflect; perhaps fix ourselves. For some it’s a comfy chair, a seat at the kitchen table with a cup of joe , the quiet of their bedroom, a comfortable seat outdoors, and for others no farther away then the keyboard in front of them. For me it’s all the above depending on what is on my mind. Dealing with pain usually sends me straight to my room, anger to my keyboard; things that confuse or perplex me to the yard. I don’t know why. I suppose we all assign these stations according to how we feel/cope when we’re in that particular place. This is where I sat for a few this morning: A place where the beautiful scenery opens my mind to reason, but not comfortable enough to keep me there all morning. What was on my mind? Let me share…

Ahhh...morning!

Lou's little corner of the world

I sat down in this particular spot this morning, because I had a question that kept persistently rolling around in my mind. The more I thought about it, the more the tightness in my chest increased, and the more I began to panic that I would have an anxiety attack. If you’ve ever had one you know you don’t want another. I’ve had many due to my panic disorder, which I work hard in keeping at bay. What was making me so ‘crazy’? Well…my blog.

My blog is making me crazy. The question that kept running through my mind was “When did blogging become a job?”. I mean, it’s not like I’m getting paid for this shit. When I started this I was under the assumption I had free will, no restrictions would be placed on me, no deadlines to keep, and I could blog when and if I wished, and about what I chose. Now I’ve found myself caught up in this demon called necessity, and am finding I don’t like it one damn bit!

The past few days I’ve actually found my feelings hurt over something as trivial as subscriptions and hits. Can you believe that? I know I freaking couldn’t! Oh-my-God how far have I sunk? This is so beneath me! I’m being open about this, because I have to assume I’m not in this little boat named “Pettiness” by myself.

I took a bit of a sabbatical, had a little fun with my friend, did a little touch up to my blog, and then realized quite by mistake that in the week that had passed I was losing subscriptions. Huh? Me? Of course you know with my self-destructive personality I went straight from confusion to self-blame askingΒ  myself “What’d I do?”, which was quickly followed by “Is it because I’m not posting enough to continue to generate interest?”. “Am I not blogging about popular subjects?”. “Are my subjects/language too risque?”. “Am I not answering my emails and comments left for me quick enough?”. “Is it because I can’t get to all my subscriptions every day?”. “Is it because I don’t participate in all the daily and weekly things that everyone is doing so I’m no longer considered ‘progressive’ enough for the click?”.Β  Think what you want readers, but you and I know I’m not alone.

For most of us blogging is more than just something to pass the time. We all may have different reasons why we started, but the end result is nearly the same for everyone: It’s become a life-preserver when you’re sinking and a lifeline to others when you need a friend. We take this shit seriously, whether we should or not. It’s how we express ourselves. If we have the nagging need to write that makes us a writer, regardless of whether we’re published and paid for it or not. I found out long ago that being a writer is not a title given you by someone else who has the power to deem you as such by gushing over your work and getting it out in print. Being a writer is who you are at the moment of conception. Others may help you hone the ability, but no one…NO ONE…can put it in you. That being said…steady yourselves…as writers, creative creatures, by nature we are vain. Whether you want to hide behind a guise of another name is up to you. The fact is, if we weren’t all a little vain we’d still be journaling at home for ourselves, wouldn’t we? Shed the fear and face the enemy. It just is what it is.

I had to shake myself this morning and pull myself away from this vanity a bit to acknowledge it, stare it in the face, and then put it where the hell it needs to be; away with all my other ugly, little characteristics I’m embarrassed by, but nonetheless have. I asked myself a few tough questions, then answered them as honestly as I could. One was “Who did you start this blog for?”, the answer was Me.

I love to write. This is why I do it. Why I have done it since I was first able to hold a chubby crayon and chose to practice letters instead of draw. I’m constantly seeking to find out more about myself through my own words and willingly open myself to constructive criticism to gain insight I may not have, which is why I started this blog. I’ve stayed in it because I love to create humor, commiserate, hopefully inspire at times, and rid myself of inner junk. I love meeting people and striking up new friendships, which is why I began visiting other blogs. I love a good story, which is why I’ve subscribed to many of your blogs. And I have subscribed to MANY, which is why I have a difficult time getting around to everyone. That, and because I have my own post to write–which was the very reason for starting this blog in the first place–and well…frankly, I’m trying to have a life beyond this too.

I have a routine that pushes me forward to get the things done in my home and life that I need to do, and don’t like to commit myself to anything beyond that. The last real thing I committed myself to–other than people in my life or this blog–was pool league years ago, and only because I adored the game. After several years of it I became jaded with the whole thing, it began to feel like a job, and I moved away from it too. I’m not going to push myself to appease my own vanity. I won’t stoop that low anymore. I’m writing this to tell you that you won’t be seeing me everyday. There may be times you won’t see me every week, I don’t know. I have a house to run, a novel I’d like to work on, and also want to enjoy time outdoors this summer. I’ve always been diligent about following up on every single comment left me and personal email, though they may be answered a bit late at times. Likewise, I may have gotten to your posts a little late in the game, but I always make the time and give courtesy to read the ones I find interesting thoroughly, and comment when I have something to say. If I don’t, I won’t…and haven’t. I’ll admit I tend to gravitate more towards stories and pics than I do anything else, though I have become a junkie at copying all the tasty recipes you all share, because well…I like food!. I’m just being honest. I’m also not a joiner. I never have been one that follows, participates in things, and have always chose to dance to the beat of my own drum. It’s who I am. The bullshit I fed you about wishing I could find more time to join you in all your daily and weekly things you all post–though the time part itself was true–the rest was just that….bullshit. Sorry. I just didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or have any of you take it as a personal insult that I didn’t want to be included in something fun you started. It’s not you. It’s me. It’s who I am.

So anyway, that about wraps it up. Dirty little secrets are out on the table and my chest feels much lighter. In closing I just want to say that I hope those of you that read my blog will continue to do so, but if you don’t I completely understand that you’d rather commune with those that are more group oriented, and also post everyday. It will not affect my subscriptions to any of you one way or the other. They are strictly based on what blogs I enjoy, and not on whether you hang out on mine or not. They never have been. I’m going to continue blogging for myself to please myself, and hope you all do the same with or without me. Never forget that it’s about the words and the unmistakeable joy that writing gives us, not each other.

Peace out….my penning Brethren!

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27 Comments on “The ‘Business’ of Blogging”

  1. Gravitas says:

    You’re more self-assured than this. And you figured it out by the end, so that’s good. This is for you and if someone wants to come along for the ride, then they are welcome to. — But the view counts and the subscriptions and the pingbacks, those things don’t change the raw stuff that you put into your pieces. They don’t change the feelings and the thoughts crafted into readable format. Those things may be important for someone receiving an income from their blog, but not for those of us who write from out of less lucrative needs.

    You seem to have a readership here, but they are not reading because you post every 5 minutes. (And if they are… is that important to you? I’d bet not.) They read because you have something to say and you’ve taken the time and the care to make it readable.

    …And I’m still mildly startled when someone stumbles into my site. And more so if they come back… Numbers? Subscriptions? That is not the point and purpose.

    • I love your site and am drawn to it because everything you say is real. You don’t pull punches, you don’t candy-coat, you don’t try and appease your readers with your words; everything comes from somewhere deep inside and has great depth. I love the way you write and the fact you are so honest with your content. This is what makes you so approachable to me. Never forget that honesty in itself is a great gift, and not easy to come by.
      Yeah, I admit I had moments where I began to fall victim to ‘blogger fame’. Ha..ha.. I had to slap myself and ask what the hell I was doing…because Stephen King I’m not (though in a perfect world I could be extolled like the master of macabre is). I’m better now. I just had to fall a few rungs down the ladder and bruise my knees a little. I’m battling with my clinical depression right now, so I need all my energy to focus on getting that in check again. Sadly, blogging usually helps to ease it, but I’ve let it go to where I have no desire to even do that right now. This too shall pass. It always does. I hope things are going well for you too, pal. There’s life and light beyond the darkness. At least I hope so. πŸ™‚

  2. Well, that explains something! You are loosing subscribers and they probably dont know! Like me πŸ™‚ I didn’t know till I went to look for your post (since you sent an email that said you posted) I then remembered I haven’t seen anything for a long time, and how could you have posted something, I would have caught it. It is weird that you just left my subscriptions, maybe WordPress is doing something I dont know, but it has me wanting to watch my subscribers 😦

    • It could be WordPress. I know after our comment boxes changed, it seems things went downhill. I seriously think they made some alterations somewhere and it screwed things up. Eh, I could be wrong, but have heard other complaints. Don’t sweat it though. No biggee. I wasn’t mad at anyone–and in fact wasn’t even sure who or who wasn’t there exactly–I was more upset with my reaction than anything. I thought I was above that pettiness. Life sure has a way of setting your ass straight, doesn’t it? Ha…ha..

  3. I am leaving this comment to increase the amount of comments, so your feelings are not hurt πŸ™‚ I will even subscribe and “like” this post πŸ™‚ I am that nice! (exclusively today!)

    Blogging is fun, but I do hate that sinking feeling when there are no comments’ bubble πŸ™‚

    • That is too funny! Well, YAY for me that I have another subscriber!!! No, I’m kidding…kinda. Ha..ha..
      You are obviously new to my site and I guess haven’t quite picked up on the fact yet that nothing is off limits for me to discuss. Whatever I’m dealing with in my present life, whatever my opinion may be on a subject, or however I feel about something, I write about it. I HAVE NO FILTER! ASK ANYONE.
      I didn’t intend for it to come across as if I’m fishing (though I wish I would’ve been that clever), but was just surprised and embarrassed by my initial reaction, or should I say ‘over-reaction’? My first instinct was to step up my game for my readers, even at the expense of my sanity and personal life, until I mentally slapped myself and asked, “What the hell are you doing? And for who?”. I just wanted to make sure if anyone else has gone through this they know they’re not alone, and well…they don’t and shouldn’t have to because it’s the writing that’s important.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment though. I love your dry humor and am going to have to check out your site. I’m infamous for smelling out sarcasm when it’s in the air, and have taken a liking to the vessels that hold the fragrance. Cute comment! πŸ˜‰

      • You made me laugh out loud!

        Here is a thought on how to increase the number of subscriptions: add “kitty” to the Pissy πŸ™‚ I want to hang out with Pissy Kitty, but just with Pissy?

        I enjoy how open you are in your blog – I would never be able to do that.

  4. Mother Hen only blogs once a week…if she feels like it…and the sky isn’t falling, and you still show up, right? Right?
    Not that she’s begging you to keep showing up…and replying…nope, not her!

    • Yep, I keep showing up. And I know you’re right. I think I just had a moment of sensitivity, because honestly in the six months I’ve been blogging it’s the first time that’s happened. My ego got in the way…AGAIN!…and I had to get it in check…AGAIN!. I just hate vanity! It was a good learning lesson though. Now I know how to handle it. Not only that, but I learned what is really important…and that would be and always has been for me the writing itself.

  5. Blog when you are ready. The core will be here. And yes, I do understand where you are coming from. I had no idea when I started that blogging was so addictive and would consume so much time. Or that it would try and consume so much of me.
    Just the same, I will be happy to pop in whenever you feel like puttin a new post up. You are worth the wait.

    • “You are worth the wait.” That is probably one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever been given as a writer. You have no idea how much that means to me. Who woulda thunk I’d get such an out-pouring of love from admitting I’m such an ego-maniac, dim-wit. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Hon.

  6. This is so right on! I can relate to your thoughts about why you blog, that it’s for you and good on you for that. Can’t really relate to the stats business as I am so technically challenged I have no clue how many peeps are reading other than my commenters. But it is funny – one of the greatest things for me about blogging is the fact that I can interact with so many people from so many parts of the world. You have no idea how important this has been for me as I have felt (still do) such a disconnection with my ‘local’ world. I really needed to feel a connection and I really have, however it has come and by that I mean even if it is ‘virtually’ rather than in person with people – do I sound mad? You have certainly helped me in that (the connection not the madness) and for that i thank you πŸ™‚ I have told a few people that I know that I am blogging and found that if affected my writing for a little while until I really got into whatever I was writing about and then found I soon forgot who was reading because like you this is for me. So, so important.
    As to the freshly pressed thing – I am convinced a lot of it is randomly selected because some of them are dreadful!! I mean it. Some of them are really brilliant but the fact that so many aren’t? I have even read some people saying that they couldn’t understand why that particular post of theirs was fp’d as it wasn’t their best. I notice this particularly over holiday times. Who knows but I am a bit suspicious.
    As usual you have been really honest Lou and made us all think about why we are blogging. You are indeed a writer. I love reading your posts even if I don’t always get to comment but I’ll cope if they are less frequent. I’m also really impressed with your new look – really really love it! it seems so, I don’t know, professional? Like you say it’s a pity it doesn’t make money. But, even though it doesn’t, this is still a great post! Have a great weekend!

    • Oh, you have no idea how fortunate you are that you’re unaware of your stats. I never thought I would be one to get sucked up into something that trivial and ridiculous, but I did. This was one of the main reasons I closed my facebook page practically right after I opened it was because I realized people were more concerned about the ‘amount’ of friends they had on their page, then actually cementing real relationships with anyone; the stats were all about status.
      And honestly, I’ve only read Freshly Pressed a couple of times. If I have the time to read random blogs I usually search under the tag ‘humor’ and leave it at that. I have known for sometime, however, that the content of my posts would never make it on there. I figure who the hell cares. I gotta be me!
      You know, when I was younger I questioned whether I was a writer, though all my family and friends worked diligently at trying to assure me I was. I figured they were being kind, or didn’t know squat about what sells. But then again, I didn’t really either. Because of this blog and all of you fellow writers I now know that I am one. Unpublished maybe, but that makes me no-less a writer. I now believe anything is possible, because you all have told me it is. And no, you’re not mad for feeling a connection to all of us, and that being enough in your life right now. I, too, felt ostracized by the ‘real’ world and found the connection to all of you satisfied the need I had for friendship. Not only that, but it gave me hope.
      Thanks for always lifting me up when my ass falls in the mud, friend! You’re a keeper. πŸ˜‰

  7. Lafemmeroar says:

    Thank you for this post. I never thought I’d have an emotional reaction to stats, but as my heart leaped at the growing stats, my heart also sank when I lost a subscriber or two. But I’m going to keep on blogging because I know there are “lurkers” out there reading my words. Readers have touched my life through their comments and I hope I’ve been able to give them a chuckle or two. I too am working on a novel and my writer’s block is what started the blog in the first place. I’ve slowly gotten back into the rewrites of my book (partly because blogging has released some kind of energy). A balanced life is good …

    • See…I knew I wasn’t the only one that’s dealt with the embarrassing issue of ‘blog-ego’. Thanks for being so honest. At least I’m finding I’m in good company. Ha..ha..
      Actually writing this has freed me from feeling obligated to do that which I know I’m not capable of. I too need balance, and haven’t had it for a while now because I’ve been chasing my tail with this blog. It was such a relief to get all this off my chest that after I did so I actually ‘enjoyed’ the rest of the morning and early afternoon reading other blogs, commenting, and replying to comments left for me. Not because I felt I had to, but because I wanted to. This is going to make it so much easier to push myself away from the table when I’m full and say I’ve had enough.
      Hey, thanks again for the nod. I really appreciate knowing I’m not alone.

  8. Lou, it’s good that you’ve rediscovered your reason for writing, because if we don’t write for ourselves, there is no honesty in our words.

    When I started blogging it was because those ‘in the know’ in the publishing industry said writers seeking publication need to establish an online presence. My first efforts were pretty tentative. Initially I almost hoped nobody except family and close friends would read them. Then, when I began visiting other bloggers’ sites, I saw their list of ‘friends’ but decided not to put the ‘Friend’ widget on my blog, mostly because I was embarrassed at how few people were visiting me. Later as the numbers grew I decided that I was really enjoying the people I was meeting and my blogging interactions were more about relationships than accumulating statistics anyway.

    When it comes to maintaining all the relationships, the subscribers and visitors, I seriously believe it’s impossible. I know I visit most of my online connections fairly frequently, but there’s no way I can get around to all of them every day and still have time for my novel writing which is a priority. I have the various sites consolidated on ‘Google Reader’, so I can see at a glance if there are new posts anywhere, read them there if the topic interests me, and go to the actual websites only if I want to comment, which I don’t do unless I think I have something worth saying.

    There are oodles of reasons why daily traffic to a blog will fluctuate and lots of advice out there about how to increase it. But there’s a sense of anonymity online; people are often curious but uncommitted, and I doubt that will ever change. We put our words out there because that’s important to us, but we can’t control how the words will resonate with readers or how they will respond… or even IF they will respond. So don’t beat yourself up if people come and go. I think you have a fantastic blog… it seems to reflect who you are, is interesting and honest, and you should be proud of that. And I love the new format and photos, BTW… you obviously live in a beautiful place!

    • I’m doing fine now. Just a momentary lapse of sanity, and an overdose of ego perhaps. Ha..ha.. Sorry! I’ve learned to accept my own flaws and make light of them. Honesty is good for the soul. Thank you for your words of wisdom though. It always means so much to me when you take the time to read my blog and leave a comment. Perhaps because I know you are a God-fearing woman, a ministers wife, and yet one of the most un-judgmental people I’ve ever met. Let’s face it, you have to be to sit through some of my stuff. πŸ˜‰ And that you still continue to tell me to be myself and write from the heart knowing I’m so unconventional to most, is perhaps the greatest testimony to you being a writer. It just makes me love you more and more.
      I’m glad everyone is enjoying the new format. I must admit the pic makes my house and property look much grander than it actually is. That’s okay, I know it needs a lot of work, but it’s still my palace, and little peaceful nook in this crazy, fast-paced world. Thanks again, Carol. Because of writers like you I feel I’m capable of achieving anything.

  9. jsh0608 says:

    First of all. Great new look. Second. Whoever doesn’t want to be subscribed to you because you are not ‘blogging’ enough, then they don’t deserve to wait for your new post whether it is everyday or once a month. But you are correct, you do it for YOU and only YOU. We are just a bonus. :0) And your a busy lady, if you can’t get to all the comments in a timely fasion, then oh well (unless it comes from me…ha ha jj), but im sure you’ll get to them sooner or later. Hope you have a great day. :0)

    • Thanks hon!
      Yeah, I admit it sort of threw me a little off balance, because in the six months I’ve been blogging I haven’t encountered that. My reaction to it was what bothered me the most though. Actually it pissed me off that I became such a baby about it. WTF? Then I wondered if other people felt that way when/if it happened to them, and thought maybe the subject was post-worthy. I’m glad there are those that understand. I guess I just felt it was probably a good idea to get it out, given that I know my blogging will decrease as I have absolutely got to start working on my shit here at home.
      And my day is going great. My evening looks even more promising as I’m doing dinner out with the hubby. Thanks for your kind words. You have a rockin weekend, girl!

  10. Jodi Lea says:

    I LOVE how you describe the “need” to write. That is how writing feels to me lately. I am totally addicted to the high I get when I blog.
    Looking forward to reading your novel!

    • Thank you! Well it’s started, I just now need to discipline myself to finish it. I have many of them I’ve begun, but never gave myself enough credit to complete. I think blogging has made me believe in myself more, and I’m ready to tackle the fear of rejection. My first task has got to be writing about myself though. This I do for me. If no one wants to publish or read it, so be it, but there is the need to get it down on paper.
      A person knows when they are a writer. They don’t need anyone to validate it for them. It’s a need as common and necessary to them as eating, sleeping, and breathing. A writer can’t NOT write. And yes, blogging is a definite high, and for some of us it pulls us away from the fear of sharing our words and having a voice, which I find is always a good thing. Just make sure it doesn’t distract you from the things that are really important. I’ve been allowing it to do that to me, and it benefits no one, including myself. Today I indulge because I want to. Tomorrow may be different…

  11. Lou,

    Your blog is great – don’t doubt yourself. It’s summer, and people fall off – I know personally, I have posted in weeks, and I haven’t read everyone else’s blogs as much as I’d like cause the kids are home, we are outside and daytripping etc. Your hits and such will fall off in summer, for that reason alone.

    I personally know I will never make fresh pressed. My blog post are too long, and too foul. I know some people may be offend by my language and honesty. I don’t fit “the mold”, and neither do you. I get “unlikes” on facebook all the time. I don’t blog every day, or every week, for that matter. But I blog what I love, what I am passionate about, and that all that counts. Blog hits are nice – I am grateful for them and always end my post with “Thank you for reading”, but I KNOW that when the day comes that I care more about blog hits than expressing myself in my blog, I know it will no longer be about the joy of writing, KWIM? Its easy to get your feelings hurt, Lou, but try to remember that this is about you communicating your feelings and thoughts. And even if one person reads it, you are always HEARD.
    Hope I made sense. Hugs to you, and try not to feel down, k? xoxoxox

    • Well, I admit I was down. Now? Nope! Fortunately I have the ability to see things clearly, pretty quickly anymore, and set my ass straight when there’s a glitch in Lou. I guess it just bothered me that I was capable of feeling this way, and began to wonder how many others do too and can’t see it. The worst thing I can imagine happening to a writer is having their creativity suppressed, and I’m finding this can easily happen when you start writing for others and no longer yourself.
      I have to laugh at your Freshly Pressed comment. Yep, I figured out practically from the get-go I was never going to be on it. Pissy’s honesty, dry-humor, and potty mouth is not for the faint-hearted or general public. Ha..ha.. I consider myself in good company with you though. I say “Fuck the norm! I’d rather be myself than sheep!”.
      Hey, thanks for going out of your way to drop me a line and throw me some words of comfort. That was cool. And see, people like you that ‘get it’ are why I still blog. πŸ˜‰

  12. Kim says:

    Just found you yesterday and I’m not going anywherea anytime soon! πŸ™‚

    • Well thank you, hon! And I am so glad I stumbled upon your site and have had the opportunity to meet you too. So sorry that you had to literally ‘walk in’ on drama. Ha…ha.. Story of my life. I write what I feel and think though. I’ve never had the ability to filter either. Unfortunately, shame is not something that comes easily to me, so it’s usually BALLS-TO-THE-WALL! I find honesty liberating.
      I guess the question now is…will everyone else? πŸ˜‰