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…

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 asking¬† 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?”.¬† 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!