I might not make it.

June 26, 2010
Yesterday I wrote the post, “You might not make it.” I thought your responses were amazingly honest and candid. I wanted to talk on a few of them. If you see the red dot – it’s the part of the post that really struck me.

Tiffany from Mom-Nom made me nod my head in agreement. Dooce wrote a post once on haters that made me think about what she must go through every day with people that hide behind the anonymity of a computer screen and seethe in jealousy.
I remember reading Blair’s PPD confession and someone saying (paraphrasing), “You should have told us instead of pretending everything was fine, why do you have to lie?” Um, last time I checked – it’s her blog. And no where does it say once you have followers you have to fillet your inner soul as soon as something happens to you in life to keep it real. That comment made me think, “It must be tough to have so many followers that they feel you owe them something.”
After coming to terms with the fact that at one point Blair at The Heir to Blair had no readers 🙂 I thought about what she had said. That’s a scary thing to do once you know people are following you. It’s hard to blog openly and pretend like no one is going to read it.
There are certain things I write that at times I hesitate and think, “Should I say this?” But since the beginning, my blog has been read by family and friends, so I’ve gotten comfortable with the fact that by now, each person who knows me also understands that I pee in the shower. (Disclaimer: In my shower only. So I’m still ok to stay the night at your house.)
Confession time – I mention Dooce here and there in my posts, but like Amy from Somebody’s Parents I’ve only read her once or twice. Honestly, when I first got on Twitter and saw her, I thought she was Lance Armstrong’s sister or something. True story. I had no idea who she was. I’m sure she’s really funny and a great blogger, but I’ve never gotten into her. I think it’s the 10 years of blogging thing that overwhelms me. Where do you start? That’s a lot of history to catch up on.
Which I understand – Sarah from Sprout Reviews offers thoughts/reviews on products on her blog. If people didn’t read or weren’t interested – why would she keep going? She offers a type of service (and the products she finds are great).
Basically I had a mini stroke when I logged on this morning and saw this comment from Scary Mommy – whom I adore. Also, this comment totally made me sigh with relief because I was beginning to think I was the only one of you all that felt this way.
I edited this down because the comment was too long to fit, but the last part was what I wanted to write on. You know, finally. 🙂
Let me share something with you. When I was little, and even older, I wrote and told stories. I used to type them up or write them in a notebook and as soon as I was done – guess what I would do? The same thing any child does that accomplishes something in life – I showed my parents. I made them read it and tell me what they thought.
I told stories to my siblings and all my nanny kids, and the best part was when they would die laughing, repeat part of it to their friends, or beg me to tell the rest.
Sound familiar?
Those people were my commenter’s. I got my reassurance, validation, and pats on the back from them. I feel like when you do something in life that you love, you want to be noticed. You want to be discovered. You want someone to say, “Yep, I feel the same way.”
So here’s my thoughts – if in 3 years I am where my blog is today – yes, I will be disappointed. Not because I blog strictly for feedback or pats on the back or to get noticed. But because I love to write, and if nothing changes, that means that the thing I love doing doesn’t really affect people. Not that it wouldn’t affect faithful, long time readers – just that it wouldn’t be the type of blog that gains any new interest.
My words might not be as meaningful as I want them to be. At that point, I might reevaluate what I’m doing. I might make my blog private to avoid getting bitter, or start keeping a different kind of blog. I don’t know that I would stop writing altogether, but I would change my direction. I’d try to figure out what I was doing wrong. I’d also see if my blogging was more of a, “OMG please comment!” than a honest look at my life and thoughts. If so – I would stop writing for a while.
If I didn’t want to know what you thought, I wouldn’t have a public blog. If I didn’t care what you thought, I wouldn’t be on Twitter and your blogs investing time in getting to know you. I don’t have aspirations to be the next big thing, but if nothing changed at all, the little girl in me would be upset.

8 Comments

  • The Empress

    June 29, 2010 at 11:15 am

    I commented on the original, but I stay away from the biggies…there's no interaction there.

  • Janelle

    June 28, 2010 at 10:26 am

    FYI – before this post, I had never heard of Dooce, but I read Hormonal
    Imbalances daily!

  • torie@Life With Rylie

    June 27, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I started writing on Xanga when I was still in college. It was a way for me to vent and get out what I was going through at the time. I started my current blog to keep my distant relatives updated on my newly married life. Then we had Rylie and I kept with the same theme except titled my blog Life With Rylie. I changed it because I found myself writing about what she does, her milestones etc. I only had a few visitors a day and really don't have too many more.
    I recently started making hair bows for girls. This led me to try and get my blog out there in the hopes that people would check out my etsy store as well. If I didn't have any readers I would still blog for my family and friends to read about Rylie and what she is doing now. It would be harder to promote my etsy store though.
    Great post and I liked how you highlighted some answers!

  • Bethany @ Organic Enchilada

    June 27, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Everything here is so good and thought provoking. I'm glad someone admitted to being an attention whore, because it's what we were all thinking about ourselves. It's nice to have someone, (the more the better), say that they appreciate you and/or what you've written.

    The fact that I can still hear my own voice in what I write makes me feel better about it all. If ever I were gone from my own blog then it would be time to re-evaluate.

    I debated for a good two weeks about publishing that post I just did about stay at home moms because I didn't want to offend anyone and have them quit reading my blog. But in the end I decided that if I couldn't be real it wasn't worth it.

    Thanks for bringing this topic into discussion!

  • Erika@NaMammaSte

    June 27, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I realize I'm a little late in commenting, but better late than never, right? I read your post the other day when you wrote it, and I'm glad I didn't comment right away, but took some time to think about it.

    At first I thought it wouldn't matter to me, it's just something I have fun with… but then all weekend I've been obsessed with altering my blog layout so that it would be eye catching, and checking my stats to see how many visitors I've had… so the verdict is: I do care.

    I don't think I'd stop writing altogether if nothing changed for me and if no one ever commented on my blog posts… I've basically had very few actual followers for a long time now, but I know more people are reading my blogs than choose to "follow" me based on facebook comments and things people say to me when then see me and that validation does mean something to me.

    Anyway, I feel similarly to you… I also used to write stories as a little girl and show them to my mom and dad. I've always wanted to be a columnist or write a book and this blog is sort of a test run, to see if I can hack it, so if it doesn't grow in popularity, I think I may stop and move on.

  • Anne

    June 27, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I did not comment on your original post because I read it on my phone and, well, typing one fingered is more difficult than one-handed.

    I do blog mostly for myself, but being who I am and the way I am I would be a liar if I said part of me didn't need the comments, stats and followers.

    I am totally realistic that my blog is a drop in the bucket in the mommy bloggging world – I am no Dooce. That said, I still get excited when I get lots of comments or if I gain a new follower. Even if that follower gives me only a fraction of the followers held by many bloggers who have been at it less that or the same amount of time as me.

    Good post woman! I like it.

  • Sarah

    June 26, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Aww, Beth! I hope you don't! I like the social networking aspect as well, and if you're in it for the friendship just go for it, who cares. There isn't anything wrong with that.

    Everyone needs a place to say what's on their mind. I find it interesting that this is a female dominated world here online. (At least it seems that way to me). I think women all over are connecting and finding a platform for their voice. I think this is vital. Keep it up Beth! (And Diana too!)

    P.S. I don't think you'll have to worry about your blog's future growth.. Your future is so bright you're gonna need shades! (yep, I like that saying.. lol)

  • Beth Zimmerman

    June 26, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Excellent post. I've been thinking about this a lot lately … why exactly do I blog and what do I get from it that keeps me coming back! I think I do it because I need a place to say all these things and I keep coming back because I LOVE it when my little thought and words make someone laugh, cheer someone up, assure someone they're not alone. I would continue to WRITE if I didn't get a response but I wouldn't continue the social net-working, etc. that I do to reach others. I would draw back into myself and I think that would be sad.

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