9/30/09

A Crisis of Blog


Wednesday~September 30, 2009


I'm having a crisis of blog.

A crisis of B-L-O-G is what I'm having.

I started out skipping along with a tra-la-la in this whole blogging thing and then people started calling me a writer and I was all really? It's a nice thing to be called, but I'm still not sure I have my mind wrapped around what it means for me.

I guess I just can't figure out how to do this anymore, or how I want to do it. (Blog, that is.) Which is why I nearly up and closed this baby down the other day. (I know, GASP! How would life go on?) (Please note my sarcasm as you read that last sentence.)

I absolutely loved Maggie's post Evolution of a Blogger. It said all that I could say here. You should read it, it's just plain excellent.

To be completely cheesy, I want to do this whole blogging thing really well. When I've written posts (there are just a few) that I'm actually proud of, they've been inspired by a creative part of me that I didn't even know was there before I started blogging. Now I feel pressure to keep that up. No one but me is putting that pressure on me, but I also don't know if the just write for yourself thing can actually be a reality. Because any blogger with a growing readership knows it's most likely impossible. If you are never thinking of your readers, you're super human. And anyway, to think of the readers is not always about an insecurity or fear of some kind, it's simply a recognition and respect for the people who are spending their time with your words.

I don't care if it's silly, I do want to give people what they came for, and I want it to be from my heart. I want that even though I know this is "just a blog," and it isn't really taken very seriously outside of the blogging subculture anyway.

Am I really a writer? I still don't know. I'm a blogger, and I love that. I just don't know what to do with it.

So there you have it. (I say that as if any of the above makes any sense at all.)

A crisis of blog.

On Friday I will have the honor of guest posting at Moms Without Blogs, one of my favorite places. The unsuspecting readers of that blog will hear more about this crisis I'm having. Because there are a few other things I'm sorting through, like how I feel about the whole commercial side of blogging and also how I feel about all the obligations of social media.

I'll link to it on Friday so you can check it out if you want, but please, don't have any expectations. (I know, I'm hilarious.) (sarcasm again, you're welcome.)

61 clicked right here to comment:

C @ Kid Things said...

I like to consider myself a writer. I'm probably just kidding myself, though. I guess anyone who writes can be called a writer, in that sense. Some are just a lot better at it than others. (You, by the way, do it very well.)

Jen said...

Heather,

I totally feel you on this post and I struggle with the same issues. I am humbled by the people that read what I write and actually like it. And I have a hard time believing them when they say that I can write or I should write a book. It kind of dumbfounds me.

But on the other hand, I LOVE blogging and I love that I write every single day. I love how much I have learned. I love how my writing has changed and grown over the years. I love how I feel when I write something that others enjoy and like.

But I also feel the pressure.

I don't know the answers. I just know that I am LOVING this whole blogging thing and for right now that is enough for me.

Sorry for rambling.....

Jen said...

Oh and I wanted to add that you are totally a writer. I love how you write and the way it makes me feel. Please keep it up.

~Your Loyal Fan

BoufMom9 said...

Heather,
Oh wow. You just wrote what I have been feeling. I seriously have been thinking about stopping, but I love the idea of documenting my kids' lives for them...

It's stressful sometimes and yes, I worry about not being entertaining and on the days I have no comments, I think, ok, no one cared today....maybe I can just stop writing and no one will care anyway???

Can't wait to see how you tackle this topic further...

Billy Coffey said...

Trust me Heather, you are a writer.

I completely understand what you're going through here, but I think all of your readers will attest to the fact that you're doing this very well.

Just keep writing. That pressure can be tough sometimes, but as long as you look forward to tapping the keys, the pressure won't matter. It's a big shadow of a little thing. You can never fail with just being you. That's why we all keep coming back here.

MamaBear said...

I was THIS close to making my blog private this morning to prove a point with my husband this morning that I AM BLOGGING FOR ME AND MY FAMILY. Of course I would have been crushed to sever ties with the wonderful women I've met through blogging, but it was a little like what you are talking about here as I had to really think about who I'm blogging for and why.

Can't wait to hear more of your thoughts on the subject!

Amanda @ The Mom Job said...

*This is me raising my hand because I am in this weird stage along with you RIGHT NOW*

And really? I never get the balls to blog ABOUT blogging because I only get that urge when it gets "like this". I don't want to appear whiny that I HAVE! TO! MAINTAIN! A! LITTLE! BLOG!
It's silly to others, and sometimes it is silly to me, but for the most part I have to remind myself that at so many points over the last 2 years I have blogged about something near and dear to me and then ... poof. Other people share their stories too and that "sensitive issue" because a NON-issue because the post outed a handful of people in my shoes.
That's ALWAYS nice, right?
: )

Keep on girl, KEEP ON!

-Amanda

Lindsay said...

I wrote about this a couple weeks ago from the whole for yourself/but needing an audience perspective. If I wrote a private journal it would eliminate the problems of oversharing, and dancing around difficult issues which is good. But I also wouldn't put the effort or thought into the writing so there would be a lesser quality of self reflection occurring, and I wouldn't get the benefits that come from writing for a small audience. So I do think there is a big element of writing for oneself evident in a blog that is public too. As far as throwing up something totally silly and without structure sometimes, a lot of the famous blogs seem to do this too, as far as I can tell. Hope you figure out your crisis of b-l-o-g!

Kristen {RAGE against the MINIVAN} said...

Oh girl. I hear you. Lound and strong. Almost closed up shop the other day, too, because I can't seem to figure out how to do this without acting like it is a priority/job/duty instead of a hobby. No answers, just relating.

Sabrina said...

Well I really hope you don't kill your blog. I love it too much. But I do know the feeling. I'm at the point where I just don't care as much, it's no longer my baby... just something I do once in awhile. I'm happy.
I hope you can find your happy blog place too. :)
NEW MOON FOREVER!

Jo@Mylestones said...

Of course you're a writer, silly. My humble opinion is that not every blogger is a writer. But the ones who are of course struggle with the writerly over-introspection and periodically over analyze themselves into a mild neurosis. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) :-)

Just keep blogging. Keep writing. For whoever. For whatever. Just keep doing what you love. Because not only do you love doing it, you are very good at it....and that is a perfect combination.

Kristina P. said...

I think that it's usually disingenuine when bloggers say that they only write for themselves. That's what a private journal is for.

Blogs are a public forum, and I think that 99% of bloggers do like feedback and to know that they are read and loved.

I absolutely write for my readers. And like you, I put a lot of pressure on myself. Which I've stopped doing since the summer. My blogging has slowed down a lot, and I've learned that I don't have to blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and now, I do it when I feel like it.

On the other hand, I only blog about things that I want to blog about and that make me laugh and make me happy. I get a lot of emails with suggestions, and 95% of the time, while I appreciate them, they aren't something I want to write about, so I don't.

I don't blog about day to day stuff so much, anymore, and I'm OK with that. I used to blog for quantity, not quality, and now, I've found a happy medium.

Oh, and I don't consider myself a writer at all. I don't want to write a book or a column, or be a guest poster for someone. I'm a smart ass who can put that into words. :)

I can't quit you!

Heather of the EO said...

You people help, ya know that? Thank you...

And Sabrina, no mention of New Moon...people are going to think we're looking forward to the movie or something.

blueviolet said...

Coming from somebody who did close up shop, I'm glad you didn't do that. You are more than a blog I visit now. You're a friend and I would miss you dearly.

Now I know that when it's too much, it's time to step away until you feel the desire to write again.

Blogging just doesn't feel the same all the time. Some days and even some weeks it all just falls flat to us and that's ok. That's life. Life is not all peaks. There are plenty of valleys too.

And as for the "corporate" side of things, go with your heart and your instincts. If it feels right, go for it. If not, then just be who you are. I for one will love you regardless.

Ann's Rants said...

I go round this circle daily. This is why I haven't quit blogging:

Writing is solitary, and I value the comraderie and collaboration of blogging. Also it's unbeatable access to other writers to follow and glean insight and leads from.

I've developed an amazing writing practice and a body of work I constantly refer to and think about in writing outside the blog.

Finally, I building something here. Maybe not something that I can easily identify yet, but the foundation is laid and that is the hardest part.

All the reasons I want to quit boil down to my perfectionism, and I'm working hard to see shades of gray now.

It doesn't have to be either/or.

Good luck. I understand, and apparently so does everyone else in your comments!

Aunt LoLo said...

I hear you...we all do. These things have been on my mind recently, too. Only write if you enjoy it, mama! As SAHM's, there's precious LITTLE we're paid to do...and plenty we're EXPECTED to do. Blogging should be a treat, in my opinion.

We'll love ya, either way. :-)

Stonefox said...

sooo with you. Just so you know, you're a writer.

april said...

Okay, here we go. I REALLY hope this makes sense. If you write, you're a writer. (I think that's already been mentioned. Oh well.) I put a lot of thought into this, and was going to put it in a post, but I think I'll just say it here.

I've always loved writing, but never have fancied myself good at it. I lack the talent to fill in the details, but now I know that it isn't because I'm bad at it, it's just how I write. Not once did I ever think when I started my blog that anyone would read it. But I love that a few people seem to enjoy it. Which makes me want to write more. However, I write what I feel. Sometimes it's a hit, sometimes it isn't. I just chalk it up that sometimes people just may not understand, and that's fine. And I'll keep writing. Just like I always have.

So, in my opinion, you ARE a writer. Of the blogging variety. And I love being a blogger too. ;o)

Megan @ Hold it Up to the Light said...

Ok...you have absolutely, totally, completely, absolutely, incredibly....read my bloggity MIND! Un-flipping-REAL!

That is just exactly how I feel.

Totally.

I'll be checking back soon to see how it's working out for you, cause I'm right behind ya babe!

Debbie said...

I feel like some woman jumping on the train but I promise, I have been thinking the same thing the last two weeks. I have truly been struggling with whether to continue or not. Oh boy. I know I don't like feeling like this and I bet you don't either. But the connection to you and our other friends is what keeps me going.

Lara said...

I find I have such a crisis once or twice a year. Where I honestly don't want to continue, but once I push through it all is well again. I gain some perspective, only to lose it again a few months later. :)

Can't wait to read your other thoughts...things I have been thinking on myself.

katdish said...

Oh Heather. You are totally a writer, and a pretty exceptional one at that. Sorry/you're welcome.

Deb said...

you're a writer in blogger's clothing. i would explain further, but i will save my full analysis for friday's guest rockin' post over at MWOB. can't wait!

Susan Berlien (warmchocmilk) said...

I guess I'm too new at this to really get it. My crisis of blog will come in a year or two. I'm enjoying it.... but each day I worry that tommorrow I will have nothing to say.
It's my own mini-crisis.
Sometimes I think this whole thing has no point, that I waste too much time with it all. I don't know how long I'll keep writing. But I'm writing today.

Cynthia said...

You are a writer. Really. I m a Mommy Blogger- there's a big difference.

My words may occasionally amuse (less and less it seems) but they don't have the power to move people's hearts. Yours do. It is a gift and you are doing exactly what you need to do with the gift- honing and improving it for a good purpose. Perfection isn't required.

Remember the Parable of the Talents? To him that uses the talents he has been blessed with God will grant more. The more you use the gift, the better you're getting at extending the message.

Chief said...

It's funny, in a way, we are in the same boat. I started blogging about my regular life. People started laughing and telling friends to read and then I thought I should give them the laugh they had come to see. After a few months, I was very lost in what the blog was supposed to be in the first place. I am slowly figuring it out. No need to shut the blog down...just regroup and rethink it and make it exactly what you want it to be.

D. said...

Heather - Your an inspiration to me and many others. I know I am new to this blogging thing but I totally understand and relate to your feelings in this post. I wanted to do this for me but of course it is for others too and I know I am not a "writer" but I am a blogger, as you put it, and I am okay with that as well. I hope to get better with my writing but I enjoy it and I can tell you do too.
Keep it up!

kirsten said...

Heather, you're awesome. YOU MAY NOT STOP. ;) I agree w/ Jo at Mylestones, and would tell Debbie NOT TO STOP EITHER.

I compare the exercise of getting your brain to work in written form, and putting your thoughts out there to the idea of exercise video vs. going out and just running the darn race. You might as well commit, because whilst it IS for you, the idea that someone might be watching is no small motivation to excellence.

tiff said...

I am going through much the same thing.

I read Maggies post and I while I loved it it made me feel as though none of this matters.

In the end though, I love the community and so I'll keep going because I need to know I'm not alone.

tiff said...

And;

you are an amazing writer.

You evoke such emotion.

L.T. Elliot said...

Heather, I come here for one reason. YOU. I love your blog because it's sincere, it's life, it's truth, and it's YOU. If you closed your blog, it would be a black day for me (although I would understand, friend. It's hard!) There are a select few blogs that I read because I feel happier and better and more capable to take on life--YOURS IS AT THE TOP OF THAT LIST.
I don't want you to be stressed. I don't want to pressure you to be anything but what you are and what you need to be. I just want you to know that what you are and what you need to be is the EXACT reason why I love this blog.
All you have to do is be you. All you really need is sincerity. "Writer. Mom. Friend. Blogger." They're all just synonyms for Heather. And as long as you just keep being Heather, that's all I ever need from you.

Love to you. And peace.

XOXO
--Laura

Kazzy said...

I find I can't really do the writing without doing the reading, which adds even more ocmmitment, but one of the coolest things about blogging is that it has changed my neurons. All day I find myself trying to think about what I will write about next. "Oooo, that would be interesting to write about!" Etc, etc. I think that is awesome.

LisAway said...

I come here always knowing there will be something good and worthwhile. Sometimes I'm blown away with your thoughts or you talent in expressing them, sometimes I just get a little slice of your life (funny, silly, informative, whatever). I love it all. It would be hard for me if you wrote every day one of those blow me away posts. You ALWAYS write well (very) but I hope you won't stress too much about making this a heavy duty writing blog. I love all your expressions, and they always feel very sincere.

I'm a little on the flip side because I'm not a writer etc. and even though I don't have so many readers, I always just want to write what I want and I occasionally feel bad posting something because it's for me and I don't want readers to feel they have to read/enjoy/comment on it. It makes it a little tricky. I want to keep my blog for me, like it has been from the beginning, but as you say, there are people reading who sort of deserve something interesting. I sort of justify my own style by saying that people don't have to read it. And I feel very comfortable with losing readers etc. because I feel like it's all good with the balance I'm trying to find. I feel more sure that only people who want to are reading. I think I have it all backwards, but it works for me!

The Rambler said...

You know why I come here and read what you 'blog/write' about?

You seem very real to me. Like when I read things, deep things, I feel like you might have gone into my head. You admit things that might be hard for someone to write about, but most feel. (you got me hooked on the post where you wanted to just lie in bed and not leave, but you did it for your kids.)

I enjoy you thoroughly because you remind me (in my brain)to keep it a little more real. And that sometimes that real is ok to feel, and to deal with it. You are refreshing and thought provoking.

I hope you don't choose to close shop, but if you did one day far into the future I want to thank you for being that 'real' blogger for me :)

Jacky said...

Hi! I'm stopping by from SITS to say hello...so here I am!

I have a very hard time sometimes when it comes to blogging. Mainly because I want to please everyone, so I stress about my writing, subject matter, etc. And then I deleted one blog and started over. From 91 followers to none--ouch! But I now have 7, so maybe people like me after all?

Thanks for this post! I enjoyed my visit! =)

onthistimearound.blogspot.com

Maggie, Dammit said...

I know.

I know. :)

The good news is it keeps changing. Despite any conclusions I may or may not have drawn in my post, there's still a silly happy kid blogger in me who believes so strongly in what we are all doing here.

xo

--It's Your Movie-- said...

Oh Heather I am right there with you. I feel almost exactly like this! Really, all of it. I love ourI've been blogging on two different blogs for three years now. When my computer broke and I got to take a whole month off, I saw what living without a blog was like. It was not bad. I love blogging for a lot of reasons but I don't know if I have the energy to do it in the middle of the night when my kids are asleep and I don't know that it's fair for me to sit around typing stuff on the computer while my kids are awake and there is actual stuff I SHOULD be doing for my family. They are only 1 and 2 years old. Do I really have the time to do this? ON the other hand, there are people like YOU on the internet. And I love that. I love reading blogs and nodding and feeling like I've found kindred spirits and like I'm connected to something bigger than my own house. Okay Clark needs me to take him to the potty. This may be the only thing I "get" to type on the computer all day.

--It's Your Movie-- said...

There were like thirty typos in that comment I just left. I am so sorry.

Kori said...

I really think anyone who blogs is a writer; we all have a story, and some of us tell it differently, some of us don't write as well but do it because we love it (me), but we are a writer if we are coming here with some consistency and putting on paper (figuratively) what is going on in our head. For me, I don't look at a stat-counter (in fact, I don't even have is enabled), and I just write. Sure, we know there are people reading and to an extent we are mindful of that. For me, it just means I try to take more care about I say things, in what order I put the words. I usually have a post written in my head long before I actually write it, and for me, it is a really good exercise.

Got long-winded. I just thing that the nature of our blogs change because WE change; We go through crises because suddenly our previously light-hearted and funny place is tkaing a nose-dive into despair, or suddenly we don't really LIKE to write about poopy diapers or our job or WHATEVER anymore, and it's like starting over. And then we sort it out through our blogs, and we become comfortable with our voices again. It's all just-life.

There you go, my 32 cents worth. :)

Dave said...

whatever you decide, you've been a help and an inspiration.

and your friends will find a way to keep in touch, and will read whatever you write because they are interested in you and not the blog

/handing in my two cents

Rach@In His Hands said...

Oh, blogging. Such a lovely, wacky, fun world. Keep it up, Heather. You're a favorite of mine. :-)

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

First of all I think for reading previous comments, your post and knowing my own feelings you are not alone at all.

I have contemplated shutting down my blog too. I wonder daily what the true point of it is and if I am actually doing what I set out to do.

It is easier in the beginning when your blog doesn't have a past to measure itself against. I guess the best thing to do would be to try not to measure and write what moves you.

Boy Crazy said...

I'm with Jo @ Mylestones. She nailed it exactly.

Roban said...

You're a "successful" blogger with a large readership.... I think that in itself puts a little stress on you. I love blogging, but I know that if it begins to feel like a job, it probably won't be fun anymore. Keep it fun. Keep it what you want it to be.

I think you have enough faithful followers who will go with the flow. We're here when you are, so to speak!

Roban

That Girl said...

I wish you would quit picking in my brain, and saying it better.

But I like you anyway.

Carrie said...

I am in the same place, not having time or brain matter to be creative on my blog...I've hardly posted at all lately, and when I have, it's been, "Here's what's up with my family", hardly writing material. I enjoy writing, but somehow I just don't have time right now!

Carrie said...

PS - I always look forward to reading your blog!!! SO glad you didn't close it down!

Kathy B! said...

There are bloggers and there are writers who blog. You definitely fall into the second category. As long as you do whatever you do with passion your readers will follow and enjoy it.

Becky said...

Loved the link - I read it and laughed the whole time.

Is there a blogging stage in which you really don't care about blogging because you find it's so much work that you can barely bring yourself to do it, even though you're secretly terrified that if you really did shut it all down, someone who actually liked your blog might email you to see how things are going and you'd be sucked back in and go through the same crazy ride over and over and over until you're dead?

Cuz that's the stage I'm in.

And also, I just have to say, I loved the Twilight movie more than the book. Blasphemy, I know. But bring on New Moon. I'm going opening night with full intentions of downing a large tub of popcorn all by myself as I secretly root for Jacob. Oh, yeah.

P.S. Don't bother shutting down. I'll just email you and suck you back in. Mwahaha! (That's, uh, evil laughter, in case you were wondering.)

Muthering Heights said...

LOL, I love that term...

Kristen@nosmallthing said...

I think you are a writer. Definitely.

And I completely understand your crisis of blog. I have that. All the time. Like right now.

a Tonggu Momma said...

You are definitely a writer. And I've always loved Sue's "Life Cycle of a Blog." It makes me laugh.

http://tinyurl.com/6olxrj

CaJoh said...

I think that anyone that has such an outpouring of support should consider themselves a writer.

I have had my struggles as well, but they are mostly trying to motivate myself to finish all of the drafts I have started.

Sometimes I wonder if I am able to reach an audience, but I also realize that a lot of what I say may not be for everybody.

Your blog title does say it all— The Extraordinary Ordinary. You take the ordinary and make it extraordinary through your writing. Keep it up and don't get discouraged.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I LOVED that post of Maggie's. Who didn't recognize themself there (at least a little). And I know how you feel. Now that I'm home full time, I can't get away with the "long lunch break" or even just blowing off half the day because it's slow. I don't have as much quiet time to read, to get back to commenters, and WRITE! (and I don't even have that much of a readership)

So yeah - it's hard to justify the time and it's hard to find it. But I guess (at least for me) it's those few posts that make you so proud that are worth it.

You always get to the heart of things Heather.

KK said...

I'm satisfied with being a blogger, writer scares me :)

Tiffany @ Lattes And Life said...

It's a difficult balance...blogging for yourself versus your readers. For me, personally, I spent far too long worrying about what my readers wanted to read. It felt forced. I'm finally (after THREE YEARS) letting that go and blogging what *I* feel like blogging. And oh my GOSH it feels so good. I hope you find your happy spot too :)

Theta Mom said...

I say, who cares about the title?Writer? Blogger? Mom Blogger? Whatever...as long as you stay happy creating content that you are passionate about. I really enjoyed your post, new reader here! I've seen you on SITS a bunch of times and never made my way over here. So glad I did! I would love to follow if you follow as well! :)

Bruce Teague said...

I totally know how you feel. I constantly ask myself what the heck am I doing with a blog that takes up too much of my free time. I don't even know what my "subject" really is and I don't really want to put as much effort into it as I do. It's sort of like a drug for me though. I can't quit, and even when I don't want to work on it, I do anyways. You'd think it would equal a good blog...

MoziEsmé said...

Yep, like Bruce said above - definitely a drug. I hate my dependence on it sometimes, I hate the guilt feelings I have for not posting regularly, and the guilt feelings I have for posting when I should be doing things for my family. And there are those few rare moments when all is well and I know exactly why I'm blogging. Haven't had any of those moments lately, but they will come... :)

Kimberly said...

Oh how very, very much get this. I think it comes down to that term "blogger." Part of being a blogger is being a writer, yes, but there's more to it than that...and different...so many strange, as yet undefined aspects of what it can or could be....okay, I'm not making sense now (so, so tired). I guess what I'm saying is that we don't entirely know what being a blogger means or all that it could come to mean. It's not just a personal voyage of discovery, we're all sort of bumbling along trying to figure it out together.

And sometimes, coming to very different conclusions. And that's okay. But only if we let it be, I think.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

I totally understand where you are coming from. It really changes from week to week with me. I used to try to do 3 a week. Then it was 2 a week. Now I'm lucky to do it every other week. I've lost readers because of my lack of frequency, but I'm ok with that.

You are a great writer! I would be sad to think of you leaving.

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