A Blogging Re-Boot

Posted on | May 17, 2010 | 19 Comments

When I first started blogging, I just wanted to write.

I wanted to get in the habit of sitting down at my computer every day and pounding out … something… on the keyboard. Even if it was total crap. Because the truth was, I didn’t think anyone would read it. I mean, sure, I thought my sister would check in every so often and maybe my mom. And potentially even some of my friends scattered around the US… but no one else.

And then something really weird happened.

You guys started… reading. You read what I write and *gasp* you leave feedback. And honestly? That’s completely terrifying for me. Because even though I’m totally putting myself out there on the internet just writing away, I never in my wildest dreams thought there would be people who would care about what I have to say.

So as a result, this blogging thing has taken on a whole new meaning. Whereas I used to just write for the sake of writing, now I feel like I have to write for the sake of reading. Where I used to get up in the morning and just start typing until I was tired and then hit “Publish Post” now I feel like I have to think through things. Like I have to make an effort to write what people will want to read.

And I don’t know if I like that. Not that I don’t like having people read what I write… that part is kind of nice. And especially nice seeing as how I don’t have any meanies who come and rain on my verbal parade. But I don’t want to become some blah sort of blogger who just writes what she thinks other people want to hear.

The mommy-blogging world has a lot in common with high school. There are the circles you run with and the circles you want to run with. There are the people who, when they comment on your blog, you squeal and tell your husband who looks at you like you’re crazy because honestly? He doesn’t know who that person is or why you care. But you do. You get excited when certain people tweet a response to you or even say your name because OMG they know your name. And it’s not always a bad thing. But it can be. For me? It can be a very bad thing because I worry I’ll fall into the pattern of trying to “fit in.” Trying so hard to be a “cool” mommy blogger that I forget that I’m totally NOT cool. That I’m writing this while still in my PJs with the world’s worst bedhead, a baby who is screaming at me through the monitor every five minutes or so as he tries to fall asleep, teething toys scattered on the floor where I will inevitably step on them, a husband who is playing World of Warcraft,  and oh yeah, a giant bruise smack in between my ass cheeks from sitting down … on a teething toy. I’m not cool. There’s not one thing cool about me. And I don’t want to judge my self-worth based on what the people I consider “cool” think about me. I just want to write.

Let me interject that I have met some truly wonderful people through blogging. People I wish I lived near so we could have playgroups and coffee “dates.” People like Kate and Lydia, Rebekah, Diana, Metta1313, Beth Anne, Kristin… and so many others that I can’t name them all. These are people who I consider a random sort of “friend” even though most of them I’ve never met. So I certainly can’t pretend that I haven’t gained anything out of trying to be “cool” because those ladies? They’re some of the coolest folks I “know.” But I still feel pressured to write for them. To write something they’ll think is worthwhile. To write something they’ll say “Yes. That was awesome.” And that worries me. Even as I write this, I’m thinking “will it make them mad? Will they think I’m stupid for writing this?” Is it painfully clear that I have self-worth issues or what.  

So what do I do? Do I stop checking my comments? Do I stop judging whether what I wrote has value based on how many comments the entry gets? Do I disconnect for a bit and re-group? I don’t know the right answer. So what I’m actually going to do is just start over. I’m going to just… write. Every morning. Even if I have nothing to say at all.

And that may mean a lot of posts about sleep deprivation. Or poop. Or even work. And it may mean a lot of posts without anything to say at all… like this one. But I’m going to try to stop caring. Because I started this blog just to write.

And that’s what I’m going to do.

Comments

19 Responses to “A Blogging Re-Boot”

  1. The Empress
    May 17th, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

    Fantastic post. Arrived here rabbit hole after rabbit hole that began at Mayor of Crazy Town.

    What they all said was true, you do write one fabulous post after another.

    Wonderful to meet you, and really enjoy your honest writing.

    Thank you for the worthwhile read.

  2. Mae
    May 17th, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

    I totally get all of that, and I think your strategy is a good one and possibly the only one. First of all, I don't think I could sustain the desire to maintain my blog if I didn't just write what I Wanted to. I've also noticed that the posts that seem to get the most positive feedback are those that come when I'm feeling something I just need to get out, and they're written in 10 minutes. Those are the ones that everybody's always all "wow, that was awesome" about. The ones that I take a week to write and obsess over? Crickets.

    My highest hit day ever I blogged about my love for Wesley freaking Crusher and stalking Star Trek cast members on Twitter. What does THAT say about what my readers think is cool?

    (It says they're incredibly intelligent with great taste, is what it says.)

  3. KLZ
    May 17th, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

    I'm having such a hard time not laughing at you right now.

    That's not true, I am laughing. I am the biggest nerd in the whole world. In fact, I've been contemplating a post about it.

    This same thing bugs me. I actually avoid some of the "bigger" more "successful" blogs because 1) I don't want to like them just because they're popular and 2) I worry that if I start reading them my writing will start to sound like them so that I can be popular to. Which is not the point.

    Happy Monday friend.

  4. Kim
    May 17th, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

    Well said! As a new blogger, I've been thinking about the 'clicks' b/c well, I want to be poplular! Does that make me pathetic or just want to get my story, which I think will help others, out there? I can't answer that yet, that's part of my quest. Thanks for your insight though, it is so very helpful 🙂

  5. MrsPatterson
    May 17th, 2010 @ 1:47 pm

    Love this post! You took the words right out of my mind. I have been feeling like this SO much lately. I am still a new blogger and already I'm getting burnt out because I worry too much about how my writing will be received. I worry if people will be like "dude what is up with her, why isn't she funny today?" and I don't want to fall into the pit of writing crap posts that are totally forced, just because I feel like it's what people "want" to read. So way to go, you're totally right!!

  6. ~*Jess*~
    May 17th, 2010 @ 1:50 pm

    At the end of the day, your blog is for YOU. Your way to release. You can't worry about everyone else. This was a very honest post and I understand now your hesitation to hit publish.

    You were writing just to write and people started reading then, so clearly you are awesome. Hang in there.

  7. Rebekah @ Mom-In-A-Million
    May 17th, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

    OK, I almost spit out my coffee when I read about that butt bruise from the teething toy. Because THAT is why I read your blog. To know that there's another mom out there with bruises on her behind from sitting on toys and who can laugh about it "with" me. Life isn't easy but it's easier when you know you aren't alone. Your blog is the place I come for a virtual cup of coffee and some commiseration about the wild ride of being a working mom.

    In some ways, I feel like blogging is a giant Mike-Meyers-as-Linda-Richmond skit where we all "talk amongst ourselves" and take our laughs when they come.

    Please keep writing about the ordinary stuff. It's why I love you and your blog.

    P.S. Thanks for calling me cool even though I have a permanent bruise on my hip from bumping into the door handle on the stroller storage room door at daycare every. single. time.

  8. liz
    May 17th, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

    I have had all these same thoughts. No Joke. I think too much if something I write will not be good enough or interesting enough to some of my readers. Especially if it's a BIG blogger.

    Just keep doing what you are doing; it's great!

  9. Mama Pea
    May 17th, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

    I compare the mommy blogosphere to high school all the time. Hope your butt bruise heals quickly 🙂

  10. Tiffany
    May 17th, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

    I SO agree with Mae. I spend so much time on a post and then I get crickets…but when I find something funny, or inspirational, or interesting and blog-it-out, I get all this amazing feedback. I had this ah-ha moment last week too. It's time to get back to the basics – and maybe some day, you and I can laugh it out at Blogher.

  11. CaneWife
    May 17th, 2010 @ 7:15 pm

    The ordinary stuff is your voice. And you have a great one. I hope to read more of it!

    Fantastic post!

  12. Christy
    May 17th, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

    I love your comparison with high school. That is so true, and I was totally the nerd / dork in high school. I didn't really care then, and I totally agree that you shouldn't care now. Write what you want, read who you want and be yourself.

    I support this post! I love it! More power to you. Don't worry about it, write about poop. and sleep deprivation. and nothing.

    Good luck! I'm definitely going to try to read more of your poop posts 🙂

  13. Cara Mamma
    May 17th, 2010 @ 11:01 pm

    You are so right…. there is this bizarre awe of the "well known" bloggers. I have come to the conclusion that I don't want to do reviews or give aways–I just want to write. And although I admit,I have fantasies of having 100 followers…but for now, I just write. And hope that someone reads 🙂

  14. D
    May 18th, 2010 @ 12:40 am

    You know what else mommy bloggers have in common with high school cliques? They all start to look the same. A lot of these bloggers who seem to run in the same circles are always hosting the same giveaways and posting about the same topics. Hell, I've even noticed little snippets, jokes, etc. that seem to have been removed VERBATIM from one blog to another. It just gets boring. I have much more respect for authenticity, and for writing for writing's sake. Keep it real, sister.

    love,

    Obscure Mommy Blogger Who's Not At All Bitter, I Swear

  15. karma-dee
    May 18th, 2010 @ 2:38 am

    I've just recently found your blog but really enjoy it. Keep on keepin' on – you're doing great! The blogs I like best are the ones that don't blog about blogging too much – it's like having a conversation about having a conversation, really awkward. Just write about life and it will be great!

  16. Melodramommy
    May 18th, 2010 @ 6:21 am

    "That I'm writing this while still in my PJs with the world's worst bedhead, a baby who is screaming . . . and oh yeah, a giant bruise smack in between my ass cheeks from sitting down … on a teething toy."

    And that, my mommy friend, is exactly what makes you cool! LOL! I can completely relate.

  17. Maura
    May 18th, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

    Oh, I love this post. My own blog is just one month old, so I can relate to what you've said–that it's hard to follow your true north as a writer while you're trying to build a solid readership. Thanks for your honesty, and keep up the good work! You can officially add me to your list of readers. 🙂

  18. Jessica Warrick
    May 18th, 2010 @ 11:59 pm

    great topic. I to feel the pressure to write something worth reading. Im a Sahm with a condition that prohibits me form leaving my house on some days and so i don't do very much so i wander are people really interested in hearing what i have to say. Especially since i don't do much. But i was once told by one of my readers that the everyday mundane day to day tasks is what they come back to rad. They want to hear how my day was and what my children did to upset, or make me laugh…

  19. criticalcrass
    May 19th, 2010 @ 3:42 am

    so many times i wonder if what i've written is too this that or the other. but the wondering is short-lived, because inevitably, the thing i wrote is my thing on my blog. and yeah, while i want six thousand followers like stephanie nielson has and eighty comments per post that her sister, courtney kendrick, has and writing those posts that sometimes leave a lot to be desired aren't the sort of thing to encourage the massive following and dozens of comments a day….it would take hours to read those dozens comments each day. who has the time?

    and i'm a take it or leave it sort of girl. you don't like it? leave it. yeah, i'll be sad, but i'd rather be sad because you left than sad because i sacrificed myself to get your attention.

    so i'm really glad you ended this post the way you did. :]

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
    Based on a work at http://www.law-momma.com.
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