Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thoughts on blogging

I've been thinking about blogging lately.

For me, the process of blogging has gone like this: at first, I just didn't get it. Amy was the first person I knew who had a blog, and it didn't make any sense to me. I was glad that I got to read hers, but I didn't know who could have one, or whether I wanted one. Being fairly uncomplicated, I figured it out, eventually, and grew to love reading the bits and pieces of my sister that her blog brought to me.

I can still remember how nervous I was when I started this blog back in 2007. I wanted it to be good. I wanted people to find it and love it to pieces and feel the need to read it everyday of their lives. I wanted it to give me a place to write all the things I'd probably never tell anyone, and to document the moments that I shouldn't forget. I also started reading and commenting on other people's blogs. I wanted to be them; I wanted the traffic they got, I wanted to be able to sneeze in the cyber world and have people coming out of the woodwork to say "bless you."

Fast forward two years. I still love when people come to my blog. I still read blogs, but I don't comment like I used to. It isn't that it's not important to me anymore, I've just gotten lazy on both fronts. I mean, the blogging front and the supportive-blogging front. I don't think about my posts the way I used to, or put as much effort into my writing. I've stopped introducing myself to the world, and started using the shorthand that I see some bloggers using. (I know I'm mixing myself in with others, but it's important, somehow, if I can get my idea across.) This shorthand assumes that people know me and my humor/wit/style/whatever, without reaching out to make myself understood. And I know when I read blogs that have gone that way, I start to lose interest. I start to wonder if they are interested in learning about themselves and expressing it through writing, or if they just want to put the minimum number of posts out there so they can keep their sidebar advertising (not that there is anything wrong with sidebar advertising.). Or if they are just so full of themselves by now that people will come out of the woodwork with tissues in hand to offer, that they don't consider how their writing will come off. Do you know what I mean?

I don't really know how come up with a solution to this blogging issue of mine. I don't know that there is a solution, since I do generally know who is reading my blog and the degree to which they know me (whether in real life, or in the blogosphere). But I know I've lost some of that drive to really write what I'm thinking on my blog. I don't stretch myself much, or come away with much satisfaction that with or without comments, I wrote something I'm proud of.

But knowing that I've lost it has me thinking. It has me wanting to try a little harder to put my heart into my posts. To work with language more. I don't think that every post will or can or should do that, because some posts are just to document experiences. But I'll try a little harder to work for my audience, not so that they will comment or hand me hankies, but so that they will know I'm not just resting on my (few) laurels.


Ginger said...

You are so cute. I began feeling that way about my blog and decided to come up with something fancy on my last post. It took more brain power than I once needed and I'm probably good for a while now but I know exactly how you feel. Lots of people are posting about this lately. I hope blogging is not dying. Heaven forbid. Why? Because I LOVE blogs like YOURS!

Lucy said...

I enjoy your blog too. I'm not the greatest commenter because so often, I read things quickly on my reader and only make it to the actual blog once every week or so. By then, commenting seems moot.

I think blogging has changed a lot since I first started one. I can remember the thrill of posting. Writing, really. I loved the writing. Now, it's not so much about that as much as I just want something, anything lately, down about what I'm doing, how I'm feeling...just to keep it going. I don't have as much stamina as I once did to work on a post to make it perfect. If it takes too long to write, then I give up. I've passed on a lot of thoughts lately, which makes me sad. Because, like you, I've realized that I'm never going to be this BLOGGER, and I'm o.k. with that. Now. :)

Amy Sorensen said...

I think some of the difficulty (at least for me and my blog "readership") is that it's eclectic. I blog about scrapbooking, quilting, reading, writing, poems, myself, my kids...but it's not dedicated to just ONE of those things. It's not REALLY a quilting blog, for example, so it doesn't draw the quilting bloggers. What's that expression...jack of all trades, master of none. that's me!

I also think you have to ask yourself what YOU want to get out of your blog. Are you blogging because you want people to read what you've written? Because you just want to write? Because you want a record of things? Because you want hankies? Again, for me, it's an eclectic approach, but for me, at its heart blogging is about writing itself. My blog posts aren't perfectly polished and obsessed over like my (much-rejected) essays are (the ones I try to have published), but I do enjoy the process of writing them, and that's why *I* continue to blog.