Friday, 1 May 2009

blogging angst

I'm all angstified and confusified about my motives for blogging at the moment.

I used to do this for fun. For months and months I wrote every single day, without one reader apart from me. For some reason I had this verbal diarrhoea that came pouring out of me. Secretly I did wish someone else would read my blog and say "oh my god you are a genius why are you not ruling the world?" of course, but I was happy enough being my biggest and only fan.

Then somehow I found a reader or two, but I was still blogging for fun and still had loads of words to share. 

And then I definitely grew a fragile but bloated blogging ego. My very existence came to depend upon having readers, and I believed that if I did not blog often then I would lose all my readers, and then I would collapse in a heap of readerless insecurities and die. I would lose all self worth and be an unseen blogger again. Why this bothered me so much I really don't know. I was cool being an unseen blogger before.

Anyhoo, this is all so very lame. I realise no-one gives a rats ass about this little dilemma I am having with my pathetic ego.

But I need to figure out what to do about it. The plus of forcing myself to write often is that, well, I wrote often. I have a feeling if I try to keep it pure and write only what I want when I want, and wait for inspiration to hit, then I will probably never write. Maybe I needed that internal deadline. I dunno.

But I have strayed from my blogging roots and am trying to please an audience with expectations that exist entirely in my own head. This has to stop. I have to keep reminding myself: nobody actually cares whether I blog or not. This is all for me in the end. If other people happen to enjoy it, then bonus for me.

Maybe I need a sabbatical. I definitely need to figure out how to write for me again, and to not care if I have fewer or no readers. I should be able to go a week without blogging and not panic, right?

We shall see. I will try blogging when I am hit by inspiration, and see how that goes. If I write nothing in the next three weeks then I know that I need a personal deadline to kick me in the butt.

P.S. I have decided to avoid Twitter for a while. I have a terribly addictive personality, and could not use the thing in moderation, and it was definitely getting distracting at work. So it has to be all or nothing for me. I keep getting this feeling that I am missing out on something awesome but again, this is the insecure ego speaking and I am doing my best to ignore the bastard.


mylifescape said...

hey hun, I have missed your posts - i've been so busy haven't had a chance to read any! i do love popping onto your blog and hearing your news, so please don't ever stop .. no expectations, just be your fabulous self x

Rox said...

I almost killed my blog completely a few years ago - had full intent to just stop. Lasted a few months and got back into it, but know all too well what you mean.

I also had a while last year sometime when I started feeling frustrated about how I would get xxx hits when I mentioned something banal like Britney Spears, and then have x hits when I mentioned animal rights.

I took out my stat counter, and decided to stop giving a rats ass about what anyone thought, and to just write what I wanted to, WHEN I wanted to.

Now I post pretty much every day, but I post anything that matters to me - and if people read it and comment on it, then cool... but it's writing it that matters to me most. It's putting what I think and feel into words that makes me blog really.

Have a break if you need to - but also don't feel like you'll lose your reader base if you do that, or if you miss a few days/weeks/months. People love your blog because of the way you write, and in all honesty, it will take a lot for us lot to stop checking back to see if there's a new post.

Dash said...

illmiss you po

DT said...

Missing you on Twitter Po! But I do understand. This has to be something you love, hell very few of us get paid to do it! I hope you find inspiration often!!!

Helen said...

If you feel that you need to stop for a bit then go for it, I did for a few months but I missed it like crazy! And I miss hearing from the readers I used to have...

Anonymous said...

wow Po... that is me right there. I'm in such a bad space with blogging too. I'm not much of one to begin with... but with this whole follower thing and people who add you simply cuz you added them is really knocking me down. Like- do you only comment on another person's page because they comment on yours?

I take a while to add and/or comment because I like to scout the blog first in terms of whether I can relate and poop like that and then add and/or comment.

It puts you down because you don't know why people are reading and because you are reading their blog you have pre-conceived notions about them based on what they blog about. ANd then you feel like you are being judged.

It's become a bit much. So I hardly blog anymore. It's not only about time but also putting my life and what I blog about in perspective. You feel like there is pressure and no pleasure. When it should be about like mindedness.

po said...

Ooh, hey, thanks for your kind words I have been away.

mylifescape: thanks hey, I will see how it goes

Rox: wow, so kind, thanks. Yeah, I will try and wait for inspiration to hit, but I have a feeling that unless I make the effort to write, it aint gonna happen.

DT: I miss twitter too. Kind of. Although I don't miss the distraction, it is kind of like a noise in my head you know? I felt like living a more unobserved life for a while.

Helen: I doubt I could stop altogether but I do think I may be doing it for the wrong reasons right now.

Paula: aha I get you totally. Yeah, I understand how you feel. Hehe. We gotta work it out right?

Dora said...

"I believed that if I did not blog often then I would lose all my readers, and then I would collapse in a heap of readerless insecurities and die."

Thank you for that Po, coz not many are willing to admit it.

What you've written are the exact sentiments I share. Not that I have half the readers you do or anything. But once "someone" starts reading, it somehow becomes an aim to strive for.

Actually, I've stopped looking at my stats counter for a few months now. It just came to a point where I thought I couldn't be bothered anymore, and it's better mentally. I might write a bit erratically, but I'll know I do it coz I feel like it, and not anything else. :)

Miss Definitely Maybe said...

I know what you mean
sometimes blogging and doing all the blog rounds becomes a chore and stops being fun
I guard my anonimity jealously though coz i would never be able to be candid if people knew who i really am

Champagne Heathen said...

I used to get 100 comments a day for a post & apparently be quite popular. My writing fell out of favour with the general public & I was about to stop. (Wait. I DID stop). But I decided that I wanted to do it to keep up the habit of writing. So now I get a comment if I am lucky & I think many people think I should just let it go. But I don't do it for ego anymore. And it is quite nice knowing so few people read it anymore, cause it means I can get back to just experimenting with my writing instead of writing for an audience.

All the best with yours! As long as it's bringing you joy...
AND, you can always re-start or start another one if you do close up shop for awhile.

Tamara said...

Po for president!

This is exactly how I feel sometimes. And I find myself wishing I could be like those bloggers with hundreds of dedicated followers.

But my little blogging hiatus made me realise that my primary reason for blogging is still that it's my therapy. Somehow, getting the mess in my head out into the blogosphere makes more space in there (not much, admittedly) for rational thought and makes me feel (much, much) better.

Of course, I still angst about why people aren't commenting, but in the end I've decided that when I compare that minor stress to how much I missed blogging when I couldn't do it, it's totally worth it.

Just my rambling thoughts...

po said...

Thanks guys, it is good to know I am not the only one going through this dilemma.

Jeanne said...

Poor Po! I think every blogger goes through this at some point - you start panicking and checking your stats obsessively and then spend more time doing the blog rounds than actually writing - which is the reason you wanted to start blogging in the first place, right?!? You do kind of get into the mindset that if you stop blogging that will be the end of yuor readership, but I think you'd be surprised at how loyal readers can be.

The other thing that I always tell bloggers in crisis is this: unless you are Dooce or similar, this is a HOBBY. It is meant to be FUN. Are you having a good time? If not, then it's time to take a break. The world will not stop turning! Your friends will not shun you! When you feel like writing again, and it becomes enjoyable, that's the time to come back. And while you are not blogging, you will be astonished at the amount of time it frees up for "real life" :)

sass said...

hey lil' seamonkey. i think we all go through this from time to time.
i actually stopped blogging for quite a few months and only started back up a few weeks ago. and i've also been feeling like i have very little to say. in fact, i blogged today for the first time in probably a week. and you know what, i don't give the proverbial rodent's behind. maybe because i've never had many readers or comments, i don't care. i'll write because i feel like it and i won't if i don't.
maybe spending a lot more time on twitter also has something to do with it.
but i like checking in to see where you've drifted to. just f.y.i.

po said...

HEEHEE rodent's behind!