Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I'm Not Your Competitor

It's been over a week since my last post. I know, I know. I broke a blog-rule. Shame on me.

I have been focused elsewhere these past few weeks. That's just one excuse. The real reason I haven't been blogging is because I joined the reading list of a blog that's all about making your blog better. Actually, making your blog more competitive.

Last month I wrote a lot. I tried to dig deep when I wrote about some personal stuff and I didn't hold back. I had the most page views I've ever had. It was really exciting to see my numbers climb and to read all of the comments - hence my interest in making my blog even better. I read all about the size my header should be and how to make my "About Me" section really awesome, and the importance of Twitter. At first, I thought it would be really fun to get more serious about it. Now, seeing these posts in my reading list every day is just bumming me out.

Late last week it came time to put something out there on my blog. As I was sitting down to do some rambling I realized that the only reason was doing it was to see how much better September could be. As if having more followers validates that I'm a nice person to know? I was starting to be motivated by something that felt so icky and was so far from the original reason I started this blog. After that I just couldn't do it. So, no post.


It's not that I didn't have plenty to say. We've been pretty busy and my mind is on fire. It's more that I resented how competitive blogging had somehow started to weasel it's way in to this little space where I create the history of my family. Even though I had invited it in, I felt so violated. Dude, this place is mine. 

Something I really dig about blogging are the personal connections. I get facebook messages and emails all the time from friends and family who are so happy to see pictures of Ada or are so happy to know what's going on since we don't get to talk often enough. It's unnerving to know just how comforting it is to hear, "Dude, I get it, I've been there. You are so not alone." Also, I have found some super, lovely ladies through blogging and I love that. I learn from them and get new insight - it's a valuable community. Once I started trying to take it to a new level this other side of the blogging social scene started to emerge: The bizarre high-school social dynamics side of blogging. It can be pretty insincere and it makes me so sad. 

So, I'm going to just keep doing what I'm doing, which is mostly writing stuff about my daughter. I'll keep throwing out some thoughts too - I want her to know what I thought about nearing 40, how I feel about my extended family and where I was when her grandmother died. I won't be likely to revamp my "About Me" section or add tabs so that my most popular posts can be found more easily or obsess about my header height. I'll keep reading blogs that do, but I'm just not up for playing along, you know? I'm not a competitor. 

Oh, and I did the dreaded "unfollow" for that blog about blogging. Life is hard enough.

5 Lovies:

Lisa said...

I'm with you. I love getting new followers, but I'm not going to create some fancy page or do some fancy things. My blog is me, and you either like me, or you don't. said...

oh girl, i SO SO SO understand. i have a private blog for Lovie, and finallyMom is more for fun so i TRIED the whole boosting my blog thing and it worked to an extent, but there's only so much i can do before throwing in the towel. it IS very much like high school and i hated HS with a passion. sure i like to know that people are reading and looking, and i love all the writing prompts and memes i've found but really, that's the extent of it. i can't blog JUST to get views. it's too hard and too much of a waste of time. to me, at least.

and, fwiw, i LOVE your blog AS IS. really and truly LOVE it. your soulful writing and your gorgeous pics of your gorgeous heart... just please don't ever change that!

Shell said...

You have to keep blogging for you.

Though there are some helpful tips out there on how to grow your blog, that can't be the focus. People know when you are doing something only to get new readers... a blog loses it's realness when that happens.

I'll admit, it's not like I just sat there and was me and wow, my blog grew overnight... no, I put a lot of work into it. But, I really tried to focus on why I'd started writing in the first place.

Also- remember than no checklist of dos and don'ts is ever going to give you a full picture or work for everyone.

Hi! I'm Aitch said...

See, this is why I suck at blogging(and probably why I sucked at high school) - I get that things are competitive, but can't for the life of me function competitively in a social sense.

I think you're right on track, Monica. Work on making your blog better by making it as real and as about you as it can be. The trivial/superficial crap that often accompanies blogging can suck it!

indyrowergirl said...

As a reader that caught on to you from the P>35 board, please don't worry about gathering up more readers. Those of us who read you faithfully (even though I've never commented before - Oops) love your blog just as it is. It's real, it's full of thoughtful and thought-provoking writing, and it's enough. Sometimes being enough is the hardest thing to be.