Saturday, November 8, 2008

#96 (I think) In Which I Wrestle with The Blog Beast

I begin with an apology. There are so many sentences that begin with the word "I" here that I can hardly stand it. I can't think of any other way to do this. I gotta get this out. Grammar Police, stand down. Or maybe, just leave before it really gets ugly. This is between me, my little blog, and The Blog Beast.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that I was nearing the often celebrated 100th blog post.

I paused, because.

I've been trying to work through what my little blog is, where it's going, and what it's going to be whenever it grows up.

My little blog began as a way to keep a journal (after many starts and quits of hand writing journals over the years), as a memory book (to document our existence and to keep any family and friends who care to venture here up to date, as well as a place to remember things I should have written in my unwritten journals), and to keep myself accountable (my neglected and also unwritten to do list).

For the most part, I feel like I've done that. I've journaled. It's stretched me. I've chronicled and I've remembered. That's stretched me too. I've done a little 'to do-ing'. Not as much as I intended, but some stretching happened there too.

There have been some surprises along the way, though.

Steve has had his blog since 2004. His has been a solitary experience: it's personal, reflective, and challenging. It gets a lot of hits, but he doesn't get feedback.

I expected the same of mine. Not the hits part, the solitary part. I didn't know about the community aspect of blogging until I started looking at blogs to see what others were doing with theirs. In my search, I found an online community, put the button on my sidebar, and joined in on the daily commenting. I learned quickly that I couldn't keep a daily commitment. I tried weekly, but that didn't work either. I took the button off and crept away quietly. I have no problem with the community. I made some great bloggy friends through it; it is fantastic. I subscribed to lots of blogs through the daily featured blogs, and I still read some of them. It just wasn't right for me to try to keep up. That was my first skirmish with The Blog Beast. I won by retreat.

Another surprise has been the discovery of how much I enjoy and feel energized by the creative process. I've learned so much. There's so much more for me to learn. It's fun! (Blog Beast pops her head up about now and grins.) Wow, I can sure lose track of time doing this. (I whack her on the head like I'm playing that game at Chuck E. Cheese) I know that I'd better manage the time I give to my little blog.

So, here is what I've decided. This is where me and my little blog are headed.

My spare time is divided by many things. Reading and writing doesn't get all of it.

If you've subscribed to my blog, but you don't really have time to read, go ahead and unsubscribe. Use your time more wisely. I've been cutting my subscriptions over the last couple of weeks. It feels good. Try it.

If you read my blog, please don't feel obliged to comment. Just do it if you want to. I like it when you comment, but it's ok with me if you only do it once a week or once in a while or even never if that's what's best. If you've ever commented here, chances are I probably read your blog too. I've already started cutting back on how much commenting I do. It feels good. Try it.

Me and my little blog. Together, we pinned and then chased off The Blog Beast. But I know she'll probably be back. Is she after you?


Givinya De Elba said...

Wow. I have been feeling really guilty for not reading the blogs of you kind people who visit me at "Killing A Fly", and if I do pop over for a visit, I've been feeling bad that I don't comment all that often. I have needed to cut down my computer time because my eyes aren't taking it well, and I've noticed my blood pressure is better when I'm not computering all that muich - something about sitting and squinting at the screen. So yesterday I made the decision to put you lovely Killing A Fly readers on my blogroll, to visit, and to comment! So here I am.

stefanie said...

Please do what's best for you and your family!

And sleep comes, just when you don't expect it will. I'm not gonna tell you how many years it was, though...

WheresMyAngels said...

Well as you can tell, I did cut down my blog time, but mainly because Work has taken up ALL my time. Right now I am working, ok, suppose to be, but it is an all nighter and there is only so many things i can do at night, so I can get on here and comment if I want;)

Blogging is a connection to the outside world away from my work. I need it, the connection with others. The hours I work, keep me from getting together with friends, but with blogging, I can get on at any time I want.

So you will see me around, once a week probably, on weeks that I don't have a billion hours of work, maybe more. I'll enjoyed reading and connecting :)

Denise K. said...

Thanks for a great post Stefanie!

I have often thought the same as you, and about where I really want to go in the blog world.

Is it taking away valuable family time for me? Sometimes I find myself shooing away my kids while I am busy reading blogs, writing on our own, or commenting on other blogs. I have also found that I am sometimes putting more time and effort into blogging, than I am in in my real world friendships. I may spend an hour or more blogging, when perhaps I should call a friend or arrange a lunch date, rather than "playing" on the computer.

When my mom's illness is over, will I still have a need to blog? I also went to look into having it printed off at copy store. It has almost been a year since we started on blogger, and I thought it would be neat to print off our story and have it spiral bound to read in years to come. It is such a great record of what our lives have encompassed this past year.

So, thanks for sharing your thoughts, and giving us all reason to "pause"! :-)

Deb said...

i have been having conflicting feelings about blogging, myself. i do think i have been lured into feeling more "successful" if i get external validation. but the problem with that, is i find myself writing more for an audience than for what i originally intended.

i started the blog as an outlet... there's lots that goes on in my head, that for a variety of reasons, can't come out "in real life". i don't know if we "knew" each other when i posted about my son and his illness. it was cathartic, but even that post was edited not to offend, or bore, or seem too self-pitying.

and there is something rewarding about making people laugh or relax or relate. so do i just abandon my original mission? or can i find a balance? i am good at being silly on here, but i feel like i still have a lot that needs to be purged from within.

ANYWAY, don't you love how i have made this about me?? i am proud of you for finding your way on here. it definitely is easy to get bogged (blogged) down.

i can't promise to cut back on my comments on your blog because your writing speaks to me (yes, even the raw chicken), but i certainly won't be offended if you don't visit me as much. just check in when/if you can.

ps: it's called "whack-a-mole", by the way.

Tracy P. said...

I had a mid-blog crisis last spring sometime. I used to have two blogs, but had to consolidate. I'm much happier about it now. Comes in spurts, as does my reading. But don't think you can get rid of me. ;-)

Straight to Your Hart said...

I second what Deb said above. I do love reading what you write...for you are truly inspiring. Thank you for the gentle approach you had with this topic (including the beast..wink..wink).

CC said...

Yep, the blog beast got me!

Star Forbis said...

Very insightful post.

I just take it a day at a time, when I have the time I'll get caught up on the blogs I read. On day's I don't, I skip it. And I don't always comment, and sometimes feel bad about that.

I always feel so blessed & full of Joy when someone tells me they read my Blog. It is an honor.

Thanks for sharing your struggle honestly with us.

Schmutzie said...

The Blog Beast chases me around on occasion, as well. Occasionally, I think that I'll just give up the whole thing, but then I fall in love again.

slouching mom said...

Yep. I know the blog beast too well.

MommyWizdom said...