Jul 7, 2010

Have you ever wanted to quit?

I understand (because I read blogs) that it is common to go through "phases" while blogging. Like in the beginning, there is a "I don't know what I am doing phase", where you have no followers and your posts are embarrassing.

Following the "IDKWIAD Phase" is the "Blogging is Crack Phase", in this phase you can easily spend 5-6 hours a day online reading, writing, commenting and visiting blogs. You find yourself getting bloggers syndrome - hunched shoulders, carpal tunnel from clicking, pasty skin, and your bottom begins to take on the shape of your desk chair. This phase can last for months.

I think the next phase is the "Blog Balance Phase", at some point you figure out that blogging is fun, but shouldn't be your whole life. As you build closer relationships with a core of bloggers, you find your desires to meet new bloggers and find new blogs to read starts to decrease.  You might get focused and make blogging pay at this point.

Another phase that can attack without warning is the "WHY THE HELL AM I DOING THIS AGAIN? Phase" which is where I am. I know that if I stop right now, I may never come back, but I really enjoy blogging because of the unique relationships and the writing. So I will have to do the other option when hit with this phase... I will simply "recreate" myself.
I won't be doing a remodel on my blog (I don't think). I think I will be changing things up a bit on my writing. I may take a break from linking up and joining themed writings and other blog parties. My motivations are all out of whack.

What motivates you to keep blogging? Originally my motivations went in this order: 1. Write regularly to practice writing regularly, so I can maybe write regularly (and get paid for it?) 2. Share ideas, inspirations and general information with whoever wants to read my blog, hopefully some friends and family. 3. Make new friends and learn new things by reading blogs. 4. Have another outlet for my endless creativity, challenge myself through writing poetry, short stories and articles.

What happened to my motivations while I was in the "Blogging is Crack Phase": 1. Get as many followers as I can by whatever means I need to.  2. Write almost exclusively for link parties, this way I can possibly get more followers. 3. Make comments on other blogs, so maybe they will come to my blog and follow me.  4. Play the games, work the system, do what needs to be done, but get more followers.

I'm so done with that. I know I wasn't doing it consciously.  I really wasn't thinking that the blogging was ALL about that number, I really do enjoy my BBB (Best Blogging Buddies) and it's not about whether they follow me or not.  But it goes back to that ever-so revealing post about being popular.  Regardless, I've seen my readership go down and down and down over the last few months, even as my "follow" number has gone up.  Could it be that my writing has become more "formulaic"?  I apologize for that.

I am going to attempt to turn over a bloggy leaf!  First of all... I am SO moving that follower thingy a little lower... and I am going to attempt to not worry about the number.  Second, I am not going to be joining as many link parties.  There are still a few that I will do, but I am not going to attempt to please the blogosphere, because I can't make EVERYONE happy!

Only 10 months in, and already it's stale.  Sigh.  This doesn't bode well for the future!

Just me, AJ

13 comments:

  1. Oh I hear ya. I used to blog a LOT (on a different medium), but it does consume your life in a scary way! I feel badly sometimes that I don't visit or comment people's blogs religiously, but I just CAN'T. That would take hours upon hours of my day.. I don't know how others do it. I think blogging needs to only be for YOU, and try not to worry about losing followers (they are probably just feeling the same thing, and it has nothing to do with you personally). Just have fun with it, and blog when YOU want to. : )

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  2. I think you should get a Blogfrog community. Because it rocks! And you can meet so many cool blogger folk over there as well.

    It's not about the numbers, it's about doing what you LOVE to do Write.

    And you my friend are a fabulous writer!
    That's why I heart you so.

    I'm sticking around for the long haul that's for sure.

    You can't get rid of me that easily.

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  3. Hey girlfriend...I so understand! Blogging has become somewhat of an addiction. I do 3 separate memes because those in particular, I feel, have helped hone my writing skills. Other than that I have realized that I do not need to post everyday. If I have nothing to say then so be it!

    On another note...I am glad you won't be "leaving". You would be greatly missed.

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  4. I can totally relate! I too try to not focus on the number of followers but instead remember why I started blogging in the first place, which was simply to have a creative outlet. It's a hobby that I engage in whenever the mood strikes.

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  5. I've been there with the quitting, and I did quit. It might be before you knew me. I deleted my blog and all traces of it for 6 months. I came back in a new url and started over with a different perspective. Much happier now!

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  6. You're preaching to the choir, girl! I'm thinking about removing my follower widget but that will cause people to freak out.

    I'm glad you aren't quitting because I like to read your blog. If your numbers are dropping I think it could be because many of us are backing off the internet a little this summer.

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  7. Girl I have recently started to ask myself the same question...Why did I start? Because I want to take pics of my kids and make sure my family can see them, maybe do some creative stuff too. So I have started to do that, my comments have gone down but I am happier with my posts. This way when I print my blog up it can be more of a family scrapbook. I love your writing, and you, so I am glad you are sticking with it!!!!!

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  8. I can totally understand what you are going through.

    You know what I have found? My one and only weekly feature (Happy Hour) brings me down. I don't look forward to it at all because I HAVE to do it. You know what I mean?

    I have participated in someone elses meme once. And I am glad it's only once because again, I don't want to feel obligated to do any of it if I don't want to.

    I think if you (we) stay true to ourselves and do what makes US happy we can survive happily here in the blogosphere.

    I was just thinking that I have strayed from my funny random story writing. Thats what I like to do, so that's what I should do to keep writing on my blog fun.

    We will make a commitment to stay true to ourselves. Here and now. Pinky swears?

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  9. I liked this article. You asked a lot of questions and answered some too! I am not even sure what phase I am in, but I don't do this for anyone else. I do it because I love to write. I love the share what I believe and I have been blessed to fell more gratitude as I continue to express those things. For me, it has never been about the numbers. It is about doing something that I love!

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  10. I participate in memes because I have fun with them...not for the followers...although I guess it did start out that way!

    I totally understand what you are saying, and I'm still crack-blogging but I'm trying to find that balance. It's not as easy as it sounds!

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  11. You are so right on with the phases! LOL I'm in the same phase you are. I don't think I will quit though. I know I'll probably be around more in the winter when we are stuck inside. I'm enjoying my summer with the kids too much to worry about reading/writing blog posts. Hehe! :)

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  12. Hahha, that's so funny about the phases--it's so true! Right now I'm blogging a couple times a month--sometimes as a creative outlet, other times to share photos with family that live far away.
    Blogging is so fun, I want to do it all the time! But I just have to keep reminding myself that the effect on the kids and the house just isn't worth it.

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  13. I totally understand the blog phases and glad you could put into words what i couldn't! I've been blogging for 5 years and it was just for my family to keep in touch back then, I think I gained some things from how I blog now, but I also lost some things in the process! Thanks for the post!

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