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.
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!