blogging, pt 2.

by Liz on 10.12

Last week’s self-indulgent survey (I really was looking for constructive criticism and instead you all go being flattering and wonderful) elicited a response that stuck with me a bit.

One comment suggested that perhaps I should write for myself, not for readers. It stung- in a way that made me flush with shame. Am I just trying to cater to a crowd, rather than create something? (no need to dig through the comments for the author- it was a dear one who didn’t intend to guilt me)

I have deep-seated doormattish tendencies. I am a natural-born people-pleaser. I remember a time when much of what I did was motivated by, “Will they like me?” Things have changed, but I sometimes worry that those same old impulses will slip back in. That’s the fear that was snapped awake by that comment. Am I yet again insipidly trying to cater to others- altering who I am and what I do to please a crowd?

Also, I think this question is always a bit sharper in any realm of the arts- and yes, bear with me, I’m lumping blogging in with “arts.” Any creative endeavor is easily seen as either sincere OR as placating an audience- rarely both an honest expression that ALSO appeals to a crowd.

But after some mulling, I don’t know that that’s the case in this situation. I don’t just want everyone to like me and shower me with comments. But I also don’t think I blog for me. Not necessarily. It seems more complicated than that, doesn’t it?

Blogging, to me, seems like a community effort. I write about things that I want to share, in order to hear shared responses. I guess I read some blogs to stay current on certain topics, others to hear new perspectives, some for a laugh, others to gain snippets of wisdom. But, mostly, I just enjoy sharing and hearing what else is shared. I’m intent on making a connection, mutually sharing ideas, and contributing to a community.

 

How about you? Why do you blog? And if you don’t, why do you read blogs?

 

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Your Comments | Add a Comment

Caitlin says:
Oct 12, 2011 7:47 am

You nailed it. The connection and the community. I originally started blogging to keep a connection to far away family members, and then I realized there’s this awesome community of bloggers out there (out here?). Living far away from most of my “real” friends has made me appreciate the blogging community even more, to the point where I’d miss all you guys if I stopped blogging/reading blogs.

ps. I really like this font, whatever it is. It makes me want to write long comments. Lucky you.

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Kerry says:
Oct 12, 2011 8:07 am

I started blogging to feel supported by a niche community (which I think is how most people get into it – wedding, baby, travel, etc).

After I made friends and simultaneously needed less support, I blogged mostly for others. – for sharing with them, for getting their reaction, for joining in the conversation. More than anything I liked the feeling of creating, of “outputting.”

Now (just recently, in fact) I’m blogging for me, and for that creative output feeling only. It will be a strange transition, moving to a place that doesn’t really foster that backtalk, the lovey comments, the “show me yours and I’ll show you mine” conversation. It’s kind of scary.

But I guess that’s what Twitter is for.

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Jen says:
Oct 12, 2011 8:10 am

I’m still working on the “why do I blog” part (obviously…) but the reason that I read blogs is to connect in some way with a community of people who I really admire.
I don’t feel like I’ve found my “people” here in this city yet so there’s a certain something missing without that. I feel like this community provides the smart, thought provoking, mind-stretching conversations that are needed to keep me growing.

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Maggie says:
Oct 12, 2011 8:34 am

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, lately. I’ve been purposely ignoring my blog. I started blogging after several internet friends asked me, “where’s your blog?”

But once I started one (and after I finished talking about the wedding, which was fun to share) I realized that I prefer commenting. I prefer responding to the topics others bring up–which have usually been on my mind anyway. I guess commenting, to me, seems to be about dialogue, creating a friendship (reminds me of that CS Lewis quote I love: “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”). Blogging can be about the same thing, but it takes someone with more… panache than I have; someone who doesn’t mind being vulnerable, someone who thinks more clearly, or at least writes in a way that invites conversation. And I’ve realized that while I sometimes come up with interesting blog topics in my head, they NEVER translate right when I sit down to type. I end up rambling, and I’m so mentally spent afterward, I neglect the dialogue with my few loyal readers who comment. It never turns into the discussion I imagined. It also makes me feel sort of like the spotlight’s on me… and that makes me uncomfortable (IRL, too). Commenting alone can make me feel too exposed at times. I think it takes some thicker skin to be a blogger.

I read different blogs for different reasons. Sometimes I want a laugh, to be challenged in the way I think, to share parts of ourselves we don’t show the rest of the world (which is always easier in words than face-to-face, for me), to look at pretty pictures, to get ideas, figure out how to make something, to just chat about nothing important. Oh, and then there are the blogs I read that annoy me or make me feel inadequate (because their lives seem perfect)… there’s some weird, perverse reason I read those, but I don’t “know” any of the writers.

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Erin says:
Oct 12, 2011 8:35 am

I started a blog because I had a bit of a mission in mind, and because god-help-me I needed SOME kind of creativity to counteract the hours I spend in the office working to pay the bills. Now the question is, why’d I pause the blog, which has a lot to do with where that little mission wants to go… Interestingly, since I haven’t had the time to write in a while, I find myself missing it keenly — the writing, the crafting, the exploring that feeds the work. Which helps me sift out how much of the work I put into it is just for me, compared to any attention my little corner of the internet might garner.

I read blogs because everyone is so Interesting, with Things to Say. The sharing on semi-personal blogs kind of substitutes for the conversations I don’t have in real life, as I’m still working on making grown-up friends in a new town. Even the semi-professional to professional blogs seem to be so much more focused on LIVING, instead of what goes on in that black hole of 9-5. And I crave real life. Even if it’s five paragraphs about why the apartment hasn’t been vacuumed in a week.

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Zan says:
Oct 12, 2011 8:39 am

I started blogging in 2008 because I had funny stories to tell and damnit I wanted to tell them. But, no one ever read my blog and I found that without the motivation of knowing people would read I just couldn’t get up the oomph to do it on a regular basis …. and so the blog languished. Then when I had a niche community to join, (APW) I started back up again — even though I was not blogging exclusively about my wedding. Now, I blog to stay in touch with all the lovely people that I’ve met, especially since living in a rural area means I get really lonely. Without the internet as an outlet I’d probably go insane. I also blog to remind me to keep writing. My “real” writing is stuff that no one sees, stuff I want to get published in the traditional way, I keep that private. But the act of blogging, of writing, even if I don’t always have time to edit and make things wonderful, reminds me that I have to actually WRITE in order to be a writer.

Incidentally I also have to put pants on in order to leave the house to buy coffee. So. Onto pants.

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Sam says:
Oct 12, 2011 9:40 am

I started blogging to keep my family and friends in the loop with my expat life and maybe to write about things from home to make me feel not so far away. (I was in India at the time) I’m also a major people pleaser but think it’s turning around. At 32 I am finally saying things that are truer to myself than ever before but there is still a lot of work to be done.

I feel like your posts are honest. It’s true I don’t know you personally but I never feel like you are lying or people pleasing and that’s why I love reading your blog.
And cause you’re really funny and your baby is super cute!
But you know that already! ;)
XO
Sam

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emily rose says:
Oct 12, 2011 9:42 am

This post comes at a great moment for me (Hi, Liz, I can’t remember if I’ve commented here but I read sometimes!). I have been reading APW and other miscellaneous blogs on and off for over a year, but also felt a little left out of the whole community since I didn’t launch into a blog of my own or even into commenting regularly on other readers’ writing. I do enjoy the conversations from the outside, but I have wanted to be more involved. The problem is that starting a blog feels too intimidating – don’t I need a specific topic? Will I have readers? What if I neglect it for a while, won’t that be embarrassing? What if I don’t have time for it all? I’d appreciate thoughts from all you other blog-havers out there.

Another little thing – I’m noticing a trend in this post and its responses, that blogging has something to do with community. Making friends when you’re in a new or lonely place, connecting with like-minded people who you might not otherwise meet, etc. Which to me seems like a really fantastic reason. I guess my only concern, personally, is having the time/space to build all those new potential relationships with a fairly full life. But it doesn’t really seem like the rest of you are leading sad and lonely lives out there either, so maybe the space isn’t hard to make.

Hope that all made sense!

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liz says:
Oct 12, 2011 9:55 am

I think blogging is lovely BECAUSE it can be one of those on-again-off-again sort of deals. I used to feel like, “Omigod I haven’t commented on any of her posts in WEEKS, she must hate my guts…” but later realized that people don’t really feel that way. Or maybe that’s just me?

I find it interesting that so many commenters here admit to starting a blog out of feeling obligated, and then neglecting it. Maybe community-building can happen within comments (and Twitter!)?

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emily rose says:
Oct 12, 2011 11:11 am

You’re probably right about the on-again-off-again being fine; it’s probably something internal causing me to fear the idea of starting and then failing. I agree that community can happen in other ways, but sometimes I feel like I’m just mooching off other peoples’ work by benefiting from conversations without contributing significantly.

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Maggie says:
Oct 12, 2011 11:55 am

Sometimes I feel like I’m “mooching,” but at the same time, it seems like most of the bloggers I know thrive on comments and dislike writing into an empty void, no matter why they write (of course, I’m sure they enjoy reading blog entries, too…). I think there are lots of ways to build and support a virtual community, and commenting is one of them. :)

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Petite Chablis says:
Oct 12, 2011 12:27 pm

Oh my gosh, yes! Comments are the fuel that makes the blog world run. If anything, I feel bad when I futz with an entry on my blog for hours while neglecting to comment on my friends’ blogs.

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Petite Chablis says:
Oct 12, 2011 10:21 am

This is great food for thought. I started blogging because writing is how I process the world, and I was going through this weird and intimidating thing (wedding planning) that I really needed to process. I never expected anyone besides me to read the blog, but by the end of it, I found myself part of a community of amazing women and I had a lot more in common with them than just wedding planning.

Now I blog to keep up my connections with that community. But my blog’s become very impersonal — I’m on the job market and academia has a lot of weird feelings about blogging. Sometimes I worry that my blog isn’t as engaging or “real” as my wedding blog because now I hide what I’m going through emotionally. Twitter has been awesome in this respect. My locked feed lets me say things about my work and employment that I don’t feel I can say on a public blog.

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nikki says:
Oct 12, 2011 11:23 am

This is blowing my mind. I started my blog because I have a creative writing degree and use it approximately 0% of the time in my day job, which is super frustrating. My blog was just a space where I could write. I didn’t have readers for probably the first two years, just because I didn’t think about having readers or even commenting on other blogs (go figure, if you don’t think about catering to readers, you won’t have any). I did eventually start reading other blogs and commenting, which is how I’m assuming I got any traffic at all back on my own blog.

At this point I probably have a handful of regular readers, which is awesome because when I write on a public site, I tend to address an audience, whether they exist or not.

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Nina says:
Oct 12, 2011 12:06 pm

I think my reasons for blogging have been perfectly captured by everyone here who has talked about community and feeling like there are conversations you want to be having that are missing from your ‘real life’. I started my blog very reluctantly, because writing is not something I ever did for fun. It wasn’t something I craved. But I did crave community and sharing, and that’s what made the take the leap. It took me a few months to find my voice and get a bit more confident, and I still struggle to find the inspiration to write with regularity, but I love what I get out of it.

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Beth says:
Oct 12, 2011 12:06 pm

I write my blog as a chronicle of life. Sometimes I wish I’d started it less as about all of us and more about just me because occasionally Forrest expresses some editorial opinions because HE feels some ownership over a story of our life (who’d have guessed?). I also write because I hope that for someone, it’s a bit of an inspiration, that they can go and do things a little differently and strive for something.

I love the more meaty posts and love being part of the discussion. Like Zan, I’m in a really rural area where I really lack people to have good discussions with (actually, I swear my ability to have a good discussion as atrophied, I’m trying to get it back).

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andee says:
Oct 12, 2011 2:31 pm

I started just to get the thoughts out of my head and the internet was the easiest place to do so. Then I found a community around blogging and I honestly feel connected to my bloggy people now. I wasn’t expecting this perk but it is awesome. I really just do it as a therapy for my racing mind.

It is hard not to get pulled into doing it for other people though.

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Sarah says:
Oct 12, 2011 2:34 pm

I blog for myself. I’ve always written for myself. It’s how I deal with things. Writing allows me to sort through my heart and my head and express myself in a thoughtful and honest way. For me, writing is especially useful for letting go of things. When I’m filled to the brim with thoughts and emotions, writing helps me acknowledge what I’m feeling, and then release it.

But, when I’m talking, I tend to stick my foot in my mouth and say things I don’t mean. I hate that. I hate the idea of hurting someone’s feelings or deceiving them because I didn’t choose the best words to express myself.

I’m currently writing my first novel. And when I initially wrote that sentence, it read: attempting to write my first novel. That’s the other great thing, it forces me to look really carefully at the tone of my words. Lately I’ve been working on phrases like, “I’m a writer.” Saying that outloud still freaks me out.

Anyways… I’m currently writing my first novel. And when my head and heart are bogged down with emotions, my creativity suffers as well. So I have to blog so that I can write other things.

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Magpie says:
Oct 12, 2011 5:08 pm

Community and catharsis.

I’m currently writing my second blog (the first was allowed to fade into oblivion – it served its purpose), and both were started out of a feeling of loneliness…not because I don’t have great people in my life, but because there were certain things that I felt I carried myself, and I wanted to reach out to other people with that sort of crystallized thing that I was packing around and unsure what to do with. First, it was grad school and finding out that it wasn’t what I expected. Now, it’s my work (and finding out it was very much what I expected and not at all what I wanted) and getting married, and that peculiar feeling of staying the same while becoming something else too, as you hitch your star to someone else’s.

It’s not that the wonderful people that I interact with in real life could not or would not understand. It’s that they would always see the things I was unpacking through the lens of the me they know in real life, which is OK in a way. But that’s a lot of other, extra baggage to deal with on top of the one thing I am trying to sort through.

It’s also a great way to avoid feeling gross about being self-indulgent. I guess a lot of non-bloggers think blogs at in principle self-indulgent, but to me, it is a way to work through my thoughts (without making someone else sit through the hours of monolog I compose in my head – trust me, it’s pretty boring before it’s out on the page), and solicit some observations from other people with experience to offer, and if someone doesn’t care for it, they don’t have to read.

So, I guess, I write for me, but also for a community – to try to distill these things I’m grappling with along with other people who are grappling with the same things, and to do that on a clean fresh slate that is not overly cluttered with the personality that they have known since childhood, or through the filter of our relationship that might be founded on other things.

Which is not to say that I blog to be distant or aloof – I cherish the community I have become part of via my previous blog, and I very much hope to do the same with this new one. Reaching out to other people in this way just seems different, in part because it is more intentional I guess, rather than the haphazard way seem to run into people in real life. Both can forge some beautiful friendships and I feel very lucky to have them.

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agirl says:
Oct 13, 2011 10:33 am

I have a sneaking suspicion that I was the douchebag, for which I sincerely apologise.

The thing is, I’m trying to figure out this whole blogging thing myself. I’ve been wondering what the heck my point is on my own blog, as well as feeling like blogging as a whole is changing since I first started (which wasn’t even that long ago, I know – such a neverseecomesee). So, if it *was* my comment, it may have come across a bit more… I don’t know.. harshly, perhaps, than I intended because I’ve been wondering who *I’m* blogging for, me or my audience. And the thing is, there’s a bit of both in there. If I’m not invested in what I’m writing about, the post is guaranteed to feel a bit shit to me, but I can’t pretend that it’s like when I first started, and no one read my blog, and I was literally just putting my stream of consciousness out there for the sake of it. Over time, I made connections, and amazingly, there seems to be a small bunch of lovely people who now follow along, and have a formed a little community around me. And I know I am influenced heavily by thinking of them, even if not consciously, when writing nowadays. But is that a bad thing? I think not at all. My ideas often come from them nowadays, things sparked off by one person or another. That is just one of the ways in which personal blogging works, I think.

BUT I have been being a little irked recently by the takeoff of personal blogging as an industry. Which is absolutely fine, and people who write well, and share their lives so bravely, and dedicate much of their time to this (and blogging daily is a massive effort, I know – I manage what? 2 posts a month, at best!) absolutely deserve remuneration if they’d like it and can make it work. More power to them and my full support! But I feel like the commercialisation of a blog can sometimes happen subversively, and therefore it can feel as if I’m sometimes being subtly manipulated by someone who’s thinking of trying to make their living from their blog, but isn’t being explicit about it, into becoming loyal to their brand. And I resent that feeling. I’d rather people were explicit, so I can know what’s on the agenda, and then offer my support if I choose to, in a fully informed way. (Of course, it works the other way with brands trying to work their way into people’s lives on a personal level, which is one of the best ways of generating brand loyalty I’m sure, and a big thing in advertising nowadays, so I shouldn’t be surprised about this phenomenon. But it still irks me, because I feel as though I so much less control over it, and can therefore be much more easily fooled.)

Which is all absolute miles away from your original question, but that is some of the thinking around blogging that has been running through my mind lately, and some of the feeling that might have underlain what may have felt like a stinging response. Of course, now you’ll say it wasn’t me at all, but nevermind. I’ve wanted to air this stuff for some time now anyway, but haven’t felt compelled to blog about it in my own space, which really, I should do. (Though I have caused offence by carelessly throwing around remarks elsewhere. As you do when you don’t engage brain BEFORE typing. Which is a not uncommon error around here.)

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agirl says:
Oct 13, 2011 10:37 am

By “around here” just at the end, I mean around MY space. *I* make that error a lot. Not *here* as in this blog of yours! Lord, I should just shut up altogether sometimes, I think.

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liz says:
Oct 13, 2011 11:09 am

Even if it WAS your comment, it didn’t cause OFFENSE… just added thought. So there.

I’ve been pondering the monetization of blogs myself, recently (ahem, you will notice ads to your left *flourish of my arm*). I felt so uncomfortable when I first launched Betsy Ann Paper and wrote a blog post about it. I almost pulled it down. The same day, a blog friend mentioned on Twitter that she was unsubscribing from a blog because it had an advertisement sort of post running. I’m still convinced it was my blog. I felt that same awful way I felt when school fundraiser time came around and I had to sell overpriced candy bars to friends and family who would only buy them out of guilt.

I guess the point I came to is that my business and my blog community are separate to me, the way my business and my family/friends are separate. I let my friends and family know when something big has happened with my business, and I let them know when I’m having a sale. But usually I throw in a supper huge discount if any of them try to buy anything, anyway. I’m not depending on them to keep my business afloat, or milking them for orders. Same goes for around here. I’m still working through the heebie-jeebies of it all, but ethically, logically, in my little brain-space I think I’ve worked it out to a place where I’m comfortable.

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agirl says:
Oct 13, 2011 11:29 am

Oh, I didn’t think there was an issue around here with subtle blog brand manipulation. I know you have and run a business. One is allowed to have a business and run a personal blog, or a business blog, or a mixed one even. So long as one is explicit about what one is doing. Which you totally are, in your very direct way. It’s why I keep hanging about here, causing offence. ;)

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liz says:
Oct 13, 2011 1:22 pm

Just the same, I worry. Oh well.

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MWK says:
Oct 16, 2011 1:05 pm

I think AGIRL took the words out of my mouth. Liz, you asked the 64,000 dollar question that I definitely don’t have the answer to, but AGIRL provided, for me, at least a little bit of why the question is so confusing. I started a blog because a) I thought that I “should” and b) I thought that it might be good to process this whole marriage thing. But as everyone and their mom’s personal blogs started to turn into books and businesses (not yours, Liz, what you are doing makes sense), the “why” of it got weirder. It can feel like you *should* write for a specific audience (rather than for yourself, or at least in addition to for yourself) because several people who have done that have created a brand and money-making life for themselves that way. So, personal blogging, at least for me, began to feel like even more of an obligation, and like I wasn’t succeeding if I wasn’t posting thematic and witty posts regularly because duh, shouldn’t I be chasing the new american dream of being a lifestyle blogger? Which, of course, lead to me withdrawing from the blog and never posting and then feeling bad about it.

I hope this hasn’t come off as harsh or at all about your blog, Liz. Your blog is great and you are great and I’m all about what you are doing with your little space of the internet. It’s just, you asked a big question so I provided a rambly response (sorry, AGIRL).

Also: I love the baby photos and baby stories, just don’t always comment because I am tending to my exploded uterus.

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liz says:
Oct 16, 2011 6:21 pm

I got no harshness at all from that.

Besides, I think “whether or not a blog should monetize and how” is always a valid discussion, even if it means critiquing this here blog.

In fact- especially if it means critiquing this here blog. Like I said in an above comment, I really wrestled with how to (and whether or not I even should!) integrate Betsy Ann Paper stuff on here and wondered how it would come off and be received and stuff. So it very much interests me to know whether that’s offensive. (My ads are a whole nothing thing entirely, and I can go into that further if it interests you, but it may not.)

And, no apologies EVER for not commenting. Especially when an exploding uterus is involved- those things manage to suck up attention.

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MWK says:
Oct 17, 2011 6:51 pm

Actually, I’m objectively fine with people putting ads in their blogs, especially when they are well curated to be cool businesses that readers might be interested in. I’m totally down for people to support their creative habits. What I meant to convey was that KNOWING that one could make money off a blog can complicate the issue of who one is writing for. Then the self-conciousness that results thereof can make writing anything at all even harder. However, I think you do a good job of striking a balance.

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MWK says:
Oct 17, 2011 6:52 pm

oh, and of course I am also down with ads for the blogger own business. That just makes sense!

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Novice Wife says:
Oct 13, 2011 11:12 am

I couldn’t agree more – I started blogging for myself as a creative writing sort of place and to work through some of my thoughts immediately post-marriage. But now, it’s become so much more about the community of people that I’ve met and the thoughtful conversations I’ve been privy to online.

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Rob S. Parham says:
Oct 13, 2011 11:26 am

I read blogs because I find people entertaining and the interwebs expose me to more entertaining people than I can meet in my daily life. I’ve just started blogging again so I can have a record of the fun things I do. People tell me I’m always doing stuff but I don’t think I’m all that active. A blog will give me the ability to judge from a different frame of reference.

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nikki says:
Oct 13, 2011 11:39 am

Rob – weren’t you a fan of my anniversary post, where I linked to all the fun things we’d done all year? that’s kind of the benefit for me, personally, being able to see “oh yeah, I have done a crap-ton of stuff lately” when you’re feeling especially slothy (…which never seems to happen to you)

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liz says:
Oct 13, 2011 1:21 pm

Rob, LINK PLEASE.

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lyn says:
Oct 13, 2011 12:02 pm

I do it for the Community, yes. Friendship. Relationships. Feedback.

But I also do it for the writing. I enjoy challenging myself to get better. To push for new jokes and new ways of phrasing things.

It’s a strange little hobby of mine.

But I admit I catch myself occasionally choosing to write about certain topics because I know they’ll get a lot of comments. Yeah. That doesn’t frame me in a good light, but I also think it’s human. We all love getting comments. Well, the nice ones anyway. But the line still gets fuzzy there because then it’s like, well, am I writing for me, or writing for the audience?

When I was going to school we used to have all these conversations about the relationship between artist and viewer. Some people were stuck in creating art for themselves, like they were setting loose their own brain demons and didn’t care if it was ever seen or not. Viewership didn’t create meaning, for them. The meaning was already there, regardless. Kind of like that old question about a tree falling in a forest. “If an artist creates meaning in visual art and no one sees it, is it still meaningful?” They’d answer: yes.

But I always saw meaning in art as being derived from the conversation an artist can have with a viewer, or from the way an artist can influence the viewer. The viewer’s always going to bring his or her own experiences and opinions to the table, but your job as an artist is to convey your point as successfully and as clearly as you can. That view of mine fed nicely into jobs in graphic and web design, and it turns out it feeds nicely into blogging, too.

In school it seemed there was a schism between the people who were in the “tortured artist” camp — doing it purely for themselves, uncompensated save for the sheer love of their art — and those who were in the commercial artist camp — doing it for others, and possibly for money. Stereotypes, yes, but they nicely parallel the blogging world. I think a lot of us are conditioned to feel bad if we admit we’re not doing it purely for ourselves, without caring if anybody reads or not.

I’ve made a bit of peace with that. Sure, I AM doing it for an audience. They’re there; you might as well acknowledge them. But I’m also still doing it because I love to write. And if I ever lose that, and I start writing just because I feel obligated not to lose my (admittedly small) audience, well. That’s the day I quit my blog.

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liz says:
Oct 13, 2011 1:19 pm

I didn’t admit it in the post (because I was afraid of the close scrutiny of my writing skill thereafter) but, I partially blog to improve my writing skillzz. I used to be a Writer. My fifth grade teacher admitted during an awards ceremony that my writing often made her laugh and cry within the same piece. I had skillzz. And then I got busy with being a Kid and then being a Teenager and then being an Adult, and stopped writing and now I’m awful and rusty. I think I could continue to community build sans the blog, strictly with Twitter. But the blog allows me to practice writing again.

And I think it’s not shameful to admit to blogging for more comments. I think it’s apart of the others-ness of blogging… the conversation. I pick hairy topics (sometimes) because I’m hoping they’ll fuel a really good conversation. I think your blog does that too. I’ve also read blogs where the author was clearly shooting for a ton of comments, but not necessarily a conversation. It’s pretty clear when that’s happening.

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Maggie says:
Oct 13, 2011 2:52 pm

I think is probably why I’m letting my blog languish: I don’t consider myself a Writer. I’ll scramble up a guest posts if asked (or compelled by the topic), but I’m in it more for the discussion and community, and I can satisfy that need via Twitter and commenting.

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d-day says:
Oct 13, 2011 12:17 pm

I think I never got around to commenting on that post asking for feedback, woops! my job has been annoyingly busy (gosh! the nerve!).

but, to this question, the way you’ve explained it is really close to how I feel about blogging. it’s a community thing. I created my blog to have a private space for sharing some creating writing, I never meant to let anyone know the link. but then I never.wrote.anything, and I wanted another way to connect with my tweeters and fellow APW-and-the-like readers and whatnot, so I decided to scrap the original creative writing idea and just blog about whatever. just share my life and invite you all in to know me a little better. of course my blog right now is in a bit of an identity crisis, compounded by the fact that my job is making me WORK so much lately, and I’m just tired of the computer when I get home. I worry more lately about privacy and oversharing and what-is-it-all-for.

commenting is even more for the community than blogging I think, for me. I comment on blogs to let them know I’m there, to let others know I’m there, to have conversations and learn things.

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liz says:
Oct 13, 2011 1:21 pm

Sometimes I worry about oversharing. And then I realize I’ve written extensive posts about my sexlife on blogs with far more readers. And then I figure that oversharing thing is out the window.

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Jenny says:
Oct 13, 2011 3:54 pm

I used to blog and LOVED it, but realized that with a full-time job and part-time small business on the side I just didn’t have enough time. I really miss it. I did it because I loved to bake and tell people the things that went well/tasted good, and the things that didn’t go so well and tasted not as good. It was just fun!

I still read plenty of blogs, I always end up reading blogs that, in some ways, give me insight into myself. I like thinking about life and deep stuff, and I can always seem to find a good discussion on the blogs I read. I also read blogs that are cooking/baking because I LOOVE to bake, and I read blogs about home decor, etc because I dream of being in a house one day that’s my own and not a stupid apartment where my husband and I can’t both be in the kitchen at the same time.

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Meg says:
Oct 14, 2011 5:16 pm

Ok. This is going to sound SUPER WEIRD since I’m the one who writes the blog where the crazy community grew up around it, so sorry about that.

But I blog for me. Even still. Even with a staff. Even though it’s a job now. Even with all of it. I blog for me. If it excites me, I put it up (Even if I don’t agree with it. Particularly if I disagree with it.) If it doesn’t excite me, I usually don’t. And the real reason I blog is so I can write (even though the blog is stronger with me not writing everything, and I could never write everything, and I don’t have 10 posts a week of stuff to say), but that’s the reason. And you bet your ASS that I write for me. I write to fill the need to create, I write to scratch the itch, I write to get it out. Same reason I used to perform, it fills the same need.

I have a very particular awareness of the fact that I’m writing for… multitudes (?) now, and I am careful what I share, and how I craft it to share it, and all that.

But I blog for me.

And I think that’s why it works. I only really read bloggers who feel like they are blogging for them, not for me. Who are not just saying something to say it, but are saying something because they HAVE TO say it. I love that.

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liz says:
Oct 14, 2011 5:41 pm

I write for me. I paint for me. But most of that stuff is private. Not everything ends up for sale/on the blog. But if I have something boiling up inside of me, I’ll throw it on paper. Often that stuff that’s for me, is JUST for me. Maybe one day I’ll put those things on display, but I don’t know.

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