The Dark Side of Blogging: Why Blogging Shouldn’t Define You

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I’m driving myself insane.

I wish I meant that as an exaggeration, but there is a large chunk of me that is contemplating walking away from blogging for a very long time.

I need to re-center myself, and I need to not make this blog the center of that being.

One of the warnings that some of the more experienced bloggers will give you, and I think that it really needs to be stressed again, is that you need to be a person that blogs, not a blogger-or you’re rapidly going to find yourself frustrated, hurt, and ultimately dissatisfied with something that should be an enjoyable experience.

A lot of bloggers will monetize, and then they spend their time chasing statistics. I don’t monetize in part because I don’t want that pressure-but I don’t avoid my statistics and that’s part of the issue. I have somehow linked my value as a person to the number of hits I get in a day (because that’s totally logical, am I right? Your voice is only worth reading if it gets 1,000 hits an hour, isn’t that a truth?)

Of course it’s not. And the blogging world has gotten a little whackadoodle over the whole thing. A blogger that I respect pointed out recently that part of the problem with the blogging world is how similar its become-there really is no thing as a voice. It’s the same three giveaways working their way around, the same sponsors asking people to make cheese dishes, the same themes showing up at the same time.

I admit that maybe I’m swimming against the stream, but it’s very frustrating to put a lot of time (a LOT of time, when this isn’t your primary job)  to then feel like I’m failing. For something that’s supposed to be a stress relief and an outlet, it causes a LOT of stress. So much second guessing, so much wondering, so much questioning. I’m not saying that it shouldn’t be an effort, but I shouldn’t feel like less of a person because I haven’t hit on the ‘perfect’ balance of PR and the rest of my life to get 5,000 people to want to link up to my blog hops.

Here is the question that needs to be asked when you start thinking that because your blog is slow (or no one wants to link up to your blog hop, or someone makes a snide comment on Pinterest about your photography): who would you be if your blog was just to disappear? What would you want to be known for if you woke up and the Internet just didn’t exist? Those are the things that are important, not the statistics of your blog. If you run a blog hop, can you tell someone how many people linked up to the entry the 3rd week in October last year without looking it up? That’s the point: if in six months, or a year, or five years, you can’t remember  your day to day statistics, then it shouldn’t be front and center of your social life.

I really don’t want someone to stand up at my funeral and say, Katie was an awesome blogger. The world is a better place because she tried to run two blog hops a week. Such dedication. And man, did she know how to run Picmonkey. I want them to talk about my volunteer activities, my dedication to my friends, maybe my intelligence or grace.

This is a very large Internet, and people flow like water-just because they’re not here now doesn’t mean that they won’t ever be. Don’t let the darker parts of blogging steal your light.

For the sake of full disclosure, it’s not just this blog that’s suffering. I burned a cake for the first time in close to a year. It’s been a frustrating day all the way around.

Bloggers-I have started a new group board on Pinterest. Open to all DIY, craft, food, or other creative blogs, I would love to have you join. Joining instructions are posted on the board-join here.

Please, stop by this week’s Inspired Weekends (Friday)  and  Fall into the Holidays (Tuesdays)

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6 comments

  1. It occurred to me yesterday, as I hit publish, that I’d let over 3 weeks pass between posts. I blog, but I am by no stretch a blogger, and that’s an important distinction. Just remember why you started blogging in the first place and forget about the critics…they don’t matter.

    Sorry to hear about your cake.

  2. Everyone that follows your blog, knows there is a real person behind it. You could write every other month and I would still be interested! We are the non-lemmings and I hope to keep it that way.

  3. I only comment on blogs and i found even alone that having a negative influence on my well-being. Now i tuned that down to once a week, and my life seems more balanced. I really don’t know how you all do it Katie, you obviously love blogging so stopping doesn’t seem wise to me; just do less until you enjoy yourself again would be my advice. If you eat too much cake it doesn’t taste like anything anymore!

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