Saturday, November 5, 2011
What's Going On?
About three weeks ago, just about the time our vacation began, I was reading blogs I'd bookmarked. Someone (can't tell you who and I'll tell you why in a bit) mentioned that a number of her contemporary bloggers had taken a blogging break or quit blogging altogether. The statement got only passing attention at that time, but as the three weeks went on and I realized that more and more of the blogs I was reading had gone several weeks without any post at all, or had only just recently begun blogging again after months of 'blogcation,' I began to wonder about this current phenomenom. When I went to read a highly favored blog and found it obsolete, I wrote the owner in concern. She and I had become friends of sorts (as much as strangers who've never met but who blog can be friends) and I was genuinely worried. It seems that she'd had enough...and just recently another blogger whom I've known for years and years, long before she began blogging, said she was burned out on blogging.
What's going on?
I've had quite a struggle over the past two years. Being Penny Ann Poundwise was great for about 8 years, but the last two...whoo boy!
There were times I seriously considered just giving up writing altogether. I had a decent following, not a huge following and it sort of held me captive. If I changed my subject matter would I lose my followers? Would others come to replace those I lost? A few writers/bloggers who were popular followed my work, which was gratifying. I struggled with this when I moved Penny Ann from Xanga, where I'd been blogging for nearly five years, over to Blogger. I liked Xanga's format. HATED Xanga's risque front page ads and pushes for blogs with controversial subject matters. My face burned with shame at times, just signing into my own account! I couldn't bear that my readers might also be signing in and seeing those same ads...
I moved to Blogger and I did lose readers who were die-hard Xanga fans. I never quite regained my footing as Penny Ann here and that did make it easier to change the format and eventually start this newer blog, which is more an incorporation of more facets of me... but dog gone it I hated to lose followers!
And that is where another problem has lain for me. Some blogs are wildly popular with followers in the 5-6-7 figures range. The owners have managed to move from blogging to generating an income, making television appearances, writing books, guest speaking. There is a burden of responsibility upon these bloggers. Some have even had to hire help! I'm not sure I want that much responsibility, but I did envy the numbers and the followers and the comments...I've been writing steadily for more than fourteen years now. It's hard not to look at the time investment and wonder when my popularity will surge, worrying over why it hasn't, wondering what I ought to change to make numbers look good. It's hard to pour your heart out and know know know that you've published a fine bit of writing and not receive five comments if that.
So it becomes another area to compare/measure ourselves against others. I don't think any one really needs another area to feel insecure in, do you? There's already enough pressure from magazines, television, movies, the girl next door....Right?
Between feeling bored by our own work, wondering how to increase our popularity, comparing ourselves to others, and the time commitment issues...Oh we haven't discussed those yet have we? If you don't blog then you don't know but writing/posting pictures/editing all take time. Even reading blogs takes time. I've read many and many a blog lately where the writer mentions she's cut down on the blogs she reads, or sets the time for an hour and half each day...Myself, I tend to read blogs in the evening while John is practicing or listening to political debates. It keeps me in the room with him and I don't get lost in the blogs the way I do in a good book.
Suddenly this week I was sick of it all. Sick of feeling impatient with bloggers who hadn't blogged since my last reading, tired of reading the same things over and over again, tired of comparing myself to others, tired of everything under the sun, writing and homemaking and fighting against the rising inflation for a living and heartaches and every thing. So last night, I emptied my favorites list of all blogs (that's why I can't tell you who wrote the post about bloggers). It's not that I don't intend to read blogs anymore, or that I'm planning to stop writing. I just need to get away from the comparisons for a bit. I need a vacation of sorts, from my own mind, which I suspect is what other bloggers want a vacation from as well, these endless comparisons that go on and on even to the amount of time spent writing or reading.
No, I'm not giving up blogging but I think I'm going to give up reading blogs for a bit. That's just what I need to do for right now.