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.

12 comments:

Melanie said...

I totally feel you on this subject. I can't help but compare my blog to others too - and then I feel like I fall so short. However, for now, I keep plugging away because I enjoy the process. We'll see how long it lasts. ;-)

Rebecca said...

When the blogging process becomes boring, frustrating,or a source of comparison and insecurity, it probably IS time to step back a bit and recalibrate :)

Bless your heart. Enjoy your break.

Tracy said...

Your blog is one of my very favorites! I am always happy to see a post from you. Enjoy your break but come back soon! :)

debbie said...

i have a blog not to write but to follow those who i love and yours is one of the reasons i opened my blog on blogger. i still love xanga tho i tend to look pat the ads and look for the people ive grown to love over the years makes my life less boring

Susan in SC said...

((Terri)) you sound so sad in this post. Perhaps it's the writer in you that you compare yourself. I blog because I need to keep a record for myself and for those few people that read it and want to know what is going on. I don't worry about other blogs. They obviously have much more time than I do to devote to blogging. As for me, I am busy running a family and living life. I love to read your blog. You are truly an inspiration to many people. Big hugs to you!!

patsy said...

Terri, I look forward to your blog and check everday for new postings. However, I rarely post a comment and many of your readers are like me. Just remember you have many fans out there.

MotherHen said...

Ditto what patsy said :-) I came along with you from Xanga & I too look for a new post from you first before moving on to any other blogs I read!!

Anonymous said...

I don't blog. Don't want to take the time. But, I love reading different blogs, and yours is one of my favorite. I'd hate to see you quit. I enjoy reading what you write. Reading blogs is something I do every week as a relaxing time. I can't read every day, but I catch up when I get the time, so if someone doesn't blog every day, that's fine. I love getting a glimpse into the lives of people around the U.S. and the world. It must be quite a time taker though. You must please yourself and don't compare. God made you you, and no one else is like you! Take joy, Pam

Nancy said...

Your blog has always been one of my favorites. I, too, followed you from Xanga. I understood when you outgrew Penny Ann, but was relieved when you didn't give up blogging. I also understand what you're saying about comments. My blog doesn't get many, but it's always a thrill when a comment does pop up. I don't always comment much, but can see that I need to change that. I've also noticed a lot of blogs that I have on RSS feed are fizzling out, and I have dropped quite a few. Just know that I don't ever plan to drop you. I truly get a lot of enjoyment and insight from your posts. I've even changed my day of rest/worship to the Sabbath. You got me thinking and reading more about that. Now I plan to start attending a Messianic Synagogue in a nearby city. Thank you, for who you are and what you do.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the others. Yours is one of my favorites and I rarely comment but would definitley miss you if you stopped!

Laura

Anonymous said...

Terri, I am going to attempt again to post a comment. For some reason I have met with problems when commenting on Blogspot. I wonder if some other readers have given up commenting just for that reason. I too check your blog everyday to see if there are any new posts. For some reason I find your life fascinating and love hearing about it. I like hearing about your day and your attempts at keeping your home tidy and your budget intact. I just like you! MeginKs

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries® said...

Great post Terri! You are so right...blogging comes with pressure and obligations. That's one of the reasons I stayed away for so many years (before 2008). When I did create an internet presence, I vowed to not let blogging and the internet trump my reality...my real life. I must admit there have been times when it's been a struggle. I've never been a heavy poster and touch base only a few times per month...more if I'm in an inspirational frenzy. :) That being said, I've grown to really enjoy the blogging world and view it as wondrous community where friendships bloom and one idea begets another and thus amazing things can and do occur! :) Consequently this miraculous exchange of ideas and information only serves to make all of our lives potentially better. :) I know reading your blog inspires me in many ways and always has! Well, I'm off now to finish preparing dinner for Mike. :))) More soon.
Love,
Tracey
x0x

P.S. Most people may not be aware but anything you publish on most (if not all) blogs, as well as face x book) becomes the joint property of the writer/artist/creator and the owners of the service.

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