I’m in a weird funk about my blog at the moment, but for odd jangle of reasons. I’m having difficulty writing or establishing a direction for my blog and yet I really want to blog. Below is a list of some situations impacting and influencing my blog writing.
-Increased negative attention: Towards the end of last year I discovered that an individual (not a regular reader, but rather someone involved in my real-life life) was mining my blog and Twitter for negativity. We’re talking scrolling through weeks and weeks of posts and lifting a handful of sentences out of context. This led to much personal hell. On top of this I had a few headache inducing spots of antagonism: rando person bitching about pumpkin spice lattes, a few readers who decided to leave my blog due to my swearing (bye, Felicia), and the infamous news reporter’s boyfriend being a dick.
–Anomalous spikes in readership: If I blog about being fat, or raped, or mentally ill, I get LOADS of traffic. While I’m glad my personal life resonates deeply with other and it is empowering to write these posts, it takes a hell of a lot of effort and personal exposure. The sum of my existence is not that of a fat, sexual assault survivor, bipolar chick. I would say close to 90% of my blog reflects an existence rooted in exuberant joy: books, coffee, kids, fun dresses, more books. I do have steady and faithful readers who recognize that my blog is a patchwork quilt of my life: different colors, textures, and hues, but all the same quilt. But if you’ve started reading for the books and find me talking about rape or you’ve come for the mental illness discussion and find Ipsy bag reviews you may be confused and even put-off.
–Marketing shit: I’ve started getting emails asking things like, “hey, you’re great! We’re a no-name car rental company. Blog about your favorite travel essentials and our social media team MAY look at it and USE it.” And use it how? Use it for free advertising? Do you even read my blog? With the exception of a single trip to Texas I am a broke-ass homebody. I will review books and products (anyone want to send me coffee?), but it is not the purpose of my blog and it has to be something I think is phenomenal and will use regularly. I’ve even gotten book stuff that asks me to blog about something that’s my favorite and they will share it. I’m not into advertising for free. Want me to write for you? Then you can pay me. Free blogging happens for charities and causes I think are worthy, not for cheap marketing hacks.
My Shiny Happy Blog Rainbow:
This is a case of the good greatly outweighing the bad.
-My Crew: Some of my closest friendships have been formed through blogging. I’m saving my shout-outs for BBAW, but I’ve had two separate blogger meet-ups last year (1,2) and it confirmed the importance of this community in my life. In addition to meeting folks in person, my book blogger friends have been there for me during my rough patch as much as my local friends. Cards, emails, Christmas goodies came regularly brighten my day and it made such a difference. Seriously, the love was radiating out of my computer and my mail box.
– Memories and growth: My courtship and marriage to Sam, all my babies growing up, the books read, the memories made. It is all here. I can look back at recipes and crafts. I marvel at how much I’ve grown and how much more I have to learn in this great bright world.
– Learning: Book recommendations, breastfeeding tips, recipes, strategies for life… I’ve learned so much from other bloggers and readers.
If you haven’t guessed it already, I’m not leaving blogging. What I need to do is reach back to those writing basics and figure out my purpose and audience. My purpose is to write for myself and to connect with kindred spirits.