Monday, 11 April 2016

Blogging: Succeeding At The Things That Don't Matter

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't matter.”  - Francis Chan

I first started blogging in 2007 when my husband and I first decided to adopt.  I began a blog called "Carpe Diem, Gorgeous!" and simply wrote. That was really all I did with the blog.  I didn't worry much about stats aside from thinking it was great fun to see the various countries those who visited it came from.  I didn't spend time on blog promotion groups, I don't even think they existed then.  I may have occasionally shared a post to my personal Facebook page but rarely.  Getting things shared on social media wasn't yet a "thing".  I never heard someone mention "going viral" or having that as a goal.  I never heard of blogging goals at all.  I never thought about my blog "making it big".  In fact, the main reason I stopped blogging at Carpe Diem was because I felt I had too many readers (in reality, not a huge amount!) and I didn't want it to become more about the readers than about the actual writing.  This isn't vanity speaking, this stems from the fact that although I love writing and publish many personal things, I also have a deep, contradictory need for privacy.  

Looking back, I think that we had more fun blogging then.  Blogging was more relaxed.  Many wrote simply for the pleasure of writing.  This can be argued of course since it is only a personal opinion but it's how it felt.  We all connected then through browsing and truly enjoying other's blogs, commenting and building strong relationships.  After a couple years of blogging, I had a good readership and a strong, close group of people that I interacted with (and interact with still in may cases) and many of those people became friends.  

I took a break from blogging (not writing) for several years and came back to discover blogging is business now.  Blogging is serious and competitive.  Blogging is less than ever about personal interaction and more about numbers of followers on social media.  Much (not all) content has become quite bland or on the contrary, purposely controversial.  Less about actual writing and more about succeeding at blogging itself.  I find that I have trouble making myself care about all these things blogging is now supposed to be.  I just want an emotional and creative outlet.

I care about writing and authenticity.  I care about reading what other people are genuinely concerned about or what touches their hearts.  I care about beautiful, interesting, clever, creative writing.  I care about the people behind the words.  I care about interaction and sharing.  I care about reaching people.

I like to write serious things and I like to have fun with writing.  I like a little, unprofessional, non- trendy blog.

The articles I send out into the world for publication are one thing.  I write them because I want people to share and read them.  What I write here is different. Sometimes I want to write things here that are more private, that I don't want to be shared many times or seen by many people. Things that are just for me.  

In the end, people may like or dislike what I write but I am the one who knows whether I am satisfied with what I have written.  That knowledge has to come from inside myself.  

Writers need to have a combination of assurance and uncertainty to maintain authenticity and vulnerability.  Blogging is one thing.  Writing another.  And sometimes, people manage to combine the two.        

Happy writing!  I'm still having fun!:)

10 comments:

  1. I really don't CARE why other people blog. (Does that sound cruel?) Yes, I've noticed the shift, but I continue to keep mine up for the same reasons I started. I have ceased visiting those that are complicated by advertising and continue visiting those that are interesting, entertaining or educational to me.

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    1. No, it doesn't sound cruel Rebecca, it sounds perfectly reasonable.:) I shouldn't care either why other people blog, I just noticed since "returning" how different it was.:) Like you, I have those I love to visit! :)

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  2. It is true that the motivation for,and goals of blogging have changed vastly.
    Rather than giving my own view I will reproduce what you have written because I couldn't have said it better--

    I care about writing and authenticity. I care about reading what other people are genuinely concerned about or what touches their hearts. I care about beautiful, interesting, clever, creative writing. I care about the people behind the words. I care about interaction and sharing. I care about reaching people.

    I care about writing and authenticity. I care about reading what other people are genuinely concerned about or what touches their hearts. I care about beautiful, interesting, clever, creative writing. I care about the people behind the words. I care about interaction and sharing. I care about reaching people.

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  3. well these days ,blogs are about scratching each other's back. i came across blogs when i was in high school around 2006. for many people,mostly for introverts, blogs were god's gift. for some people they were replacement for personal diary. blogs did act like a personal diary where he/she can express his personal feelings as anonymous or had greater scope to share their thoughts to totally strangers.

    i never had blog cuz i had different take. i can't visit someone's blog and write comments for the sake of it cuz he/she writes comments on my blog. am a instinctive person so i can write only if i really like the topic or if i can add some substance to the blog. so my blogging is about writing lengthy comments without expecting anything in return from others.

    but these days,comments are about one liners to just please people so that they can visit and write comments on their blog in return to increase each other live traffic feed which is on display.

    in 2006,blogs were just like white pages like in diary with just comments section,they never had comment approval option too cuz its about sharing wisdom/intellect,it was never about number of superficial one-liner comments on blog. people were open to criticism or liked someone adding new dimension to their blog post.

    wisdom or intellect is like ocean,when you look at it ,you can see only one side of it, when someone who has seen the other side too has different take from the person who has seen only one side.so adding the other side to one sided perception is adding missing dimension.so people used to feel happy when someone adds new dimension or substance to their blog post.but these days,its about everyone looking at one side of ocean and appreciating the only view to please fellow bloggers. when someone adds new dimension to their blog post,they are considered argumentative,frustrated,depressed,confrontationist or looking for some attention. truth is.IF THE BLOG POST IS OF FLAWLESS INTELLECT/WISDOM,THERE WILL BE NOTHING TO COMMENT.

    when i look at contemporary blogs,they remind me of high profile party where people greet each other ,chit-chat with superficial smile or superficial emotions. so its really scary to write lengthy comments on contemporary blogs cuz they either delete your comments or judge you as blog spoiler. these days i seldom write cuz most of blogs are superficial and they are not worth to write. whole-hearted people can never like superficial people and vice-versa.

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    1. Ram, thank you so much for your comment, it is so exactly right and provides a lot to consider! I like everything you wrote but I especially love the paragraph about wisdom and intellect. I am always happy if someone provides another dimension or maybe helps me to see things in a different way. I try to do this but like every person, I know my understanding of things is based on my own experiences, culture, upbringing, so without even wanting to, I judge things according to my own perceptions!
      Your last paragraph as well...excellent! I have nothing more to add!
      Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts here, do come back and do so again, not so I can have another comment only but because I like your perspective and the way you think!:)

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  4. It really is weird just how many blogs there are that are dedicated to... Blogging! I don't think I'll ever stop feeling fairly awkward about the fact that I have a blog and like to overshare on the internet! And truthfully, I'll overshare in person, too ;) But the "online courses" to "grow your following" (which really just make money for the person running them) overwhelm me - there's so much pressure to do things that I just plain don't care about!

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    1. :) I am easily overwhelmed too by these things too, you're not alone there.

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  5. I am glad you are loving writing and that you shared this perspective. I started writing about 8 months ago - I needed an outlet to express years and years of thoughts and emotions that had been bottled up for a long time, dealing with unseen illnesses (depression and ocd) plus a new baby! PHEW. Writing has been so therapeutic for me. One thing I noticed as soon as I entered the "blogging world" was the focus on numbers. You have to grow traffic, get more follows, change your pictures to make them pinterest worthy! OMG didnt know all this before! So I figured, ok, if I want to share my experiences, then I need to do this. Needless to say, it is so tough trying to keep up. Leaves me feeling insecure and not worth much when I compare my "stats" to others. I am stuck in the middle. I want to write, share my experiences and thoughts and have people read my stuff and interact, but I do not want to spend my days increasing traffic. Hoping to find a balance. Glad I came across this post today!

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    1. Thank you for your comment, I can relate to what you say! I don't want to give the impression that I mean this for anybody but myself. Like everything else, we probably all find ways to balance what we care about and spend time on things that matter to us. :) I think that for me, I am really bad at maintaining the social media aspect of it all!! :D
      I love your beautiful blog, it is one that right away when I clicked on it, I thought "Now this is perfect!" :)

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