Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Blogging Blues

I love my blog but no one else seems too.

Use to be that was enough. But now I am checking my site counter frantically to see how much its gone up. I click on the Truth Laid Bare link to see who is linking to me and how many people are coming to my site... anyone staying? Not sure. I am a "crunchy crustacean" in the ecosystem of TLB. I have no idea what the whole ecosystem looks like but I know I want more. I must be at the very low end of the system... I just slithered out of the water. Surprisingly there are a number of blogs linking to me. They are listed there on my site page at TLB. When I follow the link though I have no idea why these people are linking back to me. I can not find any mention of my site.

Ok so I spend a lot of time thinking about my blog, why it is troubled and struggling. I think I can be funny. But maybe my voice isn't distinct enough. The people I read are a little less concerned about their language. I like that about them. But my family reads this blog. Can I really be myself? Haha.

My politics are left leaning but I would never blog about that stuff. My religion is left leaning too. The bumper stickers on my car express who I am in both realms... "I miss Bill" and "God is not spelled GOP." Maybe to get people to my blog I need to be more political. Do I need to state my position on abortion or the immigration debate? Do I have to write about how I don't refer to God in terms of a specific gender because it narrows our understanding of God and in some circles gives power over to men.

Maybe I need to be more vulnerable... sharing how my father leaving me and my siblings early in our lives has left a hole that can never be filled... or that my body image makes me scared of what my kids will think of me as they get older.

Can I turn my back on the blogging worlds measurements on how well our site is doing? Can I love my blog when most of my posts go uncommented on? Can I ignore the fact that my counter goes up but the comments are nonexistent? (Now that is a hard one.) I actually think that it is me that makes that counter go up. Because I log onto the site so many times a day. Playing with the buttons... where they are in the line up, are they centered. And finding more to put up there.

What purpose does my blog serve? Let me start there:
  1. A place to keep a journal of what is happening in our lives
  2. A place to post pictures of the kids
  3. A place to post some of my digital scrapbook pages
  4. A place to connect to other moms
  5. A place to share my spiritual and parenting journey
  6. A place that reflects my uniqueness
What do I not want my blog to be:
  1. A place where I am judged or measured against others
  2. A place where my thoughts are ridiculed
  3. A place that feels like work rather than play
  4. A place where I have to be someone else to be admired
So what have I learned here? That my neuroses overflow into my blog. How very surprising! That I want to be liked and admired but i don't want to have to jump through hoops to get there. That I like who I am except when I start comparing myself to others or my blog to other's blogs.

Here is what I think is the answer... instead of focusing on my blog, its stats and such I am going to focus on the relationships my blog and blogging brings me. Like the connection I have made with Karen over at Surviving Motherhood. Or the deepening relationship I have experienced with my sister-in-law Elysa over at Musings from Graceland. Or how much I like the perspective of Belinda at Ninja Poodles and the voice and photography of Rhe over at Confessions of a Pioneer Woman.

If you are struggling with the Blogging Blues I challenge you to refocus you attention back to what made you attracted to blogging to begin with. Enjoy the new contacts and connections you are making and try to let the rest go by the wayside... unless you become really really blog famous... then enjoy that too!


KellyJean said...

What a heartfelt entry. I've only been blogging a week and yet I hear and understand what you are saying. I started blogging because I am very isolated due to a problem with my vocal chords. I talked about it on my blog but then decided to delete the posts. I really would rather have my blog be a place where my problems speaking are not an issue rather than it becoming a place where I whine about it.

I think you will be happier on your blog if you are just yourself. Don't worry about people judging you or who is going to read it. Personally, my exposure to those who differ politically from myself is pretty limited. I like to read about why other people believe what they do.

I love Pioneer Woman's site. My blog is called Laughing Always Helps because,for me, it does. I've laughed a lot going through her site.

Being a stay at home mom can get pretty lonely. I homeschooled that last 9 years and now my children are all in school. I can't get a job because of my voice. With my kids all being teenagers, I am at that place that can be pretty painful. We have such a short amount of time left with them and I am constantly questioning whether we made the right choices. Being home alone all day is pretty hard for me.

Anyway, that is probably way more information than you want or need. LOL! Try to make yourself only check your site meter once a day. I am trying to do that too.

God Bless, Kelly

The Wades said...

Just wanted to say hi and leave you a comment. Too cute. I think this is why I have set up a blog but have yet to post anything. (Who would read?) I linked to your blog from Ree's blog--not only do I enjoy reading hers, but I love reading all of your comments. I have yet to comment myself. Anyway, hang in there. :) Michelle

Stephanie said...

Kelly Jean and Michelle! You have made me so happy! I was off to bed and could not resist one more look at my blog. Fearing of course that i would be let down again. But there you too were. I will never forget your generosity of spirit.

Elysa said...

Stephanie---I am so thankful for your blog. It keeps me connected with your family in ways I can never be living away from the coast. It helps me to get to know the children better and keep up with them as real people, not just little munchkins running around as part of the wild and hairy group that happens when we put our kids altogether.;)

I often laugh, smile, feel all warm and fuzzy, sometimes even get a bit misty around the edges when I read your blog postings.

I also marvel at your gift with words and the ability to really dissect a situation...get below the surface. I keep thinking I wish my posts and musings could be more like your's!

But mostly, I am thankful for your blog because of what you alluded to...I feel like I'm getting to know you and get closer to you in a way that we've never had the time or chance to before now. We are at the intense time of parenting when we've got a lot of little ones needing a LOT of stuff from us. Our few family get-togethers a year are usually dominated with keeping the kids from being too crazy or having too much fun.;) Not to mention changing diapers, fixing plates, cleaning up messes, trying to get babies to nap, and on and on and on.

Here we can learn about each others passions, fears, dreams, quirks, and insecurities in a nice, uninterrupted manner. And its amazing that despite our obvious differences....liberal/conservative,Lutheran/nondenominational, public school/homeschool, urban yankee/Southern hick, Democrat/Republican...we've got a whole lot more in common than meets the eye. We both love our kids fiercely, want to serve God and fulfill His purpose for our lives, we want to make our marriages something glorious, we want to make a difference in the world, and we both spend a WHOLE heck of a lot of time on the pc!;)

We're both growing in the freedom of God's grace and I think that's the most amazing thing that will keep pulling us closer despite our differences.

I'm thankful for this blog because its causing me to love you more and more. You're no longer just my brother's wife, you're my friend...and one that I look forward to getting to know even better over the years.

I love you, Stephanie!

P.S. BTW, it is pretty common for a blog to take time to build up regular readers. And I often have days when I only have a handful of visitors. Your low numbers are not an accurage reflection on the quality of your writing or your blog. Your blog RAWKS! And I'd feel that way even if you weren't my sister-in-law....REALLY!


Stephanie said...

Man girl! You always make me feel so much better because YOU cut the the quick. Thank you for your kind words. And yes, the best part of my blogging experience is that I get to know you better... love you deeper as a person with no children hanging on either of us. Its a blessing and I owe you much for nudging me in to the blogging world.

thank you from the bottom of my heart. I can always rely on you to be here at my blog when no one else is... not that you are required mind you. haha no pressure just pointing out that just your presence in wanting to know me better is full of grace for me.


KellyJean said...

Isn't Elysa cool?