Blogging Bureaucracy

A blog is a space in which to log entries of any kind. A blogger is one who fills the spaces of his or her web log with such entries. The goal is to produce quality content that we enjoy and love. This should be the reason we begin blogging and why we continue. To produce our passions.

blogger

In case they don’t see your tattoo.

So when did being the spectator become more important than being the producer?

When I began blogging, it was hard to ignore the blogging bureaucracy. Like most, I quickly learned the rules of the trade.  They aren’t easy to miss. Guides to blog success are posted at every major intersection of the internet like big electronic billboards: Interact with the right bloggers! Read read read! Don’t forget to comment! Participate in the blogging community! Guest post and reblog!

Got it.

So, upon the birth of 25toFly and my discovery of WordPress, I immediately found a slew of blogs that I liked and followed. I got to know the people behind them. Friendships were formed and everything was just dandy. It was like being in the popular clique that I was never a part of in high school. And it was fun.

But cliques are exclusive, and exclusivity limits the experience. I started to develop bad habits. My writing was laced with inside jokes that half of my readers couldn’t decipher. I was supporting ideas out of loyalty instead of sincerity. I found myself leaving drive-by comments. I stopped giving new blogs the time of day. I second guessed my own content if I didn’t score a certain number of likes. All of which pointed to the glaring fact that I was caught up in a popularity contest. 

like

Need more thumbs.

None of this was fair of me, because none of it was me

Reading other works is important. It can inspire us, help us network with other writers and artists, and give us new perspectives, but without balance and authenticity, it can be detrimental to our own growth.

I was so caught up in what everyone else was doing, that I severely neglected my blog. There was so much to read and so many opportunities to seize. By the time I finished chiming in on everyone else’s conversations, writing a post of my own felt like trying to backstroke through peanut butter. So I wouldn’t write anything at all. The next day, the cycle would begin again as soon as I opened my reader, spinning me around like my shoestrings were tied to a high speed merry-go-round.

I had enough. I fell hush.

secrets

Pleading the fifth

My comments resembled crumbs, and my Gravatar was practically an apparition. At first, I worried. Were all of the people reading my blog only there because I read theirs in return? Is my blog a stinking pile of uncovered cat poop without my comment reciprocation? Will I vanish into an internet black hole never to be “Liked” again? But then, I realized that it didn’t matter, because even if my thoughts rang true, I’d still be blogging.

To my surprise, detaching myself from the noise for a while allowed me to enjoy blogging like I did before the need to be liked took over. When I finally returned to the conversations, I made sure they were the ones I really wanted to be a part of and that my engagement was genuine.

You see, we are all worthy of the Blogger title, whether we are the next Mark Twain or just want to post pictures of our cats. Your blog is yours. Show it some love, and don’t compare it to everyone else’s. Produce what you love, whatever that may be, and make it your priority. Without it, your blog doesn’t exist. So let’s put the blogging bureaucracy to rest. Your blog, your rules.

becca cord signature

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About becca3416

Becca Cord is a twenty-something year old southern ballerina turned humor writer and video editor. Having lived in Louisiana her entire life, she is now perusing her travel dreams while starting her own free-lance Web Marketing business and organizing a nation wide blogging event, Blogger Interactive. She believes one of her callings is making people laugh, and she intends to do so. You can find Becca on her personal blog, Facebook page, or Twitter @becca25tofly.

Posted on July 26, 2013, in Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 159 Comments.

  1. I have been here. So often I’ve spent more time reading blogs than writing them. Not good. I especially love you last line here. We, indeed, need to set our own rules in order to blog with purpose. We make the meaning in our lives and in our online world, as well.
    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    • Thanks Kathy. In a world full of people telling us what to do, I just can’t help but feel like this is a haven for us to block all of that out and do whatever we want. We each create our own little utopias on our blogs. I’d like to keep it that way!

  2. Becca,
    Your post is like a half-time rule check. And it’s perfect!
    I also like your sentiment, “Fuck it. The end.”
    Your declaration of validation apathy has made your readers love you even more.
    Red

  3. Great post Becca! You touched on some really important points regarding blogging, and our attachment to the “popularity” side of it. I think we all feel it, I even feel it on other bloggers behalf when I read an awesome post with only one or two likes. It’s important to remember though that our blogs (for the most part) are public, a lot of hits can come from outside of the close knit blogging community, especially if the subject is very broad or timeless.

    In the end we have to blog for ourselves. Hits, likes and followers are a nice bonus, but they should not be sought after at the expense of the writing or the individuals ethics :)

    It’s easier said than done, but it’s something every blogger has to deal with!

    Thanks for sharing, thought provoking stuff!

    Rohan.

    • Good word Rohan. Those things are bonus not focus! Unless they are your focus, which may be the case. But I think the majority of people here are here to enjoy themselves, work on their talents, and produce content they really want to produce without feeling controlled. And that includes by the popularity contest.

  4. I understand where you’re coming from. I think I probably ought to follow a few less blogs so I have more time to actually write for me.

    • Sometimes the decision has to be made! Otherwise, you will end up losing joy for what you are doing because you don’t have time to actually DO it.

      • I did. And after a week of no emails (because of being in retreat) I came back to 50+ new blogging related messages. But it’s OK. I’m catching up on them, and then I’ll write a post over the next couple of days about the retreat, and that’ll lead into a small series which is mostly written already, that I’ll set up to auto-post on Mondays for the next few weeks, and anything else I write on top of that will be a bonus!

  5. Great post Becca. I’ve been “struggling” with so many of these thoughts for a long while now. I’ve touched on it in a few posts, but always hesitate to really put it out there, as I know it pushes some buttons, or may alienate people I’ve connected with. A tightrope… I like the way you’ve put it out there and shared your experience. Well done!

    • Exactly. I almost didn’t write it because I was scared of the same thing you describe, but I tried my best to express this in a way that would come off exactly how I wanted it to. I didn’t know that it wouldn’t be misconstrued, but that’s the point. Blogging is an expression. Why limit it? The whole post is somewhat about not being able to please everyone and that its OKAY. That being said, I AM happy it was well received, for the sole reason being that I had a feeling many of us struggled with the same sort of thing.

      • Definitely… I always feel best when I put myself out there and am honest. I find this blogging thing a slippery slope, too often. I get hurt when others don’t follow along with my posts/comment/like, etc… like you, checking the stats and feeling off when they are off. I try so hard to keep up with other blogs and sincerely comment, etc and it’s not always reciprocal. But, you’re right… it’s really about the writing, and when I remember that, and let go of the rest of that shit, I am always happier… it’s a tricky arena. Really appreciate your thoughts on it.

  6. You’ve described a cycle that many of us go through. I refuse to “Like” a post unless I really do. I don’t comment unless I have something I want to say in response to what I just read. I’m suspect of those people who “Like” every single thing I’ve posted. Particularly the “Likes” that come in within two seconds of my putting a post up.
    I’ve scaled back my reading of other blogs and also my own blogging frequency in an attempt to reclaim a bit of myself. I still look for new voices and new things to read, I have my core group of bloggers I will read every time they post something, but other than that, what I decide to read each day is somewhat random, but not all-inclusive.
    The blogging bureaucracy rule I hate is the one that says you have to find a niche. Write a blog about cooking, or politics, or books, or pick your narrow topic. Because that’s how you find an audience, in that little niche. People with similar interests will flock to you. Well, I’m sorry blogging bureaucracy, but I’m a complicated person with many interests and many things to say, so I’ll sit that rule out. And write whatever I want.

    • This might be the best most comprehensive response on here. Everything you said I was nodding my head to. It’s important for inspiration to get outside of your comfort zone, read new people and new posts, and most certainly embrace your “jack of all trades” blogging style. I’ve always written about many different topics. I’ve done foodie posts, serious posts, list posts, funny posts, videos, podcasts, you name it. I love it all. You most certainly do not have to pigeonhole yourself into a group like that. Thank for saying everything so eloquently.

      • And thank you. The more of us there are who violate the tenets of the blogging bureaucracy, the better. :) Truth be told, there are a lot of us out there and those are the blogs I’m attracted to. I’d rather read a bit about everything that whirls around in your head than to only see you when you have a recipe to share. And I’d rather share the same scope of myself. Part of blogging for me is putting me out there — my loves, my hates, my fears, my everything. Maybe it’s therapy, who knows.

  7. You know me, always late to the party but with something to say-well done here. Great post. It’s not about anything else, except sharing and writing what we feel. Who cares about the stats, the likes and the hits. Write because you love it. A friend asked me the other day, “you’re such a great writer, why don’t you do more than just poetry on your blog?” My reply “I love writing, but I don’t want the day to come, where I ever hate it. Passion comes in many forms, and for my blog, I choose the poetry one. It’s my blog, it’s my alter ego, it’s my choice.” This is a great piece here my friend.

  8. Left a comment, not sure where it went…. But just in case it’s gone, great post Becca. Thank you!

  9. I read your blog when you posted it via my trusty email subscription and it hit home. Not only did I laugh and nod my head, I felt renewed in my desire to attend to my artist self instead of my comment whore slutty self. The slutty self has better things to do anyway.

    You nailed it Becca!

  10. This is a really good post. Personally, I have always struggled with commenting and the “social” aspects that come with the unwritten code of conduct that blogging has mandated. My day is a blur to begin with. I read some posts from people that I follow that I really like but it always seems that I am minutes away from having to get out the door. So I vow to post on their page later. Then tomorrow. Then next week Friday…and it never happens. Then I feel guilty about it because I can see the effort they put in and I am not rewarding them.

    So my feedback may be random but I do enjoy what you do. You do a great job of being humorous and then switching it up and doing introspective things such as this. I have seen a lot of growth.

    • It’s a never ending guilt cycle that shouldn’t have to be there. The genuine people will be seen as such. There is something about it that just shows through no matter how much that person is around or not. Growth is something I strive for, so thank you for saying so.

  11. atta girl. this is partly why i pulled back and mainly just post fiction. i had to get back to writing what i want to write and not what i might think other people want me to write about in order to write about what other’s are semi-writing to stay within the circle. then i realized that i like triangles much more than circles. you (not you personally) have to write for your satisfaction. not others. except me. and just when i made that change and expected to lose half of my followers, i nearly doubled them instead. go figger.

  12. This is an important realization to have. I don’t know that I have ever been part of any clique or not (I’m pretty oblivious), but I do look forward to a core group of bloggers posting and you are one of them. The more silent you’ve been, the more I miss. The same goes for J&T.

    In order to write, I need to spend more time off-line in order to focus and harness my own voice. This usually results in my not keeping up with every blog I subscribe to and I go through waves of feeling guilty, then concern that I will be unfollowed, then, eventually, an attitude of ‘if they unsubscribe, screw ‘em. I need to write for me and no one else’. That said, I will never unfollow you, whether or not you like a post of mine and whether you only post on your own blog with the regularity of Haley’s Comet.

    • Calahan, I have always thought you have a true and pronounced talent in your writing. You make a great point about voice. Sometimes when we are so immersed in everyone else’s writing, it can start to interfere with the true voice of our own writing. Kind of like when you move to the North and your accent starts to change, because you are constantly surrounded by a group of people with the same distinct accent. It is like your brain is subconsciously trying to blend in with the crowd.

      I’ll always be around too Calahan. Your blog is like going to Disney World. I don’t get to go all the time, but when I do it is pure excitement and escape.

  13. This is awesome – how very right you are. I neglected my blog for a while AND felt like a failure staring at other amazing blogs. Instead of wasting my time worrying about everyone else, maybe I should finally focus on my own content and writing from the heart.

    Great post, as usual.

  14. Becca,
    In many ways, we never leave high school it seems. I’ve never been cool and i never will, but i appreciate every comment and like.
    However… I’ve had to strive to not be defined by my blogging rep. I have a life to live and while I love writing, I simply don’t have the time to participate in blogging cliques – especially in the summer when a bellman is busier than a virgin at a prison rodeo – so I’ve decided to write when I can, and no more.
    Great Blogging Declaration of Independence, baby.
    And great work with BeccaTube as well!
    Be well, my friend.
    The Hook.

    • I like the term “Blogging Declaration of Independence”. High five! We all have our own lives, stories, talents, coolness AND uncoolness … and you know what? It’s all just as important as the next persons. So blog on… about whatever you want!

  15. Becca,
    I just left you a longish comment that somehow got erased. Stupid computer user! Anyhow, you’ve hit a nerve that many bloggers struggle with. I think if we are authentic with ourselves (regardless of posting schedules, keeping up with the community, etc,) then what we write will resonate with an audience. I’d rather have an engaged audience than a bunch of robot followers who sign up because someone else followed my blog.
    Thanks for writing this post — it was a sigh of relief for me. And keep it up with the vlog. It’s original and inspired and it’s YOU (and you are so damn cute!).

    • You nailed the point I am getting at with this post. Yes. Smaller engaged audience is so much more significant than mindless ill-intentioned followers.

      I appreciate the high five on BeccaTube as well. I’ll never stop! Yay!

  16. So well said Becca. We bloggers seem to all go through it, thanks for the reminder to just damn well WRITE!

  17. Hey Becca! This was wonderful! I’ve recently started blogging and immediately started craving for like and views and whatnots… I did eventually stop doing that (actually in my most recent blog), but I really found this useful as a reminder not to get involved in such concerns again… I’m bookmarking this so I can revisit this when I find myself in such a predicament again.

    Thanks for this :)

    • I’m so happy that this is circling around and helping other bloggers feel better and focus on a new mindset when it comes to posting. That’s where the true joy comes with the interactions, not just face value likes and numbers. When you can really reach people on a personal level, whether it be 2 people or 200, that’s the prize.

  18. Reblogged this on SID's Blog and commented:
    This is something that every blogger should read!

    • Thanks for sharing this. We need to give ourselves some credit for our uniqueness and stop trying to be blogging super heros. We can all relate, so there is no need to continue the stress, right?

      • Damn right! :P

        Oh and by the way, if what we (as bloggers) have to say, is helpful, enlightening, interesting, or funny to other people, then we are accomplishing something by putting in perpetual motion the percolation of literacy, common sense, usefulness and happiness. So we are, already, kind of superheroes don’t you think?

        Anyways, I would at least prefer to look at it that way.. :)

  19. Excellent Becca, it’s true, the pressure is there when we blog to be everything to everybody – we must be the hostess with the mostess on our own blogs, and we must be the most wonderful guest on everyone else’s blogs. If we miss a few days of blog visiting we feel guilty because we know we’ll never catch up. Why do we do this to ourselves? No wonder there is burn out!

    • Burn out is exactly what happens. Again, I go back to balance. Sometimes it helps to have a loose schedule when it comes to divvying up your time in the blog space. Regardless of what you do, I think we all need to cut ourselves some slack. Positivity wins over negativity (especially towards ourselves) any day. Thanks boo :).

  20. Well said. the Cliques on WP are worse than the ones in HS. Write what you want, don’t follow the crowd and comment on the blogs you actually like–not the ones you feel like you should comment on. pshaw.

  21. Good for you Becca. I totally know what it feels like to forget why you started blogging in the first place. I don’t always like or comment, but I definitely missed your posts when you went on that hiatus. I always liked your posts because they are so genuine.

  22. Reblogged this on Kels Gone Bush and commented:
    One of the best blog post’s I’ve read in a long time ..

  23. Good post! I liked how much you said what is most people feel.
    http://www.biggermalesexmusclepills.com

  24. I share some of your sentiment – and while I obviously care about likes, comments, views, follows, and FPs, I don’t try to change my blog to fit anyone or gain more views/likes. Yet it’s not a secret personal diary – it is a public blog, and I write it for an audience as much as I do it for myself. But reading blogs – that’s a whole another story. When I open my reader, I feel like I’m in an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet – “Oh, I just have to read this one! OMG, and I want this too! And this! And this! Oh, this guy, I love his work, can’t miss that! Hmm, that’s a really clever title, I must check out this re-blog! Oh, I was just planning to write about that, I better read this for research purposes!…” et cetera. It feels less of a chore, but more of a disappointment that I can’t have everything. It also helps that I don’t have post schedule.
    And of course, we do read bloggers that don’t follow us back, just because we find their stuff entertaining. You can’t possibly follow 1950 blogs.

    • That’s the exact point I was getting at. It’s tempting to try to tailor your material so that it is deemed “satisfactory” to all your viewers, but you are only censoring yourself. A post that could be one of your best may end up falling short if you are trying to please everyone. Sometimes you just have to be you.

      What a great comparison. The WordPress reader is like being at your favorite restaurant. You want to order everything but you can’t afford to, so you just end up drinking your dinner. Or something.

      • At least I won’t have to go to a gym after blog-reading binge. Not that I’d have the time for it. :)
        I write political satire most of the time, so I know that if enough people see any given post, someone is likely to get offended anyway. So I aim only to please myself (in a blog-writing way). And yes, I self-censor: I’m keeping my material PG-13 and publishing it only when I’m happy with it – and this always means editing out some bits of what I wrote. (Another term for this type of self-censorship is “editing”). But in the end, the final result is still me, but hopefully it’s the me improved since the first draft. I’m sure you and most bloggers self-censor the same way.

  25. Yessssssss. Becs, this needed to be said. So much truth. I think that a lot of us in our blogging circle started our blogs around the same time, so this big blogging identity crisis sets in around the same time for many of us. Kind of like the seven year itch or something. But yeah, just be your awesome self. A blog is such a personal thing that if you start deviating from what you know is right for it, it just begins to be a waste of time.

    • Can I just say I love when you call me Becs? I love when you call me Becs. Okay, now I feel better.

      Em, you make a great point. It’s cool to see the transitions everyone goes through, and It’s even cooler that so many of us “get it.” Blogging can be a whirlwind, so knowing when to get back to the basics is crucial. Thanks for chiming in ma’am. Blog on.

  26. thegeekyg4mer

    Well said! P.s Becca Tube is funny as feck!

  27. anitadesignstudio

    Why have I waited until now to read your shit?! Clearly, when I say ‘shit’ I’m not referring to the nicely wrapped parcels that Jack bequeaths. More like ‘apt musings’. Nicely written post and if I was in this game to try and win a popularity contest I’d stink big time; again, a bit like those nicely wrapped parcels (hello to all of my 96 followers; I love you so *waves*); I do it for the enjoyment and usually when I’m feeling particularly creative and feel that I haven’t caused quite enough pain and misery with my design related mutterings! Ask Adam, he’ll know what I’m talking about!

    • Hey! I know you! You’re that chick who can’t work Skype! ;)

      Just joking with you. I was really excited to see your comment! Jack’s such a pooper scooper and he has more followers than me now. That should go to show you that follows aren’t everything. Right?

  28. Thank you. I love this. It should be how we all do this blogging thing. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the game, but it should be all about the writing, not that posting my favourite animated gifs and youtube clips of drag queens really qualifies as ‘writing’ per se, but you know, I dig the theory.

    • Ha! You’ve got the idea ma’am. It should be about the writing…. or the vlogging, or the illustrating, the comics, the podcasts. Whatever you do. Your work should be the focus. Everything else, the comments, other people’s work, likes, etc. should all just be the cherry on top.

  29. I don’t know what everyone else is talking about. I do it for the likes and nothing else. And that is why I am so bitter.

  30. Reblogged this on Chowderhead and commented:
    Spot on.

  31. Another really great post Becca :) It is something to always think about, how we can difference ourselves from other bloggers and yet still write about our passions in a unique way that allows other bloggers to have a good read.

    I have two blogs up, one as a course portfolio for my university degree and another for all my ramblings and so forth. I guess it is useful to have a platform to do so, to get all those little things out of your system.

    Yet to get them heard I guess one would have to take a different approach in terms of others. But on an internet where topics are repeated constantly it is hard to get noticed. I have come across so many blogs that have great content and yet don’t get the readership they deserve(though that is my opinion of course).

    But this was a really great post to read after a hard few days of work, earning cash for my upcoming year at uni and reading this takes the fatigue away :)

    • I give you props on the two blogs. That takes some patience I would imagine, but it is also a great way to have two different places to practice different voices with different material. I have always thought of starting another one (not including Blogger Interactive) but I think my eyes would fall out and into my Jim Beam. I don’t think that would be very good for my vision.

      The internet is the world’s stage. Anyone can get on, they just might only get a split second time slot. It’s up for grabs, hence the pressure.

      Thanks for the kind words. Good luck in school buddy!

  32. Becca,
    I’m constantly feeling inadequate in terms of my blog reading. It can be overwhelming and difficult to find a balance. I finally accepted the fact that I can’t read everyone I want to. There’s just not enough time in the day. I think we all do what we can. Meanwhile, I try to write what I need to! Hope you’re well!

    • Maybe we should include some meditation at the Blogger Interactive so we can all learn how to balance our chis. Is that right? I have no idea, but it sounded right. You’re a sweetheart Amy.

  33. Reblogged this on thesolesearch and commented:
    In a time of comparing ourselves to one another, doubting our self worth, our ‘worthiness’ to be doing something, (whether is be writing, running, cooking, teaching, making art…etc) this is some great insight on owning it. Remembering why you are doing it and to just keep doing it–cuz that’s what you do. Thanks Becca!

    • Thank YOU Sloan. I think this is why so many people abandon their blogs after a certain time frame … and that sucks. Because who knows how much those people could have improved on what they were trying to do if they had just stuck around and stopped caring about all the pressures. You know? You know :).

  34. Becca, this post was just what I needed to read today. Thank you. I had been getting concerned that my readership isn’t growing as fast as I would like, though I’d been trying to engage and participate around the ‘sphere, but this post reminded me that that shouldn’t be the point. The point of having a blog of our own is that it IS our own, and can be whatever we want it to be, and we shouldn’t obsess over likes and such, or we stand the risk of losing our voice and our enjoyment of blogging.

    • Glad to hear it Tammy. I think keeping your authentic voice is WAY more important than any like, follow, or Freshly Pressed title. You’ve got the right mindset!

  35. Loved this! I’ve received some pretty mean emails from budding blogging friendships when I didn’t support their cause… or when I rejected a guest post idea… or when I didn’t read their post first. I try to explain that my grabbing my attention is really a crapshoot, that I only support causes that I would have created myself in an alternate dimension, and that my blog is not my first priority of my day though I love it (a girl’s gotta eat, and do what she loves, and play with her cats, and play Batman poker with her husband, and knit…). Because I’m paranoid, I’ll often go a week without reading anyone else’s work, just to make sure my readership isn’t all response-based. “My blog, my rules” should be WordPress’ initial tagline for all of us– just as a reminder.

    Anyways, guess I was just saying that I “get” this and I think it was very artfully composed. *high five*

    • I didn’t mention the hurt feelings stuff, but I am glad you brought it up. People do get offended if you don’t want to use their contributions, but it’s not personal. It’s like asking me to throw out my homemade rice & gravy so someone else can make their favorite dish without me inviting them in. It’s a nice gesture, but not always what I want at the time.

      I think you are on to something with that new WordPress tagline…hmmm :). Double high-five!

  36. Thanks…I never really knew why people blogged! As I have told you already…we old people NEED lots of direction and clarification! We don’t LIKE you…we LOVE you, but until you get that option installed we will continue with LIKE! blog on…

    • Thanks Aunt Bambi! You may not know everything, but you are working Facebook very nicely and that’s more than I can say for my parents!

      Love you too :).

  37. Great post. Love it! Sometimes we do get caught up. :)

  38. I think this is the exact nail-on-the-head post I needed to read today. Thanks Becca!

    Now…more cat posts….Heaven knows they work for some people.

  39. As I told you before, this has been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve heard and read that many people are in a similar boat to you, getting to that crossroads where they’ve realized that they need to make a change in their approach to blogging.

    When I first started writing, I was overly concerned with page hits, comments, and how popular I was on a site. And while it did work in driving traffic and branding myself, it sucked all of the fun out of the whole thing. When I started Sips of Jen and Tonic, I decided I would not do that, and I haven’t. I have WAY less followers than most people assume, and just barely broke 50,000 page views recently. I don’t care, I love my blog. I write for fun and hope others have fun with it. This has given me more than any large amount of page views ever did.

    Always have fun with the process. Don’t let this become a chore. Do what you love, and the rest will fall into place on its own.

    Oh, and regarding the blog being a ghost town when you vlog…that could be because you built up a blog audience here, and now just need to work on building up a vlog audience here.

  40. Out of the 300 or so that I follow, there’s only a few where I try and catch every post.
    But I do try and make it around to most of them.
    As for my blog, I rarely look at the stats. I just enjoy the interaction.

  41. Becca
    I think what you have said has struck a chord with a lot of people. I has gone through this phase twice now…and it’s finally become clear that there isn’t enough time to read all the blogs you follow, not even the ones you love. Like you, I will dedicate a certain amount of time to feading ‘blogs I follow’ and if I can’t get through them all, then that is how life is! Social Media (blogs included) have a way of sucking at your soul. Like a frog in boiling water, you suddenly realise that you are immersed in something you never intended.

    • I feel like what I expressed here today is something that most bloggers are thinking (or have thought at some point) but not saying. I’m glad I could lay it on the table and that people are relating. Social media is a tricky little devil, but I think I am finally getting to a comfortable balance with it all. Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

      Loved that frog simile!

  42. Now THIS is why I started following you in the first place. A young woman who has some smarts. You just be you Becca, that’s the point of your blog and that’s what drew all your followers in the first place. I enjoy your vlogs also, just don’t comment much. Well I don’t comment much anyway, but doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy your blog.

    • Thanks Jackie! Conforming to the crowd was never my style, so I don’t know why I let it happen. I am just glad that I had the ability to step back and see how juvenile it all was.

      Here’s to being ourselves!

  43. AMEN. I need to print this out and put it on my desk as a reminder that this is supposed to be a FUN chance to be creative, not an obligation that I’m stressed out about because i’m not sure if I’m doing it “right.”

    • Bingo! How lucky are we that we have a place like WordPress to begin with, you know? It’s silly to get caught up in all of the politics. Just create your own stuff to the best of your ability and you will be happy. Promise.

  44. I’ve been wanting to write about exactly this for the longest time, but you’ve touched on everything I wanted to say. I still struggle with this sometimes, but at the end of the day, I’m happy with my little blog. It’ll never be the most popular, and it doesn’t explode with comments from the moment I hit “publish,” but I like what happens there, and every time I get one person who relates to or enjoys something I wrote, it’s all worth it.

  45. I agree, sometimes like the pressure of it seems to be so great that it exhausts me. I wonder if people are “liking” my post because they actually read it and liked it, or if they’re just doing a drive-by “liking”. I have to take a step back from time to time and feel lucky that I have as many followers as I do, and I have many who comment and interact quite genuinely on a regular basis. I guess it’s another arena where it’s quality, not quantity. :) Great post!! And I’m not just blowing smoke up your ass! lol

  46. I totally agree with what you said. As your blog grows in popularity, you reach a point where you cannot possibly keep up with all the other blogs.

    Follow and put on your blogroll those people who have blogs you like to read. That’s the only criteria that matters – their output entertained, moved or impressed you in some way. There doesn’t need to be any reciprocation! Think how silly it would be to only read someone’s books if they read your books, to only watch other people’s videos if they watched your videos, to only listen to a band’s music if the members of that band listened to your music. How boring and shallow!

    So why only read someone’s blog and comment on it if they read and comment on yours? At the end of the day, there are over a million blogs on WordPress. Perspective!

  47. Great post. It’s nice to read something from someone and realize it happens to all of us. It also works as great affirmation that yes, you really should do what you want with the space. Now I will post nothing but pictures of my cat.

  48. I agree. I went through this, and then I realized, oh, right–I started this thing to write dumb things and sometimes share a story. It was an outlet that I enjoyed. So, I’ve been trying to get back to that.

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one! xoxo

  49. I am commenting on this only in hopes that you (and perhaps other readers of the blog) will visit my blog and do the same.

    That was the point of this post, right?

  50. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    WE “IS” BLOGGERS! HOLD THOSE HEADS HIGH!!!!!

  51. Great post. I can really relate. I was actually considering shutting down my own blog (just a momentary thing, but it was still a thought that I considered taking action on) because of the kind of things you so elegantly described. I felt I was losing my own voice, chasing the things that really didn’t matter – numbers, likes, etc. It was a wayward distraction that took away from my voice and my motives. It didn’t take long for me to realize my folly, put my ego aside and just write what I like to write…how it used to be when I first started blogging and I had zero followers…I just wrote for the sake of writing. The joy…and it’s been fun to find that again.

    It’s absolutely your blog, your rules.

    Great stuff!

    Cheers,
    Paul

    • Paul, it sounds to me that this is something most bloggers go through. Like maturing from child to adult, we mature in our blogging goals. At first, the bells and whistles are all so exciting, and you feel empowered, but after a while it’s not fun. I was creating a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself.

      Hopefully this post will find its way into the hands of someone going through something similar!

  52. You expressed something that I started thinking about. I’m a relatively new blogger and I of course started out stalking the Stats page etc. to see how many Likes I get. Thanks for the encouraging words. I’ll redouble my efforts to make my blog about my love of writing and not my desire for Likes.

  53. Great post, Becca. I can absolutely relate with it. You gave me a lot to think on. Thank you.

  54. I agree,,,I’ve just started blogging again,,,,I think sometimes we just need a “break” and some time to regroup and to remember just why we started our blogs in the first place.
    Glad your back.

  55. Nicely stated and something every blogger can relate to on some level. Thanks for the reminder!

  56. This is very true – I found that I began to follow the crowd as well and then the originality responsible for making me an interesting new person dissolved into the artificial bounds of unspoken rules.

    Be a rebel. If you follow the crowd, you’ll only get as far as the crowd; choose your own path, and you’ll find yourself places no one has ever been.

    And the most important word of advice; if you aren’t pissing anyone off, then you’re not trying hard enough.

    This is a great post and I’m looking forward to you applying this!

    Thanks Becca

  57. Becca,
    Great post. Your blog is your space, and the place where you can write what you want, and readers will come and go. This is a reality for all of us. As for a clique, it seems that a readership begin as a click, but with time, gets bigger and become a community, like many writers: some like Kundera, some like that Twilight dudette. What matters is that you continue to do and write what you like, the way you want it to, even if it please or displeases some. Your blog is your voice.
    Le Clown

    • Thank you Eric. Sometimes I feel like I am singing in the middle of a moment of silence, especially when I bring the vlog here, but it’s what I enjoy so fuck it. The end.

      • Becca,
        Have fun. You have fun with your blog, find it back, and the path is by choosing to do what you want, no matter what others might say. Enjoy, La Becca. I’m happy to read this coming from you.
        Le Clown

  58. You and I have been having the similar thoughts – I feel the same….150 blogs to follow; can’t keep up…makes me not want to write my own but then if I do – will ti be read if I am not reading… too many questions and stresses for something that is supposed to be fun and a world that I am creating. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the lure of the ‘cool kids’ – I shall read you no matter what ~

    Another thought that you hit on is – am I just writing for the same people? Is it better to be ‘liked’ or to reach new readers? Is either of them actually inconsequential too? AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH -

    • It’s maddening if you let it consume you, right? I have found it works best for me if I designate at least one day a week and dedicate it to “getting inspired” by reading other stuff. I do it for an hour or so and then cut myself off and start working on my own projects. It’s only healthy to balance these things! Don’t worry Denise :)

      • Yes- it can consume one. I just have started reading when I can, and once the day is done, if I missed a blog, I have to live with that. I don’t want to feel forced to have to read, it takes the fun out of it.

        hee hee – you have plan – I’m sort of slapdash – I don’t have a grand scheme or plan for my blog..

  59. Pearls of Blogging Wisdom.

    I have been blogging for almost three years. I have experienced much of what you have. There are gonna be some days that are diamonds, others will be stones.

    Some of what I thought were my best posts generated far fewer views than I thought they would. On the other hand, some of what I thought were not so good posts nearly broke my Reader Meter. Go figger.

    Anyway…staying true to yourself is the best advice you could have shared with us.

    Even if “yourself” is a Dumbass. Like me. :)

    • I think it comes across in your writing when you are being truly genuine, whether you are trying or not, and that in itself attracts readers!

      Being a dumbass every once in a while is alright by me. It’s fun, isn’t it?

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