Recently, I've had some conflicting thoughts with my dear old blog. I sincerely hope the next few paragraphs don't offend you, but it's something that's been weighing on my mind.
I wrote my first blog post on June 12, 2007. At that time there were plenty of blogs but I didn't know many and I read very few. I didn't tell anyone about my blog at first, mostly because I looked at it as an online journal for Michael and myself. I eventually told my parents and then a few friends. Two years later, I quietly added it to my Facebook page.
In 3.5 years, I've written 305 posts. Some weeks I write four posts and some months I write four posts. There is no pattern, no rhyme or reason. I write when I want, about what I want, and it suits me just fine.
About two years ago I had acquaintances tell me they read my blog. I had mothers of my friends tell me they read my blog. And suddenly, I had followers that I'd never met. It was a bizarre feeling, but I would be lying if I said it didn't feel nice. No, it felt great. From the time I learned to read, I've loved to write. And to hear that others enjoyed my writing was thrilling.
With this news came big responsibility. In the beginning I would click "new post" and just write. I didn't edit myself, didn't worry about offending anyone, didn't think twice about whether or not the topic was interesting. But now? Now I had an audience to please.
I hated it. I put myself under this ridiculous amount of pressure, when what had brought them to my blog in the first place was my lack of editing. And so I shrugged and went back to what I knew best: writing as myself and for myself. If people liked it, well that was just icing on the cake.
My dad has told me numerous times to put ads on my blog and really promote it so I can retire in a glorious beach town and spend my days drinking fruity drinks with tiny umbrellas (ok, he never mentioned anything past "so I can retire"). But those of you that blog know that there are steps to becoming a big-time blogger. A few options are:
1. Comment the crap out of other blogs
2. Write reviews, how-to's, how-not-to's, etc.
I. Can't. Do it. I read a ton of blogs, but regardless of how popular you are, if I don't connect with you for some reason or another, I just click away. (As a sidenote--I'm a terrible commenter for blogs I love. I need to work on this.) The closest thing to a "how to" was my recent photography post and that was exhausting. And I'm not sure Michael would be cool with me buying things and saying, "I'm going to mail this to a complete stranger because they added me as a friend 15 different ways!"
This is where I tell you that this is a personal decision and I do not, nor will I ever, judge what you do. If I'm being completely honest, I would be over the moon if I had 10,000 followers and this blog was a source of income. But if that were ever to happen, it'd be because those 10,000 people connected with me through my life and my writing, which are both a (wait for it...) work in progress.
I am so grateful to those of you who do read my blog and stayed with me while other blogs blew up. If you're a follower, I know it's because you care about my family. Or maybe it's because you're too lazy to remove me from your Google reader, and that's fine too. One of my favorite things about the blogging world is the overwhelming support people give one another. It's quite humbling but also such an inspiration to me. I hope at least one of my posts has inspired you, even if (or especially if) it's buying a fat cat to spoil. Bonus points if s/he has extra phalanges.
I guess what I'm trying to say is if I lost all readers I'd continue to write, because at its core, this blog is for me.
But I sure would miss you.