I’m just going to get straight to the point.
I haven't been reading your blog.
Please don’t take it personally because when I say I’m not
reading your blog, I mean I’m not reading any blogs. Pretty much ever.
I know this makes me a shitty community member. I do feel
badly about that. Supporting the people in your own community is a no-brainer. I
know that if I participated more, my own blog would likely benefit – by
increased traffic if nothing else.
But here’s the truth. I didn’t start writing my blog for you
or with the hopes of being like you. And not because you aren’t fabulous and
worth emulating, it’s just that I really didn’t know who ‘you’ were. I began
writing a blog much the same way bands would put their music up on MySpace (is that still even a thing?).
Rather than wait for the powers-that-be (editors for writers, record labels for musos) to deem it worthy, I saw a blog as an opportunity to publish my own work, invite
friends and family to read it and with a little bit of spruiking via a Facebook
page, hopefully build a profile that way. And it worked.
I wrote for me and other mums. And the feedback was heartening. I figured I would use the blog to finesse my writing and then start the real work of submitting freelance pieces for payment.
And then something crazy happened. The blog grew. Just
humbly but enough to make me rethink the whole gig. Maybe I should learn more about this blogging caper?, I thought.
I began participating in a weekly writing prompt group. It
stretched me as a writer. It introduced me to some other wonderful writers. I
made some connections with women that remain today (although I am hopeless at
reading their blogs, too). I enjoyed the community although my participation
was still sporadic at best. I wondered then and I wonder now, where do people
with very small children find the time? Do bloggers sleep???
At that point, all my interaction had been with American (and
Canadian – hi Robin!) bloggers. I still remained largely unaware of the growing
community of Australian bloggers. Through Digital Parents and Twitter, I began
to learn the names of Aussie bloggers who were gaining popularity. I did some
link-ups, read some new blogs, left comments, discovered some lovely women who
could really write. It was obvious that there was a really supportive community
But the problem still remains…who has the time? As all
bloggers know, comments are like crack – we crave the validation, for someone to let us know we're not just screaming into the void. For this reason,
unless I had time to properly comment, I felt I couldn’t read. Reading posts on
the mobile seemed like a convenient thing to do at quiet moments during the day
but trying to type a comment on a smart phone is crazy-making so even when I was
reading, I wasn’t letting anyone know I had.
Blogging superstar, Mrs Woog, once DM’d me a lovely compliment on Twitter.
I nearly died. Acknowledgment is important. That she took the time to reach out
to me was meaningful and I like doing the same for other writers. I want to
contribute more. But I don’t want to leave a thousand comments on every blog in
town in the hopes of driving traffic back my way either – even though other
bloggers are the best kind of traffic because they give good comment. I hope my
readership has grown because of the quality of my writing and not because I am
a comment whore.
But here’s my other problem. When I start reading blogs, I
begin to wonder if it hasn’t all been said before. Many of us write about the
same things and I find I get confused about my own voice or lose faith in it. I
once read that when Daniel Johns was recording the Silverchair album, Diorama,
he stopped listening to all other music so that what he composed would not be directly influenced by whatever he was listening to. That really makes sense to
For example, if I read Eden, I find my words come out punchier. Reading Mrs Woog taps into my funny more. And if I read the
Bleubird Blog, I start dreaming in hipster. It’s inevitable.
And the other thing is that when bloggers get together, they
inevitably talk about blogging. The politics of blogging is mind-blowing and this I have learnt just by hanging around on the peripheral of conversations on Twitter. And it makes me anxious. I begin to worry about the politics, to second-guess what I've been doing when, without sounding like a douche canoe (stole
that one from The Bloggess), I kind of just want to write. I know by joining
Digital Parents and never really getting involved, I have missed out on excellent business advice and even more so, missed out on making some great friends. But whenever I
have delved in just a little, I feel like my initial aim just ends up getting
I just want to write.
So forgive me, it’s not you, it’s absolutely, unequivocally
I need to stay my own course.
In the meantime, I promise to read more, more often, and share fabulous posts as I find them. I really do support you, even if I have a funny way of showing it…
Still relatively new to the blogosphere, and much of what you write resonates with me. I, too, began blogging for a love of writing. A constant and readily portfolio of works. Reading the work of others isn’t – and shouldn’t be – a chore, it is something that I enjoy. If it ever became that way, I guess I’d stop too. And commenting? Sure, it’s lovely to receive the validation, but it’s very easy to see those that actually want to contribute something, and those that are hoping/expecting for a return visit.
Keep doing what works for you, Angie. I’m here reading because I love your work – your honesty – your hilarity, not so that you drive traffic my way. X
Thank you, gorgeous Bec. I so appreciate that you come here and read.
Sometimes all the blogging talk gets very noisy and confusing and I lose my way a bit. Best to keep my head down.
But reading IS a pleasure and I need to find some more time for it. xxx
I do know what you mean. I write my blog because I love to write. But I sometimes wonder what the point is if only other bloggers read my writing. whilst it is a lovely supportive community, is that who I am writing for? I don’t know! Is it all too ‘in-house’?
And then I get a bit disheartened by the brilliant bloggers out there (i.e. I am not worthy), and also the woeful writers who have a huge following (i.e. I am worthy but no-one cares). And then the blogs by the really groovy design type people (I am a jeans and tshirt girl with a half renovated house that still looks like Uni accommodation).
Where am I going with this? I do not know. But I know I like your writing style, and you are worthy.
You know im always going to be a big fan of your blog ♥
That whole comment-for-comment thing? I didn’t last long with that at all. I realised pretty early on that I suck at that, and it’s too time consuming. Yours is one of the few blogs I comment on, and it’s not because I expect comments in return – it’s because you’re a friend and I like to acknowledge what you’ve shared when I’ve read it.
Like Primrose Press, I was disillusioned for a while, and intimidated by the superstar blogs out there, but then I realised – who am I kidding? And who am I trying to be? All I truly want is to create an interesting documentation of living overseas, and if people happen to want to look in along the way, then that’s a sweet little bonus.
Meanwhile, love your words xx
You are not alone. I am a lazy commenter and follower actually. I feel bad about that at times. Although I follow your blog religiously. Read it every time. I’m a bit of a stalker… ok that sounded strange. But generally I prefer the sleep thing. The I need to dress my kids and feed them over commenting all the time and I reckon you’re on the right track with the reasoning behind your blog. You have a voice. It’s not Mrs Woog (she totes thanked me on Twitter the other day and actually used my name!!) or Eden, but Angie and I love Angie. Did that sound weird again? Do what you do. You’re good at it so play on!
I go through ups and downs of this – sometimes I want to read and soak it up, other times I hide away. Just go with it.