Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Things I've Learned About Myself Since Starting a Blog or This Post Sounded Better in My Head

I've been nominated for an award! (Thanks Laura!)

And while I really appreciate the gesture, I have mixed feelings about this.

I'm fairly new at this whole blogging thing, so I'm unsure what the proper etiquette for these awards is. Is it acceptable to NOT accept an award? Or is that rude? Let me explain my reasoning behind this one, and it mainly lies in the requirements for accepting, specifically #3: Nominate 15 newly discovered blogs.

First of all, I'm not sure that I actually even follow 15 other blogs, let alone newly discovered ones. A stipulation to nominating other blogs is that you have to let that person know that they were nominated. Here's my issue. I have a total of 4 followers, two of which are family members, one being the person who already nominated me, and the fourth being a totally random stranger. So any of the blogs that I would be nominating would not know that I had actually nominated them unless I went over to their blogs and left them a comment telling them so. And call me crazy, but to me, that just seems like I'm setting myself up for disappointment. I can just imagine what they would be thinking after reading my comment:

Oh. Someone nominated me for an award. Cool. But who is this Krista chick? Oh. She's another "Mommy Blogger". And not a very funny one at that. In fact, her blog is kind of lame. And sporadic. I don't think that I'll be following this blog any time soon. Look, she only has 4 followers. See? She is kind of lame. But wait, who is this One Blonde Girl chick? She looks pretty interesting. Oh, she IS. Now THIS is a funny and entertaining blog. I'll definitely be following HER.....

And then of course all of their gazillion followers are going to click on my name and check out my blog for curiosity's sake and discover the same thing for themselves. And I will still only have 4 followers.

When I started this blog a few months ago, I was inspired by the success of other blogs that I had been following (like, this one, and this one, and this one). I thought to myself, Hey, I can totally do this! This looks easy! I can write. I'm funny. I'm just as witty as these other people are. Yeah, well, it turns out that I'm not. And it's NOT as easy as it looks. This shit is hard! Here's what I've learned since starting this blog:

1. I'm not as funny in real life as I am in my head. I have so many funny/witty stories and ideas and one-liners floating around in my head, but they never seem to find their way into my actual posts. Or maybe I just THINK that they're funny and entertaining, but then when I actually see it in print, yeah, not so much.

2. I have permanent writer's block. I have pages upon pages upon pages of posts "written up" in my head, but I just can't seem to get them to come out. As soon as I sit down to type up a post, my mind goes blank and it takes me hours for just one 5-paragraph post! Or I'll start writing what is supposed to be about one thing, but have it turn into something completely different by the end. Or I have so many incomplete thoughts and ideas that my initial purpose for the post never comes to fruition!

3. Followers are hard to come by. They don't just appear overnight. Apparently you have to work for them; you have to EARN followers. I have yet to figure out how to do that other than to comment on other people's blogs and hope that they are curious enough to check out mine and enjoy it enough to follow it. So far, no such luck.

4. This takes time that I just don't have. I think to have a truly successful blog, you have to have a lot of time and motivation to keep it up. I don't have either. I don't really get a chance to get on the computer to type up a post until at least 10 o'clock at night, and who wants to be sitting in front of a computer typing up a blog that late? Not me! I've got other things that I need to be doing first; (Hello! my frontier* isn't going to clear itself, folks!) And I'm usually too tired to think that late at night. And then there's the photos. You have to remember to take them, then upload them to the computer, then edit them, and finally add them to the posts. By the time I even get around to starting a post, it's already 11 o'clock!

5. It's not as fun as I thought it would be. In fact, it feels a lot like work. When I started this blog, in my mind I had the unrealistic image that I would be trading stories with other mommies, swapping tips and recipes, encouraging people to try things that I've recommended etc. But this is a lot less fun than I thought it would be. I am practically forcing myself to sit down and write anything just to have something to post. And where's the fun in that?

I'm not really sure how much longer I'm going to be able to keep up this blog. Lack of interest and feedback (followers) is very uninspiring. Kudos to those of you who are a lot more successful at this!

*For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, it's a reference to the game FrontierVille on Facebook. Yeah, I know, I'm pathetic. :-)


  1. Exactly.

    It's a lot of work. I mean, a lot of work. Would I blog so much if I had a job or kids? Most likely not. And in regards to the followers, it takes a lot of time and effort to get followers. And then something magical happens and they start coming out of the woodwork. If you want some tips, let me know and I can email you some. If you're dedicated, it can happen, but seeing as you have three little ones under the age of 5 running around at home, dedication isn't so much the issue as time is. (Have you tried joining any Mommy Blogger sites?)

    Oh, and my best stuff never makes it to the blog either but gets washed down the shower drain with my shampoo.

  2. (Oh, and thanks for calling me interesting and clever. I very rarely think I am. And for the record, I love the pics and stories you tell, but I might be biased).

  3. Ugh it is a lot of work! I also think I am much funnier in my own head, I often crack myself up. My hubs looks at me and says, "you think your really funny don't you!?" Then laughs at me instead of with me lol. I wasn't sure how I felt about the award either, but I like your blog. Don't stop, I'm really doing it for the kids. Hopefully if I keep it up, even a post here and there I want to make a book for them. Oh and it was crazzy I got so many followers overnight just by joining those mommy blogger sites like OBG said. Bloggymoms.com,

  4. @OBG: I think that part of my problem is that I am trying to "plan" things out too much. I should just write "in the moment" and not try to have everything so structured and planned. Right? And I'm not sure that the word "clever" came up at all, but if you want to believe I said it, then go right ahead. :-)

    @Laura: Thanks Laura! Glad to hear I'm not the only one who is funnier in her head. I suppose that I will have to check out the mommy blogger sites now. (I was putting it off).

  5. Whoops. I meant witty. And I have discovered that planning doesn't work. Although I do take notes from time to time that I use later.

  6. Total random stanger here, it's hard I agree. I enjoy your writing, so keep it up if you can. I had to give my self the permission to not post. I felt the pressure to constantly keep it up. Some days are inspired, others suck a lot. I do it for me and me only, so it helps me to feel less pressure.

  7. @cbs: Thank you for joining me, total random stranger. :-)It's reassuring to know that I'm not the only one who struggles with the blogging thing. Some people make it LOOK so easy!

  8. I've found that in order to build up followers, and to stay motivated myself, to set a goal of at least one entry a day. I try to diversify with silly / easy content, like reviewing cheesy game shows and 1990s pop culture, but it is tough work. It probably doesn't help that my day job is as a reporter, so I'm already writing for money on a daily basis.

  9. @Steve: Thanks for the advice! I had initially set that goal for myself, but then quickly realized that with three little ones to chase around all day, and by the time I actually get to the computer at night, it was a pretty unrealistic goal for myself. But I'm a HUGE fan of scheduling posts! So that makes it a little easier to pretend that I'm "writing" one a day. :-)


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