Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pulling back from the edge

I felt it happening again. For some inexplicable reason I started feeling down and depressed about my blog. It started because I was feeling a bit lonely. I found myself checking my comments here to see if anyone had stopped by. It was a quiet weekend and no one commented. So the little negative voice in my head started in, "Why write? No one cares. You're wasting your time. Embarrassing yourself by sharing your private thoughts when no one even wants to hear them....." and on and on the voice went.  I started thinking maybe I shouldn't bother blogging. After all I have tons of things in my real life I could spend the time on and lots of times I don't really have the energy to post anything insightful or meaningful (which is probably why I have so few visitors or commentors). The evil little voice in my head had done a good job of planting seeds of doubt.

This isn't my first blog, or even my fifth. I've been a blogger since 2001. The blogosphere is littered with my dead blogs at nearly every blogging platform out there. I could probably give a very good ecourse in how to set up blogs because I've done it for so long at so many different places. I wanted to build my own little circle of blogging friends and when my blog attracted only 3 or 4 steady commentors I would get discouraged and give up. It's a sad pattern. As a stay at home mom who lives FAR from family & friends and is generally a reserved and non social person in my real life, I need blogging as an outlet to connect with the world. Plus I've always been compelled to keep a journal and doing so online is so much easier. So not blogging is not really an option. And yet because of my evil inner critic I find myself yet again considering running away. But this time I'm trying to work through it, first by admitting my fears and blogging loneliness here and second by signing up for Blogging your Way. I'm hoping that taking a class specifically to improve my blogging will help me to figure out why I can't seem to build a community for myself. Focusing on improving my blog is a much more productive action than running away, feeling sorry for myself and then starting over at yet another blog. So that's what I'm going to do.

Besides wallowing in self doubt and loneliness this weekend I did decide to start making a few preliminary changes to my blog's appearance. I dumped my old header and background and put two new ones up. They are probably temporary, particularly the header. I put it together in about a minute and a half and it's pretty bland. Still, it's an improvement because it's more me. I love rich shades of blue, particularly periwinkle and I want to incorporate more of what I love into my blog.

8 comments:

  1. hi! well, i am so glad you're not giving up on the blog! i love stopping in to read what you've got to say!!

    i was thinking about signing up for that class too, just not sure it's in the budget. hm.....

    your changes to your blog look great! :)

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  2. Mee, please don't give up. I like your blog and in reading your posts I often find thoughts that are very familiar to me and that I can understand very well. Don't let that critic win the upper hand!!! There will always be moments when you feel lonely and depressed and think that all that you're doing is not worth it, and this especially tends to happen on weekends. Unfortunately our inner critic is always wide awake and nourishes our fears. Give that guy a name and tell him to stop and go the heck out of here!
    I had thought about joining the ecourse as well, but she also says that you should have your blog at least three months, well, my blog is not even two months old... Next time then, hopefully.
    I like the changes to your blog, and once again, please don't give up!

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  3. P.S. wish I could take that course too...but just no time right now!

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  4. Dear Meegan-I had been sensing that you have been a bit down lately- I am glad that I stopped in. I think that we put so much pressure on ourselves...I am so glad for all the choices and opportunities that we have to us (as women, mothers, creators, artists...) but...sometimes it just gets overwhelming...with all of our self-imposed pressures. I think you are doing the right thing by reaching out and expressing yourself. I also think that this course Blogging your way is going to be AWESOME!! Just keep on reaching deep within yourSELF while also reaching for the things you want to create in your life. And I think that all these "negative" voices are quelled by addressing them...like Kelly said in our class. You are amazing and unique and have only the gifts granted to MEEGAN...accept them, nourish them and don't compare yourself to others. I was totally doing that a few days ago...why did I let so much time go by etc. But then a fave piece of pottery broke and as I picked up the shards, I knew the Universe was sending me a message to love all of my pieces. BTW...for me blogging has been tremendous! I have "met" so many kindred souls here...and I feel that people who visit my blog know me so much better than people I have "known" all my life. It is more real than some of the conversations I have had with "real" people (if that makes sense) ...Hang in there:) P.S. Love the blue peacock feathers BTW...

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  5. I've been blogging for almost 3 years now and have struggled with this very question many times. I've finally decided this... while comments and hits and all that are wonderful, they're not the main reason I blog.

    I blog for me. Pure and simple. To get my words and creativity out into the world, to document my life, to express myself - and comments/hits/etc. are just icing on the cake. I read and reciprocate every comment I receive - but I don't write in the hope of receiving them. My philosophy is, if I share the truth of myself, it will allow me to connect with other people who have similar truths - that has definitely happened and I hope it continues. Those people will sometimes comment and I love that, but when they don't, I'm choosing to trust that they've taken in my words and images and have chosen to ponder them quietly. And I'm letting that be okay for me.

    To be truthful, I've steered away from the "how to blog better" courses because they all seem focused on building a following. I want that too on a certain level, but I don't want it to be the main reason I blog.

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  6. Oh wow, that meanie gremlin paid you a visit too! So glad you are shoving him out the door! I am waving my broom at him and shooing him away from you and me!

    I totally understand everything you say here - the desire for community and conversation, the questioning and doubts, putting yourself out there and hearing only the crickets chirp (when your bravery deserves applause) and then this past weekend I noticed - ugh! i can't believe i noticed or cared! - a follower had unsubscribed and it really rattled me.

    I agree, I blog for me. I blog to make myself accountable to my dreams. But of course I want to share and have comments/insights/advice/support and so I blog to be heard, to be witnessed. It is a tricky thing because I know I have to stay true to who I am and if I think too much about the people on the other side of this screen, then I can too easily lose sight of being me. I hope the course helps you strike a happy balance. I think we all go through phases of "why do I bother?" and the only answer is: we bother because we do matter! It is important. I have learned so many people do read and will never comment. I had a student write me after her first semester of grad school and how hard it was and how down she was and that she would read my blog for inspiration and encouragement. It blew me away - I never expected her to be reading about my life as a mother and fledging artist! I imagine the same is true for you: you write about your vulnerabilities and you show us your bravery and I think the audience who reads that is silently gathering support and encouragement but commenting may be another big step for them.

    I know I am so grateful you are here. I love seeing your journey and I don't want to miss the blossoming that is occurring! I also think as a mother of a small child, that can be one of the most isolating periods of your life. At least, it was for me. I was not a mommy group/play date kind of person and was with my daughter a lot and it was wonderful, but it was also like going into the desert for a spell.

    I am babbling here ... just know I love you and cannot imagine blogging without you. I love the changes you are making and I love seeing more of your photography. I do think blogging is a bit like spiritual practice - if you keep jumping around, you never go in really deep. You have to stick to one hole and dig dig dig. Give yourself and your audience a chance to settle in. It's like teaching classes: i went months with just one or two students but I was always there and eventually, that consistency paid off.

    Big hugs to you and your sweet girl. Cowgirl and I have some ideas for her painting and I think it will be perfect! So excited to begin! Also, the sewing course is $60 I believe ... but I bet you can join it anytime later on (email them and ask) as the lessons will be up for one year. There are chats scheduled, but I am not doing them. I just wanted all the tutorials and projects. And hopefully I will be an expert soon and can help you - HA!

    xo Lis

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  7. The new changes look wonderful; well done! As to living far from family and friends, truly, I know exactly how you feel. I live five hours from family and, at least that long, from friends. I have a lot of acquaintances here and one woman I call a friend; she's there when she can be but she and her husband adopted his three grandchildren so we get together, maybe, three or four times a year. Makes for a very lonely existence, I can tell you that.
    So, I cultivate myself -smile-. I do a lot of charity work - knitting, quilting and art work, writing, photography and keep myself busy.
    As to embarrassing ourselves with our blogs? Oh yeah. If we're being at all honest, we're telling the good AND the bad. I strive to dwell on the good but allow the bad to creep in when I'm overwhelmed.
    Get lots of rest. "Fatigue makes cowards of us all" is so true. Find a group of women who meet regularly - church, Bible study, quilting, knitting, crocheting, etc. If you can't find one, start one. Believe me, there are many, many women who are in exactly those same shoes...just waiting for someone to ask. Shyness is no excuse, suck it up and do it.
    Visit other blogs and make comments, lots and lots of comments. Those folks who are like-minded will return the favor and you'll find yourself in a net-community that will rally round when you need them AND likewise.
    Do some tutorials on your blog; have some giveaways. If you don't have anything like yarn...for example...to give away then giveaway your Most Excellent Skills at blog design!
    Put up a follower button; when someone follows you, follow them and get exposure thataway.
    Whew! I'm outta ideas for the moment. That makes you glad, I bet...smile.

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  8. A+ would read again

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