blogging and writing and…

[Note: This is one of those posts I started writing at least ten times but trashed it every time. I don’t know why I kept trashing it… and I don’t know why I’m posting it now…]

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Maybe I am an idiot… but before I started blogging, I did not know it was considered social media. I’m serious. And if you’re laughing at me now, I can totally understand and accept that.

When I began, I didn’t even consider the ‘likes‘ and the ‘comments‘. I thought I’d just have ‘followers‘… and I thought I’d be lucky to ever have more than 20 or 25 of them reading what I posted. I didn’t even think about interactions. I never used to read blogs… unless I landed on one when I wanted that recipe for Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake I saw on Pinterest. (And even then, I’d just scroll down to the recipe… as previously noted.) I didn’t know just reading blogs was a thing. I confess… I came to WP to write not to read. I thought I was just going to post bits of fiction and bitch about life. I never knew I’d make friends. And I never knew anyone would really care about anything I wrote.

It wasn’t until I took a Blogging U class nearly two years ago that I became aware of what blogging really was. I thought I was taking a class to make my blog better. I had no idea about the social aspects. Yep… I’m an idiot.

As a self-professed facebook-hater (I really truly loathe it), I was taken aback by this knowledge. Over-dramatic as this will sound, I felt a little ill. What had I gotten myself into? Other than reading a bit on twitter, I am not a social media person. But then I was. Kind of. It makes me queasy. I could have bailed right then and there. And I considered it. To be honest, I still consider it occasionally.

I do enjoy writing my blog posts. Of course, I could just write them for myself offline. But knowing others will read my words drives me to write more and write better. [Have I gotten better? I don’t know…] And the feedback and support are priceless… as are the friendships. I’ve been entertained and I’ve enjoyed meeting like-minded people. I felt incredibly alone before I met you.

But truly, I thought the only change from pre-blog writing would be that instead of writing just for me, I’d share my words. I honestly thought that was the only difference — strangers could read what came out of my head. And maybe I’d feel better letting out some of the personal crap to someone other than myself… even if I had no idea who (if anyone) was reading. But then I got support… something sorely lacking in my offline life.

Yet sometimes I wonder… what’s the point of blogging? For me, I mean. I didn’t start because I wanted to be part of a social media platform (see above for my cluelessness). If I’m not using my blog as a platform to ‘sell‘ my writing  (or head in that direction) or to sell anything else or to make money in some other way, what’s the point? You all know my employment status. I could use the money… even just a little.

What’s happened, though, is that I spend more time writing for the blog than writing for any ‘real‘ goals. It’s all practice… it’s all writing… which is good no matter the reason behind it. But what about ‘real‘ goals? Mine are fuzzy at best. Because, you see, I have too much anxiety and not enough confidence or courage to pursue writing ‘for real‘ in any capacity… to pursue publishing (self or otherwise)… or even to pursue writing articles on the internet for a few dollars. I know it sounds pathetic – my lack of courage and confidence. But I know myself. I don’t think I can do it. I tell myself all the time that I can… that I can at least try. [Insert cliché here: If you don’t try, you’ve already failed.] But I just cannot physically get myself to take the steps. Something stops me. I don’t know what it is.

What the hell is wrong with me? [I know… many things.]

I know I’m never going to earn millions writing or blogging. [And from what I’ve seen and learned, people who do earn loads from blogging employ a lot of tactics that make my skin crawl. I just don’t think I have it in me.] And I’m not going to get miraculously discovered by an agent or a publisher by posting here. [I know… stop laughing…] So… some days I wonder why I’m here at all.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy it… and I’m not looking to stop or even take a break or anything like that. My friends are the best. But I think I need a goal… one that I don’t immediately give up on. Not sure if such a goal exists for me.

And I think I need to absolve myself from the guilt I feel when I can’t keep up with everyone else’s blogs… I never can. And I need to stop feeling terrible because I can’t follow back every single person who follows me (seriously… over 1500… how??). And I need to calm the fuck down and stop stressing myself out thinking that I must post daily or everyone will jump ship.

Out of sight, out of mind?
or…
Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

Which is it?

Anyway… don’t panic (or celebrate)… I’m not going anywhere. I don’t even know what brought on this post. I guess sometimes I just wonder why. [About tons of things… not just this.]

For some reason [see ‘Note’ at the beginning of this post], I go back and forth about publishing this post. Why? Who the hell knows?! Hopefully I won’t regret it. Again, why? No idea.

/end crazy rambling thoughts…

 

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©2017 what sandra thinks
All Calvin & Hobbes images ©Bill Watterson, obviously

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About what sandra thinks

Sandra began writing when she was a sixth grader. She is a teller of stories through poetry, fiction, and tales from her own life. And she thinks too much. Read, think, enjoy, laugh.
This entry was posted in blogging, personal, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to blogging and writing and…

  1. [ Smiles ] Now, it is good to know that you did not permanently trash this blog post.

    By the way blogging and anxiety do not go well together!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. magarisa says:

    I can relate to almost everything you’ve expressed in this post! I also loathe Facebook, and didn’t see the connection between blogging and social media until later.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. magarisa says:

    I can relate to almost everything you’ve expressed in this post! I also loathe Facebook, and didn’t see the connection between blogging and social media until later.

    Like

  4. I’ve asked myself the same thing. Why am I doing this? I’ve even made a post about it myself. I still don’t know. At least you had a singular topic to stick to. I started mine as a journal of sorts, but it’s morphed from more personal stuff to music stuff to travel stuff to now almost exclusively Photo stuff. But why? Why spend the time, for no money, fame, or extra opportunity? It defies reason, but, here I am, nearly 3 years later. I think if it weren’t for the interaction with the people I’ve met and grown to love, even though I’ve never met any of them, I’d be over it by now. It’s weird.

    As for feeling guilty about not following and reading and commenting on all those who follow you? Don’t. I have nearly 1000 followers (still no idea why), and I only hear from roughly 50 of those on a regular basis. The others not only don’t comment or like, but I rarely, if ever, even see 95% of those I follow ever post themselves. Whenever I get a new like or follower, I’ll check out their site. If it’s interesting, I’ll follow. If it’s generally about something I know I have no interest in, I don’t. Rude of me? Maybe. But it is what it is. And if someone specifically asks me to follow them when they comment? That’s a big fat “fuck no”.

    No guilt, man. This is a distraction, not a stressor. I’ve said all along, if it becomes a chore, I’m out. You do this for you, so as long as it feeds you in some way, keep doing it. Those of us who enjoy hanging with you want you to stick around and enjoy your company. No stress. No expectations. No out of sight, out of mind. You’re liked. Period.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t think I have a singular topic! I talk about writing, post fiction, then started posting poetry, once in a while, I post crappy art, I post about my personal struggles, and I bitch about whatever pisses me off, etc. I am all over the place! (That’s about right, considering my brain…)

      I don’t even know if 10% of those who follow me even read my blog. If you hear from about 50 on a regular basis, I think that’s good! As far as comments on my blog… I don’t know if more than 10 people regularly comment… I have never counted but it seems like it’s that low. Likes? I get a decent amount sometimes (decent to me anyway)… and I’m always surprised by which posts do well and which don’t.

      I do the same as you — I visit the blogs of new followers, likers, commenters… but I only follow if I’m interested. I just can’t do the courtesy follow for every person. And yes!! If someone comments and asks me to check out their blog or just comments with a link… yeah, fuck no.

      Sometimes, I just think I’m missing an opportunity… but I can’t get myself to DO anything about it. I’ve not even been here for 2 years and I have over 1550 followers… who the fuck knows why?? Not me! I know I should be pursuing something with my writing… even if it is just trying to get some crap published online… for a small bit of compensation… or even for nothing just to be able to say I’m ‘published’ in some way. But I have a motivation problem. And a huge confidence problem. (I wrote a post about that, too… still haven’t posted that one…)

      Here’s the most pathetic thing of all. Get ready. Sit down. Promise you won’t think horrible things of me. One of the ways being here ‘feeds me’, so to speak, is the attention. I know you know me… so you know that’s something I lack offline. Is that sad or what?

      Liked by 1 person

      • No, not sad at all. I’m glad to be a part of that “attention”. What’s sad is that you don’t get it in your “real” life. We all have different motivations for doing this, though I still have no idea why I’m doing it. There’s no shame in any of those reasons. Oh, and I didn’t mean to dis you in any way by saying you had a singular “theme”. I just meant that your primary focus seems to be writing. You’re right, though, in that you do post a variety of stuff. I really don’t anymore. But who knows where I’ll go next, or for how much longer I’ll do it at all. This is an odd dynamic, the blogosphere, that is. Still haven’t figured it out for myself, but somebody a lot smarter than me should write a thesis about it. 😃

        Liked by 1 person

  5. stephieann8 says:

    This has been me the past few months. I feel terrible when I can’t keep up and try my best to play the catch up game. I also put way to much pressure on myself to write that I was producing posts that I was not happy with. Your fear of writing for goal is my fear of teaching classes. I hate that I have to do it. My anxiety is ridiculous. I have a class tomorrow I am suppose to do :/

    Liked by 2 people

    • I admire anyone who is able to teach at all! I don’t think I could do it. But I bet you’ll be great. I think we can do more than we think we can. Putting that to the test is hard, though. I can certainly understand the anxiety. ♥

      Like

  6. Marquessa says:

    Sandra, please get out of my head. 😊 I drafted a similar post today about all this, my need for external validation, etc. I agree that’s its been a great place to make friends. And I’ve given up feeling guilty about not keeping up. There are only so many hours in a day! And don’t worry about out of sight out of mind. You’d still pop up in our Readers.😚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure how I keep ending up in your head. 🙂 Yes — the external validation… I’m glad I’m not the only one who has that need… or I’m glad you understand. I just wrote a whole post about confidence (and how I wish I had some)… it’s yet another that I pushed aside because I wasn’t sure about publishing it. Maybe I will…

      I know I need to stop worrying about keeping up. I have to prioritize… I have kids and I have obligations and just… life. And I want writing time… even though I can’t get myself to do anything with my work. I do need some sort of goal, I’m so jealous of people who are able to take the steps toward something. I may never understand why I can’t… It’s so frustrating! But you’ve been so supportive and I can’t explain how much I appreciate that. ♥

      Like

  7. I ask myself the same things. I may have to do a similar post as I feel many of the same things. As long as you want to write, I’ll be reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s amazing to me how many people feel some of the same things I wrote. I was so hesitant to post this (I still don’t know why…) but clearly, it’s something people relate to! And thank you for always being so supportive! ♥

      Like

  8. I always say to people – don’t worry about keeping up with other people’s blogs. Social media has encouraged this weird sense of binging – be it TV shows or people’s updates. And the way I see it, we’re either going to be able to keep up o not. My WordPress use is weird in the sense that for the first four years I was on it, I never interacted past my own blog, so now if I comment and read, it’s because I have time. If I disappear, it’s because I’m busy. I have found that it’s become a bit like looking on Facebook or Twitter, though…Anyway… Don’t pressure yourself is the short version of my waffle. 😝

    Facebook is the worst.

    I’m in the same boat with the writing! I think setting a goal is a good start. I’m attempting to write my first 100% original novella and I’ve challenged myself to finish the second chapter by the end of the month….😂😂 I’ll be done with it in ten years.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hahaha! 😀 I need some sort of goal. I think I should start by rewriting / reworking something I’ve already written. But I can’t seem to take myself seriously with it. I have, like, 8 to choose from. It should be ‘easy’ to get started… but I have very serious motivation and confidence issues. Anyone know the fix for that? Yeah… me neither!

      And yeah… I need to stop with the guilt and the pressure I put on myself. It’s super unhealthy!

      Like

  9. Halycon Prana says:

    You are a perfectionist, and you hold your self to high standards, this trait can be a blessing and a curse, sometimes simultaneously. But have no fear, you are still writing, you are till here. Personally I think your work has matured, though I have never felt it to be amateurish in the first place. I pray you continue to write, and strive for that excellence that has attracted so many people to your world.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you… you always say wonderful things to me. So sweet. I think it’s true… I’m a perfectionist and I tend to be too hard on myself if I don’t meet my own expectations. But I won’t stop writing…

      Like

  10. I really don’t consider WP to be social media, and I’m sure that not many Facebook users would think so either. Generally speaking no-one calls you a ****, or says that you need your ####### head looking at! If we encounter such a person then we simply don’t follow them

    We are a very supportive lot, and encourage each other. Some blogs are brilliant, like yours and mine! Others are less so, but there will always be someone willing to give advice, give honest feedback, and give genuine praise when things get better.

    Yes, there are friends made, a little bit of flirting on occasion, the odd slightly ribald exchange, some actual meetings, although I haven’t yet heard of any long term loving relationships having developed.

    Professional bloggers aside, where money is a factor, I think we all really blog for ourselves. Yes, it is lovely to get a lot of likes, and oodles of comments, and it can be disillusioning to spend ages writing something and then having no-one read it, but what the hell, we carry on regardless.

    I don’t beat myself up if I haven’t posted anything for a while. I do try to enter a couple of challenges each week and I try to read a sample of as many blogs as I can and comment if I have time. Some blogs I read every single post because they are really worthwhile, and I have a regular list that I go back to all the time.

    This comment is getting to the stage of being a post in itself so I will cease.

    I think I blog primarily for ME. If anyone wants to tag along then that is a bonus.

    And, by the way, if this were social media I would comment something inane such as I am literally LMAO.

    Oh dear, what’s that on the floor?

    Liked by 2 people

    • 😀 WP is certainly very different from facebook. I don’t think I could be here if it weren’t! I never thought of WP as social media until I heard that from others. Maybe I should choose to disagree!

      I am amazed by the support I’ve gotten here. Maybe people are just being nice… but I like to think they really mean it! Some days when the likes and comments are few, I admit to being discouraged, but you’re right… I go on anyway.

      It’s good for me to have friends here, I think, because I have such a hard time making friends offline. That’s kind of sad, isn’t it? Maybe that makes me appreciate those here that much more. And a little flirting always makes a girl feel good. This girl, anyway.

      I need to learn to lose the guilt when I can’t read everything… and when I can’t write as much. I always put too much pressure on myself. It’s not the healthiest way to live.

      I don’t mind lengthy comments… I love them!

      Now clean up the floor!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I know exactly what you mean with this: “But I just cannot physically get myself to take the steps. Something stops me. I don’t know what it is.” 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  12. erkendrich says:

    I have just started out on this blogging journey and your words really echo how I am feeling. So far I’ve written two blogs and I’ve managed to gather a handful of followers – beyond any expectations I had. I really didn’t know what this blogging thing was about, and I’ve gone into it blind and terrified, but the social aspect, sharing your writing with like-minded people, is exciting and inspirational.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Being heard is the key for me, and bloggers are a pretty nice bunch on the whole 😊 I currently have no idea what I’m doing, so posts like this help. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Megan Horton says:

    I really enjoyed reading your blogging story. It was an encouragement to new bloggers like me. 🙂
    -Megan

    Liked by 1 person

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