It's been a while since out last coffee date. Sure, you don't have to have coffee, pull up a chair, and a glass of wine, vodka, or water, and have a seat with me. I need to talk. I need to get this out before I explode. So I'm sorry if I totally take over this convo, but please hear me out.
For the last few weeks I had some serious writers block. Not just writers block, but all around blog block. I think I've been pushing myself too much. I feel like every posts has to be better than the last. Then the pressure builds and I can't bring myself to write anything. I can write something, but it's so forced. So I have been giving myself a break. I've participated in more linkups, so I have an idea on where to go with my writing. It helped a lot, since I got the inspiration to write about my favorite pins, or answer the questions in front of me. But it wasn't a cure. I'm still having a block.
I'm struggling with the numbers game again. I've been blogging for a year and a half. In the beginning I didn't have any aspirations to be followed. I wanted to be read. I wanted readers, and feedback. I wasn't concerned with the numbers in my sidebar. I was more concerned with what people thought of the the pieces I would write.
|Pinterest via Ida Curiel from here|
But here I am. I hate the numbers game, the game of comparison. I know I say that that's not what it's about, but isn't it gratifying to hit those big "follower" numbers? Doesn't it feel good to think that people are reading your blog? I'm sure it does. Try as I may, I still get blinded by the number that shows up in my side bar. It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth to admit that.
I've been struggling with keeping up with the Jones-es. To participate in every giveaway. To buy enough ad space, so those who buy ad space from me feel like they are getting their money's worth. The sad truth is, I'm out of money. The dirty little secret of blogging is that it takes money to maintain your following. Whether it's ad space, giveaways, or product reviews. I knew this all along, but I never thought I'd feel so much pressure to push myself to the limit. Do you ever spy someones giveaway and think, "I should have participated in that one?". Yeah, all the time.
So I was just stewing about all of this. Staying away from the PC to write about what was heavy on my heart. To make sure I didn't come off as a snotty brat. I tried to stay away. I tried to write this post 2 or 3 times, but it just wouldn't come together.
Then something both welcomed and heartbreaking happened. Me and the hubbs got into it about blogging. And about being glued to my iPhone as life is happening around me. The conversation came down to, "Why are you on that (blanking) phone, all the (blanking) time?". And I had to honestly tell him it was because I was trying to keep my name, "Absolute Mommy", current. For every tweet, Instagram, or Pin, someone, anyone, could be motivated to read my little bloggy that could. And that could turn into a follower, and did he have any idea how it feels to know that you had less than 50 page views on a day that you only checked, and retweeted your link once?
And then he looked at me like I had damn lost my mind. And I swear if I had a mirror I would have done the same. Who talks like that? Bloggers. No one but another blogger would have given me a hug or patted me on the back at this emotional tirade I was about to embarked on.
Tearfully, I admitted to my hubby that I thought that some of what he said was right. I was getting too involved. That I was trying to overwork the blog to hit the gold standard. The gold standard being over 1000 followers by my 2 year anniversary, the gold standard being hitting 2000 followers the year after that. Because isn't that the goal. Isn't the goal to be that blogger who has been legitimized as a "big" or "popular" blogger by the number of followers in her sidebar?
Funny, that was never my goal, but it's exactly where I found myself.
And I hated myself for that.
But then the hubbs asked me the million dollar question.
Would you rather have 1000 followers or be published?
Because I'd rather be published.
So that was the smack in the face that I needed to confirm that I don't need to keep up with the "Big Bloggers". Sure I'd love to buy their ad space, and have them as a guest on my blog. But what if I just focused on getting 1000 people to follow me, and forgot about the writing? People would stop following. They would know that I was all about the popularity and less about my work.
The husband also reminded me that I don't need the blessing of someone who has 1000, 3000, or 10,000 followers. I only need my own. To really feel like I can stand by what I write. What I publish on this blog, and hopefully what I will one day submit to a publisher or editor if the time ever comes. Isn't he right? Why should we need to be at the "cool bloggers" table at lunch? Aren't we all the "cool bloggers"?
So over the last couple of weeks I have been struggling on how to write about this. Turns out I'm not the only one. There have been more than one blogger who has decided to go back to their roots. To got back to writing about the original ideas that started their blogs in the first place. To care less about growing in popularity and more about content that is close to their heart. I can appreciate that. I can appreciate the idea that they content should be what drives your page views, not how many gift cards your are giving away. I 100% get it.
So I've decided to stick to my roots. To continue to write, to do what I do, and have been doing. I've realized that those folks in my side bar (at about 500), are there for my writing. They come here, perhaps daily, just to see what I have written. I'm sure they are welcoming to the occasional guest or giveaway. I'm also pretty sure that they would stop dropping in if I stopped writing what was in my heart.
I hope this hasn't turned into a pity party. I never wanted this blog to feel like work, and over the last month, it has felt like work. I love this space. I love coming here every day to put "pen to paper". I want to write to my little hearts content, and feel like I'm doing a giveaway because I want to, not because I think it will afford me more followers. I want to do my sponsors proud with my content, so that they feel like they have invested in a friendship, not a partnership. I want to move past this blog block and get back to the business of blogging.
But enough about me...
How do you like your coffee? Tea? or Vodka?