I began this little site of mine almost three months ago. I had no idea what I was getting myself into...
My initial thoughts began with - oh, what a fun idea! I'll write some cute, and sometimes witty, stories about my kids and myself. Hopefully I'll meet some new people who share similar thoughts. Maybe people will comment on my experiences. Maybe people will enjoy what I have to say!
So I started my site. I designed it to my liking and passed it on to some family and friends. I wrote some tales...a couple of them even had some funnies and provided a few glowing reviews. My site traffic even started to grow (a little) too...as did my greed. My normally low-self esteem was feeling momentarily boosted. Maybe I do have a hint of skill at something...and the blogging success obsession begins to surface.
I'd done enough Googling to realize that the mom blogs out there were many (many, many!), and the competition was fierce. I just didn't realize how fierce. The style of so many of the blogs, to me at least, seemed very similar. I became confused after spending several hours searching blogs trying to figure out why Sally so-and-so over here said basically the same thing as Susie so-and-so over there...Yet Sally gets 50 comments about her kid who looks like a monkey versus Susie's post gets zero comments for her kid that looks like a fish. What was the catch?
Post after post, my frustrations and impatience also began to build about my own site. I felt I was writing some interesting things, or at least subjects people could relate to. How come nobody was saying, "oh, I know what you mean..." While I was doing the blog for me, I wanted people to relate. Otherwise it felt like maybe my thoughts were silly and perhaps made no sense. It was hard to keep the optimism going. Blog life was becoming an emotional roller coaster. My blog also had become like a drug - getting a comment was the biggest high. One single comment shot me into mental stardom. Sundays were the worst low. Nobody visits, not a peep, crickets chirping.
Just like an addict trying to get my next high, I began down another path...
There are certain bloggers out there who are very popular...and these bloggers have a following - a large, bowing down to them, following. Many other blogs out there have a similar style to me - fun stories, cute pictures, similar discussion. Many of these popular bloggers out there have made a name for themselves by being very controversial, using lots of cuss words, dogging other bloggers and ultimately being just plain negative.
Well, I read these well-trafficked sites, and I admit it, I grew glossy eyed at the number of comments they received and wondered - how can I get into that club?! One thing I did not expect, I guess naively so, was how cliquey the blog world is. I suppose you get enough people together trying to achieve a similar goal and clubs begin to form. And for awhile, I fell victim to a club where I didn't belong.
Desperate to get quick responses to my stories, I spent some time visiting these other sites, leaving comments in a way I don't speak, trying to reach out and trying to fit in... but I just didn't. Not only was their style not like me - nor was their attitude. But the fact that I couldn't fit in with this group caused me to have even more self doubt... maybe my blog just doesn't have what it takes.... But then I had an epiphany......
Last weekend was a big blogging conference out in San Francisco. Leading up to it, and all this week, there has been all kinds of chatter about the events that took place. As I'm so new to this little crazy world, I didn't sign up to go... maybe next year.
Upon reading all of the reports from the conference - some people had fun, some people really didn't, some people were positive, some people very negative, some people can't wait until next year, some will never go again, and on - one thing stood out all over. Everyone had a little self-doubt about their blog and/or about themselves. Did I look OK? Was I nice enough? Did that person like me? Do I make sense? Was she ignoring me? I hope she didn't think I was ignoring her? Yada, yada, yada... Reading this and realizing this common thread caused me to smile brightly just like popping in a piece of Orbit gum - fabulous!!
I was no different than anyone else. And yet I'd been compromising my integrity to try and find a space to fit in just to get a few more clicks... silly, silly girl.
The bottom line is I love my blog. I love writing. I love thinking about things I want to say... and most importantly I love capturing the moments I experience with my girls via keyboard and camera as a legacy to them.
I'm not going to be unrealistic and say that I'll never obsess over my site traffic again or I'll never be sad on the days when I get zero comments because I will feel that way in this bloggy blog world. However I will say that I do not plan to waste any more of my time trying to fit in with a group where I just don't belong. So if that means I'm not one of the blog "A" listers...so be it.
I am just fine forever being on the Mommy Blog "D" List!