Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Blogging Game

Yesterday was crazy. For starters, it was a Monday, which is hardly ever an indicator that my day is going to be awesome. Lawn season has started which means life in my family is much more complicated than usual. This is the first year we're embarking on lawn season with baby in the mix, and I sense that it will be challenging. Work has been so busy and stressful, and I kept thinking last night that today was actually Wednesday or Thursday because I felt like I've been putting two days worth of work into every day.

So yesterday, I had to work, as usual. D had to get out to do lawns and a clean up. The clean up was so large that he needed his dad and nephew's help; his dad works full time and his nephew is in high school, so D had to wait for his nephew to get out of school to even get started. (Now that I've said it three times, isn't "nephew" a funny word?) So D picked L up from daycare and took him to his mom's house to bridge the gap between him going to do the clean up and me getting home from work.

I went to pick L up from the in-laws' house and got there around 5. Went home and scarfed down a pb&j. Tried to calm my tired, teething baby (oh yeah, did I mention? We're in teething hell.) and finally got him to sleep. Waited for D to get home because I had my mom's group at 7. Needed him to get home by 6:30. He got home at 6:35 and needed to shower. By some miracle I made it to group on time, and had a really great time with a group of moms who I ordinarily probably wouldn't have met or befriended but to whom I feel a pretty awesome bond because of this group (and I'm not just saying that because I know some of them will probably be reading this!). Got home around 9:30 and fell in the computer chair, willing myself to write the blog post that I promised myself I'd write.

Which brings me to my point. (Don't you love how it takes me three paragraphs to get to the point? My journalism professor would be very disappointed that my lead-in has taken so long.) I had decided that I would blog every day of the working week. I would write the post the evening before, then post it in the morning. I would not blog on Friday or Saturday nights because I did not want my life to be taken over by this blog and I didn't want to become obsessed.

So last night, I was just fried. I had no really good ideas, and even if I did have one I didn't want to waste it on whatever garbage I'd be able to put out in the mental state I was in. And the fact that I was not going to have a blog post for today filled me with anxiety. I worried about how I was going to continue my upward-climb in the blog world if I couldn't post on a regular schedule.

Since starting this blog, my facebook fan page, my twitter page, listing my blog on Top Mommy Blogs, etc. my life has been about this blog. I obsessively check to see who commented, how many followers I have, how many unique page hits I have, etc. I'd go to other blogs and compare myself to them. How do they have 2,000+ followers? Why did a bazillion people comment on their post about how they wore a pink shirt today but hardly anyone commented on my carefully crafted post about me in a bathing suit? Why did I drop from #13 to #17 on Top Mommy Blogs?

But I think the most important question to ask is, "Why do I care?" I had something of a revelation last night when I was lying in bed fretting about my stupid blog. I was trying to write a "sorry for not posting" post in my head as I fought to keep my eyes open. But then I realized that I was getting away from the purpose of this blog at an insane speed.

I wrote a bit about it in my Mushy Gushy post a little ways down. I am writing this for me and for my friends and family whom I love. I don't want to get to a point where I feel like this blog is controlling me rather than vice versa. I don't want to feel like I have to apologize if I write a serious or even sad post one day because I'm worried that my fans are expecting funny and that I'll disappoint them. I want to write what I want to write, and I'm pretty sure that's what a blog is for!

I want to make sure I give my fans and readers quality posts that are mine. I don't want to try to copy another blog's style or feel disappointed when I read another blog that's funnier or whatever. Because if I'm just writing what other people write, I'm pretty sure that's a quicker way to lose readers. If my style is copying another blog, why wouldn't everyone just go read that other blog?

So I will still try to post regularly and it will probably be mostly funny stuff because that's just what I like to write! (By the way, I'm happy that so many people seem to share my sense of humor! I thought the only other people who did were related to me.) But I've been chewing on a post that's a lot more serious in nature than any other post I've ever written, and I think it's important to put it out there. And I was agonizing over whether or not to write it. It's not written yet, but I've decided that I'm going to do it. So be prepared for that coming down the pike.

And whether I get famous and hugely popular or not, it doesn't really matter. Because as long as my Aunt Shelly brings up something specific I posted that made her laugh, as long as my biggest fan Jessie texts me about how much she loved a certain thing I said, as long as D looks at me with horror in his face about how much I've over-shared on a certain topic - that is how I'll know my blog is a success.

And if you don't really like it, that's ok, you can move on. But if you like what I'm throwing out, then pull up a chair, make yourself comfy, and let's see where this thing goes!


Jessie said...

omg.. i got a shout out!!!!!!! that just made my day in this ugly end of tax season. you will ALWAYS be a success in my book! Love you!

Anonymous said...

Katie, I love it!

Michael B said...

I always enjoy reading your blog because I can almost hear you actually talking to me (well, your readers, i suppose, but I'm entitled to feel special).

Your sense of voice is so strong that it makes these tales intensely personal yet accessible at the same time. That's a magic combo that I hope you don't ever lose in a quest to be the " best".

You're already the best to the people who are relevant in your life.

Crazed Mama said...

Your comment over on my post today really made me smile! Thank you so much. After reading this post, I can see you and I are on the same page with things. Thank you for your great support