Monday, March 5, 2012

Blogolution

Recently, several bloggers I follow have wondered out loud about the future of their blogs, especially how to manage the time that engaging in the world of blogging takes. There was a sense of fatigue attached to the discussion - a feeling of having been worn down by it.

It made me think about how my own blog has evolved, and how glad I am that it has changed over time to be something that I enjoy, rather than something that I "should do because I'm a writer."

In fact, when I started this blog, it was a very secret place - just for ME really - like an online journal. It's another funny "sign" story actually:

I was finishing up yoga teacher training, and in order to complete my certification, I had to do "svadhyaya"  - a self-study project. But I had no idea what to do. At the same time, I was struggling with the balance of yoga and writing in my life, which seemed to have swung toward more yoga and less toward writing. So one night before bed, I asked for a sign to help me know how to balance these two things I love, and oh-by-the-way, what should my self-study project be about? And that night, in the middle of my sleep, a loud voice very clearly said,

"WRITE ABOUT YOGA"

I kid you not. Voices in the night and everything.


Not me, but it looks nice doesn't it?


So I started this blog, and called it WriterYogini - now you know why that's my url. I wrote essays that related philosophical aspects of yoga to real daily life events. No one came to read, it was just me, writing about yoga.



Aslo not me, but it could be
Writing about yoga here on my Secret Blog helped me get back in the swing of writing regularly. After a while, it was time to reverse my priorities. I buckled down and finished my book, found an agent, and re-directed the focus of my blog toward writing and book promotion. I actively pursued followership, because I knew that I needed to create a presence for when the book later came out.

But a funny thing happened along the way. I realized that I don't much enjoy writing ABOUT writing. I like it when we just talk about life and the goings on of life. I'm happier just being me and I have observed that when we just talk about the stuff of life, we both have a much better time. Writing is a big part of my life, but it's not my whole life. I think that's where the yoga has helped me understand the concept of finding balance.

There are times, like last fall, when it was important to promote and talk about my book. That's a reality and I'm comfortable with it. And this fall, I'll be doing that again. I hope you can stand it :-)

I'm the one with the red hair ;-)


The point though, is that my blog has evolved from personal yoga journal, to writer-developing- followership, to gal-who-happens-to-be-a-writer just chatting with a bunch of great friends! I'm not out there trying to gobble up followers, I'm just delighted to have these conversations with those who enjoy stopping by.


So, thinking of those who are struggling with the direction of their blogs, or whether or not keeping them going is worth it, I think the problem is that the blog has become a "have to." Any time you feel like you HAVE to do something, it's become work, and when it becomes work it's not so much FUN!

I think that the more we stay with just being who we are and sharing that in a sincere way, it won't matter if we don't post for a few days, or if our latest post wasn't all that fabulous. Our friends will still be there and they'll grant us a ho-hum post because they know they'll probably have a few of those too, and they'll want reciprocal forgiveness. And, who knows, tomorrow's post may be brilliant!  (Hey - no promises!)

So, I'm just glad you're all out there and that we share stories together. What does your blog mean to you?

31 comments:

  1. Hi Melissa,
    I agree with you about the joy of having conversations with friends through blogging. It is amazing how many people I've met through my blog.

    What does my blog mean to me? It's a way to meet and communicate with others about writing, books, and publishing. I might not otherwise have met them if I didn't start a blog.

    Happy Monday,
    Donna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely answer Donna - yes, one wonderful thing is that bloggiland has become a place where people can join a community - writers, crafters, artists, cooks, gardeners. I love the writer's community and I also love popping into the creative communities that have nothing to do with writing!

      Delete
  2. It's turned into something of a hobby, which, like you, started out as an online journal. No one read it but me, until a blogger named Jannie Funster, clicked the "next" button that blogger keeps at the top, so that one can read random blogs. She kept coming back and that's how I ended up with most of the readers I have. It's like a six degrees of separation thing - some of my readers don't go to Jannie's blog, but all of them sprang from acquaintences of her.

    I felt worn down after a while when I was posting every day. Then went to M-F and now MWF. The A-Z Challenge will have me posting almost every day again, but at least it's just for a month and sounds fun. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so interesting - someone just SHOWED UP. And it goes from there. I get periodically tired, but as soon as I give myself permission to take off for a bit, I find I come back to it sooner than I expected.

      Delete
  3. What does my blog mean to me? Well, first you have to understand that my husband is quite deaf (not totally but close) and is extremely hard to hold a conversation with. As well, I believe he is starting to slip into the early stages of dementia. He is very clingy and wants no one else about. So...having said that....I really count on all of you for my daily conversation and sharing of interests. Thank you all for being there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry about your husband, and I know how difficult it is to manage when someone is slipping into dementia. My mom had Alzheimer's for 10 years before she passed. I'm glad to part of your day and your conversations - it means a lot to me too.

      Delete
  4. My blog is a way of recording some of the things that happen in my very ordinary life, little things that interest me. I've 'met' some really interesting and diverse people I would otherwise never have come across. I used to try and blog every day but it became too demanding. Now I post in fits and starts as the mood takes me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your blog for exactly what it is! And I read somewhere that a survey showed that people are more annoyed by too frequent posts than too few. So I really think it's lovely to post as the spirit moves, because then what we write will be so much more from the heart.

      Delete
  5. Melissa, thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post. It is such a gentle, lovely reminder about why I blog.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello dear lady - you are not alone in your wonderings about it. I love your blog for your willingness to share and just put things out there, and that's why I think others love your blog too. I think that as writers, at first we do it because it's what we're "supposed to do" as part of building a platform. I'm tryiing to just kick back and enjoy the ride now, with people who like to show up and whose blogs draw me back too. xoxo

      Delete
  6. Such a great story and helpful. I have those moments that I feel like I can't keep up with blogging, commenting, etc. but I am slowly finding my balance and rhythm. It seems the more I let go and not hang on so tight to what I have to do...it just happens naturally. :-) Just like you said. Looking forward to your next book this Fall!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tracy Jo - that's EXACTLY how things work isn't it?? When we don't hold on so tight, or try so hard ...things happen. I find that when I avoid Twitter for a week, I return to find a whole slew of people have followed me :-) Of course not all of them are nice, in face some are very naughty! My plan is for my NEW book to come out next year, not this fall. This year, I'll be re-promoting The Christmas Village. The sequel isn't set at Christmas, so I'm hoping for a mid-year release in 2013, as the backdrop this time is the 4th of July!

      Delete
  7. Well, I'm glad your blog is still around - and you! I've left an award for you on my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so sweet -I'll pop over for a lookie-see xoxo

      Delete
  8. I actually started blogging because I was in such bad shape physically at the time, had no cell phone back then, had moved away from most of my family & friends, and it was a way I could write once and they could all know I was okay and what was going on. Kind of a multiple short note to the few people who cared about me. Over the years people accidentally found me, too. My problem these days is keeping up with all the commenting and reading of blogs. I have always replied to comments on my blog and that takes a lot of time, too. I have cut back on blogging as often. My problem is that the computer takes up most of my few good hours a day and I get less other things done, you know? I would never want to quit blogging. I just don't know how to adjust time spent--blog even less often or stop replying to each comment on my blog? I very hard choice for me. Maybe I should ask my bloggers, eh? LOL! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've stated the problem exactly! To be a good friend, we have to engage with our visitors and also support their blogs. It can take up much time! I try to go in spurts. And, I'm returning to blogging as I feel it too - except for the A to Z challenge in April!

      Delete
  9. I want my blog to be a beautiful place, for me, online. I'm thrilled if others like to be there too, but even if no one ever read a word, I would love it for myself. That may well sound selfish, but in the chaos that is my life -- the people entering and exiting, the moving and losing things like jobs and houses -- I need a constant place that I can always go, that I have (some) control over. That's my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tonja; Sometimes I DO talk about yoga! I had some nice yoga related posts in the past, and also last year during the A to Z.

      Delete
  10. I started my current blog as a daily writing practice with the goal of making it polished-enough to share publicly, kind of as a warm-up to ficton writing. I think my earlier posts (with zero readers) were better than my recent ones, more thought-out for sure. It's great to have lots of followers and comments, to know people are reading my words, but it definitely takes more time and energy. BTW, I didn't notice your url. :) If you write about yoga, I'll keep reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tonja; Sometimes I DO talk about yoga! I had some nice yoga related posts in the past, and also last year during the A to Z.

      Delete
  11. My blog is my way of sharing. I have my recipe blog and that is great for if my house ever burns down I still have my recipes somewhere. My other blog is just fun stuff. People enjoy my humor and that makes me feel good. You can't blog just for others, but it is nice when people think what you write is worth reading.

    You have just received the versatile blogger award. Come on over and pick it up.
    http://ruth-welcometome.blogspot.com/2012/03/i-just-received-this-fabulous-award.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruth: I agree - it's really just like any kind of writing - you write to please yourself, and it's a delight when others like it too. Thank you for the award :D

      Delete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for the insight. I've been away from my blog for a while and it's a delight to be back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Andrew - breaks are good I think, because they make us want to come back!

      Delete
  14. My blog is to meet people, make connections, make friends :) Like you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I started my blog as a way to keep in touch with family and friends after we left the USA and moved to Italy, but then -- surprise! -- I started meeting people through blogging and I made some important, lasting friendships. Then -- surprise again! -- I realized blogging had become a real creative outlet for me as my life became increasingly flung out across the continents. Blogging gave me a way to process motherhood, marriage, deployments, travel, etc., etc. Now it's all mixed up: part writing practice, part journal, part baby book; it's my notebook, and I love it!

    I really enjoyed this look back at your blogging journey! And I'm glad you don't just write about writing, too. I never feel like I get to know people that way, you know? It doesn't give me any insight into what kind of writers they are OR what kind of people they are -- and you're definitely a person worth knowing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel the same way Emily! Your blog is really special because of the way you tell the stories of your life with beautiful writing. xoxo

      Delete
  16. I started my blog for two reasons. My illness can isolate me. I have MS, but it is a part of me, not the whole. So I was reaching out to people, seeking affirmation I suppose.
    My other reason was I wanted/needed to write some things out of myself before they festered any further.
    I have been so lucky in the blogosphere. I have been welcomed, supported and affirmed. I couldn't ask for more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is a great community. Somehow we find each other out here. I'm glad we've met. Your blog is a beautiful place to visit.

      Delete

Talk to me!