Thursday, February 6, 2014

my honest-est post ever

It's my blog's birthday. I wrote an entire post full of things I learned about blogging, read through them, and realized you have all read them before. Several times. So I decided to stay with the same theme, but to really get real with them. And with myself. And write the honest-est post I've written.

It's kind of hard to believe that for the past 365 days, I have been a slave to my email inbox; pre-blog, email was merely a vessel for groupons and store promotions. No personal communication took place through there. But upon entering the blog world, connecting my comments to my email, and realizing the thrill of the words "new comment on..." in the subject line, I haven't been able to leave my email alone for more than a few hours on a day I post because I love the fun of getting comments. Quality over quantity, for sure, but who didn't get excited the first time their comments got into the double digits? Realizing that people were reading what I had to say and then took the time to comment on it was more exciting than I ever realized.

Speaking of comments - don't you have some days where you wish you could just blog and get comments without giving them? Not that you don't love and adore your blog friends, but aren't there just days where reading words and forming coherent thoughts seems like a lot of damn work? I mean, can't you guys just let me bask in adoration while I give nothing back in return? You know I'm kidding - I love keeping up with blog friends - but had I known how much work it was to find new blogs, connect with bloggers, and build a relationship, would I still have done it? Probably. But I am lazy, so you never know.

And then there's writing itself. We have all stared at the blank screen with nothing to say or deleted an entire post because, well, it sucked. But there are also the times where words just flow and things come naturally and you feel like your greatness is going to break the internet, it's just that good, and you have like ten pageviews, three of which can be attributed to your husband, and no one comments. They were all too busy commenting on that blog that discusses dryer lint and uses bad grammar every damn day. I'm going to be honest, here. It hurts. It hurts when you feel like you write your heart out and nobody gets it, like you said it wrong or could have said it differently and then everyone would get it and think you are the best, too. It's hard not to take it personally; when you feel like a blog post is so indicative of you and who you are and no one cares - it's rough. It takes developing a thicker skin, which I know isn't something I considered before setting up an account on blogger.com. I'll be honest - I skim some blogs I don't always enjoy, sure. I read the comments and wonder what is "wrong" with the people who think their posts are amazing. Am I jealous? Yup. Do I want to leave some "honest" (and possibly bitchy) comments? Yes, always yes. But I don't. As constructive as I think my criticism might be, I stew (mostly) privately or just try harder the next time to write something that will get my readers, the way the post that irked me stirred her readers. I thought I was a person who gave zero effs but you know what? I'm not. I give a lot of them.

Even though I say I blog for me, and I feel that I do, if I were completely honest with myself, wouldn't I just blog privately? Maybe using paper and pen, or at the very least without tweeting my blog link daily and joining link-ups and pimping myself out in the subtlest way I can manage? The truth, I think, is that we like doing it with one another (twss). We like to document our ups and downs, for ourselves, yes, but because they are so much better and more when we can experience them outside the bubble of our own life experiences. But the insecurities and the doubt that can creep in during this whole experience - was that boring? Did they get it? Should I tweet about it? Do I tweet too much? I don't have a DSLR, should I even bother with photos? Was I wearing that in the last pic I posted of myself? I read her blog and comment all the time and we follow each other on twitter but why doesn't she follow my blog and comment, too? It's truly ridiculous how much I have questioned myself over something as simple as a blog post. Over something that I need to realize no one else even notices. And things that I need to realize are far beyond my control.

So that brings me to... blog friends. I started this and I blogged and I read no other blogs. And no one read mine. And one day something clicked and I found people whose blogs I enjoyed, and who (presumably) enjoyed mine. And doesn't that make it worth it, at the end of the day? Isn't it amazing to know that if you stopped blogging tomorrow, you would be missed? You would have people to keep in touch with via twitter or instagram or whatever if you left this crazy, stress-inducing world of blogging. If you are as lucky as I have been, to make real, honest-to-goodness friends from this, that you can have drinks with or go shopping with or text or call on a whim or whatever - then I really think all the stress, all the questions, everything - it's worth it. I love that through blogging, I have learned that snow is a bitch and I don't really want to live in a climate that sees it often. I have learned how to dress and what make-up I should get if I'm in the market, that apparently some place called Cookout has awesome milkshakes (seriously, there are a lot of NC bloggers), gifs are always appropriate, and that I need to watch Mean Girls again. Blogging made me want to watch Parks and Rec, tweet more, and made me try to see my world in a more interesting way - whether it's taking a picture of Bauer from a more interesting angle or thinking of how I can phrase a story to share it on the blog. Despite some of the hard parts, and the fact that it is the most narcissistic thing I've ever done, I do love it. While I can't promise I'll blog forever, I will do it for a long time. So thanks to everyone still reading (my blog in general and this post specifically. It's long). You make it worth it. You give me confidence when I need it and inspiration and ideas and motivation to spend more time with my laptop. So, really, thank you. When I look back on my late-twenties, I think the memories of creating blog posts and loving social media will be a huge part of what I remember.

And just for fun, here are some posts from my early months of blogging if you want to see how far I've come.

36 comments:

  1. Oh, I really love, "Speaking of comments - don't you have some days where you wish you could just blog and get comments without giving them? Not that you don't love and adore your blog friends, but aren't there just days where reading words and forming coherent thoughts seems like a lot of damn work?"

    yes, yes, yes!

    Lately, I feel like I suck because I haven't had a spare moment to comment on blogs. I try when I'm drinking coffee and eating a bagel in the am (like now) before I rush to work. I try when I get home between gym visits and cooking dinner, and I even try before passing out at night. But lately, it's just felt overwhelming. I'm just trying to give myself a break while I adjust to a new job and not be so hard on myself! I still read, just can't always find the spare moment to type out a REAL comment! lol.

    Yes, I love this post:)

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  2. girl, i love this - all of it. blogging is bananas and in some way, at some point, we all hate it yet love it. we say "screw this! i'm not going to care!" yet deep down, we do. we want people to come to our blogs and read and comment. we want to make connections. we like knowing that what we write make people laugh or think. that's the fun in blogging - making those connections and reading things that entertain us.

    blogging is a lot of work - sometimes too much - but i've learned that you only get what you put in. if one doesn't work to make connections, they won't happen on their own.

    happy blogaversary!

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  3. I was nodding my head THIS WHOLE POST!!! Yes. Yes yes yes. To all of it. Especially when I POUR MY HEART OUT; I GET REAL. And I get nada. But someone can blog about picking their nose and boom: a hundred comments. I DONT GET IT!! And totally love your little that's what she said moment. And friend--I'm so glad blogging connected us. I love that my MOM asks how you are. I love that my family reads your posts and not a one of them lives in Texas. I love your blog--and if you were to quit I'd annoy the shit out of you until you started again. <3

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  4. Happy blogaversary!

    I can't believe how your post perfectly describes how I feel about blogging. I mean, to a T. I admire your bravery too. I've been trying to do that more on my blog.

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  5. Happy anniversary!

    What I hate the most is the "do they get it?" and I can tell immediately when it's not coming off like I wanted it to and the nuanced meanings in a post are not picked up on. That's frustrating, and 100% on me. EVEN THOUGH the grammar was perfect unlike some blogs I read thinking WTF and everyone loves it.

    Sometimes I am just like hey guys I need to catch up over the weekend, because it's hard. I have to have a plan for reading when I'm having my coffee in the morning and then over lunch too.

    I'm glad you blog and that we became friends through blogging!

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  6. Happy blogiversary! I love that you did your post this way and I totally agree with what you wrote. For me, I was shocked by the community I found. It was a pleasant surprise- and I'm glad you're a part of it!

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  7. Happy Blogaversary!

    I loved this post! I think many of the same thoughts about blogging. I have thought many times about making my blog private, because I really do just blog to document my life. But then I will get a great comment from a complete stranger and change my mind.

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  8. 1st of all- Happy blogiversary!

    2nd of all- Gosh I love this post! "Slave to my inbox" hit home with me! It is totally work to keep up with other blogs too. I told my husband it becomes a full time job social networking! But I love every minute of it :) Happy to have found your blog on your 365th day I might add!

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  9. Happy blogiversary!!!

    Yes, yes and yes to this post! I was nodding my head the whole way through. What a crazy, ridiculous, awesome land of blogging we have all entered ourselves in to! It is so funny that we get hurt if we only have 10 page views on something that we think is a sure win of a post or that someone has 100 comments on some BS that made you roll your eyes fifty times.

    I love how blogging has made it possible to connect with so many awesome woman on a daily basis, like you...duh!

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  10. Yes to the comment thing, some days I just want to read and not say anything but now that I'm a avid commenter that feels rude. Some days I don't even want to read, I'm just not in the mood but I still want all the people to read everything I post.

    Also the I read and comment on your blog and we follow each other and interact on Twitter but you don't read my blog bugs me too. I've actually stopped reading certain blogs daily because of it. Those blogs are now on "the title better catch my eye or I'm moving on" list.

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  11. Yay happy 1 year!! I love this post and can totally relate to every bit of it. As you know, I'm new to blogging (I've only been doing it about a month) and I feel like I have already done so much, so I can't imagine all the work that you've done and how you must feel. And what you said about commenting is so true. I spend sooo much time glued to my computer commenting on other blogs and responding to comments on mine. All of it is worth it though! Have a great day!

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  12. Happy Blogiversary! Yes, it takes so much time and effort to blog. Commenting on enough of your favorite blogs and trying to read new ones, but also trying to keep up with your own comments makes me feel like a rat on a wheel some days. Then I miss it when I go on vacation or don't post that day. We bloggers are an odd bunch but I wouldn't have it any other way.

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  13. I am so with you on the comments. On days where I was super busy, I wouldn't even post because I felt bad knowing I couldn't return the favor to those who read and commented on my post.

    Also, I clicked on your early posts and had to stop reading when I got to the disclaimer about your dog. I already cried today over a dog, I couldn't do it to myself again!

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  14. happy blog birthday! I agree it that I feel hurt when I feel like I've poured my heart out and get few comments but then see a million comments on other people's posts. I know we all say that we blog for ourselves, but we obviously love the interaction with other bloggers too!
    -- jackie - jade and oak

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  15. Well happy birthday to your blog! I'm happy I found you and can consider you a blog friend :) The blog world can get tough sometimes but it's nice that I'm able to talk with you (honestly!) about it.

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  16. Happy Birthday! I loved this post and the fact that you threw a "Twss" into a serious paragraph made me love it even more. Keep up the good, honest work. I bet it felt liberating to type and publish the whole damn thing!

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  17. happy blogaversary! Youre super consistent with your posting so congrats on your hard work! I know what you mean about the bigger blogs or the dumber posts getting comments. Honestly, sometimes I avoid the big blogs because there's just a bunch of comments just kissing ass for absolutely no reason... It's like really? You were that moved by THAT? lol Not to be a hater but it does suck when you really try to put out good content. I guess that's why I don't like to commit to posting every day because sometimes I don't have much to say! I'm happy that you've made a lot of friends! Ya'll should let me know next time you go out, i'd want to join the gang!

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  18. congrats little lady on keeping this up for 365. and i totally with you, sometimes i just want to blog and get the love and not have to put work into replying to comments and not commenting on other blogs, but then i realize that would be boring and not the point of why i started this all!

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  19. I can relate to so much of this. By putting ourselves out there, and even though we do do it for ourselves, it can hurt when we don't get the reception we want. And to get more comments and readers, you have to try SO hard and put so much work into it. It's worth it, but it's time-consuming and tiring. So stepping back sometimes and remembering the bigger picture, and just doing your best, is important.
    Btw, found you from your Liebster award. Looking forward to following!

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  20. I love this line too!!-Speaking of comments - don't you have some days where you wish you could just blog and get comments without giving them?-And the thing is that blogger that posts about lint dryer and everybody loves is doing that!! Some people don't have to reciprocate but honestly-I do enjoy commenting. It is a lot of work and I actually need to figure out a way to manage my time reading and commenting better. I give myself a pass when I go on vacation or when I'm sick!! Glad you love this crazy blog world. I do too!!

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  21. Happy blog birthday! Like I always say, I'm super thrilled that you've kept with it for a whole year and have regularly written posts! It takes a special kind of person to do that -- and I mean that in the best way possible. It's takes dedication and heart and you have that.

    Kathy commented back to me on one of her posts asking why I hadn't blogged in awhile. And I thought that was the sweetest thing -- it was her little way of saying she missed me and whatever I wanted to post about (at least that's how I interpreted it anyway). It made this whole blogging thing and the energy that goes into it feel appreciated. So in other words, I can totally relate to blog friends and connections and how you do it for others, not just yourself.

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  22. Amen! And we have a lot in common in that we blog about blogging. Every month I do a HILARIOUS blogging is B-A-N-A-N-A-S post on my observations of blogging thus far (since I am THAT NEW). :) Glad to have stumbled on your blog!

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  23. Happy Blog Birthday! And hopefully many more to come!

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  24. Happy birthday to your blog! I'm glad we found each other! :)
    People underestimate just how much work blogging is. I know I did. A lot of blood, sweat and tears goes into these spaces of ours.

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  25. You put so much time and heart into your blog and making connections and I can't understand why the whole world isn't reading it yet! :) I love your honesty in this post. I could never get there...
    And I sometimes, well most times lately, I don't write a post because I know I can't show the love and read and comment on other blogs the same day. But I sure do love getting a comment/email notification! I'm loving connecting with other chicas and knowing that's we're all human. :) Happy Blogversary! Now come get a milkshake with me!!

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  26. Happy Anniversary! OMG what you said about writing something you think is great and then getting no page views is definitely I think the worst thing about blogging. I take it too personally and I wish I wouldn't! Like, maybe people just like dryer lint (hahaha I literally LOLed at that btw) better than what I have to say, I shouldn't be so sensitive!

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  27. This 100x this! I definitely started blogging because I wanted an outlet for me, not caring if others read or really reading others. The longer I do it the more I enjoy connecting with others & want to connect with more and more bloggers. It's like a whole little family!

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  28. Amen, my friend! Sometimes I join link ups and the comments aren't sincere and I don't connect with those people, so I had stopped. Now I try to find blogs with people like me and connect with. I definitely struggle with it too sometimes. I also sometimes feel like you, I'll read others, but I just am too fried to form a sentence that makes sense! Thanks for keeping it real :)

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  29. I feel like I am not a slave to comments (because I refuse) but I am a slave to email and I sometimes wish I could hire someone to sort through all of it and just forward me the good stuff. Happy Blog Birthday :)

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  30. This is hands down the most honest post about blogging I have ever read! We all wish we could just blog and not read sometimes - especially when you're having a busy week. The temptation is very real! I love that you mention that blogging for yourself truly means not blogging on a public blog. I think that very reason is why the "I blog for me" phrase bothers me. This blogging community is amazing and there's no shame in admitting some of why you blog is for that.

    Happy Blog Birthday!

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  31. Thank you for summing up a lot of my feelings about blogging that I just couldn't put into words. Blogging is emotional for so many of us especially since it's an outlet for some of the things we don't say out loud in "real life".

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  32. Blogging sure is A LOT of work, and takes up a huge time commitment, and some days it is sooo frustrating wondering what others "have" (that BTW...I don't get 'casue I think their posts are boring)...that "I" don't have. I just try and grow, and make myself better. All I can do is be me

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  33. I do hope that I've come far enough in blogging relationships that if I couldn't blog anymore, I'd be missed. There is much that is very real in the blogging world, and that makes it worth it!

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  34. Sometimes blogging just makes me think "what the hell am I doing here"? Then other times its like "ahhhhh, yep, that's why I'm doing this". Forming friendships is so amazing.

    But I do hear you about some of those posts that get like 942 comments and the posts was about getting wasted over the weekend or something. Some of it is people just playing the popularity game and commenting on anything, worthy or not.

    Great post, you have nailed it!

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  35. I love this post because I often think what am I even doing? This isn't all it's cracked up to be.

    Then I get a sweet comment and it makes me feel so much better. I loved reading blogs, but rarely commented on them. But now I try to comment as much as I can.

    And since I loved blogs so much, I created one. Sometimes I don't think I am cut out for it, and other times I love it. It's a love-hate relationship.

    I love how honest your post is!

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  36. Congratulations on one year of blogging! And speaking of comments, look at how many you got on this post! You go girl! I absolutely loved reading this, especially the end, when you pointed out that all the stress is totally worth it! Man, I am so glad we're friends and I feel so lucky that blogging brought us together!

    PS - the fashion equivalent of writing a long and heartfelt post that nobody comments on is where I wear a totally killer outfit that I put a lot of thought and time into and NOBODY CARES. And then everyone goes nuts over a sweater and jeans. Happens every time. Such is life.

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I like comments and read them all but I'm not great about responding to them, so please don't be offended. I would much rather visit your blog instead!