Has it happened to you? We remember when we started our blogs and every single “like” was an achievement, a comment, cause for celebration. We had all these ideas we wanted to try out, all these projects we were really excited about. Then in time that excitement dulls a bit.
Instead of getting all pumped up about a “like” we end up disappointed about getting fewer than expected. We no longer have time to read everyone else’s blogs and starting a new project sounds exhausting. Our blogs aren’t shiny fresh and new anymore and motivation starts to be a bit harder to come by.
If you’ve ever felt that way, I can guarantee that you are not alone. It seems like a pretty common thing to go through with almost any hobby.
Blogging is also in a weird in-between state. It’s not really a team activity so you don’t have a whole specific group of people that keep you coming back but it’s not completely without a social element so some aspects are out of your control. Depending on your mood things that felt stimulating can suddenly become a burden. And when burdens start to pile up, it’s not uncommon for a blogger to start wondering why they are putting all this time into it. Especially those of us that really do their research and post deep and original articles. My carefree approach is a lot less taxing!
In a way, blogs (and most hobbies) are like relationships. There’s a honeymoon phase that can last a long time for some but almost always ends at some point. And then, well you start seeing all the annoying things, like the time you could be spending on something else, the tiny little passive aggressive comments you wouldn’t have to deal with, the way your blog just leaves their socks like right in the middle of the living room. I mean who does that? Wait…
To me, like relationships, a blog eventually looses that novelty lustre and eventually you take each other a little for granted. There’s no real way to go back to when we first started. Even if we start a new blog, we can get a fresh wind for a bit but it’s never quite the same.
But also like relationships, there are things only an “old” blog can give you. One that’s been with you through the highs and lows. That knows all your secrets and accepts you just the same. It may not be as exhilarating but it’s definitely rewarding. OK this relationship simile isn’t working anymore, let’s just move on…
Now that I have been at this blogging thing for a minute I’m starting to see a different dynamic emerge with my own blog. I’ve even had the pleasure of posting on other blogs to get a bit of a comparison going. YAY for planning skills! I’m not exactly a veteran yet but I don’t think I qualify as a complete noob anymore either. I’m somewhere in between. Counting the several blogs I have posted on, I now have roughly 1200 articles published. I’m sure Karandi (with who I regularly work) dwarfs me but It’s still given me a good appreciation for the concept of blogging. Moreover, it’s allowed me to try a few things out with my blog, and this is how my evolution is going.
At this point, I occasionally find new projects a bit taxing and I’m finally at a point where I have to choose what I will participate in, rather than happily say yes to everything that comes my way. I’ve also gotten a smidge disillusioned by people who just see my follower count and try to get me to promote their blog saying we have tons in common while obviously never having read anything of mine. It happens a few times a week right now and it’s a little depressing. I love promoting blogs, there’s no need to try to trick me into it. Having had a few bloggers friends just disappear has also made me a bit more reserved. Not that I’m not always happy to meet someone new through my blog or theirs (I always am) but a little voice reminds me that they could be gone without a trace tomorrow. That’s just the nature of the game.
But at the same time, I consistently do discover wonderful new bloggers whose stuff inspires and fascinates me. There is so much talent out there. And once in a while, I get some great unexpected opportunities to promote and enjoy things I may never have discovered otherwise.
Eventually, I think every blogger finds a comfortable groove. A voice and posting rhythm that makes us happy to publish for the simple joy of creating and nothing else. Regardless of stats or perceived success. When we no longer feel compelled to work toward anything specific because blogging in a vacuum becomes kind of fun all by itself. I suppose that if gathering views is the only thing that counts to a blogger they may never get there but I don’t think that’s the majority.
This said, finding that special blogging zone that’s just perfect for you takes a lot of trial and error. Some people give up before they get there. I’m not quite there myself but I feel like I’m getting closer. When I read something I wrote a year ago and think to myself, huh that’s not too bad, I’m suddenly really happy I have a blog. This thing I made. I never thought I could have. As time passes, these moments are becoming more frequent and it’s awesome.
Along with people who want free publicity, I do also get people who ask for advice and I’m slowly getting better at giving it (having asked for so much myself). That’s also a great feeling for me and something I can only do because I got a little experience under my belt.
I am happy to say that for me, once the novelty wore off, I discovered a whole new rich blogging experience beyond that. I do hope other bloggers do as well. Have you had this type of experience? With blogging or anything else? Let us know!