I’ve thought about this post for a long time.
How blogging, as a whole, has begun to piss me off.
I’m a blogger, how can I call out my own people? How can I betray those who support me, just as I’m supposed to support them?
As a whole, we’re in a tribe that’s supposed to support each other, no matter the quality, it sometimes seems. We have to consistently shout how GREAT blogging is, even if 99% of the blogs we read are . . . utter crap.
We are supposed to shout from the mountain tops how PROUD we are of the bloggers who have MADE IT BIG, even if we suspect that many of them have made it based solely on their marketing ability or their exploitation of their quirky darkness.
I’ve hesitated to say anything because of two reasons . . .
1) I know saying anything like this out loud will likely get me blackballed from any blogging “group” I’ve tentatively gained acceptance into. And I say tentatively because at any given moment someone is waiting in the wings to climb right over you and claim their rightful spot in the same blogging group. Claim how GOOD the friends are they’ve made. How GENUINE the feelings are for people they’ve never laid eyes on. And maybe that’s true in some instances. Actually I know it is. But many times, it’s just propaganda.
AND . . .
2) I know that it will sound like I have sour grapes. I blog less, therefore I’m jealous of those who blog more and have more success. That has to be it. I can’t actually have a clearer view of blogging now that I’ve stepped back and even if I do have a clearer view, it most certainly is wrong. Because if it is right? Most of my fellow bloggers are not legit. And that would be unacceptable.
But here’s the thing. I (mostly) don’t care about being blackballed anymore. I spent a considerable amount of time gushing over blogs that were crap just to get same bloggers to gush over me when I was writing crap. It’s stupid. It’s like a club where everyone pretends they love each other when they actually are waiting to stab them in the back.
Wait . . . is that a lot of sororities?
And the other thing I did was read and gush over big blogs, hoping to be noticed or linked back to just to get more readership to my blog. I did what every other person in the blogging world does. If you pretend like you’re commenting on a huge blog just because you can’t help yourself, I’ll call you a liar. You’re commenting on it (if you’re a blogger) because you are praying someone else will notice you. Period. And if you’re supporting every stupid, repititious meme out there, you’re not doing it because you love hearing about new and exciting cleaning products or love seeing pictures of the sunset, you’re doing it because you’re dying to have someone come do the same for you.
Period. I know, because I did the same thing.
And now I’m not. Because I don’t really care anymore. It’s funny how things change in your life that change your whole outlook on everything. But I look back now at the 20-30 hours I used to spend commenting on utter shit, or commenting on really good shit hoping for recognition and I’m a little bit ashamed of myself.
As should be you if you’re a blogger. Seriously. Get some self-respect. Learn, NOW, that you are not going to become Dooce, Scary Mommy, Pioneer Woman, the Bloggess or Momastery (All outstanding blogs. Every one.). You’re just not.
Neither am I. And apparently with this post, I’m going to secure that. Because of all of the blogging “friends” I’ve made (and I do truly care about a good majority of you!), I’m guessing that 90% of you are going to head for the “we love each other and Literal Mom’s a meany liar” blogging hills after reading this.
I would have if I were still trying to be in the game.
Why am I ashamed of myself? I’m ashamed of myself because I compromised my values. Every blog post I read, even the shamefully stupid ones, even the embarrassingly grammatically incorrect ones, even the ones that were so ideologically opposed to my own ideology . . . I would find a way to agree. To affirm. To lose a little bit of myself in order to try and make myself rise a little higher in the ranks.
And that’s something to be ashamed of. I’m no troll. I’ve never thought about disparaging someone’s blog just to get my kicks.
Wait . . . that’s a total lie. I have thought many, many times about telling someone how god-awful their blog was. Because Lord knows there are so many god-awful ones.
And I didn’t because in that respect I was being true to myself. I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings. But I was being so untrue to myself to accept mediocrity as if it were the NORM.
Truth is . . . I hate mediocrity. HATE. IT. And I wish more people did. Because the acceptance and LOVE of mediocrity is killing our country. And it’s killing the good feelings I had about blogging at the beginning.
So am I quitting? No. Though I may want to after reading this post back to myself in the harsh light of day.
I’m not quitting because that’s another one of my values. I’m not a quitter. I complete my commitments before I move on. As should you and everyone else in the world.
But what I am doing is shifting my focus. I have a lot of readers who read few if any other blog posts. Ever. And you know what? Those are the readers I want to continue to connect with. Because if I see them in the parking lot, at the grocery store, or over drinks and they say to me (as they have many times), “your post brought me to my knees today,” or “I love reading your blog so much,” I KNOW THEY MEAN IT. They’re not saying that just so I give their own blog some page views.
I’ve connected with that person. Connected.
And that’s the only reason I started Literal Mom in the first place. To connect with someone who needs it.
Lord knows I need it sometimes. A lot of the time, actually.