Blogging Kind of Pisses Me Off

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I’ve thought about this post for a long time.

How blogging, as a whole, has begun to piss me off.

Why?  How?

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.

Comments

  1. I legit cannot help myself from commenting here. The biggest freaking AMEN to all of this. To the commenting just to be seen. To the sharing terrible content. To the lack of genuine, honest WRITING and the pandering to audiences. Not my scene.

  2. I totally agree. I have done all of the above and, like you, the reason I blog is because actual people tell me how much they love my blog or needed to read what I had to say. The vanity in me is what makes me compromise to increase my stats. I’m to the point that it’s not that I don’t care, It’s just not as important as it used to be. I’ve been blogging for six years and every time I find a new blogger, I wonder how long they’ll last, because when you compromise all you are, you don’t last. You can’t. And the crap blogs, I no longer leave comments. I’m of the “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” camp. Many times, I write for the sake of writing, for the sake of improving my craft. I write because I have this strange burning desire to write. And IF I comment on a big blog, it is only because I actually have something to say. It wasn’t always that way though.

  3. I am no expert since I do not blog and don’t know the culture around it, but I do enjoy reading blogs when I can (your’s being one of them). Just wanted to say that I am proud of you for speaking your mind & hoping it was cathartic for you!

    Miss our college days sometimes….not enough to go back, mind you…just a bit of nostalgia.

    Take care!

  4. I’ve been though this too and I’ve called it quits with trying to be like every other blog out there. I just can’t keep up! I used to spend lots of time reading and commenting on other blogs, hoping for new likes, but that is over too.
    I’ve gone back to why I started my blog in the first place – to keep my family in the loop. I’m sure all I wrote on parenting and childcare a few years ago did some people some good. I’m sure I could keep writing like that if I wanted to … but I don’t. And I’m much happier with my blog now, even if my mom is the only one who reads it. :) Well, I know I have other readers but I no longer care about stats, page views or comments. It’s liberating!

  5. Bravo! You have said so many things I have thought over my 3 years of blogging. I’ve tried all these strategies to get more eyes on my page. I’ve watched groups of bloggers form together and always felt I was taking a backseat even among people who I thought I had made a connection with. I’ve commented on stuff that I’ve known to be crap and struggled to find something to say. I’ve not commented and then felt bad for not supporting someone. Like you I have a group of people who just read my blog and have said,”how much they enjoy it”. I know when I post things that are crap, just to draw other readers (who may never come or return) that I disappoint those who read my writing because they like it, support it and connect with it.

    By the way I don’t find this post alienating I find it a bit liberating. I’ll be back for more : )

  6. Attagirl.

  7. Marilee Haynes says:

    Well said and well done! Just popping in to say bravo and be a voice of encouragement!

  8. Here’s the amusing as hell thing about me. The only time I ever comment is when I have something I just HAVE to say …. and I ALWAYS HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY. Because I’m one of those people who thinks EVERYONE is entitled to my opinion. I don’t mean to think that. But I do it in person just as badly as on the blogosphere.

    I started my blog to gain a writing community, so the memes I jump into are either creative nonfiction or fiction related. (And Trifecta is going away. My heart is broken) I love Dooce (can I admit here that I’d never heard of Momastary or whatever until really recently?) but don’t really read any of the others. I have made probably a dozen friends since I started my blog, who I consider varying degrees of close. A variety of others drop by from time to time to read. (I hate it when people write bullshit entirely to connect with bullshitting bullshitters, and I consider myself a good enough reader to tell the difference between bullshit and sincerety Even if I can’t seem to spell it.)

    Anyway, my underlying purpose has always been a kind of hopeful one. I don’t give a shit about becoming a big blogger. The only blog conference I ever went to was Noncon. And it was, one of my favorite words ever, Free. I loved the people I met, and it was very cool. But I’ve always sought to be a published author, and I want my blog to be a place connected to that professional persona. (See what I mean about the world needing my opinion? I’ve written a whole post in response to yours.) I’ve cut back on my blog commenting and writing lately, largely because I don’t have time. And I don’t have time because my book is totally coming out in July from a traditional publisher. So I’m fucking STOKED about that, and I am a happy little halfass blogger.)

  9. Wow—I am glad I took the time to read your post today because it was very real and gutsy. I have been blogging for 6 years and some posts are so so, some are pathetic but sometimes, sometimes I seem to get it right. It is those posts that make me smile and make me keep going. I am not vain enough to think that I have it all figured out or that I am the best writer in the world (far far from it) but I do love the ability to put words out there and receive comments on them . I think there is room for everyone in the blogosphere and I don’t follow people’s blogs just because—they have to be worthwhile. I have met so many wonderful like minded people and it is those that get my attention, time and comments. So many bloggers do the sponsored posts and that just is not my thing but I get that that is what they want to do. They have a right just like I have a right to not read their blogs. Or something like that. :-) Your post today was honest and well timed as I have been thinking pretty much the same thoughts. Good job.
    PS. Don’t stop blogging. You have a great blog and people need to be able to be a part of it.

  10. Whilst I am sure it does go on, the blogs I follow are ones where I actually like the blogger. They are small and I enjoy the connection. Usually I find them inspiring or interesting or relevant. Everyone comments and participates in blogs for different reasons. Not only for the reasons you list with a period. Also if a mediocre blogger wants to dream big, good on them. Life is short, if they enjoy it that is wonderful for them. Good on you for speaking your mind, however, I’m not giving you an amen for the reasons you listed. Because the world has enough negativityand judgment.

  11. You’re definitely not a meany liar. You speak the truth. I had no idea that side of blogging existed when I started. I assumed that if I wrote good stuff and told people to go check it out, it would just organically grow. It’s been a learning experience, for sure. Being a big time blogger sounds like a lot of work anyway. I just like to write and this is my vehicle. Selfishly, I hope you do continue to blog. I find your perspectives on parenting and life very inspirational, and many times, you have given me something to think about. Thank you!

  12. YES! YES! YES!

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