I started this blog 3 1/2 years ago. I was reading a few other blogs and found inspiration. Some of these bloggers were funny and witty, some moved me to tears, and some did both within one post. I found validation in reading about other people's struggles and joys. Other people locked their children in the back yard, struggled with tantrums, bodily fluids on the floor...I felt a sense of camaraderie.
I've never had a lot of readers or comments. After a few months, I had "the itch." I saw other people with 30, 70, hundreds of comments daily. I wanted that. Bloggers started getting sponsors, swag, give-aways, ad networks, and suddenly, I found myself antsy and unhappy with my blog. I wanted it to grow. I wanted comments, sponsors, etc. I vowed to blog every day for a year (and almost did.) I read blogs, commenting every where, signed up for an ad network...you name it, I was trying it. I was dissatisfied with my blog and contemplating quitting.
Then…burn out. My blog posting was sporadic, and when I did post, it seemed like I was doing was apologizing. I felt guilty for not posting, but didn’t feel like writing. And that cycle just kept growing.
During the last Holiday season, I had my own Epiphany. I didn’t want to be one of those bloggers…the ones that weigh everything they post with the click potential, that worry what their followers will think if that post that, the ones that aren’t any more than a character in a fictional story. That wasn’t why I started blogging, but I had lost sight of that.
So I set about releasing the guilt. I decided to spend more time living life, enjoying my children, modeling the behaviors I expect from them and less time worried about the computer. I stopped worrying about the reviews, give aways and such that I always felt I was missing out on. And I felt better.
But then…then, I felt the niggling again.
I’ve envied the people who were able to travel to Blogher, Mom 2.0, Blissdom, etc. for the last three years. Watching all the posts, tweets and status updates about swag and parties, all the fun they were having made me jealous. I wanted to be one of the cool kids that I saw in pictures. I wanted to go to the conferences, go to the parties, be inspired. I started trying to find the time and justify the costs. I would go to Blogher this year, period.
When Blogher put out their call for volunteers, I applied immediately. I waited, day dreaming about my experience, who I would meet…etc. Imagine my disappointment when I found out I hadn’t been chosen. And there was a little anger in there. Why wasn’t I good enough? I’d been in the ad network for quite some time. I had worked so hard…
The next day, a good friend told us they were getting married. In the Florida Keys, the same weekend as Blogher. And we were one of a few friends they were inviting.
Perspective. I’m sure I will still feel a twinge as I read about the great parties and swag, the connections and friendships. But I’ll be serving up my own connections and friendships, as well as enjoying a nice tropical breeze, instead of a hot subway.
And this blog? One day it might be the work of art I picture, but for now, it’s mine. And it’s just what I need.