Well thanks so much for all of the wonderful comments on my black door disaster project! You all are the sweetest. I’m pretty smitten with it, and I am SO relieved for a happy ending. ;)
About three weeks ago I celebrated three years of blogging – and by celebrated I mean I went “Wow, it’s been THREE years?” in my head.
I could have at least made a cupcake to celebrate. Or a cookie. SOMETHING. :)
I was going to write a post and share what I’ve learned about blogging in the past three years, but the more I thought about it, them more it morphed into this post.
There are so many ways I have been blessed by blogging – I won’t go into all of them here, but if you’ve read for awhile you know the opportunities that have come my way (like a a cutie TV host who liked my blog), the wonderful people I’ve met, the fun places I’ve been and the inspiration and love I get from all of you on a daily basis. It’s priceless.
But at least once every few days I see how it can take it’s toll on bloggers and readers. Reading and writing blogs can be completely overwhelming – it doesn’t matter what side of it you’re on. Sometimes my mind positively spins with the ideas. Many nights I lay awake, not able to turn off my brain.
The blog world is a wondrous one with some of the most beautiful people ever. But if you’re not careful, it also comes with feelings of insecurity, jealousy and resentment.
After three years under my belt, I still feel all of those more often than I like to admit – but I’ve found ways to deal with them that work for me.
So on my three year anniversary three weeks late, I wanted to share them with you. :)
The Numbers Game
As a blogger, it’s oh-so-hard to not make it all about the NUMBERS. If you blog, youknowwhatI’msayin’.
Followers, subscribers, readers, fans, friends, rankings, analytics, comments, page views…I could go on and on. On any given day there are at least ten ways I can check to see my “status” in the blog world. It’s absolutely overwhelming.
So I figured out how to avoid stressing about them.
I don’t look.
Serious as a heart attack. Yes, I look randomly. I check stats once a month, usually. Every couple of weeks I look to see how many Twitter followers I have. Once a week I’ll look to see what posts had more comments than others. But I do not look every day.
I value my sanity. Because if I look at mine – I know how I compare with other blogs.
And that’s where it gets ya! :)
The Numbers (capitalized because they are just that powerful) can totally mess with your head.
It makes me feel all why-didn’t-my-post-get-that-response? and why-did-my-page-views-drop?? and oh-my-gosh-I-must-tweet-more-so-I-can-get-more-tweeps-on-Twitter!!!!
Panicky. Anxious. Unsure. Questioning how I do what I do.
I hate it. Sure, I keep hoping that I’ll evolve into this incredibly mature woman who doesn’t let that bother me – but I’m 35 and it’s still going strong.
It’s normal people – human nature.
But if you let it, it will take over and suck your mojo and your energy and your vibrancy and your creativity. You’ll do things because you think someone else will like it, not because you do. Your blog will become something you have to work at instead of something that flows out of you and that’s FUN. (It really, really should be fun. Really.)
I never want to be a slave to my blog. I want it to continue to be my escape, my inspiration, my dream job come true. (And in turn, not work.)
So…I don’t look. I know, I know, some of you are thinking – but she’s got all those followers, she doesn’t need to look. But someone is ALWAYS bigger than me – better at it, dedicating more time to it. If I kept track, I know myself and know I would let it overwhelm me. I feel like my blog is where it’s at now because I focus so little on those numbers and more about what I’m putting on your computer screen.
The Grass is Greener
As a reader, I know that green-eyed monster rears it’s head often. We’re inundated with gorgeous, well-styled photos. That’s part of the deal – most of the time, I want to see pretty pictures, not your husband’s socks on the floor. I’m guessing that’s what you want too. (If not, tell me and I show you my husband’s socks more often.)
But after seeing the “perfection” day in and day out, it can leave us feeling less than…well, just less than. You know what I mean.
DIY/decorating bloggers aren’t usually sharing the crappy, annoying things that happen in life on a day to day basis. And sometimes not even the really sad or bad things. Personally I struggle with how much to put out there. Because I share so much of my home and life, I feel like I need to hold back a little with our personal lives. (One of the many reasons I rarely show my son on this blog – I need to keep some of “me” private.)
In general, I’m just a happy person. I hate being in a bad mood – HATE IT. Being depressed makes me…well…depressed. (Brilliant. I know.)
I know the good are the parts that show through and the lives of bloggers can seem so perfect. Thing is – my life is perfect FOR ME. I guarantee you it’s not perfect for you. Promise. Cross my heart. I love our live with a deep, intense passion. I wouldn’t change a thing – good or bad – and it’s what works for us.
But it’s probably not your version of a perfect life. And the longer I do this, the more I find out that very few bloggers have the life that comes across on their blog. It’s not because they’re trying to mislead anyone either – it’s just a matter of being a positive person, and balancing how much they share with the world.
I told you a long time ago how I found out something about a blogger I used to be SO jealous of and it completely changed my view of her. I realized her life wasn’t perfect – even though it appeared that way. And she wasn’t trying to fake us out in any way. It was just a personal thing she chose not to disclose. Her life was not perfect, even though it appeared that way sometimes.
Basically -- there’s always more than the pretty pictures. It doesn’t always mean there’s strife in their lives – it just means the not-perfect stuff is not always put out there, for numerous reasons.
I know it’s hard to think of it that way sometimes, but I try to remember that when I feel the jealously coming on.
Someone will hate your house.
Someone will point out all of your grammar mistakes.
Someone will comment on your parenting skills, having never met you and never known you.
Someone will hate your style.
Someone will be livid because you choose to make money off your blog.
Someone will be positively horrible, mean, nasty. About decorating? (Huh?!)
It’s endless. I’ve gotten them all. All of them sting, feel like a punch to the gut, some bring on tears.
All, in the end, are borne out of frustration, jealously, anger, boredom, exhaustion or just plain sadness.
No matter how much they hurt, remember that.
There have been so many times I’ve not liked a project as I surf around blogland. I don’t leave nasty, or even negative comments. If I don’t like it, I move on. I will never understand why some don’t.
You need a tough skin to be a blogger – especially if you’re sharing your home or your life. Eventually, the longer you blog, the bigger you get, it’s going to happen.
It’s no secret I delete nasty comments. I know it riles some people up. (Buwhahahaha!!) I don’t care. It’s my blog, it’s my home. Leaving nasty comments up invites kind of a group think reaction – people will read through to find the one person that even slightly agrees with them, and then they feel bold enough to leave (an anonymous) comment.
I spend a LOT of time on my projects, my house and my blog. I believe that deserves respect, plain and simple.
I don’t think it’s the right response for everybody – it’s just how I chose to deal with the nasties. If I leave a mean comment up, it festers and grows and weighs on me. Once it’s gone, POOF!, it’s gone, out of my heart and my mind.
And I don’t delete them all – it depends on my mood. If I’m feeling feisty that day I’ll leave it up. :) (And sometimes Blogger catches them and sends them to spam so I don’t have to do it.)
It works for me. It’s how I deal. It’s how I focus on doing what I do. The fun stuff, the stuff I love!
All this being said – there’s definitely something to be said about keeping track of where you’re at as a blogger. The Numbers can give you a kick in the booty you may need, they may spur on a competitiveness that can be a GOOD thing.
Feeling some jealously of other homes and other lives may inspire you to do more in your home. It may spur you on to change something in your life for the better. Those are good things.
And even the nastiest comment teaches me something. With each one, I appreciate my perfect-for-me life more and more. And that is a VERY good thing. ;)
Did I miss anything? Have you felt this way about blogging or reading blogs? (Hello, you are human.) How do you deal with it, as a reader or as a blogger?
Love you bunches Squeezies – thanks for a fantastic three years and here’s to many more!! WHOO!!