On Being a No-Name Blogger

18 Aug

Last week, @story3girl posted on her blog,  Sometimes It’s Hard, about how she was feeling lost in the blogging world.  There are so many big bloggers out there that it is all-too-easy to feel lost…like the new kid at school just learning the ropes and trying not to get a big “kick me” sign taped on her back.  Those big bloggers we all look up to?  Super-nice.  But it’s still hard not to feel intimidated.

She got me thinking about what I’m doing here in my little corner of the internet.  I mean, I know my IRL friends read the blog, and my FB friends usually click over, but do I want more?  Do I want to be an important blogger?  Do I want to make money with this?  Does blogging appeal to me as a career?

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being thrilled with the increased traffic and comments I’ve been seeing since I started back up this month  (and by increased, I mean sometimes I get 3 comments.  Woo hoo!).  There’s a validation in having people like what you have to say…especially since I spend most of my day with a toddler who rarely tells me what a great job I’m doing as a SAHM.  Comments and traffic are one of the ways bloggers feel “seen”.  And isn’t that what all people want?  To know they are being seen and heard for who they are?

But.  I started writing for me.  I needed an outlet for processing my experiences as a mother and a woman struggling with a mood disorder.  I suppose I could have bought a leather-bound journal at Barnes & Noble and written for myself, but without an audience, the writing would have been shallow and unfocused (I swear my old diaries are literally painful to read through).  The first thing my writing students learned to always ask was “who’s the audience?”  An audience holds you responsible for your writing.  They bring the writing to life.  This blog gives my writing purpose.

I like to think of my blog – my writing – like my music.  I play two instruments…well.  But I hold no expectations of ever being a famous pianist or  flautist.  I play for the love of music, for the process of learning a new piece, and for myself.  It’s been more difficult to enjoy and stay motivated without an ensemble to perform with, because music is just like writing – it needs an audience to truly come alive.  But still, I play, and I teach, and I share what I know.

As long as the writing continues to bring me clarity and serves as cheap therapy, I’ll still be here blogging.  I enjoy the process, and especially the peace being vulnerable and open has brought to my life.  And although I don’t get many comments, I know friends and family are keeping up with me, and that my words mean something to them.  I think that’s enough for me.

12 Responses to “On Being a No-Name Blogger”

  1. jamesandjax August 18, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    Your words mean something to me! I enjoy keeping up with you here (and on Twitter). I started my blog for the same reasons you did. And I think our blogging philosophy sounds much alike, too. If my blog ever were to become one of the popular ones, I’m not entirely sure I’d be able to handle that. I kinda like where I’m at right now.

    • learnedhappiness August 18, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

      Right?! The anonymity is kinda nice. I’m not sure I’d be able be myself if I felt like I *had* to write, or had to pander to a specific audience. I just want to write – be challenged by others – and do something for me.

  2. Alta August 18, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    It’s so easy as a blogger to get caught up in the whirlwind of trying to get more viewers, more comments, and comparing our blogging to those heavy hitters. I love reading how you work through this process…it helps me remind myself why I do what I do too!

    • MelissaBL August 18, 2011 at 9:54 am #

      I can completely relate. I always refer to myself as a newbie blogger – so many others have come before me – as moms, as people with diabetes, etc – that I’m late to the game. But I love the way you brought it back to music making – teaching, sharing, growing. That’s exactly why I blog. I love when I get comments and know it’s being read, but that’s not the point. Go, you!

      • learnedhappiness August 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

        Thanks, Mel. I LOVE when you post – it inspires me and challenges me. That’s what it should be about, I think.

  3. story3girl August 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    I have to say this. I am so glad that you do this for you. So glad that you can take so much satisfaction from it and that helps you in your growth and your healing. So so glad.

    But. I also want you to know how much better off I am for having read it. I am so grateful to you for what you write and so fortunate to have met you. And I’m happy for any new moms who somehow come across your blog, and for that reason I do hope you grow it, at least a little. And I say that without intending any pressure at all because you being you is what makes this so beautiful. So keep doing that.

    • learnedhappiness August 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

      Thanks. I feel the same – so glad we’ve connected. I love the community we’ve found ourselves in and I do hope it continues to grow, because what we contribute is a sense of reality and honesty to motherhood. I think our voices matter, even if only to each other. I would love to see it grow…if that’s where this takes me, I’m up for it. But I don’t want to feel like I *have* to grow it in order for it to be meaningful. If it keeps me sane and connected to friends, family, and #ppdchat mamas – for now that’s enough.

  4. AddyB August 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    “An audience holds you responsible for your writing. They bring the writing to life. This blog gives my writing purpose.” This…..this right here, is EXACTLY the realization I came too when I wrote about this earlier this week. Perfectly said. ::high five:: I’m so glad that you share what you experience and what you feel. I thoroughly enjoy being part of your audience. Love,

    A fellow no-name blogger 🙂

  5. mommypowers August 18, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    No name bloggers unite!! 🙂

  6. mammacockatoo September 6, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    I’m a bit late to the party, but glad I found you!

    I’ve struggled with similar thoughts. I originally started “blogging” when my son was very sick and somebody recommended a site to make updating people easier. Sometimes I wanted to talk about *me*, how *I* was coping etc., and I felt like I was doing the wrong thing because it was “his” blog and I was just drawing attention to myself (and yes, I remember certain people implying, if not explicitly saying, that). So I started my own blog, for me.

    I’m still torn about how big an audience I really want. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to actually be “famous”. But at the same time, I feel like I want *somebody* to read it. And then I worry that I’m not writing anything worth reading. Apparently I worry too much 😉

    • learnedhappiness September 7, 2011 at 8:31 am #

      Glad you’re here! =)

      I so understand that feeling of being torn about the audience. It really is enough that friends and family are reading and keeping up with me. And it’s helping me immensely to write. But I worry the same about writing something worth reading. I think that just comes with the blogging territory.

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