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.