*warning: post ahead is a navel gazing look at blogging. Be ye warned.
Last week, I had a really crummy day. I got sucked into a vortex of grouchy, moody, no good feelings. Some of that was probably hormonal (ok, a lot of it), some of it some work stuff that was irritating me, and some of it…well, I just was in a bad mood.
In this bad mood, I was very down on myself. I hadn’t cracked the top ten losers on the Biggest Blogging Loser challenge–so why bother trying anymore(yes, after a week. Shut up, I said I was having a bad day)? I was tired of having the same fruitless arguments at work–why even attempt them? I was sick of not being good enough at being a mom, or a wife, or a friend.
And of course, in the midst of this came a (luckily for me quite rare) case of “why the hell am I bothering to blog?”-itis. I was seeing people with blogs that were mere months old that far surpassed the traffic and followers of my 2.5 year old blog. I was seeing people “making it big” when the only thing I could see that they had going for them was their ability to hustle and sell themselves. I was watching people get nominated for awards who–honestly–I can write circles around (and that’s saying something).
And then, like a perfectly timed gift from the universe, Anna linked to this article, Creating Without Ulterior Motives, on Facebook. At first, I’ll be honest, I clicked through out of a mild curiosity on the author (randomly, my husband used to work with Skellie. Her name pops up every so often and I get curious as to how she’s faring in a very, VERY different part of the internet universe than the one I occupy). But then, as I read, I realized it was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment.
I encourage you all to read the article, but the general gist of it is that as the internet has become a place for fortunes (ha) to be made, the idea of creating just to create has been lost. Everything is done with purpose–will this blog post bring me more traffic? Will this follower bring me closer to the dollah bills I need/deserve/want? And that, in general, you’ll find more fulfillment and happiness if you create not for those reasons, but for yourself. For your own pleasure–or for the pleasure of the connections it brings you rather than the “traffic” it creates.
I don’t think I’ve made any secret of the fact that I’d like this blog to be a little more than what it is currently. My “big” goal is for this blog and for NoodleKnobs, in some way, to bring in enough money to pay for the costs that go with them: hosting, domain registration, and in my current dream of dreams, money to go to one conference per year.
But reading that post by Skellie reminded me that I blog first and foremost because I love it. I love the little community I have here. I love putting my thoughts down “on paper.” I adore the people I’ve met through this blog, and I love feeling like I’m just chatting with you guys. I’m not a master sales person, I can’t hawk myself a million ways from Sunday just to drive up follower numbers. I’d rather have 12 of you who read me and chat with me, even if it means I never make a dime on this site, than 1200, or 12000 who are just a number in a sidebar. I didn’t get into blogging for awards, money, fame, or fortune–and despite a rare bad day, I can still say that 2.5 years later.
I’m going to keep working to make RambleRamble (and NoodleKnobs, and yes, the very rarely updated Essentials) a little bigger–hopefully bringing in a little money, which of course means I need higher traffic, and all the trappings that come with that–but Skellie reminded me that I don’t want to lose what I have to get that. I don’t want to create everything with an ulterior motive, I don’t want to always be watching those numbers, and I DON’T want to sell my soul for “blogging success.”
I’d rather we just be able to chat. And if I never hit it big but I get that? Well, I’ll count myself lucky.
(that being said, I am going to throw this out there. If there’s anything you guys wish I’d blog about more or less, or things you’d like to see, or general comments about any of the blogs, I’m open to hearing your feedback–either in the comments or by email. What’s a conversation without others to converse with right?).