February 3, 2012

TGIF: Zen Blogging Edition



Last September I wrote a post called Zen Blog Reading, in which I expressed how I do not stress about reading every single blog post out there and I don't think anyone should stress about such a thing.

Not that I thought my little post would change the world cuz it's not like anybody actually listens to me, but I am STILL seeing this problem among my fellow bloggers, and I just don't understand it.

Am I being naive? Is there something I'm missing?

I read on one blog that she doesn't think she has anything interesting to say.

I read on another that she needs to take a step back, that it's gotten too overwhelming.

I hear from others that they have such a hard time getting to all the posts they think they should and when they look at the number in their Reader, they panic.

And, I've also heard that some people aren't good at commenting and feel badly about that.

All of this kind of really bothers me.

Blogging is supposed to be FUN.

It is supposed to make those of us who do it HAPPY.

It's supposed to be one of the things that RELIEVES stress, not adds to it.

(Yes, even if it becomes more than just personal blogging, like if you start making money through, or as a direct result of, it.)

I've written before about how blogging makes me feel. It's all laid out in my About Me page. I feel like I have found my voice, something I'm good at. I'm thrilled to have become a blogger!

And I truly don't feel much stress over any of it.

Yes, if you want to be an active participant in the blogosphere, build a community and make friends, it takes some work...and time...and you could get obsessed with it all.

Layout and design.

Comments and commenting.

Memes and hops.

SOCIAL NETWORKING.

However, I am here to tell you that it CAN and SHOULD be BALANCED with the rest of your life.

And...

Wait for it....

You can only do what you can do in a given day.

If you simply do not have time to do as much as the next blogger, then you don't.

But wait, there's more.

You should not feel guilty about any of it.

Stop the presses!

I'm serious, people. Blog, read others' blogs, comment, tweet, stumble, facebook like, pin and link-up as much as you can and want to. What you give, you should get back. Don't worry that other bloggers do more than you. Don't fret over missing a week of Listicles or WTF or even my TGIF. While I would love to see lots of you here, I'll still be here next week.

I decided to zero out my Reader on New Year's Eve, to start 2012 with a clean bloggy slate. I also unsubscribed from some blogs I just wasn't connecting with (the horrors!). I decided to go to each blog and make sure I was following them on Twitter and Facebook, and then I deleted some from my Reader. After that, I went through the rest of my list, read and commented on some of the most recent posts, and marked the rest as read because I just wasn't going to be able to get to them.  And now, I have decided that I will zero out my reader on the last day of every month.

Because I just don't need a bazillion posts hanging over my head. And neither do you!

Honestly, some of the best posts I read, I clicked through to while on Twitter or Facebook anyway. The people I stalk love to read daily, I do that. Both ways of getting to posts make me happy.

And I feel like I'm a great bloggy friend. I tweet out posts I particularly like, if I read, I take the time to comment, I respond to all my comments and tweet the posts of the hosts I link-up with. I have been publishing Best of the Blogosphere posts every month, just to show my love for my fellow bloggers.

By the way, if you have written a post that you especially want me to read and comment on, tweet or email me the link. I have no problems with that at all. I've done it when I thought the topic might particularly interest someone.

I am no bloggy snob, and I think, for the most part, neither are others. (Maybe not even the *big* bloggers.)

I know this is getting long for a TGIF post, but I have one more point I want to make. My good friend Jenn at Fox in the City recently wrote a post about the idea that blogging is narcissistic.  I do not think this is the case, nor does Jenn. And honestly, I get a little offended when people say that.

I mean, I suppose it could be, and I suppose I can understand why people would assume that (whatever). But what I really think it's about? The actual writing of blog posts, as well as reading and commenting and sharing....is about VALIDATION.

Don't quote me on this, but I think Dr. Phil once told Oprah that the one thing all human beings want is validation. For someone to simply say, I get it, I feel you, me too, YOU'RE NOT THE ONLY ONE. And does it not feel good when you get that? It totally does.

I am currently participating in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge with The SITS Girls. The first thing I read in the book was about an "elevator pitch", and it was suggested that I ask a few people to describe how they see my blog. One of the people I asked was my Dad. He gave me an amazing response:
Well……..while it may have started as a way to vent and analyze your feelings, by seeing it in print, which has that wonderful affect of allowing you to be more objective, as you lose the mood you had when you wrote it and then read it again (payoff being that you eventually sense your true motivation for what you felt), the welcome surprise was that there were many people that related to your circumstances and felt moved to support you emotionally, bringing you great warmth and joy from the sharing.  This charged your batteries to continue the hard work of your day to day, knowing that you are really not alone.
My Dad said that. A man! Even guys can understand. This made me so HAPPY!

In conclusion, blogging is whatever YOU want it to be. There should be no expectations; you get back what you put out there. It shouldn't be a source of stress. It should make you HAPPY.

So what do you think?

What makes you feel HAPPY?
If you write a post, grab my TGIF button in the sidebar and link-up!

Oh, and speaking of linking up, did you see that nifty new button I have up there at the top of my sidebar? Please go to motherhood: TRUTH HERE and read all about what that's....about. Yeah.

24 comments:

  1. If you could see me right now . . . well you would probably laugh because I am currently giving you a standing ovation (which makes typing this a wee more challenging than I expected so I am not parking my arse on the seat).

    In my humble opinion, blogging should not be a chore. It should be beneficial in some way, not stressful . . . a release, a way to connect, a way to find support or validation. Whatever the reasons for it, if it has become a chore or just adds stress then it is time to take a break . . . step away from the computer.

    Love ya Jen with one "n"!!! Keep doing what you are doing and thanks for all of your amazing support. :) xxxx
    Jenn

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  2. I tend to go through phases so I created the Unmeme to help me keep it real and fun. Love your healthy blogging attitude...keep it up! Also, my dad reads my blog too :)

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    1. I think your Unmeme is a really clever idea!

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  3. You dad rocks!
    I wasn't sure if I should link up my post tonight. It is a happy one, but I am a bit reflective and remorseful so not sure if it is TGIF material. But then I read yours and it is like we are twins!! I find blogging a pleasure and all, but I struggle with not being a good bloggy friend. I know everyone is understandable and supportive, but I just feel like I should reciprocate more. It is all in my head I am sure-like mother's guilt :)

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    1. I think it is a lot like mom guilt. We should all give each other the benefit of the doubt and assume that we're all trying our hardest to be supportive of one another.

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  4. I love the way you view things - so very refreshing!

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  5. Oh giirrrrl. I wouldn't be me if I didn't obsess about everything, including blogging. But I hear ya. The biggest thing I worry about is not being a good bloggy friend. I worry if I'm not reading enough, not commenting enough, not sharing, etc. etc. etc. I feel like I receive so much support from everyone else and I wonder if I'm giving enough support back.

    And I concur - you are a GREAT bloggy friend!

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    1. Well, you know it's not as if I don't check my stats or get excited I see I have a new comment and stuff like that.

      You ARE very supportive!

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  6. I needed this tonight! Like a weight off my shoulders...another voice saying, "do what feels right for YOU!" and sometimes, I need someone ELSE to say it, so I can really believe it.

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  7. So I found this post very interesting of all the posts I have read in the last few weeks. As I am very new to blogging and still somewhat green about it. I started to realize I love the followers because that is exciting but the truth is I would actually like people to read what I write. Since I was a little girl I always wanted to be a writer. At this stage of my life this is the only way and outlet I found for that. I find that my skills still need a lot more to improve upon but I can tell you I am not here for the giveaways or you follow me so I follow you. I am realized just a few days ago actually I am truly interested in some people's blog and others not so much. I love to write, I love comments, but most importantly I feel I do for a creative outlet. If that's narcisstic than so be it. Right! :) Thanks for sharing this post. I appreciate it.

    Heather

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    1. That's great, Heather. You blog how you wanna blog and leave the rest up to fate!

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  8. I'm with you. It is suppose to be fun. I started blogging after my accident to help me start to heal. I started twitter for the same reason. For me it's been such a great support system in my recovery process. I spend so much time in the hospital and it's great to know there is always someone out there on Twitter to help keep me company. I love the world that I discovered in blogging and all the awesome people and connections.

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  9. I am one of the people who feels guilty about not commenting enough, but it's taking up so much of time and I was almost resenting it. So, like you, I deleted some blogs from my reader and I do the best I can. I know my friends will understand and will support me, even if I can't comment every day.

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    1. If it makes you feel any better, I feel pretty confident that you're still around. And I know you're busy with that little girl of yours!

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  10. --Excellent insight.

    It's all about balance:::balance:::balance.

    Super post. X

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    1. Thank you very much! Yes, balance is a huge thing.

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  11. She gets it all from me. Just wanted to get that out there.

    Love,
    Dad

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  12. I SO love this post Jennifer! I have only had my blog a few months and I admit, I always feel like I'm "behind" in some way; never posting enough, never reading enough, never involved enough and like everyone else has more time and is better at balancing all this than I am. I know it's wrong to constantly compare yourself to other people so I can't tell you how much I appreciate your post and the awesome reminder to stop stressing about this stuff! That we really blog for the fun of it, to feel supported and understood - and happy :) This was really beautiful and insightful, love that your dad got it as well!

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    1. Well I'm so glad you read it since it sounds like you needed to hear the things I said. We gotta try to keep these things in mind so we don't get burned out on blogging!

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