Friday, March 2, 2012

More Thoughts on Blogging from a Reader and a Writer

I've been in a blogging funk lately.  And I wish I had a nickel for every time I've typed that here because I think all of my money stress would evaporate.

The difference between this funk and past ones, however, is that I'm feeling it in writing and reading.

Let's start with the writing, since that's the easiest to...well, write about, I guess. I feel like with every post I'm trying too hard.  Trying to stand out, to seem interesting, to catch the eye of somebody new.  I feel like many of the posts that are intended to be genuine come across as self-serving and whiny.  I'm trying too hard because the inspiration is gone and I'm relatively sure that is 100% obvious to anyone who reads. It's interesting that the harder you try the harder it is to write anything genuine.

Now on to the reading.  I'll begin by saying a couple of things: first, I know many others have written posts similar to this one so I'm probably a bit late to the party.  Second, I don't begrudge other bloggers for what they choose to write about. Your blog is your own and you should be able to say or post whatever the hell you want to.  This isn't to say that people shouldn't disagree or offer differing viewpoints if they are invited; I'm of the mind that congenial disagreement only serves to enliven the writing and reading process.  My issue recently is that sometimes what a blogger chooses to write just isn't something that interests me, which is more an issue with me and my interests than with the blogger since I am perfectly capable of just not reading what that particular person has to write (which is one reason why I think that websites/blogs devoted to hating on blogs are kind of pointless).  I'm sure there are plenty of people who have come to my blog once or twice, or many times, and decided that I'm not producing anything that holds any interest for them.

I'm not out to dictate, nor am I qualified to dictate, what people should and shouldn't write about.  I know that I don't want to be pressured into writing about something that makes me uncomfortable or doesn't move my blog in a direction I want to go. At this point, I just find myself gravitating more toward people who share their lives with me.

Lately I have found myself passing over most--though certainly not all--outfit posts, link-ups, DIYs, or Etsy treasuries in favor of posts about someone's day, or a weak period someone may be going through, or a strong one.  Not to belabor my point or my fear of offending someone, but this isn't to say that there's anything wrong with a few outfit posts, link-ups, DIYs, or Etsy treasuries now and then...they just aren't something I as a reader find inspiring anymore. I read a post recently advising bloggers not to write personal posts because it's unprofessional and unfocused, and while that is certainly a valid way to run a blog, it personally made me kind of sad.  For my sake, and because of my personal interests, I hope that bloggers aren't pulling away from delving into their personal lives.  For me, and I grant that I always could be alone or in the minority, that's always what this has been about.

I'm kind of at a point in blogging, I suppose, where it's time to start clearing out my reading list and stop reading blogs just to read them. I also want to become a better and more robust commenter, rather than the drivel I've been producing lately (which I apologize for).  Because I'm relatively unsure of exactly what I want to do, the process just ends up being frustrating and exhausting (first world problems, amiright? I feel like such a whiny ass for writing this).

I hope I don't seem as though I think I have all the answers in blogging or that I'm judging others. Lord knows that most days I slam my head on the keyboard or take a photo of myself in pajamas and call it a day. I'm really grateful that I've met so many amazing people through this blog and I hope to continue the friendships that I have developed.

I don't think I could stop writing so I'm not trying to throw a pity party, but I might end up pulling away to some extent to figure out just what the hell is the deal with my funk.

I hope you're all having a wonderful Friday.

22 comments:

  1. Caitlin I think this is the kind of post that tells everyone out there WHY you should keep your blog up- you're an honest writer and like you said, sometimes that goes missing in the blogosphere.

    This summer my Google Reader was at almost 100 blogs, and it felt like a CHORE. I realized I had started following a bunch of blogs just to get noticed which made me go "who are you right now?"... I just don't want to be that kind of blogger. The blogs I follow get commented on atleast 2 out of ever 3 posts because that's how I like to follow people's lives. It bothers me that people just follow blogs but don't even bother getting involved.

    Anyway that's my own personal rant, but I think every avid blogger reader/writer needs to clear out their GR's once in a while to make space for the new stuff that inspires you NOW. I'm not a DIY/outfit post kinda reader either, but one every once in a while is okay with me. I still love blogs that have personal touches- I think that's one of the most important thing that bloggers who go BIG tend to forget about... So I stop following along.

    Never stop writing Caitlin because you're great at it & you have content that so few bloggers out there have right now. You just need to go on a hunt to fill your reader with the stuff that inspires you, whoever that may be! :)

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  2. about the writing part...i definitley feel like the days i just sit down and write about what's on my mind, those are the posts that i love the most and feel the most genuine. when i have a topic on my mind, my writing feels too forced and fake, and therefore i don't like it. so i totally know what you mean.

    as for the reading part, even some of my favorite bloggers sometimes do posts i don't really like or that don't really interest me. i think that's totally normal. if this goes on for every post for a few weeks though, i usually stop reading along just because it does feel like a waste of time. also, posts i can't relate to or don't interest me sometimes me make feel inferior or negative (not sure why) and since i don't like those feelings, i stop reading.

    that's just my take on it! ;)

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  3. I definitely think that you just said what i'm thinking. I'm in such a rut and I feel like I only read some blogs out of habit now- because they're on my reader. Outfit posts bore me; as someone who has just moved home and thus pretty poor, they're almost sad to read. Sponsored posts and events posts make me switch off immediately. I don't know, perhaps I'm snobbish. But I just want to write about my day. I just want to converse and be equal with any readers; I don;t want to have a thousand readers, i want to form relationships and speak to people from different backgrounds and countries.
    I don't know, maybe i'm just rambling.
    Thank you for posting this, I needed to read it.
    Kelli
    @kellipandaaa
    www.pandaaa.com

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  4. You know what? You are not alone. I've been thinking something very similar lately. The kind of posts that really interest me have gotten so diluted between all the outfit, etsy and pinterest posts that have very little content apart from a pretty picture or two. I love crafting and I really appreciate a good tutorial that teaches something new but I'm so bored by the millionth "This is how you glue some fabric using mod podge (why never another brand of glue? ) to a shoe/belt/jar/kid/pet/piece of rubbish to make it UNIQUE and VINTAGE".

    I think the solution is to declutter my reading lists. To be honest, I think its a little like ones cupboard. At some point, things become mismatched and boring and worn and it's time to identify the favorite pieces, get rid of the rest and make some room for something new. I think I might make that the plan for tomorrow.

    As for writing: You will still be on my bloglist when the weekend is over. That's all I've got to say about this.

    Zelde

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  5. I enjoy your blog. I enjoy reading blogs about normal people and their lives. I find that the etsy, artsy, fashion blogs are like those Facebook friends who seem to have perfect, fabulous lives. The blogs showing peoples fabulous fashions and fabulous homes seem kind of depressing. Keep blogging from the heart and I'll keep reading.

    See ya on Words with friends.

    julie

    www.japolina.blogspot.com

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  6. First of all, I love you and your blog. You are just one of those people I gravitate to. Never stop being you, never stop writing about what's on your heart because that's what makes your blog so beautiful.
    Second, I totally feel you on the reading part. I saw a post recently that advised bloggers to make their blogs specific, fit into a category and stay there, don't get too personal. I think that's sound advice if you are doing this for money but for those of us who are just looking for a creative outlet, not so. My blog is not for everyone, it's a blog about family and some would probably think that I'm too positive and label me fake. I've seen that alot in the blog world, too: if you are TOO positive you're labeled a phony. If you are too real you get a shit ton of haters. Bottom line, DO YOU. You can't please everyone and, truthfully, my favorite blogs are the ones who don't give a shit about the people reading them, they are just themselves. I love looking into people's lives and hearing their perspectives and connecting through our shared experiences. That's the magic of blogging for me. And I feel that way about your blog.

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  7. I, for one, love reading your posts about your life, Rob, your adventures and even your anxiety challenges. I feel like these are the things that define your blog & make it stand out. Please don't feel like you need to do anything extra to get noticed. Your readers always appreciate your honesty and genuine-ness!

    In response to some of he comments, though, I feel that blogs who focus on outfits, crafts or etsy are not necessarily trying to project a certain 'perfect image'. It may just be the reason they chose to blog. Some people are not as comfortable with sharing as much about their personal lives. In my opinion, that's okay.

    Take all the time you need to figure it out. I'll be ready to read when inspiration strikes you!

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  8. Aw I completely get what you mean. I have actually even had great friends whose blogs I couldn't stand and found myself dreading having to read. I loved the people themselves and it had nothing to do with them, it was just that what they were writing about wasn't something I could fit into at that time.
    I'm glad you're still here and I know you'll pop out of your funk soon enough and have all kinds of wonderful things to say again.
    Like your post earlier today! I read it this morning but didn't comment because I was late for work. I tried to comment this evening but it said the post was already gone. I for one liked that post and think you might be judging yourself a bit too harshly if that was one of the ones you felt poorly about.

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  9. I don't understand the point of Pinterest posts - that's why Pinterest exists! If we follow you on Pinterest, we already know what you've pinned so blogging about it is REDUNDANT. I don't mind outfit posts so much, I like to see photos of peoples' actual lives and of them and I want to hear about their LIVES! The best blogs are the ones that are sometimes triumphant, sometimes vulnerable. I try to strive for that, and that's what keeps me out of blogging funks. Your rant is right on the money. And I love your blog. You're real. Thanks for that.

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  10. My peeve with blogging is how it seems like it's a popularity contest.. I wasn't into them in hs- not now either. I just blog to be me if people think am self absorbed or uninteresting, then oh well... As far as other bloggers go--- if they write about something I can relate to one week and not the next, it doesn't bother me.. I only "unfollow" someone if they are being racist or something. I'm just interested in people.. Good, bad or indifferent.

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  11. I'm not sure if I've commented yet, but I'm someone new that your blog has caught the eye of (did that make ANY sense?). I totally understand this post this, and I agree with it wholeheartedly. I understand if a blogger wants to keep their personal life out of their blog, but for myself personally, the blogs that are personal and honest through the good and the bad are the ones I identify with the best. It's also the way I feel is best for my own blog as I've struggled to decided where to take it. I feel like I can serve people and myself the best by being honest and open. To me, it just seems like another genre. Some people blog about clothes or crafts or food or whatever, and some people blog about their lives and their struggles and their triumphs, and that's not only perfectly valid, but it's awesome. I think it takes a lot of courage to open up to the internet, but a lot of good can come from it, so I thank you and applaud you for being honest.

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  12. i totally agree. {i hope that doesn't sound contrary to the post i just did about not sharing all the details of my life with everyone on the internet. my point there was more that i should have absolutely the final say about what i share about my life and what i keep to myself.}
    i want blogging to be what it was before sponsors and numbers and giveaways. i want it to be interesting and informative and friendly and cool and nerdy and all that.
    i kind of am glad google friend connect is going away....you know?

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  13. I need to clean up my google reader. I have found myself skipping over certain blogs more and more frequently. But I never feel like you are trying too hard. I love how you talk about the good and the bad things going on in your life. You are so relatable, and I will take a bologna like yours over a pinteresting bologna anyday. :)

    (Bologna=blog) auto-correct changed it, and it was too funny to fix. I have always loved your bologna.

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  14. I have so many Google Reader subscriptions that I don't even use it anymore. It's just stupid. Lately I only read the blogs of those I have a commenting-relationship with, and those who are my favourites linked on my own blog. That's it. Thanks to this post I just spent 10 minutes deleting almost all of my subs... left with 77. Perfect :-)

    As for your writing - your blog is one of my favourites to actually read. And I mean that very sincerely - I have a lot of blogs I'll visit occasionally and skim through the first page of posts, but your blog is one of the few where I take the time to read every post, because they're just interesting and I like the way you write. Keep on keeping on - but only so long as you enjoy it.

    Do I even make sense? I can't tell sometimes.

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  15. i couldn't agree more.
    frankly, there are only 10 or so blogs i care to read anymore, because of a personal connection or their honesty in their writing.
    and i personally only care to post about things happening in my life.
    i don't like the idea that it's being said to NOT post personal things on your blog...
    it's that how you make connections, friends?... through honesty??

    i like you a lot caitlin. and i really like your blog.
    <3

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  16. I haven't though you sounded like you were trying too hard - all I've noticed is that you've been a bit stressed lately and, frankly, who wouldn't be, moving to a new city? I love your writing and this kind of honest post is exactly why I hope you carry on.

    As for the reading, I used the axing of Friend Connect as a prompt to clear out my subscriptions. I like the occasional DIY post (and I sometimes write them myself), but I don't like reading blogs which are clearly just a marketing tool for somebody's shop - obviously plenty of other people do, but for me blogging is a way for us to be ourselves and connect with other people, not to earn a lot of money. I'm just moving my attention to a different part of the blog world, that's all - one which is better suited to my tastes.

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  17. I'm right there with you, as of late there are quite a few blogs on my reader that I just skip right over because I feel like I cannot relate to or interests me. But even after months of pretty much skipping over every post they make I have such a hard time deleting them from my reader because I always have the thought that maybe I will enjoy them again. One day maybe I will be able to clean out my list.

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  18. I recently cleaned out my blog reads. As I went through them I would either go "eh" or "love it, must keep" and yours was on in the latter. After I cleaned them out I realized that the ones I kept were because I felt like I would literally miss them if I stopped reading. Not their tutorials or their link ups. But their personal lived. Almost as if they're my friends. A bit creepy, maybe lol but that's what's great about blogging.
    Don't ever stop blogging! A lot of people would miss you! ;)

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  19. I like this post, lady, and know what you mean. :)

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  20. hey lady, totally agree with you. and i came across a similar article about NOT blogging on your personal stories. personally, my blog is my space and i write what i want. if people want to join me on my journey than i am thrilled to have them, but the bottom line is i blog for me. i try to focus on the ups but there are downs too. and that is life.

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  21. I think it's great you are so honest in your blog posts, that takes balls. In regard to you skipping over blog posts you arent interested in, well duh. Who doesn't do that? It's kind of funny but I have the opposite POV when it comes to personal posts vs. "pretty stuff" posts. I find myself skipping over posts that are too familiar. I can barely remember to call back my own friends, so I think it's funny that bloggers expect others to know their family and friends by name. I love glimpses into others lives and hearing of their triumphs and struggles, don't get me wrong. I also like seeing those "pretty things" posts because I like fashion, and handmade, and DIYs. I feel sometimes, if things are too personal, a blog can quickly become too "woe is me" or diary-like. I don't take offense if you don't comment on posts you dont find interesting or if you stop reading my blog all together if it's not your thing. I blog about what I like, as everyone should. I love that you are honest and open and "real" on your blog and I hope you continue to stay true to you. (sorry if Im just rambling. I read this on my phone and had to comment!) Anyways, you're awesome!

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  22. Hey chickadee! I love reading your blog and I've loved getting to know you via emails, gchat, blog posts, etc. in the last few months. I agree with you about my focus changing regarding the blogs that I read. For awhile I was really into the DIY, etc. and while I still love it, the posts that I find myself reading consistently are those that share real feelings and make me feel less alone with the crazy thoughts that go through my head. I am guilty of sometimes posting drivel (like today's poop commercial post) but I still think it's important to make my blog a place where people can relate to me on a deeper level. I hope that's what you're finding at Little Spindle AND that you'll keep writing this type of material on your bloggity blog.

    K, that's all for now BYEEEEEE!!
    Dani

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