1/17/2010

Simplification

Though I may not be blogging much lately, I am doing a lot of thinking, if that counts for anything. In the past couple of weeks I've been trying to get my (metaphorical) house in order, though, like all the other times, it will all soon fall apart. Again.

Anyway, while I was away, thinking and pondering, pondering and thinking - my FIVE YEAR BLOGIVERSARY passed. Five damn years. Not only does this mean that I have been writing this claptrap for that amount of time, but that I've known my Cheese Wife for pretty much that long. There we were, but babes in the infertile wood, and he we are five years later, both with drastically different lives. I'm thankful that there are more of you out there that I have known for just about as long, and happy that we're all still around in some capacity - whether it is still in blog form, email, or Facebook. I scoff in the general direction of all those who say you cannot form "proper" relationships in cyberspace. Do people even say "cyberspace" anymore?

The wheels in my wee head have been turning, consumed with thoughts of my own personal evolution as a blogger. No doubt Mel would write about this subject (and probably has) far better than I can, but I'm just going to go and talk about it anyway.

Within the last year, if not a bit more, my perspective on blogging has changed quite drastically. In the time before, I was perhaps a bit too consumed with trying to plump up my traffic, increase my profile, and befriend big(ish) names. I was never too ambitious, as I think a lot of the bloggers classified as A-list are not very good writers and/or entertaining and wouldn't sell myself just for the sake of squealing when one linked to me (she says, mentioning good writing after that awkward sentence). I was never so crass as to be obvious about it; I just cannot starfuck without feeling like a dirty, dirty whore.

I don't know why I wanted more readers. I'm too much of a flake to handle the online friendships I have now, so I can't imagine, at least not conciously, that I wanted to make more friends. Perhaps it's a tiny amount of that basic, high school-ish desire to hang out with those that are considered the cool kids. For the most part, that isn't what it was about for me, since I didn't much care for that rubbish when I was in high school. Admittedly, there are some bloggers that are popular and that I think are downright fabulous, and even now in my devil-may-care phase, I'd be lying if I said I didn't secretly want them to read me, just once. Luckily, one of them, the aforementioned, almighty Mel, does pop in every once in awhile, and heck, I think she even likes me!

I have always enjoyed receiving comments, as we all do, and I've always drawn a parallel (at least on my own blog)with good writing yielding a higher number of comments. Of course we know that isn't strictly true, as I have been to some truly dire blogs with dozens of comments, but I judge my own blog differently for some reason. I think we've all been in a position in which we have written a post we are really proud of, or is particularly heartfelt, but draws very little response. I like writing, and since I don't do that in an academic setting at the moment (though this is to change in a few weeks' time), it's nice to have occasional feedback, however informal.

So yes, maybe it's the Citalopram setting my head right, perhaps it's because I'm an old lady now at 31 and will find joy in things like cats and pensions instead of blog popularity. It's not an issue of not enjoying my blog anymore - I can't invisage giving it up anytime soon, but I can't be bothered with all of the politics and preening. I'm going to go simple and just blog for blogging's sake. I'm going to keep on (trying) to read the same blogs I've known and loved for years, and not add any with the view of trying to garner new readers. I applaud those of you who have been that way since you started, clearly you're higher up the blogging evolutionary chain.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go dig out the raisin I've just dropped in my cleavage, then commence with the burning of patchouli and listening to the Grateful Dead.

17 comments:

nutsinmay said...

Hola, chiquita. Lovely to have you back.

I've always loved your blog. When a new post from you pops up in google reader I squee just a teeny bit. So, you know, I want you to hang around for my own exceedingly selfish sake.

The popularity thing - damn me if I haven't on occasion got into a royal strop because MY post was FUNNY, and has, like THREE COMMENTS, and HERS is not only mispellt and ungrammatical but about as funny as a stubbed toe so WHYYYYY does everyone like HEEEERRRR. I do not understand it and I never shall. And I never did at school neither. Very few people liked me. Whyever not? Couldn't they see I was a genius somewhere on a par with the Brontes? (ahh, my chagrin when I realised I was, possibly, on a par with Bramwell).

Anyway, point of extended ramble: I wish blogging was a 'build it and they will come' exercise, but alas it is not, and I have still to work out what the magic It is, but if any blogger deserves it, you do, and if this sounds needy and stalkerish, sorry, but you mentioned your cleavage first.

kate said...

I agree pretty well with your summation of blogging popularity, and the need to pursue it. I want readers. I want people to like me.

But just this past weekend, something happened that pretty well convinced me that I do not really give a flying shit anymore. I was reading the blog of someone who I once had a connection with, and I read a snarky, crappy comment about a post I made a month or so ago wherein I complained about a parent who kept her overtired (and FUH-KING LOUD) 4-year-old out very, very late at a rather expensive and small/intimate restaurant effectively ruining my anniversary dinner (that the child was screaming bloody murder wasn't my problem. That the mother was having a casual conversation, laughing at her daughter as she went into a total meltdown, bent on discussing some stupid crap with her dining companion rather than once bothering to comfort/look at/listen to/feed the child... well, THAT I had a problem with).

And I thought for a minute, "Oh, no! I offended someone! That wasn't my intent!" And then I realized that there was NOTHING wrong with what I wrote, and NOTHING wrong with my observations, and that there were plenty of people who identified and very much agreed with my point of view, that parents who bring young children out late at night and proceed to completely ignore the child for a couple of hours while the poor kid WAILS about how they're tired and they want to go to sleep are the epitome of UN-FUCKING-COOL.

And I also determined that this particular blogger was herself a total glamour hog who was determined to build herself as a brand at any cost (including blogging as an infertile blogger, but miraculously getting knocked up without so much as an ovulation kit after trying for a few months...).

And then, I realized that I don't want to be her. I don't want to be shitty to people, I don't want to misrepresent myself just to garner readers, and I don't want to put my readership numbers as my main goal. I just want to write a blog. I want to talk about what it's like being pregnant and subfertile. I want to talk about my fears and my celebrations. I want to talk about the random crap that happens in my world. I want to share my pictures and my stupid observations and songs I like and food I like to eat.

And if some snarky fucktard doesn't like it, then I suppose that's just the way it has to be. I'd rather be a less-popular blogger than to be a complete fake. If I want people to like me, the truth is, I want people to like ME. Maybe that won't work, but that's how I think I need to be from now on.

Eva said...

Happy bloga-whatever. 5 years is a long time -- and how different your life is now! Kind of nice we don't have nearly as much time to write (or read) blog posts.

May said...

Isn't it amazing how much a SSRI prescription can clarify things for you? I am so much happier than I used to be. I'm glad you've come to a happy place.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

Oh you whore, I'm always here whenever you haul your ass online and do post. You're in my Reader.

I love this post. I love how you've changed over the years and still stayed yourself too. I'll always be here whenever you bring yourself around.

Meg said...

I still love your posts too, Pru. In the reader.


Might write something myself too one day. Aside from FB status updates, heh.

rachel said...

Oh Pru - you're so cute. I don't even know if anyone at all reads the drivel I write anymore, but I don't care. It seems like every blog has to have some over-arching theme or purpose and mine sure as hell doesn't. Unless you count my "life" as the theme... hmm.

Chickenpig said...

Ooooooh....Mel called you a whore! I'm jealous, jealous, and green with envy. :)

Julie said...

Can you also muster some enthusiasm for trusses, when you're not too busy drooling over cats and pensions...?

There are times when I wish I felt more inclined to self-promote, to network, to...professionalize, if that's a word. And to write at all, actually, because these days the urge doesn't strike as frequently.

But I'm finding it almost impossible to move myself out of the place where I'm writing just because I happen to feel like it that day, and I have to remind myself that that's a good thing. An authentic thing.

You have a much better handle on it than I do -- not bad for an old lady!

Kristin said...

Happy 5 years! It's always nice to see another blogger who has been around almost as long as me.

Betty M said...

Happy blogaversary.
I love coming by even if it takes e weeks to actually comment. Bad visitor.
How are the plans to escape broken Britain?

Clover said...

Hey you- your email is hard to track down. I changed my blog password. Email me if you want it. Clover

Kristi said...

Happy 5 Years. My own 5th Anniversary is coming up in July. Is it even possible that we've been blogging this long (or that we're this old-although you are a couple years younger than me).

Blogs evolve, and you've evolved with it, but your blog is still extremely well written, hilarious, and even though I read far fewer blogs than I once did, one of the ones I always visit (even though I may not comment).

Keep on writing, Pru, and I'll keep on reading.

PS: I'm thinking of either resurrecting Mush or starting a new "something" for kid/family-friendly recipes. Interested?

Anonymous said...

Oh goodness, yes, I understand this completely. I forget sometimes that blogging is my way of journaling in an organized fashion, a way to not deal with larger callouses or messy handwriting and I can delete a bit easier if I've blogged when, erm, I should not have. Keep writing. We'll keep reading.

xo
Molly
http://www.roots-andwings.blogspot.com/

Kristine said...

Five years! That's impressive! I think I've been reading for a good 4 plus of those.

You keep writing, I'll keep reading!

electriclady said...

Dude, because Bloglines sucks I never saw this post when it originally went up and I only saw it now because I was randomly clicking around my favorite blogs. I am with you on the blogging for blogging's sake--I just don't have the energy to do all the commenting etc. that it takes to build an audience or make new connections anymore. Sad but true. I read the same folks, I comment back to the 5 or 10 people who still comment on my blog, and that's about all I can handle.

But you know you'll always be on my list. Mwah!

SassyCupcakes said...

Congrats on five years. You've come so far. I've gone through so many blogs in that time and I'm practically blogging in a closet at the moment with passwords and paranoia. You've always been so open and honest, you're such a strong woman.

(Word verification is 'elites', even it thinks you're cool.)