Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Don't Wanna be a Blog Whore

I have a confession to make.

Lately, I'm feeling GUILTY about this blog.

Not guilty like I should stop posting when I'm at the office and actually concentrate on real work or anything. No. I feel guilty like a kid who's been stealing her mom's cigarettes and smoking them at the bus stop with the other kids--not b/c she really likes to smoke, but b/c it's SO EASY TO GET AWAY WITH and now the other kids at the bus stop think she's cool, so she feels like she has to keep doing it.

***

Tonight, I was talking to a friend of mine. "Can I give you some criticism about the blog?" he asked.

I said sure.

He said (and this is not an exact quote, but close enough) "If you look back to the first month or so when you were writing, the things you were writing about were a lot more real. They were so truthful about your life and your situation that THEY WERE PAINFUL—BUT THEY WERE REALLY GOOD.

"And," he went on, "the stuff you're writing now is okay, but it's just gotten a lot more...MUNDANE."

He's absolutely right.

I don't want to be someone who writes things without thinking them through. And I’ve come to realize that the more I write in this blog and the more COMMENTS I get and the more UNIQUE VISITORS my stat counter records for me every day, the less I’ve been thinking things through.

And I could keep doing it this way, and my very sweet and LOYAL READERS would keep reading and keep commenting, and I would continue loving them for reading me daily. But I wouldn’t feel good about it.

But it’s addictive, right? You’re writing away in your blog in what you think is relative obscurity, then you get that much-anticipated FIRST COMMENT. So you hurry up and write another post. And then you get ANOTHER COMMENT. And this little voice in your head starts singing, “They like me! They really like me! And you’ve heard about THE POWER OF THE PRINTED WORD over and over again, but it’s so much different when you’re the person WRITING THE WORDS.

It’s a total rush. It’s a total ego boost. And it’s a total MIND FUCK.

I started this blog to be creative. But lately, I think the blog is hurting me more than it’s helping me. In recent days especially, I've SACRIFICED QUALITY for getting a post up so I can see if people will comment—and so I see how many unique visitors I get per day.

And that makes me feel kind of DIRTY. And even though this blog is all true, it kind of makes me feel like I’m being less than truthful.

Because it’s easy to post about the shoes in my desk drawer or the non-celebrities I saw this weekend, but when I do that, I’m AVOIDING the real things that I’m feeling and thinking.

And it’s easier to write about the FLUFFY stuff than it is to write about the real, painful, scary stuff.

And I don’t want it to be that way.

I don’t want to be a blog whore.

10 Comments:

Blogger elizalou said...

I totally understand. I feel the same way a lot of the time. I started a blog because I wanted to really practice writing. I never really got around to it though.

I think a lot of the problem for me is the whole anonymity thing. I want to write things that really matter, but to do that I have to get personal. And while I wouldn't mind dozens of strangers reading about things very personal to me, it does kind of freak me out to think that people I actually know might stumble across it. So I censor myself sometimes, thinking of those who already do read and those who might stumble across me through some clever Google search.

At any rate, I do enjoy reading your posts and I'll stay tuned no matter which way you decide to go.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Katy said...

I don't know that you should consider your posts mundane. I only started reading recently and was intrigued by the artful way you discussed everyday life. I feel like I can relate to your revelations. And it's not like you aren't being introspective about them. I think you have some good writing up here.

7:32 AM  
Blogger artdetective said...

Don't be too hard on yourself. We can't be profound all the time. I think your posts are amusing and I can relate to them. If you were really mundane, you wouldn't have the readership you do. You're not a blog whore.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Style Girl said...

i agree with artdetective. you aren't a blog whore and i enjoy coming into work to read your blog everyday. if you are a blog whore, then i guess we all are in a sense. i think you should just do what makes you happy!!

1:08 PM  
Blogger kate.d. said...

i agree, the stats and the comments can be addictive. i've only been blogging for a little under six months, and i decided for the new year i would start using the blog more for me and what i felt like writing rather than for the (relatively small!) audience that read it.

don't get me wrong, i like that i've built up a little audience. but they should be coming because they want to read my stuff, not because i post 6 times a day or am a cheaper version of Us Weekly or anything. so if i feel like writing about melancholy and insomnia and life direction, they can read that. if i feel like writing about jeans shopping and oprah, they can read about that too.

just do what you need to do, you know? whatever that ends up being.

2:13 PM  
Blogger e d scott said...

Are you trying to say we should tell you we hate you so you'll push yourself harder?

10:08 PM  
Blogger Crazy Girl City said...

I'm a recovering blogging whore. I've been blogging for a year and a half. LJ for 3 years before that.

I have written some VERY PERSONAL things on my blog. Initially, my intent was to vent and have a few select friends read my thoughts so we could stay connected with the daily life things.

However, I soon discovered that my life was turning into a Jerry Springer show. I continued to write the horrible details of my life at the time, but I noticed my unique visitors and comments started to take off. People told me it was like watching a car accident, horrible, but you couldn't help but watch.

I was getting up to almost 500 a day and it seemed like more and more people in my real life were finding out about my blog.......by no fault but my own I am sure since I go by 'crazygirl' everywhere on the net. Google the CGC thing and I come up. A lot.

Anyhow, I started to NOT write about the things I initially set off to write about because of all the criticism I was getting. I guess it works both ways. Good publicity/bad publicity. It's still publicity. So I turned into a blogging whore, writing about anything. I'd be out and about thinking 'oh this would make a good story for the blog'.

Anyhow, somehow I started to miss writing about things I wanted to write about. I even got emails from people who said my life wasn't as crazy as others made it out. They could relate and wanted the nitty gritty.

So I've tried to get back to writing about things that I want. It's not as entertaining as my Jerry Springer saga was, but it's real to me.

I don't write everyday now. Sometimes I'll go almost a week. Taking a few days off from it helps get over the blogaholic thing.

However, now? I am a blogging comment whore obviously since I just wrote you a book about it. :)

12:04 PM  
Blogger CageQueen said...

I know you consider the person who made that commente a friend, but truly, he sounds like he takes himself a little too seriously. The "mundane" aspects of life are what make it life. Nobody likes someone who goes areound trying to act all "deep" and philisophical all the time! You're a young woman with what sounds like an interesting life. If nothing else, your blog entertains other people and adds a little "oomph" to their daily routine.

Two years ago I had a death in my family. Of course we agonize and miss her during holidays and such, but more importantly, we miss having the every day mundane activities with her. Mundane is "what it's all about." Mundane is "where it's at." Everyone sweats the big stuff so relish the small stuff.

4:23 PM  
Blogger artdetective said...

After reading your post, I went and read some of the posts in your archive. Not better, not worse, but I enjoyed them too.

9:48 AM  
Blogger one girl said...

I don't think you're a blog whore at all. Yes, its nice to be able to post your deepest darkest feelings and thoughts but unfortunately not all of us are deep and intellectual 24/7. Your day to day posts are great. They show a brief glimpse into your life and are well written and funny (isn't that what blogs are about?). Keep them up- but if you, personally, only want to write raw emotion, etc. then props to you. I will miss the day to day "mundane" (not my words) myself.

10:02 AM  

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