Monday, November 5, 2012

Just a blog after all.

When I started blogging, back in January, I made a strict promise to myself that I would only write for one hour every day - actually I think it was 30 minutes initially. That just seems crazy now.

I simply wanted to write without worrying about how 'good' it was. It was supposed to be my 'flow' time -  a time where I could forget everything else, and simply let my creative juices flow.

I'd hoped that I'd be able to write non-stop for that 30 minutes hour without even pausing to read back through it (I didn't have that sort of time to waste). It didn't matter how well it read, anyhow - no one else was supposed to be reading it.

Once I'd written down what I wanted to say, I allowed myself a quick read through to edit grammar and spelling etc. - NOT to rework the chunks that didn't flow quite so well, or spend time online Googleing for synonyms. Initially it didn't even occur to me to include an image. I think a few months went past before I added my first pic. It's ironic how much time I now waste invest searching for that perfect image!

After all the red squiggly lines had been dealt with I was ready to click 'publish' no matter how I felt about it. I was aiming to get something  - anything - out every single day. The point of the 'exercise' was to practice writing everyday, without it imposing on the main task at hand - being a mother.

The results didn't matter - it was just about the writing, and spending some glorious 'me' time just tip-tapping away. It's not the winning that's important - it's the taking part that counts... 

I think I accomplished this for the first week alone (you can find these original posts in my archive on the sidebar). Then my perfectionist side started to rear its ugly head, and in spite of having the best of intentions, I found myself editing and rewriting each sentence like only a modern Microsoft author can.

God knows how writers used to edit back in the old glory days of the typewriter. How did such beautiful classical literature get written without the help of spell checker and Word's synonym tool?

I guess anybody can be a 'writer' these days.

Once I started letting other people read what I was writing, my vanity got the better of me. I didn't want anyone thinking I was a crappy writer. My hour soon turned into four.

The hubs thought I was a nut job. I would trade precious sleep time to blog. "It's not like you're getting paid for this!"

Great. Gee, thanks honey. Nothing like kickin' your woman when she's already down!

He was right, but he was too late to save me. I'd become addicted to my blog. It became the utmost importance to get a blog out every night. When life got in the way I got really frustrated. The hubs didn't play second fiddle to just the children anymore, he now came after my precious blogging time - or my therapy, as I called it.

Even our sex life started to suffer.

But it wasn't just therapy for me. I'd found a little piece of ME. See, it's easy to lose yourself once you have kids. Everything becomes about them.

It took a while, but eventually people started commenting on my Facebook links and finally on my blog itself. Once I'd had a taste of recognition I wanted more. I started to get anxious before and after publishing each blog. I wanted each blog to be better than the previous one, and I was terrified of losing readers if I put out a substandard quality blog.

The hubs started to get the Spanish Inquisition after proof-reading my 'work'. He was sick to the teeth of hearing:

Did you think it was funny? How does it flow? Was it better than the last one? What worked? Did you get this...? Why? Why not?

I had started to care way too much.

The hubs started teasing me in a robotic tone every time he noticed me veer over to our computer work station in the corner of the cabin "Must check statistics!"

I was spending as much time checking my stats page on my blog as I was actually writing the damn thing. And it was causing extra tension between the hubs and me, which we really didn't need!

Something had to give.

That's why I don't publish posts as frequently as I once did. And why my other blogs have been pretty much abandoned. Once our latest arrival was born, I had to make some blogging sacrifices, so I started dedicating all blogging time to Go Momma! (if you don't already know it, I've got five - check out the menu under the title!)

My new (com)promise was to get one post out a week - only one! It could be as polished as my perfectionist side required it to be. It doesn't stop post ideas coming out of my ears. Some get jotted down in my notebook and that's as far as it goes, others get half written. I've even got some fully written blogs just sitting there unpublished - they just haven't made the cut yet.

Even after publishing my latest post Little piggies have big ears! I have been back in to re-edit it at least five times - and I'm still not happy with it. From the response it hasn't gotten I'm pretty sure my readers aren't all that thrilled with it either.

Seriously, where's the fun in that? I'm still not getting paid, so it shouldn't be about pleasing my readers - or trying to increase page views, or followers or comments.

And yet it is. I can't change that.

I guess this is my way of excusing (and apologizing to you for) my crappier posts of late. I'm trying - really trying - and it's taking every spare moment I don't have to keep this up. Whatever 'this' is.

I'm going to cut myself some slack. Here's the deal. I'll keep writing, if you keep reading. Some posts might be pretty dire - and others freakin' fantastic (even if I do say so myself).

It is what it is. And no matter how important this tiny thread of the web is to me, it is just a blog after all.


  1. You sound so much like me. I don't recheck my work as much as I should. However, some of my blog posts are okay and others are down right wonderful to read. I push the ones that I like a lot.

    I am not a perfect writer, and I make a lot of mistakes. However, I do still write my blog primarily for ME. I have learned that stats are great to increase, but I blog because I LOVE to write. As long as I'm writing FOR ME, then I produce better work.

    Blogging has become a major part of my families life, but they support me completely because they love the products and benefits we've gained since I've started blogging. :)

  2. You must cut yourself "some slack"! You're an excellent writer. Your blog posts stand on their own. I write once a week now if I'm lucky.

    I'm sure most bloggers could identify with the stat checks and editing. I even edit my replies to people!

    I ask my husband to edit my posts before publishing and then I get mad a t him when he questions something I've written. "It's my voice" I tell him. I'm crazy like that.

    The moral is= your words are important. Whether posts come twice a day or once a month, write (edit) when you can, when you feel like it. Like your sex life, there's time for it all. Hahha.

    Take care, girl.

  3. hey, nothing should ever take the time of family time...easier said than done because it CAN be addicting but after all, its just a website on the internet! at least you realized how bad it was getting. lol. well, your blog is cute and I'm your newest follower and looking forward to your posts! and that cracked me up about the hubs saying "must check statistics" ha! just something my hubby would do/say. come say hi if you can over at my blog!

  4. Thanks for mentioning this post to me in your comment on my Awkward Blogger post. I am so glad I read it; I totally get it. What has bugged me the most is the time I spend blogging that isn't even writing, which is why I started this to begin with, it's tweeting, reading other blogs, commenting, promoting, the infamous statistics does turn into hours a day, and it really bothers me sometimes that it's not on actual writing. I too need to find a way to rein it in a bit; I am trying to only read blogs and comment when it is a writer who really resonates me, whose writing I enjoy, rather than just arbitrarily reading to get more traffic. (I think that's my weird way of giving you a compliment. Obviously you made the cut! ;p )
    Thanks for putting this phenomenon into words!