May 27, 2013

Blogging then and now.


I started blogging in 2008.  I liked to write but was a little terrified of making my words public. Still, I had stumbled across a kind of community in a few blogs I was reading, and I appreciated the online Christian fellowship, the sharing of words and ideas and meeting like-minded individuals that I never would have met otherwise. So without really knowing what I was doing I opened a blogger account and away I went, one tentative post at a time.

There have been seasons where I've felt like I had a lot to say as well as times that I had no words to share here and considered moving on but I kept coming back, I'm still here. Writing publicly in this format has it's pros and cons but I feel the good outweighs the bad.

Still, I find myself surveying the blogging landscape and taking note of something. 
 









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It seems like the days of blogging that were about the simple joys of writing and interacting with others are fading fast. It's like the standard keeps getting raised higher and higher -  like keeping a blog is not worthwhile unless you have hundreds (or thousands) of subscribers and are making money off of it.

Sometimes I will click through to a new blog and more times than not I find myself on a professionally designed site authored by an extremely creative woman with an amazing home, stunning photography skills, and of course an online shop where you can purchase her prints, jewelery, or other handcrafted items.

Some blogs that used to hold my interest through good, honest writing now seem to be made up of too many photos and a string of advertisements.

Okay, I have to say that there is nothing wrong with having a ton of followers or making money from blogging, obviously. There are many talented women out there who should be doing exactly what they're doing.

The point I want to make is that in this online sea of growing talent I have to be careful not to let comparison or jealousy take over.

Sometimes I look at others and what they're doing and want to compete, to have the same success.  Or I begin to question whether I should even blog because I can't write or take pictures like so-and-so or I don't have a huge following and I'm not always consistent and I don't have a way of earning income from this and what am I even writing about on here? Am I just wasting my time?

But then I step back and remember why I do this, and it does hold value for me.

I don't want to compare. I don't want to sound or look like someone else. I just want to do what I've always done, writing parts of my life out: what the Lord is teaching me, the joys and the struggles. To take time for this creative task, to enjoy the simple beauty of everyday things through words and pictures. To be thankful, to clear my mind, to remember, to take notice. Recording life lessons and truths that hopefully will encourage you at times but mostly just to preach them to myself (I need this).

And of course, I am thankful for each of you who read my posts and leave comments whether I know you in real life or just the online world - you make this even more fun!


* I should probably point out that I am not referring to any of the blogs I follow in my sidebar and I don't tend to leave comments on the types of sites I mentioned so please don't be offended by thinking you are included in my criticisms! I meant for this post to be primarily about my heart issues with blogging and comparison!





12 comments:

  1. They say, "Comparison is the killer of all joy" so it is good you recognize this and are striving to avoid that trap! I have read a few posts from other bloggers on this vary topic this past week! It is fun to have other's read and comment, that's for sure - but I have just enjoyed growing in this medium. I find blogging to be much more enjoyable then I ever imagined - and I have you to thank! :D You're the one who got me started - and I'm so glad I did. I love having this record of our lives and I am amazed at how I have grown through blogging. So, yes, keep true to yourself and all the Lord has for you!! ♥

    Oh and I would love if you joined up with my 1000 Words postings (you can post any day, I just choose Wednesday but it's open for a week, each week) I think it reflects greatly with what you wrote,

    "To take time for this creative task, to enjoy the simple beauty of everyday things through words and pictures. To be thankful, to clear my mind, to remember, to take notice."

    It's all about creativity, pursuing photography for the love of it, the simple beauty of the everyday and taking notice of the life that is abundant all around!! You don't have to - I just find it encouraging...but anyways...now that I've written a small novel in your comment window here...I'll go! ;) :)

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    1. I'm glad you started too Kaitlin, I've loved watching you grow in the written word and photography through your blogging over the past several years!

      Thanks for the invite, I might consider that...love your photos from that challenge each week :)

      And your small novels are welcome here any time ;)



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  2. I feel like I could have written this post! Blogging is changing, and sometimes I don't really feel relevant anymore, because I like the blogging just as an outlet and a community - the sponsored posts and advertising stress me out. I've wondered if I'm really any good at this too, because since I've been blogging for so many years, shouldn't I have "x" amount of followers . . . but the truth is that it really isn't what blogging is about for me. It's about just what you said, recording my life, and what the Lord is teaching me, and just being a part of this community - those are the parts that I value most! I think there are enough of us who feel that way that we won't become obsolete. :-)

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    1. Thank you for identifying with this Callie, it's nice to know I'm not alone!

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  3. I like blogging because it is a creative outlet for me and a way to share some of me with the world...I like the blogs I read to reflect the same. I don't blog as often as I'd like, but I do enjoy it.

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  4. So true! There are some blogs I visit that are like "eye candy," if you know what I mean. Lots of mommy bloggers who are trying to earn an income, I guess. What annoys me are the giveaways. They make me feel more like a business client than a friendly blog fan. A seemingly down-to-earth post about housework ends up being a sponsored review for a special mop or something.

    Then again, my sister is putting ads on hers, and she may sell some of her creations at some point. So it's not like anyone wanting to do that is a bad person, it just creates a different relationship with the reader, I feel.

    Someone commented recently that it's pretty hard for ordinary blogs to pick up hits these days unless they have all those gimmicks. I thought about that and just decided I'm happy with my 10 or so followers and the way I write. Maybe there are only 10 of us left! :)

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    1. Oh, ANNND...the photos with the swirly logo written over them, and the copyright warning in the sidebar. I understand why, but it's just not my style. :/ I'm more into common courtesy...ask someone's permission before using their content, pretty basic!

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    2. Agree with you...and I always enjoy your posts, Elizabeth, so I'll remain one of your "10 or so followers" :)

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  5. I've found that blogging happens easier for me than journaling. I don't scrapbook so this makes me organize photos and our events. As long as I keep this perspective I'll press through... Your blog is beautiful and some of us prefer the simple, honest, lovely thoughts of a simple honest lovely life. I'll be back. :)

    Blessings, Debbie

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    1. Blogging is such a great thing for those not inclined to journal or scrapbook - I firmly believe in the importance of documenting our lives and reflections for future generations (and ourselves)!

      And thank you so much for your kind compliment Debbie!



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  6. Appreciate your perspective and heart. I've been watching the rise of the "blog business" over the last 5-7 years and it does make simple blogs look so...dull.... I think that real life looks more like the simple blogs than the wild ones, and I like to focus on real life :)

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