Blogging Addiction

I’m not sure what it is, but there’s a certain level of addiction that comes with being a regular blogger. It’s something that gets into you, and starts to … I don’t know. Eat away at you, I guess.

For example, I know a couple of bloggers that have had to actually step back from blogging for a bit. They get so burned out, so beat up in trying to keep up with it, they feel it’s something they have to quit. Sometimes they come back, sometimes they don’t. It’s an obsession, and can churn you up and spit you out before you even know you’re being ground.

I think those who cut back on their blogging activities are brave. They get regular viewers, and for some reason, it’s really exciting to watch that hit counter climb on your page. People are interested in what you’re saying, what you’ve written, and possibly in you, as a person — or at least what they get of you on the screen. There’s something sort of appealing about that idea. They develop a real following, then something knocks them for a loop, or they just plain burn out, and they decide to step away or step back.Β  They really gamble, because it’s a real “what have you done for me lately” world, this blogosphere.

For me, it’s been a great source of genuine, caring people.Β  Some of the closest friends I have right now, I’ve made through the blogosphere.

Sherri walked into my life because I reviewed a piece of software, and we’ve been friends ever since. I can’t imagine my life without her in it. And we’ve never seen each other face to face.

I’ve learned a lot about the craft of writing and the publishing industry from Dwight. He gave us so much to think about and we had fun along the way. His wit and insight are great joys, and his blog’s a daily stop for me. I have a lot of respect for him and have never exchanged anything but comments on our blogs with him.

Bryce is a good friend, and a great person. He’s been a regular reader and encourager during times when I really need it, and he’s suffered awful pain along the way. I couldn’t be there for him when that happened, but would’ve if it were possible. He’s offered me some tips and tricks and a piece of software that’ve improved my writing dramatically, and I hope his venture is wildly successful and gives him all the things he wants from it. And I’ve only seen his picture when he posts it on his blog.

All of these people post regularly on their blogs, and have a couple of hiccups under their belts as they move forward with blogging. Bryce has different goals for his than the others I’ve mentioned, and mine are in line with his, but a lot of folks have taken breaks along the blogway to re-evaluate their lives, the purposes for their blogs, and both have contemplated giving up blogging.

I have too, a couple of times. So did LOML, but she changed her mind pretty quickly. It’s addicting, this blogging thing, and her blog’s really taken off of late. The problem is, she doesn’t know why and can’t ensure the continued success of her blog because she’s not sure why it got where it is in the first place. She posts so much randomness and variety it’s amazing, and her “Chicago Sucks” post and resultant “Anti-Chicago” page are pretty popular ’round the blogosphere. And she’s very smug about it all, too, making sure to mention — just in passing, of course — what her page view numbers are. But again, she’s not clear why it’s grown like it has or what she’s doing to drive her hits up, she only knows that it’s a fun ride and now, even if her numbers dropped, she probably wouldn’t quit.

Maybe she can’t.

I know it’s weird for me not to work to post something everyday. I’ve done that for months on end, as much as possible, and now that I’m trying to take a more cavalier attitude about posting, and genuinely trying to be interesting (no easy task for me), I find I have nothing to say. I don’t lament the free time I’m afforded by backing down on the frequency of my posts, but I don’t feel right. I can’t explain it, but I always feel there’s something I needed to do and didn’t. And at the end of the day, I know I’m probably not someone that should have a blog. I’m just not able to provide enough good content to keep folks coming back day after day.

When I first stated blogging three years ago, I didn’t care about that. I figured it was sort of an online journal for me, and I could put up thoughts and feelings and express whatever I wanted and that’d be that. When I started getting serious about my writing again, I wanted people to read it. That led me down paths which, when followed far enough, lead to madness.

Now I’m what I call, tongue-in-cheek, a “traffic whore”. Joking, yes, but not joking too. I really do like watching the hit counter, and when it fell to where it probably should have been all along, I got desperate. I tried a lot of stuff to pump my numbers up, but really, there just isn’t anything I can do about who does and doesn’t read my blog. I’ve let this one fall by the wayside in favor of posting things unrelated to fiction, because some of the worst days I had view-wise were when I posted fiction, but the views haven’t improved, and it’s probably because I don’t post regularly and when I do post it’s not interesting. No one wants to hear what I made for dinner on Sunday afternoon. No one.

So, what does all this mean?

Oh, hell, I don’t know. I just didn’t have anything else to post about so I thought I’d throw this crap at the wall and see what sticks.

I think next weekend I’ll start doing some research on how to write a biodata and post that. Based on who’s visiting my blog and what for, it should have a similar effect to the “Chicago Sucks” thing my wife did. I guess I’ll find out. And maybe during the week I’ll start on my “Cast of Characters” series. I really don’t have anything else to say.

And in the end, that’s the traffic whore’s worst problem, isn’t it?

Have a great weekend, everyone.


9 thoughts on “Blogging Addiction

  1. Sometimes you need a period of quiet after a stressful time, and maybe that is what your spirit is telling you to take. I’ve been fading out on other aspects of blogging (reading, commenting, checking stats) but I just keep on writing the posts, for some reason. I think my problem was focusing on other people’s expectations instead of my own.

  2. Taking a blogger break is good for you now and then, but I get what you are saying. It’s very hard to just walk off into the real world and not look back.

    I have a widow friend in Boston who recently posted her last entry. She felt her blog had served its purpose and it was time to quit.

    I wonder about continuing. I have so many irons in the fire. I am chomping to get going for real. Writer. Submit. Take some courses at the University. Find a publisher. All that will be easier to focus on once my daughter is in fulltime school in September. I don’t know where blogging will fit in at that point.

  3. Sherri — Great point. We start blogging to appease the blogulars or the phantom hit numbers, and that’s the beginning of the cycle. Just so you know, I’m glad you’re still around here, and I’ll always try to be around your place, too. Love you babe.

    Annie — You’re probably right, and those bloggers I mentioned that have amped down on their productivity have figured that out. Some folks, with a goal for their blog, like your friend in Boston, and when they feel they achieve it they can walk away in peace. I don’t really have one for mine and maybe that’s what’s wrong? Hm. Food for thought.

    Thanks for coming by. πŸ™‚

  4. Am I smug? I’m sorry! I’m not trying to be!

    I think it helps, for me, that I don’t have any goals in terms of blogging. It’s like I mentioned over at Sherri’s place – I think of it as just shooting the breeze with my friends, and anyone who wants to jump in is welcome to do so, and if not, that’s fine too.

    I like the current numbers, sure, but I can’t make them my goal. I know they won’t last.

  5. LOML — Well, you’re only a little smug. πŸ˜‰ I’m sure I was worse when my numbers were ballooning.

    And you’re right — you can’t let them be your goal, but I think you need to be aware of how addictive they are. It may or may not last — and you can’t tell because you’re not even sure what’s doing it — but whichever is the case, just make sure you’re able to give it up when/if you have to. πŸ˜€

  6. “They get so burned out, so beat up in trying to keep up with it, they feel it’s something they have to quit.”

    I have been feeling that too. 😦

  7. Leafless — It’s really tough to keep the blog active, interesting and entertaining. I don’t blame you. If you do take a break, know you’ll be missed. But you need to come first.

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