I’ve had this blog for almost 4 months now. Saying that, I can’t believe it’s been that long but I also can’t believe it’s *only* been that long. Having my own space, my own place to write and think and share ideas has always been a dream of mine. I was so excited back in March when I said to myself, “screw it,” and decided to spend the $25 on a .com and get one step closer to making the dream a reality. I’ll never get paid to write in this capacity (and if I do it will never be enough to live off of) – but hey, at least I’m doing it, right?
But there are days when I wonder if it’s worth it. Has it really changed my life for the better? Will it ever become anything more than it is right now? And on those days, my doubts often turn to outright frustration.
Frustration #1: Time Commitment
I thought I would have no problem finding the time for blogging. But it’s just so hard. It seems like there is always something demanding my free time – running, hanging out, meetings, social stuff, sleeping. And if there’s not something demanding my free time, I just can’t bring myself to pick up that pen, because I’m tired and lazy and just want to be able to sit and watch TV and not feel like I have to get something done all the time. I have all these great ideas of things I want to write about, but I just don’t have the time to sit down and write them.
And, call me crazy, but if I’m going to do something, I want to do it well. I’m sure it would be easier to blog regularly if I just posted about random things that didn’t take any thought or effort. But that’s not how I am, and that’s not what I want my blog to be about. If I’m going to write about something, I want it to be important and thoughtful and I want to give it the time and attention it deserves. Unfortunately, this means never being able to write about these things because I don’t have the time to give them the attention they deserve.
For example, I wanted to write about a book I just read. I told myself I’d work on it this weekend, but all I got around to was my training recap. I had free time Monday night, but I got into the aforementioned lazy funk and it didn’t happen. And tonight every minute of my spare time is taken. I wanted to post it Wednesday.
A couple months ago I had this great idea for an entry about graduation, since this year was my 5 year anniversary of graduating from Carthage. I ended up scrapping the idea altogether because – you guessed it – I never found the time to sit down and write it.
Frustration #2: I suck at getting people to like me
The other road bump I’m hitting in my blogging journey is discouragement. One of my goals with this blog was not only to write, but get engaged with other bloggers and meet new people and become part of a community of sorts. I’m having a lot of trouble making this happen.
I came into this knowing that this would be more challenging for me since my blog is not about one thing, like just a running blog or just a Project 333 blog. I write about different things, and I fully understand that this will put me at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting an audience. It sucks, and I don’t like it, and it will never seem fair to me that I should get penalized for being interesting and diverse. But I do accept that this is reality.
Before I started this blog, one of my friends gave me the advice of using a designated day for certain topics as a good compromise for those who want to write about diverse topics but still maintain consistency and attract an audience. I have done this with my Monday “Runday”, but it’s hard to tell if it works or not.
I also understand that building a community involves give and take. I have to put myself out there if I want to make friends, they aren’t just going to show up at my door. Even though putting myself out there goes against my shy and introverted nature, I have graciously accepted this challenge and have made a lot of effort to put myself out there.
But it doesn’t seem to be working, and that’s making me feel frustrated and discouraged. I try to spend a lot of time seeking out new running blogs and regularly leaving comments on them. And while the people I leave comments for are almost always sweet and appreciative, very few of them reciprocate the effort.
I hate to be that girl who whines because she doesn’t get comments, but it does make me get down on myself sometimes. I comment on quite a few running blogs, some of them at least once a week. Not just because I want attention, but because all of these runners seem like cool people and I’d like to get to know them better. And I’ll notice some of those bloggers commenting on other blogs I comment on, but they never comment on mine. I try not to take it personally, but sometimes I can’t help but wonder….what am I doing wrong? Maybe a lot of it has to do with the aforementioned fact that I’m not just a running blogger, so it’s hard for them to get drawn in. But a lot of them talk about stuff other than running, too. And if you visit the main page of my site, it’s pretty clear that running is a big part of this blog and I write about it frequently. I even say exactly when I will be posting about it. And aside from that….I’m a nice person, I’m not mean or negative or whiny, I’m not a bitch, and all of this is over the internet so it can’t be that my breath stinks or something.
It reminds me a lot of going through the job search. You send out a hundred resumes, and maybe two people actually bother to look at them. And even though you understand it, it doesn’t make you feel any less helpless and bitter and invisible. Everyone tells you to keep trying, keep trying, don’t give up. And you know they’re right, but there comes a point when you are just sick to death of putting yourself out there to be ignored and dismissed and rejected.
Blogging is kind of the same thing – albeit on a much smaller, less intense scale. I try to be patient with the whole process. I try to remind myself that not everyone is interested in new relationships, and some simply don’t have any more room for new friends. I also remind myself that it’s nothing personal. If I asked people for advice, all of them would probably say the same thing: keep trying. But it gets to a point where it’s like….how much longer should I keep extending myself to people who are clearly not interested in giving me the time of day?
I’m not going to propose any sweeping solutions, or try to solicit advice here. I simply wanted to vent a little, and what better place to do that than on your blog? I’m not going to quit blogging, I’m not going to give up because of a couple little bumps in the road. I’ll keep going, fueled by the hope that it will pay off and be worth it one day, even if I don’t yet know how.
And one day soon I’ll overcome the insecurities and truly will do this for me.
ETA: I can’t believe I forgot to add this, but to those few of you who have reciprocated and comment on my blogs, I want you to know that I appreciate it more than you know. It’s been great getting to know you little by little and have a blog friendship. If I ever become a rich and famous blogger one day, I’ll always give you props for being my first fans 😉