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Remember why you blog

standard June 29, 2012 14 responses
It happens every time. The conference is a day or two old. People have started looking a little more glassy eyed and a little less eager to engage with other attendees. Excitement and enthusiasm is giving way to overwhelmedness.

At first it’s a mumble, then the sentiment takes shape.

“I think I’m going to quit blogging.”

The blogger’s shoulders are usually slumped, her eyes sad. A few minutes of conversation later and the story is out.

It’s never the blogging per se that’s the issue. It’s always the conference. Or, rather, it’s being exposed to all those conference attendees.

We all blog for a different reason. The platforms are more or less the same. The tools are more or less the same. But the reasons that bring us to blogging are as diverse as there are blades of grass in a field.

This one started to tell the story of life as an expat mom.

This one started to share her knowledge of her favorite topic.

This one just wanted a digital diary of her child’s first years.

This one started because she wanted a virtual room of her own.

This one started because she heard she could make a living from it.

Beautiful, mundane, extraordinary, varied, and intensely personal reasons.

When we arrive at a conference, for hours at a time, on very little sleep, and often with slightly disturbed intestinal tracts not to mention struggling with the latent anxiety anyone used to living behind a computer feels when exposed to hoards of people, we are bombarded with everyone else’s reasons for blogging, with everyone else’s goals and aspirations.

And, oh my God, are these awesome aspirations. They are full of passion and excitement and they all sound just. so. tantalizing. And so much better than our own.

Soon you start to hear murmurs.

 “I should do…” 

“I really need to…” 

“Maybe I should try…”

Some of these murmurs hum with authentic excitement. An idea that rings true and right has been sparked. Most often though the murmurs are just tired. Another chore has been added to an already exhaustingly overwhelming to do list.

These tired murmurs come from the people who have forgotten their own purpose for blogging and are letting all those other purposes cloud their vision.

Here’s what you need to remember:

It is OK to not want to monetize, optimize, glamorize your blog. 
It is OK to want to redesign.
It is OK to just want to write.
It is OK to want to turn your blog into a very successful business engine.
It’s all OK as long as you’re doing it because you want to, not because you feel you should just to keep up with everyone else. 

So, if you’re heading to a conference this year, I beg of you, take a moment to finish this sentence:

 “I blog because…”

Write your answer on a post-it and stick it on your notebook, laptop, iPad, tablet… And when you get to that overwhelmed feeling, at the conference or after, look at it, remember why you blog, remember that your purpose is yours and that it is awesome, worthy, and enough, because you are awesome, worthy, and enough just the way you are.

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14 responses

  • Awesome! You are so right, it’s all ok if you are doing what fits for you. As much as I admire the writers who make me laugh or those that make me cry I have accepted I don’t write that way. And while I want to improve my SEO skills I doubt I will ever be a guru because it’s kind of boring for me to actually do. My iPhone pics make me happy and I have no plans to get a super duper camera. It’s all ok.

  • And if you ever do find yourself in that place, I’ve found that it helps tremendously to find a good and wise blogging friend to talk you out of it. 🙂

  • I had a really good comment but I believe it got lost in the ether so let me just say this: love this post and am very glad I found your blog.

  • Hear hear! Yes, we’re all here in the blogosphere for different reasons. I have two blogs and my “I blog because…” is quite different for both of them!!

    Really great post!

  • I love this post! I am going to add it to my resources page. SO important!

  • I have to remind myself of this even when not at a conference. It’s so easy to get swept up in someone else’s agenda, and it’s so hard to keep one’s eye on just one’s own prize. Still, it didn’t occur to me that this might be the reason I left so many conferences feeling not quite right. Thanks for writing this….

  • I love this!

    I think we need to remember that all the advice we hear at a conference or the things we hear that others are doing- we each don’t have to do it all. We can stay true to ourselves, maybe make a change or two if/when we feel like it, but we don’t have to do it all!

  • Beautifully said, Jessica. Such a great reminder to always remember why we blog and not to get too stuck on that which does not matter.

  • Wha a wonderfully written thoughtful post. You put all my thoughts of how I’ve felt over the course of a couple years (usually right after a conference!) into words. My friend who has known my feelings forwarded this to me & I’m so glad she did!

  • I like this so much. I was one of those bloggers who started because I wanted to keep a digital diary of my son’s first years. But I also had a gig writing for a blog about the TV show LOST, because I really enjoyed writing about that – with the promise of money.

    Six years later, I think I’m only now figuring out what I *really* want my blog to be.

    And it’s going to happen. It’s already started. The name change was only the beginning. 🙂

    (formerly known as Cutest Kid Ever)

  • I love this. Everything you learn ate conference is completely opt-in. People need to remember everything you said here, Jessica, and thank you for saying it. 🙂

  • As I am looking forward to my first blogging conference, I so appreciate your thoughts!

  • You’re so right. You blog because you want to or need to. Because you’re your own boss, you get to make the rules. You get to adapt to what you want and how you want to do it.

    Excellent post, Jessica.

  • Thank you for this! I stumbled on the link on the #BeechRT on twitter, and I’m so glad that I came over 🙂

    It’s so true – and I can totally relate to the glassy eye look at conferences 🙂

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