10.17.2013

blogging year 2: lessons & rants

blogging, year 1


I've noticed that blogging is a lot like a relationship. For the first year, everything is sparkles and daisies and we spend every free second together. Year one is the honeymoon phase. We stretch, we grow, we get to know each other, and we fall in love. Things are groovy.

Then year two comes along, and the blogging honeymoon ends. And then come the fights. And the doubts. We tussle. We threaten to break up with each other. We sheepishly crawl back to each other. We ignore each other's phone calls and give each other the silent treatment. We eventually recommit to each other. We work on our relationship and work through our differences. We compromise. We learn to love each other and not give up.

Year two of blogging has been hard. There were days I wanted to shut the whole thing down, and there were days where I felt I've never loved blogging more. My blog and I have been in a long distance relationship this year. It turns out that blogging is a lot harder when you can't blog all day at work. My new job threw a huge wrench in my blogging mojo. It's hard to work all day, come home, make dinner, and then find some creativity to write. My best ideas come to me while driving to work and during the early-mid morning hours, but by the time I get home they've completely fizzled. 

I've blogged less this year, my blog has only barely grown, and I've been in a lot of ruts. The post ideas come slower these days, the readers come slower, and everything overall is a little slower. But it's been so good. I've made some rules for myself and learned a lot of good things. For instance:

1. I've learned not to post anything I don't absolutely love. If a post doesn't feel quite right to me, I won't post it until I get it right. If that means less posts, then so be it. Quality over quantity. 
2. People will get offended no matter what you say. Sometimes it's a valid grievance, but most of the time it's flat out ridiculous and over something extremely trivial. People are way too sensitive.
3. After a few years of blogging you'll start to make some solid friendships. It's a great thing, but it can start to make blogging feel less like an escape and more like real life (in the words of Kristen). It makes it hard to write whatever the heck you want, because you know some blog friend somewhere will take what you said the wrong way or think it's directed at them. Finding the balance between saying what you want to say and not offending the people you care about can be hard.
4. The posts you think are the most brilliant thing you've ever written are the posts that will get the smallest response. The posts you like the least are the ones that will get the most response. Science.
5. Do the opposite of all the blogging how-to posts.
  •  Don't have a picture for your post? Don't include one. We are not kindergartners and we do not need pictures to illustrate stories. If you rely on visual stimuli to help you read, you are what's wrong with this generation.
  •  We are constantly told not to write long, wordy posts. Long, wordy posts are my favorite, especially when written by a great writer, like my friend Anna. Once again, if this is a problem for you, read more books.
  • Don't blog like everyone else. The last thing the blogging world needs are more pictures of girls looking at their feet and weekend recaps. I don't care what you ate on Saturday, and I certainly don't care what you wore while you ate it. 
  • Blogging should not be treated like a get rich quick scheme. It most likely will not become your career, but it especially won't if you copy everyone else. Don't add to the noise. Do your own thing. You don't have to pay other bloggers to get readers, and if that's your main goal, check your priorities.
6. Don't be afraid to unfollow people. I don't have time to sift through sponsor posts and giveaways. When I read a blog, I want to read good writing, something entertaining, and something that has a point.
7. I've learned that I like to be mostly silly and sometimes serious. I love to tell stories. If I had a blog niche, I would want it to be storytelling.

The bottom line is, this second year has taught me how much I love this blog and how proud I am of it. It's introduced me to some of my favorite people in the world. I don't care if this blog never grows. I love it and I love writing for it. I love not having a niche. I love doing my own blog thing. It makes me want to shake so many girls who pay for blogging advice and to be told what to do. That's not what this whole thing is about, at least for me. I'll never be the girl who cares about fashion or makeup or how much beer you drank Friday night. But I will be here the next morning telling you about how I accidentally wore a blue bra under a white shirt to work.

So yeah. I think I'll keep this thing. Would it be weird if I hugged you guys?


29 comments:

  1. ALL OF THIS

    I LOVE YOU MICHELLE.

    I love how our blogs brought us together, even though I am 90% lurker and 10% writer. I love how your voice spills out through everything you write. You've got a gift, my friend, KEEP IT UP!

    Oh, and SEE YOU IN ~29 DAYS

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    Replies
    1. 99.9% sure I played matchmaker, but I'll let this one slide, Higgins.

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  2. I gained a follower the other day and thought, "Really? Someone new actually came here?"

    I'm with you on this one...we have no pressure blogs. If we don't feel like writing one day, we don't. If we want to write a long, wordy post, sans pictures, we do it. It's nice...and I'm glad you feel the same way about it.

    Happy 2 years!

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  3. I already tweeted you about this, because I love it so much. Your blog has been one of my favorites for a long time, and you've been one of my favorite people for a while now. I love what you do and that you plan to keep doing it!

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  4. I've been a little burnt out as of late... this is a breath of fresh air & exactly what I needed...

    and the second I stopped posting weekend recaps (almost a year ago now!), I felt a weight lifted off me.

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  5. I don't get why no one like the long, wordy post either! Not that mine has had much of those in a while. I'm with you on work cutting into blogging. But it's only summertime for me. Once the snow flies, I'll be much better at it. And yeah, I'll probably have more substance to it as well. I've been posting a lot of fluff lately, just for the sake of having a post every day.

    BUT- your blog. I love it when I see a post of yours chillin' in my newsfeed, because you always have great stuff (quality over quantity) and your posts usually stick in my head all day.

    everything on number 5. all of it.

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  6. Quality blog posts are what the world needs (well....one thing the world could use, anyway...) and sameness is boring!

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  7. Awkward side hugs all around!

    I like how you basically just explained my relationship with my blog. Year two is so much different. In year three do we start making baby blogs?

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  8. Well, I have no idea why you read some of my posts then, because I am boring! ;)

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    Replies
    1. But seriously, this was a great post Michelle...bringing me back to reality a bit. So thank you!

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  9. #4 is SO true.

    And everything on #5.

    Michelle, I needed this post so much haha

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  10. The Kip picture? NAILED IT. Michelle, you are my favorite storyteller. YOU REALLY ARE.

    Watch me retweet this to the world and shout from a mountaintop how much I love it (and also you).

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  11. LOVE this post (well, all your posts!). You have a real gift for writing and I'm so glad you use it! Your posts never fail to make me smile. I needed this post today. Tons of inspiration to keep at it.

    Thanks for being you! <3

    ~Gillian
    youngyankeelady.blogspot.com

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  12. I'm struggling with blogging at the moment, so I needed to read this, thank you.

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  13. This post really resonated with me and echoed most of my thoughts about blogging. I often feel like a bit of a misfit in this blogging world because I don't fall neatly into one of the popular niches, and rely more on storytelling. I really enjoy your blog, and classify you more as "writer" than "blogger", which I find very rarely in blog-world. Keep writing and going at your own pace. You have a strong voice. (Jenn, muchtomydelight.com)

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  14. Your blog is one of the only ones I continue to follow. I used to follow 30 + blogs because it was the thing to do. I follow you because you are real. And seem to have almost the exact same thoughts as me from time to time. If being a hermit was socially acceptable. I would be one. I love being at home. I love watching TV. And I love reading a blog that is not like every one else's. Thank you for being you...and not taking photos of yourself looking at your feet!

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  15. Tee hee. I've never fallen out of love with blogging, and I think it has been fouryears for me.

    I also love your blog.

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  16. Your blog is awesome! And my very favorite to read! I haven't had much time for blogging or reading blogs but when I do squeeze in the time yours is one that I make sure to check for new posts! Your storytelling is awesome! I'm constantly laughing at your posts! Keep it up!
    -Juliann

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  17. I have always enjoyed your posts! You write quality, which is way more important that quantitiy!

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  18. #1 and #4. Yes.

    And...I'm about to have a gazillion giveaways in December so please don't hate me. :(

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  19. I believe past year had been the hardest for me as well. my stupid blog that I love.

    but I don't like long winded posts. I just don't. but sometimes they're incredible. I find that rarely. I just hate the forever and a gosh damn day posts about your weekend the posts that make no sense. you get nothing out of them. and unfortunately that is the theme with a lot of big bloggers.



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  20. This is such a great recap on your blogging experience. It offers insight for those who are new to the blogging world (and in danger of getting sucked into the cliches...no one really is safe), and it is relative to what many other bloggers have learned as well. I'm glad you're honest and doing your thing here. :)

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  21. Number 3 is exactly why I don't like people I know IRL reading my blog. I feel like they'll complain and say that's not how a certain event happened, etc. etc. (My blog, my story. Feel free to start your own blog and share your own version of the story.) I had a blog for years before anyone outside my mom knew (she didn't even read it at the time) and now my dad tells everybody and it makes me really uncomfortable. What if I offend someone? What if they think I shouldn't be watching that show? THE PRESSURE!!!

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  22. Yes to all of this! I frequently write long winded, wordy, picture-less posts. And they're my favorite ones to go back and read! I remember the post about the blue bra/white shirt fiasco. One of my faves! Happy 2 years! :)

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  23. We are in the same boat! 2013 has presented far fewer posts, and while it makes me feel a little disappointed, I know it was with good reason. Sometimes life is far too much to be documented in blog posts. Too much happening, too much detail to attempt to convey in a blog, too much personal stuff to sort through, too much work to even bat an eye at blogs -- let alone my own! And you know what? That's life! I'm not rich off of my blog, and I don't mind. I love blogging and the friends I've made, like you! Happy two years of blogging, Michelle!

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  24. I love you. I hope you don't mind. This post expresses exactly what I want to do. I feel like I've been thinking of my blog too much...'that would make a good post!' 'ooh! another pin on how to get followers!'. Right now, though, I want my blog to just accurately reflect my life. I want to tell stories and rant and write wordy posts if I want to. Thanks for the inspiration!

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