Re-evaluating

I started this blog with the intention to post about whatever was on my mind when I woke up each morning. Our heater isn’t functioning well, and I woke up this morning not wanting to move from my warm cocoon of blankets into the cold morning air in our room. Then I thought of all those people on the east coast without electricity, perhaps without a home or bed with warm covers.

Life can change in a moment. You think you’ve made it through a storm, and then a dam breaks and you’re on your rooftop.

Now that I’m awake, wrapped in a warm robe, and sitting at my desk, I have a lot of thoughts running through my head, mostly about our children and our parents. It seems like we go along on status quo for some time, and then everybody shifts position. We have a child adjusting to a second baby, another contemplating a change of job entailing a move, a third needing involved dental work, and another looking for a co-op job in a saturated market. Mark’s mom needs a shoulder replacement, and you know how it goes with my parents.

The point I’m trying to make here is that I have a lot on my mind today, none of which I consider blog-worthy. Which brings me back around to one last thing I’ve been thinking about lately, Is it worth the time to continue blogging?

Last week I came across Lynn Spreen’s post on blog Any Shiny Thing where she answered that very question, Should you quit blogging?

It’s a good read, and I think you might appreciate it.

Do you ever question that yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Advertisements

Author: CMSmith

I enjoy reading, writing, gardening, photography, genealogy and travel. I have opinions about many things, but am trying to age gracefully and not continually tick people off with them. Sometimes I can’t help myself.

47 thoughts on “Re-evaluating”

  1. Christine, I wrote that post with authors in mind, because they need to balance the (almost overwhelming) time needed to market with the time needed to continue to write. I thought new bloggers, rather than spend the time building a readership, might be better off having a static website and spending their saved time getting to know folks on Facebook, Twitter, and etc.

    My goal was to save new bloggers a couple of years of work, but when I looked at your rankings, it’s clear you’ve got a good following, which leads me to believe that what you have to say is valued by a lot of people. I wouldn’t want you to walk away from your community of friends! So if you’re happy, stick with it.

    1. Thanks, Lynne. I started my blog after I had finished my manuscript for Dancing in Heaven, but was still trying to decide whether to pursue traditional publishing, or publish it myself. I, of course, chose the latter.

      I understand your point about the time marketing takes, and my solution has been to not devote very much time to it. The advice out on the web ranges from one end of the spectrum to the other. I chose to side with the camp that says, “Write more books. Don’t spend too much time or money on marketing the first one.”

      That still brings us to the issue of time.

      1. Yes, write, write, write. I know a midlist author who got the rights to her 3 chick lit books back and, in addition to them, pulled 6 more (unpublished) out of the box in her closet, polished them up, and published them. She is making her mortgage payment now from the combined sales of those books.

  2. One aspect about blogging is pleasing yourself, so you have to do what you feel is best for you. Besides, blogging shouldn’t be an obligation. Interestingly, I think bloggers put more pressure on themselves than their readers do. Maybe you simply need a break.

    1. I agree about pleasing yourself. Sometimes I get a real kick out of the whole thing. Other times I get bogged down by the time it takes to reciprocate with blogging friends. If you gather too many blogging friends, you are in for a big time commitment. So I’m still trying to figure all that out. I’m trying to stay in touch, just maybe not with each and every post from each and everyone.

      And maybe I do need a break. Always a real possibility.

      1. I blog because I’ve a passion for writing. However I’ve learned over the 2+ years I’ve been blogging, that being read is also an important part of the equation. Like you, trying to balance my desire to write with the daily requirements of living AND reciprocate the visits of other bloggers is not an easy feat.

        Within the last several months I’ve given myself license to do what I can…when I can. It involves talking to myself. Telling myself I’m happy with where I am…in the moment. I’m no longer anxious about being read. I feel if others are interested in my thoughts, they’ll return when I’m back online.

        And I agree with Lynne. You’ve a faithful following of well-deserved friends, including myself. So whatever you’re up to…we’ll always be here for you when you return. Your contribution is valuable…to our lives. 🙂

  3. Blogging is the answer to the questions of my inner self. It’s one thing to reflect on issues but still another question as to importance and priorities. By writing my thoughts I can put them aside because later review may or may not confirm importance. I can add to the thought or I can delete it.
    I am a teacher and curriculum writer and I do not dare show my efforts to students if I haven’t given due reflection. So I will continue blogging…….

    1. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Dick. You remind me of something I learned my second time through college when I earned my English degree—We learn by writing. It helps us organize the information our brains are bouncing around. I discover a lot of things when I allow myself to write.

      I’ll have to stop by.

  4. Christine,

    You know I think about this all the time, and have cut way back on the blogging. I’m still not sure what I want to do. I don’t read or comment nearly as often as I have in the past, because as Lynne pointed out in her post (thanks for leading me there by the way) many posts simply aren’t that interesting. Meanwhile, my life is still so chaotic (all the time) and I have no idea what I want to be when I “grow up.” I now find myself turning to the blog when I’m inspired or really have something to say. I still check in daily, but no longer feel guilty if I haven’t written for a while. I’m more excited about the book which seems to (finally) be flowing (knock on wood). Will I continue to blog? Only time will tell.

    1. Lisa, if you’re working on a debut book and wanting to build a readership (platform) before it comes out, I’d suggest regular, authentic networking on FB, Twitter, Goodreads, etc. Then when your book is about ready to publish, get a website (not a blog – but you can have a WordPress.com free “blog” and set it up like a website. The dashboard allows you to choose the home page, which can be a static page and not a blog. Then later, if you decide you really should be blogging, you can activate the blog page without changing to another website provider).

    2. I’m glad you found Lynne’s post helpful, Lisa. I did too. It came at just the right time for me. I have dropped way back on my reading, commenting, and even blogging. I will likely drop back further. I just can’t keep up, not unless I don’t want to do anything else like write my dad’s story which is really falling behind.

      I’m proud of how you’re doing with your new book. I can’t wait to hear more about it.

  5. I’ve been posting along similar lines of late. I don’t want to totally quit blogging, but I’d like to make my blogging more relevant. There are so many deeper issues that what I find on many blogs and questions that I have about life. I want to keep my blogging fun, interesting, and entertaining; but I don’t want to sink into trivialities just posted for the sake of having content. To me that is usually useless content. To blog is a question that I go back and forth with. Good luck with your conclusions on this topic.

    1. It sounds like we are in the same boat. I wonder sometimes about the point of the triviality too. But a lot of my posts are the celebration of wildlife and nature, and I believe that has value. It may not be solving any of the world’s problems, but it might remind people of its beauty.

      My point from the very beginning has been to make a record of midlife. What are the concerns? The interests? What occupies the thoughts and mind of a woman in the middle of her life? I think that, in and of itself, has value.

      I earned a concentration in Women’s Studies while at college for the second time, and from that I gained a conviction that sharing our stories has value. Not only women’s stories, but also men’s —here and now, in this changing world we live in.

      1. Your posts have more relevance than many bloggers I read. You provide information and topics of interest. I hope I do the same. Like much of popular literature, I find that many blogs merely offer fluff that seems to avoid meaningful subject matter. Some escapism is fine, but I think far too many Americans don’t want to think too much.

        Keep up the good blogging that you do and set the bar high for the others.

  6. Hi Christine .. I want to read/buy Dancing in Heaven soon .. and I agree with Lee’s comment .. and Lynn seemed to agree re followers and supporters etc …

    Sorry about the heater – hope it’s fixed soon .. cheers Hilary

  7. We are the ONLY experts on our life. No two bloggers have identical reasons for blogging ~ and our reasons may change from day to day. Only we know whether the time we spend in cyber space is time well spent, or just another “Waggish Way to Waste Time.”

    Regardless of our exact motivation(s) for blogging, we probably enjoy writing as a creative outlet, at least some of the time, or we would find some other way to share, create, explore, dream, discover, and spend time.

    My goal for blogging . . . to enjoy the journey and see where it leads.

    After all, if it’s not fun, why write?

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful response, Nancy. It is a creative outlet for me some of the time, possibly most of the time. I do have other ways to “share, create, explore, etc,” and I think my challenge is finding the balance.

  8. Your blog reaches many different segments of society–yes, midlife is a busy time. I enjoy reading your posts. This post brings me into your living room (or study, or den…) and we chat over a cup of coffee (or tea) about what’s going on in our lives. I like the personal side of blogging, and am thankful for the faithful followers who drop by and say “hi” on a regular basis.

    1. Thanks, Patti. I enjoy reading about and being a small part of your life too. It is a wonderful way to build community, especially for someone like me who doesn’t work outside the home and no longer has children in schools where I used to clock in many volunteer hours.

  9. Blogging takes up much time – time which could be spent on writing. Story writing. Writing a book. I share your doubts, Christine.

    But through our blogs, we have found each other and special things happened. The journey to the Netherlands of Dancing in Heaven for one. The interests we share. Things one learns by reading all those wonderful blogs out there.

    It’s a matter of balance. If you need time offline to write, then take that time. As long as you don’t see blogging as an obligation, it’s fine, I think. We will be waiting for you here!

    Lynn’s advice is excellent by the way. Thank you, Lynn. You both have me rethinking the blog and writing scales.

    1. I agree, Marion. Good things have come from the time I’ve spent blogging. I’m not ready to give it up yet. and you’re also right about balance. You seem to me like you’ve got your priorities straight, Marion. I admire that.

  10. This is a tough one, Christine. I know how you feel about the time it takes to reciprocate. I have cut back on commenting. I subscribe to so many blogs it’s impossible to comment on all of them all the time, especially when folks post every day. Hell, some people post more than once a day. Lord have mercy. Do they really expect anyone to read them that often? My solution has been to only post quality stuff twice a week. I think it’s rare that anyone can generate audience-worthy writing every day. Just my thoughts. I SOOOOO appreciate your struggle and will read the post you recommend. I’m really looking forward to the book about your dad!
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    1. I’ve gone from daily posts at first, to week days, to three times a week right now, and I’m thinking of dropping down to twice a week with an occasional extra post. I had all these grand visions of building up wildlife sightings, and sharing all our travel photographs, etc. So I will have to focus my post ideas if I drop back.

      Who knows? I’ve never been one for too tight of a regiment.

      I’m struggling to write the book about Dad. It comes and goes. I guess I’m feeling bad about my parents right now, and not as optimistic. He also has seemed less responsive the last few times I’ve been there, and I’ve been having pretty vivid dreams about him before he lost his abilities. So It’s harder for me to think about him and who he was right now. I’m sure I’ll get back to it.

      I hope your book and/or company are going well. 🙂 Talk about busy.

  11. I love your blog, I find it inspiring in a world of blogs that I don’t love at all. When you write here, you mean it, whatever the topic and it shines through in the writing. I hope you will continue, but only if you want to. I know what it’s like, there are only so many hours in the day.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Erin. I’m not ready to give up yet, and likely will not take down the site any time in the foreseeable future. I may drop back, or allow myself to post less now and then. I’m still trying to get out three posts a week (down from the daily posts I began with).

      By the way, I tried to visit your site by going through your gravatar above, and the link to your wordpress site on your gravatar page doesn’t work. Let me know if you don’t understand what I’m talking about.

      Keep writing.

      1. You keep writing as well, in whatever capacity brings you the most joy. Thank you for pointing out the failure of my link, I think I fixed it.

  12. I know exactly what you mean, Christine, and I’ve been thinking the same and reading many points of view on blogging and if it’s worth it — and I loved the one you provided a link to. I just read it and it really encapsulated a lot of what I’m feeling, too. I’ve had about six pretty-close blogging friends either stop completely or ramp way down. And as much as I understand, I really miss the community I used to have, just as I would miss your blog as a way to connect with you and what you’re doing. But that’s purely selfish. I also understand the pulls away from blogging and toward other writing, other activities, and the feelings of not knowing if we’re really contributing something useful. I suppose at the end of the day, as with everything, it’s a personal choice… for me it’s worth continuing (at least today). But I agree, it is a struggle.

    1. We are in the same place on many things, I think, Julia. (Although I am a few steps ahead on the children/grandchildren timeline.) I assume your daughter got through the storm okay and is doing well in Pennsylvania?

      Friends can be daily (as in co-workers) weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or more. Some of my friends I’ve had for years I see very rarely. As long as you don’t drop off the blogosphere completely, I’m sure we’ll stay in touch.

      I intend to stay right here for now. (The truth of the matter is that the quilt for the baby that Anna and I are working on is taking a lot of my time and attention right now. Absolutely nothing to do with writing.)

  13. I question myself about blogging ALL the time! I am never sure if I am going to 100% quit at any moment. About the time I decide to quit, I start blogging every single day. Sigh… There are so many variables as to why we blog–and why we don’t blog–I must say I would miss you if you quit blogging. But would know that, whether you stay or go, you are following your heart. I like that our husbands have two artificial knees. 🙂

    1. I can truthfully say I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes I think I could just simply close the door and walk away from it. But at this point I’ve put so much work into it, that I wouldn’t want to just erase it all.

      I like that our husbands are well on their way to being bionic too. It sure has made a difference in our lives and what Mark is able to do now compared to before the surgery. A modern miracle.

    1. I think you may be on to something there, William. Gosh, this is hard sometimes. I hope to pick it back up again soon. I have a lot of other things going on right now. One day I’ll catch up, but it may not be for a while yet.

  14. Christine I considered that very question only a couple of weeks ago.. as I can get so wrapped up and time just disappears so fast when I get onto the laptop and visit and read others posts of which I often feel guilty about as I miss many, as my email box grows ever larger with new posts… But as I asked that question. I enjoy blogging, and love reading posts, and writing them.. I think even if no one visited.. (Im lucky as I have many who read ) I would still write my thoughts, and I enjoyed reading yours today Christine, and the reason is I love to write ..
    So Keep Blogging.. I often just give myself some time out.. and come back refreshed as I catch up eventually with those Ive neglected.. such as yourself..

    Wishing you a Great day, and oh your Garden still looks a picture even though the trees are now nearly bare.. Much love and Light sent your way to you and yours Christine..
    Sue x

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Sue. I am really falling behind right now on the reading and commenting. I have a couple of projects going on here, and I’m just trying to keep my head above water. I won’t forget about you, and I look forward to catching up with everyone eventually. It’s nice to know you understand.

      Thanks for the light and love. The same to you.

  15. I’ve been thinking about blogging for a couple of weeks now, trying to decide why I’m doing it and if it’s worth the time I spend on it. Truthfully, I swing back and forth on the issue. Some days I love it and can’t imagine not blogging. Other days, there are so many other things I want to do or could be doing. Right now I’m trying to find a balance (and have it all…lol!).

    Thank you for sharing Lynn’s blog post, and for adding to the discussion as well as my own thoughts on that matter. 🙂

    1. I know you probably do spend a lot of time—the photo blogs take a lot longer for me than the ones where I mostly write something. So I know the beautiful work you do with your photographs must be a pretty big time drain.

      We’re all in the same boat, here, I think. Perhaps we should just relax a bit and enjoy it without beating ourselves up over not reading, commenting, or posting from time to time.

      I do enjoy your blog.

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s