I have a confession to make…sometimes the blogging thing gets to me. I love blogging, I really do. I love the record that I’m keeping for my kids. I love knowing that despite the craziness of life, there’s always something I can write about that makes me smile (and hopefully you all as well). I love the connection that blogging gives people, particularly mothers. I love a lot of things about blogging.
There are times, however, where blogging gets a little cumbersome and even annoying. I have to fight the longing and hope for lots of comments (it sounds so petty to say, because deep down I don’t need comments, but sometimes, when you pour a lot of energy into something, it can feel discouraging when there is little feedback). I’m working on that nasty little aspect of my blogging personality.
And then there is the pressure of trying to come up with something interesting to say. Again, I am working on not trying to please and just writing for the pure love of the written word. But the fact of the matter is that I do feel the pressure to be engaging and to write in a way that encourages others, makes people smile and honors my family. And sometimes I just want to walk away – scrap the whole blogging thing and give up the internet altogether.
But the idea of facing the withdrawals is so terrifying that I continue to indulge, if not for myself but for my kids and for family members who enjoying keeping up on our lives.
And because I’m addicted.
There – I said it. I feel better already.
There are other aspects of blogging that I find to be terribly discouraging as well. One of them is the viciousness that the online world can bring out in others, particularly women. It’s terribly sad and thankfully the hatred and gossip is not directed at me, but I am always aware that it only takes one person who disagrees with you to suddenly make the blogging experience a negative one.
You see, the beauty of blogging is that it gives anyone and everyone a platform. The blogsphere is inundated with soap boxes, and that is precisely what it was designed to be. And I’m all for people expressing their opinions – but sometimes, if one soap box crowds another – well, it can get ugly. Here’s the deal – if I enjoy reading a particular blogger’s opinions, I will usually do so (even if I don’t necessarily agree with them), but if I don’t enjoy them or the way that they write, then generally I choose to stop reading. It’s as easy as that. I don’t leave nasty comments, I don’t start hateful blogs in retribution and I don’t vent my hatred for everyone else to read.
In short, I try not to cyber fight. Because there’s no point. Life is too short to get your panties in a bundle over someone who shares a different viewpoint than you.
So recently, when I saw some pretty vicious attacks against a fellow blogger and a fellow mother, I was pretty sickened by it all. So much so that I wanted to shut my blog down and walk away from this little hobby of mine. It may seem silly, but part of me doesn’t want to be identified with the pettiness that can ben associated with blogging (particularly mom blogging) Of course, I’m not going to shut down my blog. The viciousness isn’t directed at me and I don’t even know the person they are attacking personally, but seeing how terribly hurtful mothers could be toward one another caused me to feel so discouraged. I just don’t get it.
If you don’t agree with someone? That’s fine! You’re entitled to your opinion. I’m sure there are some of you who read my blog who don’t agree with everything I say or do. I welcome dissent (respectfully, of course) and I hope that people feel the freedom to share disagreement with me. What I don’t agree with or understand, however, is hateful speculation and false claims without any basis to back up said claims. You don’t like the way a woman writes about her everyday life? Again, that’s fine. But don’t accuse her of being abusive or neglectful of her children or worse, using her child as a cash cow. Those are serious allegations and they are coming from other mothers! I thought we women grew out of this type of behavior in junior high, but sadly that’s not necessarily the case…
Here’s my opinion – if you don’t like what someone says or how she acts, then you should privately go to her, make her aware of it, then walk away and leave it at that. But to start an anonymous blog just so that you and others can make accusations and waste precious time digging up dirt on a fellow mother is just so disheartening and sad, not only for the blogger under attack, but for those who are so desperate to attack her.
There is danger in this online world to somehow separate ourselves from the reality that is life. We can be whoever we want to be, say whatever we want to say and attack whomever we want to attack without repercussion because we are doing so under the umbrella of “free speech” and “keepin’ it real.” I say, let’s live honest lives, not take ourselves too seriously, and get over ourselves.
Life is so short. And I certainly don’t want to waste the precious few moments I have to make an impact in this world harboring jealousy and hatred toward someone I will probably never meet. I would encourage everyone else to do the same. Blogging should be fun. It has the potential to be a special glimpse into those moments in life that pass too quickly. I am working on enjoying this thing called life and living in reality, not in the 15.6 inches of computer screen that sit before me right now.
With that in mind, I will continue to blog, not for the benefit of having my ego stroked in the comments section, but rather for the benefit of knowing that someday, hopefully, I will be able to look back and see a life well lived.
And now, I shall pack up my soap box and move on.
A few asides – one that pertains directly what what’s written above and two that have nothing to do with it at all…
Though many of you are probably already aware of the website to which I am referring and the nastiness that is being directed toward other bloggers, I would appreciate not discussing any of them by name in the comments. I’m not writing this to get into a cyber fight – as I said above, life is too short to engage in such nonsense. I purposely avoided naming names for that very reason.
For any of you reading this who are interested in learning more information on book publication, I recently led a Lunch and Learn that very topic and wrote up a couple of posts on the St. Louis Bloggers’ Guild site. Check it out if you’re interested.
Next week, I will be leading a break-out session on blogging at the Ladies Nite Out event at my church. If you’re interested in hearing me yammer on about blogging for a bit, then check out this website for information on how to sign up. If you want to come and have no interest in listening to me yammer (and I don’t blame you) but would like to check out some of the other fabulous topics, then go ahead and sign up! It will be a fun event.