In this post, I reflect on Allison Vesterfelt’s post “Stop Blogging. Start Writing” and how it relates to my life. First, especially if you’re a blogger, I suggest you read her post. I think she makes some great points in it.
The second paragraph in particular resonated with me. She writes, “Blogging is a medium for people to do what people do best.” I started my first blog as a place to document the things I made through sewing or crafting. Okay, so that’s not really what I do best. I’m not that great at sewing or crafting. But the part about blogging being a medium.
The blog started as a medium to share my sewing. I focused on the sewing, wanted to share what I made, and a blog was the platform I chose. After a while, I got caught up in the blogging game. I wanted more followers. I wanted to be one of those super cool popular bloggers that everyone (it seems like everyone) wants to be, because they have all the followers and sophisticated blogging knowledge and business cards. Especially in the craft blog world, super cool business cards are a thing. I wanted one of those. (I kind of still do. Because, have you seen any of them in online pictures or in person? They are super. cool. (enough to make me repeat the phrase).) For me, making the blog into a nice bloggy blog wasn’t what I should have been focusing on.
It was no longer about sharing what I made or the content itself, but the fact that I had content so readers would see something. I tried to post regularly so that readers would have new things to see and they would stick around. Except…why weren’t they sticking around?
I barely had any page views. Was it because of my pictures? The layout? The fact that the url ended in .blogspot.com? Because I read in blogging guides that those are all important factors to consider. I tried hard to follow the blogging rules.
The topic of my old blog changed from sewing, to style, and then to sustainability. It was partly because my interest changed, and partly because I realized I didn’t have much to offer on the topic of sewing anyway. I still barely had any readers.
At that point, I had also been kind of bending in weird directions to make the content of my blog fit things that I thought people would want to read. I added pictures, because of Pinterest, and because apparently people like looking at pictures. I added random little sentences because apparently people like reading random little sentences to go with their pictures. I had to make myself blog, and that’s what I was–a blogger. (A not very good one, I thought).
And it ended with the end of my blog. I didn’t think I would blog again.
But I ended up blogging again. (see this blog, it exists). I feel that Allison’s post especially applies to me because of this blog (the one you’re reading). Learning from the failure of my old blog, I started over. But I didn’t make this blog to blog. I made it to share my writing, reflections, and things I learn. Blogs hold power, and I’m hoping that others will find mine valuable. But it’s more than that. Even if I didn’t have a blog, I would still do these things: write. reflect. learn. This blog is just one way I do that. And even if nobody ever sees this post, this time wasn’t wasted, because I was doing what I enjoyed anyway.
What are your thoughts? If you have a blog, why do you blog? Have you kept to your purpose?