Confession: I have been struggling with my blog lately.
I don’t like to admit it because I still love blogging, adore writing, thrive on posting regularly and reading people’s comments. The ideas continue to flow; I have a lengthy list of potential topics that grows on a daily basis. I crave the time to sit down with my computer or my journal, and organize my thoughts. I have all the tools for maintaining my blogging happiness.
But… and this has been bugging me for a few weeks now…
I’m acutely aware of the sheer volume of creative energy that goes into maintaining a blog, and at times it feels almost – dare I say it? – wasted. A writer is someone who cannot help writing, and I certainly meet that criterion, but at what point does the artist/writer/poet/musician say enough is enough? Throwing heart and soul into the creation of art – whatever form it might take – and flinging it out into the universe merely for the sake of honing one’s ability eventually becomes draining.
I feel guilty for focusing on the day-to-day success of my blog, according to the stats that show me how many visitors I’ve had. If that number is lower than the day before, I start second-guessing the quality of my post. If the number is noticeably higher, I feel a surge of confidence and enthusiasm, only to have it crushed by lower stats the following day.
Counting numbers seems so restrictive and limiting. I shouldn’t care how many people are reading, how many are commenting or not, which posts are most popular, but I do. If those numbers plummeted completely, I’d lose much of my urge to blog. Yet, if the purpose of my blog is to write for the sheer love of writing, which is my intention, why does it matter?
It matters because an artist of any kind needs an audience in order to feel that the time they put it in is worthwhile. That’s why I switched from journalling to blogging in the first place, because I needed to take the next step in having my words read by the world.
I don’t want to be a professional blogger. I want to write books. Where does the blog fit into that? Does a blog serve as a way to get my name out there and convince people to read my books? Is it a creative writing tool that keeps me loose and productive? Is it a way to connect with other writers and bloggers and artists out there? Does it serve as inspiration or discipline?
I am not giving up – far from it. Merely philosophizing. I’ll keep plugging away, loving almost every minute of it, and feeling the most productive I ever have in my entire life. It brings me great serenity. That makes it worthwhile.
What do you think, as bloggers or non-bloggers?