I’m Debi and I’m an old school blogger. I started blogging 6 years ago ( well, it will be on May 7th). I’ve seen blogging change a lot.
I’ve noticed a definite trend in blogging lately.I’m seeing blogger “midlife” (of the blog) crisis happening almost daily. Everything that is old is new again. Or at least this is what I’ve seen happening; quit blogging, start a new blog and then make a come back….when you never really left. I’m kind of missing the days of self contrived press releases about being lost in the dessert and rescued by your childhood boy scout leader.
I guess “quitting blogging” is a euphemism for “2 week hiatus” and “new blog” is what’s “on trend” these days. I’m not making light of the desire to quit blogging or feeling like you have stayed past your expiration date, the struggle is real, y’all. And of course it’s easier to start a shiny new blog than to try to restore the old one. That’s expensive and a lot of work.
Hell, I understand wanting a do over. Man, I started my blog way back before I knew bupkis about SEO. When I started blogging, I had one objective and that was to write. I wanted to share my stories with other moms so they knew they weren’t alone in this craziness that is motherhood (because, it is CRAZYTown all the way.)
Then I made friends and built a community because I loved what I was doing. I was making connections by being me. Sure my photos were not professional caliber and I didn’t know shit about what sizes to use and this was way before Instagram, Vine or Pinterest existed.
It was me blogging alone at night after the babies went to sleep and in between constant wakings. Co-sleeping was simultaneously awesome and killing me( especially the random head-butts it the middle of the night). I didn’t sleep a lot in those days but I craved the human interaction that blogging brought into my solitude life of new motherhood. You guys kept me company for two entire years while my husband lived out of state for work. You ladies (and gentlemen) saved my sanity and probably my life. YOU made it all tolerable and I survived.
Back then, I used Twitter like a phone and those 140 characters were my battle cry to whoever would listen. It was my mom 911. I made so many amazing connections; personal and business. There were no concerns of tweeting out links. Hell, I never even considered it. That was absolutely shitting where you ate. I would never text my IRL friends my links 3x plus a day and I would certainly never talk over their tweets or hijack their hashtags for my own benefit. In my defense, I’m not an asshole nor did I know what the heck a hashtag was.
Facebook was for sharing my posts, if I remembered but mostly it was for connecting to my readers. It wasn’t me virtually shouting ,”Look at me! Read what I wrote! Validate me!” It was, “Hey, so-and-so did the baby sleep through the night? How is the potty training going? Hey, you, if you need me, I’m here!” It was fun. It meant something. It was something I looked forward to. It was definitely not bugging strangers to play Farm games, JAMBERRY and poking people. HOW RUDE! I took social media and applied all the rules of real life to it and it was a beautiful thing. It worked.
People commented. We had conversations. I commented. I cared. You cared. We were invested.I craved to know their stories; their real stories. They felt safe enough to say something more than, “True.” I devoured the struggles and the triumphs. When I commented, I felt that it meant something to the person on the receiving end other than just traffic. It felt like community and friendship.
Then money came into it. Money is good and getting paid to do what you love is probably the best job that you can get. For a long time, I was naïve. I still didn’t notice traffic like I should. Hell, I didn’t even know how to check my traffic until Jessica told me to put Statcounter on my site. I had Google Analytics but I had no idea how to use it.
Then more money came and more jobs! Oh the writing jobs. I couldn’t turn any down. I just couldn’t believe someone would pay me to do this. I got to stay home with my girls, write about it and get paid. What??????
More jobs came. Then traffic goals became a thing. My free time was no longer free and soon, I felt like in order to be a good blogger I was becoming a shitty mom and that brought guilt. I decided I couldn’t live with myself in that state. My priority is to be the best mom I can be to my girls and wife to my husband but I want to be fulfilled personally too and it shouldn’t all have to be exclusive. I want to be happy.
By this point, I depend on my money. More money, more problems and all that shite. I found myself having less and less time for conversations and engagement. I started scheduling social and realizing that all of those amazing women that had gotten me through the lean years began to fall through the cracks. I still craved the conversations, the connections; the friendship. I missed every single one of you.
Then I became one of those assholes who checked her numbers constantly. I tweeted links a lot. I shared links on Facebook, Instagram and Google+. I pinned my posts and shared to Tumbler and even Linkedin on occasion. To be fair, I’ve always shared other people’s stuff too but I just didn’t get to read and comment like I wanted to. I shared it so that I could come back to it. My intentions were good.
I was writing everywhere and I began to feel like the Truthful Mommy train was over saturating the market. I’m sure you all got sick of me and I know that you knew that you could find me anywhere so why bother coming to read me on my actual website. It was too much.
I lost touch with many of you because I had so many deadlines and not enough hours in the day. It wasn’t fun anymore, it was a job. I was working really hard to build something but I’m not quite sure what it was that I was trying to build. I lost myself in the middle of my journey.
I’m not quitting my blog to reinvent myself. I’m addicted. I’ve been doing some face-lifting. Last fall, I changed the website. It’s not The TRUTH about Motherhood anymore…it is now simply just The TRUTH (because it’s not been just about motherhood for a very long time) I’ve learned that I need to organize so that I can actually spend quality time really engaging again. I’ve realized there is no shame in admitting that my blog needs some work done under the hood. I also know that some things are worth the price, this is one of them.
I’m going to pass on the Blogger Midlife crisis. I like my husband a lot, I need to give my girls more of my time this summer and I want to keep focusing on my health journey. I want to get back to writing because I love it. I want to have conversations with you. I want to surround myself with my tribe and I want us to grow together. I want my posts to be to the point where sometimes you’ll read 1355 word post and not mind because it meant something. I want us all to get lost in our stories. Who’s with me?
Disclosure: SEO was not considered once while writing this post. This post will never go viral because people don’t share like they used to. I don’t care because I enjoyed “talking” to you this morning. Let’s do it again soon.