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The Howard Hughes of Blogging

by Deborah Cruz

Blogging~ I started blogging because I am a writer, or so I fancy myself to be anyways. I started blogging because I was told that it was the thing to do to build my online presence; to build a portfolio and to network. Instead, blogging has become friends, support, social media, cheerleaders and camaraderie. Blogging has become so much more than I could have expected but in the end, the goal is to be a writer. Blogging was supposed to be the gateway drug to a regular column somewhere,online or in print, I didn’t care; a book about nothing; a way to make a living doing something that I love, sharing my soul. My goal in blogging is to be seen as a writer, not a journalist (I’m no journalist) but perhaps a storyteller who tells a story that is relate-able and thought provoking. Blogging was supposed to parlay into something more.


Blogging the first step

I know everyone says, there’s no money in blogging unless you are either 1) a huge famous blogger 2) you are selling your space for advertising 3) you are selling your soul for sponsored posts (let’s be clear, there is nothing wrong with sponsored posts if you believe in the product, I love to share a good product. And we all need to eat. I just can’t do ONLY sponsored posts.) but I wanted to be the exception and be a writer. I wanted to bloggy style leap frog my way into the writing world.  I guess it’s the difference between working on a sitcom and starring in Les Miserable on Broadway. It’s all how you look at it. I love blogging but I love Broadway. I think that I’ve done pretty good with figuring out this blogging stuff. It’s been over 2 years and people tell me that my content is good. I want to believe them but then I realize, maybe, they are just blowing smoke up my ass. It’s not unheard of. You know unicorns and rainbows and all that? Of course it’s nice to hear nice things said about yourself but if what you’re doing is not working and no one gives you any constructive criticism how can you fix the problem. You won’t. You will stay stagnant. I don’t want sunshine and unicorns blown up my ass, I want the truth.I want to move forward.

I see my friends getting writing jobs. I am thrilled for them. I really am. Hell, I’ve even put people in touch with other bloggers to do jobs that I think they would be a good fit for. Why not? What goes around comes around , right? I love helping my fellow bloggers find success. Of course, I’d like to reach some of my goals too. But I feel like I’m treading water and I don’t know the next step. I find amazing opportunities and then they never come to fruition. It’s frustrating. Initial contact only to never have my response email not responded to, lofty promises that always fall flat, and potential writing jobs that never materialize.Maybe the problem is that I want to be paid but I can’t be bought. I know many of you have been there, or are there right this moment. I find myself sometimes wondering if it’s worth it. The time away from my girls, the lack of sleep, the time away from my husband…I feel ,on some days, that my blog is a metaphorical money pit and the currency is my soul. I’m constantly putting into it but I’m not really getting any substantial return. I feel like every opportunity is forced and I have to push and claw my way into it, just to be considered. All of these vote for me popularity contests, how do they gauge what kind of writer/blogger you really are if the person who annoys people the most for votes is the one who wins. That means they should rename the contest to most annoying blogger, right? The bigger your blogging numbers, the more opportunities that you will be provided, right? Traffic costs time. You have to dedicate a good amount of time socializing and how are you supposed to be a good Mommy blogger, if you are not being a good Mommy? They say content is king, but if that is true and if people are being honest with me about my content…then shouldn’t I be further along?

Blogging my way

I’m nowhere. I’m nobody. I’m a woman behind a computer screen giving away bits of my soul but maybe that’s not enough. Maybe I’m not confident enough or maybe I’m overconfident. Who knows? Blogging is a field that is a mystery cloaked in secrecy and hidden by competition, for the most part. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some AMAZING bloggers who have given me great advice. Genuinely wonderful women who freely answer any and all of my countless questions about blogging, without them, I would be lost. You know who you are. I won’t name names for fear that your Twitter inboxs will blow up. But I need honesty. This is your chance, I want HONEST feedback. What do you really think about The TRUTH about Motherhood?

Have you ever felt this way? Like everyone else has it figured out but you? Like everyone else is getting the opportunities but you? Like everyone else is doing it better than you are? I know that it takes hard work and that people earn their opportunities. I just want to know what I need to do to prove myself. Can’t wait to hear your feedback, criticisms and commiseration. What did you do to push past the plateau? Have you made the leap from blogger to published and paid writer? Any advice? I feel like I am becoming the Howard Hughes of blogging over here alone with my kookie ideas and reclusivity, minus the money… of course!

 Blogging; when’s enough , enough?

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erin margolin 2011/09/20 - 2:18 pm

I don’t have any answers. All I can tell you is that you’re not alone and I relate to every single bit of this. I’m a writer, not a journalist. And I”m a blogger who’s always wanted to write something bigger, DO something bigger, BE something bigger. Le sigh.


Truthful Mommy 2011/09/20 - 5:26 pm

Erin, you are a woman after my own heart and I thank you for your commiseration! We will do bigger!Be bigger ( well, bloggy bigger/ writer bigger….I don;t want my actual person to get nay bigger:)! XO
P.S. I am so excited to see you on the AL roster and girl, I can’t wait to read your first post!!It will be bigger!!!!!

Amanda Austin 2011/09/20 - 2:37 pm

I’ve been here..I am here… it sucks. When you do everything you can and still can’t feel like you keep up, it makes you feel like it’s not even worth it.

When the rubber meets the road, there are bills, there are things I want to do or pay off and don’t have the money. So I do the occasional sponsored post and get paid for it. If I get paid $15, that’s $15 more than I’d be making otherwise, and I can make that post my own. Just because it’s sponsored doesn’t mean you’re selling out. Most places don’t even have conditions….they ask you to add a link, that’s it.

The line between writing and commerce is become more and more faint. I’m new here but follow you on Twitter, so I can’ tspeak to your “weaknesses”…but the fact of the matter is, you probably don’t have any!! Those people who get the writing jobs? Were in the right place at the right time.

Truthful Mommy 2011/09/20 - 5:24 pm

THanks! And I hope it wasn’t misconstrued, I am NOT against sponsored posts. I have done them and will do them again. We all need to eat. I think as long as I am honest in my opinions, there is nothing wrong with them. I just meant that some blogs turn into sponsored posts factories..and that is alright too, if that is what they want out of their blog. I just don;t want to lose sight of my big picture which is to be known for my content. If that makes any sense?
And I know you are right, a lot of it is right place, right time, right people. I know this.I;m just having a day today and it is nice to hear it from someone else,s o I don’t feel like I am making excuses for myself:) thanks for stopping by!

Naomi 2011/09/20 - 3:13 pm

I think that you have to stay true to yourself if you want to be an artist. Writers are artists and being an artist is hard. You have to have a vision, despite what everyone else around you may be saying or doing. Don’t get caught up in what anyone else thinks about your work. Just stay the course and you will find the opportunities that fit your vision and your world view. Don’t get discouraged! This is the test that all writers/artists face. We talked about this a lot when I was in grad school getting my MFA in creative writing.

Truthful Mommy 2011/09/20 - 5:21 pm

You know me Naomi and you know I have a vision. I do. I think I am on the right track,I just need to figure out how to make that next leap. THanks for the commiseration and reminding me to stay true to who I am,which means a lot because you know me:) I try not to get discouraged, I’m just having a pity party. The closer it gets to my birthday, the more I take personal inventory and get annoyed with myself for not being further from the point I was last year at this time.Don’t worry,I’ve got the rant out of my system. From here on out, I will be constructive:) XO

Tracy@TheComfortZone 2011/09/20 - 7:19 pm

I can relate to your “bad day” emotions. I’m not too ambitious about my blog, my feelings have more to do with my actual career. I’m doing “OK”, but there is so much “potential” for more. Determining what’s holding me back and deciding on future steps while watching other people do it “better” is frustrating. I am very new to your blog but I love your content. Hope you have a better day tomorrow!

Truthful Mommy 2011/09/20 - 7:44 pm

This is the same frustration that I am feeling. I’m not even sure that I’d call it necessarily doing it better but doing it differently and it working for them. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for my friends. I just wish that I could take MY blog to the next level…turn it into a column or a book. That is my dream.That is realizing my dreams and exhausting my potential, that is the direction I want to go. I know it can be done. I just need to chin up it and do what needs to be done to get it done. Thanks for the understanding. I think I just needed a rant today:)LOL Welcome to The TRUTH about Motherhood. I am so glad you are here! Tomorrow will be better:)

Tiny Blue Lines 2011/09/21 - 9:04 am

I’m new to your blog too, but I love it so far. I love blogs that are awesome without aspiring to be so, if that makes any sense. I started my blog to get myself into the habit of writing every day in the hopes of doing something…someday…maybe…:) It’s hard for me, when I see so many incredible bloggers, writers, and moms out there–how do I fit in? And I feel so clueless about all the social media stuff and traffic and twitter and google+ and blahblahblan..there comes a point where I feel like you have to choose between blogging and “real” life, you know?

Kalley C 2011/09/21 - 5:13 pm

I’m right there with you. I want to be so much more than just a blogger, that the reason why I started blogging was to begin building my brand–me.

But you’re right. How can you be a good mommy blogger if you aren’t a good mommy. It takes so much time socializing, and writing posts, that I feel that I’m taking too much time from my daughter.

But then I remember, that these things take time. Some are quick to get there, and some never get there, but I know writing and blogging is really about hard work, and how long you plan on sticking to it.

Since I’m not going anywhere any time soon, I’ll stick to my guns. I may not be able to dedicate hours of my life to networking, but every one person who I connect with, is another person in my network.

Jenni Chiu 2011/09/22 - 3:59 pm

I’ll have to agree with Naomi on this one – writers are artists… well, depending on what kind of writer you are. But I know you and your blog – you strike me as a storyteller, a creative… and artist. Unfortunately, most artists don’t make a living doing what they love. I struggle with this a lot.
Article writing is an easier way to make moolah… but you have to build a portfolio first… which I know you’ve been trying to do. It’s finding that balance that’s hard.
Making a living writing/blogging seems to be a lot like any creative field, eg. acting, dance, painting, etc. – Only a minute percentage of people actually make money doing it.
Unfortunately I’m only ever drawn to the creative fields… hence the brokeness of my ass…

Hopes@Staying Afloat! 2011/09/22 - 7:43 pm

I wish I had answers for you. I’m only three months into this blogging thing less than three months ago.

But I will say that I love your content, and I’m not blowing smoke and unicorns up your ass. I truly do love what you write and your writing style.

Keep on doing it! What you need, and what you want will come. It will!

Illusion of Sanity (Kim) 2011/09/24 - 11:01 pm

I, too, feel that way sometimes. Am I just spewing nonsense? Can I ever get ahead in the blogging world? Will all this time spent in front of a computer, and not hanging out with Hubs, or playing with my kids be worth it in the end? Who knows…but at this point, I write for me. If it happens to lead to something awesome, I’ll jump on it. Until then, I guess I’ll just ride the ride.

The TRUTH About Motherhood | ...and Then Blogging became A Pissing Contest - The TRUTH About Motherhood 2013/12/09 - 2:19 pm

[…] Friday, Babble announced it’s top 100 bloggers of the year. It wasn’t just mom bloggers this year but spanned 10 different niches. I was chosen as the reader’s choice Latina blogger and I am honored. I’ve been sharing my life, my children, my successes and failures with you all in a very honest way over the years and that is scary. To be acknowledged for that, was surprising because I usually feel like I am writing for an audience of one…myself. […]


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