Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why I will never be a professional blogger

I follow quite a few blogs in my trusty Google reader. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the number of posts that come through during the day. Luckily, I can star them and come back to them... anyway, the point is - I follow a few blogs where the writer is a full-time blogger. She makes money by blogging. And has many, many followers (hundreds of thousands in some cases!). And it appears that these professional bloggers get some sweet perks out of the deal - free stuff, amazing products to give away... as long as she promotes it on said blog that has 10s of thousands if not 100s of thousands of readers/followers.

Doesn't all of that sound good? Not only the free stuff, but the popularity/fame that goes along with it. Seems to me that many of these writers end up with book deals at some point, too (not a given, I'm sure, but many of the most popular that I've followed).

So about once a year I explore the idea. Research how to get more traffic on my lil ol' space on the internet. I spend a couple of hours on it and then decide: its just not worth it (to me). So here are the reasons why I will never be a professional blogger (okay, right now anyway... maybe when all three girls are in school and I'm super bored I'll rethink this idea):

* as if you haven't noticed... blogging regularly comes in spurts for me. at some point it becomes a chore and when that happens, I check out entirely for a month or more at a time.

* I have a problem sticking with a specific theme or point of view. My thoughts are pretty random based on what I'm reading or doing at the time that I'm blogging. many of these blogs are centered around themes: photography, cooking, gift giving, baking, minimalism, crafting, etc. Can't seem to focus my energy or passion enough on one specific topic to make it a "theme" for my blog... which means there is no specified target audience.

* I like to read blogs in my reader... and then I don't leave comments (unless it is someone I personally know). leaving comments is one big way to build readership and eh, i'm too lazy to do it. besides, on the most popular blogs, there are so many comments that i can't imagine the writer, let alone the readers wade through every single one of them to find a new blog... my guess is that readers click through and eventually follow blogs that are highlighted in a post - not through comments.

* along with being lazy about leaving comments, i'm also very lazy about hyper-linking anything. in my intro paragraph to this post I could have - and should have - linked several blogs up there for my (few) readers to find. yeah, i just don't feel like it most of the time - writing takes up enough time, finding all of the links and them placing them just right in the text takes up too much of my time for me to care.

* researching ideas sounds like a whole lot of no fun to me.

* i'm not uber confident in my opinion about many things. actually, i'm fine with my opinion on things, but i don't like to create conflict with other people regarding my opinion. in general, my opinion about ANYTHING is this: I have enough responsibility in making decisions for myself and my family... I certainly don't want the responsibility of making your decisions or decisions for the rest of the world. I have thoughts on public/private schools, daycare/SAHM, liberal/conservative, CRC/non-denominational and any other topic out there... however, they're just my thoughts and i have no desire to try to argue someone into thinking the same way as I do - conversely, i have even less desire to prompt someone to try to argue me into thinking the same way as him/her. I like to discuss and toss about ideas - i don't like "my way is the only way and you are wrong if you don't agree". I don't like it that people in my life gasp when they find out that I'm moderately liberal (which assumes then, that I'm also moderately conservative), or that my family goes to church on Saturday night instead of Sunday morning or any number of decisions that our family has made. Suffice it to say - if you know me well enough, you can assume that my/our decisions are well thought out and carefully made and you need not worry about my salvation simply because we choose to go to church on Saturday.

Wow - did I really go there? Totally not intending to, oops!

* along with being lazy about leaving comments and hyper-linking, I'm also lazy about including photos. ugh... the tutorials that people do and post are awesome. I love the cooking tutorials on some of these blogs, but the thought of doing them myself? makes me want to cut my hand off with a butter knife. and posting them... the time it takes to upload them and put them in the proper order - no thanks, i'll iron instead.

So I guess I'll never have more than a few readers and I'm okay with that. Since this is my space to "get it out of my head" i'm content with not writing to the masses.

how about you? any thoughts of going pro? if not, why not?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hide and Seek

"I hide because I don't want to be exposed in my fallenness, my darkness. I hide because I'm afraid if the truth about me is known, I will never be loved. I hide from other people. I hide from God. I hide from truth - in a sense, I hide even from myself." John Ortberg, Love Beyond Reason

I used to be a hider. Not one of those people who hid behind a fake facade. I have to say - I've never been able to be fake or been able to pretend to be someone that I'm not. But I've hidden behind extreme lack of self-confidence and self-esteem.

I still hide behind those barriers sometimes. I still retreat to the quiet, seemingly bitchy place when I'm uncomfortable or feel threatened in any way. I'm beginning to recognize it and I'm beginning to understand that being an introvert does not = being shy, quiet, withdrawn, judgemental, uncomfortable. That is my Imposter. My self-conscious, low self-esteem Imposter. My barrier. My wall of defense.

It was an incredible epiphany for me to realize that.

What do I hide from? Why do I hide?

A few years ago we read a book in our small group called Waking The Dead by John Eldridge. He observed that each and every person in this world is wounded. We all have wounds. Its time for us to recognize our wounds, deal with them and move on. We need the Ultimate Healer to help us deal with them. First, we have to recognize them, acknowledge them and desire to move on.

While I was reading this I thought I was pretty well put together. I mean I have my issues and my weirdities;) like everyone else. But I don't have deep issues that I won't recognize. I haven't had anything major happen in my life that has been a huge negative influencing factor in who I've become. I've got it goin' on.

Wait. Huh. I'm a jerk. Really, seriously... do I honestly believe that I am the ONLY person in this world without wounds?

Got me thinking. Reaching back. Trying to see past myself to find out what my wounds are.

Its pretty obvious after I thought about it long enough. Go back to my grade school diary and its all there - maybe not spelled out exactly, but its there if you read between the lines.

And its still here. And its what I hide from: my feeling that I've never been chosen. At least never been chosen first, or before someone else, or in place of someone else. Maybe I've been settled upon as a last resort... if so and so can't play, or if so and so can't go with me then I'll ask Jana.

Is it truth? Probably not - there really is no way for me to know. But it is part of MY truth. Not the not being chosen thing, but the FEELING like I've never been chosen. To be honest, Cornbread didn't CHOOSE me - we just started hanging out and it eventually turned into more than that. He didn't pursue me or even woo me. We clicked and it was.

And thats what I'm hiding from in uncomfortable situations. The feeling like the people in the situation will not choose me. They won't choose to talk to me. They won't choose to sit by me. They won't choose to be partners with me. They won't choose me. So I hide behind being quiet and unapproachable. When in reality I am a pretty friendly, interested and outgoing person. Yet I hide.

I've been in the process of shutting down my Imposter. It takes work. And it takes thought. Recognition. Intentionality. I have to remember who my Imposter is and that the Imposter is not truth. The remembering is the hardest part - because the Imposter is a natural, habitual response cultivated and perfected over 34 years.

When my brain and soul feel as disordered as they have for the last few weeks, I have a hard time remembering this and I retreat behind my wall of defense. Not intentionally, but naturally. The Imposter needs to put away.

Monday, May 17, 2010

My lovely friend, Skooks, prodded me about this little blog. I know I've been absent and mainly its because I've got nothing to say right now. Life, for me, is kind of in a spin cycle and its driving me mad. Not the kind of spin cycle that most people have - a totally crazy, driving all over creation, bringing kids from here to there kind of cycle... my spin cycles are along the lines of not having a complete thought, not reading, not feeling like I have accomplished anything for days and days and days, reacting to life instead of living it. I hate these periods and yet it seems like I go through them more frequently than I would like.


I'm kind of grumpy this morning.

Let me back up a little bit... Cornbread and I trained for a half marathon this year. We started in January and the culmination was the race in Indy last weekend. It was incredible. I loved the training and I did so much better in the race than I could have ever allowed myself to imagine (for a detailed post about the race or posts regarding the training, see my bfl blog). BUT the downside to the training is that I could eat anything and everything I wanted to. This is good mostly, but for me the lack of discipline in my diet creates havoc in my soul. Although I may sound like a control freak, I'm not - I don't feel compelled to control anything, I just like discipline, order and routine - my life feels better that way. And when I'm lacking, I feel disordered.

So anyway, the race was last weekend. And because there was no distinct training plan after that I had little to no motivation to workout last week. I ran a little bit - 5 on Monday, 5 on Wednesday and 3.5 on Thursday - but motivation was nil. And any discipline I may have had with my diet before then (which was little) went straight out the window. SO last night I created a workout plan for the weeks between now and the start of the training for the next race (September 25). I geared myself up to get up early to workout this morning and then...

I woke up at 2:30am. WIDE AWAKE. Like there is no chance on earth that I would be falling asleep any time soon. At 3:15 I began to count. By 4:00 I had gotten to 700 and was very upset. I was supposed to get up at 4:45 to go to the gym... that was making me extra happy. I finally went downstairs and read a few pages in my book and fell asleep until 6:45.

And now I'm grumpy. Today was the day to start being disciplined again. And then I have sleep troubles. And I usually solve my sleeping issues by working out. And I started babysitting again so I can't go to the gym in the afternoon while the girls are at school. So now I have to figure something else out. Its fine. It is what it is. But I'm grumpy.

Thats just the specifics about today. In general, I'm a bit grumpy about my reactionary life. I really like my job and it has been a great blessing to us - financially - but it is difficult in the respect that my mornings are segmented into short segments and its hard to get anything accomplished in those small segments. I can't run errands in those short (20 minute) segments either, so I have to do it in the afternoon... Its hard to explain, but suffice it to say that I'm struggling with some disorder in the home and in my brain. And I hate.that.

So perhaps if I begin blogging again, I can prod myself to more discipline and order in general.
Let the blogging (re)begin.

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