23 comments on “Am I Still a Blogger?

  1. Personally, while I enjoy blogging and discussing books “meeting” new bloggers, I’ve never really felt that the “community” was something that’s…cohesive in a way that makes me feel “part” of something. That’s probably my introversion talking—even on the internet I have trouble “putting myself out there”—but as much as I’ve tried to do that, I feel like I’ve gotten comparatively little in return. On the other hand, I also, like you, struggle to comment on things even if I do really enjoy a post; if I enjoy a post, it usually means that I don’t think there’s anything else to add, so what am I going to say, “Good job”? I’ve done that, and people seem genuinely grateful when I do, so yay, but I still wish I had something more to add to the conversation. I’m also uncomfortable with the relentless self-promotion that blogging requires, although that hasn’t stopped me from doing it. (I still feel squicky about it, though.)

    Anyway, I think I went a bit off the rails there—but congratulations on your soon-to-be new addition, and thanks for a thought-provoking post!

    • I can’t seem to “put myself out there” in real life, but I’ve gotten a lot better about it online. Sometimes I still feel like the nerd trying to sit at the cool kids’ table when I interact with bloggers I’m not as familiar with, but it’s gotten a lot easier over time, and I like that it gives me that social interaction without the anxiety I get face-to-face.

      • YES to the “nerd trying to sit at the cool table” feeling. It has definitely gotten easier, but I still have that little voice in the back of my head that says “Why even bother, no one wants to talk to you.”

  2. I love this, Charleen – I’ve been struggling with it for a while now, myself. With a lot of soul-seaching, I think what I’ve come up with is that, no matter who connects with me, how many people I reach, how well-read the posts are…I feel better when I’ve blogged. I feel like I’ve tapped into a creative part of me, and even if 5 people read it, it’s out there. I’m slowly trying to get back into the blogosphere more (my time’s so limited now, which I know you can appreciate!) but the more I do, the better I feel – so I think it comes down to almost a self-care thing, if that makes sense?

    • That’s also part of what worries me, that I won’t have time for it, and that I’ll be losing a part of myself in the process. Not that I’m not excited about having a baby and starting that new phase of life. But I also don’t want to turn into Mommy-Charleen and have that be my sole identity. So I have to find the balance… and then hope my people are still around once I do.

  3. The community is definitely a huge part of being a blogger. I do it because I love to talk books extensively and I don’t have anyone in my life who does that. And it keeps my writing in practice. I think blogging is like anything else in life – it has seasons of lack and seasons of abundance. At some points in a school year, I am a better teacher than in others. Sometimes I am a better friend than at other points. It really depends on circumstances and none can be 100% involved with everything at all times. You’ve got a good following here and I think you’ll find they will be waiting for you whenever you can get a post in. Time will pass and things change again before you know it.

    • That’s true… I think it just worries me because I’m never going to have as much abundance as I have in the past. Not that I won’t find a place for blogging in my new life, but it’s never going to be the same. It will keep changing… but I won’t ever be able to get back to where I am. Not that that’s a bad thing, but it’s still an unknown (and I have enough of those on the horizon).

  4. Hmm, this is a very good question! I feel like I identify with being a blogger because I put content out there, and that even if no one read it, I would feel like I was a blogger because I expressed myself through my blog. But being a blogger is really not very fun if you’re not part of the community, so visiting other blogs and commenting is what really makes the whole thing worthwhile. But if you are going through life-altering events, I think it’s nice to be able to take a break and know you can always get back into it – and maybe you’ll have a renewed interest once you can find a way to balance everything!

    • I’ve taken breaks in the past, and I usually do come back with renewed interest… but it’s the balance that’s going to be tricky. Just because I get back my enthusiasm for blogging – and all that goes with it – doesn’t mean I’ll have the time or energy.

  5. I’m here because it’s fun and I’d miss it if I didn’t do it. I get both out it, the reading stuff and the writing stuff. I love it all. I say, for you, take the baby break, see how you feel after you start finding your new normal. If you miss it, if not blogging leaves a bit of a hole, then start back up again… slowly. :)

    • New normal… will there even be such a thing anymore? I think that’s a big part of it too, that I’m facing so many unknowns, and this is just one more.

  6. Girl, don’t beat yourself up. As long as you want to be a blogger you are. I wasn’t a part of the community when my child was an infant. But even if you have to take a complete two or three year break – we’ll be here for you when you come back. :) (Seriously. I’ll still guest post if you need me.)

  7. I think there is a lot of pressure to be a certain sort of blogger — posting, commenting, interacting, sharing — those are all the things it is recommended that a *good* blogger does. Even if there really shouldn’t be any pressure, it’s still sort of there in the background for a lot of us. I know for me, I’ve often taken a break from posting when I know I don’t have time to interact because I felt guilty (like when we first bought our house), but I’ve really tried to let go of all sorts of pressure when it comes to blogging and honestly, that is the only reason I am still around the book blogosphere.

    I wrote a whole post about not being sure I’d still blog after discovering I was pregnant, but then I found myself gravitating back toward it anyway — and I think that is mainly because I had let go of the pressure. I KNOW I will not be the same blogger or even truly the same person after my little guy is born, but I don’t want to close up shop. At least I don’t think I do! Reading and books are still my #1 hobby and I like having an outlet for it and a means of sharing it. It is always so heartening to realize that a lot of people stick around, even if you go off the grid for a while and I like knowing my blog is there, even if my habits and the time I have for blogging change and evolve. I also know that my feed reader has lots of great posts from other bloggers waiting for me if and when I have the time to read them and need a dose of bookishness. And if I need to clear the queue without reading sometimes? So be it. Even if I don’t crack open my blog or my feed reader for a few months after the kiddo is born, I *think* I will still be happy knowing the option is there.

    Who knows what April will bring for either of us, but my only bit of advice is to try and figure out what you really truly want to do and go with your gut. If blogging is all about the interaction for you, I think you definitely have a lot to think about, but I don’t think anyone will be offended (nor should they be!) if you decide to stick around, but change your posting, commenting, sharing habits, etc. And if you’re anything like me, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by just about everything right about now, so if you’re not really up for it, I don’t think you need to make any major decisions if you don’t want to.

    • I can’t see giving it up completely, but like you said, I know I’ll never be the same blogger that I have been. It just isn’t possible. So the question then is, am I okay with being a less-present blogger? If it turns out that I’m not, that it’s just too hard to only kind of be here… then maybe I would be better off giving it up. But I guess time will tell.

  8. Life happens, and sometimes you need to step away for a while. And, that is completely okay. We will all be here when you get back and we can catch you up on whatever you may miss! Once you are a part of this particular community, it is hard to leave!! :)

  9. Good post. I enjoy the community and enjoy talking with others about all the books I love. I understand why you would want to step away though. You have to do what is best for you and your family. :)

    • Yup, but keeping myself sane is part of that, so I definitely plan to come back once I can get a handle on balancing me-me with mommy-me.

  10. You know me, community is my big thing, too. I absolutely adore our community. I know we keep telling you to just chill and not worry about writing posts or commenting or whatever because making a human is effing exhausting (and it is!), but I know you feel disconnected and that can be kinda depressing. My only advice (having never been pregnant myself) is to just take like 5 minutes during the morning or at lunch and just say hi to a few bloggers or check out the group and make a comment or like a post, just to feel the connection without the obligation to add anything else to it. I know when I am having a fibro flare-up it seems like a HUGE job just to sit down and say hey what’s going on to people. I make myself as much as possible because I do miss the connections and I swear it makes me a happier person just to take 2 minutes to say hey I was thinking of you today.

    • That’s a good point, and a good way to stay involved even while stepping back from the blog. It doesn’t even have to be every day, but I think even making the effort a couple times a week, especially in those crazy first couple months after bringing the baby home, will make me feel better. 10 minutes of me-time a week doesn’t sound too unreasonable… right? (she asks hopefully…)

  11. First off: CONGRATULATIONS!! I’m so happy for you, and I think you’re going to be a wonderful mother. <3

    On the community thing, I understand where you're coming from. I have depression and sometimes when it gets really bad, I can't really muster up the energy to get online and be happy and enthusiastic even about something I absolutely love. The worst part is when it turns into a vicious cycle: I write my own posts and feel terrible when my lovely followers leave their comments, so then I just try to avoid the whole scene even more and end up feeling totally separate from everybody else, like they're one big happy family and I'm kind of awkwardly standing off to the side twiddling my thumbs.

    With that being said, though, I think having a baby is a pretty valid reason to step back for a little while. ;) Something that's always helped for me is sort of "rationing" my blog reading. I tell myself that it's okay if I don't comment on 10, 20, 30 blogs today: just limit it to one. Sometimes that's enough to spur me on to read more, but sometimes I can just barely get up enough motivation (or, in your case, time) to do one – and I've learned how to be okay with that. Life, the universe, and everything happens sometimes. Your followers understand. <3

    • Thanks! I know it’s necessary, and I’m not even really upset about taking some time off. It’s more the “not knowing” factor. I know I do want to get back to blogging once things settle down a bit here… but when will I feel “settled”? Will I ever? It’s just tough having no idea what I’m in for. But I definitely appreciate everyone who says they’ll be waiting patiently till I can return, however long that takes.

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