I switched my blog over to WordPress a little over a month ago and I love it. Well, actually my wonderful web designer did because I couldn’t figure out how to do it. I mean, I could have maybe figured it out but I resorted back to that illogical fear that I’ll somehow make my blog implode by pushing the wrong button.
I love the options, the freedom I feel in writing multiple posts and the ability to respond to individual comments that the new blog brings. I still need to add some design work, but all-in-all, I’m very happy with the change.
One thing that stinks is that my traffic took a plummet. I’m still trying to figure out why and trying to correct the problem- if that’s possible. It kind of stressed me out. More than I care to admit. A lot of aspects of my writing have stressed me out lately and I hate to say it, but they’re for fairly superficial reasons.
Writing online is both extremely rewarding and mind-f’ing. One post you get a bunch of feedback or shares or likes and you feel on top of the world. The next sees none. You rack your brain as to why? Shouldn’t everyone just absolutely love what you do all of the time? Or maybe your traffic grows and you start thinking, “Wow, maybe my blog/post/article will go somewhere!” You start aiming big. You become addicted to the instant gratification of online writing and you find yourself a slave to it.
Until yesterday, when I had to pull myself aside and have a very stern conversation with myself. It went something like this:
“What the f is the matter with you, Lauren? Quit pacing the house and sit down.”
“NO! LEAVE ME ALONE! YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!”
“Of course I do, I’m you.”
“SHUT UP! No one likes me anymore!”
“I don’t like you right now.”
“But that’s because you’re being an ignorant jack ass.”
“Yes, but you already know that. You’re just afraid to admit it.”
“Well, I guess I just did it.”
I usually don’t have many self-deprecating conversations with myself, but yesterday I needed it.
I’ve never had a specific goal as to what I wanted my blog to be, so I can’t particularly yell at myself for getting off track. I can be upset at myself for become so wrapped-up, so concerned about something that ultimately doesn’t matter. Something that takes away from the whole idea of writing.
Why is good never enough? Not only with just a blog, but with everything? My life is damn near perfect. I have wonderful, supportive, and healthy boyfriend, friends and family, I’ve gotten a lot of work through my blog and I’ve met so many amazing people through it. What else could I possibly want? If the last remaining desire is money and notoriety, well, then I feel sorry for me. Sure it would be great to have a little bit more dough; right now I can just barely pay the bills- but I can pay them. But I’ve seen first hand what money and a little bit of notoriety does, and it’s usually not good. You just continue suffering from ‘good is never enough syndrome’ and you have difficulty being in the moment or even enjoying life. That’s not to say that everyone does, but a fair share do.
In a time of “Entrepreneurs Under 30”, kid bloggers and post-collegiate start-ups there is such emphasis on the young person being plugged in and therefore tuned out. When will we learn balance? Do we constantly have to strive for something more or can we just enjoy the journey?
A blogger friend with a popular site told me yesterday that he’s disconnecting for a month and traveling Europe. No computer, no blog. Just him and reality. At first I was dumbstruck by his seemingly quick ability to do this, but then the more I thought about it, the more envious I became. Not that I want to leave my blog for a month, but the idea that I could leave my blog for a month and be ok with it . That’s when you know you’ve found balance.
right there with you. well, not really. my blog isn’t nearly as successful as yours but it’s easy to become a bit obsessive about stats, comments, etc. don’t let this bitch own you. you show the blog who’s boss!
hahaha. i try to, christin. it’s gross how wrapped up we can get in stats and comments etc. back in the ol’ days nobody even knew that people read their stuff until 100 years later.
I have similar circumstances. Blogging is awesome but it’s hard to get people/computer geeks to give you any credit. You’re on track with the love and dislike for talking and money. Hold on to your higher power. This video may help you out a little
Haha. I hate Kanye, but I did listen to the song. Thank you.
I only have 16 followers and I get excited when I get ten views in a day, haha…I understand your frustrations, though. You write and share that writing because you want to create something that facilitates a connection between yourself and other people…something that others can read and identify with, or learn from, or simply think about. When you’re a writer, these things are essential. I hope things begin to look up.
Thanks, Tara. You hit the nail on the head!
Oh Lauren. How I can relate. On so many levels.
I am about to switch to WordPress too, and I feel like it’s this scary diet plan. My blog’s traffic will get lean in the short-term, and it’s really going to suck, but in the long-term I KNOW it will be better. (Why didn’t we just start with f-ing WordPress?! Gah.)
Now onto the balance / neuroses part of your post … I remember writing you a couple of years ago, and straight-up asking: “How do you get so many comments? What your secret??” I now think that success in the blogging world is this very immeasurable thing, especially for people like us who blog because it’s a creative outlet, and not because it’s a resource for financial planning / home improvement / parenting / etc. Magazines & newspapers are USED to measuring their success by circulation numbers, but it just doesn’t translate to blogs. That’s because there’s a difference between having the MOST traffic, and having the RIGHT traffic.
You’ve cultivated such creative kindred spirits here. Even when we go silent (like me, sometimes) we’re still reading, nodding, wanting to high-five you, wanting to hug you, wanting to be you.
And lastly, I think Chris’ decision to go black ops on the Internet and bike around Europe is brilliant. Sometimes I look at the people with REALLY popular sites – around our age, tons of shiny, national traffic – and wonder how happy they actually are. All that computer time.
But you, Chris, bloggers who strive for balance … these are healthy, vibrant people. This blog is like your little petri dish for writing, and I think you’re so good at it because you make the time to have an offline life, too.
Tolly! Awww man. Thanks for that! If you have any questions about the transition from Blogger to WP, let me know. I am definitely still learning too, but can offer any advice I may know. Don’t be afraid to email me. I might even email you. Ha.
I can’t wait to follow Chris’ adventures. He’s definitely an inspiration!
Stop stressing. Your writing is great. More about that later. The problem could be this: Your old blog used to come up right away on my screen, this new blog takes forever. Forever means, from one one-thousand to 7 one-thousand. Compared to your old blog that seems like a really long time. Because it takes so long to connect, your traffic may be thinking that something is seriously wrong, and so they just give up. Could that be why readership is down?. What do you think?
Hmmm…really? I’ll talk to my designer about that. Thank you. It doesn’t load slowly for me, but who knows what is going on. Thank you for that.
Maybe your traffics gone down because I got a real job 😛
But seriously though.
I think we all need to practice a more regimented way of looking at social media… Like, schedule a relatively short amount of time to look at it per day, and stick to that. That saved me when I had way too much time on my hands and has somewhat carried over, though now I also just have less time where it can be my default thing to do.
Anyway, I feel like that’s better than long vacations… Last time I tried that was less cool than I thought. I felt less connected to reality, not more, of you know what I mean?
Yeah, we’ve truly become a slave to this stuff. Well, some of us had. I like your idea. I might have to try that. Since I wrote this post, I’ve been pretty good about not checking it all the time. Definitely makes me less stressed.
*if you know what I mean
Loving your blog all the way from Australia! And I love the new look completely, but the one thing that I dislike, is that I can never really figure out which post is the most recent? Therein I find I might miss some posts and don’t read them! Otherwise though, great writing and the only blog I actually follow! Feel spesh!
Thanks for the feedback! Do you follow me in a reader? You should be able to see the newest post that way. If not, the new posts are typically in the carousel at the top.
“Why is good never enough?”
No offense, maybe you should be “good” first.
Thanks for the comment, Van! 🙂
I LOVE your blog and think you’re a great online role model!!! Even when I’m in a 20something funk, I look to your blog or the blogs you follow.. Let’s me know that there REALLY is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Since you switched to word press and changed your design, I think it upped your game. I almost feel, the way your blog looks, it could almost become a online magazine. Sometimes that’s the first thing I think when I visit.
Aww…Libby! Thank you so much for that!!!