When I Decided To Stop Blogging

Monday, July 13, 2015


On a Monday morning when the alarm goes off just as a thunderstorm is moving through, complete with low rolling thunder and splats of rain hitting the window outside, it's damn near impossible to get up. What is it about those morning thunderstorms that feel so cathartic? They make me want to lay in bed forever listening to Norah Jones and drinking hot tea- two things I basically never do.

For the past three days I've been on a bit of social media break. Over the weekend I pretty much stayed away from Insta, Twitter and Facebook. And it felt wonderful. But isn't it weird we live in a world where I have to say a sentence like "I've been on a social media break." Gross. I sound like a pretentious weirdo.

Social media encompasses me because it's my job in every which way. But sometimes it drowns me and I feel like I can't get away from it.

Last week I tried to learn Snapchat because I guess that's what bloggers are doing now and as a fellow lamb, I mean blogger, I think I need to learn it. It's funny to me because I actually had jokes about snapchat in my standup about two years ago. I called Chris out for being on it because I said it was an app just for teenagers to send nudey pics. But now it's an app for bloggers to show our "fun unfiltered side!" Can you tell I had my coffee with a side of snark today?

I actually googled "videos on how to use snapchat." And then I took out my dentures, replaced my hip, and went to bed for fifteen hours.

If I could figure that app out, I think I might like it. Seems like I could have some comedic fun with it. And let's be honest, I'm really over the fake Instagram photos. I get it, you know how to stage a pretty photo on a white background. That's a great skill and I'm not downplaying it (because I clearly haven't mastered it) but let's see more real life now, eh? And by real life I obviously mean more photos of your dogs. Duh.

Anyway, the thing is I don't want to learn another self promoting app. I'm tired of it. I want to spend less time recording my life and more time living it. Said the blogger who records her life daily... I know, I know, I sound ridiculous right now. I've honestly just been really over blogging lately.

Just so I don't confuse you I should clarify I'm over blogging, but still very into writing. I prefer the days when I come here to write and not just blog about Ten Ways To Be A Blogger....

I feel like my posts got off course for a few years trying to keep up with everyone else. The list posts, the how-to guides, the blogging tips, the blah blah blah. They were the posts that got shared the most, so why the hell not I thought. I was being smart. Forget the good writing, just write what sells.

But then it got so redundant after a while.

So a few weeks ago I made the decision to stop blogging and start writing more. I had this moment of inspiration one night where I was like, from here on out I'm going to write wonderful short stories and beautiful essays and everything will be wonderful and beautiful.

And then the next morning I wrote a post about "My Favorite Things Right Now" because I forgot one very important thing about writing- it's hard. It's really hard sometimes. And that would be the reason I moved to the list/how-to posts in the first place.

So we're back to square one.

I think my goal for this site is to find a happy medium. I'd like to write better, but I'm not perfect (and I obviously don't know how to spell check) and I know there will be days when I have to write a quick post that maybe doesn't fill my hunger for creativity as a writer, but it fills the slot for the day. Sometimes it just happens. And sometimes I have to pay the bills and be a total sellout.

Writing vs blogging- what are your thoughts? Is there a difference? Which kind of posts do you prefer?


56 comments:

  1. I think one of the reasons I don't blog is because it became, to paraphrase you, "keeping up with the joneses" and I am so over it. I would just rather read other people's stuff. It's a shame, because I love writing.

    I LOVE YOUR PERSPECTIVE. Again, I prefer writing. There have been so many blogs that I've just stopped reading because they seemed so disingenuous. Thank you, thank you, for writing this. I think there are a LOT of people who need to take a step back on their own work and realize, who are they writing for? What purpose do they serve with their words?

    I am also rambling because it's Monday and I'm at work and I'm on maybe three hours of functional sleep.

    I'll see myself out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, and PS, I tried Snapchat again last week and remembered how much I hated it. Glad we agree.

      Delete
  2. I like a happy medium but usually prefer the "writing" more than the "blogging". I like the lists because I find out about new products, services, books, etc that I otherwise would never know about, but I still find the more heartfelt posts to be more interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! When I started reading blogs it was because I loved to read short stories/diary entries/opinions/paragraphs from different minds on my lunch break or before bed. Then all of a sudden the interesting content was gone and every blog looked the same except for the city or husband. I'm really looking forward to reading your "writing". The first post I read of yours was your Target one and I love your "it's funny because it's true" humour and I cant wait to read more!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am definitely in the "Writing" camp. I wrote a post about this on my own blog at the end of May: http://wp.me/p1JQXp-LV

    My original aim of my blog was to turn my special and everyday experiences into prose, whether being transcribed from my journals or turned into creative verse. However, it has become a jack-of-all-trades blog, but writing is my focus.

    I enjoy both Writing posts and Blogging posts, but prefer it when the focus is more toward the Writing. It seems that writing quality is often inversely related to shareability, however...

    ReplyDelete
  5. I prefer real, this is my life writing to the overly sponsored, giveaway posts that blogging has become. I'm here to read about your life (stalkerish) and laugh at your jokes.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I know how you feel about all of this. I just can't with the staged instagram pictures. It's not who I am. I've started and stopped blogging so many times and every time I stop it's because I've started doing more of the fluff and less actual writing. But you're right, writing is hard and it's not easy to produce good writing pieces on a daily basis. It's also a bit discouraging when you read on so many of those "Why I stop reading your blog" posts that a lot of people don't like long posts with lots of writing, but I have to think that there are just as many people who do. I personally prefer a really well written post over list type posts. But I also get that people don't have a lot of time, so I'm starting to lean more towards writing longer posts maybe two to three times a week and then having some lighter content in between so it's not too time consuming for everyone. It's a tricky balance.

    In other news, I signed up for snapchat and I'm loving it now that I know what I'm doing! Lots of 10 second dog videos :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. totally agree on a happy medium. i with that i could figure out how to do that because i feel a lot like i freak out if i don't post. which is silly and no one even gives a shit.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I honestly prefer the posts that are real and full of real life stuff! Spending so much time "being a blogger" can be exhausting. I mean, sure I'll read a "Ten ways to do this for your blog" post every once in a while, but there are so many of them out there, you can find a billion on Pinterest if you really are looking for advice. The blogs I stick with are the ones where the people are real and true.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm 100% on the writing side. The other stuff is like a commercial during my favorite tv show; sometimes it can be funny or touching but I just want to get back to my show.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that perspective. Too many sponsored posts or staged Instagram sessions make it seem like a commercial break (or infomercial)!

      Delete
  10. I definitely think there is a difference between writing and blogging. I hope you find your happy medium!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Did you climb inside my head? I'm in the biggest blogging rut ever. It's so draining trying to make everything pinterest optimized etc. and the worst part is, stats don't lie. The posts I pinterest optimize and put a lot of effort in to get a lot more views than those that I just write about my life. And I'm so sick of writing about myself. For the first time in a long time, I've considered throwing in the towel. For now, I'm taking a break from it all and trying to enjoy life more.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I rarely comment, but I have to say that I thoroughly enjoy your happy-medium blogging! You write out real life stuff, sponsored stuff and of course your child stuff too...aka: Harlow. Perfect example of what blogging has become was last week---OMG, It's the Nordstrom Anni Sale, OMG, It's the Nordstrom Anni Sale, OMG, It's the Nordstrom Anni sale...annoying, right? You get it...everyone, their dog and child were blogging about their favs. It's just gotten to the point these ladies and gents are making a good penny on what advertisers request of them, so they cannot turn from the dark side. I don't know where I am going with this and obvs it's my shitty opinion, but that's all to say - I think you have a great view and mindset on it all, so keep at it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Totally agree on the happy medium blog... and agreed on all the pretty pictures, why not post a photo getting out of bed in the morning with makeup down your face, that's REAL!!! No one looks that perfect ALL the time!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I like the happy medium, but I definitely have a preference for the blogs that are from the heart or are even just total word vomits of the brain. I like REAL LIFE. One of my favorite bloggers is Kelle Hamptom from Enjoying the Small Things. And sometimes she has sponsored posts and sometimes they are informative, but I always feel like they are REAL. And I absolutely dig that completely. I feel like most of yours are REAL and I absolutely dig that completely. I've quit following blogs that are all sponsored content or all lists telling me how to do x, y, and z better. I'm already awesome - I don't need more help. ;-) hahaha Kiddddingggg, of course.

    Just keep doing you...I like it. :-D

    ReplyDelete
  15. My first thought was that writing is writing, even if it comes in different forms. But... there are a ton of posts that are just there to be there, and, especially things like weekend recaps and such, it's not really about the words, or thoughtful content. It's more just chatting like you would with a friend. And there's nothing wrong with that, but I guess I wouldn't call it "writing." So if "writing" is something more than just words on a page, then there's definitely a difference between blogging and writing. They can overlap, but a lot of times they don't.

    I like reading lengthy, well-thought out posts. But sometimes I'm in the mood for a quick laugh or a short list. I think there's room for both, although perhaps in our busy world the deeper content won't get as many reads. I don't really know. But maybe it doesn't matter if it fulfills you in a way other than pageviews.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think you need to do what you love because otherwise what is the point really. I must say that I am more of a visual person but really enjoy your writing and like a good mix. Really how many posts are there about "How to take the best Instagram photos"? We get it, take 1000 pictures and then edit the shit out of them. Noted. Moving on.

    www.freedupgirl.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I haven't been blogging for a while, so it's still new to me so I'm into it, but still trying to figure out what the hell I want to say. I came into it wanting to "write" about my life, but then I realized it takes me about a week to actually "write" something, and only an hour to do a play by play of my weekend with photos, or just something silly. I really love your blog because #1- you make me laugh. And I just find it very different than most of the other blogs I've been reading. I would love to read more from you. Also snap chat is SO weird. I had it once for about a week, and I could not for the life of me understand how to use it. I've been seeing it a lot recently too and I'll admit the thought did initially cross my mind "I need a snapchat" but I know better. More social media is the last thing I need. I just did a novel of a post about why I don't have Facebook and I'm about to throw the whole Instagram away too. But my dog is too cute right now, so I won't ;)

    x. Morgan

    ReplyDelete
  18. Snapchat is really fun when you're drunk....not so much fun when you realize your 17 year old cousin has found and followed you. Jesus.

    I miss writing. I feel like that is what we were all doing back in the day when we started blogging (I can say that...my blog is 4 years old)....it has become a keeping up with the joneses format. Basically I totally agree with your perspective and I will enjoy reading your writing.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I just stopped with the bullshit. I wasn't making money anyways, so I don't know if I'd have a different view if it was a source of income, but seriously? It's exhausting trying to come up with all the lists and how-to's and junk. Because it's just that....junk. Like, only green bloggers read that shit. And then you realize it is crap and you move on. I realize I sound totally snarky and bitchy, but I'd rather read something that I can tell just flows from your hands, even if it's nonsense, vs. another list. Besides, you are far more funny that way :)
    My blog these days is solely dedicated to posts that I feel are somewhat important in my life. And that includes the good and the bad. Yes, I do spend a few minutes making pretty filters with my photos, but why not? Photos are just the highlight reel anyways, any real writer knows that. It's the words that count.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I totally feel you. I used to keep a blog that literally no one read when I was in college. No one read it and I didn't care one bit. And when I first picked up blogging again, I thought people would want to read what I have to say just because it was heartfelt and relatable. Nope. Now you have to have pictures and the latest trendy font and a watermark and a list and a giveaway (which I can't hate on too much because I've been in 3 this month) and you know. But anyway. I guess SOME condolence is that I still come across blogs written by people who can't write well even if they're just making a bullet pointed list. I think your blog is great! And your voice comes out so wonderfully real in your writing. I'll read The Daily Tay either way!!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I kept meaning to comment (but now that I read things they Bloglovin, there's that extra step) that your writing seemed to totally change over the last month and I was loving it! You had some really funny, thoughtful posts and in between marking "read" on most everyone else's, I was reading yours. So doing what you love (writing) does come naturally. It is therapy and who cares how many people read it. My last post got 7 reads but it is he most important post I've ever written. The post before got 400 reads and...I was probably wasting my time putting that together when I should've been spending time with my dad. ANYWAY- writing is best when it is not forced. You don't have to define it at all. The end.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I hate that there's a discrepancy between quality and complexity, and what sells. Are we artists or marketers? Can it really be both? 60-40?

    ReplyDelete
  23. You should follow me on Instagram... Pretty much all I post is my fur-babies! :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I feel like I'm more of a writer and frankly, that doesn't always sell well on blogs. Blogging has become about clickable titles, nice pictures, providing useful content like how to's and tutorials to readers and being entertaining to keep your readers interested. So. Over. It. As for snapchat. I signed up. Uggh. I kind of hate myself for it; however what I do like about it is what you said-I like that it's not this curated thing that has to be perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I started off just writing in 2011 and now I am actually blogging like the rest of the world. My first year of blogging was more personal and nobody like that. Now everyone loves when I talk about my favorite stores to shop at. I literally just wrote a post about blogging and how I feel like I'm getting sucked into "trend blogging". I'm reading this post like wow, great minds think alike lol. I tried snapchat, and was over it in 3 mins. Its not for me.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Come over to my insta to see pics of dogs and non-white background pictures @brookehhamilton :) I try to keep things real over there... And btw I hate snapchat.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Come over to my insta to see pics of dogs and non-white background pictures @brookehhamilton :) I try to keep things real over there... And btw I hate snapchat.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I love the sounds of a blog just being about writing! So many blogs now are sponsored posts and about blogging not writing just like you said! If more people just wrote whatever they were thinking rather than what they "should be writing" I would definitely follow more! This was a really great and honest post! And I don't snapchat either. Oh well. :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. I have noticed a shift in the blogging world lately. Everyone has gotten pretty lazy, no one is consistent, the content is all the same. It feels a bit like it's coming an end, doesn't it? Too much saturation, no one wants to read an original thought. That's why I love your blog. You're smart and funny and doing your own thing for the most part. And I really don't get the whole snapchat thing. I mean, I get why it's so important for the soulless to want to prove that they're "omg so real", but at the same time I'm wracking my brain trying to figure out if they're somehow being paid to use it... but I'm grouchy and cynical. I do however think that making your blog more about your writing is an excellent idea! I for one would love to read more of it!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Snapchat....................I don't know how to use it, but I am a middle aged woman (52) so I am excused well that is my excuse and I am sticking with it.

    I read a lot of blogs, and try to post 3 or 4 times a week some weeks I do better then others because some weeks I am busier then other and that means I don't have as much time to blog that and when Blain is here he hogs the computer

    ReplyDelete
  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Writing and blogging are very different. I can tell because of the kind of comments I get when I post each type of post.
    I prefer to write, but people really don't understand anything that doesn't have bullet points. If it is an actual essay, they leave comments that make it obvious that they didn't "get it" (and either make me feel stupid or them look stupid).
    I quit posting my essays unless I turn off comments when I post them. And I only post essays that are meant to help other people - like things for healthcare advocacy. For example I posted an essay about when a doctor abused me because it's kind of hard to give 10 tips on how to deal with being abused by your doctor. My 1 tip is kick and run (hindsight is 20/20). Actual essays get submitted to literary journals/anthologies for creative non-fiction or other websites, since my audience is not smart enough or something.
    And my blog is a catch 22. I started to blog for healthcare advocacy/awareness for my condition. But I'm sick. So that makes it hard to be consistent!

    ReplyDelete
  33. So I just started a new blog after blogging for a few years at an older blog. WHY? Because I wanted to serve a different purpose than just documenting my life on this lifestyle blog I had going. I want to focus on things that matter to me the most (which I hope I'm portraying so far!)... however, that meant that my followers would potentially be different... and I'm not sure if I liked a new direction or not. BUT... all in all... I've learned that personal story-telling (writing) is FAR more interesting than the good ol' tips and tricks for blogging. Besides... there are so many other blogs that share those types of topics that we all can benefit from. However, nobody has the same stories to tell as you do!!

    I'm all for the WRITING... the story-telling... the whole-hearted approach :)

    Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Yup. there is a difference. Blogging is few words. Blogging is photos instead of words. Blogging is about what's popular in your niche at a given time. It isn't writing, at least to me. I am bored reading lists. I want to read about people's lives. And projects. And pets. And what they really think.
    I blog, but I will never "go viral," because I write stories about my real life. And although some find that interesting I'm never going to "trend." And you know what? I'm okay with writing on my blog instead of blogging on my blog.
    And you? I found you by accident and I love to read your stories.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I thought I was the only fool who can't figure out snap chat. Good to know I'm not alone.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm kind of waiting for their to be a blogging self implosion. It seems even in the almost year I've been in the game it's gotten more cut-throat, more perfect, and more all consuming. Every tries to keep stepping up the game and it's gotten exhausting and makes blogging not fun.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I am a 100% - it's your space, do what you want - kind of girl. But that's me. I think it's all about what do you want to get back from this space of yours. Do you want to make it a career, publish a book, get lots of paid sponsors? Do you want to develop relationships and friendships with like-minded people? Do you want an outlet to ramble? Do you want all of the above? Or none of that? I think it is totally okay to step away from the blog (and the twitter, and the instagram, and the facebook, and the snapchat, and youtube, and everything else). In fact, I think it's healthy to do so. Again, that's just me.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Blogging is basically now social media whoring. The writing aspect of it is often overlooked and it's sad. I used to read every single post on my Bloglovin feed but, now am tired of seeing the same shit over and over. I don't care how to be an Instagram star or how to find more Twitter followers. That's not what blogging should be about.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I really truly believe it is all about balance. I strive to use blogging as an outlet for writing (and as a sort of "check" to keep me writing frequently) but that being said I can't write something beautiful and profound every day. There will be days I am able to write something that means something (even if it is just to me) and days I will tell silly stories from life I want to remember and days I just talk about cute shoes. I think it's all okay as long as we are moving forward with the purpose we care about most.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love this perspective. I am trying to find my own medium. I hope every blogger is always in
    that state of self discovery, figuring out what works at this point in their lives, careers, blogs, etc.
    I just try to share my life, what I'm thinking now. Whether it comes in short story form, a list, or lots of photos. I hope you'll check out my space too. http://runwright.net

    ReplyDelete
  41. I once read a blog post that said, "if you're not into a social media app, then don't use it," which I think is sound advice. With snapchat, I feel like I really don't need another app that takes my attention away from the people around me. Also, people don't need a play-by-play of my day, but that's just how I feel. I think it comes down to your goal--are you trying to just make money? Then I suppose those are the necessary evils to gain more followers and keep them coming back for more. If you want to just write, then maybe take a step back and post when you actually have something to say, instead of just fluff. I stopped blogging for a few months because I broke my wrist, and although I'm trying to get back to it, it's kind of tough because I'm just not motivated to write another list or whatever.

    ReplyDelete
  42. blogging is such a weird world. yesterday i was having a full-fledge panic attack that my post hadn't been shared (or even written) until 3pm. my husband so graciously said "what will actually happen when you don't have it go out first thing in the morning?" the world will explode, duh. but it didn't. it was almost a little scary that everything was basically fine.

    i'm glad you are going back to writing to write and not do those damn listicals (though i did one about how to officiate a wedding yesterday at 3pm PDT) so woof. it's hard. more dog pics for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I am currently muddled right now in the life of - do I want to blog or do I want to write? As someone who wants to potentially get my MFA in Creative Writing, it's like I have to re-teach myself how to write. For my capstone project, my director kept telling me, "this sounds bloggy, this reads like a blog post." Keeping up with the Joneses is exhausting, and I think I've forgotten how to actually write with soul and emotions and spirit.

    ReplyDelete
  44. So I just wrote a huge comment and it got deleted, great! Thanks google! Alright, here we go again!
    Man, I love this. Writing is hard, that's why there are so many blogs out there that are pretty much a copy paste of one another and when you find a blog that has great writing in it (like yours), you stick around.

    I totally am hearing what you are saying. I started my blog to practice writing and then a few posts got popular and all of the sudden I was getting free stuff! It was awesome! However I got super caught up in that and my content got really shitty really fast to try and keep up. So I am currently in the midst of trying to go back to my voice and balance makin a few bucks, ya know?

    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  45. I work in digital marketing and am managing a couple social media interns this summer. I keep asking them to teach me Snapchat. But ... I really don't care. Just what we need ... another social network.

    But I feel like blogging has become so much noise. What are we really saying? What are we contributing? I like the idea of writing more than blogging.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I think a happy medium is ok. If you are feeling it there's an audience out there for it.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Writing is hard. I started my blog to try to force myself to write again after many years. My content is nothing ground breaking (beauty) and I don't write about my personal life...for personal reasons but I have found that even though my content isn't Hemingway and even though I sometimes get caught up in the "blogging" fluff so to speak, having the blog has actually helped because it has allowed me to practise the sometimes mundane act of getting the words down. Hopefully, this will translate into more writing in other aspects of my life, separate and apart from the Blog, where it was missing for so long.



    Beauty Isles | An Island Girl's Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

    ReplyDelete
  48. I prefer "writing" blogs. It's not that I don't mind a good list now and then, but overall I prefer just reading about people's lives and opinions. I even like vacation posts! (I know some blogs blog about how vacation posts are boring, but I love them!) The trend towards "blogging" has made me stop reading a lot of blogs. I am also not a blogger so I hate the blog posts about blogs. I just skip those. And now the word blog has lost ALL meaning!! You do you. :) Also, the instagram staged white photo trend drives me batty. I saw one the other day that almost made me stop following the person (who isn't someone I know personally) because it was so completely staged. And the main focus would have been great on it's own. But every instagram doesn't need random props thrown in--a coffee cup here, an open lipstick there (what? who just has open lipsticks laying on their white counter tops? ), a flower (of course) here, a computer keyboard there, a mobile device there, and so on and so forth. Sorry for the mini rant. :)

    ReplyDelete
  49. Yes! I totally get it! Writing wins! You said it yourself, the lists, etc are easier so it's the easy fix and draws easy attention. Writing is harder but it gets the deeper connection from the audience. The audience may be smaller at first but that's ok. Blogging gets the superficial attention but writing gets the emotional connection. Emotional connection sells books. If that's what you are building up to...;)

    ReplyDelete
  50. This was a great post. I've only been blogging for about 6 months, and I've already hit that wall and asked myself that same question and struggled with that same environment. I want to write, and I want to take photos, and I want to connect about real life. I think you can connect through "your favorite things" because that IS personal, and maybe even some of the how-to's as well, it depends what place it's coming from. I just know the social media isn't for me. That's not conducive to ever building a "popular" blog and I've decided I'm totally okay with that, because I'd rather have an unpopular blog that is all me, than spend any amount of time doing something I don't like for others' benefit.

    Aimee
    www.intherightplaces.com

    ReplyDelete
  51. Ugh. Yes. I have been MIA from blog world since March of last year. I have been craaaaving real posts. Like, I want to write real posts. But, I am always afraid that I'll tell stories that somehow piss off or offend someone in my family who didn't think it was a great story for the internet like I did. I want to scrub my skin of self-promoting social media. But at the same time, I can't stop stalking Instagram and blogs about skinny people who wear expensive outfits on a blogger's salary. Anyway, today, I decided to revisit blog land, and I came to yours first because I always enjoyed your WORDS. I think you do a great job.

    ReplyDelete