Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to Feedburner...

So, I'm just bebopping along with my usual posts. I decided to put up a poll about my new blog layout. Do ya like it? Do ya hate it? Well, if you're among the FOUR people who voted, thanks. If you aren't then I guess you probably don't care or else you're reading this post in a reader instead of clicking through.

Anyhoo, I was SO excited when Dad - thedude got my Feedburner account all figured out. Figured out to do what, I'm not entirely sure. But I now can see how many people are subscribed to me. After I included the little widget down there on the sidebar, you know... the one with "____ readers", I about peed my pants when I saw it read "9". OH MY GOLLY - NINE people think my crap is actually not repulsive. Then when the number creeped up to 14, and then 18, well, I did the happy dance for myself for about 2 days straight. I think I was more excited about that 18 than I was about any comment I had ever gotten!!! Then, surprisingly, it went down to 16, and now it's down to 13.

Oh, dear readers, where have you gone?

Lest I offend my faithfuls, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for still subscribing. I am still amazed that you think my words are feed-worthy. And, for those who comment, I want you to know that I absolutely DO go visit your websites. I like to read them, whether or not I agree with them. I think I may actually prefer to read webpages that are really different from my own interests, because who needs to know more about themselves, really? I want to know more about what I don't already know, ya know?

But once again, I ask myself, why do I blog? I blog-hop and leave here a comment, there a comment, everywhere a comment comment. But does my readership grow? nuh-uh. I am trying to grow my readership by reading other blogs, clicking on links, etc. But what is the blog world turning into? Is the only way to get more readers to become a full-time blogger? Excuse me, I am already a full-time wife. If the only way to get more readers is to get on Twitter, figure out Technorati, do Stumble Upon, etc. then I will have to be content with my lucky, beautiful, awesome baker's dozen of readers. No way am I gonna suck more time out of my very hectic day to devote to blogging. I love to type and get my thoughts out and purge my emotions. So if that's REALLY what it's about, and that's REALLY why I do it, then why should I care who reads it? Shouldn't I just get rid of/ignore my reader count? Ahhh but I don't.

I am also a pretty serious Christian. I don't really talk about it much because, let's face it: JC doesn't really bring in the big laughs. But really, I was thinking the other day how sad it is that at the end of the day, I no longer reach for my bible to read; instead, I reach for my laptop to blog. That's some behavior that I need to get in check.

That brings me to a question I have for other bloggers out there: If you DO keep up with blogger, twitter, stumble upon, etc., do you ever do anything else? Do you read books? Do you have any hobbies that don't involve a computer? How often do you go out? I am asking this because before I got into blogging, I was reading about 1 book per week, and I also did scrapbooking as well as sewing. Since I began my blog, I haven't read a single book. In 2 months. I never do anything else with my spare time, other than write my blog, read other people's blogs, comment on blogs, etc. I am going to try to make a conscious choice to blog less so that I can go back to having regular old habits. Especially since I really ENJOY those regular old habits.

So, here's the cycle I see: begin blogging -> avoid hobbies -> blog a lot -> make lots of comments -> get lots of comments -> blog more -> get some comments, but not lots -> get disappointed, blog less -> get even fewer comments -> resurrect interest in hobbies -> blog less -> lose readers and get very few comments -> get back into blogging -> repeat steps.

What's the answer? Blog less? Blog more? Maybe I already know the answer: just care less.



Bridgett said...

I don't have you on feedburner; I know when you post via bloglines. So I'm not in that number. I think. I don't understand feedburner. So never mind.

As for blogging. Sigh. I sew and knit and have two kids and a husband and try to sleep a normal night's worth and cook and clean (well, within my comfort zone). Not a big reader, but I manage to belong to a book club (once a month). i play mah jongg, chat with neighbors in real life. I watch some movies, ride my bike. I make banners for church (and until I got pregnant, I handled all flowers and plants and church cleaning). I'm a benedictine oblate, which doesn't quite require morning/day/evening/night prayer, but kind of recommends it. I probably manage three of the four (always night, least likely: evening). I don't watch TV, I don't hardly drive anywhere, I don't shop for fun, I don't chat on the phone.

I blog because i'm hypergraphic. Diagnosably. Before blogging, I kept journals. Lots of journals. I made lists and filled notebooks and doodled and took art classes and wrote in margins of books and sent 30+ page typed letters to friends. Like, weekly letters of that length. Now, I blog. Send a few emails. It gets it out of my system. It is a currently socially acceptable way to channel this compulsion. When life is too busy to blog (like, say, Holy Week?), I find myself waking up at night AIR-TYPING.

Why am I hypergraphic? DOn't know. It's a mystery. Maybe it's my temporal lobe. Or maybe there's another purpose.

I try to see it as a gift--I do other writing as well besides inane chat about my kids and neighbors. I write reflections on benedictine topics for church and my monastery; I do some other religious writing; I'm the secretary for parish council and I like to sum up large projects for the parish bulletin (like "what progress has been made on the new baptismal font?"). In 6th grade, my religion teacher told me this was going to be one of those things I would need to use to "grow the kingdom of God." I took him very seriously. Or, at least I do now. AT that point, I blushed.

So, I DO have a life. But I also have...something else.

Bridgett said...

Also, I got a good piece of advice from another blogger who was part of the 365 project with me (and still stops by)--she told me that blogging had to be about me, meaning, it had to satisfy me. That comments are nice but can't be the whole ball of wax. "Caring less," indeed.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

I don't do twitter or plurk or is too time demanding for me.
Only you can answer what you should do.

Jodie said... crack me up. I blog when I can, read when I can, and comment rarely. I usually pull up the comment box, but then decide I don't have anything interesting to reply except, I usually just close the box and move on.

I use google reader to keep up with most my blogs. Before that, it took forever.

I also still try to read (loving Janet Evonovich right now.) And run - (yeah, whatever) and, oh yeah, entertain my two-and-a-half year old.

Donna-Michele said...

I enjoy reading your blog. I am not a member mostly because I am pretty new to this and don't know how. I do have you book marked. Many of the other features are a mystery still as well. I don't have a blog yet, am working up the nerve.

I read a couple dozen blogs... comment when I identify or when something is just sooo brilliant. I knit, garden, sew, cook, read tons, and until recently worked full time. I am not much on tv, preferring to spend my time with real people.

We all get the same 24 hours in a day, you get to choose what you do with yours. That you strive for balance is a good sign.

Anna See said...

I can relate to what you said. When I started to blog a few months ago it was just about my wanting to write. Now I find myself staying up late to read other blogs (it's 11:55 pm now)and my Bible study has dwindled. Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

just have fun.
don't over-think it.