Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Why Do I Blog?

I've been pondering this question for a few months now.

Blogging for me has been an ever-changing experience.

When I first started blogging, way back in November 2008, I was captivated by Stephanie Nielson's story. I had never read her blog before her accident, but I became enveloped in her recovery. I met a few bloggers through comments on her blog and on her sister's, CJane, and a few friends had blogs of their own, so I jumped in.

I remember feeling a little embarrassed to tell people that I was "blogging."  Luckily, my friends and family reluctantly added me to their google readers.  I was blogging for over two months before I received a comment from a "stranger."  That was exhilarating, and a little addicting.  I have found a core group of women--all across the country and a few around the world--with whom I visit regularly.  Some a few times a week, some daily.  I consider you all friends and wish somehow I could host a huge "Denton Sanatorium Gala Weekend" and have you all fly in for a girls' weekend of chatting and chowing.  I can dream, right?

For a while, I became obsessed with the number of comments, followers, and page hits per day.  I participated in a few different memes, I tried commenting on blogs I liked, hoping they'd be my friend and read my drivel in return.  That was exhausting and time-consuming, but I had a hard time letting go of the whole "popularity game."

Of late, that popularity pull has gotten weaker and weaker.  I still wonder why one post generates many comments, and others only one or two.  Sometimes my feelings are temporarily bruised when I see a friend has commented on someone else's post and not mine.  But I've been consciously trying to change my focus of why I blog.

Yesterday, a friend posted this--Blogs and Dodos.  I knew it was time to tie my thoughts together into a somewhat cohesive ball and share them with you.

Why I blog now, today, September 2011:

I realize I'll never be NieNie.
I understand my piddly attempts at design will never make Miss Mustard Seed.
I know I'm not as profound and deep and intelligent as . . . I don't really read anybody like that, anyway.  Do you?

What I have come to understand is this:  I blog for me.  Sometimes I blog to brag about my auction finds and what I've done with them.  Sometimes I blog to share some great mothering idea that I've finally implemented.  Sometimes I blog to show off my beautiful, amazing kids. Sometimes I blog about TV or politics or society, just because I find it interesting at the moment.  Sometimes I blog to reestablish connections with those of you who are far away, and many of you whom I have never met and probably never will. 

Bottom line is I always blog for me.  I think I'm finally ready to accept the position this blog plays in my life--it's for me, and for those of you who follow along on this ride, thank you.  And if all of you end up deserting the blog world for Facebook or Twitter or some grand technology not yet in place, that's fine.  I will still be here.

I'm not the fanciest or the best dressed or the smartest or the funniest or most creative.

I'm just me.  Head administrator at the Denton Sanatorium.

And I'm fine with that.

38 comments:

  1. AND...you blog so you can win free tee shirts. Nothin' wrong with that.
    I'm just kidding, I've wised up to offering tee shirts anymore.
    You said it best, you blog for you and that is my response as well.

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  2. Take this from someone who blogs often but considers 2 comments on a post HUGE....I decided a long time ago that I was blogging for my kids. They are the only ones who will give a care about it in the long run anyhow. I still feel that little twinge of let down when no one seems to care what I write but it's a very small twinge because what is blown off by the world will be treasured by my kids, and they are the only ones that really matter anyway. I think posting things public is a good way to stay motivated, consistant and to make sure you are doing your best writing. But I love your blog and even though I dont use facebook I am sure having hundreds of posts to reread for years and decades to come will be far more valuable than what ever people do on facebook all day. End of Sermon!

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  3. Hi Jen from New Zealand. Haven't been commenting much lately as I am currently battling breast cancer and have been reading but not commenting. Love hearing about the everyday family life goings on in a larger family esp. with two older children now away from home. My oldest is 16 and she has just one more year of high school before we enter this world with adult children too. I get the impression that this is a more public form of journalling for you, and as it can include photos conveys far more than the written word does. Keep writing for family posterity and your children will thank you in the future for the glimpses of their lives when they were young. Cath

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  4. Be true to yourself. I blog for me too! Some follow some don't. Whatever. I am happy regardless. ~Ames

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  5. Oh yeah...and I agree it should be for you. I have had so little time lately to check on blog friends. Thank goodness for alphabe-thursday, cause some weeks thats the only day I post. For sure, we dont want to remember these days as wasted trying to find friends and gain popularity while our kids were off playing or asking us to play with them....all the while our rear ends getting bigger cause we don't have time to exercise either. Luckily most people out there understand and love to catch up whenever they can. Great words here.
    Have a great day!

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  6. That whole popularity thing is a vicious beast, aint she??? Every once in a while it bites me again and I get caught up in the how do I make myself more. . .whatever!

    Its good to define yourself, for yourself and I love the variety of your posts. I get bored with the blogs that are always about decorating or photography or cooking. Give me some real life people, kind like reality tv only better!

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  7. I think that is a perfect reason to blog!

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  8. This could have been a link party Jen! I think we all get our feelings hurt from time to time. I worry from time to time that I'm not interesting enough or whatever like so and so... We can only be ourselves. I have cut my blogging time way down...and I don't always have the time to comment on everyone's blog...but I'm okay with that. Us women shouldn't put so much pressure on ourselves!

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  9. I think over the years I have done 2 posts with this title. Every once in awhile it is good to remember why you blog. For me it comes back to the same thing also - I blog for me, for my family, because I don't scrapbook anymore so this is it - my family scrapbook and journal. For some reason people like to peek at the pages. I've been blogging so long now that I feel like I have covered every topic and so now what do I write about?
    I have also noticed that blogging has changed in the last couple of years. It used to be I could visit someone's page and say "Hi" and follow their blog and they would immediately become my friend as well and it was fun - not so much anymore. There are many who I have visited, said "Hi", commented on regularly who never wanted to come visit me. It was a bit of a bruise to the ego but then I remembered all the wonderful blog friends I do have and then again it comes back to - "Why do I blog".
    Great big circle - I love the friends I make though :-D

    Good thoughts on your part!

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  10. I am your friend! Hooray! ;)

    I like blogging, and like you, I do it for me. Not for my kids, not for my family, but because it makes me think of adjectives, sentence structure, syntax, etc. I do freelance writing/editing and I have to keep my skills fresh between projects.

    I can get a little concerned with comments, followers, etc, but I realized about two years ago that if I wasn't already blog popular, I was never going to be blog popular (because heaven knows I am all kinds of other popular)!

    My post was not calling blogging extinct, but rather wondering if it is becoming "old school". Like The Dodo restaurant, not the bird.

    I realized a few months ago that you lived in the cul de sac around the corner from my parents' home for YEARS and I never knew you. And now... we are friends! That is a success for the blog!

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  11. and that is the best reason to blog ... and the only reason i blog ... kudos for doing something that is for you!

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  12. And why do I love reading your blog...because you are so honest and real. I've missed you. I have weeks of your blog to catch up on...and am hoping my kiddos will occupy themselves for a few more minutes while I do just that. I'm ready to take the followers button off of my blog. I think it would be refreshing... I love your little world!

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  13. i love this post, jen - i've reeeeeally been struggling with this same question since the spring and have even taken two blogging breaks, the most recent of which was for two whole months. And now that i've been back a few weeks, and gotten all caught up, i'm struggling with it again ... but at the end of the day, it's exactly what you've said here - I blog for me. end of story. my blog (or lack of a blog depending on what day it is!) needs to stay off my stress list - no 'keeping up with the joneses", right?! and PS ... "you blogging for you" exactly what draws me here - love that you keep it real, friend!

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  14. I absolutely love this post :) You've definitely hit the nail on many of the things that probably plague a lot of other bloggers including me. I've been thinking about this a lot lately too and just like you, I've been stuck in that "popularity" thinking too. Sometimes, the lack of comments makes me want to give up blogging because why bother when no one reads, right? But when I think back to when I started blogging and my purpose for doing this in the first place, comments and number of visitors was never a driving force. I blog to document life and the small moments. I seemed to have forgotten that recently and left so many things go unpublished because of the fear of not having any comments. I should be blogging for me and you've reminded me of that one importance :) Thanks for the reminder!

    By the way, I love visiting your blog (even though it's kind of sporadic) because you speak so honestly and passionately about your life and your kids. I almost feel like we've known each other for way longer than just a year :)

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  15. And that's why I enjoy my visits.
    I enjoy your randomness.

    My reasons for blogging are much the same. I began for me and realize that I still do. I've printed my blog into a book each year. I really enjoy that.

    Big bonus is that I have been able to meet some really awesome women. I tend to go to blogs that I admire and motivate.

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  16. I think Julz is right on the mark and Jen too. I for one am glad you blog for you. Your writing is always totally honest and to the point. Have a great week Jen.
    Dana

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  17. Keep on blogging for 'you' and I'll keep on reading. The connections we make, however we make them, enrich our lives on this earth. I'm glad I found your blog, and many others out there in the confusion of cyberspace. You all add to my experience of life and I'm grateful!

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  18. Hi Jen!

    I have read every single thing you posted since November 2008. I first found your blog under a link from a rainbow babies site, can't quite remember which one, but it instantly made my favourites. I only follow about 3 blogs and yours is my fave. I love your writing, I love your parenting style, I love your decorating style.

    I am glad you blog your you - but I appreciate the joy it gives me so thank you!!!

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  19. I love the way you blog, it's like talking to you. I miss you when you take a break, so keep going!

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  20. This is why I read your blog--because you are just you and I like what you have to say about anything and everything.

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  21. I am one of THOSE blog followers - I rarely comment on a post (maybe cuz I follow too many blogs? LOL) but of ALL of the ones I follow I do have to say I look forward to your posts THE MOST. I don't know why exactly - I do like your style - I like your variety of topics. I like that you have a large family and good values that you have instilled in your children. I feel like we are sympatico and that we could be IRL friends IF we didn't live several thousand miles away from each other. SO keep going - blog for YOU and your family and the rest of us will just continue to enjoy it!

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  22. I really like blogging, too. It's cathartic, and writing nurtures me at every level.

    And yes, I do it for me.

    But I do love the feedback!

    =)

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  23. There's nothing more enticing than a unique individual like no one else.

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  24. i read a post (either urs or others) and i guess i just want to leave a note however short to say "hey i stopped by"

    half the time i have a baby on the hip and can't comment...or nursing a sweet babe in the dark and read blogs from my iphone.

    i started blogging in 07 to let the family know how the kids were growing.

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  25. For the record....I have read every.single.one of your blog posts as well. In fact, i do believe I was among the first 5 who even knew of your blog. And back when I was cooler, I also commented on every one of your entries. Just sayin. I love you and I love your blog. It has helped me to know you even better than I thought I did. I hope you keep doing it, if for no other reason than to keep me informed of the life and times of the Sanitorium.

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  26. I love your blog because it is so real life. Those are the blogs I love.
    I too read that post and it got me thinking as well. I came up with the same conclusion. It is for me. I get so much joy writing. It's one of the only places I can really get out my life. I make my blog into books and enjoy reading them from time to time.
    I'm in it for the long haul, sister.

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  27. I blog to remember!!
    Sometimes when I look back on previous posts I'm like wow...I remember that day and that feeling etc, but I probably would have NEVER remembered it if I didnt' write it down!:) I love all the littel things taht make up our days and i just don't want to forget them. I dont' want my girls to forget them either, so I guess i blog for our family too!
    Love reading about your life, so keep on keeping on!!
    have a happy day jen!

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  28. I am a blog stalker of yours. WE are actually in the same stake and I have seen you around before. I found your blog through some mutual friends Jen & Karli West. They use to be in my ward till they decided they needed a bigger house. Your post today hit me in a way I wasn't expecting. I am super super behind in blogging this year and I am trying to catch up. I started blogging so that my family who doesn't live here could see what is going on in our life and to make sure that I have something for my kids. I keep saying I am going to turn it into a book and I have started it but that to is also a work in progress. Your post on why you blog made me kick myself in gear and do something I have wanted to do for three years. I have had a couple of friends who have done blogs about lost loved ones. After reading about your little Ella I decided that I was going to do it. I lost a baby and it just about killed me leterally 3 years ago. I wanted to put all of my thoughts in one place so I had them. I really am shocked cuz I am preganet agian with a girl and I am kind of trying not to freak out about it so going back and reliving it was shocking to me. However now that I have done it I feel like I have gotten some more closure on that part of my life and that was unexpected so thank you.

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  29. Real moms with real feelings and real lives... That is the beauty of sharing and reading and blogging. it helps us all to realize the normalcy of what we do and to feel comfortable in that normalcy. I am glad you blog and that you are my friend :)

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  30. Oh girlie, I too blog for me! I was just telling my friend that I haven't blogged in a while and I missed it. I logged on this morning to do a post (the first in several months), only to realize how amazing it feels to hit "publish"! There's something about being able to just voice your opinions, view and tid-bits of whatever you want to.

    While you may never have the recognition of NieNie; you also don't have the heartache and struggles that goes along with being her. You get to be Jen, the amazing mom and wonderful blogger! That my friend is one recognition and title you should hold proudly!

    (hugs)
    Jackie

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  31. I wonder if anyone even reads my blog at all....EVER.

    But you have to do it for yourself.

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  32. Yours is one of my favorite blogs because you are a fantastic mom!

    My children are grown but I enjoy reading about your family adventures. :)

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  33. Well said. Blogging isn't fun when you stop doing it for yourself. True story. xo

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