Why should I keep blogging?

Midway through last week I decided to stop blogging. I wasn’t having a great day to begin with, and my mood went immediately downhill when I read “Parenting Blog Analytics: How Do My Stats Compare” at PhD in Parenting. It turns out that my stats don’t compare terribly favorably, and I let that kick me right in the pants. In a bad way. I was ready to pack it in, buy a pickup and take it down to LA.

OK, probably just the “packing it in” without all the rest of that drama. But you get the point. I was crabby and tired, and it didn’t take much to make me feel defeated. So defeated, in fact, that I altered one of the PhD in Parenting slides to prove to myself just how justified I was in feeling like an sorry old Z-list blogger.

Soon after making this, I was reminded that "comparison is the thief of joy." // graphic used with permission from PhDinParenting.com.

Pretty sorry numbers, huh? Except for that “Months of Existence” one. Which meant I’d been typing away for so much longer than those other people and with so much less to show for it. (Or so I told myself.) I wallowed in self-pity for awhile, but I couldn’t turn in my blogging hat right away because I was scheduled to spend the weekend at the Type-A Parent Conference. And I thought it might be weird to quit blogging two days before going to a blogging conference. So I figured I’d go to the conference, do the volunteering I’d signed on to do, come home and turn out the lights here.

But then. Do you remember last week’s post about the guitar guy and the nickels and everything actually turning out alright? It happened again. Only this time instead of a dude and some spare change, it was a lot of smart, beautiful women who said exactly what I needed to hear.

My volunteer task at Type-A Parent was to blog a few of the sessions. That meant I absolutely had to go to them, even if I’d rather take a nap. Which was absolutely what I wanted to do when it was time for the “We Still Blog” panel. But I marched my bleary-eyed self down there and typed as fast as I could, trying to record every single bit of information Cecily Kellogg, Katherine Stone and Tanis Miller shared. Here are the two things that resonated most with me.

“We’re all so isolated”

I don’t live in the Canadian wilderness like Tanis. I tend to isolate myself even when I’m not geographically isolated, though. I don’t often share the deep, dark stuff here, but every time I have? I’ve been met with an outpouring of support and love and I’ve Been There. And talking about those things that have been difficult for me in this space has made it easier for me to talk about them out loud and in person. There was a lot of talk of Taking Ownership of things this weekend, and I really do feel that writing here helps me to Own those feelings that I’d sometimes rather just stick in the basement under a pile of laundry and ignore for a few thousand years.

“Be true to your purpose”

This was emphasized so many times, by so many people this weekend. Katherine suggested writing down what your purpose was when you originally started blogging. Six years ago I started blogging because I had a very small baby, and I wanted my friends and family who couldn’t see her every day to know every tiny detail about her. That very small baby has grown into a very small person with a very small brother, and the purpose of this blog has grown along with them. I hadn’t spent any time at all thinking about what my purpose here is these days, which made it hard to be true to that purpose.

This site started as kind of a baby book, but that isn’t really my reason for blogging anymore. These days I blog because I so rarely get to see Amy or Brook or Rachel or Jeni anymore. I blog because Sinead up and moved to Australia. I blog because I don’t get to spend enough time with my brother. I blog because one of these days I’m just going to jump in the car and drive down to meet RootieToot for a cup of coffee. I blog because someday I want to spend a whole day baking with April, I want Hannah to teach me how to make jewelry and I want to go to Shakespeare’s with Angela. I blog because without blogging I never would’ve met Jessica, who refreshes my soul every time I see her; or Adrianna, who lights up every room she’s in; or Rene, who Owns It like nobody’s business; or Laura, who helped me remember that you can’t be a good friend without being ready and willing to brave the dark; or Robin, who makes me get over myself and enjoy living; or Jennifer, who taught me a dance move I will never again bust out in public.

The gorgeous magic of the internet is that I can sit on my couch eating grapes and typing this, and then I can send it out there into the ether and it finds you. My friends and my family and even potential new friends. You’re all out there, and I’m talking to you without picking up a phone or leaving my house. I’m sharing my life with you.

I love nearly every square inch of my life. And this blog and you are a part of my life now. Sure, I could stop doing this. I could walk away and let the cobwebs grow and the dust thicken on my little corner of the internet. But I would be walking away from more than sitting on my couch and typing. I’d be walking away from reaching out on a deeper level than Facebook or Twitter could ever provide.

And I’m not ready to walk away from that today.

12 comments to Why should I keep blogging?

  • Sinead

    I love hearing about your life, what you are going to eat for the week,what you are teaching your kids, how you are all spending the summer. It makes me feel like I don’t live 15,000 miles away. All the reasons you started blogging for in the first place. No pressure to keep going but at least don’t feel like it has to be more than what it is, because it is great now.

  • don’t let those stats get you down. I read that article too last week, and it bummed me out as well. Stats are not why we blog…

  • Rachel

    Yea!! I would miss you so much more without this blog!

  • Tricia O.
    Twitter: SparkReviews

    Nichole, we all feel that way sometimes. At least I know I do, and sometimes it isn’t even about my blog, but just everything. What am I doing? Why am I doing it?

    And then like you said, something happens and it makes me keep going.

    I love your blog, and I’m always so impressed that you make a meal plan for the week, because I can never seem to remember to do it or I don’t stick to it. Then I’m scrounging every week. Not very impressive for someone who touts themselves as a food writer, huh?

    Anyway, I’m glad you are keeping up the good fight.

  • April
    Twitter: aprilbauerphd

    I enjoy your blog, and I’m pretty sure if it weren’t for this blog I wouldn’t know how cool you truly are! My own blog seems to be suffering some sort of database failure! I’m going to leave it up to the man of the house to figure that out. Now that we’ve moved to a new place where I only know a few people and I work from home, I’m feeling pretty isolated. My friends’ blogs and facebook help take the edge of that, ever so slightly. I was hoping to start blogging again myself.
    I hope someday we can spend a whole afternoon baking in the kitchen, if you’re ever traveling through St. Louis you know you’re all welcome here! I’ll make you Gooey Butter cake, a St. Louis favorite.

    • Nichole

      Thank you, April! I was (and am) so grateful to have the internet after we moved. It really did take the edge of the isolation!

      We might be coming through STL in the fall. I’ll let you know if the plans solidify!

      Also, let me know if you want to look at the blog for you. I might be able to help.

  • Amy
    Twitter: amyabouttown

    I blog to keep in touch with friends and family. If someone else reads it – great. If not, that’s okay, too. Glad you are blogging because I would miss out keeping in touch with you via this avenue.

  • Jen L.
    Twitter: jennelsonlane

    LOVE this post! That panel really spoke to me, as well. It is so nice to have a reminder that we all think about giving up, but that we all have a place and that our words are important.

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  • I think I really needed to hear this today! Sometimes I feel like I’m putting my heart and soul out there and nobody is reading at all! (Except maybe my relatives, but sometimes not even them- LOL.) But at the end of the day, it’s a nice outlet for me and I’m glad I still do it. Thank you for sharing this, Nichole! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who feels this way sometimes! :)