And I hate having to think of titles for my posts that will encourage people to read what I’m writing (did it work?). It’s too much! I miss writing random esoteric headlines that have little to do with what I’m writing about. Therefore, since I am now, fortunately, writing successfully in other places (see my latest Hevria article here), I am reclaiming this blog as the space where my weird and non-strategic blogging can continue!
On to eccentricity!
I recently saw a post by Rudri Patel where she reflects on her seven years of blogging. Her reflections prompted my own (reflections have a tendency to do that, no?), and since I’ve been blogging for a similar length of time, at this address at least (shout out to my first blog, oh my gosh, I can’t believe it still exists out there. Nothing on the internet goes away you guys. Nothing), I went down that road.
The trajectory of this blog has been quite a ride. Initially, I was just writing to stay in touch with friends and family who lived elsewhere. Basically, I was using it like Facebook before Facebook became whatever it is now (a repository for links and memes and a plethora of subgroups?).
Then, when I discovered that people I didn’t know were actually reading what I wrote (WHAT?), I started feeling the pressure to Be Successful and Blog Like A Pro, so I did all sorts of things to gain more readers, or something.
But, as is my nature, I was also doing about a trillion other things on the side, so whatever I started to do in an effort to engage more readers didn’t last because (a) I wasn’t really committed to building a bigger audience because who really needs to read what I’m writing anyways, it’s not like I’m Brene Brown or something (b) I would get distracted by some other project (c) it wouldn’t have been a very well-formed plan in the first place.
Despite myself, I watched as my numbers grew, and I became obsessed with stats. That’s rarely a good thing, and it did kill a bit of the love I had for writing. When every post I write is held up to a standard of “will enough people want to read this?” it takes away from the actual joy of writing for me. Or, at least, I feel as if it muffles the voice of my writing.
Instead of being my true, quirky, somewhat rambling self, I would try to emulate what other, “successful” writers do. WHICH ISN’T ME. Obviously.
And this is part of why I dislike the inescapability of social media when it comes to blogging. In my mind, I cannot be a blogger without social media. It’s why I have a twitter account (despite all my best efforts and reading Nina’s excellent tips, I still do not understand or enjoy Twitter). It’s why I’ve created a Facebook page for my blog and, what I consider, a “persona” on Facebook. Yeah, the persona is really just me, not like Fake me or something, but it’s still one more thing to curate.
I’m so tired of curating! I’m not that interesting guys and I don’t have that much free time and I hate documenting my life.
This is why there are no pictures up on Facebook of my epic trip to Brooklyn for the Hevria Creative Farbrengen. I was too busy living it. Even though I met up with Chava and Masha (so fun!!!), who are both on Facebook, so obviously plenty of opportunity to document and post etc. etc., I didn’t. Because I was living it.
Now, if you want to post pics of you and your friends on Facebook, do it! I’m not judging! I love seeing people having a good time and connecting, absolutely. It brings me joy. So maybe I’m being super stingy about not sharing my joyful times with other people. That’s a definite possibility.
But I’m tired of the feeling of having to document, having to curate, having to share share share.
They (the ambiguous they, whoever they are) say that it’s good to have blogging goals. This makes sense, because it’s good to have goals in general. Can’t deny that. But my life is so full tilt and I’m basically rushing from one thing to the next and so who has time to plan? Not me.
If I *were* to plan some blogging stuff, I would like to alternate what I write about. I have these categories of things I’m theoretically writing about (that’s part of blogging, too: Having a niche. Writing about Certain Topics). The categories are Marriage (which I basically never write about ever), Mesorah (which I kind of write about), Miscellany (a lot of stuff falls into this category because I DON’T PLAN), Motherhood (have you noticed that I don’t write about my kids as much? Turns out that’s a thing), and Music.
In my alternate reality where I am capable of planning, I’d do a different topic each week. Wouldn’t that be fun? I think it would! Maybe I’ll actually do it! Don’t hold your breath!
And with that, I am posting this non-linear and mostly rambling inner monologue. Thank you for reading it, and for going on this ride with me. It will be interesting to see where it leads. Or maybe not! Maybe it won’t be interesting at all! But it will be here.
p.s. Speaking of social media, I’m helping with the Facebook account for Yesh Tikvah, a tremendous organization here in Cleveland that helps people afford therapy or other mental health services. Yes, there is an organization here which will help people with the payment for therapy! I’m so proud to be part of a community that has something like this. Anyways, on the Facebook page (which I would really, really appreciate if you would “like”), there are links to articles on mental health, memes, news about the organization and more. I don’t find the content, I just put it up, and although I may be biased, the articles that Rabbi Joseph finds are very intersting. It’s worth liking the page to read the articles, not just because you like me and want to make me feel happy by liking the page. It’s worth your while.