Does anyone else feel thusly?

So my friends, I wrote a comment on Jen & Tonic’s most recent post about The Conclusion of  NaNoWriNO  (writing a post each day, basically).  And it made me think about posting the comment here because I’m in a serious conundrum right now.

So here’s what’s been killing me lately – reading everyone’s posts and then being too worn out to write my own afterwards…I’m seriously wondering how people keep up this pace on a daily basis because how can I expect other people to read my body of work if I don’t reciprocate?
(NOTE: I DO enjoy reading other people’s work)

This is where I’m sitting right now – I am seriously wondering if I have gotten myself in over my head… Sometimes I wonder if I should stop blogging – because I feel like this amazing world can just spin right out of control ~

I’m even more stressed because many clever bloggers (yes, probably you) are now thinking up very fun & interesting interactive kinds o’posts…. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Does anyone else feel thusly? How do you mange the balance between your writing and your participation?

Sorry – no clever pictures today….

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About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Random Thoughts, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to Does anyone else feel thusly?

  1. I have to tell you that my tired eyes first saw the post title as “Does anyone else feel thrusty?” Naturally, I clicked on the title to find out why you were feel so “thrusty” and then realized what it really said. Haha… Anyway, on to your topic, I honestly don’t know how anyone can keep up with one post each day and maintain quality. At most, I post 3x per week and even that is stretching me thin. I think it is important to strike a balance between quantity and quality. More is not always better (unless it’s chocolate, then more is most definitely better)!

  2. Sorry I’m just getting to this now!

    I gotta say, reading and writing that frequently literally exhausted me. I felt guilty and resentful and didn’t have fun with it at times. It took the joy out of blogging most days.

    I am VERY happy I did the challenge, but I don’t think I’d make writing a post every single day a thing I’d do regularly. I agree with Clown in that it diminishes the post; additionally, I found I didn’t have as much time to network or build community like I normally do.

    I love the advice of writing more and reading less. Those who like you will understand.

    • You don’t have to be sorry at all –

      I have a hard time ‘reading less’ b/c I think I’m fundamentally a reading addict – so right now, I’m trying my hand at posting once a week and reading the rest of the time but not feeling bad if I can’t read everything –

  3. rossmurray1 says:

    In the short time I’ve been on WordPress, I’ve heard the word “community” quite frequently. I like to think of it instead as a conversation. We write and we follow (and hope to be followed in turn) because we want to be a part of at conversation. At the same time, you don’t want to be the person in the conversation to whom people think to themselves, “Oh shut up, already!” Post when you have something to say, read when you think it’s interesting, follow when you think you’ll actually get something out of it.

    New to your blog. Hi there.

  4. Storkhunter says:

    The timing of this post is serendipitous, although maybe not really, given that many bloggers have had a busy November. I have been feeling thusly. With NaNoWriMo and various other things in my life I found that I didn’t have time to read or comment on other people’s blogs as much as I would have liked. But I do love reading blogs and feel bad that my level of participation has plummeted. But, I wouldn’t give up blogging. it’s my little corner of the world that lets my insanity out to play.
    I am learning to pace my blog reading – there are days when my blogging circle are busy bees and I wake up to thirty new blog posts. I’ll try to read as many as I can manage over the course of the day. I do try to comment on almost all of them. But, the last thing I would want is for it to become a pressure, I read the blogs because I enjoy them. I don’t want it to become “work.” If that ever happens I’ll know I need to re-evaluate. For now, I just want you all to know, I do love your blogs, I read your blogs and just because I’m not participating as much, it means I’m busy. To use the tired cliche “It’s not you, it’s me”

  5. unfetteredbs says:

    I think you have to just go with what you feel. It should be fun and if it stops being such, then you need to change. I do not want anyone reading my blog just to reciprocate. I read what I like and I write for myself. Poetry is not for everyone.. I write to just get it out there. I totally love reading everyone– it is completely addicting and fun to learn about people and their lives

  6. I used to try to read everyone I followed and it was way too much, especially since my niche was recovery blogs. Blogging can become a fulltime (unpaid) job if you let it. Just remember, everyone else is in the same boat and can’t possibly read everyone they follow. The other thing to consider is who you’re writing for. Are you writing for other bloggers (the people who follow you through WordPress) or are you seeking a larger audience (the people who like you enough to actually follow you through email)? Seeking WordPress followers can become nothing more than a popularity contest among bloggers. I say write for the people who can’t just click “follow” because they’re the ones who are truly opting in to what you have to say. They’re reading your words because they want to, not because they hope you’ll reciprocate the follow. That’s my 2 cents (and a bit more). xxxooo

    • Karen – thank you for that perspective – it’s spot-on! I still am trying to get a feel for my motivation for blogging – which I think changes as continue to write. I want to have people read b/c they want to (which I get the feeling people do for the most part) and I want to be able to reciprocate that to them –
      I like the idea of having one post/week and then reading on the other days. And now I know if I miss a post or two from my list, it’s not the end of the world to them.

  7. Maryann Graziano says:

    As a complete onlooker, what amazes me is that all of you who blog are saying the same thing: you love to blog but feel an obligation to your readers to blog all the time, and when you are not doing that, you are reading eachother’s blogs!!!! If you have a good blog (which you do), don’t worry, people will still stop by on occassion to read. And no, we don’t take offense if you don’t comment right away (or even for a few days). Don’t lose sight of why you are doing this in the first place. When it stops being fun and becomes a chore, it’s time to go. Don’t let that happpen. Too many of us enjoy your blog. Just don’t feel that you have to do it every day. XXOO

    • Thank you, Aunt Maryann – It’s good to get the perspective of someone that is not a blogger (yet!) – and I always appreciate comments on older posts b/c I realize that people read when they can or when the stumble across my page. I don’t want it to be a chore – that’s what made me curious as to how others deal with this – I need a sugar daddy to pay for me to read blogs all day! Any names?

  8. I often wake up to 30 or so blog posts to read. So if I think I’m going to write that day, I’ll start by reading maybe 5-10 (depending on how long they are). Then I’ll write mine, and if I’m still up to it afterwards, I’ll keep reading the others.

    I’ve just had to become ok with the idea that I won’t always be the first commenter on a post. That I may be the 150th comment, but that’s ok, because I read it, and commented, and that’s what I wanted to do 🙂

  9. RFL says:

    I have the same trouble finding the balance. I try to comment as much as I can but it can quickly start to feel like a full time job. I do read posts on my phone a lot during the day so I rely heavily on the like button when I don’t have enough time to leave a thoughtful comment.

  10. becca3416 says:

    I read a few before writing my own posts, then continue after. It DOES get overwhelming, but at some point, you have to realize that people will keep reading if they truly like your material even if you don’t get to reading/commenting/liking all of their posts. For example, if you stop commenting on my blog, I am still going to be here reading yours. Of course, I don’t want you to stop, but you get my point.

    Also, if realize I haven’t visited someone in particular in a while I will always try to find some time to go visit them.

  11. I feel thusly. My email inbox is filled every single day with new blog posts and comments. It makes me feel like I am not being a good friend. My best form of self expression is writing, so I will probably always blog…somewhere…sometime…forever. I don’t know how some bloggers do it everyday both recip and write. I can’t. Its like a second job to keep up. So when I can, I pop in and read a blog…its ok. I try to keep up on my phone at work but it has me log in, password and do all this shit before I can reply and I don’t have time to do that each time…my phone is not that cool. So I say I’ll do it when I get home…but then I want to be in my real life and talk to real people and cook and eat and relax and stuff. So I read blogs when I can, take away the guilt and stay my writer self. But there is a pressure there.

  12. iRuniBreathe says:

    I am certainly feeling this. I’m trying to scrounge together time to write comments (on great blogs that I really enjoy reading) but then left utterly spent to try be creative on my own blog, let alone find something to write about. Definitely can seem like a full time job, which I already have.
    I often wonder if I should just comment, or just blog, but not both. But like you say, if you don’t reciprocate then you will not receive the same interaction on your own blog.
    Write for yourself. I’ll keep reading.

  13. lolabees says:

    I feel the same way. I’m always overwhelmed and also notice that it takes away from my ability to accomplish things in my non-virtual world. I just unintentionally (a bit of writer’s block and procrastination) took 6 weeks off from it all. I didn’t even realize it was 6 weeks until I checked the date of the last post I wrote. During that time I checked out a post or 2 but basically gave myself the permission to turn it all off. Now it feels great to be back, and on some level I have to draw some boundaries too so I don’t burn out again. I guess as with all things in life, it’s about balance!

  14. Cathy Ulrich says:

    PS. The poem is very short – 🙂

  15. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Denise,
    I have seen your comments on several blogs that I follow (just started following you) and I’ve always been impressed with the quality of those comments. It’s obvious that you think about your replies. I try to comment on the blogs that I love regularly and I do have my favorites. And I try to post about 3-4 times a week. Sometimes my posts are poems, sometimes a photo with a quote, sometimes and essay, sometimes the weekly photo challenge – they’re about how I feel on that day. And it is hard to keep a balance, but I’ll stop doing it the day it’s no longer fun. Sometimes I comment, sometimes I “like” just to let them know I came by and read their post. While I almost never link to my blog on the comments (this is about you, not me) you might enjoy the poem that I wrote this week: http://largeself.com/2012/11/29/one-more-blog/ It’s kind of a tongue-in-cheek post on exactly this problem.
    Best,
    Cathy

    • Thank you Cathy – welcome to my blog – I saw that you joined – I reciprocated – you got me with that poem!

      I think that stopping when it’s not fun is probably the wisest thing to follow –

      I have some go plans – now to turn off my addiction to reading..checking…replying…

      Thank you!

  16. Kim says:

    I’m about to start a blog and have had this concern already! I think you said it…write for yourself. Follow and comment on your favorites and hopefully it will all fall into place. Maybe you should ask yourself why you started your blog in the first place. Was it just to write regularly and share some of your funny stories? Or is there something more that you want?

    • Kim – I can’t even answer that – I wanted to share stories but I also am kicking around a book. Why did I start? My friend encouraged me b/c I’ve always been a story teller – but where it should go? I don’t know…I’m all over the place with what I think I want!
      I look forward to reading your blog –

  17. I think we all do to a degree Ruta. It’s hard to keep up with sometimes! When it begins to feel like a chore is when it’s time to back off some to regroup and recharge. I’ve been doing a lot of that this month.

    You’ve had some great comments! I love all the thoughts. Write for yourself, have fun and enjoy it, don’t post too frequently as it annoys followers, reply to comments, and drop by others’ posts to comment as time permits. I don’t expect others to comment on 100% of my posts, so I know they don’t expect the same of me.

    Just keep it fun girl and remember why you started blogging to begin with. It’s a hobby for most of us, not a full time job.

  18. I understand your problem. It does take up an astonishing amount of time to read other blogs, there’s just so much good stuff out there. People who post daily, I find I don’t read them every day, it’s too much. But I try to read and comment on everyone I follow at least once or twice a week. The writing is on less of a schedule. I write more sporadically, when ideas occur to me. I try not to force it otherwise I’m not happy with what I’ve written.

  19. TAE says:

    I do know where you’re coming from with the frequency of posting…sometimes I post every day, sometimes just once a week, which is basically my minimum that I’m trying to achieve.
    Participation on here is a weird thing. I have some followers who, I know, only follow me (and many others), so I’ll follow them and they get more traffic for their site, which makes me want to say: fuck off.
    I have some email subscribers who hardly comment, unless I meet them in person (neighbors and relatives), which is ok, because sometimes I cuss a lot…
    Personally, I have a hard time reading and participating on other people’s posts if they NEVER come over to read and participate on mine. It’s like they’re showing me their middle finger…
    Either way, I have things to say, and I’m just going to put them out there. It’s good writing practice – if nothing else.

    • First – thank you for you comment – Second I didn’t realize I wasn’t FOLLOWING you b/c we’ve been active on each other’s sites- so I’ve corrected that.

      I have subscribers who like but don’t comment – and that’s fine – and I know some are businesses that just follow so that they will get traffic – meh – fine – I’ll take their stats.. but I have a core group of people that I like to exchange ideas with – but I want to be to other’s what I would like others to be for me – so I’m liking the posting X time/s and read on the off times that you don’t post.

      • TAE says:

        Yeah, I do love the interaction, and it makes me very sad if I write about something I think is important, and then: nothing, which happens fairly often. But I don’t really have a theme, I just write about whatever, so I always run the risk of putting somebody off, I guess…

        • I guess when you have an abrasive embrase…you could scratch! hee hee – I like your posts – and I look forward to seeing them on a regular basis.

        • TAE says:

          Thanks. I didn’t mean to complain with my first comment. Anyway, I didn’t call it “abrasive” for nothing ; ) (though it annoys me to read the name of my blog sometimes…ever feel that way?)

        • it would help if I speeellledd ’embrace’ correctly – you weren’t complaining – no worries.

          No it doesn’t annoy me as I’ve been calling myself Rutabaga for years and have joked about being a mercenary researcher b/c I research for money~ I love your name – it’s not annoying …

    • TAE! You called it! I can’t STAND the serial followers that I think just go through and follow a zillion people to skew their own numbers, and then seem to run through their wp.com reader and push the “like” button without reading the post. AND it really makes me never wanna go back when I read and comment and interact on blogs regularly that aren’t huge– not hundreds of comments on every post or anything –and they never reply or visit back or interact AT ALL. Sooooo effing rude. I don’t expect circular traffic from every blog I read; that’s not realistic. But if I read a blog on the regular, leave thoughtful comments, and PARTICIPATE cause I like it and the blogger never responds to me (not even with one word) as a reader that feels super unappreciative.

      Rutabaga!! It’s easy to get overwhelmed. I follow LOTS of blogs. I don’t reply to all of them all the time. I don’t even read all of them all the time. I just donate my input when it seems appropriate (like now). I love the interaction, LOVE making new friends, but it’s a balancing act for all of us. You have a life. And it’s cool. We understand. And I don’t speak for everyone, but I will totally still be reading whatever you write, no matter the frequency.

      • Awwwwww—– I am constantly FLOORED with the outpouring of love that bloggers have for other bloggers!! Thank you Heather…as you know I am a dedicated follower of you blog – and my son is a dedicated follower of gingerbread pancakes now…every weekend it’s the same “what do you want today for breakfast?” “GINGERBREAD PANCAKES AND SAUSAGES!”

        I know what you mean about no one responding. I do know that when a lot of comments come to me – I try to to reply thoughtfully – but when I can’t I at least say “Thank you!” –

  20. I am literally exhausted from reading so much. I try not to follow a lot of people who blog daily, and suddenly everyone and their dog is blogging daily.

    I used to follow a pattern where I would write blogs about three days a week, and read blogs only on the off days. Although I LOVE reading and commenting, it does drain some of my own creative energy to write thoughtful and/or witty comments on a million other blogs. And if the person never responds to comments, I’ll just read without commenting. I won’t spend my own energy on someone who can’t be bothered.

    That’s also why I selectively participate in writing contests. I feel badly when I don’t have the time to read all of the other entries. Social media can be fun, but it can also be exhausting.

  21. I agree with Le Clown. I can’t keep up daily posting, and for many people, it does seem to lessen the quality of what they are writing. Photo blogs would be easier to do on a daily basis. I also don’t like clogging up people’s in-boxes with notifications, so I figure a weekly post from me with lots of reading in the days in between is a good balance.

  22. Le Clown says:

    Denise,
    I’ve been there. I am there… Reading is great, and you want to participate on other people’s blogs, but… With the likes of NaNoWriNO, and the One Post A Day WordPress challenge, it becomes too much for me, and I find the quality of posts diminished by these challenges, even if I appreciate the ideas behind those concepts.

    I say read lead, write more. And keep on doing it in a way that YOU enjoy it.
    Le Clown

    • Thank you – I appreciate you taking the time to comment and your sage, yet clownly, advice. I would like to have a little tape recorder embedded in my brain that would record my inner dialogue b/c it’s way more clever originating up there!
      Good to know I’m not in this boat o’confusion alone.

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