I’m super late getting this post up for the Ultimate Blog Party ’11. It’s something I’d been meaning to do but procrastinated on because I wasn’t sure what to put in this post.
Why would someone who has been blogging for almost six years have trouble with this task, you might ask—as an experienced blogger, I should have, always at the ready, a bio comprised of some key facts about myself and my blogging accomplishments, peppered with humor and garnished with just a dash of self-deprecation.
But here’s the thing…after blogging for this long, I realize I’m not cut out for constant self-promotion; I’m just not very good at it. And the old-timer in me is maybe a little bit snobby—I was a part of the first big wave of mommy bloggers. I’ve rubbed elbows with all the biggest names in that arena and some I even consider friends. And I, myself, was a fairly popular mommy blogger at one time. I had daily pageviews in the thousands, won awards, received accolades in major media outlets, been published in magazines, as well as a book and been treated like blogging royalty by big companies.
But after a while, I grew weary of playing the game (write, promote, read, comment, hustle, repeat). I allowed myself to get lazy and rested on my laurels. Concurrently, I allowed myself to be swayed by writing gigs at popular collaborative blogs that left me with no mojo for my own writing and I started more side projects than I could realistically handle. Out of exhaustion, I cut way back on my blog reading & commenting and I let this blog, my original blog, languish…I was fried.
Then Twitter and Facebook exploded and blogging has never been the same, at least for me.
Instead of keeping in touch by reading each other’s blogs, my blogging friends and I started connecting on Twitter instead and that became the place so many of us went to for fun and socializing. It was easy—140 characters instead of ten paragraphs—and while I made lots of new Twitter acquaintances, my poor blog continued to wither on the vine.
Since that was too depressing to think about, I avoided my blog even more. And while I was off tweeting and avoiding my blog, the mommy blogosphere continued to grow exponentially and I became painfully aware that those laurels I had rested on for so long had basically disappeared from under me.
Equally disconcerting, I started to realize that it had become damn near impossible to be heard in this brave, new and very crowded blogosphere. Writing well and playing nice with others was no longer enough, it seemed. You also had to be an expert at marketing yourself and have the confidence to do it shamelessly—something I envy terribly in other bloggers.
As for friendships, I still had a few close blogging friends but many of our more ambitious freshman class members had moved on to bigger and better things while others just drifted away or moved into different circles.
The last two blog conferences I attended really confirmed for me just how much things had changed and how much I had let slip through my fingers.
And with this revelation came the realization that I was now a small fish in a much MUCH bigger pond—but I think I’m actually okay with that—I’ve never aspired to be a rockstar or suffered from overarching ambitions
But what I do miss is my tribe…my people. People whose lives I knew and people who knew mine from reading each other every day; commenting, laughing and supporting each other through our days. You just can’t get that from 140 characters or a Facebook poke.
So I think the real reason I decided to do the Ultimate Blog Party, which reminds me so much of the old days when I actually participated in such things, is that I’m looking for something… I want to find my tribe again, wherever they are. I need those connections. Without them, blogging is a largely unsatisfying experience and I really, really want to love it again.
Surely, I’m not the only one out in blogland feeling this way.
This is not even close to the “All About ME!!!” drivel I imagined I’d write for UBP and it’s certainly longer than anticipated but I guess when something flows as easily as this did, it’s probably something that needed to be said. I apologize for the lack of festiveness but I thank you for reading to the end.