Do not desire to be famous; be loved. Do not take pride in being expected; be palpable, unmistakable.
C. JoyBell C.
I have felt really disconnected from the blogging world as of late. I tried to keep up with my blog roll, and favorite bloggers, but wasn't feeling inspired anymore. Today I let myself roam. From one blog to the next, I got blissfully lost in the blogosphere.
In the process, I discovered so many beautiful blogs. They were different. Their content. Their photography. It felt different. In finding these lovely people and their beautifully written perspectives, I felt a renewed sense of self... in the blogging sense. I was smitten. And blissfully reminded of what I love so much about this rather random way of life.
There was one thing most of these bloggers had in common: on their sites, GFC was nowhere to be found. And I was once again reminded why I do this. So many times on this relatively short journey, I have suffered an identity crisis:
Who am I without readers?
If no one reads what I write, why am I doing this?
What am I doing wrong?
Why doesn't anyone like me? [insert teenage angst]
Once I regain my composure (and polish off a pint of Pfish Food while watching The Notebook), I am reminded why I got myself into this in the first place: to write. I know, I know. Everyone says that. But I can say with certainty that I will never make money blogging. I have a different career path. Unfortunately, personal expression is, for the most part, lacking in my chosen discipline. Just because I have a passion for one thing doesn't mean I have to abandon my love of another. Hence this blog.
I admire those who channel their blog into a business. Or a way to advertise and support their true business. I admire their dedication, talent, and the innate ability to attract so many readers with their words, fashion sense, graphic design, and/or photographs.
So why do I get caught up in the numbers game? Pageviews, followers, comments... it can be all encompassing. And not in a good way. I imagine I can chalk it up to the fact that I am a human who has a visceral need for validation. Don't we all, really?
When I venture over to a beautiful blog, I want to stay a while. To explore. To see life through their eyes. And when I go to follow them, and find nary a widget, I admire them even more. Because they blog for them. For the self expression. For the beauty of it. In not getting lost in the vortex that can be the blogging world, they have freed themselves. Unabashed blogging.
Perhaps they, too, get sucked into the numbers game. I can't presume to know. But my admiration is unwavering. Because they write and express and do. Period. They don't write for the masses... they write for themselves. Readers seem to be a happy side effect.
I know I should be saying "See the button on the right?! Join me on Bloglovin'!" or sponsoring other blogs. Sometimes I want to. But in the end that won't bring happiness. Or fulfillment. Writing in the best, most authentic way I know how is the key to success... whatever that may look like.
At the end of the day, what is the point of having 1000+ followers if there is no interaction? No connection? An inability to relate to others and them to you? I suppose 1000 followers doesn't necessarily equate to 1000 readers.
So although I occasionally become sidetracked by the numbers, and allow myself to get discouraged,
Not every post will be my opus.
Not every photo will be the most beautiful.
Not every post will make my fellow blogger feel something.
I will probably bore you
The beauty in doing something for myself, and not for others, is that personal satisfaction requires only one person to be content: me.
As of now, my widget GFC stands. As does my rather silly blog name. Both may change in the near future. I will be at peace with that. Like my perspective, this little corner must evolve.
And since I'm writing about relationships of the blogging variety, I want to give a shout out to a few that make nearly every day brighter. They leave thoughtful, sweet, and funny comments, and often have encouraging words. Just because. Jen, Nicki, and Natalie: thank you.