I began blogging in June 2012. As I started my blog, Mommy, for real, I simultaneously read several books and numerous articles about blogging, particularly those featuring “mommy bloggers.” Over and over it was made clear that the way to have a successful readership was by putting yourself out there and interacting with other bloggers. Taking a deep breath, I began to do just that.
I felt like the new kid in town.
I felt like I was late to the party.
A day late and a dollar short.
Are there any other metaphors I can use to properly convey my feelings of self-consciousness? I had no trouble finding bloggers I identified with whose work I admired, but the prospect of “introducing myself” as a reader, or more daunting yet, as a fellow blogger, was overwhelming. I haven’t felt flooded with so many feelings of vulnerability and awkwardness since I was a 7th grader trying to find a lunch table to join. (Shudder. Those were dark times.)
Though I am relatively new to blogging, I am not new to writing. I have been writing as long as I can remember having conscious thought. So consumed was I by composing inner dialogue, one day when I was 8, I asked my mother, who was on the phone, “Who are you talking to? She demanded.” Yes, I said, “she demanded” out loud. The years that followed were a blur of short story composition, poetry writing, and even some literary awards in high school. I felt most at ease with myself when I was writing.
About four years ago, I began writing a book: a narrative non-fiction work that encompassed my experience of parenting a toddler. When I initially started writing my book, now complete and cowering in the corner until the perfect publisher invites herself over to tea, the blogging craze was not in full swing, but there were definitely successful bloggers around. I was terribly reluctant to join their ranks. Raised as a “nice girl” from the Midwest, and a nice Lutheran girl at that, I have a hang-up about being too self-absorbed. Putting my ideas and stories out there for the whole world to read felt too much like publishing my diary online. It seemed grandiose. Make no mistake, now that I have begun, I blog unapologetically and with great fervor.
And so I waited, four whole years to join the blogging party. And I feel late. And underdressed. And perhaps with an out of date hairstyle. Say it with me….aaawwkwaaard!
I have connected with some bloggers who are at my level of expertise, which has been so helpful and definitely helps to salve the isolation I have been feeling. It has been particularly challenging to entice my readers to comment on my posts, and having other bloggers as readers has helped. I believe that only other bloggers truly grasp how one yearns for comments like a vampire craves blood. I still continue to “stalk” my favorite mommy bloggers and leave comments as often as it seems appropriate. I even developed a personal mantra for interacting with other bloggers.
1. Be complimentary without being an ass-kisser.
2. Appear confident….but not too confident!
3. Be friendly without seeming too needy.
Are my neuroses showing? Don’t even get me started on using Twitter for self-promotion and inter-blogger socializing. I wake up in cold sweats wondering if I have been using the hashtag appropriately. #obsessmuch?
|Motherhood: a constant fountain of inspiration|
Did you start blogging with WordPress? Or did you use something else first?
You are a natural! Stopped over here while reading your one-year post. Now heading back there!
You’ve only been at this since June 2012? Jesus- you write like you’ve been around a lot longer (heheheheheeee). XXXOOO
I started late last year, too! Luckily, when I told a couple of people I was considering doing it and leaving Hubpages, Julie took me under her wing and I had the support group I needed. My writing hasn’t changed from those HP’s days, but the moderation has certainly be much more gentle. lol Good post!
I know this is from November, but I’m always shocked to find someone hasn’t been around long. You’re doing great AND you’re going to BlogHer. Wow!
The quality of the writing supersedes how many followers you have or how long you’ve been blogging – keep up the good work. That’s what matters!
I feel like I read this already? I think it was published somewhere else besides here because I don’t see my comment? Anyway, such a good post. Love your writing, your honesty, your self-deprecating humor!
See you soon!
Give yourself more credit, you are great! 🙂 And many of us have felt the same way. Hope yer having fun at BlogHer! 🙂
Sorry I’m tardy making it here from the Humor Me! Blog Hop. Life and all that… 😀
Ohhh the 7th grade lunch room…(shudder). I am right there with you at the newbie blogger table. Actually, I’m hovering awkwardly behind a chair at the newbie blogger table, hoping it’s ok for me to sit down and that I won’t be shunned! Ha!
I love the vampire needing blood comparison. Ha! Sometimes I am deeply ashamed by how comments (or lack thereof) affect (effect?) me. Like, what kind of pathetic words-of-affirmation junkie am I?
Loved your post, always do. (crap, was that “ass-kissing?”)
K. I loved this. Partially because I’ve been blogging for 6 years and just now decided to be more public about this whole thing. It’s come with a LOT of challenges. But, I finally committed to buying a domain name, and am paying someone to design my blog because I want to do more. But, I’m feeling OVERWHELMED by the idea of all of it. So, I’m just trying to take it one day at a time.
I can’t tell you how much I love this post and identify with it as a new blogger. I just started my blog a month ago, it’s hard enough finding time to write on my blog, let alone network with strangers! I’m awkward enough at in-person introductions, but online with total strangers whose writing I feel is far superior to mine is even harder. But when I get positive feedback it makes my day, so I guess I need to keep putting myself out there. Thanks for this, I don’t feel alone!
I realize I’m breaking your rules by sounding – unconfident, needy and ass-kissing, but I’m still new at this 🙂
I love that you actually said “she demanded!” So glad our paths connected years ago now… can you believe that? It’s now been yearS ago… I too started blogging in June 2012. And I’m trying hard to keep up with you! 🙂