Should I be writing a blog at all?

Greek bicycle with Greek potatos

This is my thirty-first post. It’s unlike any previous post because this time I want to discuss whether or not I should be writing them at all.

My readership is very small. I don’t mind small but very small does get discouraging, especially when my ideas about how to increase it are continually frustrated. I’m not at all a techie and when I go to websites and search engines that promise they’ll help balloon my numbers, I invariably discover one of three things: (1) they make no sense to me; 2) their advice has to do with merchandising and I have nothing to sell; and 3) their counsel frequently isn’t applicable to a WordPress blog at this level (free). One thing is certain: you have to spend time, effort, and sometimes money, to find ways to attract visitors, and I’m not certain I’m up for that.

I care passionately enough about my subject – the aging artist – to keep blogging about it, and I’ve learned a lot, but I’m still not sure how long I’ll want to continue doing it under the circumstances. I get frustrated when I’m thinking about something else on a particular day, and the parameters I’ve set for the blog won’t let me write about it: e.g. our tolerance as a society for untruths; the soon-to-happen celebration of the bicentennial of Runaway Pond in Vermont; the nature of the universe. Whatever. I’ve toyed with putting essays on Squidoo as a kind of complement to my usual blog, but I discovered that Squidoo’s format is restricting and simple to a fault and I’m not sure I want to or even can do that, even though it might help me be less verbose.

Flowerlight

I’ve thought: what if I put a novel up, piece by piece, like a Dickens serial? There are sites where people do that; I’m not sure a blog is where it should happen. And, of course, I’ll have the same problem, only worse: how do I get visitors to my novel? If people don’t visit it, I’m likely to feel much more distressed than when they don’t visit an art and aging blog.

Even though my friend Sally and I have exclaimed in loud voices from her coast to mine that we no longer care if anyone reads what we write, it turns out that I lied. I don’t think she did, but I seem not to have meant a word of it.

New York City fire hydrant

A smaller issue. I also get frustrated about pictures. I’d like to put up more and better photographs. Most of them, unfortunately, would be irrelevant to my subject, whatever it is. Like they are on this post this time.

Sometimes, I wish I could make a site that would be peculiar, fun and extraordinarily revealing, though I’m not sure of what. The kind of site you can find on Stumbleupon, or a place where people watch owls being born (check out http://www.ustream.tv/theowlbox). It seems to me that that’s what the internet does best: make social events where thousands of people from everywhere gather to watch the birth of infant owls.

At any rate, I’m just letting anyone who might happen to read this know that I’m not sure what I’m doing, and I just might do something else instead. And if anyone has any advice….???

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8 thoughts on “Should I be writing a blog at all?

  1. Don’t stop writing this blog. I enjoy reading it. Really. I would read it even if you weren’t my sister. Its a very good blog.

    • Thank you, Joanne!!! I like hearing that and, as you see, I seem to have prompted several replies. So check in tomorrow night. I’m not through yet.

  2. I agree with your sibling – and I’m not a relation. It’s odd, we’re in a period when nothing “online” is taking seriously – yet nothing is getting published and everyone is looking towards the e format to save writers, artists, journalists, etc. So, consider yourself, like the rest of us lonely, long, serious bloggers, a martyr to the coming fruition of the digital age.

    Also, I would add, your blog is interesting. I’m looking forward to reading more.

    All the best,
    Lorissa

  3. I’ve been enjoying reading it. It seems to me if you feel like writing on the subject (the aging artist), just do it. For several years from the beginning of the W “presidency” I wrote in notebooks and on scraps of paper what I decided was an “emotional political journal” which helped me think through various issues and discharge my rage about what was going on. A blog would have worked, but there wasn’t such a thing at the time, or it didn’t occur to me to do it that way. And I do still like putting pen or even pencil to paper. But it was a relief, and reading it over occasionally, I was struck by my good sense.

    Your blog is interesting, the writing is fine, and I think you might as well continue–if you want to.

    • Thank you, Jane. You’ve encouraged me several times and it’s really meant a lot to me. And, for the time being at least, I’ll keep at it.

  4. I’m intrigued by your blog, though don’t see myself as an artist (but am aging!). Keep writing. And the upcoming bicentennial of Runaway Pond is worth writing about even if it’s off the topic! I wonder how many fascinating and unsung local histories there are in various parts of the country….

  5. Thank you, Judy. Hearing from you was a pleasant surprise, and I agree about Runaway Pond. I think complaining in writing has helped me see my way clear to continuing.

    People actually responded, and had a lot to say.

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