I Used to Blog, Now I’m Just Confused

Dear Friends,
WARNING – LONG POST, SORRY, I’VE GOTTEN MYSELF CONFUSED…
PG-13 (mild profanity)

I’ve made a horrible mistake, and now I’ve gotten myself completely confused. It happened after reading too many articles on: How to Increase Blog Traffic. Yes, it’s true. I have an evil plan. I wish to buy groceries using art/writing income rather than my current alternative – substitute teaching. This past school year, every time I walked into a classroom I thought, “AnnMarie, what the heck are you doing? You’re not a teacher, you’ve got a design degree. Besides chocolate and wine, there’s art in your blood. You should be spending 8 hours a day drawing and writing, not speaking over chattering students.”

This is my confused, hapless, helpless face-

baby gorillaWe dream to make a living doing what we love. It’s a lovely dream that can be and is reality for some. Most of us keep going to see where the ‘going’ takes us. According to the Dear Abby’s of Blogworld, the ‘going’ should include twittering, redditing, stumbling, pintresting… I don’t do any of these ‘ing’ things. Perhaps, I should start… I did add the buttons on the bottom of my blog, though I still don’t know what half of them are.

“Commenting…” Some Abby Advisors suggest only commenting on relevant sites. I don’t think this advice is very gracious. I get the whole business model and practical reasons why, but we’re nothing if we aren’t all ‘relevant.’ We should support each other inside and outside of blogworld, regardless of what our “Abouts” say. So this advice I can’t follow.

“Follow Blog Gurus or Bloggers in the Know” Chris Brogan has been labeled a ‘blog god.’ I thought maybe a blog god is just what I need. I visited his site (Chris Brogan) as advised. He seems a decent sort and a doting dad who happens to have a myriad of speaking, writing, publishing and tech credentials. His site has loads of advice, perhaps when my head is emptied, I’ll brave another visit and try digesting some of his suggestions…

“How often to Post?” Let’s see the next piece of advice (most articles suggest blogging 3-5 x’s per week) is the one that tears me down the middle. I really need advice here. I’ve been posting everyday since February 14, 2014. I’ve started taking off weekends. Though my posts are most often text-light they take a bit of time to put together. I often feel they should run at least 2 days. Then I think – no – I should post everyday. Chris Brogan posts everyday and it has been said, “He never runs out of ideas.” I suppose that’s why he is a blog god. I’m leaning toward every other day…not sure…any suggestions would be humbly appreciated…

“Be yourself.” Who else would I be? There is no one more me than me. Is there anyone you know who is more you than you? I can’t write like anyone else but me. If I had a choice to be someone else, I guess I’d prefer smaller feet so when I buy shoes they’re as cute as their petite counterparts usually displayed.

“Observe your stats.” I stuck paintbrushes in my ears during Algebra and never took them out. I can’t look at graphs to figure out what works and what doesn’t. If I started dissecting charts I most definitely wouldn’t be me. I’d be a person who uses statistics or a person who understands them. I’ll just go on posting what I post and let the pie pieces fall where they may.

“Be controversial.” Why?

There are blogs that sometimes put me to shame. So many blogs, from old and young alike – those who suffer with debilitating illnesses, perhaps are dealing with struggling loved ones or who support noble causes…these blogs do more than just inform. In blogworld their stories, their indomitable hearts are transformative. These people fly in perfect form across the blog’s stratosphere…

There are millions of spectacular blogs, but it’s not the digital formats that are amazing (though some designs are super cool) it’s the human beings behind them – fleshy fingertips transporting their outstanding ideas into sharable formats we can enjoy, learn, discuss… When I chat with the many fascinating people I’ve met along the way, it’s the only time I’m sure of why I’m blogging. There is no greater fulfillment then meeting, sharing or conversing with kindred spirits. Blogworld doesn’t judge, we can all join – any age – any sex – any type – any mindset – any talents – we’re all created equal here.

Let’s see where was I, oh yes, I was figuring out how to buy milk and eggs. I think I’m going to let this post linger a few days while gathering my thoughts. I have made several promises this summer: to run with my son in the mornings, to watch Parks and Recreation with my daughter, to spend quality time with my husband, to read down my summer reading list, to create new art, to unslush my slush pile and to maintain friendships – both old and new,

So I’ll keep blogging onward…and hey, you never know, maybe someday I just might sell some art and writing then go to the grocery store 🙂

Best advice ever: “…Line up alphabetically, according to height…”- Casey Stengel

Peace,
AnnMarie
see you in a few days…

 

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32 thoughts on “I Used to Blog, Now I’m Just Confused

  1. AnnMarie — my gosh! You’re, like, my double, my blogging-twin! Just the other day I was having these same thoughts (I could have written the same points, although I doubt as elegantly). I, too, backed off blogging — well, writing — on weekends because it seemed as though my “stats” were showing that people weren’t exactly “reading” on weekends. So now I put up a photo and wish everyone a good weekend. (I may back off that, too.) The other day I must have done something, because I went from 250+ followers down to 155+! Amazing! What the heck did I do?! I’m sort of questioning the WordPress.com stats, to be truthful. I have a book I’m reading, called BLOGGING FOR CREATIVES (by Robin Houghton), which I bought at Barnes & Noble — I think you might find it interesting, especially since most of the example blogs are more design/artistic in nature. I know I’m jumping around here, sorry. But here’s my main advice for you: Just keep doing what you’re doing. I love your posts and artwork, your blog is authentic and genuine and well-written with solid, interesting content. Bottom line: Don’t change a thing. Can I ask: How long have you been blogging? I ask because I’m wondering if blogging “numbers” take at least a year or more to start rolling. Anyhoo, again, keep doing what you’re doing!!!

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  2. I’m confused by the blog advice about making money blogging, too. I still can’t figure out if that’s something people actually do (make money at this) or a sort of red herring. I agree it sure would be nice 🙂 Also, I’ve had the same experience. My favorite part has been all the amazing people I’ve met.

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  3. “If you build it, they will come.” That applies to baseball diamonds in Iowa cornfields, but it’s the stance I’ve taken here. Building an audience is an organic thing, but it’s very slow at first. It does take time, and you’re going about it the right way: Finding your voice, focusing on quality in writing and art. But there is sooooo much competition and, hence, white noise, that it can be frustrating and feel hopeless some days. The arena is flooded with some damned fine stuff, and a bewildering amount of so-so stuff that is overwhelming. And, it’s hard to make it pay. Very. Everyone on the internet expects everything for free. My suggestion is to put that out of your mind for now, and focus on the content, and start doing some promotional/marketing stuff. I’ve used Facebook to boost traffic, and could show you how sometime.

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  4. Not too long..you almost scared me away….:) I try to keep it simple…alternating photography and painting post gave me some leeway…my words count may be misleading, it is bilingual, I should do a third or a fourth language, then I would scare myself looking at the count words, stats are depressing, sometimes I have more likes than visit…funny. But sometimes, often I think blogging does take away too much time of painting, but I guess I became addicted…:D

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  5. I think most of us have been in this ‘blogging phase’ at least once. You work, you put your stuff out there, and…..not much happens. I used to talk about not having the energy necessary for subtly whoring myself to get more followers, it didn’t seem organic to me. Blog what you love, when you love it. It will follow from there.

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  6. Unfortunately I don’t have any good advice to give you about blog stats. Mine are atrocious. If I went by readers, I’d have given up long ago. But I’ll say this about your blog, you write with heart, honesty and tremendous artistic talent. I enjoy just coming by to see what image you’ll surprise us with next. A gift like that should be shared. Please don’t ever stop.

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    • I thank you for your words and I’d consider them advice and the best kind because they come with heart and candor.
      I appreciate you taking time to share some of your history too.
      And thank you ever so much for the kindly comments.
      I’ll keep going along with you 🙂
      AnnMarie 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have to say, I know this feeling exactly. And I appreciate the way you expressed it. I have a tendency to be more overtly frustrated than confused. I’ve got a feeling both of us will be doing this full time soon.

    Amazing artwork, as always.

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    • Is there such a thing as, “frustratedly confused?” If so, I may have done that to myself. 🙂 I just have to not venture where I don’t belong and continue doing what it is I love. When you love something you find the time, regardless of everything else swirling around.
      Thank you for your kindness 🙂 I’ll see you soon…
      AnnMarie 🙂

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  8. I started My blog about two years ago as a tryout.I wanted to learn more about photo and design and since I was new to it I decided to start with myself to avoid embarssement.I didn’t follow any rule ,just snapped a picture when I had the feeling and shared thoughts ,quotes or Whatever was on My mind .One year later I’ve learned a lot and the blog had incresed to 50.000 + readers from 83 countries .almost every country that had free internet .I was stunned,confused and quite proud ,but What to do now ? .Post more often ? ,Update concept ? Be more scandalous .None felt compelling since the original idea was to learn how to do My own design instead of using others not become a rising blog phenonomen (hmm did I spell that right ) ..So I decided to just do What I do and Continue Being me .Lite is so Much better when u r who u think you are , artist drake once stated and I agree. My biggest inspiration came from the movie “waking life” ..Please see it if you haven’t ,it Will change the Way you look at Life ..I can hobestly say that you are My Absolutly favourite blogger and Reading you AnnMarie is like getting a balloon ,a glas of champagne and a hug =impossible to not smile so U should just Continue Being you ..it worked well so far .. Hope all is good with u and the fam .. Just landed in Sweden after 4 months of travel to 7 countries .Haven’t seen My round-cheeked princesses in ages so I feel like John Wayne when he sees a horse =Excited and ready ..There Will be a lot of tears,triumphs and DaddyDaughterConnection today ❤ hope the sun shines were u are .Love and light /Simon

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    • Ah, SImon –
      Not only are you a musician, your words are melodic notes…
      Thank you for sharing your blog bkgd, it was enlightening and interesting to glean the mindset behind your unique process. The thing I most love about your approach to life and creativity is your genuine love of family. It always shines through in your work and images. There’s no greater melody, lyric, art or song then the sweet (sometimes maddening – but that’s the heated passion part 😉 ) companionship of family. I do so appreciate your words and I’m humbled by your kindness.
      AnnMarie 🙂
      You enjoy those beautiful children. Safe travels. I will watch ‘Waking Life’ 🙂 And yes, Simon, the sun is bright here today too 🙂

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  9. I think in the future, I’ll content myself with behind-the-scene-blog ignorance. I’m fortunate to have options. Many people work several jobs to remain afloat. Blogging has been and is – a peaceful place for me. I have this image in the back of my head, where I can wake up, send the kiddies off to school and remain in my studio and work…and I can do that, just not always at the times I’d like. But, this is life and life is good.:-)
    From all my reading – there are folks who make money form blogging and they do all the right tech stuff, utilize advertising and advertisers. I wouldn’t want my blog covered in ads. I would like to, at some point, focus more on perhaps selling some art and I also have the publishing dream – like so many others…I’ll continue on creating art and writing when I have time.
    I vey much appreciate your words and I thank you. And, I absolutely agree, the amazing people are the thing that keep me coming back 🙂
    AnnMarie 🙂

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  10. Well- guess you won’t be surprised if I add in my “me too”. But you might be surprised since we’ve just met via blogs. That’s neither here nor there. My real issue is with grocery shopping anyway. I go way too often and it’s messing with my artistic vibe. Let’s see if that excuse floats when the dogs are wondering why they are eating left over oats instead of their tasty dog food. (I jest- the dogs come first.)

    You are a terrific writer- unique, funny and real. It’s a rare combination and you’ve got it.

    Thank you for sharing yourself- it’s a pleasure to read your words and see your fabulous art!

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    • Ah, very kind of you to say so…your art is quite unique and fun too! It’s quite ironic this grocery store thing – I too have been trying to cut back and find quite the opposite happening. I used to do one giant shop a week and disliked it very much. I thought if I try quick visits – purchasing per every 2 meals, but now I’m doing sort of both a big and some small and it’s terrible. The shopping does interfere with life. Darn these stupid stomachs. And my dogs have gotten Chinese food on occasion 🙂
      AnnMarie 🙂

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  11. I think Oscar Wilde was write about advice: it’s only good to pass it on to others never to follow it yourself. I’ve read about blog posts, about selling more books, about getting more followers in Twitter…Eventually one would need to have more hours in one day than they are and be many more people than just one to follow all. Let’s just smile and keep going. And yes, be ourselves… if we can find us in the middle of so much advice! And thanks to Debra (cdog5) for leading me to you!

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    • Ah, my good pal Debra – animal champion at large 🙂 She’s an exceptional human!
      I’m growing older and wiser with every blogging moment. I’m just hoping to keep doing what I’m doing – with no window dressing – and see what happens and what the future brings… Blogging has been fantastic for keeping me on a regimen of ‘arting’ and writing, and also meeting all sorts of terrific persons 🙂 Once in a while, I’ll probably crash as some do, but in those moments, hopefully I’ll take a breath then stick a pencil back in my hand 🙂
      Thank you so very much for stopping by, and I do so appreciate your sage advice 🙂
      Have a fantastic weekend.
      AnnMarie 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This i such a wonderful article, i wonder why you’re not freshly pressed. Oh crap, never mind, You’ve got wonderful blessings you don’t need another one, that will be too much of a greed. 🙂

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