Reciprocity and Scaling Back — February 16, 2012

Reciprocity and Scaling Back

This June will mark 3 years since I began blogging regularly.  It’s been a great ride.  Without this blog I would not be where I am today in my writing.  Nor would I have the friends I have.

But, I have to be honest with myself.  I pinned myself into a hole with making this solely about writing and related topics.  And, I’ve been sitting here watching my follower count and comments count falling steadily.

I look at these blogs and see people who have 80 comments in less than 5 minutes within posting.  They have hundreds and even thousands of followers.  Their blogs are wildly popular, the A-list blogs, the ones whose authors every blogger wants to be.

I’ve never been that person, that wildly popular person, the one everyone wanted to be.  Nor was I the one who always wanted to be that person.  Sure there were times, there still are, when I did or do.  It hurts.  You put your heart and soul into each post, trying to come up with topics and posts people will find interesting and relevant, that they’ll relate to.

And then you get 1 comment.  Or none.  It starts to feel as though no amount of commenting on other blogs will drive traffic to yours.  You question the worth and value of it all.  You wonder whether anyone would notice if you just vanished from the internet.  You even try to vanish but you can’t.

Is this right?  Absolutely.  Everything in blogging is reciprocal.  Is it the way it should be?  I don’t believe so.  It’s a process, getting to that point where you’re comfortable in your own skin, where no matter how many or few comments or hits you get, you’re okay.  That it doesn’t impact your feelings of self-worth, feelings that what you have to say is valuable and worth the pixels.

I’m blogging here.  I probably will continue to do so.  But recently I discovered Tumblr.  I love Tumblr.  I don’t feel like there’s the pressure for reciprocity there.  If someone likes or reblogs one of your posts, great.  But there’s no expectation for the back and forth.  Maybe I’m wrong in that and I’ll see it the longer I’m there.  But for now, there is so much less pressure.  I don’t have to think about whether the posts will speak to someone, whether it will spark something in someone, etcetera.

I love Tumblr.  I ❤ it.  I don't so much feel that way about Blogger and this blog.  So I'm not sure what's going to happen with this blog.