Getting rid of the ‘gottas’

Posted: August 6, 2012 in blogging

Okay. So, here’s the deal. (I hate conversations that begin like this. I always figure I’m going to be handed my fanny in a frying pan. No worries, however. It’s safe to read on.)

All bloggers will likely tell you that their blogs have evolved over time. Hagfest (which began as Metafootnotes and somehow morphed into Adventures at Midlife before going on an extended hiatus and re-emerging here) is no exception. I loved all the book bloggers out there and early on hoped I could join their esteemed company. But I quickly discovered I wanted to write/blog/rant/whine/pontificate on a great many other subjects. So I altered the blog’s focus and appearance and happily joined in the conversation with the mid-life blogging community.

But somewhere along the line, as Mother would say, I “got my head turned.” I discovered metrics — those insidious tools and sites that claim to measure your blog’s “worth.” Things like “followers,” “unique viewers,” “cross-posting,” “Klout scores” and “ratings buttons” insinuated themselves into my blogging consciousness. I became obsessed with a whole new set of “gottas”: gotta blog every day, gotta respond to every comment, gotta get on other blogs, gotta get those numbers up, gotta appeal to advertisers, gotta have a new design, gottagottagottagottagottagottagotta. (Like a ratty old out-of-sync engine.) And the more I tried to raise my ratings, the less I enjoyed blogging.

So I quit, but not all at once. Adventures at Midlife just sort of dribbled down to nothing, and I finally went dark for nearly a year. But I continued to read and comment on those beautiful blogs I had met out in the ether. And, after a time, I finally found something I wanted to blog about, and Hagfest was born.

But this time, I’m trying to get  away from the gottas. Merciful heavens, I have been driven by gottas all my life — gotta be smart, gotta be pretty, gotta be thin, gotta be rich, gotta be married, gotta be good, gotta be FREAKIN’ PERFECT — and I can’t bear the sound of it anymore. I have blogging friends for whom blogging is a major and very necessary income stream, and friends who are driven to make a difference in the world for women, the elderly, the not-traditionally-beautiful. They’re all fabulous, and I wish them well. But that’s never been my motivation.

I didn’t start blogging to gain a million followers or to make money, as lovely as that sounds.  I just wanted to join in the conversation, and I was reckless enough to think that I might have something significant to say. Many of you have encouraged me in this delusion, and I sincerely thank you. You are the ones who make me want to keep posting.

So I shall. I just don’t gotta have to post every day, y’know. (And if I don’t respond immediately to your comment, it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it, because I really do. I’m probably just blessedly away from the computer for a spell, y’all.)

Do you/did you ever find yourself blogging more and enjoying it less? What made you keep going?

  1. Perspective is important. Life is short. Have fun. Just write.

  2. I started a blog as a distraction for myself. I honestly never thought anyone would read it (I know everyone says that…but I really didn’t think anyone would want to read about a nearly 50 year old and her obsession with fashion that already existed in her wardrobe)…however, they read, they hit the like button, I was encouraged, and now I blog because I enjoy it. I feel like I gotta, but not that I have to. It’s a “gotta” in that I like it and want to do it everyday. Perhaps the day will come when I don’t want to anymore (shrugs shoulders), I’ll just cross that bridge when I get to it. 🙂
    Welcome back to the blogosphere!

    • msmeta says:

      Thanks, Laura. Your considerable following suggests that you definitely have something to say and that people want to hear it. I think style bloggers have an advantage because we ALL want to look and feel better about ourselves, and fashion is just so much fun! I seriously doubt if you’ll ever run out of blogging material! (And I also love PEACH!)

      • Yay for peach!
        As you say, I”m not likely to run out of material, however it is possible I will run out of the desire to share!

  3. Wigi's World says:

    I’m with ya there girlie. Yeah, I do blog, but when I feel like it. If I have something to say, I say it. I think you are taking a practical approach and one that fits you. What more could you ask for?

  4. Donna says:

    I like the idea of blogging to be part of the conversation. That’s probably as close to my motivation as anything else. I think of myself as a writer, and a writer writes. And when a writer writes, it’s nice to be heard.

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