Thursday, January 5, 2012

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Take A Break or Tough It Out?

Over the last few months I have cut back on the amount of blogging I have been doing. It wasn't a really conscience effort on my part so much as large amounts of life getting in the way. I'm strangely okay with this. It used to be that I would stress out to the point of ulcers if I didn't post every. single. day. except Sacred Family Saturday, with an original yet witty cartoon every Sunday. to be honest, I'm over it.  I can even tell you the exact moment I got over it.

During BlogHer last August, I sat in on a session for a while that was intended for bloggers with communities. And I don't mean "communities" like mine. I mean, COMMUNITIES.  But as I sat there and listened to the speakers ~the big bad, totally cool kids~ and heard what they had to say about managing their communities, I was impressed. They spoke about the measures it took to get their desired page rank, Alexa score, interaction, not having to babysit their community (and at the time I was hungrily thinking, I wanna babysit a community!!). And then, the non-Hollywood Julia Roberts (who, along with other amazing, buckets of awesome bloggers made the special needs mini con happen) said something I will never forget. I'm paraphrasing, but her statement boiled down to this: I appreciate my community, I love them gaboodles, and I tell them I love and appreciate them all the time. But I also respect that they have a life and they won't be living it on my site. And, I need my following to respect that I have a life too. I have a job, I'm a mother, and I run the site, among other things, and I'm not going to be there all the time.

The question bloggers have, at least the ones in my circles, that I speak, text, email, and message with on a regular basis is this : Am I going to lose the results of all my hard work if I take a break? What if it all disappears overnight? Do I take a break, or tough it out and post when I have the flu, or the kids are all projectile vomiting, or the family dog has had an emergency vet visit after being hit by a car and we love him because we've had him for 12 years, or there's a death in the family, or *horror of horrors* I just can't think of anything to write because I'm so stressed out I can't gather my thoughts?

It won't all disappear overnight. I promise. I will not guarantee that some will leave. But more will come. It is not so much the quantity of content that people appreciate. It's the quality. So you tweet a few times a week to let people know you're still alive and have a sense of humor but you just can't manage more than 140 characters at the moment. You post articles you may have read to your blog page on facebook. You make a call to a dear friend in California, and ask her to use her admin function for your page on facebook and be brilliant a couple times a week until further notice. And you do the same for her.

And so, I'll pose the question to you. But I've got the voice of Carrie Bradshaw in my head at the moment, so we'll pretend she's reading the question as I type, a la Sex and The City.

"When it comes to blogging, is it better to take a break or put on those gloves and tough it out?"

Images in this post by Google images. I love it!

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