Saturday, 8 February 2014

Blogging Has Changed For Me

I've been pretty quiet where blogging is concerned recently; maybe I've told you everything and there's nothing much to add, or maybe my life has just been sailing along on calm waters. I'd like to get back into blogging but I'm not sure how. Once upon a time I was quite obsessed with this world of blogging and now, I look back on those years I spent tirelessly scouring blog hops and lists and community websites where I would introduce myself on a daily basis, to at least ten new blogs. I was discovering, on average, around fifty blogs every week. And I loved it. The feeling of seeing a new comment from one of those newly discovered blogs was such a buzz; it made my blog stand out and it gave Crystal Jigsaw a name on the Internet.

There was a time this blog would achieve 40-50 genuine comments on each post, and I would update it on a daily basis. I wanted to be a part of all the groups, websites, communities. I was a member of American blogging forums and British blogging groups, I was in lists and ranked high and loved every minute of it. But I could never be really at the center of it all because I never had the means to fully join in; journeys to London events were never going to happen because of my personal circumstances, and so I got to the point where I realised I was missing out. It was very kind of those people to tell me I shouldn't worry about it but I did. I would read about the good times had, the new friendships formed, the awards won and the celebrity events. And I would sit at my computer and think, "It's not for me." It never will be. And I think the circles of blogging in which I was mixing just didn't suit my life. I still see all over Twitter and Facebook the marvelling at these get togethers but it doesn't bother me anymore. I've moved away from those circles and even though I made some friends along the way, I think I've learnt that sometimes we just have to accept that we can't do everything, we can't follow where we don't belong. I have a few loyal followers and readers of this blog and I know exactly who they are, and that's good. It means I can still write on here and know someone out there will read it.







52 comments:

  1. You're right about Blogging changing...But some of us are still dipping in and out of it, to suit whatever is happening in the rest of our lives! LOL. Once smitten, I don't think bloglove can ever totally disappear - it merely becomes more selective in how often we post and with whom we continue to keep in touch.G'morning, CJ ! ♥x

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    1. You're absolutely right; I think we have to be more selective eventually otherwise it could quite easily take over our lives!

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  2. I don't visit you enough, and I'm sorry about that. I really do understand your thoughts and feelings shared in this post. I've been experiencing the same change for over a year now. I've actually moved to another blog because of the discouragement I was feeling. I want new followers who want to read what I'm sharing not because of a blog hop. It seems so impersonal after a while. Jinksy is completely correct, and expressed it so eloquently. Thank you for sharing from your heart. Have a great day!

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    1. When I used to do those blog hops I couldn't believe how easy it was to increase the followers, but it was a false increase - people just following your blog so you'll follow theirs. They don't read your posts or visit you after that initial follow.

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  3. I think I've been going through the same kind of disenchantment you have gone through. I've been blogging for nearly six years now and am running out of steam. My original reason for blogging reached its full course some time ago and now I feel the blog seems to be going nowhere in particular. It is however still a personal diary of things done or thoughts voiced that I can look back on, whether I get comments or not. I've always loved reading your blog and the topics you raise, hearing about the farm etc. I look forward to reading more, as long as you feel you can. x

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    1. Keep in writing! Far away readers are part of your story now and interested to hear the next installment, even if the initial purpose has been fulfilled.

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    2. It's good to keep it as a diary, I enjoy looking back on some old posts and often find myself saying "oh yeah, I remember that happening!" Can be quite nostalgic!

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    3. Elizabeth, I don't think I'll stop any time soon, just go in a different direction.

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  4. I think you very eloquently voiced what many of us feel. It's difficult to impossible to maintain the same level of intensity over a long period of time without questioning where it's all leading. One has one's life to lead -- new interests pop up and so on, so there has to be a balance, something that doesn't always sit well in a fast-paced technological world where yesterday may as well be a hundred years ago. Then, there are commercial blogs masked as personal blogs and some bloggers have clones . . . one can only do so much . . . whatever that is, happiness is important. You've got a beautiful blog. I hope you don't let it go! As for those London gatherings . . . sounds like a clique thing with exaggerated good times that lead nowhere. You're fine as you are!

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    1. Thanks, Kittie. We can only do so much and I got to the point a while away when I realised blogging will have to take a back seat due to other commitments. The London gatherings could have been fun and admittedly I would have liked to meet some of the lovely bloggers that I've got to know over the years, but it wasn't meant to be for me and I'm happy with the way I blog.

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  5. There are plenty of us who love blogging and are a little envious of those who are at the heart of all the blogging communities, but who cannot participate for whatever reason. As you say, just keep on blogging and those of us who enjoy reading your posts will keep coming back xx

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    1. I think I perhaps used to be envious once upon a time, but not anymore.

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  6. I think that blogging evolves with the blogger. It's horrible to be forcing yourself to be doing blog-related things that you aren't comfortable with and don't 'fit'.
    I feel strongly that there isn't a right or wrong way to do blogging. In a way, it's part of the point.
    I hope Crystal Jigsaw still serves you as the world is a richer place for the addition of your voice.

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    1. I also believe there is no right or wrong way, but unfortunately many bloggers believe otherwise. These are the ones I've moved away from, I don't want or need to be told how to blog and it makes me angry when I see blogs about the rules - there are no rules.end of,

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  7. I think that the best thing about Blogging is everyone can do it in their own way. There are too many linkys, communities and events for anyone to be a part of (or even know about) them all so we all do it our way in the way we can I go through phases of reading lots and commenting lots and other times when I'm just writing family posts for my family to look back on in years to come. Just keep doing what you do best: Blogging! :-) x

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    1. There are too many linkies now and it's too easy to set one up! I choose my favourites, Mummy Barrow runs a fab one called Ranty Friday which I love. But I don't join in any others. I blog what I want to and don't try to keep up with others anymore.

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  8. I'm always hovering! Part of it for me now is a circle of friendship. I would mourn not be being able to read Addy's diary or snippets about your farm and family. For me at the moment it's become a bit of a chore. Hence more of the drier guiding posts and less about feelings and funny moments but I love back reading my old posts its like flicking through a book of memories. I should get back to writing up more of those happenings.

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    1. Definitely with you there. It has become a circle of friendship and I have blogs I visit occasionally - perhaps not as often as I'd like - and they continue to visit me.

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  9. It was interesting to read your post CJ as I haven't looked in much at all over the past year, for various reasons and have missed the blogging friends that I had made. Will try to "do better" in future and keep more in touch with everyone (though not nearly as many "followers" as you). Anyway good to read your post, as always. A x

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    1. Hi Anne. It is hard to keep up and we all have times where we just can't physically keep up. What I think it lovely is that you're here and to see your lovely name was a pleasant surprise.

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  10. I feel very much like you...... though I wasn't in such a huge circle.
    However, I will keep my blog even though I haven't quite the same time or enthusiasm but I do value greatly all my followers and any new people who bother to read my posts.
    Glad you are continuing with yours.....
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

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    1. Hi Maggie, I think I'll continue with my blog for a while yet. Got no plans to end it, just to blog in different ways rather than being obsessed with having to churn a post out at least 4-5 times a week.

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  11. I pop by quite often though seldom comment. Love the picture at the top of your page!

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    1. Thank you. I took the picture last year. The sheep made grand models!

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  12. Blogging has definitely changed, and I think it is important to enjoy it not just write posts that mean nothing to anyone. Every time I read your post, it is worth reading, and if you blog once in a month, it does not matter as long as you are happy with it x

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    1. Definitely agree. Sometimes, I would find myself blogging for the sake of it but I don't do that these days.

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  13. I have to admit that I hate missing out on going to the meet ups and conferences, and I feel like I'm in the wrong circles blogging wise, I mostly mix with parent bloggers but am not a parent myself, but I still love blogging and love taking part in linkies and stuff.
    I'm glad that you'll be continuing to blog, I enjoy your posts even though I get so behind with reading and commenting on them!

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    1. I think we have to find our niche and blogging circles and it does take time. New bloggers tend to come along and jump in both feet worrying that if they haven't got comments and followers within the first two weeks, they're doing something wrong. They aren't.

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  14. I love your blogs. It was your good self that suggested, nay, bullied me into starting my own blog ;) I have never had an interest in becoming a big part of blogging circles. My life is not interesting enough to blog every day. I use it when I have something to say and I love having that platform, but that's enough for me. But thank you for getting me started and for keeping going with your blog, as I do enjoy reading it.

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    1. Yes, get on with it! It's enough for me now, too. I'm glad you got into blogging; being an autism parent can be quite lonely sometimes and it's good to share our experiences like you do. Your blog is superb and you really know how to touch people. Keep it going.

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  15. I still read your blog :)

    I feel much the same way you do and I know plenty of other bloggers who are in a similar boat. It's like I've developed blogging inertia.

    I bet you there is a blogging cycle if anyone had actually researched it. I started off with bags of enthusiasm, wrote something nearly every day and got involved in various blogging networks. I also spent time reading and commenting on other blogs. But it's all changed.

    My priorities are different and I am working more so I have very little time to focus on blogging, plus my interests have changed so I am not sure which direction I want the blog to go in.

    I'm planning to continue blogging too, but not like before.

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    1. Yes, our priorities do change and the novelty of blogging does eventually wear off. I guess it's a case of moving along with the blog if you can and if you make new friends along the way, that's a bonus.

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  16. I remember going through that kind of intense blogging connection search myself a few years ago. I never thought about conferences though as I'm rather introverted and reclusive, and don't make time for such things. I've cut back a great deal on the reaching out part of blogging, although I signed up for the A to Z Challenge which is a once a year reach-out binge that I enjoy. Then I'm good for another 12 months doing my own quiet kind of blogging.

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    1. The quiet kind of blogging suits me too these days. Too many shouty posts telling each other how to blog, how to bring up kids, how to write, how to live. Not for me anymore.

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  17. I don't think that blogging has changed but that social media has changed the landscape somewhat. Blogs used to be very anonymous but now people are more open about who they are. I also think that some of the communities are a lot smaller than they appear and it's all the same people talking to each other. It doesn't have to be like that and I strive to make my experience unique to me.

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    1. You make a good point, as always. Social Media has taken over and I see the blogging circles moving into places like Twitter, FB, Google plus. As you know, I tend to stick to FB now and do a little bit on Twitter, but I'll always be passionate about the blog. I do think it's changed over time, as when I started blogging the reviewing, PRs etc just weren't trendy. It was a small blogging circle, but I branched out. Perhaps I've recoiled again.

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  18. Like 21st Century Mummy, I think there's a blogging cycle. But I also hear your frustration at not being able to go to events, because of your personal circumstances. Perhaps this post comes out of both of those things?

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    1. Yes, I guess so. I did miss the blogging events and would have loved to meet lovely bloggers, but it wasn't meant to be and I've got over it now.

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  19. I can totally relate to your post, I've been feeling exactly the same way. Sometimes I'd post twice a week and got really excited about blogging and reading other blogs, it felt like a lovely friendly community, and it's definitely changed. I think Facebook has taken over - I've finally embraced it, but can't get into Twitter. Maybe people have less time to read and leave comments, I don't know, but I miss it!

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    1. Definitely. I used to enjoy Twitter but find it too full of shouty people self promoting, and other shouty people being vile and opinionated. Facebook is my favourite SM channel, but the blog will always be my passion mainly because I love writing.

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  20. I am a relative newbie to the blogging scene but much like you, I'm unable to get to most of the events, mainly because I choose not to. My other half doesn't really understand that whole thing and I don't want to compromise my family for it. That said, I do attend Britmums Live and I love the whole community aspect. I think that dipping in and out of it in whatever way suits us should be enough, however I do often feel the way you describe - as though I should be doing more, am missing out. If you can get to a place where you accept what you can do, then that is great. I hope that one day soon I can too!

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    1. I don't see you as a newbie! My other half doesn't understand social media full stop. He never has understood me blogging!

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  21. Love this .....so applies to a lot of us. I blog for me, that's the bottom line. It makes me feel good most of the time, and I love the friends I have made. A few tried and true keep coming back, and that's what it's all about. When I start blogging for anyone else, I've lost my way.

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    1. Your comment relates to me now - I used to openly admit to blogging for an audience, promoting my writing so to speak. I did that for many years but last year I finally realised that the audience had dwindled, I think mainly due to the popularity of Facebook, Twitter etc. obviously, I could have been because my blogging was boring!

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  22. This post meant a great deal to me. I know exactly where you are coming from. I too feel I've hit a blogging wall, I've said it all and I don't want to be drawn into the rat race of it all. I think you are in a better place now, that your words will count to those who need the and you can ditch the stresses of the circus that can go on around what's really important. H x

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    1. Thanks, Hayley. I think we do get in danger of finding ourselves carried away in a type of circus atmosphere and perhaps some of us have a role to play. I wanted to think mine was that of an established blogger but after a while, it became apparent that bloggers don't need has-beens, they just need to blog for themselves.

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  23. I couldn’t have put it better than Jinksy. Once smitten etc, but she’s quite right, as are you. The times they are a changing.When we first start blogging we’re full of missionary zeal, but over time we settle into a ‘comfortable’ mode. I also find I have lots of other demands on my time now, so although I read the blogs I may not always comment on them.

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    1. I think many people feel they have other demands these days. It does seem that people rush more and don't have time for each other, though if have to admit, the comments on this post have blown me away.

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  24. Delighted to see a lot of "Mummy Bloggers" in the comments above, so you ARE still part of the circles, just not the ones you thought ;-)
    You make so many good points. I am in London, right on the doorstep of all of the events of which you speak, and yet still often feel as you do.
    I normally blog every day, but it has been SEVEN days since I have.
    I think we are all dabbling with the ole blog-life balance at the moment, and there is a lot going on energetically in the world, with huge changes that needs our consciousness to be awake, and observant and not just heads down blogging.
    Like someone else said above, your VOICE is appreciated. Glad you will continue to blog, however often.
    Liska xx

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    1. I am also delighted to see all these comments and I honestly didn't think anyone would have much to say on this. I have perhaps put myself down too much over the last 12 months, but I spent many years feeling like a too blogger - I don't mean to sound conceited when I say that.

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  25. The fact that you've had 50 comments on this post probably says it all, but I love your blog as a breath of fresh air and would certainly miss it - as would all the other commenters, I'm sure! That's not to say I don't share your feelings. I, too, am feeling quite fed up with blogging and, even though I live in London, I'm certainly not hanging out with fellow bloggers 24/7 - far, far from it. I just stick to my little life and hope those who pop in enjoy reading about it :)

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    1. I didn't expect a fraction of all these comments and it's completely taken me by surprise. I'm not giving up, just going to do slightly different things with the blog, like helping promote indie authors for one. It is comments like these that make me feel glad to still be blogging.

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