About blogging

I have 262 followers. Some are dead; some have deleted their blogs; some haven’t posted in years; many if not most never left a comment on my blog. Here’s the thing about blogging. You could post nothing but underexposed and out of focus pictures of driftwood, yet you could still have 800 followers and sixty laudatory comments per post if you did nothing all day but leave flattering comments on other people’s blogs. I used to receive 25-40 comments per post, but I became overwhelmed by guilt because I felt obligated to visit everyone who left a comment, and I couldn’t do it, at least not without spending my days on the Internet, so I all but stopped, and, no surprise, most people stopped visiting me.

The most recent person I know who gave up blogging was Jane Gaston. She hadn’t posted in nearly a year when she returned for two months. Last week, out of the blue, she deleted her blog. Back when awards were popular, Jane gave me several, and she often told me what a great writer I am. Now, she’s gone, and I have no way to contact her and no reason to think she wants to be contacted. I took our friendship personally, but it ended impersonally with a post that basically said: It’s been fun, but I’m outta here; bye. That was her right, of course, but it sure hurts when someone up and disappears. Just so you’ll know, I plan to be here, as the saying goes: " 'Til death does us part."


About the picture. Yep, that's where I write, and, nope, I didn't straighten things up before I took the picture (which is why the mouse is off-center on its pad, and the file cabinet isn't closed all the way). I bought the little rabbit for a friend, but liked it so much that I kept it. The paint-by-number painting was in my family when I was born; no one remembered who did it or when it was done. As a boy, I often lay in bed pretending that I lived in that painting. The small photo is of Peggy, and the gold-rimmed plague above it reads:


I love Snow 100 million, billion, trillion, times over. I love him sooooooooooooooooo much. He is the best man, and I love him. 


                                                                         Peggy


    Love 
                     Love 
                                       Love 
                                                         Love
                                                                          Love


Given that she hates to write, I think you'll agree that Peggy does pretty well when she has the urge.

27 comments:

The Bipolar Diva said...

should you decide to delete your blog, please email me! What do you mean you didn't tidy up? If that's messed up then there's no way I'll allow you to see where I write! ♥ you.

Charles Gramlich said...

I have heard that a clean and uncluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind. I've heard that. :)

Kay Dennison said...

I feel insecure. Maybe I should quit.

OneOldGoat said...

I'm glad that you'll be here til the bitter end. You make me think.

Old Goat

Chartreuse said...

You raise such an interesting topic in this post. I read your blog because the writing is so good AND you often discuss issues that I find to be relevant to me, a 'mature' person. Also, you seem pretty sane. But I notice the bloggers I follow seem to fall into one of two categories: some are seeking (and giving) solidarity as they tackle specific challenges (e.g. being a full-time caregiver for a partner, as I am). Others just want to WRITE (which also describes me, at times). So OK, maybe we aren't all one or the other. But you definitely seem to fall into the second category, and don't seem the least interested in stroking or being stroked each day (not by other bloggers anyway). And after all, 'real' writers (i.e. those who hope to be published in the end) have to be able to muster their own motivation every morning and can't expect audience reaction on a daily basis. But they do hope eventually to have readers. And without a tally of number of books sold or borrowed from libraries to tell you if you do have an audience, the blogger must rely on tallying followers to know if he or she is being read at all. But as you say, followers may or may not be still reading; they may have called in once and then moved on; or they could be dead. So without seeing comments from people other than friends and family, how do you know you have an audience? And do you even care if you do? Which brings me to my real question: Why do you blog? I don't think I've got an answer to that one myself - not yet anyway. I only know I've never worried about following blogging guidelines such as 'staying on topic'. When I blog (which is no longer frequently), I write about pretty much anything I feel like writing about. I'm not blogging specifically to build up to some target number of readers. Even so, I do get a little 'flip' when I see a new follower. So obviouly I care a bit about being read too. Indeed, sometimes when I comment at length (like this), I feel I should be writing a post on this topic instead of commenting. But maybe I comment because I know for sure that I will have at least one reader. And I'm vain enough to find that a rewarding thought. But mainly I agree with you: life's too short to be endlessly commenting on other people's posts. For me at least, an hour or two out in the garden is usually more satisfying. And that's where I'm off to now. But thank you, anyway, for tackling interesting issues consistently. This follower, at least, isn't yet dead.
(PS: One other thought: I bet women comment on others' posts more often than men. We are, after all, more used to functioning as the glue that binds the social fabric. In a previous working life, I often had to travel long distances in cars with colleagues. It used to amuse me to keep a tally of the number of times women initiated conversations vs. men doing the same. Women seem more than men to NEED or WANT the social reinforcement that conversational to-ing and fro-ing offers. Might that be a factor operating here too? I suspect so. NB: Comments welcome, but not expected!)

Myrna R. said...

When I straighten out my desk, it doesn't look that neat.

I don't have lots of followers, and don't get too many comments, but I enjoy blogging. And I too take the friendships personally. I don't know how else to be. But, some people have left and forgotten me. That's life.

I think Peggy knows what she's writing about. She does very well.

Take care.

kylie said...

i keep thinking i should stop blogging. i limp along wring crap just because i want to say something or i manage something good nobody cares about and frankly, i care about audience, i shouldnt but i do. i wont write if no-one reads it.
anyway snow, i'm glad you are here and i read you even if i have nothing to say in reply and if you stop blogging (or if i do) i'll still be your friend, wouldnt give you up for the world.

hugs
k

Helen said...

I see you're a southpaw! Your office looks pristine compared to mine! I recently closed down Living Boldly, kept Poetry Matters. Two blogs were one too many. I enjoy reading your posts, though I don't leave a comment each time I read one. It's neat to know another Oregon blogger. I also enjoy Rosaria who lives in Port Orford (Sixty Five What Now) .. I have learned it's not the be-all end-all receiving comments .. as long as I enjoyed the process of writing the post. I want my family to read what I've written generations from now (assuming there is an internet and a planet!) Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Snow. I'm not planning on leaving any time soon.

Priscilla said...

Just want to let you know that I might not leave any comments in your comment box but I do read your posts all the time and I enjoy reading them.

By the way, I used to be proud of myself and claimed that I was a tidy person but not anymore after I saw your desk!

rhymeswithplague said...

I have found, on a much smaller scale, that what you say about followers is true. I have about 5 or 6 cyberfriends (out of 97) who comment regularly. Two of them have sent me physical evidence of their existence. One of those was you. The rest, who knows? I know that Dr. John died, and probably Buford Pickleberry, since he was in his eighties. Brad the Gorilla, only God knows (hee, hee, I snuck in something religious!)....

P. S. - It ain't a gold-rimmed plague (with a G), it's a gold-rimmed plaque (with a Q).

I am a gold-rimmed plague.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Brilliant stuff as ever. Your thoughts mirror mine on many things. Just sorting things out for a possible ebook and came across your blog. Keep smiling. (See A Childhood Revisited.) Not perfect but I'm secretly chuffed to be leaving something behind when I'm gone.

rhymeswithplague said...

P.S. #2 - I do have a second blog called Billy Ray Barnwell Here that has a grand total of 7 followers and 43 comments. It is a static blog, meaning that it doesn't change (except for the occasional comment) but it is not dead.

P.S. #3 - Peggy may not write much, but what she writes is very important and worth reading over and over and over.

Sissy said...

Know, Snowbrush, I'm one who will NEVER leave you! I may not leave a comment but know that I'm a craving faithful reader ever since I found your blog.

There are blogs, then there are good websites. Your's is of the latter; always of interest for my 'discerning' eyes and valuable time; valuable as it's slipping away fast and fluff is of no use to me these days.

Now, won't you go to that pristine desk area and write some more? I'm waiting.

ellen abbott said...

I have 204 and it took me nearly the life time of my log to get there. I had 205 but apparently the guy read some of my other posts and didn't like what he read cause the next day he was gone. I used to be jealous of people who had hundreds of followers but I'm over it now. I follow one blog in which all she does is post pictures, many of them basically the same as she has certain themes. And she gets 60 - 90 comments every day! I too used to visit more blogs and leave comments and I received more in return but it was just too time consuming so I stopped and my comment received also dropped. I'm OK with that too. I'm not good at replying to comments. I do still read though maybe not every post and I do still comment but not every time. Sometimes, I'll catch up and read all the posts I missed. I tend to do that with you which is why I don't always comment even if I might have something to say. It would be old news.

Personally I write and started this blog as a journal for my descendants, assuming of course that I will have some beyond my kids and grandkids. My sister has done a lot of genealogical research and pushed us back to the 900s in one line but mostly all we know is names and dates of birth and death. I have always wondered about the actual people, what they were like, what their lives were like, these people that all went into the making of me.

ellen abbott said...

Oh, and you would probably have a panic attack if you had to sit at my spot and write.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

What a sweet ending to your post. I hate when friends disappear and I've seen many do so because they cannot keep up with visiting other blogs. I try to visit most who visit me but...I can't allow myself to get sucked into the time warp of visiting all. It helps to remember I write for me! It's way more affordable than therapy!

Another issue is that so many have moved to Facebook and one of my favorite dog bloggers recently wrote a post in defense of blogging!

Mim said...

I have 81 and I'm happy with that.

Are you OCD??? that desk!! Cheesits - it's so clean.

(notice I wrote "cheesits" so that I wouldn't get religious on you)

lotta joy said...

My laptop is on my lap and my butt is in it's butt-shaped dent in the sofa. My office is full of dust and clutter, but it's dust and clutter that I used to craft things. I had no idea you were a leftie. Congratulations.

I leave a comment whenever I read a post worthy of one. Yours is always worthy. I maintain DAILY email contact with those who share an internet connection to me and I've sent my handmade cards to those who have shared their address with me.

I even sent all my passwords to a woman I've never met, but have grown to love through the years. If anything happens to me, she will get into my blog and post about it.

I've even been contacted by internet friends willing to take my beloved dog if necessary. They knew I was worrying about it and they decided to ease my mind.

The internet - as kind people make it - can be a wonderful place.

Snowbrush said...

I'm very happy that followers who are usually silent are leaving comments this time, and I'm also very appreciative of the kind words that several of you left.

"What do you mean you didn't tidy up?"

"Are you OCD??? that desk!! Cheesits - it's so clean."

I've always been this way (my mother, my father, and my sister, were all slobs), but I've read enough OCD case histories to know that I don't have OCD. I actually can let things get a little dusty and disorganized if I'm too busy to clean and straighten, and someone with OCD wouldn't have that option, at least not without being plunged into a state of severe anxiety. I too would get there eventually, but I guess that's true of most of us sooner or later.

"I see you're a southpaw!"

It's certainly a reasonable assumption, but the reason the mouse is on the left is that my right wrist bothers me if I use the mouse much, so I've gotten in the habit of always keeping it on the left rather than moving it back and forth.

"I have 204 and it took me nearly the life time of my log to get there."

I sometimes both lose and gain a few a week, but I haven't moved from 262 for at least a month or two.

TICKLEBEAR said...

WEll, I'm OCD and dyslexic too!!
And I survive quite well,
minus a few anxiety attacks.
I know I am guilty of deleting some blogs this year but I felt I had stretched myself too thinned. Now I focus one only one, and on my photography. My opinions i now keep for my Facebook. Followers? I always wrote for myself, so, followers were not a motivation but a welcomed experience, whether they agreed or not with me. And the fact that they are few is fine with me since I reply to each, and try to visit as much as I can, which is still little according to some and their expectations.

I think you are happy with your writing and don't need the adulation, but an occasional accolade is welcomed, isn't it?!?
;)~
HUGZ

Chartreuse said...

You raise such an interesting topic in this post. I read your blog because the writing is so good AND you often discuss issues that I find to be relevant to me, a 'mature' person. Also, you seem pretty sane. But I notice the bloggers I follow seem to fall into one of two categories: some are seeking (and giving) solidarity as they tackle specific challenges (e.g. being a full-time caregiver for a partner, as I am). Others just want to WRITE (which also describes me, at times). So OK, maybe we aren't all one or the other. But you definitely seem to fall into the second category, and don't seem the least interested in stroking or being stroked each day (not by other bloggers anyway). And after all, 'real' writers (i.e. those who hope to be published in the end) have to be able to muster their own motivation every morning and can't expect audience reaction on a daily basis. But they do hope eventually to have readers. And without a tally of number of books sold or borrowed from libraries to tell you if you do have an audience, the blogger must rely on tallying followers to know if he or she is being read at all. But as you say, followers may or may not be still reading; they may have called in once and then moved on; or they could be dead. So without seeing comments from people other than friends and family, how do you know you have an audience? And do you even care if you do? Which brings me to my real question: Why do you blog? I don't think I've got an answer to that one myself - not yet anyway. I only know I've never worried about following blogging guidelines such as 'staying on topic'. When I blog (which is no longer frequently), I write about pretty much anything I feel like writing about. I'm not blogging specifically to build up to some target number of readers. Even so, I do get a little 'flip' when I see a new follower. So obviouly I care a bit about being read too. Indeed, sometimes when I comment at length (like this), I feel I should be writing a post on this topic instead of commenting. But maybe I comment because I know for sure that I will have at least one reader. And I'm vain enough to find that a rewarding thought. But mainly I agree with you: life's too short to be endlessly commenting on other people's posts. For me at least, an hour or two out in the garden is usually more satisfying. And that's where I'm off to now. But thank you, anyway, for tackling interesting issues consistently. This follower, at least, isn't yet dead.
(PS: One other thought: I bet women comment on others' posts more often than men. We are, after all, more used to functioning as the glue that binds the social fabric. In a previous working life, I often had to travel long distances in cars with colleagues. It used to amuse me to keep a tally of the number of times women initiated conversations vs. men doing the same. Women seem more than men to NEED or WANT the social reinforcement that conversational to-ing and fro-ing offers. Might that be a factor operating here too? I suspect so. NB: Comments welcome, but not expected!)

All Consuming said...

Aye, I have found to my cost that internet relationships can hurt just as much as those we have face-to-face. Out of sight out of mind for some folks, and I did wonder why they bothered in the first place. Probably because they wanted their ego's stroking, both by potentially getting flattering comments and by giving them out expecting some kind of praise for the exercise. It can make you hard. It's certainly made me more cynical, but it hasn't stopped me making friends. As you can testify to. I'm just very, very cautious when it comes to believing just how sincere folks really are. But then again I am talking about my internet relationships before my blog and on here I only have a few followers,not all of them comment,and the few I am close to deserve it so I'm quite lucky. xx there.

Zuzana said...

Hello again, sorry for my absence and I hope you will not attribute it to the lack of visits on your part, hihi.;) Sorry, had to say that.;))
Seriously, joking aside, my sentiments exactly, I applaud you on this post - have been thinking about writing a similar one. Been there too, used to have have 50 comments on daily posts a few years back, now they have been halved due to the reasons you describe here. But, I could not care less, as I write for me, not for comments, but as an outlet of the creative and therapeutic kind. I know that whoever still visits me, does so because they want to and have genuine interest to read what I write about, not because they want me to call back.;))
Feeling the same about people that I thought were my friends, only to find them one day gone without a word, never to be heard back from again... At least Jane said good bye.;)
Hugs to you.;)
xoxo

Robin said...

I have very few *followers*....but I try and visit their blogs when I can... I'm still a *newbie*..just over 2 years...and I enjoy it so much....I have met some wonderful people.....and that includes YOU!
(And if you stop blogging....I can still reach you - a-ha-ha!)

As for Peggy.....she is your jewel for sure.....her love shines through every word and gesture....you are one lucky man!!!!

Hugs to all 4,

♥ Robin ♥

p.s. WOW....your desk is so tidy..it's almost (dare I say it) Shrine-like!

Lorraina said...

Greetings from beautiful B.C. I'm still here too Snow. It's always interesting to read your posts although i don't usually have anything to say. I don't expect or need a return visit as my last couple of posts have been about crocheting baby clothes(i'm going to be a great-grandma) and a wasted sweater and i know you don't wanna read about that!

The Blog Fodder said...

I check in periodically, Snowbrush, mostly for your religious views as you have them well thought out.

I have all of 44 followers in four years. But I just write to get stuff off my chest, to tell my kids what I am up to and because a few dedicated readers occasionally leave comments.

I did develop a good friend via blogging but was sent one too many horrible racist cartoons about Obama being a Muslim and snapped.

Becky said...

Still enjoy reading your blog even tho I don't leave comments on a regular basis...
Kindest regards,
Becky