What Does 11 Years Of Blogging Teach You?

Eleven years ago I didn’t think about what pictures should or should not be used or consider how to lay out the text in a quote.

I just wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote.

Really, it is not an exaggeration to say, er write that because I updated multiple times a day, every day.

Today I stared at the quote above and tried to decide if it was the right one and wondered if the way it is laid out would help set the right tone.

I wrote with reckless abandon then at breakneck speed and didn’t worry about readers because it didn’t occur to me that anyone besides The Shmata Queen would read my words. Never thought that anyone would care one way or another about stories about my life, the fiction I wrote or the commentary on politics/religion.

Nor did I ever imagine that this small corner of cyberspace would lead me into a new life and allow for me to chronicle the good, the bad and the ugly of every step.

in the wild now

Sometimes Writing/Blogging Is Really Hard

I didn’t get into blogging to try and get a book deal, become famous or earn money.

I started writing on a whim and kept going because I love to write and this joint helped me rediscover what I wanted to do with my life.

No one has ever approached me with a book deal or offered me an opportunity to monetize this place in a way that would allow me to stop working a real job.

I haven’t ever attended a blogging conference but I have worked with a bunch of different brands and been a brand ambassador.

FWIW, I have considered going to one but most of the time I just haven’t had the spare cash to shell out for a trip I couldn’ quantify as business and wouldn’t be considered a family vacation.

But there have definitely been moments where I wondered if not going was a mistake because it prevented me from networking in person.

Sometimes writing/blogging is really hard because I don’t like the way the words are flowing from my fingertips. Sometimes I look at what I have written and wonder if all these years of writing have been a waste because what I read looks awful to me.

I like to think the guy who started this blog was a decent writer and that he has morphed into a good one but that is a hard question to answer.

As far as I know the only person who has been around for my entire run is The Shmata Queen and even she would admit I should have a sample group of more than one person to survey.

But then again the definition of great writing is subjective so maybe a survey isn’t the best metric to use.

Maybe if it mattered more to me I’d spend more time trying to develop useful metrics to measure my growth and find benchmarks that I think of as being relevant but I haven’t cared enough to do so yet so I doubt I will later.

Instead I’ll probably continue as I am and make the occasional remark about blog envy and wonder how some kid who can barely write and has only been around a short time has a blog 98 times the size of mine.

Maybe I should hit one of those conferences.

What Does 11 Years Of Blogging Teach You?

It teaches you to approach each post as if I was talking to a friend with a format that looks something like “Did I ever tell you about the time I” and then includes a beginning, middle and an end.

Or I should say, I use that as a guideline but routinely ignore my own advice.

Did I mention I almost never rewrite my posts and use very soft editing touches upon them?

If you ask for my advice I’ll tell you not to do things like that or as I sometimes say to the kids, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

The Best Bloggers Are Storytellers.

I stand by that one.

My favorite bloggers are always the people who know how to tell a tale that makes me want to read from start to finish. They are part of the reason I have never given up on this gig.

Is Life A Series Of Coincidences Or Do Things Happen For A Reason?

That is here because it helps tell the story I am trying to share here. It provides some depth and layering to this post, or at least I hope it does.

Hard to say for certain, I expect some of you will scratch your heads and wonder how it fits while others will read it and nod because it makes perfect sense to you.

Remember that bit about writing being subjective.

******

If you want to drive traffic blogging about blogging is always a good way to do so.

It is the low-hanging fruit of the blogosphere and you can rest assured that some bloggers will read your words because they hope you just shared the one thing that will turn their blog into a gold mine.

Sometimes I wonder if I made a mistake by not jumping on the monetization train early on. Sometimes I wonder if I made a mistake by not tooting my horn to brands as being one of the few fathers in a sea of moms

Sometimes I wonder if I made a mistake by not tooting my horn to brands as being one of the few fathers in a sea of moms.

Might have worked out pretty well. Might have given me a few more Shekels to play with and led to some opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise had.

Or maybe not.

Can’t look back and live off of what I would have, could have or should have done because I didn’t.

Hell, I know after I publish this I’ll come across a post someone else wrote about their blogiversary and kick myself because they will have been funnier, more eloquent and more interesting than me.

I’ll shake my head and wonder why I couldn’t have done a better job, done more or done things…differently.

And then I’ll shake my head and go about my way because I am the best version of me around and a second version rate of you and I like me better.

So I suppose I’ll end this here and thank the old and the new readers for joining me on the journey. As always you are invited to join me for a beer or your favorite beverage in the comments.

And in case you are wondering, I still don’t know how long I’ll keep this up. Might go another 20 years or I might quit tomorrow.

I am here until the fun runs out or expires.

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Comments

  1. I don’t even know if my wife reads my post at this point. So, that’s one success?
    Anyway, I think the conference might be a good idea if you have greater aspirations. I know I have toyed with the thought.

  2. Kenya G. Johnson says

    Love this post and your conclusion. I always think of the shoulda woulda coulda. I just hope that I am unique at the least and that my readers stick around for that. I am replying by email to see how this works. Pretty cool. As for blogging I feel the same way. I don’t know how long I’l be here either. My alter ego is rooting for “a long time”.

    • Hi Kenya,

      You write in your own voice and have your own style. That is a good thing, some bloggers just don’t have it or maybe they don’t get it.I sometimes wonder if the would have, could have and should have comes from being a writer.

      You know we work in a venue that focuses upon our creating problems and solutions so why wouldn’t we think about all of the possibilities. It is part of who we are.

  3. I totally started on a whim, too and still love it so. But I have learned to back away when I need to and know I will always return when I have something I need to and want to say, too.

    • I think that is the way to do it.

      I can’t count the number of times where bloggers write about how blogging has become a task because it is an obligation and no longer fun. It really should be something you do because it is enjoyable.

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