Friday, March 27, 2009

Thank you

If putting my inner ramblings into words wasn't enough to convince me to keep at it, your words were.

Even without using the links some of you left with your comment, I recognized so many of the names. Either that or something in what you wrote clicked and I instantly knew who it was.

And more often than not, my thought was, "Oh! I had no idea they were still reading."

It sounds weird to say it because I know we've never met, but it's good to know there are friends here.

Then there are the other mothers I've come to rely on for advice, general encouragement on days I don't think I'm doing it right and providing some sort of perspective that my daughter's desire to hit me in the face is perfectly normal for her age.

I don't know what I'd do without that.

When I switched blogging formats, I thought it would give more people an opportunity to comment because my new site didn't require a membership or log-in. Instead, the opposite happened. Maybe it's because it takes three annoying steps to get your words submitted, and if you don't do it just right, it's not accepted. Not to mention that it doesn't automatically remember your details the next time you want to weigh in.

That certainly would discourage me.

Plus, more often than not, the link doesn't work and I have no way of responding unless it's on my own page, which is good for my lack of computer time, but it also leaves me with a feeling of disconnect. I can't see your site, your words, your pictures, you.

To be honest, I couldn't wait to leave Xanga -- partially because I had a ton of ideas for this site that got lost because life gets busy, but mostly because I couldn't stand some of the traffic generated by my regular "top post" status.

It became a strange popularity contest that I didn't want to be a part of. I was sick of the Ana and emo kids only commenting in a drive to drum up comments themselves -- some outright admitting as much. And others who only stopped by to ask why my site was so popular. I mean, what could be more boring than a married woman with a full-time job who doesn't drink to excess or cut herself?

But there are things I miss. It was user-friendly and easy to navigate. The options to have photos and videos all clearly linked on one site is something I'd kill for right now. And the design flexibility and hits tracker has greatly improved since I left.

Above all that, I miss the pictures next to comments. I miss that instant identifier of who is saying what. I miss many of you who graciously reminded me that the numbers of hits and domain names I can track on my site are more than just that.

I'm not sure what the answer is. I know I go back to my sleep-sucking schedule next week and I'll be in the void of too much to do and not enough energy to do it with. But maybe I need to start reminding myself of my original intentions with this site. Maybe it will help reinvigorate what once was such a passion for me.

Because every time I am able to carve out the time, I always feel better.

There is something more to this than just words.

35 comments:

Jennifer Suarez said...

You and I left xanga around the same time and started regular blogging on our own domains. I agree, the difference in traffic from the xanga site to where I am now is big.

BUT, the while the quantity may have decreased, I feel that the QUALITY has not.

People that read your site now are here because of you, and only you. They aren't here because some big corperate machine suggested they read. Carving out your own space on the web is tougher, but in the long run, worth it.

I've always enjoyed your posts since the day we first met online back in the Xanga days. As long as you continue to write, I'll continue to read.

We all go through the phase of wondering if we should quit blogging. But at heart, people like you and I, will ALWAYS be bloggers.

the_plainsman said...

:o)

Julie said...

You know, you could come back to xanga... I know, the emo kids are still there, but there's a lot of improvements since you left. Now non-xangans can comment too, which seems to be the main reason you left.

I read every word you write. I just can't always fend off Shobha's clingy ways long enough to comment. (This entire comment was typed annoyingly slow one-handed while she's sleeping on my shoulder.)

Marsha said...

I love your posts, and though they do come with less frequency, I still love the day Novelle360 is highlighted in my blog reader. Because , yes, I don't click over because I read you through a reader. that eliminates the disappointment of clicking through to NO NEW POST! However, I also find that it's difficult to click over to your actual site from the reader, it always hangs there "trying." So often I have something to say , even an "atta girl" and don't because I got tired of waiting on my computer!!

I, for one, have always LOVED your writing style and have told you so a billion times, right? I would be a bit bereft if you stopped brightening up my mornings.

(((hugs))) to you!

Ashley said...

no, thank YOU :) for lack of originality, I'll just say that I agree with the comments on the last post... I too have followed from the Xanga, and have several times had to correct myself with a "well, I don't ACTUALLY know her" when I tell someone "My friend Kelly..." and repeat a story you wrote :) - I correct myself, but yet smile because I DO consier you a friend. Thank you for that!!

Aahcoffee said...

Umm, you totally inspired a blog today. LOL.

Fit Mama said...

I had actually posted a link to your blog on my birth board like a year ago, because I loved it so much, and your daughter is the same age as our kids, and your experiences were similar to many of those on my board. And I think several of those women still read! Hopefully my word of mouth helped you get more readership and comments :) Especially because you write about the things lots of mamas/wives experience every day!

Misti said...

I enjoy reading your blogs. I especially like the ones about Jerry and the wacky things he does. Plus your daughter is adorable.

Anonymous said...

i'll admit i'm one of those people who don't always comment. white flag raised admitting i'm lazy. i've read you since xanga and there are days where i'll read something you write and run and tell my fiance about it because lets admit it, jerry comes up with some pretty funny stuff haha. and all i have to say to my fiance is you know that blog i read and he instantly knows what i'm talking about because i'm always talking about your site! anyway i want to say sorry for not commenting all the time but i do read and i do enjoy your words. so thank you for being you!
p.s. on xanga i'm hopelessly4everwaiting not that you will instantly know who i am but just in case you wanted to look and see i'm on there haha

Marcy said...

I don't know if you'd e interested in switching blog platforms again, but xanga has changed a lot of things including comments-- now set up like wordpress or typepad, in that anyone can comment and there's a direct link back to respond. Or there's typepad or wordpress themselves, which also give you that (though typepad costs $). I used to be on xanga, now use blogger primarily and have considered switching to another blogging platform for better features but there's always something lost in the transition... which is one reason I've been considering buying my own domain, so then if I move from blogger to, say, wordpress, the URL can stay the same and no one has to make any sort of switch.

People always seem surprised at how I blog so regularly, even after having a kid. To me, it is almost cathartic. I too find myself composing blog posts throughout the day, and do often tend to feel better after I've blogged. So while it takes time and effort it' always worth it for me to blog, and to read other's blogs.

(sorry for the random rambling)

Gisela said...

[cue Extreme's "More Than Words"]

La di da dada da, di da da daaa...

wallaby75 said...

I too am a lapsed blogger and I do understand how living life gets in the way of writing about it.
Whether you decide to stay or go, I would just like to say thank you. Your blogs have made me laugh out loud and bawl my eyes out...sometimes all in the same post. Either way, your words have made a lasting impression on so many people. No writer could ever ask for more.

nateandnikkibonham said...

I don't usually comment, but I thought I'd stop in to say that I have been enjoying your blog for years... since right after you started over at Xanga. I am always telling people about your site and giving them the address, just because your stories are so funny that I feel like I have to share them with others who need their day brightened! And even if you don't keep blogging for us, or for yourself even, keep it up for Alison. She is going to have an amazing story to read one of these days, and she'll love being able to look back on her life and know how much her parents love her!

MB said...

Like others commenting I feel that Xanga has improved many of it's features. But unfortunately it's still mostly fueled by popularity contests and people trying to "outblog" the other.

I'm glad that you're not leaving the blogging world. Your blogs often give me a smile that I really need =)

Erica said...

I didn't comment yesterday, but I want you to know that I have immensely enjoyed your writings since I've followed your blog and I am glad you decided to say. With that in mind I think people were right in saying that it's okay to just post once in a while. Family comes first and we'll be here when you have the time. I recently switched over from xanga to a regular format to keep track of friends who are overseas at that moment. I've found that the individual domains are far more personalized and I personally love them. Either way I wish you the best for you and your family.

LeslieAnn said...

I love your blog. I've been reading since I was in college and you were on Xanga. You helped answer nagging questions I had about diving into the world of journalism and presenting clips and whatnot. It was really helpful.

And now a few years later, here I am, the only reporter at a very small community newspaper. Covering every single event in two towns during long hours and sitting alone in the newsroom day after day. Struggling to keep myself motivated enough to function. I have a lot of issues I'm dealing with work-wise and having a really hard time. Your post yesterday made me realize how much it would probably help me to blog through my frustrations and problems.

I hardly post on my Xanga (FillTheSpace) and don't really use my Blogger either. But I think having an outlet other than my boyfriend's poor nearly-cried/talked-off ears would probably be very, very helpful. I need to do some writing that isn't for a paycheck. You help many more of us than you think. So thank you. And if you need a break, that's fine. We'll still be here when you want to come back.

Lois said...

I don't usually comment either, but I do read your blog. You have a great writing style, funny to read, your husband does some hilarious things, and your stories about life with your daughter are great! I hope you do keep your blog, even if you don't post everyday. I have a Xanga site, and hardly ever post. Being a mom is hard work, and keeps us busy! :) Thanks for giving me some funny stories to make me laugh and brighten my day.

Maryum said...

Hi! I read your blog everyday and it's become a hobby now. Of course I don't comment but I read and I learn alot from your experiences so I wouldn't want you to go away. Hmm, I thought I would have something more to say but that's really it. Have a nice day!

Soo Jin said...

I usually don't leave any comments (I'm sorry, I'm shy about comments for some reason!) but I did e-mail you in the past to ask about your camera because I wanted to buy it for my sister as a wedding gift. I bought it, and she LOVED IT! Thank you so much for all your helpful advice and feedback! I love your writing and how you are so open to sharing the ups and downs of life as it really is. I'd really miss it if you stopped! I hope you reach a decision that feels right for you, but do know that, whatever you decide, you've already touched so many lives out there!

Heidi said...

I too am one of those, how did that one person refer to it, "lurkers" that reads every day but very rarely comments. Now that I think about it, I don't really know why. I could say its perhaps because I don't know you and have never talked to you, in person or online, but then again that doesn't stop me from sharing a particularly hilarious, heartwarming, or gutwrenching post from you with my closest friends. It also doesn't stop me from visiting your site daily for years, long after I stopped posting in my own Xanga, hoping for an update. And in a strange way, as many people have said, I feel as if I know you. There are so many times when what you have written has reminded my 23 year old self to try and be the person I want to be, admonished me to be grateful about the things I have and to the wonderful people that are in my life, given me hope about what a person can get out that life, and made me feel less alone knowing that someone else out there is struggling too, even though on the outside it seems as if they have no reason to. While I would understand if you ever decided to stop, a larger (and more selfish) part of me is extremely glad that you have decided to continue with your passion in this manner. Thank you.

Candi said...

I'm pretty sure that xanga now has an option to receive comments from non-xanga users, if returning is ever an option to you.

Kristin said...

aww.
I love your blog.
I don't comment every single one because I'm not online as much as I used to be and I usually read a couple of your blogs in order to catch up(:
I do read every single one, though.
A long time ago when I stopped reading your blog for a while and then came back to it, I literally sat there for a whole day and caught up(:
I lufff themm.
I don't know what I'd do with myself if you stopped blogging completely.
And quite honestly, I wouldn't care if you only posted a blog once a month, as long as I knew I could look forward to it(:
Don't feel obligated to post. Take care of yourself first(:

-KrIsTiN-

NatalieDeltaGam said...

just read the last post...NO! you've got to keep writing! i feel like we're friends b/c we've been through so much together!

NatalieDeltaGam said...

just read the last post...NO! you've got to keep writing! i feel like we're friends b/c we've been through so much together!

Allison said...

I love reading your blog, but I don't comment enough. I've been reading your blogs since xanga :-)

Tiffany3048 said...

I rarely comment unless I really have something to say. But, I can tell you I've read your blog for probably 2 years now? I can't even remember, but a while before you left xanga. I enjoyed your writing style from the very first post. I now catch myself relaying your stories with my own husband. All I have to say is 'the newspaper writer's blog that I read' and he instantly knows 'the one with the radio dj hubby' lol I go to 3 sites regularly, your's being one of them.

Trust me, I know how hard it is to switch from being able to be online all the time, to having a small child and suddenly your priorities shift. You don't want to miss out on that little face they might make or see them dump cheerios on their head, just to write a blog. But, just know that you'll always have a fan base, and loyal internet friends who will always be there when you get the time to do what you do best :)

Molly said...

You know, if you were to stop posting, I couldn't creep people out by telling them that I stalk someone online I've never met before. I don't comment very much, because I think it is creepier that way. ;)

For real though, I love reading your letters to Allison, and I love the randomness of Jerry. But more than that, I love the fact that you can put things into words that I could not. So thanks.

Anonymous said...

I followed you when you moved from xanga. I think that quality will always ensure some level of response, even if it doesn't have the same amount of participation as emo ana cutters (or whatever the fad is now).

As some other people are saying, you can always go back to xanga. I don't think it would necessarily seem a retreat - xanga has evolved significantly, and most of the mindless groupies have moved on to facebook or myspace.

Anonymous said...

Also, from looking at the other comments, it seems like a lot of your readers are quite loyal, but rarely comment. And I know you said in the previous post how much you enjoy comments, but without eprops and featured lists, comment numbers are no indication of the appreciation of the many readers.

I think you'll find that quite a few people have been reading for years, and would miss you if you stopped, but have for some reason or another stopped leaving comments. That doesn't mean they've stopped reading, though.

Marina said...

Dude. We've read each other's blogs for years. Even though I don't blog anymore. But I know you go back and read over all my old posts over and over, right? RIGHT?

Ahem. Think about how sad you were the day you realized I never update anymore. And probably never will. Do you really want ME to feel that terrible sinking feeling of doom too?

I didn't think so.

No pressure though.

Ray said...

"There is something more to this than just words."

^^And I think it's the connection that you feel to this community of people, who have followed you for so long. We may not know each other in the outside world but; we all love you.

On another note:

There has to be some way that you can add a link to show commenters photos along with their comments. Maybe you could ask Aunt Glrrr about it (I remember she's the one who helped you start this site). ;o)

Well, take care.

vowels shift said...

I was on Xanga for about 2 years and stopped about 2 years ago. Yours was one of the 12 or so blogs that I follwed back then, and it's the only one I've kept up with.

I've never commented because I didn't realize that you liked comments. Who am I to leave some comment, you know? But I love your blog. I especially remember the one where you walk your readers through your wedding day, complete with pictures of the invite, church, your dress, etc.

Thank you for sharing so much of your life with us. It's been a pleasure.

Tonya said...

I left xanga shortly after you did because once you moved your blog, I had no reason to be on it.

I have been reading your blog since you had Zeke, through you dating Jerry to your marriage and starting a family.

I have laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants and have even shed a few tears while reading your stories.

Your blog actually inspired me to start my own, which I write quite frequently.

I'm so glad you have decided to continue writing. I may not comment very much but I have your site on my favorites and I read it everyday.

Thanks for making my day better :)

Maria said...

I have to agree with what Jennifer Suarez said, hopefully you brought quality of fans over quantity. I know that I have been following your blog since 2006 (2005 maybe?) and there was no way I was going to quit reading just because you jumped the Xanga ship.

At first I didn't really like having to go two sites daily to get in all my "subs" but I've grown to enjoy traveling over to your site, you even have a bookmark on my Iphone!

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I have read your blog for years. I remember discovering you on xanga and going back through all your posts and reading them. And I now check this site rather regularly to catch up on when you have been up to.

I see what you mean about your life being so busy and blogging is on the back burner. Maybe during this busy time in your life you don't -have- to blog every day. There is no rules out there say how often you need to write something. Maybe aim for once a week instead? If you pressure yourself to write every day, and then start to stress about it, it will take the pleasure completely out of the exercise.

I have a feeling that even if you didn't update every single day the faithful readers will still stick around. I am quite sure that those with young children would especially understand the situation.

However if you did end up leaving, it is understandable. Maybe don't think of it in terms of "forever" maybe just a "holiday" away from blogging.

:)