On Being a Bad Blogger

Posted on Apr 10, 2011 in Featured | 15 comments

Some bloggers post every day or at least a couple of times a week. I’m not one of them. In case you hadn’t noticed the time lag, I just posted my son’s birth announcement SEVEN weeks after he was born. Initially my intention was to post about 5 times per month but eventually I just gave up on that and decided to be a bad blogger.

Why be bad?

Well, being a good blogger takes considerable effort. You have to post regularly, and hopefully that means often, but at the very least it should be regular. It takes time to write posts, especially when you’re just starting out and not really well practiced at coming up with ideas or writing short posts (I’m raising my hand here). In addition to the time spent writing, you might have to research your posts which takes longer. You have to read and respond to comments if you get them. You need to create community by reading and commenting on other blogs. And you have to drive traffic to your blog through social media. This is what it takes to be a good blogger.

This is what a good blogger looks like right?

This is what a good blogger looks like right?

Recently Melody from Breasfeeding Moms Unite decided to call it quits because she was no longer willing to be a good blogger. It was taking her away from her children for too many hours during the day and it was impacting her ability to be the mom she wanted to be, especially regarding screen time for her children and herself. I really admired her open and honest post when she hung up her hat.

I too am not willing to be a good blogger. I just can’t do it. I don’t have the time. I am homeschooling my son, I have a toddler and I just had a baby. I am not willing to have the kids watch tv all day and I can’t stay up at night to blog because sleep is already at a premium around here.

But I don’t want to quit either.

I want to write. It’s good for my adult brain to practice writing and I want to get better at it. It is something that is just mine in this life stage where I have so little me left at the end of the day.

Unlike a journal however, blogging gives my writing context. Having some preset ideas of topics helps generate ideas. I also follow people on twitter and facebook that write on similar topics so I often find interesting things to read and also informs my writing. The format also gives me a reason to edit, spellcheck, refine my craft and add pictures. This doesn’t happen when scribbling in a notebook.

And let’s not forget about the audience. Nobody reads your journal and you have to be highly skilled, polished and ambitious to be published in print. Blogging means that my writing can be part of a dialogue with other people rather than just something I do by myself. I love getting comments and subscribers. I love when other bloggers touch on similar topics. I love being inspired by other bloggers, by articles and studies I find through twitter or facebook. The audience makes me feel like I’m a part of something.

For me, that is a specific something. When I sold my birth supply business, I felt a big hole in no longer being active in the birth advocacy community and I wanted to stay involved somehow. My focus has grown since that time and because this blog has a general focus that my business site didn’t have, I feel connected to the broader parenting community.

I may not blog every day (or every week) and I may not have thousands of readers. I may not actually get the chance to write every post that rattles around in my head while I load the dishwasher and change diapers and play Uno. I don’t read all of the posts in my blog reader (mark all as read anyone?) but I do make an effort to comment on the ones I do read. I don’t follow the blogs of every interesting person I come across (much as I’d like to). I don’t log in to twitter every day. I don’t reply to every comment I get even though I read and appreciate all of them.

And that’s ok with me. This is a hobby, not a job. My job is to care for my kids. So for now, I’ll just be a bad blogger and hope that for the handful of readers I’ve got, that’s ok with them too.

Do you blog? Why do you do it despite the time commitment? Do you care if you’re a bad blogger?

15 Comments

  1. I like your take on good vs bad blogging. I wrote a post last week around this topic, too. I also posted a question on facebook about it and the overwhelming response were that they don’t care how often there are posts as long as those posts are good. I follow most blogs in my reader and don’t expect regular posts because I’m following enough blogs that I have more than enough to read (ahem, I totally got what you said about that) I have them in my reader because they are good and I don’t want to miss a post, no matter when it pops up.

    I think good blogging is done by a passionate writer that has her priorities right where she wants them
    Twitter: TouchstoneZ

    • Oh I like your definition of good blogging too! I was actually thinking the other day that the definition could vary quite a bit and then I saw your comment.

  2. i second being a bad blogger..congrats on your new addition!!

    • Thanks Carla! Your little one must have just turned 1, didn’t she?

  3. I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I took pride in being a “good” blogger when my daughter was first born, but it’s gotten progressively more difficult for me to balance my writing, my blogging, my work, and my family. I no longer post regularly. I still aspire to, but I’m trying not to let myself feel depressed when it’s been three (or more) weeks and I haven’t once hit that ‘post’ button. But I, like you, don’t want to give up–I find some fulfillment in blogging that isn’t matched by my personal writing or journaling. Even when no one comments I know that there are a few hits (thanks, Mom!) and I like being part of that online world. So I’ll continue. Irregularly. 😉 Glad to you see you are as well (I’ve really enjoyed hearing your blogging voice and would miss it if you called it quits!)

    • Thank you.
      Isn’t it nice to know that we aren’t alone? I’m glad that you continue to post too.
      I also respect that Melody at Breastfeeding Moms Unite may have needed to quit altogether to reset some habits but I’ve been hoping that after some time away she’ll come back as a bad blogger too. 🙂

  4. another bad blogger raising her hand here. 🙂
    i used to post daily, then i tried for five days a week and now i am a totally random, on a whim, seat of my pants blogger. it works for me right now and i think that is pretty important. i do sometimes why i bother blogging at all when i am such a bad blogger so i like the reasons you gave here. i shall continue with my haphazard posting!

    • I’ve thought often about that question – “Why bother to blog?” and I realise that we all have different reasons…from wanting to keep the inlaws updated on baby development to wanting to be the next Dooce and everything in between. And really, the truth is that the definition of good or bad changes quite a bit depending on what you’re trying to get out of it. I hope you keep it up Robin, without feeling bad about it. 😉

  5. I do blog, quite a lot, as you probably know.

    I have recently given up a lot of my blog reading and commenting. I’m not really happy about it, but it’s kind of where I am right now, with the other stuff I have going on. I feel like I’m missing out on the community stuff, but I also need sleep and I need to spend time with my kids and I have other stuff going on.

    I blog because I love to write. I need to write. I don’t feel like it takes away from my life. And so I do it. I probably do care a little too much about being a “good” blogger, just like I care a little too much about being “good” in general. But when I did try to take a break, I wasn’t happy, so I’m OK with it.

    But I don’t think everyone needs to follow my example, or anything like that. Blogs are like people – we’re all different, and that’s what makes us awesome.
    Twitter: AmberStrocel

    • And thank goodness it works for you because I sure like reading. 🙂

  6. I go back and forth. At some times I’ve wanted to be really regular, because it played a really grounding role and at other times I just couldn’t conceive of posting and even though that can bring me a tiny bit of bad blogger guilt I’m at the point where it is what it is.

    I’m glad you are not calling it quits 🙂
    Twitter: hillaryboucher

    • I often wish I had more time for it, but right now I’m not into typing one-handed while I nurse so watching Mad Men takes precedence.

  7. I totally hear where you’re coming from on blogging priorities. I try to post regularly – 2 “wordy” posts, 1 link list and 1 photo each week. There are definitely days when I am at the computer at 11pm thinking “why am I doing this again??” But the self-imposed deadlines give my week a structure that I crave right now. I’m sure the situation would be very different if I had a new baby, etc, etc. While I’m pretty dedicated to sticking to my posting schedule, I let the community stuff slip when I need to.
    Twitter: TheParentVortex

  8. I do not have a blog, but I am a bad blog reader. I’ve run across certain blogs that seem really interesting and pertain to my life as an unschooling mom of 3. I have saved them on my tool bar, yet only look at them every 2 to 4 weeks! So, your blog is actually a perfect fit for me, because it is quite overwhelming to look at a blog and realize that I have to read 14 posts to catch up. So, when I come to your blog, I think, “oh, good. she’s only written twice since I last looked.” I definitely think the quality and content of the writing is more important than frequency. I really enjoy reading your blog! Thanks for sharing yourself with the world. 🙂

    • Oh yay – I’m so glad that my slacking is mutually beneficial. 😉 That’s a good point. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with blogs that I want to follow but just can’t keep up with reading regularly. I appreciate you sharing that positive aspect with me. It helps the part of me that feels bad about it. Thank you.
      As an aside, you might find reading blogs in a reader (like Google Reader) easier – they don’t have to be on a toolbar and you can occasionally mark all posts as read (even if you didn’t read them), just to get back to even ground.

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