Sunday, August 7, 2011

Just a Blogger - A Disclaimer

I feel like I'm going through a mini identity crisis. Of course, I've been going through major life changes lately--from an individual who only had to answer to herself and a wife who helped keep a household to a mother responsible for a tiny little being. I haven't been very good about carving out time in the day for me and so when those rare moments of quiet do come I find myself wandering around the house aimlessly. Do I read? Do I scrapbook? Do I quilt? Do I exercise? Do I blog? Do I just lie on the couch and decompress?  Usually I just stand around with a blank stare until it's time for me to do mom things again.

The bottom line is that I need to start focusing on allowing myself ME time. Time to get back to the things that I enjoy doing--even if just for a few minutes here and there. That includes writing...or more accurately blogging.

The struggle that I have with blogging is the same guilt I've been wracked with for the past year plus--too much personal blogging for an audience who is made up mostly of book bloggers. And I know--this guilt is totally self-inflicted, but after the past couple of posts I've written I've lost followers here and there and it's hard for me to ignore that (even though I'm sure they weren't followers that mattered).

So, a little disclaimer: I am officially declaring myself Just a Blogger.

Glad to have that off my chest. And many of you have expressed here or elsewhere that you exclusively read book blogs and trust me, I understand. I won't take offense if my blogging is no longer of interest. Truly, it's ok--the last thing I would want is for you to comment because you feel guilty not doing so. But I also have to be honest and realize that my interest in blogs has also changed--I still LOVE reading about books that I want to read or that I have read but the rest? Sadly book blogging as a whole seems to have evolved into something that I don't care about--the marketing of new books on the Internet.

So what does that mean for this blog? Trust me when I say I do NOT want to become a mommy blogger. On the other hand, I'm going through so many things right now that it would be nice to have an outlet--maybe a weekly or biweekly (or at the rate I'm going--monthly) post on motherhood or baby things. But there's also so many other things in life--trying to tap into the creative side with quilting, scrapping, and pictures; cooking and other household things; travel past and future; life as a whole; and when I do actually read a book I would love to write a post on my thoughts. I've always loved blogging about books, it just appears that lately I've forgotten how to do that.

And Sunday Salon. I LOVE Sunday Salon posts and really want to continue with those posts. Unfortunately my brain is too fried of late to think up any good topics, though. Could I get you guys to give me some topics?? Have thought about putting up a Google Docs form for ideas but fear all I'd receive would be chirping crickets (and I don't know how to do a google doc form).

But mostly, I just want to return to blogging. On both ends. I do skim Google Reader on occasion but rarely actually make it to the computer to leave any comments.  The total number of unread posts usually looms at 1000+. Once I am done pumping at work and get my lunch break back (using that hour throughout the day to pump), it'll open up much more free time to be interactive, but until then I have to recognize my limitations.

Oh who knows guys. I guess all I really should be saying is Thank You. I know the unwritten rule about commenting when said person hasn't returned comments and I hate being that person...I think you all KNOW that about me, though. Thank you for continuing to take an interest when the bookish stuff disappeared. Thank you for your continual support and wonderful comments. I wish I could hide the follower numbers (referring to Blogger followers) because that number doesn't matter at all. I've been blessed with an active audience to my ramblings. I do realize that and I certainly don't want to take it for granted. And now I feel like a big whiner. Blerg.

Another note so that you don't find me hypocritical...if I have the time I do plan on participating in BBAW and if I'm in town I do plan on readathoning. Because even if I'm now labeling myself Just a Blogger, I'll always be a little book blogger at heart.

Alright--only took two weeks to complete this post. Guess it's time to hit publish...

47 comments:

  1. From someone who is going through an equally frustrating identity crisis, I just want to say I understand. I don't want to leave a big huge long comment on this, but I do very much understand. (In fact, if you go to my blog and look one post back, you'll see a sort of related post). If you ever want to talk, you know where to find me. I'll be here no matter what kind of blogger you are, in fact, I prefer the non-book-blogging kind these days anyway. Hmm I guess this comment got longer than I intended...

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  2. Trish, you havent lost this reader. After my kids were born it took me over a year to pick up a book. Change is good a thing, Right?

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  3. I have a post that's been sitting in editing phase for a week and a half now! just nevre time to sit down and finish it. I know how you feel. Just do what you feel is right.Having small children really makes you prioritize! (sadly dust in the corners is not one of my priorities right now)

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  4. I love blogs that mix the books and the personal. I usually get there via the books, but the personal side that lets me get to know the blogger is great!

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  5. Goodness, just do what makes you joyful! I don't believe in the comment for a comment rule. I think that's silly. Comment when you have something to say. Read what moves you; write about whatever thrills you.

    PS- I still read you. :-)

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  6. I will follow your blog no matter what you write about! I think you are an awesome person and I enjoy reading your other posts too. And I know what you mean about book blogging often being about just marketing new books... I hate that there is any pressure at all in book blogging and admire that you are able to not let that get to you and just do what you want for you!

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  7. I think somehow bloggers tend to gravitate to bloggers they "like" for whatever reason, and so it doesn't seem to matter what you talk about! :--)

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  8. I'm kind of the opposite ... I feel myself moving somewhat away from the blogs and posts that are all books, all the time. I prefer the "just a blogger" type of blogs, and in some ways, I feel like I've become one of those myself of late, with all my prattling or whining on about our move and the stresses thereof. I think it is perfectly natural - and somewhat expected - for you to want to have an outlet for talking/writing about motherhood or baby issues or whatever else is on your mind. Just keep doing what you're doing, whenever you're feeling up to it, and know that we'll still be here. (Oh, and I wound up deleting the followers box on my blog. Too much stress that I didn't need, KWIM? :)

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  9. Sometimes I wonder if part of what is considered "post-partum depression" is often confused with an indentity crisis of sorts. Your whole world and perspective on life is changed, and that feels scary, confusing, lonely, and daunting to say the least. It is a time that I would venture to say every mother has to figure out who this "new" person is. Does that make sense? Give yourself some time. Sit and do nothing. That is okay. Yours is among my favorite blogs I read. Books, Family, Craft, whatever. I always love what you have to say. I heard a great quote the other day: "If there were never any change, there would be no butterflies". Change is beautiful and necessary for everyone.

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  10. I don't think it's necessary for you to explain yourself. Your life has evolved, so your writing will naturally do so as well.

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  11. When my girl was a couple years old, I did Simple Abundance- a book with daily exercises to help women express themselves and find time for themselves. Now, a lot I didn't do but there were things I am glad I did, like going for an afternoon to somewhere just for me (I found the used bookstore this way). It really helped me focus on my creative side. It's important to find things that make you happy and not feel guilty about it.

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  12. It's your blog and you can blog if you want to! (or not) :) No worries, Trish. Do what makes you happy.

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  13. Trish,
    I enjoy your blog so much I didn't notice you weren't writing book reviews. Personally I enjoy your personal stuff. I stuggle with being a blogger or book blogger myself. I recently participated in a book challenge and now have no desire to blog about the books. I like writing about books just not reviewing them. Find your own voice you will be a happier more committed blogger in the long run.

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  14. I totally know what you mean about the downside to book blogging - I love to get new books and review them but I do them on my own schedule and my own way. I used to do some blog tours and such and I just don't have the spirit for it now. Same thing with memes and such. They are fun and everything but I just want to do what I set out to do in the beginning. Write about my life with books.

    Anyway, so I just want to say I get a lot of what you say here Trish. I also haven't been able to do as much commenting and such this whole year it seems due to my crazy job and I am finding it hard to balance all the things I love to do with all the things I must do. I can only imagine how much harder it must be with a little one! So hang in there and just do the things that feel right to you.

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  15. Trish, I just want to let you know that no matter what you write, I will read it! :)

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  16. I've always been a big proponent of blogging what you want, when you want. If it's not fun, you will just burn out, and no one wants that!

    I agree that book blogging has taken a decided and unfortunate turn to marketing and promotion. I preferred it when people blogged about random books, not soon-to-be-released blockbusters.

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  17. I had a comment here somewhere...but it got lost. Bottom line: Keep doing what you're doing. We would miss your voice if we were to lose it. You're more than "Just A Blogger."

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  18. Trish! Dude, you could post toe nail clippings and I'd still read.

    Er, okay. Maybe not. 'Cuz that'd be gross and all.

    But you get what I'm saying. I have no intention of every have babies. In fact they kinda wig me out. (I truly don't think that I have a maternal bone in my body, and this is after 34 years of living with this body!) but duuudee...I LOVE your baby posts. I don't know what it is. She's so adorable and your love shines through and I KNOW that's what motherhood is suppose to be about. I love being able to live vicariously through those experiences. YOU get me touch with that side that my real life peeps can't seem to do.

    So keep blogging Trish. I'll keep reading. :)

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  19. I've been thinking a lot lately about how I want to blog. I haven't blogged a lot at all because I keep thinking that each post needs to be about ONE topic, and that I don't have the focus to do any one topic justice. I'm thinking about allowing myself to ramble just a bit more in each post, a different kind of style, if you will. For you, I'm gonna read whatever you write, of course. If you are blogging for your blog friends, as opposed to blogging to get hits, it won't matter.

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  20. *Thank you everyone for your sweet comments--as always. I can't promise that I won't still feel guilty or that I won't agonize over my blogging decisions but I am going to try not to vocalize it here any more. Of course its my blog.

    And I appreciate your comments about change and the way of life. I think a lot of us "old time" bloggers are kind of going through the same identity crisis lately.

    I love the quote that Michelle included in her comment: "If there were never any change, there would be no butterflies." Life will move on...

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  21. You are not "just" a blogger. You're A Blogger! :-) And you can write about whatever you want, I'll keep reading. Whether you want me to or not.

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  22. I hope the changes you are making will lead to it being much more relaxing to blog. :)

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  23. Shhhh...I tell you a secret--I've never read your blog for the books, I've always read your blog because you're you. And always will. :D

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  24. I second Debi's comment. I always got really excited when you blogged about a book I'd read or was interested in, but otherwise always looked forward to the personal posts most. :)

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  25. Honestly, I can't think of something more life changing than having a baby so of course your life and therefore your blogging are going to change! No worries, Trish. I will still be reading even if you're not a "book blogger".

    I have no artistic talents so I love reading your quilting posts. And that beautiful baby of yours gives me just enough of a cute and adorable baby fix that I don't need to go out and have my own. I kid. (Mostly.)

    And I agree with Jillian. I know a comment for a comment is considered polite blogging, but I don't always have something to say. So please don't stress out in that regard.

    Christina

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  26. You are a mommy and you are a blogger. Nothing, nothing, nothing wrong with that! Who cares if followers leave. Write about what you want to write about. I cannot imagine reading just one kind of blog. The personal is what makes a blog interesting and real. And speaking from the point of view of having two kids who are 26 and 29, there's a whole lotta 'me' time you'll have when she is grown up. Enjoy every single minute of 'we' time while you have it.
    PS this is why I never look at my followers list or post it, and why I don't follow. It all seems so much like a high school popularity contest to me.

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  27. That was a big step. Now, just write about what you want to write about. I'll be interested to hear what you have to say. I'll be here regardless.

    :-)

    Pax

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  28. I say write what you feel like writing about. No need to categorize yourself, and I'll keep reading no matter what. Blogging is supposed to be fun and an outlet, so you just do what feels right for you.

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  29. At the risk of saying what everyone else has already said... just blog and let blog. I know that doesn't help with the anxiety or guilt or whatever that can come with blogging, but just do what you can do. I've loved reading your beautiful posts about Elle, so will be happy to continue seeing them :)

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  30. While I likely wouldn't have discovered your blog if it weren't a book blog, I will certainly keep reading it! You may find yourself returning to book blogging one day anyway. When I started, I was super secretive about my identity and never let my real name (even my first name) come into play on my blog. I resisted sharing even the smallest of details. Over time, I loosened up and sometimes wonder if my blog will continue to change perspectives (I write more movie reviews than film reviews around Oscar season). I always enjoy your posts and hope you find blogging peace, joy and love in all you write!

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  31. I'm late getting here, but I wanted to leave my two cents anyway :-). As someone who's struggled with feeling that she's not "enough" of a book blogger herself and has frequently been unsure of exactly where she fits in the big bad blogiverse, I get the identity crisis, Trish.

    My own thing is blogging "primarily, but not exclusively" about books, and I think that sums it up most of the time. I don't want to blog ONLY about books, and I doubt I ever will. I mix things up, and my favorite blogs do the same - which is why I'll keep reading yours, no matter what you want to blog about!

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  32. Disclaimer not necessary. It is your blog and you can write what ever you want! Of course, we (bloggers) do feel guilty that we aren't reading what our audience wants. But at the end of the day, I write what I want, for me.

    I look forward to any & all updates. Especially if they include travel, Elle, cooking, quilting, your random ramblings! :)

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  33. I so agree that many many book blogs are simply about the newest, highly hyped book. Not that interesting, especially when EVERYONE is writing about it (and usually poorly).

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  34. You know that I love your blog no matter what you post. And keep the baby pics coming :) I think that every blogger comes to a time when they want change and they re-evaluate their blog as a whole. I know I have :)

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  35. Ok so I did this same thing to myself when I felt like I wasn't posting enough, or I wasn't posting enough book stuff. I love my books, but I also love movies and recipes and my son and sometimes I want to blog about that. I had to sit down and think about what purpose my blog had for ME. I remembered why I started this blog to begin with, to remember. To remember what I would forget to journal. To remember the books I read, to remember cute things Ethan does. To remember the great food I made and relocate them again if I need to. and if I have followers, fantastic! I will always read your blog Trish because the things that aren't bookish, let us know who Trish really is =)

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  36. You keep on blogging however, and about whatever, fits into your changing, evolving life... I'll keep reading. Great to talk to you on twitter last nigh ;-)

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  37. Trish - I love your blog and the 'you' who writes it. It doesn't matter if write on books or some thing really random - I still love it.

    I had this issue - sorry, I still have this issue. So I would love to suggest that the small spare time you have for yourself - just RELAX. It is not easy to not have the 'me' time. Trust me, I know - Life is going to get even more hectic when she starts moving around :) - it is wonderful.

    Stop thinking of reading or blogging, just relax in your free time. Put your legs up, relax your back and close your eyes to all the thoughts - just relax. Maybe eat an icecream :)

    Take care.

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  38. Do you feel better?
    :)
    Just tell us what you are thinking. About anything.

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  39. Trish-

    Thirty years ago I struggled with the same transition. There are some HUGE adjustments that come with motherhood, to be sure.

    There will be ebbs and flows of time in your life, where you'll have more or not so much time for yourself. But find time here and there for yourself, make sure you grab some flows of time -- it's important.

    But also be patient with the ebbs, and grab those tender moments with sweet baby Elle. No book, blog, art or craft can be greater than sitting in the still of the night, rocking your baby girl with her looking into your eyes with full trust and wonderment, and feeling such a deep, unconditional love.

    Then....in what will seem like the snap of your fingers....she'll be thirty and not as eager to rock in your lap anymore.

    Cherish each day; for whatever it brings. I love you, and am SO proud of you.

    mom

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  40. Hi Trish. I have never commented on here before, although I have thought about it, and I am not listed as one of your followers, even though I have been reading your blog religiously since I found it back in April or May, when Elle was still a little peanut inside of you. I just wanted to say that, whilst I found you because I was browsing for book blogs, I keep coming back because of the warmth and the generosity of spirit you exhibit which allows you to open up to all of us about whatever you are feeling, and whatever you might be focused on at the time - be that a book, a great recipe, or your beautiful baby. I am pregnant, and had only recently found out when I first read your blog. I am now 34 weeks, and reading your entries since Elle was born has been hugely important to me as an expectant mother. I am an avid reader, and someone with a high-pressure job, who sets goals for herself in all kinds of areas of life each year. And I know all of this is about to be turned upside down with the arrival of my son. I can't wait to meet him, but I am also scared of what it will mean for my life. Thank you for being so honest about how your life has changed with Elle. She is so beautiful, I love the pictures you post of her. Anyway... the point of this comment is really just to say: don't worry. There are many of us out there in the blogosphere who are reading along with you regardless of how you define your blog. Numbers mean nothing. Just post when you can, and when you want to, and we will be here.

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  41. *Little Match Girl - I looked for an email address but couldn't find one on your profile. I'm not sure that you'll see my response here but I did want to thank you so much for your comment. I hope that in the future you'll feel comfortable commenting when you'd like. I think my personal style of blogging keeps new people from jumping in--I know that when I happen upon a new blog I sometimes an reluctant to comment. Anyway, that's not the point. The point is your comment really touched me and I wanted to tell you congratulations on your baby and also to assure you that everything finds a way of working out. Doesn't make it easy--not by a long shot--but life continues to move on and your son will begin to look at you with those loving eyes and all will somehow be right in the world.

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  42. I found your blog because you were a book blogger. I stayed with your blog because of who you are. I can read about books in a lot of places. But there is only one Trish blog and no matter what it morphs into, it's still worth reading.

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  43. The people that matter most won't care what kind of blogger that you are, and if they do care, that's there problem. I enjoy reading all the topics that you throw out, but I realize I'm a little bias :)

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  44. Someone sent me a very nice email telling me I should become a mommy blogger. That would be great, but I feel like I'm just floundering my way through this first year and certainly don't need to blog about it too. Then my blog would also be a foundering mess :)
    Whatever you are doing is working because people are here, they commment and they care. You might not be a book blogger but you are a lucky blogger. (and I mean that in the most positve way)

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  45. Oh it's totally fine and I love the blogs who are themselves. It's your space, enjoy!!

    PS - I lost your blog at some point a while back, then I moved to Kentucky and back to Vegas, had a kid, and am now back to being able to blog and comment again. Not sure why I'm telling you that but there it is and I'm so glad I found your blog again!

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  46. In poker terms, I see your identity crisis and raise you a "I thought about quitting blogging for a while" chip.

    August was a bad month for me and it made me, like you, reconsider what it was exactly that I'm doing over here on my blog. I think we need to just blog however we want, when we want. Whatever makes us happy. And if readers don't like it, well then there's nothing we can do about that.

    Now that you're a mom you don't have tons of free time anymore, so whatever time you do have, you must spend in a fantastically happy way for yourself. Whatever you post, I will be by to say hello :)

    (Sorry for the ramble)

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