Friday, November 08, 2013

I asked and you answered!

Well, well, well!  It looks like I'm not the only stitcher who has neglected her blog from time to time!  It was super interesting to read your comments or to see what you all wrote in your blogs in response to the question I threw out there about why we stop writing.

And this is what I'm concluding:

  1. Time constraints:  Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in a day to do all the things we want to do, so we have to make choices.  People initially enter the blog world with time to write, but then life happens.  A new job, a new baby, a new health issue - you name it and it eats time.  I just hope that if a blogger really enjoyed writing, he or she will find a way back to us if and when time allows.
  2. A change of focus:  Today it's stitching.  Tomorrow it could be skydiving.  And the blog isn't relative to the writer's life anymore.  It happens.
  3. Technical issues:  People get sick of the way blog software constantly changes.  Seems like they barely get the hang of their publishing routines and zing...  The software/template/publishing format is updated and seemingly totally different.  I get that.  It could be enough to drive someone away.  
  4. They've found other forms of social media that they like better. each his own, but I'll take a meaty blog post over a "Like" on Facebook any day.
  5. Feeling like nobody reads your blog anyway:   Oh. My. Goodness.  I completely get this one.  And I'm also guilty of causing it.  In fact, I have so much to say about this that I'm going to give it its own section here.
  6. You thought no one you knew in real life read your blog, but....Maybe you like to blog anonymously.  It's quite freeing.  And then one day you realize that your family is reading your blog and that creative door just slams shut for you.  So you leave your blog.
  7. Once you wrote something and then got slammed for it.  I know bloggers who were writing and enjoying it but stopped because they wrote something sarcastic or controversial and got zapped with nasty comments and emails.  It'll set a blogger back on her heels...and we lose her.  

Why feeling like nobody reads your blog is a bummer and how that happens:
  • First of all, there's that whole "Follower" thing.  Although it's meant to be an easy way for people to follow your blog, it often feels like a popularity contest.  Now, I'm not saying that's true, I'm just saying that's how it can feel.  Kind of like class officer elections in high school, where we are constantly reminded that it wasn't a popularity contest...riiiiiiiight.  We have to get past that popularity contest state of mind but sometimes a sensitive soul may feel - I don't know - unread and sad.  I don't consider myself sensitive, but I've been there, too.  I get it.
  • Or we may interpret few followers to mean that our blogging skills are inadequate. We worry that our photography isn't good enough.  Our words aren't interesting enough.  So we stop writing. Quite frankly, there are some blogs I've read that have hundreds or thousands of followers and tons of comments.  But I didn't understand it because I thought it was obvious that the writer was completely insane.  Maybe those other followers were like me...following to see how crazy this person could get before a total meltdown.  (And ok, that's not nice, but like I said last week - I'm not self-editing dammit!)  All that is to say - I'd rather read a nice blog with a blurry photo than a blog with professional style pics and crazy writing.
  • Some people go to the Page Visits thing on Blogger and see that they have very few visits.  Then we feel really crappy about ourselves and quit.  But here's the thing - I use a reader.  Feedly, to be exact.  Loads of us use blog readers and often don't often leave the reader and visit actual blog sites. And that's especially true if I'm reading from my phone or tablet.  So I don't think we're showing up on your page stats.  Nor do I click to be a follower on a blog, because I'm already following it in my blog reader and  I don't sho up as a follower in your sidebar.  But don't fixate on page visits, unless you're blogging for money or advertising.  Most of us don't fall into that category.
  • Then there's the whole Comment thing.  Which also dovetails with the Page Visits.  Writers think that few comments mean few readers. I really wish there was a way to comment within the blog reader software, since (and this is very lazy), I often don't comment because I don't want to switch from the reader to a web page.  So I bookmark your post to go back to later.  And then I forget.  Or too much time passes.  But my point is - few comments does NOT mean few readers.  
So, there's my nickel's worth of conclusions I've drawn from your comments and posts.

And I hope I haven't bored your eyeballs out.  But I hope that if you've stopped writing, maybe something I've said will get you started again.

I'm off to an all-day retreat in Pittsburgh tomorrow.  There'll be stitching, food, stitching, laughing, stitching, shopping, and stitching.  And then we'll do it all over again.  I'll see ladies I haven't seen in a while and I can't wait to get a gander at what they've been up to!  

Maybe I'll take my camera so I can add some gorgeousness to this page.


  1. I think some people dropped off when they had to switch from Google reader--and then it was too difficult to follow others and then maybe they felt like they were no longer a part of the community. I think there was a definite breaking point in July. (More than the usual summer hiatus.)

    I've found that some of the more popular blogs are nearly illiterate. I can't bear it. Oh well, to each her own.

    I'm very disappointed that there will be no naked pillow fighting at your retreat. What kind of party is it, anyway?

  2. Please share pictures and details of your retreat. I love reading about the trips other stitchers take.

  3. I really enjoyed your thoughts today. =)

  4. I've enjoyed reading your posts on this subject Lee, what you have said makes so much sense.

  5. Great post today. I hope many will read this and will start to post again. For me, I blog for personal enjoyment and find it wonderful when others visit and comment.

  6. great words, amen.
    I lost my blogging mojo a few times since I started and came back with much more enthusiasm after a month or so of complete silence. it's life. it gets in the way.
    also, I completely agree on the commenting/too-lazy-to-switch thing. a new, great addition to the updated version of Wordpress is that we can comment/like/share/whatever from the Wordpress Reader itself. sooooo fast.
    unfortunately it works only with other Wordpress blogs so.. not the panacea I was hoping for.

  7. I agree with a lot of what you said. Personally, I'd rather get my followers "organically", i.e. following because they like what I write and want to read not because I'm having a contest/giveway to increase followers.

    I am at a quandry as to why I have a lot of hits on my pages but usually only get 25-40 posts (vs. 200 hits).

  8. I enjoyed your comments today. I appreciate your insights. I have wondered at times at the low number of followers I have compared to others, and not that many commenters...

    After the demise of google reader, I moved to bloglovin. One thing I like better is that you see the actual blog so it is easier to comment. However, I don't always comment, even tho I know they mean a lot... There just isn't enough time...

  9. Great post! Definitely covered all the bases! Enjoy your retreat!

  10. Still haven't figured out if and how Bloglovin even shows if you have followers. What I like about my blog is, it helps me keep tracked of what I've stitched and pattern inventory. Gasp! Do I have too much?.....Nah! Thanks for the thoughts. Oh and one other thing. Now my sister in Florida really keeps up with me. Now, she hardly calls. :(

  11. Lee, I'm really glad to see you back posting (takes some pressure off me as I am feeling the other way - lol). I've always enjoyed your posts and this one is no exception.

    I'll find my way back to posting soon. You've touched on a lot of relevant points!

  12. I hope you had a fabulous time at your retreat!

    I enjoy reading your blog (and others), so keep going!

    Robin in Virginia

  13. Great thoughtful post. I agree with you.
    Have a wonderful time at your retreat!

  14. I agree with all the points made. One other thing that stops me from posting my very neglected blog is a lack of progress. I am a slow stitcher and just don't make a lot of progress. It makes me feel inadequate. For example, I saw a ltd edition pattern at market and by the time I received it in the mail I saw it already finished on another blog. So I feel like why bother.

  15. I moved to Feedly, too, but agree that there was so much less blog activity this summer. Personally, I find my own blog sort of boring since I'm a slow stitcher with few finished items. Sort of glad there isn't naked pillow fighting since you're taking pics! LoL Have a blast!

  16. I have become a very lazy blogger. I just don't have the same enthusiasm I once did, so I'll share pictures now and then, but I don't write much. I have also become lazy about commenting. I too, will mark a page to comment later, but then forget. Great post!

  17. I too have thought about stopping my blog because I don't feel like I have any readers of it. I rarely get a comment. I mean very rarely. I've even started putting my blog postings with a link to FB, but again, rarely do I get a comment. I keep telling myself I do it for me too - for my enjoyment. But it is fun when someone reads it! I don't care if it was only a few comments - as long as there were some - LOL! I don't "follow" blogs. I have the ones I read in my "favorites", and every other day or so, I go through that and read the blogs! Easier for me that way for some reason. I used to read blogs and rarely post a comment. Now I make sure to leave a comment at least every other blog posting....

    Linda in VA

  18. Great post! Life does get in the way for me--I was recently sick for quite some time, and then I went on a vacation/retreat! But I finally am caught up on blog posts... at least in my mind! I do notice an uptick in comments when I have a giveaway. Sigh... Thanks for the great post!

  19. I just dropped in to your blog from Carol's, and I'm glad I did! I'll put you in my Feedly and comment whenever I'm not too lazy... ; ) GREAT post!!!!

    The Stamper's Stitches

  20. Thanks for posting this. And thanks for making me feel better about myself.

    The main reason I started blogging was to share in my passion for stitching and crafts with like minded people.

    Having people who followed my blog and read and commented was important because it meant that I was able to connect with more people. I try to make an effort to reply back to each comment that gets made.

    It's just depressing sometimes because when you're not in the "popular" crowd, it's hard to get noticed. I ran a competition for Halloween and absolutely no one entered ~_~

    So yeah, glad to know it's not me that sometimes feels ignored XD

  21. The whole google reader deal screwed me up... And I didn't get my blogs I read transferred right. So I'm just slowly getting back into the rhythm. But I will say I'm guilty about the comment thing. That's why I sincerely try to leave comments, so people know I'm looking and I care. I don't always get it done but I do try really hard! Because u value this community and I don't want it die out... Anything worth having takes done effort... And I am so dazzled by people's vision and creativity. That would be a major kiss to me if peeps quit blogging :) good, thought provoking post!!

  22. Hey Lee...I just came back to this blog post to reread all the comments and your thoughts again...and realized that I sounded like a giant, uneducated person...I was reading from my phone and my fat fingers hit the wrong letters and then I end up saying things like: major kiss. Sorry...
    here's what I meant:
    The whole google reader deal screwed me up...and I didn't get my blogs that I read transferred right. So I'm slowly getting back into the rhythm. (heck, I had not followed you on bloglovin' darn google reader; see above) and just was thinking about you (yes...I was) and came to look on bloglovin' and saw that you weren't in there and then I search for Lake Stitcher and here I am... (I didn't write all that because I hate commenting on my iphone; see fat fingers comment above). So anyway...I'm slowly getting back into the rhythm again. But I will say I'm guilty about the no comment thing (you know feeling like no one reads my blog). But that's why I'm sincerely trying to leave comments, so that peeps know I'm reading and enjoying. Because I really do read, and I really do enjoy! I love blogs and all the creativity and energy that they provoke and provide for us to feast our eyes. If we all started not to blog...that would be major kiss of death to my mojo. I love bloggers, I love blogs so lets keep it up folks! :)

  23. I love your blog and others but don't "follow" them so as not to leave so much of an Internet footprint. Following requires yet another sign up step.

  24. This was such an interesting post! I am off and on about blogging. I really enjoy seeing what other stitchers are stitching and learning about about their corner of the earth, but I put off posting. It takes so long for me to get a picture right, or there's so little to show it hardly seems worth it. Yet I hate to give it up because it's really the only contact I have with other stitchers, with the exception of Instagram, which is like a mini-blog!

  25. What a great post Lee!! I'm definitely in the category of lack of Time!! I usually try to update my blog 2-3 a month if I have stitching to show. It also gives me a bit of a kick to my butt to get some stitching done to show my blogger friends. As for the commenting bit. I used to comment on most blogs I followed but after I started teaching this September, my time dwindled, as did my commenting. I try to now leave comments at least on those who comment on my blog and I read the rest when I have a moment. The change of technology I think is also an issue for many people. I use feedly but found if I follow someone, their blog doesn't show up in my feed unless I add them in there, which I am doing now. Great topic and neat to read people's responses1!

  26. Great post, Lee. I'm completely with you about the would-like-to-comment-within-the-blog-reader-software. I love comments and that's why I try to leave a comment as often as possible. It would be much easier and faster if I didn't have to change to the blog website but could do it from my Feedly site.