Dear Bloggers, I’ve talked with many of you throughout the blogging years. We’ve shared the trials and tribulations of blogging. The ups, the downs! The highs, the lows. The wonderful creativity of sharing ideas and thoughts, the lulls in inspiration.
Yes, we’ve shared a lot. Bloggers of the world, I salute you! I salute you for sharing of yourself publicly. You’ve taken yourself from the world of private journal to public column. You’re expressing yourself on a world-wide screen. You’re out of the closet! High Five, dear blogger. You’re awesome.
We’ve talked, haven’t we?–about those trials and tribulations. We’ve uttered our doubts, our sadness, our frustrations.
The frustration one of my friends expressed recently broke my heart. I am still thinking about it.
She spoke from your deepest blogging pain. She mentioned dearly beloved family members. Precious friends. And then she uttered these words:
“I just want to say to them–If you loved me, you would read my blog.”
Yes, dear blogger, I know what you mean. In my most secret thoughts (OK, not my most secret thoughts–I think they’ve been said aloud more than once) I have felt the same thing. And I have heard this from the confessional lips of more than one blogger.
Maybe bloggers who write about specific topics such as photography and nature and spirituality don’t mind. They don’t expect family members and friends to read. Because who is really interested in all subjects? We can forgive Grandpa the raving fundamentalist for not reading our spiritual blog. We can forgive our sister the doll collector for not reading our gun-collecting blog. We can forgive our city-dwelling friends for not caring about wildflowers and moose.
“But–” said my suffering blogging friend, “This blog is about me. Someone they say they love. Why don’t they want to read about what I think? What’s happening in my life? I mean they don’t have to stop by every day. But every few days? Why don’t they care?”
I wonder how to answer this question. Let’s try this approach:
“I’m sure it’s not because they don’t love you,” I say. “They are probably busy. Maybe they are not readers. Not everyone likes to read!”
“My sister reads books every day,” my blogger friend replies.
I try Approach #2.
“Maybe you need to turn it around. Try to look at it differently. I know! What if you look at it like we are all pieces of God. Only certain parts of God will resonate with what you want to say. Then you can be grateful with whoever decides to visit your blog.”
“Are you a religious fanatic?” she asks.
“I am a spiritual fanatic,” I reply and begin to think quickly about Approach #3.
“OK, I really do know what you’re feeling,” I say. ” My husband would understand, too. He’s been writing a column for the local newspaper for at least 30 years. He’ll meet people on the street who will say, ‘Been fishing lately?’ or ‘What’s happening with you?’ and he’ll know they haven’t been reading his column because he’s told everyone in town what’s been happening lately.”
I could tell she was starting to feel better. If a newspaper columnist feels this way, it’s OK for us bloggers to feel this way, too.
“I think he’s gotten used to it after 30 years,” I continue. “He doesn’t really seem to mind.”
“I wish I could get to the point where I don’t mind,” she sighed. “When my mother asks me what I’ve been doing I want to scream: read my blog! I have been writing my heart and soul out. If you loved me you would read my blog. You would.”
“Some people don’t want their friends and family members to read their blog,” I try to console one last time, “They want their blogging to be a private space.”
“I wish I felt that way,” she said, “I wish I could be mature enough to say that it doesn’t matter. But it does matter to me. I want my friends and family to care enough.”
Suddenly something begins to take shape. “You know,” I say hesitantly, “maybe our true friends and family are the ones who are present to us, who do care, who show up regularly. Maybe whoever is in our life today–whoever engages–is what is important. Not who we want to show up. But who does show up. Maybe our heart just needs to be open beyond old expectations of friends and family. Who shows up today are friends and family…do you think?”
Dear blogger, I care enough about you to read what you have to say. Thank you for sharing of yourself. Thank you for your creativity, the way you express your feelings in such a real way, your unique expression. Don’t ever quit blogging. No matter who reads–and who doesn’t read.
**Disclaimer. The names, sentences and thoughts have been altered to disguise the frustrated blogger. I have taken amazing creative license (with her approval) to attempt to share this common blogging woe.