5 Blogging Insecurities or Will I Ever Be Freshly Pressed?

I started reading an Elizabeth Berg novel yesterday called Once Upon a Time, There Was You. I’m not sure I should have done it and I will now tell you why I say that.

Ms. Berg is one of the very best women’s fiction authors in the country, in the world, in the universe. That’s merely my opinion but I know a lot of people agree with that statement. I was immediately hooked. There was a prologue about a couple who’d planned to marry, from each of their POVs. They each had second thoughts about the other and misgivings, serious misgivings that they might be doing the wrong thing, but went through with the wedding anyway. They were both in their late thirties and felt it was “time to settle down”.

Fast forward twenty years. They have an eighteen-year-old daughter and guess what? They are now divorced. Not surprising, given their reluctance to go through with the marriage in the first place. A few chapters in and I am still hooked, and I really like the main characters. What a lovely book it’s going to be. And what I really want is to be reading it, instead of writing this blog or editing my own novel.

Reading a Berg novel, while it may not educate you in anything other than great food presentation, or perhaps serve as a tool to demonstrate what really good writing looks like, is vastly entertaining.

Uh. All the insecurities rear their ugly heads.

I won’t ever be as good, I can’t compete, I might as well devote my life to chasing after dust bunnies and finger prints. Is it too late to learn how to cook? Maybe bake a pie? Yeah, probably.

My day is divided into thirds while I babysit for my four-month-old grandson. He is remarkably predictable, and has periods of wake, sleep and eat. Three times during my day, he repeats this cycle and while he sleeps and sometimes while he is awake, I can do things other than tend to him. I promised myself, one period of Elizabeth Berg, one period of editing Perigee Moon and one period of blog writing.

This is period three, blog writing. Speaking of blogging, check out my stats from the beginning of time. Not sure I can keep it up but it sure looks good to see the lovely graph of hits go up and up each month.

And even though I see this steady increase, still my blogging insecurities are ever present.

Here are some of the things I worry about, blog-wise:

  1. Have I remembered to answer everyone’s comment? It is not polite to ignore comments and only if one goes viral is it acceptable to lump one response to several comments. A successful blogger should at least attempt to answer each one individually. I think I may have ignored a couple, but wait, crap. There’s one from last week I forgot about. Well, I’ll respond to that one right now.
  2. Does my latest blog post suck? Does it sound like I just wasn’t in the right mood but it was time so I wrote down just anything? Looking back at some of the earlier ones, I think some of them do, in fact, suck. Some more than others. Some are helpful to writers but boring to non-writers, some are superficially entertaining and have no redeeming value to writers but may appeal to non-writers. Some are vents and some are just whatever happened to inspire me that day, like political rallies or food labels or maligning the Kardashians. Do the writing posts suck, or the non-writing ones? Do they all suck?
  3. Why don’t many bloggers “like” my posts? This is a big deal. If I have more readers now, why doesn’t anyone “like” it? Do they hate it? If they do like it, why don’t they tell me, then I can get those cool emails from WordPress telling me Congratulations! Someone liked your post enough to click the Like button!
  4. Why don’t I get many comments? Is it because my posts aren’t interesting enough, or funny enough, or educational enough? Probably all of the above. I love getting comments! Whenever I see emails from comment-reply@wordpress.com I get euphoric with joy. The email has all the information, the name of the comment and the text. It’s so exciting to see these in my inbox!
  5. Will I ever be Freshly Pressed? This may not be familiar to some readers, but other WordPress bloggers know well what this status symbol does for the old stats. This is when the WordPress gurus themselves find a blog that they consider to be original and worthy of a place on the home page. I have started to follow many blogs based upon their Freshly Pressed status. My personal goal is to achieve this someday. What a feather in the old writing cap that would be. I’m not sure how the individual blogs are picked by the WordPress people, but somehow they find them.

So I wonder. I like to post once a week. Is it better to post a so-so article, or a rather dumb article, or a completely lame article, rather than post nothing at all?

I haven’t been feeling all that funny lately, so I hope the readers I have managed to accumulate stick with me.   

16 thoughts on “5 Blogging Insecurities or Will I Ever Be Freshly Pressed?

  1. Lynn, I used to stress over comments–then I learned that only about 1 out of 50 people who regularly visit my blog leave a comment. Sometimes 1 out of 100. I’ve created posts (I’m a cartoonist) that have inspired people to write a comment and often they will say that they’ve been reading my comic every day for MONTHS. So…

    Don’t worry about the comments. Or the likes. Just look at your numbers.

    • Wayne, good advice. I’ve heard that, that not too many people will comment, but isn’t it great to get them? Or seeing that little orange thingy with the number in it, of people who liked or commented or followed. That’s pretty exciting. Thanks!

  2. Lynn, first of all I too love Elizabeth Berg. The first book of hers that I read was, Talk Before Sleep. After that I was hooked. She has a way of getting to the heart of things using description. I, like you, may never be quite like her, but we want our own voices anyway. We need to be—us;)

    I’m a blogger who sometimes gets stuck with what to say. Should I write anything just to post a blog? My answer is no. I can’t. It’s like trying to eat a pizza with a full belly. It just doesn’t work. So, what I usually do is forget about the blog and tune in to life. Life is chocked full of things to write about, and once I take the time to chill and relax, my blog-pressure goes down, and my muse wakes up.

    I’ve been reading your blogs for a while and I think they’re great! Keep on being Lynn. That’s what I come here for, and I guarantee that someday, you will indeed be freshly pressed!

    • Elizabeth Berg’s novels seem to flow, and there aren’t any boring middles and the hook is always there and I never want them to end. I’m grateful she is still writing and I haven’t exhausted my supply of her novels. Thanks for saying this. Sometimes it seems easy, and an idea will just come to me and I’ll think, that’s a cool thing to blog about and other times, well, not so much.

  3. It is so nice to know I am not alone in my self-doubt. I always enjoy your blog posts, and yes, being Freshly Pressed is nice, but those numbers nose dive afterwards, and one really has to work to keep them up. And if you want more hits, just put a photo of a shirtless Hugh Jackman or Will Smith on one of your posts. I innocently did that because it related to my post that particular day, and since then I get frequent searches for Hugh Jackman 6-pack and Will Smith nude that land on my blog and boost my stats. Of course, I’m sure they don’t read the article, but hey, it’s all good. 😉

  4. I’ve never read anything by Berg, so I can’t speak to how good she is, but I’ll take your word for it. However, I do know how good YOU are. Your third book is your best yet, in my opinion. You just get better and better, seemingly more at ease with your character creations, with each book, and I can’t wait for #4!!

    • I do recommend her for that genre. It may not be your favorite but might be worth a try. Thanks, Sue, for your kind words about #3 and maybe, based upon what we discussed, #4 will be coming along in 2013.

  5. I think if Andy Rooney were alive and wrote a blog about his blogging and insecurities, he might end it with something like: “I haven’t been feeling all that funny lately, so I hope the readers I have managed to accumulate stick with me.” I always liked Andy Rooney.

    Should I post this or not? It probably sounds stupid. Maybe I’ll just skip it.

  6. Although I’m sure many people look at their stats (me included) I would not worry too much. I find that the posts I often want more views, likes or comments on, get less than more throwaway posts. But then not everyone wants to read something serious, they might just want 5 or 10 minutes. Plus many are not wordpress readers and could just be passing by, or read then leave. If you have no readers on a consistent basis, then I would worry.

    It reminds me, that I was going to test something on a post (but haven’t done it yet) which was to put a random statement in with a person or phrase that I know to be a big internet search term. Then I will see how popular this post becomes in terms of views. It is just for my interest. And I know which post to put it into…

  7. The posts i wrote which have received the most attention, or at least the most hits, will not be read by anyone who cares about my books, which is my ultimate goal after all, to attract readers. I am interested in SEO (huge topic I know) so it would be interesting to find out how you fare when inserting that statement into your post. Is it the body of the post, or the title, or the keywords which influence search engines? Very interesting subject.

  8. Great post, Lynn. I admire anyone who has the discipline to blog consistently. I discovered last year that I am more suited to social media, where I can pop in and out at my leisure, and now only blog on our group blog. A few weeks ago I got a response to an old blog which requested I resume blogging, as the chap wished to discuss some issues I’d brought up. I thought about it for about, I dunno, a nanosecond, before I responded to him by email. Blogging is not for everyone, but your numbers of hits and the way it’s been growing show that you are on the right track.

    As for comments, there are many reasons why folks decline to comment. They may feel intimidated commenting on an author’s site, they may simply not have the time, they may just have appreciated the topic and/or humor and have nothing to add.

    I say, well done!

    ps. When I went to ‘Like’ your post, it required I logon again to my WP account, which was annoying as I was already logged in, but fortunately I do have one. Many readers won’t.

    • Thanks, Sharon. Blogging does take a lot of time, that’s for sure, and I find myself getting anxious by the end of the weekend if I haven’t come up with a subject to write about. I try to have a couple of ideas in my head but sometimes it is intimidating.

      Odd, the posts I think might generate comments, sometimes get very few. It all takes time and patience.

      Thanks so much for commenting.

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