, , , , , ,

So recently I’ve noticed I may not be entirely clued in on the specifics of blogging etiquette. I had a blog, of sorts, on Myspace. Only my allowed friends could read it, and I didn’t have to think much about the rules. I didn’t always think much, period. So now here I am, and I am essentially clueless… a blogging novice. If someone “likes” one of my posts, am I supposed to like one of theirs by default, or thank them for stopping by? What about people who follow my blog? Am I supposed to automatically follow theirs as well?

As I mentioned in another post, a certain percentage of people who follow this blog seem to be less genuine bloggers and more… sales people? People who are trying to convince me I can make money by blogging. Their blogs have no substance, and there seems to be nothing to follow, per se. But am I supposed to? This stuff genuinely confuses me.

I currently have 32 followers, most of whom I don’t know. I think that’s amazing. It may seem like a small number to you “pros” out there, but to me the notion that there are 32 people who are apparently interested in what I have to say is phenomenal. I’ve only been doing this for a couple of weeks, and I’ve had over a thousand views. Again, small potatoes to some, but to me… absolutely mind blowing. Would I like more followers? Sure. Do I want to read some sales person’s blog on how to make that happen? Not so much. I certainly find the idea that I could earn money from doing this appealing, if dubious. How that would happen is totally a mystery to me. If any of you (non-sales people) knows the secret, feel free to fill me in. Also, if there are obvious rules of etiquette I have been flagrantly ignoring, clue me in on that as well. I’d be grateful.

A friend had emailed me with the idea of starting a more specific blog, possibly tailored to eventually generating income. I suppose I could discuss shopping or makeup or something along those lines. These are all things that genuinely interest me, but I am somewhat unclear of how I would format that kind of blog. The blogs I have seen seem to be run by women who can go out and buy clothes, for example, clearly not a current possibility for me. Am I supposed to say, “Hey, check out that adorable dress on xyzdresses.com! I can’t buy it, but you should!” Again, lack of experience in this medium leaves me feeling out of my depth. I also recognize that those kinds of blogs have a very carefully thought-out appearance. They certainly don’t use default themes. I happen to like mine, but I also don’t really know how to personalize it. I hope that’s one of those things I can discover along the way.

I do know that I love to write, and could probably do it for a good portion of my day (assuming I were allowed to). I’m not sure I’m apt to sit down tomorrow and bang out the next Great American Novel, but at least I have rediscovered that writing is more than just fun for me. It’s essential. I love it. I should never, ever have stopped doing it. It feels like I have turned on a part of my brain that was just kind of sitting around. Mental atrophy, awesome. Seriously, I feel more like myself when I am writing than I do at any other time.

That sounds strange as I read it. I love being a wife and a mom. I love almost every aspect of being a mom, really, something I never would have believed back in my 20’s. I have been happier raising my kids than I have at any other other time in my life. My determination to remain at home with them has been a huge part of what brought us to this place of financial chaos. And yet… I can’t regret being here, discovering this aspect of myself. Writing feels similar, only unlike parenting, it’s something I always knew I wanted to do. Well, in kindergarten I apparently wanted to be a trapeze artist, but I assume soon after that reason kicked in and I realized I don’t have an ounce of balance or grace in my body. From that point forward, writing would have been it.

So what happened? Again, fear. I listened to the voices – from within and without – the ones who told me I had better pick a real job, the ones who told me in so many words that I’d never succeed. Face it, the voices in my head were the loudest of them all. They always are. So now what? I really don’t know. Maybe this will be as far as I get. Maybe a year from now I’ll still have 32 followers, no real plan, and no money. It seems possible. I plan on writing every day, regardless. I feel more whole when I write… the emptiness ebbs a bit. That alone makes it worth the effort. If someone else gains something, all the better. You’ll find nothing but honesty here. Perhaps more than you want. This is who I am, or at least the parts I am willing to reveal. I hope you’re good with that. I am, at least for now.