Monday, June 20, 2011

Runaway Blog

For the last month or so, when I look over my blog, I'm not happy with it. I wouldn't say it's a runaway, but it definitely got off track. Part of it is because I've been too busy to give it the attention I used to. I think of something I want to write about, but by the afternoon when I can finally sit down and write, I've either forgotten or am just too tired to put that much effort into an article. Also, I haven't been feeling well lately and my doctors have not come up with either diagnosis or treatment. So far they have ruled out a UTI or uterine cancer, and in two weeks I will be screened for ovarian cancer, cysts, or uterine fibroids. I'm the world's worst worrier, especially after dark, and when I worry, I get irritable, and less inclined to write cheerful, entertaining, or informative posts. As many times as I've turned it over to the Lord, I've pulled it back to worry over when I'm awake and alone at night. So my apologies to my children, husband, and friends who have quit reading my blog. I don't blame you a bit.

But that isn't the only reason my blog has taken a turn in the wrong direction. I got caught up in blog reading and commenting. It started when someone, and I can't even remember who now, had a linky party - something craft related as I recall, and I posted a link to something I had just finished. I got a lot of responses to it and quite frankly, I was smitten with the flattery, which just goes to show how dull my little life is. I also felt I had to comment on the blogs of everyone who had commented to me, and to everyone who had posted to that linky party. Then the next week, I had to post and comment again, and since I'm not the most creative person in the world, it took me a good while to even think of something worth linking, and then by the following week, I couldn't think of anything to make that wasn't just a copy of someone else's craft. Two weeks and I had hit bottom. I told you I wasn't creative.

About that time too, we had work done on the house and I had to get down the ten plastic totes with all my fabric and half-finished quilts. Since I had taken apart my sewing room, all those totes were stacked in the den, in the way, and totally unorganized. That's about the time I stumbled across a blog with a weekly linky party to show progress on quilts and using fabrics. Just the inspiration I needed to get that stuff organized, start working on it, and get it out of the house. And once again I got caught up in the comments. But this time I found that I was spending a lot of time commenting on other blogs, and getting few comments in return; not even the blog owner ever returned my comments. After that started bothering me, I slapped myself on the forehead (figuratively of course, I didn't want to give myself a headache) and asked myself why I was wasting time commenting on blogs where I never got a return comment and didn't know the people anyway. I guess psychologically it was something to do instead of worrying, but it had actually turned into something that added stress instead. So I won't be doing that anymore. I found some great blogs through that blog's linky parties, so it wasn't all for naught.

I once read an article about blog etiquette that made me realize that I was doing everything wrong on my blog. Since then, I've changed most of the things that other bloggers seem to find annoying, and I've thought of doing a post on blog etiquette, but I don't think I have anything to add to those that have already been written. Do a search and you'll get a lot of links. I'm sure there are still things in my blog that annoy a certain number of readers. One thing I'm working on is the load time. This entertaining article, Goldilocks and the Three Bloggers at Life...With Books links to the website Pingdom which tests the load time of a web page. Sometimes my blog loads at four seconds and sometimes over ten, and I can't figure out why the same link has such speed variation. I have wondered how quickly or slowly my blog loads for other people, but other than taking out some of the photos, I'm not sure how to speed it up.

Originally, this blog was just going to be a diary of my attempt to get healthy and renovate our home. Then my children left home and it became a way to let them keep up with our everyday lives. I let a few friends know about the blog and found new blog friends through other blog lists and before I knew it, my focus wasn't on our everyday life at all. After seeing other blogs that made money just by providing space to advertisers, I toyed with that idea. I didn't think about it long, less than an hour even, but making a little money is an intriguing idea when you are a stay at home mom. But other blogs seem to start with a few ads on the side and then progress to posts devoted to their advertisers; that is so annoying that those blogs aren't on my blog roll any more, so I dropped that idea.

Speaking of my blog roll, the blog etiquette rule makers have declared that the purpose of the blog roll is to let the blog's readers know of interesting blogs, and not posting any blogs that have linked to your blog causes hurt feelings. I didn't know that as I used the blog lists to see when new posts were added. But it does make sense that others could get their feelings hurt, I mean look at me with my hurt feelings over comments, so I moved my lists over to my test blog.

So, to conclude this commentary to anyone still reading, I'm going to start writing about our lives again, showing progress on the house and garden, and of course talking about the cat. I'll show you things we've made and explain how to make them, especially if it's something I may want know how to repeat sometime. And I'll limit my quilt progress reports since the kids seem to find them "real yawners" but I will combine them into one weekly post so I can continue linking to Kate's blog, because 1) it's good for me, and 2) I like her blog and the people who also link to it.

I have some long dry spells between posts; I don't want to spend every post whining about doctors, waiting rooms, and out of date magazines. But have you ever noticed that the longest waits are at doctor's offices with the worst magazines?

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4 comments:

501 Quilt Blocks said...

It is a thrill to know that others are reading your blog and getting comments is exciting. I find myself working on projects as much for the enjoyment as for having something to blog about. My blog is mostly quilting related but I do belong to some 'linky' groups to add a little variety. I started blogging to document my '501 Project' so it's mostly a record for myself. As far as etiquette goes, where did you find the information? I'd be curious to read it.

Marti said...

I do that too, both with projects we're working on, and photo ops. Even Hubby will spot something when we're driving and ask if I want to circle around for a photo for my blog. lol

I think the blog, Blogging Basics 101 has the most complete information on both etiquette and things to do to make blogs better.

I still like linky groups too, and probably will link to others from time to time, but since my kids find that sort of thing extremely boring, I'll have to find a way to make those posts interesting also.

Kate said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your health concerns. I'm a worrier too, so I get the part where you can't put it away. Wish I had answer to putting it away at night, I've been known to read until the book falls out of my hands in order to keep from thinking about a major concern.

You touch on some very interesting points. I'm going to check out the Blogging Basics site, sounds like some good information. It's easy to get caught up in the reading/commenting loop. That's one reason I need the 15 minute challenge, it makes me set a time to shut off the computer every night.

I think the longest wait and and the worst magazines is just one of the many restatements of Murphy's Law.

Grandma K said...

I am really sorry about the health issues you have been having! Did I read this wrong - you have a test blog??
I love your blog! Don't worry about things. Your blog is you blog. And I am grateful for it!