A Blog Identity Crisis: Why DO I Do This?

Who knew that a quote from a movie about a kid skipping school would turn out to be something we all need to live by?

Who knew that a quote from a movie about a kid skipping school would turn out to be something we all need to live by?

Things do happen, sometimes in a hurry.  I feel like I need to look around a little bit.  This past month has been a blur.   I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  One thing that I wonder is how people who work full-time all the time manage to have blogs.  It is work.  Not just some work, a LOT of work to maintain a blog.  Especially one like mine where I post most days of the week and insist on putting images with my stories.

I really thought that getting out of the house would breathe new life into my writing.  I figured that I would be a fountain of ideas, and that I would have more than enough material.  It has actually been quite the contrary.  Truth be told I’ve been having a hard time coming up with ideas.  I’ve also struggled to maintain the quality of the work I had been doing pre-temporary employment.  That is, if you consider quality work to feature stories about peeing your pants…

I’ve shared with several fellow bloggers the fact that I am drained.  I feel like someone has sucked the creativity out of my body.  It’s not just working 40 hours a week, commuting an hour a day, and spending every rest of your waking moments with kids and a messy house.  Things have happened that I can’t really talk about that have made the whole experience that much more challenging mentally.  I’m not complaining by any means. It has been nice to have the extra income for awhile and being able to pay off some of our outstanding debt has been wonderful.  I was looking for employment when this came up and will continue to look for something after this is done, though most likely part-time, since my son will be out of school soon.

I’ve also found that if you don’t linger around and do things like read and comment on other blogs regularly, use social media to post updates several times daily, and just BE THERE it will really cause your blog views to sink like the Titanic.  This was not from lack of trying.  I found that you can’t cut and paste your stuff into an android phone like I do on my computer.  Where I am working, well, there are RULES.  You can’t be on Facebook and Twitter on your laptop computer or phone, unless of course you’re on your break.  When you work in a childcare center with no lounge, you want to go as far away as possible when you’re not working.  This is because they can still see you.  They all go down to the bathroom and they are waving at you and yelling hi-unless I go crawl under the tables I can’t really get away.  Especially since my daughter is one of them-she still doesn’t understand why she can’t go with me on my breaks!  I’ve been going to the gym on my break time, which has been lovely.

Imagine a whole class of them...

Imagine a whole group of them…

So I figured out some stuff here.  I write the post the night before.  I get up very early in the morning and publish it.  I share it to Facebook, Google Plus, StumbleUpon, etc (Twitter is the only automatic format that actually gets my stuff seen.)  I check on a few things from the night before, then it’s time to shower, get the kids up, etc.  On my break I check my phone, write down the url of my blog post and post updates and sometimes respond to comments.  Then I go to the gym.  After work I rush to pick up my son before it’s too late, fix dinner, do dishes, laundry…  By the time I can sit down, it’s almost time for bed.  And I wonder why I am not coming up with much these days.

The irony of all this is while my views plummeted, I have had a big increase in people who are fans.  More followers, more likes.  More than ever before.  Then this past week I was feeling accomplished because I had finally got my blog views back up to where they were before I started the job.  I was back over 100 views a day.  Yet I have over 800 people who follow my blog in some way.  I may not be a math genius, and I realize that some of these people are actually the same people following me (like my fellow blogging buddies “like” my page on Facebook but also follow me on Twitter so they actually know when I do something) but that makes me think that while these people may be following me, they aren’t reading my posts.

So I have a few hypotheses:  a) There’s something I’m missing here about how they count page views.  b)  All of these people like me, they just aren’t reading me.  c)  There has been some big mistake, and no one really likes me?

I won't bore you with stats.  This is more fun.

I won’t bore you with a pie chart of stats. This is more fun.

It’s discouraging when you feel like your hard work isn’t getting the attention you want it to.  Today I lost two followers on Facebook.  I’m used to it on Twitter, on Facebook not so much.  I’m sure it was one of those “Hey I liked you, now come like me” people who then got what they wanted as soon as I liked them back.  Kind of like a girl who puts out and then the guy dumps her. Ok, not really like THAT.  You get the idea, though.

I know it shouldn’t be all about page views.  Or how many fans you have.  This did start off as nothing more than a personal thing where I vented and told some stories.  Yet that day I signed up for the social media junk was when I maybe started caring more than I should.  I realize that I’m probably over thinking all of this.  In just a couple of weeks I’ll be back to doing what I was doing, and pursuing the hope that someday I might just be paid to do this.

Tomorrow is Wordless Wednesday. Then it’s Theme Thursday-I have finally picked a controversial topic to write about and hope that I don’t offend anyone with it.

Then I’m taking a break.

No I’m not quitting.  I’m not going to stop writing.  I’m just going to take the rest of the time I’m doing this job to rest my brain.  I put out a call for help this past week, and eight epic bloggers have stepped up to each do a guest post on my blog for the next week while I air out my shriveled up brain.  Please come back to read their stuff, and go show them a little love on their own blogs.

Menopausal Mother leads the pack out of the gate on Friday.
Following close behind is Ranting Seriously on Saturday.
The Wild and Wonderful World of Gingerssnaps is not having a day of rest on Sunday.
Mom’s World shows us something positive about Monday!
Something Clever 2.0 comes over with her own unique view on Tuesday.
Go Cheap or Go Home saves us big with her post on Wednesday.
When Crazy Meets Exhaustion is the woman of the day on Thursday.
Friday is the oops day.  I realized after I put out this call for help that it’s Fly on the Wall. Technically this doesn’t count in the whole week of Guest Bloggers.
Saturday PenPaperPad helps us cross the finish line!

I’ll have two days left of work after that, then kindergarten roundup, and a flying trip to swap my broken glasses frames that will have been waiting for me for a whole six weeks.  Then I start fresh… and I’m hoping to make some changes, or not.  I’ve been debating things like whether or not to purchase my domain.  I can’t decide if I have the skills or the patience for such a thing.  I am debating whether to only post certain days of the week.  I am trying to decide which ways I can best promote my writing without drowning in all of the social media outlets that are available and perhaps focus on those.  I am also trying to change the look of my blog itself, but trying to find something that has everything I need is a process…

Fellow bloggers, have you ever gone through an identity crisis?  How did you handle it?  Do you let your page views or number of followers or things of that nature bother you?  I’d be happy to hear from you and how you handled it.

I often feel like I'm saying nothing...

I often feel like I’m saying nothing…

Gerard Butler Has Nice Abs…Oh, Here’s The Weekly Wrap-Up

300 Likes On Facebook

300 Likes On Facebook!

I only fell one short of my goal to have 300 Likes on Facebook by Valentine’s Day.  Saturday evening I got online and saw that I finally reached 300!  Yay!  So that means that 300 people follow me on Facebook, and 225 follow me on Twitter, and 176 people follow my blog, but some of them are the same people… Um, I don’t want to do the math to figure out how many followers I actually have.  I’m very grateful for all of the fans that I can get!

Monday  They Don’t Know That We Know They Know We Know About The Sadder But Wiser Girl  I was challenged by Menopausal Mother to answer a bunch of questions.  So I did.  This is the result.

Tuesday  Phones Behaving Badly, and The Armadillo Fairy Princess Rides Again  My phone is so smart that it runs itself down by thinking too much…

Wednesday  Wordless Wednesday:  The Real World  

Thursday Theme Thursday: Pet Peeves  It’s Valentines Day, and I celebrate by complaining about stuff that bothers me.

Friday  Fly on the Wall February 2013: The Professor Edition  Last month the princess got her fifteen minutes.  This month it’s the Professor’s turn to be quoted.  If you haven’t read the posts by other bloggers yet, you really should!  Follow the links at the bottom of the post and check them out.  Want to participate or just want to know more?  Click on the s Fly on the Wall button on my sidebar.

Saturday A well deserved day off, sort of.  I got to hang out with my Mom and had some great Chinese food.  Then she went home and I went grocery shopping.  I lead a pretty exciting life.

Besides these posts, I can’t say that I did too much with my blog this week.  It was a full week at work for me and Evil Genius.  Since The Professor had a no school day this week, Grandma came up to stay with him.  She kicked the adults out of the house on Friday so that Evil Genius and I could celebrate Valentine’s Day a day late.  We spent a lot of time driving around trying to find a place that didn’t have an hour long wait.  Apparently EVERYONE was celebrating VDay a day late!

My Valentines.

My Valentines.

Best search terms this week

Chad Knaus shirtless People, there are no naked or shirtless pictures of Chad on my blog!!!  Sheesh…

Pictures of little tornadoes in your hair  ?????

Don’t touch my elf girl  Remember that episode of Spongebob with the guy named Kevin?  “Touch!”  “Don’t touch!”  I am so, so very pathetic…

The cheapest iron man suit on the internet  You’re not going to find it here.

The five stages of pizza  There are stages?

I have no idea what’s to come this next week… you’ll just have to keep checking back to find out.  Bring some of your friends!  I may have gained more followers, but I’m sure not getting the page views!