I too will be embarking on a little over 4 years of being in the blogosphere, and instead of writing this novel of a comment (of agreement and mild anguish) on her blog, I thought I’d put my thoughts here:
Honestly, there are places I look around and see in the blogging community and wonder “….but why? When did it get this way?” I think I wrote a post about this recently, about how a younger, blogger me put so much detail and emotion into posts… and how that same devotion seems to have paled a tad as time as progressed, as the commercialization has ensued. And you’re totally right. I return to blogs because I’ve fallen in love with the writer’s words, their style, their voice, the way they convey their experiences, from the most fun and interesting to the most simple or mundane. I’ve recently adopted a sort of smoke-screen mindset– when I was younger and I was performing in theatre, there was this cool thing that happened when I was onstage. The lights went up, the show started, and the audience vanished under the brightness of the lights. No longer was I worried about pairs of eyes, whispering, comments from the crowd. I was in the moment and ready to go, putting all of the effort I had into what I had before me. Only when a scene finished, a song ended, a humorous line said, or bows passed did I become conscious of the sea of watchers before me.
I’m not saying I don’t care about my audience (because to some degree I do!), but I’ve found that they can’t be the reason, the sun around which I orbit and do my best to please. I’m here to write, to share, to get thoughts out of my head so I can think clearly. This is my space, my corner, my house of thoughts that I have invested time and emotions in for a long time, and I fully intend to keep it just that. [You’ll never find ads on here unless Google forces me to!]
To me, personal postings, my relationships with other bloggers, and ramble-posts are greater than any kind of paid writing, sponsorships, or advertising. [I used to write articles for Odyssey, for “money”! It was terrible, and I have to say I died a couple times inside. It made something I loved into a pressured chore, as the people on my “team” were competing for shares, likes etc. to even GET CONSIDERED to get paid. Kind of a rip off, in my opinion.] But I don’t want my voice to feel compromised, forced, or fake.
That being said, I’m excited to just keep doing me, to keep chugging along, followers or no followers– staying “Strictly Stephanie”, true to myself, without any restraints or feeling disenfranchised.