Lately it seems I've got nothing really to say. For anyone who knows me (and by that I mean has crossed paths with me for at least five minutes), this is major. I'm rarely able to keep my yapper shut for more than a few minutes at a time, and if we are more than three people deep in a Starbucks line and you initiate conversation, you're going to know my life story by the time you get to order that latte (a HUGE exaggeration, but you know, it's my blog; I can paint myself to be however I want--and apparently I want to paint myself as the world's most annoying over-sharer).
But in general, I am just feeling quiet lately. And it stresses me out. Especially here on the blog because in the world of blogging, quiet = losing readers. This makes me feel all angsty, because the truth of it is, knowing that people come here to read what I've written gives me a great sense of happiness.
I've hit the wall of realization that this blogging thing is never going to get me discovered as any type of writer; there was a time before I even realized there was a Jennifer Lancaster or Julie Powell or a Heather Armstrong, when I thought, "hey, maybe if I write this little bloggy thing, I'll get discovered and I'll get to write books! SQUEEE!" It's kind of embarrassing to admit that now, actually, but there it is.
Attending BlogHer last summer was a big turning point for me in terms of how I see my blog. I started my blog when I was on bed rest, googled my particular complication and found Amy's blog. It was the first thing I ever knew about blogging. I had never even heard of it before. I started my own blog as a way to pass the time. I told a few people about it, and loved the connection I felt to friends and family as they commented on my posts about doctor's appointments, hospital food and finally, bringing home our little screaming baby.
But as I further explored the vast world of blogging on the interwebs, opened a Twitter account and found a whole new world of bloggers, and attended BlogHer in Chicago last July, I grew increasingly intimidated. And uncertain about what I was doing and why. Was I simply a "mommy blogger"? Would I ever get into the world of product reviewing (I have since figured out my answer to that---a resounding, big fat NO; that whole genre (for lack of better word) of blogging makes me twitchy, as tempting as it is to get things for free.) Is it worth blogging if your blog never gets 1000s of readers? Should I start doing give-aways and contests to get more readers? The list of "should I''s and "why do I"'s went on and on.
There are millions of us out here writing stories, making people laugh, taking photographs, waxing philosophic and basically just sharing little pieces of ourselves with a largely anonymous audience. And the full realization of that kind of took the wind out of my sails. Rather than being inspired by BlogHer, I walked away from the experience feeling, for the most part, insignificant.
Don't get me wrong; it wasn't all bad. At BlogHer, I got to meet some people who have inspired me and made me laugh for years, some of them no more "successful" than me, when standing in the lobby of the hotel surrounded by the likes of Amalah and Jennifer Lancaster (I even got to have dinner with Lancaster, which was pretty damn cool) and other bloggers I can't identify, but who were being interviewed by dozens of different social networking sites.
Since then I've struggled to make peace with the disillusionment of my delusions of grandeur when it comes to the whole blogging thing. It's not so bad to be tiny and insignificant in the world of blogging, I guess. I've realized that my blog is simply what it is: a place where I share my stories with as much humor and honesty as I can muster on any given day, and where I can count of a handful of readers/friends to reach out with a comment or two. And I know that whenever I get a minute, I can click to any number of blogs I frequently read and find something to think about or laugh about as well. I've discovered that that is really all I care about when it comes to blogging. Checking in with those people I've come to genuinely care about, whether they live one town over and I see them often, or thousands of miles away and we've never met--that's what blogging is about for me now.
It's that connection I worry about losing when I start to feel a little quiet, like now.