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Last night I went to bed upset. I literally cried myself to sleep, and I haven’t done that in years. I was upset about a situation at work, upset about how I haven’t been sticking to my Morning Pages, upset that I haven’t stuck to my health goals, and upset about the blog. Just while getting ready for bed, I received three comments, an email, and two comment form submissions that were disagreeing with me, negative, or downright troll-like.
“Alison, you know by now that you can’t please everyone,” Karl told me. And he’s right. If every blog post received positive comments I would feel there’s something wrong in the universe. But lately with the direction of the blogosphere, every critical reaction freaks me out and upsets me. It used to be fun to have a debate in the comments, now I worry that such a debate will go to one of the mommy boards where they will take the discussion from how they disagree to how I am gaining weight and my husband is gay. Or I worry that readers will think I wrote something controversial to spur pageviews and press as so many bloggers these days are known to do.
I told Karl, “Stuff like this takes the fun out of blogging.” I went to bed wondering why I still blog. I am not contracted to it, while it does bring in income for my family I could make the same amount getting a part time job at Starbucks or freelancing. Why should I let myself lose sleep over a hobby? Not the hobby, the people who have chosen to read my hobby and comment on it? This is stupid, it’s not worth it. I’m sick of being attacked each time I choose to not sanitize my words, write something that isn’t perfectly vanilla, be judged by each Instagram photo. I wanted to shut down my entire electronic self and go hide in a cabin and be a recluse in yoga pants with my husband and daughter.
This morning I woke at 5:30 to do my Morning Pages, and I cheated and checked email first. And I received this one from Mara Glatzel, a life coach whose emails I just signed up for the week prior. And it made me feel so much better, made me realize that I am letting the few hold me back. And that I am the reason for my unhappiness.
How can I please those who find $2,000 skin care routines for billionaires to be too extravagant? I was going to write a whole long blog post about Martha Stewart’s percentage of her yearly income on skincare and charity, and then compare it to mine, and get all spiteful and snarky. How can I please those who find my wardrobe to be too expensive? I’m not going to change my personal style for a stranger in Arkansas. Do I really need to share my annual salary or percentage of my salary that goes to personal style to justify my blog? Why should I have to prove that my marriage is real to some anonymous folks on a message board when everyone who knows us in person can clearly tell we love each other? Why do I need to prove that I am a good mother, I don’t even have a parenting blog! Why change my message, the same general message I have had for the life of this blog, for the few? My work is not for those people. The blogosphere is so vast, everyone can find a blog or blogger that appeals to them.
Blogging is a hobby/profession where your success lies in how popular you are. Your pageviews, your followers on social media, your Klout score, your Alexa rating. To stay competitive it’s easy to fall into a trap in trying to please all the people all of the time.
If you find something I write offensive or stupid or silly or rude, I know there is a blog out there that is a better fit. I have no problem with you, I am not judging you, I want you to be happy and feel fulfilled so I encourage you to check out other blogs on the blogosphere. If you don’t like me as a person or question my marriage or parenting or personal style or writing style or how I decorate my home… that’s fine. Again, I want you to enjoy blogs, they are awesome. Do check out some blogrolls, do a bit of Googling and perusing of Bloglovin’ and I KNOW you will find your blogging soul mate. I can’t please you, and I am going to stop trying. It’s not healthy for either of us. We deserve to be happy.