So who knew that writing about being poor would be such a popular topic?!
I was surprised by and grateful for all the kind, supportive words and I was impressed with all the great questions that came in the comboxes.
And when the series was over, I confess I knew that I should post some great follow up. I should have kept that momentum going with a wonderful Welcome to all my new readers, or some insightful further comments from the series, or I don't know, just a killer post.
But instead I took naps, baked mini apple pies, tidied the house, spent Friday night with some friends from my parish, attended a wedding, and went on a special outing with my kids, mom, and mother-in-law. I didn't take a bunch of pictures to edit and share on the blog. I didn't Instagram it all. I didn't write another post. The reason is because I'm a bad blogger, but I'm getting really good at living.
I'm not commenting on others' blogs or lives of course, but it is funny because I run a side business helping other bloggers grow their readership, make their goals, and better utilize social media. Basically, as a blogger myself I do exactly what I tell them to do and follow none of the advice they are usually looking for.
What I tell them to do is to blog so they enjoy it, otherwise they will grow to hate it. Blogging for me has always been a hobby. It's a nice way to communicate my thoughts and likes and family memories. Growing a blog, increasing hits, and gaining new readers and a significant income comes down to two things: a lot of work and at least a little bit of luck. I don't want to do all that work, I just want to write when I'm in the mood to write.
The minute blogging stops being fun and starts being work is when bloggers feel stressed and burnt out, it's why so many walk away from blogging. Now there are a lucky few who happen to love the work of blogging so for them it continues to be life-giving, but that wouldn't be me.
So I guess I want you to know that about me: by many standards I'm a Bad Blogger because I don't always make shareable graphics, I don't post on a regular basis, and I'm not writing "click bait" titles. But by my standards I'm a Great Blogger because I've been doing this for eight years and I still enjoy it. I don't get caught up in the stats and I don't sweat it if I walk away for a bit so I can focus on life.
It's a lesson I had to learn over those eight years, and my blogging is definitely different than it used to be. For example, I used to share lots of pictures of the kids but not any more. About a year ago I had this realization that while many of my regular readers do care about my family there are plenty of people who pop over here because of Sheen's cause who don't really care at all about my family. They are consuming a story and then they move on. I don't want them knowing all the details about my kids, so I shut down the blog for a bit (having a bit of a freak out moment), and when I came back I stopped using their real names and started only sharing pictures of their faces that are blurry or partial.
Again, it's not a comment on any other blogger or how they do things, it was just what I needed to do. And I thought you should probably know that, too.
So I guess this is that follow up post I knew I needed to write. It's not a killer one, but it's one I wanted to write - a little chat about blogging.
Thanks for reading, guys. Thanks for showing up again and again and for being a part of my community. You're the best.