Tuesday, January 6, 2009

confessions of a confused correspondent


I have just two things to say today.


Number One - This is my 600th post.


Number Two - I'm pretty sure I've lost my mojo.


Do you suppose there's any connection?


The honest truth is that lately I feel like I'm struggling with this blog. It isn't that I don't have ideas on what to write about. Oh, god, do I have ideas. I'm blessed (cursed?) with the ability to run at the mouth on most any subject. It's just that I worry that it's too insular, too whiny, too self-absorbed recently. Yes, I'm aware that blogs are, virtually by definition, self-absorbed. I get that, but still can't help worrying that I'm becoming a little stale.


Certainly, there are other factors as well. Time is always an issue, and lately it seems even more so. I've held onto the blogging because, in a life that seems to always be taking care of other people, this is something that's for me. Something I love, and receive enormous satisfaction from. I may begrudge the time I spend cleaning, or driving to and fro, or hounding kids to take showers, but I never ever begrudge the time I spend blogging. It's a pleasure. I climb into bed, wrap up in a fleecy blanket and type away. It's for me, and it's something I genuinely look forward to. Better than late night television and cheaper than therapy.


But I'd be lying through my teeth if I said that I didn't love all the reader feedback. And this is where the waters get murky. I fully understand that you must make comments on other blogs to receive comments on your own. It's like the cardinal blogging commenting rule. This past year or so I've been really bad about doing it. (Hint: Notice title of blog. Did you think I was kidding?). And even though I know you have to write a blog for yourself first, it's still been a little humbling to see my comment count fall by two thirds - and still dropping.


So I've been pondering the chicken and egg dilemma. Is this happening because I'm a rotten commenter or because I've run out of interesting things to say? This is not a plea for more comments on a daily basis. I know I have to earn those. It's more a request for some honest feedback. I really want to keep doing this blog, but there's a part of me that is afraid it may have run its course. I'd like to think that one of you would tell me if I was full of crap, self-centered or worse yet, boring.


You would, wouldn't you?

42 comments:

WT said...

Depends on your motivation. If, as you say, you write for your own pleasure, then the comments shouldn't really matter. However, if on the other hand you really are the show pony we all suspect you are, and you are driven by comments, then you'll have to change your ways.

my two cents said...

Sometimes I don't comment becuase you've said it all so well it seems pointless. Sometimes becuase I don't have time or I am out of thoughts or energy to think. You are not stale or boring and I hope your blog hasn't run its course becuase I would REALLY miss you, and then you would go back to truly being a rotten correspondent again! Don't think this is a way to get me on Facebook!

It was a lot of fun when you commented on the comments. I do kind of miss that.

the rotten correspondent said...

alright - I'll make you both happy.

Peter - (sit down before you read another word so you don't stagger) - You're right. We've talked about this so many times. WHY do the comments matter?

Susan - I like commenting on the comments. But I've been working so damned much and I make it a point to NEVER use a work computer to check on the blog. By the time I get home at night it's sometimes all over but the shouting.

Oh, and also...I'll get you on Facebook yet, my pretty. BWAHAHAHA!!!!

Anonymous said...

I read it every day, I love it and I would miss it. It is thought provoking, funny, informative and good recipes too. Jalapeno popper dip, what's not to like? Please don't give it up.

my two cents said...

p.s. I get the working thing, and the it's all over but the shouting thing, too. It is going to take you and me and a tub of mint chip from Baskin Robbins in my kitchen to get me on Facebook. So, when are you coming?

ped crossing said...

It is a time thing too. I just haven't the energy or words lately to do much commenting. Feel free to swing by the zoo, my comments are down too.

Don't quit, you are still well worth a visit. :)

Devon said...

I'm the anti-blogger. I feel guilty because I read your blog, leave my witty comments, but no longer have a blog open for public consumption.

You have an amazing life and your humor and writing style make this one of the most interesting blogs I read!

Your blog hasn't run its course, it can evolve to whatever you want. I don't believe, as was suggested by WT, that you are really a comment whore. It does make it fun though...:)

Maggie May said...

No....... your blog isn't crap and it hasn't run its course.
I find from my own blog experiences though that if I don't visit blogs and comment on them fairly regularly, then I don't receive so many comments myself.
I personally like a bit of feedback although my blog is for me. I think that I personally need the connection with other people though.
Hope you manage to strike a balance.

Aoj and The Lurchers said...

You are right that you need to comment on other blogs to help keep your own comment quota up but I have noticed that there is a drop in comments all over blogland. I think we're all running a bit short on time these days!

softinthehead said...

That's so funny RC I have posted on a very similar topic today, must have something to do with a new year. I must admit that your blog and it's amazing comment rate is one of many that inspired my post. I love to read what you blog about and it has covered all topics over the past year, please be assured that I am always here even if I don't comment everyday. So whine away I'm listening!

laurie said...

if you love to write, and i think you do, you should keep writing your blog. you should write about whatever you want to write about, and not worry about whether or not it's whiny, etc. (for the record, it isn't.)

i don't comment here as much as i used to because you don't comment on my blog. it's not quid-pro-quo, and i'm not withholding comments to punish you; i just feel like blogging is a conversation: you tell a story, i respond; i tell a story, you respond.

but when months go by and you don't respond, it becomes performance art, not a conversation, and i no longer feel as compelled to answer you.

i'm still reading. but the conversation aspect has gone away.

so: comment to get comments. that's how blogs work.

sisterwho down under said...

Please Please continue to Blog I am an emergency nurse in a place called Ipswich Australia ( down under) At the end of the day I have no-one but a very small dog to bitch and unwind with, so your blog is the debrief and unwind I need....sometimes it is the only time I laugh in the whole day. I guess I sound pathetic and very sad person but I want you to know what this means to me. Thank you so much I feel that there is some -one across the world who thinks like me and raves like me and has similar experiences. Thank You so much.

askatknits said...

I think WT is full of shit! But, then he knows that very well!

He does suffer from impotence, if you have not read his latest blog post!

I enjoy your blog tremendously - WT directed me here! I owe him one for that, I think. Congrat's on 600!!

You write, we'll come and read. Promise!

Balou said...

I'm a new reader (here via Three Dog Blog) so your blog is all fresh and shiny new to me. What a great sense of humor you have.

I know what you mean though, the comments are a wonderful reward. But I do find the more comments I make, the more I receive. Now, if leaving comments translated into money, I'd be all over the blogosphere as the commenting whore, as I bet you would be too.

Thalia's Child said...

Your blog is one that I look forward to reading every day. But like you, I'm bad at commenting.

Kaytabug said...

I'll just be echoing and repeating others, Comments are a way of connecting with other people, with your readers and I do love that connection. But your lack of commenting on my blog has not stopped me from commenting on yours. I know I'm not a consistent commenter here but it has nothing to do with you or what you write. You and your writing are none of the things you are worried about.
You have to do what your heart tells you. I sure hope that means you keep up with your blog and write it however you see fit! Try to stop worrying about what others think. XO

Mya said...

I think you'd find it hard not to write.
I don't have the time to read or comment as much as I used to...but I do still visit regularly and enjoy what and how you write. I have eased up on the number of posts I do, because I just couldn't fit everything in. I still blog and I still enjoy it, but I've stopped being a slave to it.
Keep up the good work, RC. Even if you are a lousy commenter, who hasn't dropped by to see me for months!

Mya x

Wisewebwoman said...

What Laurie sez.
I view blogs as ongoing conversations, I favourite blogs coming from others who think like I do politically or have the same sense of the ridiculous or occasionally bleed on the pages, like I do.
Without comments we piss into the void.
My readership is up and my comments are down.
Does anyone care or am I a quick scan in the morning?
Do I care if you don't care?
Damn right.
XO
WWW

lv4921391 said...

RC I found your blog when I discovered Pioneer Womans and have been a reader of yours since then...I've mentioned your blog to several (3) students of nursing, even a 80ish old retired nurse from Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara CA...lots of times I don't comment...(about your boys for instance) cuz I believe kids need/desire firm discipline...I grounded my (Junior in H.S.) son once for 4 1/2 months... he's now a member of the "long gray line" USMA and his sister is a CPA with a big 4 firm...I have considered blogging but...hmmmm...son sent dau once the 10 famous sayings of lv...what a hoot...
RC I don't think you're stale and I do look forward to all your posts...I've made a couple trips to the local emergency room lately and thought about you as I sat for hours and hours in one of the rooms...btw both son and dau have sent me cards thanking me for being such a tough dad.

Altaglow said...

Sorry I don't comment more frequently but I only miss reading your blog when there's no computer around. But, you're the first thing I always read when I return to webland. I LOVE your blog. You're a GREAT WRITER. Please don't stop!! Love, Your mom

Autumn said...

Perhaps you don't have as many comments because you have readers like me who are also rotten commenter's. I have such a huge list of blogs that I love that it is so hard to comment on every one of their posts. I felt that I had to comment on this post though to let you know that you may not see me in the comments but I'm reading every single post of yours and enjoying them all.

Beckie said...

I read almost every post you write - I comment almost never. I enjoy what you have to say and I don't find your blog boring at all.

I vote you not give the blog up.

Anonymous said...

Not boring at all. I am wholly in awe of people who blog. I read a few- yours is one of my favorites. I don't comment very often though- sorry for that- not much too say

klcrab

-Ann said...

I always find you entertaining. I don't always comment because usually, everyone has already said everything I would have said.

Akelamalu said...

I have to agree with Laurie.

I so enjoy reading your blog but sometimes I deliberately don't comment because I think it doesn't matter. If you don't comment on other blogs you really shouldn't expect comments on yours. Unfortunately that how the blog thing works hon it's called blog etiquette - everyone likes an audience.

PS Congrats on the 600th post, I'm heading for mine too.

Potty Mummy said...

Hmm. 25 comments? I think you're probably ok by now...

the planet of janet said...

i am ashamed to admit that i lurk here. i dont comment much and why? i dont know. but i always read, and i hope you don't give it up because i would miss you and your tales of joy and woe very much.

i think comments are down everywhere. or perhaps if i commented more, you would too. often, i dont care if it's all over but the shouting. some of the fun is finding comments on old posts as well.

like a fine wine, they improve with age.

or not.

MarmiteToasty said...

Never never never boring...... I love it over here...

Ive not been around blobs much this pass week or this coming week, cos Im redoing all me ofsted paperwork policies and contracts and typing them all out, hundreds of them, and a new baby is taking up much time (NOT my baby LOL)....

Dont give up and congrats on the 600th post.... blimey....

x

Martis Mom said...

You really should be writing a book, you are very witty and funny. Martis Mom

Frances said...

Hah!
I HATE when people I read and comment on come by out of politeness and comment on my post of 3 months ago - so no - I don't comment to get comments. I only blog in fits and starts.

I comment if I have something to say and if I haven't bothered to read the comments already left. If I have read other comments, I usually find everyone has more than covered it several times and anything I have to say is redundant.
So this time I am writing first and reading after.
PS sometimes I don't comment because I don't have anything helpful to say or (not on your blog, believe me) I find what the blogger is saying to be so unconvincing or self-regarding, I fear writing what I really think. (especially when they have fans who bill and coo and tell them they are marvellous - I don't like to be Mrs Nasty) LOL
Basically, you are great and you don't only write about yourself, even when you whine, you give us a nice clear window to look safely at your world and it is a real good heartening read, even your begging for comments and compliments.
hugs

Frances said...

argh - now I've read all the comments, and I wish I hadn't bothered to write mine.
It is like a Greek chorus - almost a cacophany.
How can you bear getting all these comments?
You must be CRRRRRRRAZY to want more....
or, this is a thought, do you just count them and not read them?
Like a miser and his money? Hahaharrr mine all mine!

LOL
hugs

Anna Lea said...

Firstly, I don't think your blog is stale or boring in the least. I do however see where you are coming from in the comment department. I find myself not blogging nearly as much as I would like because I don't get comments on my own posts. It almost gets to a point where you wonder if anyone is really even reading it anymore. I also am a bad bad lurker. I read quite a few blogs daily, but very very rarely leave a comment, not because I don't find the posts interesting, but simply I am just not sure what to say often. I don't see most blogs as aquestion that needs awnsering, but rather a statement of another persons life.

laurie said...

wow,nothing rakes in the comments like a blog posting about why nobody ever comments!

so...whaddya gonna do, RC?

sharon said...

I don't blog but I do enjoy reading them and I occasionally comment if I have something to add or offer. Please don't give up. It's always great to read how your day has gone and, per-lease, why shouldn't you whine if you want or need to. Life's pretty crappy at times and a little whine is cheaper than therapy and less harm than too much wine would be ;-)

peekay said...

Shut up! I just got here and I think you are amazing! The fact that you are a comment whore hardly matters to me at all... I love you anyway.:-)

Iota said...

Hm.

I think it's probably to do with not commenting. We're vain souls, we bloggers (no different from the rest of humanity), and we like a bit of stroking from those we stroke.

If you like blogging, then don't worry about the comments. You still get loads. I'm happy if I get into double figures - you get lots more than that every time. Write for yourself, and if people want to read it and comment, great. If not, well, so what? If comments are important to you, I'm sure there are sites where you can pay to have people visit your blog and leave a comment on it (I was joking when I wrote that, but it's got me wondering...)

Why don't you just blog when you want to, instead of setting the target of blogging daily (or has that changed, and I just never noticed?)

Stacie said...

Don't go! :-)

speccy said...

I don't have a blog. I rarely comment. I read most days because you are a great writer and have made me care about you and your world. I sometimes read other blogs who get shedloads of comments, presumably because of 'etiquette', but the comments are all congratulatory and gushy. From here, that just doesn't feel right. But then, I don't blog!

Flutterby said...

Sharon says it for me too. I read your blog every day but only comment occasionally. Your blogs can have me ROTFL or HOCC (Head On Computer Crying - I just made that up).

BTW commenting and return comments are like having a conversation with the blogger who has become your friend.

Sueellen said...

I am a bad, bad commenter (because I rarely do), but I would miss reading you!! :-)

ciara said...

can't believe i didn't comment here. i've been a crappy blogger and commentator as of late. i even started a new blog with another blogger which is insane considering i can't keep up w anything else lol however, smarmoofus pointed me in the direction of blogging without obligation. i'm putting those babies up on my blogs cos that's just how it is.

http://www.tartx.com/blog/?page_id=233

movin' down the road said...

you totally got your mojo!