The mind bloggles…

I’m sure the title of this post isn’t original. It’s a bit obvious, isn’t it? But I am moved to write about something I have noticed as a fresh blogger (Frogger?). I bet everyone goes through this process when they start, but since I have a blog, why not blog about blogging. Ooh, a piece o’candy!

After only a day or so of setting this up I’ve realised just how narcissistic and potentially distracting this blogging lark might be.

So far I have spent time choosing a look and feel (and then deciding I don’t like it – watch out, it might change); adding blogroll links – always worried I’m going to offend someone by leaving them out; writing a post; editing a post; editing a post; editing a post; telling people I had a blog, then playing with widgets…and then this…and then that….. And then there was the sitting back and waiting to see what happens.

And that’s the bit starting to worry me. I have become obsessed with seeing who’s visited the blog. I start to obsess about whether anyone’s commented on my post. I greedily watch the statistics go up and down. I then wonder why the people who visited haven’t left a comment (‘did they not like it?’). By the way, this isn’t a plea to leave a comment. Honest. (but, if you do feel moved to…).

In short, blogging has activated my narcissistic paranoia.

Already.

And then I think that blogging is essentially narcissistic, isn’t it? After all, fundamental to blogging is the (vain?) hope that someone wants to read one’s musings. Otherwise, why bother with putting the stuff up in the first place? Stop fretting, Carl, welcome to a Web2.0 ‘publish yourself’ lifestyle.

So, blogging friends, did you (do you) suffer from the same sort of obsession? Is it something that goes away and you just get on with writing what you want anyway regardless of whether anyone reads what you writ?

Or are we all – at heart – friendless, narcissistic paranoiacs indulging in a silly pastime?

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18 thoughts on “The mind bloggles…

  1. Since I visited, I thought I should leave a comment to say I enjoyed the post! 🙂 It describes exactly how I think I would feel if I started a blog. Apart from not having anything interesting to blog about, I won’t be starting one any time soon because I’ve enough to fret about as it is.

    I’m glad you’ve started though… and I like the look!

    • Thanks Carol – of course, I am now fretting that you only left a comment because I made the (half-)joke about it. DAMN you paranoia, begone!

      But seriously, like I said in Magpie mind, I spent a long time trying to work out what my blog would be about only just to accept that it might be about ‘anything’. I think themes will come up, but just doing one was better than thinking about it.

      I think.

      Off to count the stats again!

  2. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of leaving a comment after visiting a site. I too, look at the map light up, quickly scan my dashboard for the telltale red comment note or I follow the links that let me know how they found me. Last year I had 1 blogpage and now I have 17 blogpages. Some for class projects, some professional and others are personal. We blog because we want to share. We check our visitors in hopes that someone listened to and agreed with our words.

    Nothing wrong with a little narcissism

  3. Nice start, Carl!

    My tip is you never judge the value of your blog post by the number of readers or comments. People are busy and often only manage to read a blog post but don’t find the time to comment. Many people are also shy to say their opinion in public.

    I’ve started blogging in the summer of 2008 and there were no comments on my blog for a long time and then only very few. Still it is rather an exception. That’s OK with me because I have chosen to write about a niche topic and I don’t need traffic to earn money from it. I enjoy it and it is a good way of creating a portfolio of my work, and I know that some people get something out of it.

    • Thanks Nergiz –

      …never judge the value of your blog post by the number of readers or comments. People are busy and often only manage to read a blog post but don’t find the time to comment. Many people are also shy…

      Yes, of course, you are right. I don’t think I could keep blogging if the (number of) comments were the only measure of value I got from it. I do find it a good discipline (already) and just fun. I’ve always liked words, playing with them, communicating with them. In this connected world, it does seem natural to blog – at least natural to me…

  4. Well, I’ll come out and admit that there is a narcissistic undertone to my blogging activity. And my first blog post was about blogging… that’s standard format.

    Apart from the fact that you have offended me by missing me off your blog roll, you’ve made a very good start.

  5. Hello. Nice blog. I was going to reply to the first one, but only to comment that you’d nicked one of my ideas for your first blog heading. But then I thought that that would be harsh, and not the sort of thing a friend would do, so I decided I wouldn’t.

    Oh, DAMN!

    • Are you sure I nicked it? I don’t recall that! I thought it was something I had used to describe myself when I was talking about something at the office. Honest.

      If I did, I publicly apologise – I still think it suits me though!

  6. Hi Carl, welcome to blogging!

    All I can say is it will get better but not for a loonnnnnnnggg looonggg time.

    For now, you will check your stats two or three times a day. You will wonder why no one is putting you on their blog roll – doesn’t anyone care that you’re writing? You will suspect that there must be a clique, a party you haven’t been invited to.

    You will worry that you are writing too much and you will worry that you haven’t written enough.

    Your friends will say things to you like “how much money do you make” and when you shyly confess that there are things of greater value than the almighty euro, you will pretend not to see the scoff in their eyes.

    You will stop in the middle of the street, scrounge around in your bag to grab a notebook but there isn’t one, a tissue will do and you will feverishly pen the outline to a new blog post.

    You will stress that you have unintentionally offended during a rant, oh those are just too much fun to avoid doing Candy Man, meanwhile who you were really pissed off at never saw the post.

    You will look at bloggers getting 80 comments and think you are doing this all wrong, your writing crap and you will wonder why why why did you ever begin blogging.

    AND THEN ONE DAY

    It will simply be a part of your every day life.

    You will forget to check the stats. Your posts will take off on wings of their own and sometimes there will be those who have more to say than “great post” instead they engage with you and add to the complexity of your writing.

    You will be surprised as you see your blog turning up on blog rolls because you have now proved your mettle and your service to the blogosphere – your blog will no longer be a silly child of doodles nor a petulant teenager complaining about issues she cannot change – instead she will be her own “thing” and in the background you will have far more articles lying in draft than you can possibly ever publish.

    And most importantly, she will not be a narcissistic beast but instead a highly pleasurable act of sharing.

    Welcome to the ‘sphere, enjoy your time here 🙂

    Karenne

    • Wow! Thanks Karenne. What a fantastic tale of blogging adolescence that is.

      As you say, I will keep on keeping on even when sometimes the writing is crap and the topic is a bit meandering.

      Thanks for your words of encouragement.

      C.

  7. Pingback: 2010 in review « Ooh! A piece o'candy!

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