Howdy! Are we really at the third day of this? Huh, how time does fly. Like a little bird!
Sidenote that has nothing to do with anything: Mom’s staying at camp this week, getting it ready for the summer season, and found a mummified squirrel in the woodshed. “It was COMPLETELY MUMMIFIED!” she said in horror. “What’d you do with it?” I asked. “Threw it down into the woods, what would you have done with it?” she said. “I don’t know, probably studied it and then sent photos of it to Andreas,” I mused. She was not pleased and thought that was grotesque of me. I don’t know. How often do you see a mummified squirrel? I’d be curious. I’m not saying I’d LICK it or something, but I wouldn’t just summarily toss it in the woods. I’d want to check it out a little first. Yes, I realize were I a cat, curiosity would have killed me off by now.
ANYWAY, what will we talk about today, I wonder? We’re not just all about mummified squirrels all up in this here joint.
Today’s topic that I have learned from TWO WHOLE YEARS ZOMG CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE ALL THAT TIME of bloggery is:
Blogger Burnout (subtitled The Internet, She is a Fickle Mistress)
OK, so you’ve all seen it. You read a blog by someone you really enjoy, and you read it regularly (or at least as regularly as they post.) They seem to be doing well, their content is awesome, you really connect with what they have to say, they’ve created a safe space for you to hang out and comment…and then the posts start to dwindle. And then the blog goes dormant. And you never hear from that person again.
Could be a lot of things. Life gets in the way of the internet. It happens. Could be depression, could be family stuff, could be a new job, could be a new relationship, could be any one of a million things that’s stopping them from blogging. And it could be, very simply, blogger burnout.
It’s not easy, blogging regularly. There’s life, tugging at your hem and demanding to be paid attention to. There’s coming up with a topic on days your head feels like the set of a Western film with nothing but a tumbleweed blowing across a vast deserty expanse. There’s exhaustion, when you’ve worked really hard all day and the last thing you want to do when you come home at night is sit in front of the computer for hours and write MORE things.
As a reader, it’s disheartening. And it’s easy to feel like the blogger abandoned you. “But I LIKED reading their blog!” you say to yourself. “I should email them and tweet them and Facebook them and beseech them to come back!” Because you own them, right? You own this person who was providing you free content?
No. No, you should not. Not unless you are good friends on a personal level with them, and probably not even then.
It’s a depressing thing, quitting blogging, especially when it seems it’s going well (at least it seems that way to outsiders.) It’s a personal decision, and it’s not an easy one. And people bugging you about when are you coming BACK and what HAPPENED and ZOMG WHERE ARE MA STORIEZZZZ just makes it worse, because you already feel you’ve let the whole world down. Seriously, you have no idea how much I beat myself up for cutting back from posting every day to allowing myself to skip a day here and there when I needed to. That was like a MONTH of worrying. And not sleeping well. And thinking I’d let the whole world down. Because that’s how my brain’s wired. Every little catastrophe is HUGE. It’s not always a fun place to live, this brain-place of mine. So take that, and multiply it times QUITTING BLOGGING ENTIRELY for bloggers that do that? And I can’t imagine it’s a happy place for them. You poking at the bear with a stick isn’t going to encourage the bear to dance for you, but it might just make the bear eat your effing arm off and impale you on your own stick. Just saying.
A thing you need to learn about the internet before you get too involved with it, like take it out for dinner and drinks or whatever, is this: the internet is fickle. People just disappear. ALL THE DAMN TIME. I know a number of people that I met when I first got involved with blogging/Twitter who just vanished like thieves in the night. We cannot FIND them. They are no longer AROUND. I’m sure they’re out there somewhere living their lives, but one day they were commenting and such, and the next day they just weren’t. The internet is full of people who don’t take it as seriously as the other people do and take, as they call it on the detective shows, a powder. If you can find a handful of people on the internet you can rely on, like, really rely on? That’s golden, you guys. That’s rare. People disappear, people lose interest like a child with ADD getting distracted by something shiny, people come and go and you are just the flavor of the week. Please try very, very hard not to take it personally. I know. It’s tough. But if you take every disappearance personally, you’re going to destroy yourself.
(This is not to say if you have a close internet friend who up and disappears you can’t attempt to find out what happened to him or her, because they might have been eaten by mermen. I’m just saying, that might need to be investigated. But a casual friend? Sometimes you just gotta let that shit go.)
Also, bloggers? Just as a sample of how little shit matters to the internet itself, which is very, very fickle: if I post one day, I get decent readership. Let’s say anywhere from 100-300 views. If I neglect to post the second day, I get similar views to the first day (I assume from people who are a., wondering if I posted that day, or b., didn’t get to read the previous day’s post.) By the second day of no posting, my stats have dropped off to double-digits; by the THIRD day of not posting, the internet has forgotten I exist and I get about 20 hits, mostly porn-searchers who want to have sex with the Barbie girl.
Please don’t beat yourself up like I did worrying that the internet is going to hate you if you don’t post daily, or if you need some time to get your head together. Your mental stability is more important than posting funny shit on the interwebs and the internet will forget about you, for the most part, after a few days anyway, sadly enough. We’re a culture that moves on quickly. We do not mope or mourn. (Well, some of us don’t. Some of us don’t ever let shit go, much to our own detriment, but that’s neither here nor there, now is it?)
AND NOW! For the fifth-most-popular post of ALL TIME which is really of TWO YEARS! Will it be a funny post? Will it be a serious post? Guesses? Anyone? No?
In news of randomness…
…with a total of 790 hits in NINETEEN MONTHS, you guys, this one’s been around FOREVER, and it STILL keeps getting read…
…we have…dun dun dunnnnn…
I’m not 100% sure what’s going on with this being in the top five, to be honest. I’ve written funnier posts. I mean, this one’s OK, but it’s not the best. I think it’s because people keep searching for King Moonracer and around Christmastime people want to read things about the Island of Misfit Toys, but I’m not really convinced about that. I just don’t know. But either way, most of you were not around back in the day when I wrote this, so here! A whole new thing for you. You get to read about why the Rankin-Bass Rudolph Christmas special bothers the everloving crap out of me and my lifelong love of the Bumble. And you get to read it in June, which is super-special, right? Right.
So there you go! Four more days of blogging goodness to go! Whew, I’m going to go read now. (By the way, and update, Joyland is fantastic so far, and I’m not even a crime fan. I am, however, a Stephen King fan, and I’m an amusement park fan, so this is working out just fine for me.)
Happy Thursday, people of the interwebs. Keep on keepin’ on.