On (Almost) Ten Years Of Blogging



“What is Callie’s favorite productive hobby?”

I sat there sipping my blueberry limonata while everyone scribbled away in the notebooks Derek passed out.  My 30th birthday party, and my sweet husband came up with a contest for whoever could get the most questions about me right.  He knows my love of games - in my opinion they make any and every party better!

A few minutes later and he read off the answers, and when he got to the question I just mentioned, almost every single person in that room got the answer right.  Writing.  Blogging.

I expected to be surprised at some of the answers that the majority got wrong, but here I was surprised at the question that the majority got right.

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Yesterday I decided it was high time I purged my blog feed.  I wanted a clean, simple lineup of blogs I actually care to read, not blogs I followed because of a giveaway, or big bloggers who never knew my name.  I opened up the browser window and navigated to my “following” list.  As I scrolled down the page, I found out I actually wasn’t following too many big, impersonal blogs (just a few that were clogging up my feed).  But I was still following blog after blog written by people who have long abandoned writing on the internet.  I remembered each one.  I remembered what they looked like, how many kids they had, how many more or less years they were married than me.

Blog after blog written by people who no longer thought it was worth putting themselves out there for the world to see.

I couldn’t take it anymore.  I closed the window before I totally finished.  

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Somehow I’ve been pounding out my thoughts on this blog for nearly ten years.  It doesn’t seem like that long ago that I tentatively typed my first post, wondering if there was anyone out there who would read it.  Back then, none of my real life people knew I had a blog.  I didn’t tell anyone, not for years and years. There was a tiny part of me that was irrationally embarrassed. I didn’t tell anyone until I started making money at it. 

I don’t think I was the only one who kept their personal blog a secret.  It’s vulnerable to put yourself out there in the first place, even more so to have real-life people who may be reading, who may or may not “get” why you are writing.  

Then the professionals came on the scene, and we casual bloggers started to feel like maybe these kinds of posts weren’t really worth sharing.  Maybe this blogging thing was only worth doing if you were trying to make money at it.

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I’ve been thinking about the blogging community a lot lately, as I slowly approach the ten-year anniversary of this blog.  I added a blogroll back to my sidebar.  Somewhere along the way blogrolls in the sidebar became uncool, unprofessional, and if you wanted to “make something” of your blog you wouldn’t be caught with one anymore.  As my ten year anniversary approaches, I’m rejecting that.  It’s back.  It’s a short list, full of bloggers who proudly still write the kind of posts that I like to read.  Posts about their real life, things they saw and did, feelings that it takes a certain measure of bravery to launch into public.  

Blogging has changed so much, and we’ve lost alot.  It’s got me thinking that maybe all those times when we bloggers didn’t want to admit that we had a blog finally caught up to us somewhere along the way.  Maybe we did this to ourselves by not being willing to stake a claim, and say that no, these kinds of posts are worth writing.  To say that being willing to organize our thoughts and record them for posterity in a way that is interesting and relatable to other people is worth doing, not something to hide, even if you never make a dime from it.

In the end, after ten years and countless blogs lost, I am starting to think that when it’s all said and done, maybe these are the posts that are really worth writing in the end.  And maybe all us bloggers from the old school should have realized that before so many quit, thinking it wasn’t worth the effort.

So I’m here, and a lot of blogs have bitten the dust, but I have no plans to stop writing on this little blog that no longer makes any money.  I’ll write about my faith and thoughts and feelings and successes and regrets.  In the end, those things make up a life.

I’ll write it all out for my children, and maybe their children after them, and I won’t feel a bit sheepish that this is all I'm doing anymore.  I won’t feel a bit of embarrassment that almost everyone in my life seems to know that I write on here without any other incentive than I just want to.  Because years down the road, I just don’t think I’ll regret the times I wrote here for nothing more than the love of it. 
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14 comments

  1. It's crazy how much blogging has changed in ten years but I love the fact that I've made some contacts which have lasted all that time even though we've never met!

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  2. I love it that you still old-school blog! :) I, too, mourn the fact that there aren't nearly as many of them as there used to be, and I enjoy reading about the lives of the people who care to write about their lives!

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  3. I love this, Callie. I love that you haven’t let the pressure of money stop you from doing what you love! Honestly, I’m somewhere in the tension of it. As a stay at home moms, if do get free time, I feel like I need to be filling it with things that keep me productive and supplementing an income for my family. Photography does that for me, so i have struggled with having to share my “blog” with my photography. But I miss writing for the fun of it! I want to get back to it - and Josh and I always talk about how their different seasons for different things - and maybe my blogging season will come again.

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  4. I'm so with you on this. I don't blog nearly as much as I used to, but I've had a blog in some form or another since college. I've never had any desire to turn it into a monetized thing, or fill it with ads, or write so many sponsored posts it turns into something completely impersonal (I'll never forget when all the "big" bloggers accepted sponsorships from some company who, I kid you not, sold a tampon-esque product that was supposed to help with incontinence after having a baby. I WISH I WAS JOKING).

    I so appreciate the few people who have stuck around and are still writing for the sake of writing. Some of my best friends have come from blogging and even though we've never met in person, I'm still closer with some of them than I am with some of my "real life" friends.

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  5. Thanks for including me on the list. I always, always feel honored :) I agree blogging has changed a lot, and so has commenting! I used to get tens of comments, and now I get 10 or so total! And it IS nice to not feel like I'm writing to a vacuum, so I admit that sometimes that part is frustrating. And sometimes I do wonder why I spend time on it, because it takes SO much time to put a post together. I still try to make some money off my blog, and honestly that's been really fun the last few years! I've gotten to try out some cool things I normally would not have bought. But I agree that for me the balance has to be more personal stuff than promotional stuff. It is sad when a blogger I love to follow quits. I really do miss hearing from them!

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  6. I came to that crossroads a few years ago--that even if I never made a dime from my blog, I WAS STILL GOING TO DO IT because it's become so much more than a potential money-maker for me. It's where I've recorded my little family's beginnings and doings, my thoughts in the middle of the messy moments, and the many milestones that have happened along the way. And you know what else I realized? That I like following bloggers who do the same, which is why blog roll looks a bit like yours (and why I'm one of your newest followers!). Keep it up---there are still those of us, like you, who see the beauty in the recording, even if it never translates to a lot of money.

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  7. Wow, 10 years, that’s amazing. I’m always encouraged by your posts and glad you will still write. My renewal for my url just came up and I didn’t renew :( my husband blogs too and is amazing so I’m glad one of us will still write. Keep it up! I’ll keep reading ;)

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  8. I absolutely love this and agree with everything you said. Blogging is so natural to me. It’s another extension of myself, and I can’t imagine NOT doing it even though there have been times I’ve been discouraged by the professional bloggers and lack of real writing. I love that you added a blogroll. I think I’m going to do the same :)

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  9. Blogging is so different now. Glad you're still trucking along. Thanks for having me in your sidebar :)

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  10. Yes! I love this so much. I feel the same way, I love how you articulated it. I'm glad you're still writing!

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  11. I agree with everything you said!! I'm so glad you're still writing! I think it's my favorite hobby too! Also, I am so glad you added a blog roll to the side. I'm always on the lookout for new "old fashioned" bloggers and I don't know a lot of those that you featured, so I am so excited to check them out!

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  12. YES AND AMEN! Next year will be my 9th year blogging and I still love it. I used to have dozens of blogs I'd read every day. I loved watching their kids grow and lives change. I follow most of them on instagram now but it's just not the same. I love instagram but I hate how it's killed blogs.

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  13. I love absolutely everything about this post...especially the blog roll on the side bar! Bring back the blog roll on the side bar! I've had my blog for seven years now and I think about the way blogging used to be A LOT. I miss tremendously, the interaction - the comments, the link ups, the emails - it's what always kept me inspired and made blogging so fun! Your post is so well said, and motivating me to get back to posting more!! Thank you so much for sharing this!

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  14. So many good points! I was laughing when you said you were irrationally embarrassed about blogging. I do think it was a "thing" 8-10 years ago or so. I felt that way, too. NO ONE in my real life (except my husband and maybe my mom) knew I had a blog! When I started my new blog, I posted it on my personal facebook page so some people do follow it, but I won't lie, I do still kind of feel funny about that and I can't pinpoint why! Thanks for sharing all of your thoughts on blogging. I am sitting here getting caught up on reading my blog list and my husband asked what I was doing. I said "reading a blog" and he thought I said "writing a blog" and he got so excited and said "FINALLY! I've been waiting for a new blog post for such a long time!" hahah! Guess I should take a hint and get some new posts out there ;)

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