Why I'm Glad My Blog Didn't Grow

 


Well, another one bites the dust.

Yesterday I was browsing through my Bloglovin' feed, and I saw that another one of the bloggers that I follow has decided to call it quits.  I won't link to her post here, because it was a fairly new-to-me blog, and her site will be set to private in the next few days anyway.  Every time I see a blogger decide to step back from blogging, it makes me a little introspective.  It's a good thing to periodically reflect on my blog thus far and evaluate my priorities, I just wish the trigger wasn't always a negative one.

(It's still July, so that means I can still use sparkler pictures in this post, right?)

Regardless, I was thinking over this blogger's reasons for quitting, and thinking over my own reasons for continuing to blog over the years.  My reasons for blogging now are really the same as when I started it in the first place.  I like to write.  I like to create something pretty, either with words or photographs, and I like to share when I do.  I like to have this creative outlet for myself, this place to think things through, or stretch myself, or reflect some bit of my life that I don't want to forget.  I like to make friends with people who may be very different from me, but also kind of the same.

The blog has gone through stages, morphed a bit to fit whatever phase I was going through in my life, but it always comes back to these reasons.  I'm just very thankful that it remains a safe place for me to do those things, that it remains functional for my purposes.  I don't think every blogger can say that.



That Time I Tried To Grow My Blog

There was a period of time when I was actively trying to grow this blog and earn a little money from it - partly because the extra income was helpful at that time, partly because everyone was doing it.  And didn't I need to monetize and professionalize this blog to be taken seriously as a blogger?  When I realized that trying to make this into a job was making the whole thing a chore for me, I reevaluated then too and came back to my original purposes.

You know, the funny thing is, during that period of time, I wasn't quite sure what I was doing wrong.  Why wasn't my blog growing the way so many others were?  Why did it feel like I had to fight so hard for each new follower?  It honestly was a discouraging thing to me.

But now that I am successfully past that stage and fully over the desire to grow for growth's sake, I'm actually really glad that my blog didn't grow.  Ultimately it was God's grace to me to keep this space small.



Graces Of Staying Small

Grace #1: I've had limited nastiness to deal with.

I don't worry about a lot of the things bigger blogs have to deal with as a matter of course.  I haven't had the stress of nasty comments because I have only encountered a handful of trolls in my eleven (!) years of blogging.

My husband sometimes asks me not to write about a controversial topic that is weighing on me, because he knows that I am not built to handle alot of conflict.  While I have strong opinions that I am willing to share, and I never write anything that I am not willing to stick by, often handling the discussions, even when they are good discussions, is emotionally taxing on me.  I am blessed that I haven't had to deal with much meanness, and that even when we disagree, almost every discussion I've had with people on this blog has remained respectful.

I can't claim anything I did as a strategy for a positive blog environment, I fully credit it to the Lord keeping my blog mostly in a bubble, keeping it small, and only bringing the people who needed to read it.

 Grace #2: I am a terrible receiver of glory.

A couple of months ago I read something in a book that immediately made me realize anew that it was the grace of God that my blog didn't grow.  This is what I read:

"Being glorious is for God. Giving glory is a human task....We bring glory, we give glory, we reflect glory. But we are terrible receivers of it. We cannot hold glory because it was never meant for us. We are given glory to give it to our Maker. This is our task. This is our purpose. If a pipe has no outlet for the water, it is pointless and it will burst. When a person receives glory and has no place to give it, they will burst. When they have only a little glory that they don’t know what to do with, they go sadly stagnant...I only have a little, and I am doing nothing with it. Or, I have much, but it has destroyed me. These are not good options."  -Rachel Jankovic, You Who?

This passage resonated with me so much, because I know in my heart that if I received too much glory, I wouldn't give it all over to God.  I'd hoard some of it for myself, and in the end, I think it would ruin me, and it would ruin this blog.  I know myself well enough to say this one thing: I don't need any help being prideful, and I don't need something else to be prideful about.  The Lord knows that too, and I think He saved me from some rather serious humbling by keeping me from the opportunity to be puffed up by my blog in the first place.

Grace #3: I am still writing to friends.

I remember in my first year of blogging, I told my mom that I hoped I never got more than a certain number of followers, because then it would be hard for me to respond and keep up with everyone else's blogs.  And while more people read this blog now than my original (very small) desired number, somehow the spirit of that thought has held steady.  I haven't had a conversation with every person who reads this blog regularly, because some people never comment.  But I personally know (in an online, virtual sense) a good percentage of the people who are reading this right now, and I love that I can say that.

I am thankful for everyone who reads my rather unpolished, small-blogger thoughts, thankful for those who have stuck around through the years.  And if you're reading this, I am thankful for you.  I'm glad this blog is still small and cozy and perfect for me.  It is a beautiful thing to still feel as if I am writing to friends.

As long as I can say that, and as long as I still need to get my thoughts out into written words (which will probably be forever, let's be honest), I don't plan on going anywhere.



So there's another periodic blog evaluation in the books!

I guess you're all still stuck with me. *wink*

Any thoughts about writing, or blog size, or unexpected graces?  I'd love to hear what you think!

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Meghan said...

Agreed! When I started blogging back in 2007 or 2008 I don't think there was any business to the blog world. It was just a creative outlet. I have never felt the pressure to use mine for more than a place to document life. And I am so thankful for it. Last week I was working on a very belated 2nd birthday book for Taylor and Donovan saw me typing all of the things that she was saying and doing at 18 months. He asked me, "Mom, how do you remember that she did all that?" My answer... "Thank goodness for my blog!" Without it, I would forget so much of the precious things that happen in our small day to day experiences. And years and years of those small insignificant recordings mean a whole lot to me now that they are 8, 6, and 2. I have always enjoyed reading your posts and watching your family grow. Thankful that there are still a few that document life just for the fun of it!

Anna said...

I've loved reading your blog through the year Callie! It's always so homey and down to earth, like we're chatting. I'd love to get back to blogging again, but right now the Lord has me in the midst of growing littles, so I'll do my best there for now.

Maria Rineer said...

I appreciate how honest and self- aware you seem to be (based on your posts). Your posts are God honoring and reveal your desire to be a good and faithful servant to Him. I hope you continue to write for a long time!

Cristina said...

Let me tell you please, how far your blog has reached. I'm a romanian (from Romania) christian young woman and mum of two, who lives in Paris, France, and ever since I found your blog I enjoy reading it and talking with my friends about your experiences (especially child and books related)
So keep up the good work you do and thank you for sharing with the world (at least the one that found you) parts of your life.

rissa08217 said...

I’ve been reading your blog for years. Probably pretty close to when you started really. And yours is the only blog I still read. All the blogs that monetized got super annoying. I’m grateful for just reading some of your thoughts, ponderings about homeschooling and just a sense that I’m not all alone in this crazy adventure of mothering.

Amanda said...

I feel similarly about my blog. I remember the days of sponsorships and giveaways and followers! Although I did and still do post reviews of things and get items for free, and I do have some ads on my blog, those are just for fun, and I only share about things I use myself, so it's just nice to get some free stuff I would already want to use!

Bekah said...

Somehow I missed this post until just now, but A THOUSAND TIMES YES to everything you say here. I started blogging just to discipline myself to write, and there certainly were times when I ached to see it grow and to somehow matter to people through these words, and now I am SO GLAD it didn't take off like I wanted it to. It HAS grown since I started it, and my content has certainly changed with the seasons of my life, but I'm glad I don't have to stress about things that paid bloggers have to worry about.

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