Four years into blogging (as of tomorrow!), I have a confession to make: sometimes I forget what I’m doing here. For a while I thought this was a photography blog. My posts revolved around my pictures, which I was spending lots of time trying to improve. Then, it was business. I looked for ways to monetize, testing ad spaces and selling statistics. It’s been design-focused, while we’ve changed the layout and header more times than I care to count. It’s also been about food and about compiling more original recipes, since everyone says that’s how to stand out.
But while I was home in Chicago, spending an evening with Jacqui, a friend whose perspective on blogging has always been authentic and grounded and right, we got talking about blogs and about writing, and it hit me: somehow, in the last few months and years of changing styles and formats and direction, I’ve forgotten the heart of this place.
Because no matter why you start out blogging—to practice your art, to build community, to tell your stories—it’s not long before you start to feel pulled towards another goal: to be noticed. All bloggers want to be noticed; all writers want to be read. There’s nothing wrong with that. And you look around and there are bloggers getting endorsements and bloggers quitting their day jobs and bloggers with fan clubs the size of celebrities’, and you think, does what I’m doing matter at all? It’s basic human nature to want someone to care about you, to want to be known; and listen, as any blogger would tell you: keeping up a website takes work and time, but for most of us, instead of getting a paycheck at the end of our work days, we get the satisfaction of knowing other people who like what we do, too.
But see, here’s the thing. Read more…