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My Ultimate Blogging Fear

May 9, 2012

My greatest blogging fear is that people will stop caring about whatever I have to say.

I am aware that over 6 billion people have never cared about what I have to say anyway, as is evidenced by the (only) 64 people who are subscribed to my blog by email, and the 91 additional folks who are subscribed to my blog via RSS (that is, if Google Reader isn’t lying to me)…but I always fear that I’ll write something that will make people stop caring. That perhaps, I’ll change too much and piss someone off. Or maybe, I’ll just be myself too much and piss someone off.

It’s so tough being in this post/disaffected/former Mormon space. I assume that there are many faithful members who stumble upon my blog, see my byline, and then immediately click out. Or that some people may begin intrigued, and then, after reading some of my posts, realize that it is not their cup of tea.

OK, I know I shouldn’t be concerned. It’s a free country. People can like what they want to like. But I was just thinking about Kiley’s latest post, wherein she mentions how she has felt when several Mormon-interest bloggers have just…faded away.

When I first started blogging I spent several hours a week reading other people’s blogs and commenting on the things that they wrote. It was amazing to reach out and connect with other Mormons who were gay, or other Mormons who did not believe, or other Mormons who like me were not really Mormons at all anymore and were grappling with the ramifications of not being part of the church…
Many of those former bloggers would fade away. They would disappear, posting less and less until they had all but quit blogging completely. Some blogs just disappeared. There one day and deleted the next with no explanation. Others would post “good-bye” posts where they would explain that they had moved on and were choosing not to blog anymore. I always wished that they had kept blogging. I wanted to see what happened after someone got over everything and was able to move on. What happened after Truman walked through the door at the edge of the world with the exit sign next to it? I always felt that what happened after getting over it all might be more important than what brought them to that point of moving on in the first place…
I look back now and find all of the stages of transition are so interesting. You don’t even always realize where you are at in “getting over” the church until you have moved on a bit and can step back. I feel like I am at a point where I could choose to engage with the church like it is a hobby. I could continue to examine it and blog about it and pick at it, but I feel real tangible things in my life tugging at me and pulling my thoughts other places. My bike is more interesting. My students are more important. As I said earlier Leigh is way more engaging and attractive than digging into the past.

OK, I had to resist the urge just to copy and past the entire entry there. But I feel so similarly, especially to that last paragraph. I feel like I am at a point where I could choose to engage with the church like it is a hobby. I could continue to examine it and blog about it and pick at it, but I feel real tangible things in my life tugging at me and pulling my thoughts other places. My fencing is more interesting (but I like bikes too…I just temporarily don’t have one, or go biking). My client’s R&D data is more important (but I think teaching would be pretty cool too. Maybe one day I’ll get that Ph.D?) . BUT STILL I AM FOREVER ALONE SO THAT LAST PART REMAINS BLANK FOR NOW.

As I read this post (as of this part of this entry, I haven’t finished), I thought to comment: why not be the different kind of blogger? Why not be the blogger who writes about what comes after?

But then I read the rest of the post (as of this part of this entry, I have finished). Kiley already had it covered:

…I want to be that blogger that shows what happens after you walk through that exit door. I want to show what happens after you get over the faith crisis. I don’t want to stop blogging but something has to shift.
Over the next few days and weeks the blog is going to get a redesign, a new description, and the focus is going to change…  I am trying to decide right now if I should just start a new blog completely or if I should just continue to use this space…

I want to do that too. Although I still want to at least try to engage with the church as a hobby. I think I have enough time for hobbies…after all, I have counterparts for only two of the three major things going on in Kiley’s life (me = FOREVER ALONE ;_; )…but that gets me back to that fear.

My ultimate blogging fear is that people will stop caring about whatever I have to say.

I’ve gotten to a point where I think I’m relatively good at writing about Mormon topics. But I don’t think I’m all that good about writing about my life in general. I mean, yeah, I write to my parents about my work, about fencing, about roommates (have you seen ACCOUNTING COMICS? FENCING COMICS? NOT-FENCING COMICS? oh yeah, maybe I should spend more time learning how to draw?), but…there’s just a different dynamic to it. A different audience, different techniques, and so on.

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7 Comments
  1. John Gustav-Wrathall permalink

    It sounds to me like your far greater fear is that you will stop being interested in what you have to say.

    I have noticed how blogs come and go. I blog because I like to write, because writing helps me think and get centered, it helps me process my emotions. I write because I like to connect. I write as a spiritual practice. (I have a personal journal and a study journal in addition to my blog… So three regular writing venues…)

  2. I don’t understand what you mean by that: “your far greater fear is that you will stop being interested in what you have to say.”

  3. Sarah permalink

    This happened to me. I had a really popular blog back in 2005-2008. At the height I had 75,000 hits in one day. I was writing about a specific topic but as my life grew and changed I started to lose interest in that topic that had so engulfed me. So I started switching gears and talking about a new interest/topic, while periodically referring back to my old topic.

    People left in droves.

    It is not because I turned into a bad writer, or that my new topic didn’t have an audience out there, but rather because I had found a specific niche in my original topic and people interested in that subject were subscribed to me – they weren’t interested in my new topic. People interested in my specific topic could easily find me through Google or their subscription and so when I was talking about something else they turned off.

    In the end I decided to create a new blog with my new interest. This is what I should have done in the first place.

    People are not so interested in people’s general life. They want blogs to be specific along a certain theme with life experience examples. Unless of course they care about your life because you are a family member or close friend. These are the only people interested in someones life. Even the blogs that are popular and about someone’s life usually attract people who are in similar circumstances such as having young children and being a stay-at-home mom or something.

    Anyway, so I started a new blog with a new interest and the readership grew and grew and things were looking good. I was posting at both blogs now- returning my old blog back to its original topic in order to retain some of my original following, but my heart was in the new blog. However, after about two years I lost interest in my new topic as well and I quit blogging altogether. I know that I can always start another blog with another new interest, but it always takes awhile to build readership.

    Your topic of the fringes of Mormonism is hot right now – people want to read about this and the reason there aren’t more of these types of blogs is because many people who think like you are still in the closet and would be too afraid to write a blog about this subject. They don’t want you to go away or change subjects.

    It is rare for someone to want to write indefinitely about one topic unless that person is getting paid for it. If it is just an interest than there is little motivation to continue writing when the person has moved on from that interest. Even then, I was getting paid through advertisements on my original blog and I stayed with it for as long as I could stand, but then I just couldn’t do it anymore. So my advice is not to change the theme of this blog, but if you want to write about something else – make a new blog and keep this one as it is – posting less. Link to your other blog through this one. I promise that if you change your theme here you will lose. Sorry so long.

    • Sarah,

      Thanks for the comment! No need to apologize for the length.

      It is rare for someone to want to write indefinitely about one topic unless that person is getting paid for it.

      Clearly, I just need to figure out a way to get paid for this, haha. Just kidding…

      I see the point about creating a new blog for new subjects and linking…

  4. Andrew.. I have met you. You are intelligent, articulate, interesting and though I am a lesbian I still feel qualified to say that you are hot. You are not going to be single forever (or at least I’m sure you don’t have to be if you don’t want to be). 🙂

    • FOREVER ALONE! i will not be consoled

      😉 j/k.

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