Ideas + Passion divided by the square root of Time

I’ve been thinking about this space and where I want to go with it and what I want it to be. When I first started this blog, I was coming off the first year with twins. Still in survival mode, but we were beginning to sense a rhythm to our days, a cadence, an ebb and flow to be depended upon (mostly), which made me realize that I could devote a wee bit of time to a creative outlet like, say, blogging. What I didn’t count on was this: I built it and you came.

I’ve loved getting to know you. I’ve looked forward to your comments and your own posts, but with readership comes dependability and responsibility, and even if I’m the only one who really notices, I think it’s important that I post regularly, and not just to post for the sake of posting. My words need to mean something to someone, even if that someone is just me. The effect that this realization had was paralyzing. I suddenly couldn’t think of things to write about. I started to compare myself to other writers, other bloggers. I put pressure on myself to get things out just to get them out, and then I slowly fizzled and faded and generally avoided this space until I was questioning whether I want to do this anymore at all.

The answer?

Yes.

And so I’m still mulling over the possibilities of this space. Simply put, I’m trying to determine who I want to be as a blogger. I know that I want to incorporate a lot more writing and publishing and maybe not so much day-to-day parenting, though at this point I can’t not write about parenting. I’m too muddled in the trenches — it’s a defining factor of my Self right now. I know that I will be posting updates to the novel in progress (more to come on that in the next post). I know that I want to post at least three times a week. I’m even considering a name change to the blog (I didn’t do a whole lot of brainstorming on this before diving in and now I’m wishing I would have chosen something more definitive to what I’m doing here…so I should probably figure that out before making any identity changes).

By the way, I asked Google for a simple mathematical equation (because I turn to Google in times of need), something like:

Ideas + Passion divided by the square root of Time = Blog Identity

But it was useless. In case you were wondering.

So what I want to know from you is this: How has your blog evolved since its early days? Do you ever lose steam or question if you want to continue blogging? Have you ever changed your blog’s name and is this something that can be easily done without losing and/or confusing readers?

Thanks for sticking with me!

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12 thoughts on “Ideas + Passion divided by the square root of Time

  1. Cecilia says:

    I have definitely been there…in fact, I just wrote about this when I somehow made it to my 4 (!) year blogging anniversary in early October. I don’t know if you mind my posting my link here but I wrote about some of the things that you are asking here. http://onlyoublog.com/2013/10/09/thoughts-on-blogging-by-an-ordinary-blogger/

    I am wondering if what you do need to do is indeed take the plunge and change your blog name and theme in the direction that your heart is telling you to. I went through something really similar this summer and went back and forth trying to decide if I should write 2 separate blogs or change my URL…I was worried about changing the URL and realized there is no way I can keep up 2 blogs so in the end I decided to just stay with my blog and add books to my theme, which is what I really wanted to also write about. This has helped a lot in terms of motivation. I have a blogger friend who went through the same thing and she completely remade her blog. When people type in her old URL, though, they are taken directly to her new site.

    Good luck!

    • Lara Dotlich Anderson says:

      Cecilia, thanks so much for including that link in your comment! It’s exactly what I needed to read and I relate to everything you wrote. It’s the last sentence though — the one about just showing up — that really got to me. That was my only goal when I started blogging, and then it evolved into something more — pressure I put on myself to craft exceptional posts, to grow my audience, to be this online presence. And now I see (partly in thanks to your post) that I just want to write. I want to connect with other bloggers/writers too, of course, but I don’t have the drive to be one of the “big players”. Realizing this and giving myself permission to be okay with it is making a world of a difference.

  2. Heidi says:

    Ah. Yes. We usually find ourselves in similar places and feelings. I struggle with this quite a bit. And I changed my blog name and hosts almost two years ago, but the good part was I hardly had any readership for my old one, so it didn’t really impact me.

    I feel like I am finally coming to terms with my blog identity. I struggled for a while and felt niche-less. Did I want to be a running/triathlon blog? Did I want to be a parenting/activitiy/lifestyle blog? Did I want to blog at all anymore?

    It’s only been in the last month or so that I am finally content with what I have settled on. I want to write. And when I post (which I hope to do at least once a week, but it’s been kind of quiet for two), I want the writing to be great, the content to be meaningful, and the end result satisfying to me. Whether I write about triathlons or parenting or marriage or whatever, I want the writing to be rich and textured and full and more about life lessons than a short or long narrative of events. When I finally faced my fear of consistently reaching for that depth, I’m happy with where I am. And I am also happy (for now) realizing that sometimes I have to take a week or two to process a piece in my mind before getting it out.

    I’m so glad I’ve found your space. I always look forward to reading. xoxo

    • Lara Dotlich Anderson says:

      Heidi, yes! I’m finally realizing that sometimes I need to sit with an idea or a draft (let it marinate, as my husband says) before posting. I look back at some of my older posts and cringe, thinking it could have been so much better if I hadn’t been in such a rush to hit ‘Publish’. As you know, I adore your writing and always walk away (click away?) having found some kind of meaning or something to mull over.

  3. Maurice A. Barry says:

    I took up blogging just because I needed a place for self expression. I have no aspirations beyond that and, so, have decided to discard one of the most important rules for those who do wish to grow an audience, namely, keep it on theme. I don’t. As a result my readership is not really going anywhere. Now, in my case, that does not bother me at all and, so, I have no plans of changing (I’m retired and, as such, sometimes get to do what I want–not often, mind you but this is one of them.)
    What I am doing, though, is experimenting a bit; taking on various topic and styles and looking to find my favourite ‘voice.’ If and when that happens I may change. Who knows 🙂
    So, to sum up, I can suggest two directions:
    – pick a particular overall theme and stick to it. Your readership will grow steadily as people discover you are out there.
    – experiment and develop your voice. Your readership will not grow but you will likely be pleasantly surprised by how it illuminates different sides to your personality.

    • Lara Dotlich Anderson says:

      Maurice, thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. My inclination is to experiment, play around and develop my voice, but part of me feels an obligation to my readers now. I guess I’m just trying to find that middle ground. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. jenvanhut says:

    Am glad I can watch you 2 steps ahead 🙂 This is a reminder to me to be thinking ahead and remain flexible – what seems paramount to write about today may not be so next year. And on comparison – this is a life-long struggle and so difficult. All I know is to keep reminding myself of the truth when I lose sight!

    • Lara Dotlich Anderson says:

      Jen, my whole purpose for starting my blog was to have a place to write but also make connections with like-minded bloggers/writers/mothers. As my audience grew I began to put pressure on myself to aspire to be one of the “big players” in the blogosphere, or at least develop a solid readership. That ended up backfiring, and I kind of lost sight of what I was doing here in the first place. I love, “keep reminding myself of the truth when I lose sight.” That’s what I’m trying to do now — get back to a place of authenticity. Thanks so much for reading!

  5. our stroke of luck says:

    Oh, Lara… We need to talk. I mean actually talk – like an antiquated, retro, phone conversation. I have been where you are now. I AM where you are now. I have asked these same question, not withstanding the blog name, but just about everything else. And I have made decisions and I have been content with them. And then three days later I have changed my mind. And then back again. Actually, I could probably start a NEW blog focused entirely on vacillating about my original blog. But then I might change my mind about the direction of that one. See? You are most certainly not alone… We feel like we owe something to ourselves, like we owe something to our readers, like we owe something to the craft – and we do, we really do. But above all, we are entitled to write where our hearts lead us – and that can change, and our craft will evolve and get better because of it, and the readers will follow… I know I will. xo, J.

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