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Welcome to Blogland

500 Words: I quit


“You need an online presence, like a blog,” the tutor told me.”Oh,” I replied dejectedly. “Do I really?”

Putting myself out there was not my idea of fun. In fact, it sounded like hard work to this Luddite and totally unnecessary. But the tutor persisted.”Yes, you need one so that people can find out what you do, see what you’re up to. Communicate!”

So, after quite a bit of procrastinating, I succumbed, convincing myself that my tutor did have a point and that, in the interests of self improvement, this was what I should do.

It seemed that I could put as much or as little content on my site as I wanted. That was good. Fairly soon, although my site was pretty bare, at least it was there – it listed my writing achievements and other teeny bits and pieces.After I started having my 500 Words stories published on ABC Open, I noted the links on my blog and encouraged visitors to check out my stories. It was fun.

As time went on, I got a bit braver and decided that I wanted to use my blog as a platform for inspiring others to write, something I really enjoy doing. I created my Just for Today series as a writing prompt for others.

One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was that I would write up my series on my blog every single day, and I did. Religiously. I wrote up my very short blog together with a photograph, and basked in the knowledge that I was sticking to my resolution and not giving up.

I blogged anywhere, anytime, so long as I did it once a day. Waiting to see how my latest post was received made me feel like a junkie hanging out for my next hit. Nervously, I’d check and recheck my emails constantly to see how the online world had received my latest offering.

And I wasn’t disappointed. I had steady statistics growth (with over 125 followers) and positive comments from my readers. And I had lots to say to those who read my blog, stemming from all the ideas and themes I couldn’t wait to explore in my new online world.

And so I embraced Blogland with open arms and busy fingers for 42 days. That is, until I quit on day 43.

Why did I quit?

I quit my daily blogging because the cynical side of me overpowered my non-cynical side.

I often found myself wondering, does anybody really read this stuff? Do they enjoy it? Am I actually helping anyone? Or is this brave new world just a huge ego trip for those who blog?

I wondered whether the world of blogging merely amounted to a mutual admiration society where someone liked you, and then wanted you to like them, and then they would like you, and you would like them, ad infinitum. In a way, the whole thing didn’t seem real.

When I missed my first day of blogging, I felt guilty – like I’d let the side down (my side). The second day I didn’t blog, I felt worse. On day three, I was angry with myself and as the days went on, I still felt pangs of guilt but stubbornly tried to push them out of my mind.

After a while, not blogging didn’t feel so bad and life continued to move on, just as before, despite the fact that I wasn’t part of Blogland anymore.

It felt very liberating and although I did sometimes miss penning pithy portions of writing advice for my followers, I also felt happy to be absorbing and living my own creative experiences and mentally filing them away for use later on in my Just for Today series, which I know I want to get back to, but in my own time.

Recently, I have started blogging again, little snippets here and there, but for now it’s only when I feel like it.And it feels good.Check out my blog at dianaharley.wordpress.com


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