I've been thinking a lot about blogging recently. It could be because last month was my third anniversary of blogging. Coincidentally our 32nd wedding anniversary is this week. As I've been pondering both anniversaries I have been struck with how similar blogging and marriage are.
Starting a blog is like starting a romance. Do you remember the infatuation of those first weeks and months of blogging? Do you remember how annoying you were to everyone else? All you could talk about, think about, and do was blog. That unreasoned passion is short-lived though and must give way to a deep affection and liking. Sometimes with blogging (as with a marriage) you forget why you fell in love in the first place and you falter in your dedication when little disappointments come along. In marriage the infatuation stage supposedly lasts a year or two and in blogging I'm guessing about the same.
As I was thinking about this post I noticed an article in the New York Times that just said it all: Long-Lasting (Blogging) Love Takes a Lot of Work. One of the points that I found interesting in the article was that we tend to become habituated to positive circumstances - or in other words "we get so used to things that make us feel good that they no longer do" (also called hedonic adaptation). The author suggests that we take time with our blogs (I mean spouses) and express what we like about them. She also says that variety is the key as it is innately stimulating and rewarding. You can't just keep writing the same kinds of posts all the time or you will become bored with your blog (as will your readers). Instead you must change things up to keep your blog "fresh, meaningful, and positive". Surprise yourself by learning something new or trying a different kind of post.
I also looked at some marriage advice to see how it might apply to blogging. (Who knew that the best list I found would be on Wikihow.) So here are some sensible tidbits for helping you have a better blog (er, I mean marriage):
Be yourself from the start of the relationship. So important. I love when people say that my blog sounds like me. It isn't always easy to stay true to that when we read other blogs and want to channel a little of their style.
Exercise your sense of humour. I love funny blogs, but I'm not a humourist. Even if I'm not outright funny I do try to stay light-hearted and not sound preachy.
Try to let the little annoyances go. It is very easy to look at other blogs and see what they are doing, the ideas they have, the projects they are doing, the opportunities they have received and feel disappointed in your own blog. It is always important to keep the right perspective and let those little annoyances and jealousies go. You never know how long or how hard that other person has been working on their blog.
Make time to post regularly and visit other people's blogs. Not always easy when life gets in the way, but to really grow a blog it is important to spend time with it.
Be cautious and think before you choose the words you use. It is so easy to post something you may regret later. Always think whether you would share that same information with someone sitting next to you on an airplane. You never know who is reading your blog and once it is out there it is there for good.
Learn from your mistakes. If you ranted and raved in a post and regretted it later, move on. There's plenty of room for forgiveness.
Act like everything's okay. To get over a blogging slump, it is important to try new things and look for inspiration to bring happiness back to blogging. Sometimes acting like there is nothing wrong and you are satisfied with blogging is the best medicine - just keep going and the inspiration and freshness will catch up to you.
Remember what you love about blogging (okay, I added this one on my own). Then you can focus on the real reasons you blog when you become discouraged. I've been meaning to come up with a list that I can pin to my notice board.
Any other suggestions?
And what do the pictures of citrus fruit have to do with blogging and marriage you ask? Well nothing actually, but last weekend I decided I wanted to sample every citrus fruit that was available at our nearest grocery store. I couldn't get enough of all that citrusy goodness so I had some fun and took a few photos. It was an exercise in healthy eating and trying new things to keep life interesting (see this post).
Oh and by the way, have you tried a Cara Cara orange - that's one of them cut open in the photos above. They are the best orange I have had bar none. They are so pretty with their pinky-orange segments and are sweet and juicy and delicious. If you get nothing else from this post than an orange recommendation, then I will consider it a job well done. Let me know when you have had one.
Hi, I'm Grace from Toronto, Canada. Welcome to Sense and Simplicity. This is my little corner of blogland where I like to talk about family, decorating, photos, food, and travel all done with sense and simplicity.