I Love Hate Blogging

BLOGGINGWe were blogging virgins. Neither of us had any idea what a blog was and had never read one, let alone written one. But as we have dipped our toes into this corner of the social network and are now up to our knees, I have realized a few things:

I love:

Thinking about parenting issues with the clarity that writing imposes.

Meeting people all over the world. I guess I could have done this with an airplane, but my computer, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and our blog are so much easier.

Trying to think of something original to say.  On the rare moments that it happens, it makes my brain sing.

Learning about social media, a brave new world for those past life’s midpoint.

Blogging with a friend.  And equally inspiring, asking our friends to write posts about what they love the most, their kids.  Editing the wonderful writing of our friends is the next best thing to writing.

Reading other bloggers’ work and seeing my life reflected back to me through the wisdom of their beautifully crafted words and stories.

When someone we admire publishes our writing.  The thrill of seeing oneself in print, even if the print is virtual, never gets old.

The silence.

Here is what I hate:

Pushing and promoting to get readers.  Hate putting stuff on my Facebook page, hate tweeting and sounding like a Madison Avenue soundbite. The only thing I would hate more is no one reading our blog.

Feeling so far behind the curve that I may never catch up.  I wasn’t born in the 1990s, it is a disappointment from which I may never recover.

Having a parenting blog but needing to respect my children’s privacy.  Their lives are very much their own, not to be trod upon for my amusement.

I was a fan of the internet from the start, blogging has made me a junkie, not sure that is an improvement.

Having my words come back to me.  I am a very private person and a blog is a very public thing. This internal struggle eats at me every day.

Feeling like an idiot on social media, asking my kids questions, getting the eye roll or worse, “Oh God, Mom, no, tell me you are NOT on Twitter.”

Rejection: part of putting yourself out there with a blog or writing submissions is the big NO.  It always knocks you back for a moment before you steady yourself and forge ahead.

That after hours spent alone reading and writing, I wonder why people don’t just tweet, email, text or Facebook me their thoughts because speaking can sound so….loud.

The feeling that blog posts and tweets, those bite size pieces of writing, may have forever ruined my attention span and with it my ability to think in paragraphs longer than 140 characters.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I love blogging and the community.
    I hate that sometimes comments are misconstrued.
    I must find some balance – am spending too much time here
    Like you, I love seeing things reflected back to me that I can relate to

    • Grown and Flown says

      It is a little addictive and a lot of fun. So amazing when you can hear your own thoughts expressed so beautifully in someone else’s words. Misconstrued…that doesn’t sound good. Sorry to hear that.

  2. Lisa Stapleton Weldon says

    Oh, my. You took the words right outta my mouth. Excellent post!

    • Grown and Flown says

      That really is the highest praise from another blogger, thank you.

  3. says

    I am in complete agreement on absolutely everything you’ve written here. Everything. What I would love more than anything about blogging is if you could just WRITE and that would be good enough. But just writing, no matter how great it might be, isn’t enough. So I feel I spend every minute of every day doing all I can to maintain my blog, maintain my relationships online, maintain my Klout number, maintain my followers. In the meantime, I no longer just take time to read a book or enjoy time outside or just plain chill without a dark cloud of guilt hanging over my head.

    Yet I keep on blogging because I love it. And the people I meet, online and off. And because even those parts I truly hate (the self-promotion, the rejection, the feeling like I’ll never be good enough, the folks who dismiss me because they think I’m OLD because I’m a grandma) is a bazillion times better than having an office job I have to go to each and every day. Though I must admit, the air-conditioning of an office would be quite nice about now!

    Great post, ladies. So wonderful to not feel alone in this love/hate business of blogging.

    • Grown and Flown says

      This means so much to us hearing this from you. Your blog has such a unique voice, I feel like I am in your living room every time I read one of your posts. Those of us who read you have no doubts, I repeat, no doubts that you are good enough. The danger in blogging about our families is that it takes us away from our families.

      • says

        I wish I had come back sooner to see additional comments, for this sweet reply from you would have made my bumpy day go far more smoothly. Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it!

  4. says

    I left you a comment on your Huffington Post piece – you always say what I’m thinking (my favorite thing to hear from readers!). Thanks so much for the link love, too.

  5. says

    I love blogging. It has in the past and continues to now see me through some of my darkest days. I used to hate the social media dance–it was so high school, I thought–but now I see my antipathy as MY problem, not Facebook or Twitter’s. I was loathe to put myself out there because, quite simply, I was afraid of finding out no one cared. I think this reticence is an age thing. My take on my friends who are much younger than I is that they have no problem trumpeting their blogs. So, I push myself to emulate their attitudes, because in the end, it’s better for me all around.

  6. says

    Great timing for this post. I am just feeling that my blog has run its course. I began to write strictly for myself, as therapy, to get me through the transition into the sad and empty nest. As people began to read, it started to take on a life of its own. I have tried to resist the urge to publicize and try to sell my writing. I have tried, with mixed success, to keep it a vehicle for my own evolution and growth.
    I don’t know how to manage the pressures of blogging. I only know that I will always try to keep the words true and honest and my own.

    • Grown and Flown says

      Everyone who has ever read your blog knows of its dignity and honesty. WHy do you say that it has run its course? Blogging seems to be a real journey for most of us. And I can say for Mary Dell and myself we knew so little we just jumped in with both feet.

    • Grown and Flown says

      Still laughing…refresh, refresh…still laughing. This was truly brilliant and I was so glad to see that I was the 1,001th visitor. I want to copy your video…you have caught the obsession, perfectly. I love the irony that writing about our families takes us away from our families.

      Every blogger should watch this.

  7. says

    I struggle with this daily. About once a week, I consider STOPPING blogging. The Time consuming nature of it…it makes you constantly evaluate. Appreciate your thoughts!

    • Grown and Flown says

      Please don’t stop. What you have done, gathering a group of like minded bloggers together, has been a huge help to us all. Thank You.

  8. says

    Here’s what I love: The stuff I write for my blog is the stuff that wakes me up at night and demands to be written. I love the immediacy, I love responding in real time to what’s going on in the world. I love the nice comments. More and more I love the community. I would never have met you two without blogging!

    Here’s what I hate: When I’m not feeling it and the blog gets neglected. The mean comments. One woman dedicated three blog posts at her blog to my failures as a teacher (I ask my students to write personal narrative once a year and be honest with me in their explorations, and she thinks that’s intrusive and mean and an abuse of my power as a teacher). I hate that everyone and their dog has a blog. I hate that people don’t equate “writing” and “blogging,” that I’m not a “real writer” unless I publish under the aegis of a “real” publisher.

    But mostly I love it. It’s what fuels me, what fuels my book, what fuels my education as a teacher. It’s the fun stuff.

  9. says

    Another great post! Blogging is not for the faint of heart or the insecure. It’s humbling, inspiring, scary, and wonderful. You described it perfectly. What I love most about blogging is the comraderie of like minded women. The sharing of each other’s posts, the comments, the support. As a mother I had gotten to a place where I felt that I had lost my voice. Blogging gave it back to me and has helped me to do the same with my beautiful clients.

    Your blog is wonderful and you bring a unique voice to the blogging community. Thanks for starting this conversation. I look forward to reading your future posts!

  10. says

    I love/hate all those same things.

    Add to my list the feeling like I’m missing the boat by not having a website covered with ads or sponsors/advertisers beating down my door. It isn’t that I lust after that, but I feel–especially on the heels of going to BlogHer–that somehow everyone else is getting something that I’m not.

    I’ve been blogging for a long time, and my goals have never been to shill for corporations, but suddenly I feel that I’m losing out. Being confused about my purpose is something I hate about blogging.

  11. says

    I love the daily practice of writing. I love photography. Who knew? Before venturing into the blogosphere I took a couple photography courses and have really enjoyed seeing with that “eye.” I’m happy to add one more voice to the conversation with women who find themselves at the same stage of life, and hearing, learning and laughing with them. Love the community.

  12. says

    Respecting my children’s privacy is definitely a biggie for me, too. Something funny or interesting will happen in our family and instantly my sons will look at me and go “Don’t write about that!”

    The other thing I dislike is not knowing enough about CSS to fix my own WP.org problems. I switched to WP.org so I could manage my own ads, and that part has worked out well, but boy if something goes wacky and I have to address it at the CSS level, I’m hosed.

  13. says

    I love blogging but it can be very time consuming. Not so much the writing part as you have pointed out but the networking that goes with it. I am also mindful of protecting my family’s privacy, because whilst I signed on to be a blogger they didn’t. But I do love the community around blogging and wish I could spend more time engaged with it. It is important that building an audience doesn’t become all consuming, though.

  14. says

    “The feeling that blog posts and tweets, those bite size pieces of writing, may have forever ruined my attention span and with it my ability to think in paragraphs longer than 140 characters.”

    I can so relate to that. I often wonder if I talk as if I was writing a blog post – and unfortunately there is no edit or delete button when you are actually talking to someone in real life, dammit.

    • Grown and Flown says

      What we all would give for a delete button sometimes…

  15. Anonymous says

    I too am ambivalent about blogging, for many of the pros and cons you listed. My clarity about why I continue ebbs and flows. One reason for sure is that if I didn’t blog
    I might read all day. On the other hand, if I didn’t blog, I could spend more time at
    the gym, which might provide a better outcome for me. I guess the only convincing reason I continue to blog is to borrow the words from E.F. Forster: “Just connect”. My (we)blog is my room with a. . .viewpoint.

  16. says

    I too am ambivalent about blogging, for many of the pros and cons you listed. My clarity about why I continue ebbs and flows. One reason for sure is that if I didn’t blog
    I might read all day. On the other hand, if I didn’t blog, I could spend more time at
    the gym, which might provide a better outcome for me. I guess the only persuasive reason I continue to blog is to borrow the words from E.F. Forster: “Just connect”. My (we)blog is my room with a. . .viewpoint.

  17. says

    love this post. i’m still confused by most of the technology. i seem to have no control of where the pictures end up. i’ve had posts disappear, replaced by giant pictures i don’t remember choosing in the first place. but i too like the discipline of writing. i like seeing it get better and falling in to a schedule of draft, revision, revision, revision, post. sometimes i forget it’s going on a blog. i find it hard to find time to really explore other blogs and tend stick to the few i’ve come to love – like yours. i’m still a reader or a renter of movies when i want to relax. maybe as the technology becomes less intimidating…

  18. Amy @mommetime says

    oh my… how I relate! I’m very private about certain things and an open book about other stuff… when it comes to my kids I’ve changed a lot about what I post, especially when it comes to photographs of my kids. I really enjoy blogging… something I do for me. It is definitely giving me opportunity to practice balance. Excellent post…

  19. Chris Bradshaw says

    Love this post. Thank you.

  20. says

    I feel like I’ve come late to the blogging party, that I’ll never quite catch on, because just as I figure one thing out, it changes, or something new comes along.

    I struggle with the “marketing” aspect; self-promotion is uncomfortable for me. Yet I want interaction; I want comments; I want to exchange thoughts.

    I struggle with wanting to be candid and honest, but to not over-expose my family. Yet I feel that it is easier to be candid and honest online, with people who do not know my children or husband personally. It keeps them at arm’s length from being judged based on what I say about them.

    Love your list; I’m glad blogher tweeted it again today.

    • says

      So glad you commented, thank you. I see your struggles as perennial, not a result of being new to blogging. I have been thinking a lot about writing about family in this blogging life as you mention, but that is probably another post.

  21. Emily says

    Oh I’m sooo with you on the love/hate relationship with blogging. You hit on all the points that make me nuts about this endeavor, but also what keeps me keeping on…great post!

    • says

      Thank you so much for saying so, now I am off to read What’s for Dinner because I too dread those words.

  22. says

    I’m nodding my head as I read. YES on the writing and making connections NO on the promoting and diminishing attention span.

    I’ve met so many amazing women through blogging :-)

  23. says

    I don’t think I could’ve written those reasons better. Thank you for writing this during one of my most vulnerable times and bringing out that “I’m not alone” feeling yet again.

    • says

      Blogging can be so solitary it is always nice to remember that we are not alone, thank you for writing here.

  24. Carol Romanoff says

    You said so succinctly what I, as well as I guess many others feel about blogging….it’s such an enticing way to say and talk about what interests you, It’s a big learning curve to all social media, I relate to all that you said! I was glad to see this re-posted, I saw it on FB. So, keep sharing…Regardless of the subject, whether parenting, kids or like my blog, about art & design, I have learned that, even though there is often silence, there are readers out there. Thanks for putting words to the love/hate aspect of blogging!

  25. says

    Great perspective and great list; totally agree with everything you say. after four years I could add more items on both sides—if I had time to think about it. That’s one more thing I love—how blogging stimulates my creativity and flow of endless ideas; and hate that being online so much makes me feel there’s never enough time to read, learn and write everything.

  26. Carpool Goddess says

    Blogging is definitely a love/hate relationship. I struggle as well with issues of revealing too much or too little. Am I spending too much time online and alone? And I don’t like asking for readers to comment, like, etc…our posts, which is our bread and butter. Wouldn’t it be lovely if they just showed up on their own? A girl can dream…

    • says

      You write so well that readers should just show up! We recommend your blog to all readers, it is a treat!

  27. says

    This one gets me all the time:

    “Having my words come back to me. I am a very private person and a blog is a very public thing. This internal struggle eats at me every day.”

    I reject 3/4 of the things I want to write about, out of fear (or consideration) of what my in-laws or other family members would say. I’ve actually contemplated going anonymous just to write about all I wish to write about!

    • says

      I have seen blogger go anonymous, but I always wonder how long that can last. Such a difficult balancing act. Thanks for commenting.

  28. says

    I’m very much a blogging newbie. I found it interesting that I find it so hard to promote my blog to my own Facebook friends. I’ve always been so self-conscious and although this has greatly diminished with age, there’s something about just putting myself out there. It’s easier among strangers. Additionally, I’m a perfectionist and so I find myself obsessing about each post and really strive to do things “correctly” and with integrity (attributions, etc.). Thanks for your honesty. I can identify with many of those things you mentioned!

    • says

      Thank you for reading Phoebe, it is hard to push your writing on others, but it is a bloggers bread and butter, something we all need to learn!

  29. says

    Great post! I left a comment over at Generation Fabulous. I have a lot of the same dislikes but the benefits are way more positive than the negative aspects. Why we blog, right!? :)

  30. Janet says

    I really loved this. It was one of those moments i just keep nodding my head thinking “yes that is exactly it”. Thanks for this. Good luck. We new bloggers need to support each other !!

  31. says

    Yes, I can totally relate tot he love-hate aspect of blogging and there are definitely positives and negatives, too with this medium. That aid I do believe the positives for the most part outweigh the negatives and truly do enjoy it, but that is just me. Loved hearing why you do blog and thank you for linking this up with us!!

  32. says

    Breathing deep as I become increasingly more relieved that blogging is a love/hate relationship for all of us. I love blogging. I hate that I am often up until 2am trying desperately to connect and to share and to remind my amazing blog friends that they matter – that we all matter. Wonderful, perfect post. Glad you linked it up.

  33. says

    Thank you so much for linking this up to FTSF this week- you perfectly captured the things that I most love and hate about blogging. Especially the things that make me squirm- the promotion, the tweeting, among other things. Thanks for putting it into words so eloquently.

  34. Pam @ Whatevs.... says

    It’s refreshing to find I’m not the only one who is conscious of respecting my family’s privacy.. (Ok my child. My husband- not so much!) I am constantly tempted to tell the internets EVERYTHING and post some cute pics of the baby but then… It’s not necessarily my stuff to share. And that’s hard, especially when everyone else is doing it! I feel like a whiny kid… Anyway, well said. And yes the only thing worse than having to promote your blog (which I know I need to do more of!) is the idea that no one is reading…

  35. says

    There is definitely a love hate relationship when it comes to blogging. I, too, love meeting so many new and interesting people. I hate the rejections and the lack of interest from people. Forging ahead is a must! Good luck to you two!

  36. says

    I am with you on ALL of these. Now that I have started blogging, I’m not sure I can stop blogging. The clarity it gives me. The rush I get when I really like a turn of phrase. The joy in finding other’s stories who help me understand my own so much more. The record I have of these moments and that I can share with my girls when they are older and experiencing the same things I am experiencing now.

    But also the fear. That others will judge. That I’m oversharing. That I absolutely HATE HATE HATE having to sell myself. I worked in advertising for a year, and I quit. For a reason. That other people see me and know more about me than I do about them.

    My biggest struggle is with the kids. I write about them on occasion (like their birthdays or big events,) but mainly I try to write about myself as a mother. Of course that includes them, but I try not to have it ABOUT them. To me, there is a difference.

    And I share tons of pictures. Maybe they won’t like that, but as their mama and the person most proud of them in the world, I reserve the right to share those as long as they aren’t embarrassing in nature :-)

  37. says

    Blogging is definitely a roller coaster of highs and lows, isn’t it? :) But in the end, the ride was, usually, worth it.

  38. Nina says

    Absolutely agree that I love when I chance upon a unique idea and the words just flow together somehow. And of course the opposite; I hate when I can’t think of anything good to write, or when I feel like I’m writing just to write.

  39. says

    I relate so much to this! In the last year especially, I have gotten so many (surprising to me, though they shouldn’t be!) harsh responses from readers, I have regularly had to stop, steady myself, and decide whether or not to move forward. I am super aware now of the public nature of sharing my heart with the Internet—both the good and the bad of it. Yet something keeps me sharing, at least so far. I think you make a good point here about what there is to love and hate about the medium.

Trackbacks

  1. Here are the 7 reasons that every single person should blog | POLYNATE.ME says:

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  2. I Hate Love Blogging - Generation Fabulous says:

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