Thursday, February 10, 2011

What Is The Purpose Of This Blog?

Current Location: Tualatin, OR

Once again, I find myself in a blogging block. And I think all of you are to blame! When I first decided to write a blog, it was primarily to keep our closest friends and relatives apprised of our location and excursions. I also wanted to keep some type of journal for historical purposes, so that when I lost my memory in old age (uh oh, I think I'm well on my way), I'll have something to remind me of these days. I wasn't particularly self conscious because I wasn't sure anyone would be reading. I just wrote what was on my mind. As a matter of fact I published my first several posts before I even shared the link with anyone! I wasn't even sure I was going to share it, but I must have let it slip in a moment of weakness.

And a funny thing happened. I gained followers. At first it was just a few, but the number kept growing. Now I'm up to 81 publicized followers and I know there are many more lurking in the shadows. A few of these folks I know personally, several others are fellow bloggers whom I follow, but many are people whom I don't know. I don't know how they found my blog. They've never left a comment or initiated contact. I don't know if they read regularly or just occassionally or if they still follow at all.

I am flattered by it all. It still amazes me that anyone would choose to read my ramblings, when there is so much more entertaining stuff out there. There are far better writers than me. And there are certainly those who are more diligent about writing. So why me?

Ultimately, it doesn't really matter. Suffice it to say, I am humbled by it. But that humbling has also led to a problem. Pressure! I feel like I need to write for you. I feel like I need to publish regularly to hold on to my audience. And I feel like I need to write interesting, informative pieces to keep you coming back. Although I've always told myself that I'm writing this primarily for me and it doesn't matter if anyone reads it, I know that's not really true. Having an audience is kind of addictive. Although I don't measure my success by the number of followers, it is certainly flattering to watch that number grow. And I have to wonder that if I stopped receiving comments, would I eventually stop writing?

So while it is motiviational to have followers, it also causes a challenge for me. You see, I'm a bit of a perfectionist and if I'm going to write knowing that it will be read by others, I want to write something good. And if I don't think I can do that, then I will procrastinate and not write anything at all. It's a bad habit and I've thought more than once about giving up this blogging business altogether; but I like writing and I like being part of the blogging community, so I'm not ready to stop just yet.

From the beginning, I've struggled with what I want the focus of this blog to be about. Do I want it to be a travelogue? Do I want to focus more heavily on the full-timing lifestyle and what it's like to live in a small box on wheels? Do I want it to be educational for those interested in RVing, either part or full-time? Do I want to keep it more introspective and talk about things like why I don't blog more often? I don't know, but I've always felt that I needed a direction. The one thing I do know is that I don't want it to be mundane. I don't want to talk about what I had for dinner or how many loads of laundry I did today. I realize that that's all part of the lifestyle too, but I think that's boring, both to write about and to read. But just in case you're wondering, I've done 4 loads of laundry over the last couple of days, made a trip to Super Walmart to stock up on groceries, and made a quiche for dinner tonight. :)

As I write this, I think the answer to my question is becoming clearer. I think this blog is probably a little bit of everything. I am introspective by nature and although I am a fairly private person, oddly I find it pretty easy to write about my feelings (much easier than talking about them!), so I will no doubtedly continue with my reflections. And although we tend to stay stationary for longer periods of time, we are still busy exploring and I would like to share our experiences. I definitely want to share more pictures. I'm getting better about remembering to take my camera, but I'm slow to get the pictures uploaded and if I wait for the pictures, I may never publish a post. I hope that some of my babbling will be educational and I will try to share tidbits of what I learn everyday. But mostly, I think I just need to write whatever's on my mind.

Maybe my blog doesn't need a singular direction. Maybe by just sharing whatever topic surfaces will be educational and interesting. And hopefully my writing will be good enough...

Do any of you fellow bloggers struggle with what to write about and how often to write? Or am I just crazy??


  1. No I don't think you're crazy! I don't usually have a problem coming up with something to write about, although I tend to talk more about what's going on than doing reflective stuff. I would have writer's block a lot more often if I was trying to come up with a different topic to just talk about. I do make an effort to write something every day, even if it's really short. For me, I think it would be easy to get out of the habit of blogging if I didn't. I've gotten really good at bringing my camera pretty much everywhere and taking pictures, and downloading them has become pretty easy. I take pictures probably 5 days out of the week, and upload them to the computer almost immediately.

    I do hope that you stick around in blogville, because I enjoy reading your blog when it pops up with a new post. :)

  2. i would have difficulty if i were writing a daily blog (not sure i could do it)- however once i hit the road it may be either easier to write the blog (since i will have more to write about) or it may be harder (because i may get too busy having fun)... either way i think i will continue to write when i feel i have something to write about..

  3. We try to post a little something everyday, we started with the same purpose, we have a lot of relatives scattered all over the country so a blog and Skype seemd like a neat way to go, but we found like you that family was only a very small part of the readership, Along the way blogging becomes addictive and also an avenue to meet new friends,I too sometimes wonder what could interest someone about daily life in Dardenne Prairie, but whether we do laundry or go out or just have a slow day in the house, people seem to like to know youe are alive and well.When we are not traveling it is harder to come up with subjects, but luckily with our two dogs and hobbies something always seems to pop into mind at the last minute, I seldom miss a day even if I say this is going to be a shorty today. Like Jessica Photography makes it interesting, but you can have dry spells there too. Be safe out there.. Sam & Donna.

  4. Connie, bloggin is not perfect, neither is life. Write about life.

    You have a lot of followers because your writing is real, interesting, easy to read, and people can relate to you and Tracy well.

    We write when the moment hits us. We don't have time to write every day and sometimes not even every week.

    Do it for yourself just the way you started, people enjoy it as evidenced by your number of followers.

    A blog should not feel like a commitment.


  5. You have a lot of followers because your writing is REAL! Do not change it for any reason, we all need to be true to ourselves and with your words, you are...keep it that way!

    If you can't find anything to say, don't, but if you feel you must say something, then do. But, don't change what you write to please others. I look forward to your words because I know I won't have to skim through the boring stuff and with each post, you change my life with your very insightfulness.

  6. In a word "yes" I have a lot of trouble writing when we are setting in one place long term and just living a day to day lifestyle.

  7. This post was one of my favorites of yours. It reflected my own feelings much better than I could have done myself. I struggle with the exact same thing.
    Whatever and whenever you blog, it's because you've got something to say. It doesn't matter the reason/subject/theme. What matters is that you have a story to tell and I love reading your stories.
    I also love that you made me think :)

  8. ditto, ditto, ditto and on ad nauseum. Yes! as someone else said here, your blog is fun to read because it is real. As you said, so many of us start off writing because we need a memory jog for ourselves, then maybe we want to let a few folks know what we are doing, and then wham, suddenly, we have readers, and pressure to "write". For me at least, your blog is wonderful because it often reflects things I think about as well and you say them better! For all of us, maybe quite worrying about the pressure, and go back to whatever is right in front of us at the moment.

  9. For me, I usually get up around 7am and go to bed around 10pm - that's 15 hours in which I must be doing something or other. It's those 15 hours I write about, and first, it has to be interesting to me. If others find it boring to read about dinners etc., I never worry about that for a second. In the big scheme of things my blog is my hobby and I do it for fun - my fun! If I ever get real stressed about it, I'll quit!!

  10. You know what's interesting? I could see myself so well in your words today. Then I read the comments and could see my reflection again.
    Often times, I don't have much to say. I don't open up in person nearly as much as I do in my blog. I've tried to stay mainly with the RV theme, but that limits me this time of year since we are still in the house.
    Carry're doing fine. Hope we meet each other down the road.

  11. Write for yourself and you can't go wrong. If others find it boring or off topic, they can skip it until something interests them. That's the beauty of blogging. It's YOUR blog and you get to choose when to write and what to write about. Just keep it real, you're doing fine.

    While you're in Oregon, take time to visit Eugene (our home base). It's a great place to spend a bit of time - lots to see and do and less traffic than Portland LOL!

  12. I'm always staggered by the number of followers of my various blogs as well as the comments of those that tell me they love the way I write.

    So I keep it simple...I write like I was talking to a friend. Simple conversations (which sometimes have been held with myself beforehand...LOL!).

    Content? Varies...depends on what we're doing. I jot down topics as they come to me and use that for those times that I feel our daily life is a little too stagnant for others.

    Hang in there, don't despair and don't let us readers slow you down!!!

  13. I have to agree with several of the comments. I think you should write for yourself, this is your life and whatever is on your mind is what is important. I agree with Froggi too in the keep it simple, as in a conversation with a friend because those of that read your blog feel like your friends. I think we read because we want to know what our friend is up to and what is on her mind. (that is you) Sometimes I feel like I have more in common with my blogging friends. I don't write everyday but I do try to get something down 2-3 times per week. Though it is nice to know that someone reads my blog, I think I would blog anyway, as away to remember where we have been, what we have done and how we felt about it all - the joys, frustrations, all of it. I truly hope you keep posting but at your speed because I would miss you, my friend, if you didn't.

  14. Connie, I love reading anything you write. I really like your pictures and information when you go exploring. It makes me feel like I am there with you guys. Write what makes you feel the best. Take care both of you. Love you. Dani

  15. I could have written this same blog! I struggle with this often. It's getting so I feel we have to do something interesting every day so I can blog about it! And I'm photo crazed as well! I try to write a couple of blogs ahead of time so I can have something interesting (hopefully) to say when we HAVEN"T done anything in particular for the day! You are a good writer, so keep writing. If it's not interesting for the day, people will skip it! I'm trying to be not such a perfectionist, but it's a lifetime habit, so it's gonna take me awhile to relax and enjoy myself. But I'm like you, I love to write!

  16. One think I appreciate and admire about your blog is that you mostly write. Those of us that don't consider ourselves that great of a write add a lot of pictures most of the time.

    I like the idea that you have a blog for a variety of reasons and you can put on it what ever grabs you that day...a little history, a travelogue, thoughtful words....

    I too have felt the pressure and decided to back off and not do a daily blog. Now I only do it two or three times a week sometimes. Seems to be a working for me. So I'd say, not to worry and a few words from you here and there are always something I look forward to.

  17. I love to read your blog. It doesn't have to be every day. I read alot of blogs and they are all different. Some are fulltimers and other are preparing for it. Some write almost everyday others are not. Don't feel pressured to write. I like them all. I love the variety.

  18. Connie,

    While this is my first comment on your blog, it has been because a lot of blogs require some kind of "profile" to leave comments. After writing to others on blogs at RV Dreams, I was talked into starting one of my own.

    I read your blog just to see how you two are doing. After all, while it wasn't much, I did have a wee bit of influence in helping you start this lifestyle. So, now I can comment.

    I'd say to just do as you wish. Should you decide to stop, many will be disappointed, and some of us will be concerned about you, but it all boils down to what you want.

  19. There was so much buzz in the blogger community about your blog today that I just could not miss stopping by. Your blog post today is fantastic! I love the way you've written about why you blog. I relate to all you have to say. I began blogging as a way to deal with the anxiety and excitement I was experiencing about hitting the road! And I also blogged initially as a writing practice (which is still the purpose). It's said that "writers write." And that is what you are doing. You're a writer - and a fellow adventurer.

  20. And how...I wonder at times if I should say what I really think or remain politically correct to appease the family members and other who follow the blog. I enjoy blogging and feel it will be a help to family and friends in the future when we take off across the country and hopefully, our experiences will be seen by others an encourge or scare them to death.
    Be safe out there...

  21. just chill, write if you feel like it. we will enjoy it when you do post and look forward to the next post when it shows up. chill, enjoy your days.

  22. found your post through Rick and Paulette's travels..and you have hit the nail on the head.!!..if you write it people will read!..I, too have had blogger's block..some weeks just aren't as interesting as others but such is life!..have a great day...keep on writing and we will keep on reading!!