Keeping my blog going, constantly coming up with new things to write, is like feeding a monster. And he is a very hungry beast.
I started my blog on a whim last summer. I’d been writing down my kids’ funny questions and comments in a notebook for about a year, with a view to doing ‘something’ with them. A blog was one option, but I had no idea how easy it was to start one. Then I was reading my friend’s blog and I followed a few links, and there it was! My own blog.
There was no grand plan. No science. No consideration of how often I should post for maximum interest. I knew nothing about blogging and what constituted a ‘proper’ blog. I just posted my questions.
I posted them every day. I didn’t realise I could look at stats to see how many people were looking at them. Now I do, I realise that some of those question posts had NO VIEWS AT ALL. Some of my links had more ‘likes’ on Facebook than they actually had views.
Then one day I wrote a post about my children’s glasses. Chapter and verse on everything to do with them wearing glasses. That would be broken down into three or four separate posts now.
I started blogging about issues affecting my family – like fussy eaters. Again, chapter and verse. Again, wasting precious material that could have been stretched out over three or four posts.
The questions became alternate posts, then twice a week, then once a week as the ‘real’ posts took over. But still the hungry monster wanted more.
I got the impression people didn’t like the questions, they wanted the ‘real’ stuff, they wanted me to bare my soul, and that of my family. I considered dropping the questions altogether, but I didn’t. They are the reason I started my blog and they are the thing that makes it different from others, just as some people do entire posts based only on photos. And some people really like the questions (mainly my male readers).
I realised I couldn’t blog about issues for long before they all dried out, there are only so many issues affecting a family, even a family of five. So I started writing about things that happened – Christmas performances, holidays and rugby tournaments. I delved into the past and posted some memories, including birth stories of my younger son and my little girl and how I met my husband.
The monster is very demanding of my time. Writing takes very little time – no more than 20 minutes for a post, even a long one. Encouraging people to read takes a lot longer. It keeps me from housework, which I don’t enjoy, but nor do I enjoy living in an untidy house. What is more important – feeding the endless compulsion to write or living in a house in a reasonable state?!
I wrote myself a list last autumn of things I could write about if ever I had a day when I had nothing to say. Most of them haven’t been written yet. The hungry monster was telling me to write about the kids fighting over the settee or my younger son falling over in the road instead.
But was the blog getting too personal? Were the demands of the hungry monster meaning I had to give too much away?
For more on this, look out for Feeding the Monster 2 tomorrow.