Colette

April 5, 2019

Five years ago today I put up my first post. The gist of that post is still true; namely, that I think of myself as a writer above all else. So long as I am cognizant, I don’t ever expect that to change. Somewhere in the last five years, I started to think, “I will not die without having written.” Not that I’m planning on going anywhere, but I wanted to be sure I wrote something substantial – something of substance – before I’m too old or too dead to do it.  I think I’ve done that. As a body of work, WriterInSoul makes me proud.

Coming in, I didn’t know what to expect and I was leery of trolls, stalkers, and other weird ilk. My concerns were largely unfounded. Still, blogging is exposing yourself and I felt a bit of trepidation about that but it didn’t stop me. This blog is not a diary. It is not a journal. I only write what I want to write. And — I have never deleted anything I’ve written. I’ve done minor edits on posts, when I saw a typo or something like that but I’ve never “taken anything back” or hidden it. Once it was up, it stayed up. My philosophy was not to post anything I wouldn’t be comfortable with anyone – anyone at all – reading. That said, I was ready – ready in my life – to say a lot here.

The blog doesn’t generate as many comments as it did in early times. This post on relationships from 2015 had the most comments. Several of those commenting are no longer around on WordPress. (Kate of Views and Mews by Coffee Kat,, who has been blogging longer than I have, once said that no one who was around when she first started on WordPress, is still here.) People drop away. It doesn’t pay to get too attached and yet I do feel connected to other bloggers. You hope the people you like stick around but you have no say over it.

This post from 2015 on promoting my blog had the second most comments.

The most viewed post is my “About” page and the second most read is the post I wrote three years ago about a man I knew who killed himself. I put up a link to the post on a community yahoo group and many people came to the blog by way of that link. (While I have “advertised” the blog in my community on bulletin boards and once or twice in the small local paper, it is not particularly well known or read. I could promote it on Facebook but I haven’t, in part because I keep my presence on Facebook limited.)

It occurs to me that blogs may start for one reason and continue – if they do – for another. I planned to blog for at least one year. I knew I could do that. Five years never occurred to me (although, that being said, an ability to plan/see into the future has never been my strong suit). I’ve said it before but I often remind myself this is not a job. That is, BLOGGING is not a job; it’s not my job. It has to be something I want, a reward unto itself. If it feels like work I shouldn’t be doing it. I try to find that sweet spot and over these five years, have routinely thought about and evaluated the blog: Is it worth it? What am I doing here? What do I consider a success? Am I getting back what I put in? How much time & effort should I spend? Stuff like that.

Due to not having consistent, decent internet, for some time now I haven’t been able to read other blogs as much as I would like. Reading other bloggers is important to me. There truly is a sense of community and connection and while I haven’t talked to or met any bloggers “in real life” I value the nature of the relationships that exist here on WordPress. Other bloggers are a large factor in why I continue to blog. Which isn’t to say I don’t have readers who are not bloggers – I do and I appreciate them very much as well, both those I know in life and those who I do not.
 
The blog is like a living entity. It frustrates, disappoints, pleases, and delights. Having had it five years, I think in terms of it; it doesn’t go far from my mind. I have not lost the recurring urge to blog, a feeling which makes me think of appetite. I write something (eat something) and I feel satisfied (sated). But sooner or later the “hunger” returns. While the posts have dropped off at times, I’ve never let a month go by without blogging. I dunno – I think it would be strange to stop blogging. I imagine if you stopped after having one a long time as I have, you’d have to remind yourself it no longer existed. What would take its place? That’s a bit of a rhetorical thought.

I have mellowed out a bit about the blog. What long-term relationship doesn’t mellow out a bit?! And when I say “mellowed” I mean in terms of what goes on in my own head about it. I don’t angst about it quite the way I might have earlier on. Yes, I still want readers and comments but I expect the blog is more or less what it is going to be. I’m not expecting – shy of any highly unlikely circumstance – any big surprises or a whopping change in anything related to the blog. Unless WordPress starts charging (I SWEAR I WON’T PAY TO BLOG, grrr. Writing for free is one thing; paying to write would be entirely another!)

Sometimes I worry that the whole blog could disappear and all my writing – and all the comments – with it. I mean, that COULD happen. I don’t own the blog and it exists in the never-never land that is the internet. Although WordPress has my trust to a large extent, I have no control. If it goes away, it goes away. I have to have that attitude. Blogs exist in space; they aren’t books. (Unless you pony up a whole bunch of money to people who will turn it into one: I’ve seen such ads!).

After five years of being here and thinking about it, I think blogs create connection and curb isolation, for their writers and for their readers. They can make you laugh and think, as either writer or reader. When I write, I make myself laugh and I often figure things out by writing about them. I am compelled to share my life – many aspects of it – and WriterInSoul has let me do that. Thanks for coming along.

Colette
April 5, 2019

16 thoughts on “WriterInSoul is 5

  1. Kate Crimmins

    Well said! I feel a stronger connection with some blogging friends than I do with real ones. People are willing to share more honestly on a blog. I also mourn the lost blogger friends. I lost another one last fall. I have tried to contact her but haven’t heard anything in return. Blogging and writing in general has kept my brain sharper. It’s easier to articulate when you write and go back and slash out all the really stupid words you originally used. Too bad we can’t do that in person. Congratulations. Five years is indeed a milestone!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Thank you Kate! Yes, I’ve tried to “request permission” or whatever that is when a blog goes private and received no response ( I tried twice last year with Behind the White Coat). In other cases, it just seemed best to let it go when someone disappeared, figuring they had their reasons. But it feels sad at times, like now, when reading old posts in order to write this one, and seeing the missing people. Then again, NEW people show up so there’s that – new connections to be had.

      Liked by 1 person

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  2. battlewagon13

    Speaking as a party of one over here – I enjoy each and every blog you have written. I think you’re an amazing talent that should be proud of what you’ve put out there. I always struggle with how much personal stuff to display, and tend to wrap it all up in a giant ball of sarcasm – but you have walked the thin line between what to share and what not to share very well.

    I can tell you also that you’re blog is one of the biggest reasons that I continue to blog as well. Your support on what I write – and the enjoyment I get out of reading yours – truly spur me on at times to keep it up. So thank you for that and keep it coming…

    Regarding your thoughts on permanence, I had the same fears. So I DID pay someone to put all my blogs in a book. I did this not for me, or for my daughter. I did it for my son who has never read anything by me. I can just see him one day when I’m long gone finding one of these books and just going through them in wonderment. I’m not sure if it’s good wonderment, or bad wonderment, but either way it makes me happy. To be honest, I go back and look at some of my older stuff in these books and am amazed at how good it is. However, to be fair there are an equal number of days when I go back and look at something and it just humiliates the crap out of me. Either way – it’s out there.

    So congrats on 5 years and we’ll see how long we can take this puppy!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Tim, I’m deeply touched by your words. You know, you are the blogger who has been ‘with me” the longest and I am grateful. I’m well-versed in sarcasm too, in life and on-line, but still have sincere, heartfelt feelings that define me as much and probably more – I just don’t think I have anything to lose by sharing what I do (people will always judge one way or the other I figure). Any time you decide to mix it up on your blog, you know I’ll be behind you! I’ve of course noticed you’ve slowed down on your blog (although I know some things in life have taken precedence) and I wonder at times if you’ll give it up. I am honored that I have a part in you continuing to stick around.

      When I was reading my old post that I wrote about blogging, I saw that you said you continued to blog for your kids and (future) grandkids. Now that your blog is in book form, I wonder if you’d consider submitting it anywhere? Or to an editor? There’s good stuff there as you say.

      Thank you for your appreciation, encouragement and blogging friendship.

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Becky, I appreciate that! Yes, the blog doesn’t feel like a “friend” exactly but it does feel like a being that “takes on a life of its own.” That’s a nice feeling when it’s growing. Makes more seem possible, online and off, doesn’t it.

      Liked by 1 person

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  3. Pistachios

    Congrats on this milestone! I’ve also been blogging for many years, and although I’ve contemplated cutting back on the frequency of my posts, I’ve just kept going because it’s so much a part of my life. I suppose part of it for me is that I’ve gained so much from reading other people’s blogs (including yours!), so I hope the things I write may somehow reach someone who finds value in it.

    I’ve come to accept that blogging isn’t something that a lot of people stick with for a very long time. I only lament that hardly any of my “real life” friends are interested in blogs…

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Your blog is certainly of value to me, Sharon, as are your comments here. As bloggers from my earliest years have dropped away, I’ve been so pleased to find “new” ones like you. What you say is what I was trying to say about connection. Bloggers help each other in more substantial ways than I think can be found on other social media. I guess we end up living dual (or more) lives when our “real” and online lives diverge.

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  4. Carol Anne

    Hi Colette. I’m a relatively new follower, but I like what I am reading! I love your blog! I also agree some old wordpressers aren’t here any longer, its sad, as you do grow attached, and make connections and you do wonder about people. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Thank you so much. Yes, it’s odd to know how to think about the people who “disappear.” To pursue or not? I tend to err on the side of letting people go, figuring they have their reasons. But the connections feel real.

      Liked by 1 person

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