This blog goes on under a different name and new web address from January 2011. Please follow me...

Beyond the Lone Islands

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Success or Exhaustion


Now and then I find myself landing on some blog post or other which tries to define How To Be A Successful Blogger. Tips usually include things like: post regularly, keep to a theme, get out there and visit lots of other blogs, link, comment, interact… Just recently I came across one such post that a bit unexpectedly ended with the conclusion (rephrased by me):  “sorry, readers, I did all this, and was successful - but I can’t keep it up”.

It made me ponder about how we define success. Not just in blogging! - but let’s stick to that for now, to simplify things.

Really: How many followers should a blogger have to be counted as successful? How many page views? How many comments on average per post? How many… Oh, never mind…


Every now and then I find that I’m letting myself get stressed by goals set up by someone else – and not set up for me, but for them. How stupid is that?

Every time I do that, I have to go back to my own beginning, and ask myself: What goals did I set for myself?

If we stick to blogging… In my very first blog post ever (January 2009), I wrote: “I really have no clear idea yet what hidden things I want this blog to make visible. But maybe if I start writing, I will find out...”


I had hardly even read other blogs until I started my own. I had never heard the word “meme”. I knew one (1) person in the blogosphere. It seemed unbelievable that anyone else would ever just randomly find what I wrote. (That took two weeks, I think.) But I was curious to explore a bit more. I wanted to keep up writing, and the English language. And if I made some friends along the way, that would be great. That was about it…

Considering those goals (which did not include numbers of any kind), I’ve been “successful”. I’ve done a lot of exploring. I’ve kept writing. I’m communicating with other people in English. Some people across the earth whom I’ve never met have come to feel like close friends. On top of that I’ve expanded my photo interest – a lot. And after nearly two years I’m still here, enjoying it, feeling inspired by it…


… except when occasionally for obscure reasons I start to compare myself to goals set by other people who are not me. 

Why does one do that?!

Letting oneself get inspired by others is one thing.
Letting oneself get exhausted is another.

“The term Internet meme is used to describe a concept that spreads swiftly via the Internet. --- In simple terms, an Internet meme is an inside joke, that a large number of Internet users are in on.”

The pictures in this post are all from today (5 October 2010)


Ginny said...

Whenever we compare ourselves to others, we come up short. Because there is always someone who is so much better!! I know what you mean. I will be so pleased with a certain picture I've taken, then find the same thing done much better on another blog!! Your blog is tremendously sucessful, because you are doing what you like while expressing yourself, and there are others who love it and come to it every day. A few close friends are better than many who hardly know us. And your photography has just recently taken a tremendous jump!!! What is that first flower, it's my favorite! How soft and beautiful! I love the color, as well, your pictures get better and better every day lately!!!

GB said...

I shall start this comment by saying how much I agree with Ginny that 'A few close friends are better than many who hardly know us.' Definitely my creed too.

I started my blog simply to tell friends and family what I was doing in NZ and obviate (don't you just hate that word?) the need to email photos to everyone and to keep in touch.

The rest is history, as 'they' say.

I never set out to read nor to be read by people other than the original target group. Things just happened mainly, I think, through people who read Scriptor's blog and then went on from there. I know how many people visit my blog (or would if I cared to look) and how many follow (though I suspect the number of followers on the blog is much higher than the number who really follow).

I have made some really special friends in and through Blogland and I value them but I rarely stray outside that circle and read other blogs. That would, I think, Monica lead to exhaustion and begin to take over my life.

I know this irritates you but, sorry, I can't resist: WV = asighe - well after all asighe is just asighe.

DawnTreader said...

Ginny, thanks, and I agree - it's the people one "gets to know" that really make the blogging worth while. About the photography, I'm not sure I can see the "tremendous jump" myself. But I guess after walking the same paths with the camera for over a year now, I'm looking for new angles. All of the flowers in this post are dahlias.

jeannette said...

Like the last dahlia the most -such punch of color!
Blogging is an interesting phenomena -I tend to gravitate to the ones I have something in common with, and people from other countries. I write whatever and whenever I want to.
It's also to show some of my new art, because keeping up a web site is too expensive.
There's no way I can keep up with all the people who have visited - there are only so many hours in a day that I want to spend behind the computer LOL.
On my art page I have a little sign that says "blogging without obligation" and I like to keep it that way:)

DawnTreader said...

GB, you know that I agree with that statement of Ginny's, too. And I'm very happy that our circles have come to cross, or overlap each other, or whatever it is that circles do.

Did I give the impression that interpretations of WVs irritate me? Certainly not the ones that are "almost" real words. If I've given "a sighe" about it some time I think that must have been referring to ones that make me want to check a dictionary "just in case"... ;)

DawnTreader said...

Jeannette, glad to see you here. Yes, that's what I mean. One can blog for all sorts of reasons and therefore there can't be just one definiton of "successful" blogging.

pam said...

Gorgeous photos. Very wise is the one who follows their own path. I started blogging the first time to get thoughts out of my head. Ultimately my blog is for me to ponder out loud...get thoughts out of my head and to remember.....but if someone enjoys or is encouraged that is grand. I don't have time to make it work....I just am and let it flow.

Sandra said...

first i want to say these flower photos are more than reason enough for you to post. they are just wonderful, evern the dying one is beautiful and i love the little curls in the first. I have seen in the months since i started follwoing you that your photos are better and better and better. and i am so glad i found you and I love beingin contact with you and with others all over this great big world. to me that is the best thing about blogging, building relaitonships with strangers that become friends.
the odd thing is Ginny and i have been talking about this very subject. I emailed her that i felt like i was always comparing me to others and that it was effecteing my blog mojo. i felt mine might inferior. but just like what you said here
Why does one do that?!

Letting oneself get inspired by others is one thing.
Letting oneself get exhausted is another.

that is a slap in my face. i need to be INSPIRED and Enjoy! not be exhausted by comapring.
i think if we are happy with our blog we are successful. forget the numbers. some like having hundreds of followers and that exhaust me. I am very happy with my blog community as it is. thanks for becomeing my Swedish Friend and you do fantastic at bloggin in your second laungage. its all i can do in my one language.

rae said...

I'm glad you're here! I find your blog continuously delightful.

DawnTreader said...

Pam - it is often helpful to get one's thoughts down in writing, isn't it?

Sandra - I love the communication part of blogging as well, and I'm very glad to have "met" you. I find your blog quite unique and that is meant as a compliment. You have an amazing eye for detail and layout and the gift of making others "see" things through your eyes, so you just keep snapping...!

DawnTreader said...

Rae - Thanks! You were one of my earliest followers I think and you're still here - I appreciate that very much!

bettyl said...

I think we should all remember why we started blogging in the first place! I don't think anyone sets out to be a 'blog success' from the start. At least, I didn't.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin