Monday, April 07, 2008

Blogging for Dollars

There's nothing like a little writing to make the insecurity meter start rising. And if it ain't about one thing, then it's about another. The NY Times helped the blogosphere out the other day by publishing an article that said basically, blog and you'll die. In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop - New York Times

God knows how many other bloggers picked up on it, but two of our midlifeblogger crew were hit: Merlot Mom and Ms Meta of Metafootnotes both wrote posts quoting the Times article. Their takes were somewhat different, but for both women, blogging is, along with the good, producing some, shall we call it, quiet anxiety. I can relate.

Why do we do what we do? Why blog? There's a huge conversation going on, some of which seems to be arriving as Tweets from Twitterers I follow, that seems to focus on the commercial promise of blogging and whether, in fact, that is its sole purpose.

I'm not immune to that argument, but I have found over the years that I've been doing this, that blogging for money is the road to ruin for me. When I have set out to make money with my blog, I have (a) failed miserably, and (b) felt, therefore, like a prize chump for even assuming I could succeed. When I keep my eye focused on communicating what I want to when I want to, then I feel good about myself and my work.

I have a blogging friend who supports his family by blogging. He's one of the guys that the NY Times article was talking about. He writes for umpteen commercial blogs. He's a stay-at-home dad and blogs about that, and he does some of those gossip blogs as well. But then there's his own blog and from time to time on that, his writer self just soars. Would that he had the luxury to let it fly all the time, but he doesn't. He has to earn a living.

I don't have to earn a living from my blog and that gives me a measure of freedom, yes. But the other thing that I don't have to earn from my blog is my sense of myself or my reputation as a writer. That's been well-established over the years and that, too, gives me a measure of freedom. It is, I guess, one of the perks of being a midlifeblogger.

I think that maybe all the talk of branding your blog or monetizing it--for a lot of people, it's just another way of saying, I matter. And for you???

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