Friday, February 26, 2010

Blog Envy

Okay, I have a confession: I have blog envy. What is it with these BIG blogs? You know, the ones with hundreds of followers, the ones that get dozens and dozens, sometimes hundreds, of comments to their every post? Yeah, those. How do they do it? What's so special about them? I mean, in all honesty, I've perused some of them and I don't get it. But I want it. Sort of.

There is one blog that has just recently hit the big time. I think she's actually been blogging for a while, but recently she posted about giving birth to her second child who, as it turns out, has Down syndrome, which they didn't learn about until after the baby was born. That birth story has gone viral. (And if you're reading this, you very likely know exactly which blog I'm talking about - everyone seems to know about that blog now.) Last I checked, and this was a couple weeks ago, she had over 800 comments to that one birth story post!! I mean, it was a lovely, touching, heartfelt, beautifully written account of her daughter's birth . . . but there are a lot of lovely, touching, heartfelt, beautifully written birth stories about babies with Down syndrome, and all kinds of other subjects, on blogs out there. What makes this one so special? Why do each of her posts continue to get upwards of 100 comments? Is it the gorgeous photography? It can't just be the writing or the subject matter, because there are LOTS of blogs out there that are well-written and about the same subject matter (may I direct your attention to Finnian's Journey?)

In other words, what does she have that I don't have?

I know, I know. I sound petulant, like a kid who wants to be in the popular group. That's sort of how I feel. I want to be liked and admired, I admit it! I fancy myself a writer . . . or at least a wannabe writer. I'd like my writing to be noticed and admired. I'd like the things I write about to strike some chord with people.

What I don't want, however, is to be one of those bloggers that tries too hard. Or that is gimmicky. I'm not interested in buying readership by doing giveaways. I don't want to compromise my principles and write to please my audience. I write to please myself - it's an emotional and a creative outlet for me. Being liked and admired for what I write about is a bonus . . . but a bonus that I find myself becoming increasingly fixated on. Why and how do some blogs draw such large audiences? And how can I do that without selling out?

Or maybe that's not really what I want at all. I dunno.


heather said...

I knew exactly what this post was going to be about the minute I read the title.:) I get blog envy too. But more like, "Why can't I express myself like that" and "Why don't my pictures ever turn out like hers?" I think there is some pseudo-celebrity-ness that can come from a popular blog. Who doesn't want hundreds of comments and hits to their blogs? Ok, I'm sure there are people out there who don't want that but I'd love to be the popular girl and advocate for Down syndrome.

Here's my take. The well known bloggers are usually crafty, photographers, good cooks, moms and inspiring. Well I can claim the mom part and do take pictures. None that are publish worthy. But that's about all!

This new blog you are referring to is captivating because it is a new mom sharing her journey. Finnian's Journey was the same way for me during that first year. It brings back memories and feelings that have been buried but need to be remembered. You feel like you are able to help someone on their journey to reach the place where you have personally obtained. And her pictures and words are amazing and inspiring. I actually have looked for comments from you and didn't see any. I even thought about leaving a comment with your blog address thinking she would enjoy reading your blog posts from Finn's first year.

Her birth story captivated everyone because of her ability to describe everything she experienced when she found out her baby had Down syndrome. And she had pictures capturing those feelings. No one ever stopped taking pictures and you can see the emotional pain on her face. She was able to put into words everything I felt and experienced but was never able to ever describe to anyone else.

I just want you to know that your blogs ROCK! I love following both of them and you are just as big of a celebrity as any other blogger out there.


heather said...

There's a comment on her last post directing her to your open letter to a new parent. :)

alyny said...

Well Lisa I read both of your blogs everyday and honestly find myself disappointed when there isn't a new post;)
Finnian's journey was an amazing truthful account of all that you were going through and inspiring even to those of us whose children do not have DS.
I am sure I am not the only secret follower;)

Kristin said...

I don't usually "get" what they have either. I love both of your blogs and read them regularly. You are a big name to me. HAHA

Esther and Brian said...

i do not know which blog you are talking about, lisa, but i do know that i love both of yours! i read them every day and been following finn for over a year now. in fact, the first time that i ran across your blog, i read the entire thing from the beginning...:) :)

Atlantic Writer said...

I guess it's all relative. I look at your numbers in envy. With the internet a lot of it is luck and just who you happen to interest. I wish I knew their sercrets. I guess I'll have to be happy with my slow gain in readership and hope that my journey touches a few people even they don't choose to comment or pass on my URL at all.
I just found you recently and enjoy what I read.

Fairly Unremarkable said...

I read that other blog and enjoy yours more. I am an atheist, too, and you have the balls to say what I am thinking.

Heidi said...

I dunno what other blog you're talking about either. I read yours though.

I have blog envy too. When I get blog envy though, it vanishes fairly quickly. I write my blogs for me. Sure, it's nice when someone comments or lets me know that they read what I'm writing. But even if they didn't, I'd still write.

joy said...

Hello Lisa
I've been reading blogs for a few years now and i love reading well written blogs. I discovered your blog via a link months ago. And even though i follow various well written (and very, very, very popular) blogs, u are by far, my favorite. Your blog is just so... real. (the angst and the joy of motherhood) I've often wish i can write like you do.

please blog more on lilah and your twins. i can't get enough of them.

Anna Alexandrova said...

The big blogs get more hate mail though...

Your faithful reader :-)

Mike said...

I can't believe that I actually know what you are talking about. What struck me is the huge support system that she has. I have never seen so many people at a birth. I assume those people are also leaving many comments. She just seems to have a lot of people.

Zsuzsi said...

I have been following your blogs from the beginning, and I think they are the best!

Talley Images said...

I am so right there with you... I could have written this exact post, except Im not as good a writer as you... so I guess I have blog envy over you as well... :)

Mumofone said...

Hi Lisa. I have only posted a comment once in relation to your blogs regarding your family's journey with cancer. This touched me because I have had my own cancer experience. I am also a mother and your blogs on being a mum make me laugh as I struggle through my own journey of being a mum. But here's the best bit...I am from Australia. So have managed to reach all the way across the world. That's a big achievement isn't it!! And by the way I have no idea who this other blogger is. It might be big news in the USA but not over here.

paws2k3 said...

For what it's worth I like your blog better. I read hers too but somehow it's too perfect, too contrived. Her birth story was amazing for me because it was so much like the birth of my second son. The story haunted me for days. But I am getting sick of all the perfect outfits and baking cookies, etc. I think people like certain blogs because it's like watching reality tv. Her blog is like reality tv: real, but also fake, edited for the audience. Also, I'm not sure if you know about the site
But it has over 6,000 fans on FB.!/peacefulparenting?ref=ts
That site picked up her birth story and published it on their site. I think that's why so many people ended up seeing her blog and started following it.

I still love you the best Lisa!

Stephanie said...

Hey Lisa--
Well this comment is probably going to sound snotty and maybe it's my own blog envy talking, but I don't get it either. Her birth story was amazing and I cried like a baby when I read it, but the rest of the blog is well just okay. I did a blog post once about how blogging was like high school the way people fall all over themselves to attract the "popular girl" of the moment. When it comes down to it I think people just love to look at a pretty, upper class white woman, in her beautiful home, doing her storybook activities with her very well dressed and perfectly groomed children. Okay, that was the snotty part. I guess it's alot like watching TV or something, stepping into a life that's not ours, that we all secretly want. I for one appreciate the bloggers that truly keep it real such as yourself.

Carla said...

You don't want that. Those big blogs seem too perfect to me, and personally, I don't want to feel like I have to strive for perfection every day to keep people interested. Yeah, I enjoy reading them, but it's not a pair of shoes I want to step into.

For as much as I enjoy them, I can associate and appreciate Moms who are keeping it real. Those who put their feelings out there no matter how raw they are. I have read your blog from the beginning Lisa, and I have to say, your honesty and openness have been inspiring.

Sam & Cliff said...

Hi Lisa, I live in Perth, Western Australia, am mum of 3 young adult children and 2 step children still in their teens (who live with their dad & I), as well as running a busy small business. I stumbled on your blog a few months ago. I for one LOVE your blog as I find your intelligent writing style just excellent. Your slant on family and life is interesting to read. Your family is just gorgeous and I admire how you handle your everyday family needs and tackle the difficult (particularly health) issues seemingly in your stride without so much of a whinge about how much this much stress or worry you. Personally I think there are some very popular, and widely commented on blogs. (one in particular that comes to mind who made America's top 20 blogs I believe)that are totally over rated. I don't know whether they find their fans because they link their site to others, or if it is the advertising they promote that gets them the initial hits. I don't think it is that their blogs are better than yours, just that they've happened to attract a few people that have in fact spread the word. I have my own blog.... I do it for my own purpose and record of events (as its interesting to read back years later) and not for others to see. I certainly don't have the gift for words as you have and I think although my entries are important to me, would not be interesting to others. Anyway... the reason I haven't commented before is that I didn't want to have to have a 'google account' to comment (this is one thing that other blogs have not required by the way)... maybe this is a deterrent? Great Blog Lisa and you have a lovely, lovely family :)

Bethany said...

LOL Yup, know just who you are talking about. I'm captivated by her though. I think it is her writing style, well and the pics. Not sure ... for me it has died down. Loved the birth story, but yeah ... I feel bad for all the other new moms out there who aren't getting this attention. BTW giveaways are not a bad thing! Hmph! LOL

Chrystal said...

Look at you with your 19 (now 20!)comments. You're my blog hero.

In all seriousness, I wonder the same types of things. Do I want to be that popular? I don't know. It'd be nice not to be picked last in kickball for once, but could I even handle being the cool girl since I never have been?

I have to agree that when I found your blog way back when, it was right on time for me. With FJ, you took us on a journey right from the beginning and showed us the ups and downs that I can only wish I had chronicled. What a wonderful history to have, no matter who reads it, y'know?

I'd like to see some of the more popular folks do half of what you do with 6 kids. Shoot, I can barely post a couple of times a week with one!

I think some really good points have been made in these comments. It's all about timing and method of documentation.

Sonia said...

Ummm...I would just like to say I like reading your blog because I get to learn new words like "petulant". You know I had to look that up!

Anyways...I like your blog too. I may not agree with everything, but you give me things to think about. AND I totally get blog envy!