Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dear Small-Time Mediocre Blogger, I Think You're Great.


Hey you, small-time mediocre blogger.

I think you're great and I like you.  A lot.
I just wanted you to know.

I know sometimes it's hard to feel like no one notices your writing or your pictures or the craft idea you wanted to share.  I know how easy it is to get caught up in numbers and analytics and compared to some of these big time writers and professionals?  Whew, we are small potatoes.  In an internet world where blogs keep looking more and more professional and polished, where ads start jumping out at you, and some people seem to be in all the places all the time, it can even be a little disheartening.  But you know what?  I think we're okay.  In fact, I think it's really good.

I like how I can tell your blog isn't your world but that you use it to share a little piece of your world.  I love how you share about your family.  I love that your pictures couldn't grace a magazine cover (have you seen mine?) and that sometimes they may even be a little blurry.  I love that I can tell you don't have thousands of dollars to spend on a fancy camera and even if you did, you don't have hundreds of hours to figure out just how to use it.  I love that you don't have perfectly polished posts.  You with your lack of pin-worthy images and gorgeous memes, I feel like you're like me.  I love that you didn't (or can't) pay for professional site design.  Really, I do.  Rather than know blogger you, I feel like I just know YOU.  Normal, down-to-earth, YOU with lots of other things in your life besides a blog.  You're awesome.  The way you make time to jot down the things your kids say or share about how this baby is teething or that child is doing well in reading.  It makes me feel like we're in the backyard chatting rather than you reading at me from a podium or trying to gain a like.  And that's the main reason I think blogging is fun.  To connect with people and have real relationship and community, to share a little piece of ourselves with the world in whatever way we are called.  I like that you, like me, can't figure out how to wrap every life experience up in a neat and eloquent theological lesson and that you know you don't have all the answers.  I respect that you resist the temptation to navigate social media all day and that comments or not, you keep on writing.

I think it's great that you post about all sorts of things.  Things that matter to you.  But I also like when you have a niche and I can see your passion, the thing that lights a fire in your heart.  You don't just post something to provoke page views and I can tell.   I like that you post about things that aren't going to merit three hundred shares on Facebook but just write about things that are important to you.  I like that you can write something incredibly profound but don't feel like you have to market it.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with pinnable images and inviting conversation and learning how to increase your reach when you have something you feel is important to say or a piece of yourself you'd like to share with the world.  I do a bit of that, too.  God may be calling you and many others to do that.  I guess what I'm saying is that I like that you write for more higher purposes than a page view or a like and you leave it all up to Him.  It comes through and it's good.  That post that goes viral one day will be forgotten the next.  But the post that you wrote to record something sweet your baby said or to record some thoughts on your family vacation?  Those ones will be remembered by the people who matter most.

Can I let you in on something?  When blogs start doing that other stuff, I start inching away.  When I feel like I'm being sold to rather than shared with, when I'm blasted with pop up images or scroll down thingamabobs that chase me down the screen asking me yet again if I want to subscribe (No, I don't.) I begin to feel a bit lost and click away.  I feel like they're a site rather than a person.  I guess that stuff works for stats or something.  It must.  And some of us, I know, really need to do that and are writing for different reasons.  But as a reader (and maybe it's just me) I start to feel like I've become the stat rather than a valued reader, peer, or friend.

The other day I was reading an article all about how to make your blog the Best Most Popular Thing on the Internet Ever.  It told about how to get all the people to like you, how to change in order to gain followers, how to say all the right things and be in all the right places and title your posts right and be seen, be seen, be seen.  And at the end of it all I could think was...for heaven's sake, why?  Really.  What is the point of all that?  I mean, if you're using those things to reach a few more people with a little bit of truth, beauty, and goodness, then awesome.  New Evangelization and all that.  If this is your ministry, your job, the way God is calling you in your life?  You go.  
But if it's just for "likes?"  For followers?  For some sort of adolescent-like need for validation?  Then forget it.  Really, what is the point?  And especially if you're a Christian, I just can't figure out the how the desire for self-promotion and with being popular for its own sake can coexist with having a heart like Him.

I hope this doesn't come across like I don't think other bloggers shouldn't  do some of those things or that those big time blogs shouldn't be there.  I really don't think that and there's a lot of them I read and love.  We all need to be doing what God is calling us to do.  But I just wanted to make sure you, small-time mediocre blogger, know that you're doing a great job, too, and I hope you keep writing.

I just figured I'd let you know.



;)





First time here? If you're interested you can get new Better Than Eden posts on Feedly or BlogLovin' and connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Thank you so much for stopping by!


103 comments:

  1. Thanks, Mary. I definitely feel small-time, mediocre, and definitely don't have pinnable pictures. But you made me feel special and validated just now!

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    1. I think you have such a great outreach, Mandi! Your posts have brought so much comfort to so many women and that is a beautiful thing.

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  2. Oooo..thank you! I'm definitely very, very, very, very small-time and mediocre and this post made me happy

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    1. Small or not, you definitely have some of the most well-thought out posts out there, Amelia! I'm glad I could make you happy :)

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  3. This is sweet and I couldn't agree more :)

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  4. Thanks, Mary. Like you, I shy away from those popular blogs. Frankly, why would I leave a comment on a blog post that already has 253 comments? I'm pretty sure those are not written by one person, but by a staff.

    And I have to tell you, when I read "I love that you don't have perfectly polished posts." I read "perfectly polished toes" and I thought "how did she know?" Ok, it's early, but clearly I'm not too clear in the head!

    Have a great day!

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    1. Hahaha!! Well, I sure don't have polished toes either...I don't think I have since high school!

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  5. Thanks for this! I really do just blog so that our family far away can keep up with the kids. And, I really enjoy it. I toy with the idea from time to time of trying to make it more professional, or more popular, but it keep going back to "why?" Pictures for Gigi it is! And for recording homeschool stuff. It works for me.

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    1. Keeping in touch (without the fear of FB owning your photos) is definitely one of the huge benefits of blogging! I think your blog is just great!

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  6. This was perfect, I love how you put it and couldn't agree more!

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  7. Thank you. This is just what I needed to read today. I most definitely am small time and mediocre, and most of the time I don't mind, but sometimes it is tempting to try to seek popularity when I see all the "better blogging" posts

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    1. I know, right?! It can totally suck a whole lot of time and energy that I don't think I could give in good conscience...so small-time and mediocre it is for both of us :)

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  8. Thank you for this. :)

    The main reason I started blogging was to connect with like-minded people and to feel like I'm part of a community. I will never have a very popular blog because I just don't have the time and energy to dedicate several hours per week to it, but that is OK with me..and I'm glad you feel the same way. God Bless!

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    1. Thanks, Mia. I'm really glad there's a lot of us out there that feel this way :)

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  9. Love this. Years ago, I wanted to try to make a blog big . . . . but then I realized it just wasn't me. And it wasn't what I wanted to spend my time on.

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    1. Amen. There's too many other things I want to do, too. I love your blog either way and especially that I can keep tabs on your adoption!

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  10. Great post Mary! Big or small, I love blogs about people and families, the ones where I feel like I really get to know the writer and who and what she cares about, imperfections and all.

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    1. Definitely! There's definitely a community aspect to it and I think it's really neat (and also really weird) how we can get to know people this way.

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  11. Mary, this was so perfectly written!! I love backyard-chat-blogging! (And everything else you wrote!) I have been thinking about un-subscribing to two blogs that used to be among my favorites but seem to have left the social/supportive community and are now just giving advice and selling me things. It makes me a little sad, because I loved when I had a peak into their world. I guess when blogs change, readership changes along with it, because there are plenty of people who still benefit from the blogs that have fallen flat for me. Anyway..... I really loved this and I'm re-energized to continue taking up my tiny piece of the interwebs with my small-time, mediocre everything :)

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    1. Is it bad that I "pinned" this??? Wouldn't want to go against the spirit of the post, but I really want to make sure I read it again :)

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    2. No, it's not bad! It's perfect. We are a community and it is appropriate to share and encourage. Pinterest is perfect for doing that and a great vehicle for evangelization. Pin away!!!

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    3. Haha, pin away, Theresa! I sort of posted that picture tongue-in-cheek :) I'm definitely not anti-pinning by any means and I love me some Pinterest! I just don't like feeling like I can't write something UNLESS it has a beautiful texted pin-worthy image on it.

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  12. Yes to all of it! We need a revival in the blogging world. Did you read Charlotte's post? We just need to step out in confidence and keep the popularity blinders on. God bless you!

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    1. I just read it after you commented and I think she has a lot of wisdom there, for sure! I like the "blinders" image and definitely need to keep that in mind!

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  13. This post really resonated with me. Sometimes being a blogger feels like being in high school again and everyone seems so much cooler than me!

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    1. Totally. You can hang out at my lunch table any time :)

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  14. Lost my way too long comment, but had to say that I love this post and couldn't agree more!

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    1. Darn, I would have loved to read it. Is it okay to say that your blog is one of the ones I was thinking about when writing? I love that you just write and don't worry about being fancy.

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  15. Well, I'm here because melody shared your post. :). You are spot on. I don't read many blogs of big bloggers. I much prefer the relationships and friendships i can have with writers of smaller blogs.

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    1. I'm so glad you stopped by, Christine, and thank you for the comment!

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  16. Ahh! The scroll down thingamabob! I hate it. And trying to fing jjjuuuussssttttt the right angle to poke the tiny x on the pop up ad is also not my favorite. I read and love small time blogs too.

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  18. Thanks, Mary for writing this. As one of those very small blogger, it shows again, how this freedom to write is also a gift from God if we use it correctly and for His Glory not for numbers... It must be something lately but I did a mediocre post last week on this, that we can use a "blank post" as another form of art, to been not really big audiences but for God's eye and to honor Him and our beautiful vocations.

    Many Blessings to you and your family.


    http://catholicmomfitforlife.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/blank/

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    1. I don't think that post is mediocre at all! I think it's beautiful. Thank you for sharing it and for stopping by. Thinking about a blog as "art" is really intriguing and I want to think on that more!

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  19. How about I just start over…

    "Can I let you in on something? When blogs start doing that other stuff, I start inching away. When I feel like I'm being sold to rather than shared with, when I'm blasted with pop up images or scroll down thingamabobs that chase me down the screen asking me yet again if I want to subscribe (NO. No, I don't.) I begin to click away. I feel like they're a site rather than a person. I guess that stuff works for stats or something. It must. But for some of us, it just feels like we've become the stat, a notch on the headboard, rather than a valued reader, a peer, a friend. "

    This is what has been building for such a long time. This is what I have been inching away from too. I hate feeling like I've become a fan instead of a friend. And I am someone who believes in many different levels of friendship. I hate feeling like I'm constantly being sold to. And those thingamabobs! I could kill those things!

    I love everything you've written here. It rings so true and authentic. You know, I understand that for some people, their big name, professional blogs are a significant source of income for their families. It literally puts food on the table. But it seems like whenever you bring that up, they get offended… like you are accusing them of "selling out" or "writing for the clicks" but the fact of the matter is that you can't have it both ways. If you are running a business, then you really can't expect people to only hold you to the "girl next door" standards. If you are running a business, that means marketing and market pressure, rubbing elbows, branding… and there is nothing wrong with that as long as you are honest about it and accept that that's going to be a turn off for a lot of people. Many "professional bloggers" don't seem to want that title, yet they want the business! I have the hardest time with those who tell themselves and others that what they are doing is solely for "blessing" other people and denying any kind of personal gain (whether that's financial, or popularity, or opportunity gain). Can't we all just be honest here? We live in a capitalist society so, it's OK. And if what you are doing is taking you away from your family or taking time away from you that could be spent with your family, by golly, you better be getting some compensation for it or else, why would you do it?

    I want to see more honesty from bloggers about when they are "taking care of business" and when they are being totally honest. I'm not talking about Nitty Gritty kind of blogging, there are certainly enough of those bloggers out there. I mean… it is a statical impossibility that every mommy blogger who writes a book is going to write a 5 Star book. And yet… they all seem to, don't they?

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    1. You've been at this much longer than I have and I definitely appreciate your perspective, Charlotte. I tend to be on the outskirts of a lot of things going on in the blogosphere because I AM a smaller blog (and because I have so many other things going on!) but I think for me, it's probably better that way. And I probably should have made it clearer that I was writing about the blogosphere as a whole and not just the small Catholic part of it. Anyway, I do think it's wonderful when people can use their blogging to support their family and it's got to be such a fine line to walk between needing to "sell" and simply wanting community. I think some people do that wonderfully but it does take some of the fun and friendship away from things when you feel like you're being marketed to all the time. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

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    2. I'm going to have to respectfully disagree, Charlotte and Mary. Totally respectfully. But definitely disagree. I’ve got to throw another perspective out there. I have a successful blog and I connect with my readers in ways that I don't really see too often on other sites. NOT to toot my horn, I'm just throwing that out there for the sake of the disagreement. Most of my readers are not bloggers and and my site has an awesome sense of community. I won't throw out numbers and stats and all of that, but I have a blog that helps to support my family while still maintaining who I am. Nothing about my style or writing has changed. Not a single thing. (Except that I’ve become a much better writer, but that’s different.) I'm very open about when I'm getting paid to say something, and I never promote anything that doesn't jive with who I am and who my readers are. All that being said...

      This post and these comments just rub me the wrong way. I know you all don't mean it offensively, but it's hard not to take it personally. Especially the part about how can a Christian be "obsessed" with self promotion. Sigh... Those words are divisive and I just don't understand what good can come from them. I love the Lord and my blog is not only a source of income for my family and something that I love to do, but it's also my ministry. You CAN have it both ways. My readers love me and I love them, we meet up for coffee. I FaceTime with some of them, we share photos and “hang out” in other online groups. I make money from my blog, I’m an influence on the internet, and I still have the “girl next door” standard. I know it’s possible because I’m doing it. 

      I guess my whole point is, why add to the division that already exists among bloggers in general, but especially among women? Why can't it be, "Hey! You're a mediocre blogger! That's awesome. Me too. You don't have to be a big successful blogger to have value. You're worth so much right where you are." Which I know is what you were trying to get across. But what it translated to me is, "Hey mediocre bloggers! You're better than those sell outs that do this for money. How can they call themselves Christians when they're all about themselves?"

      Again. I know that's not what you're saying. At all. But I wanted to throw my voice out there and say that it's ok to love Jesus and want to be successful at what you're doing. It's ok to love Jesus and say, "Hey come read my blog!" It's ok to love Jesus and do this for money. And no one should feel guilty about trying to be a bigger name in the blogging world and no one should feel guilty about NOT being a big name in the blogging world. Do you. Do the best version of you. Don't try to be anybody else. But please don't knock other people down because you don't agree with what they're doing.

      OK. That's it. End rant. Love, cookies, warm feelings, and just a little disagreement. :)

      PS my blog is www.whenathome.com if you're interested in who the hec I am. I'm not self promoting, I swear. :)

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    3. Thank you for your perspective, Kristen. Really. I tried to really choose my words carefully to avoid people thinking I want to tell other people how to run their blogs but rather just give my experience and encouragement when the pull can be strong to be bigger and better and to write for numbers. I don't want to ever have people think I feel like I should have some control over what they write! I'm so glad you have found that balance with your own blog. But I think maybe we agree more than you think since you write "I connect with my readers in a way I don't see too often on other sites." (I'm assuming you mean bigger sites there.)
      My words on self-promotion were less referring to those who have to use their blog for income which is a completely valid and great thing to do and more with seeking popularity for its own sake. Regarding the income-generating sites, I get that people need to make money from their blogs but it's also my *personal* experience that when a site ventures into that more, I just tend to have to take more of what they write with a grain of salt and I do begin to inch away. Once you depend on your blog for income and are obligated to advertisers, you DO have to worry about stats and pulling in people and writing for response rather than just what might be on your heart. There's nothing morally wrong with that, of course, if it's done well but there's also nothing wrong with people inching away when they see that happening if it's not the reason they read blogs in the first place. I think I personally would find that constricting but that doesn't mean it's wrong or even that I would never have to do it myself! It's just easy to begin feeling manipulated when you're on the other end of that. That's not true with every blog I read that is income-generating, though, because there are some who do it really, really well and it sounds like you're one of them. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I'm glad you did!

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    4. I agree with Kristen on this one. I was also somewhat offended by this post.

      Because I take pride in what my blog looks like, because I appreciate design, because I want my posts to have pretty images that I can say "I did that myself, I worked hard at something and this is my output," I must be an "adolescent who is obsessed with numbers." I'm not. I just take pride in what I'm creating.

      "I guess what I'm saying is that I like that you [small-time blogger] write for more nobler purposes than a page view or a like and you leave it all up to Him." <--- This is isolating.

      I leave things up to Him, but I still care about what my blog looks like.

      Granted, I'm not a big time blogger. I am a mom who cares about pageviews when I want to sell ad spaces to pay for the hosting to pay for the blog to write about my children to share in our memories to remember my feelings as a mom of three children to be able to tell another mom "You're not alone in this crazy journey of motherhood." BUT yes, I sell an ad space to do all of those things. And I want my blog to look beautiful. I do.

      Please do not allude to the idea that my blog is something less than yours because I take pride (just as you do) in what I am putting out there. I hope to not isolate others, but share in a common theme in motherhood: "You're doing the very best you can. Rock on with your bad self." Can't we just do THAT?

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    5. Oh no, I don't think there's anything wrong with making your blog something beautiful! Not at all! But you would agree that there are differing purposes for blogging and some of them are more virtuous than others, wouldn't you? I'm writing about the tendency that it seems many of us feel to turn our writing (and in some ways ourselves) primarily into something to market. The tendency to feel like if you can't do it perfectly or don't gain as many followers that you should just give up. If you don't fight that temptation, then good for you! Really! I'm sorry if you took it as an affront to you or your writing. It wasn't meant in that way. I'm not really sure what the last question is referring to? Can't we just share a common theme in motherhood?

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    6. Sorry I didn't make sense in my last question -- Why do we need to question each other's motives or reasons for doing something? I'm not sure I would (openly) question someone else's motives. Of course, I fall and get into pride where I think to myself, "Why in the world is she doing THAT??" but it's not necessarily something we should be so open about.

      By saying to one person "I like how YOU'RE doing it, with your blurry photos and your undesigned blog," that is saying you DON'T like how the "others" are doing it.

      That's rude, isolating and hurtful. It is.

      So I'm asking, can we just share in a common theme in how we speak to each other as mothers/wives/daughters/sisters/friends :: You're doing the very best you can. Rock on.

      Thank you for commenting back, I appreciate it.

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    7. I'm sorry you were hurt. I don't think I can agree, though, that to say that I like how one person does something means that I don't like how another person does it. In fact, your idea of "you're doing the best you can" implies this, doesn't it? That was exactly my point. Here's the thing, I love all sorts of blogs and read all sorts of blogs. I just want to encourage people that they don't HAVE to change and fit the growing mold of what a blog is "supposed" to look like. And they can still post and not have to feel silly even IF their photos aren't professional quality or they get zero comments. I like when people can just post and share without having to be afraid that it's not good enough. And I like when people post beautiful polished photos, too. Like you said, we're doing the best we can :)

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  20. As I sit here on my lunch break thinking about deleting the post I was writing to review a book I really loved (because I have about 6 people who read my blog outside of link-ups), this post comes in and makes me smile. I get really disheartened sometimes because I just don't have the time to dedicate to writing as much as I'd like to, and that makes me think that everything I *do* write is just a shout into the void. After reading this, I feel a little more okay with being small-time and mediocre me. So thanks, Mary.

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    1. You're welcome and I do hope you keep writing! It's tough when you want to write but can't find the time. I seem to write my best posts in my head when I'm showering or vacuuming but they never make it to the keyboard :) Keep on keeping on and give it all over to God. If He wants you to write, He'll give you the time and the words to do it.

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  21. It's funny how many times I've wanted to just give up and quit blogging because my audience doesn't seem that big or that involved, but then I realize that I blog more for myself than anyone else.

    I read a few "big" blogs, but they just don't appeal to me like the smaller, more personal blogs.

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    1. I hope you don't stop :) It's true. I realize that in the grand scheme of things no one will likely remember this little blog and the greatest treasure I have here is in the memories I capture for my family.

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  22. Thank you for this post, Mary! I am so very new to blogging and have already felt the tug and pull of it all. I try to just enjoy writing what moves me and sharing our family life (mostly the positive of course!) I, too, love to be a part of the Catholic mom community and know that others are working on the same goals as I am. You have a beautiful blog and yours is the one that always comes to my mind as I am currently trying to work on my layout. Blessings!

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    1. You are so kind, Christina. Thank you. It can be tough to keep yourself in check when it comes to blogging but I'm working on it and trying to keep it all in His hands. I'm glad you're writing, too!

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  23. So true, all of it. My blogging efforts never really revived after Lent was over but I had been feeling inspired to get back to writing as I'm about to begin a Women of Grace group at my parish. I prayed at Mass about it. When I came home I opened up my bloglovin feed and found your wonderful post. A sign and an encouragement!
    And you're so right I mostly blog for my daughters, my sisters and myself anyway so what do page views mean anyway?

    BTW, so love your blog here

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    1. Ah, so neat. Thanks, Is. And good luck with the group! What a great thing to start!

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  24. Mary, so very true! I have thought of entering the blogging world (and still do from time to time) but I often shy away because I know mine would be FAR from an elaborate, professional and polished looking blog, largely because I know I will not have all the time & energy to dedicate to one. Though after reading your post, I felt some encouragement to start a blog not for others but for keeping chronological records of these growing years and precious moments with my family. There are only a few blogs I like to follow for inspiration and your blog is definitely one of them. =) And you know, your blog is not so shabby looking at all! It is actually quite nice looking to me! =)

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    1. Thanks so much, Sonia. It definitely helps me with accountability, that's for sure. I am terrible at baby books or scrap books or tracking things like that on paper but I want to record these memories. I always picture my grown sons being able to look through (ha, they probably won't care one bit...) and appreciate a bit of their childhood. I remember so little of my own.

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  25. You may have just saved my blog! Your words have helped re-order my perspective. Thank you for your words and sharing them.

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    1. Thanks, Ashley. I hope you keep writing! I'm glad my little words could help :)

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  26. What beautiful, encouraging words, thank you!
    I believe this is the most comments you have ever received, your words are certainly resonating with many:)
    I predominately read the smaller 'slice of life' blogs, with a mix of a few others. Love your blog, love your writing, the glimpse of your life, yep the chat over the back fence:):)

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    1. Ha, well half of them are my replies so there's that :) Thanks, Erin. Your blog is awesome, too, and I know it helps so many people. How amazing that I can know someone on the other side of the world and share a little piece of our lives?!

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    2. Taking your responses out, you've still resonated', impressive:)
      Aw shucks,') (did I sound American, they used to say that on all the movies when I was a kid) I know, it is amazing.

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  27. Mary, this is just the sweetest posts that made my very-small-time-mediocre-blogger self feel special in the great big blogosphere. Thank you again, for being wonderful you! Pray that some day God blesses me with meeting you in person. I know we'd have such a great time chatting over coffee while watching the kids play! :D

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    1. That would be so fun! I think your blog is beautiful, Amanda. I love how you cherish your children and share them with us!

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  28. Excellent Mary! There are a handful of blogs that I stopped reading because their post titles read just like all of the advice out there says they should... If it sounds like a post that is catchy enough to go viral, chances are I won't read it. They still go viral so obviously the method works but oh they just rub me the wrong way. Thanks for such a good post! :)

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    1. I know what you mean. It seems so many posts now start with "How to..." or "8 Ways to..." It's a way to grab people in (and much easier to write in list form) in our snippet and meme culture but I admit it's getting overdone, (even though I completely admit to doing a little bit of that on my own)!

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  29. Thank you for this refreshing reminder. Of course there is a happiness and joy when others find your words moving, funny, inspiring, but remembering the reason you write--as a form of expression, as a stress reliever, because it's a part of who you are--is much more important in the long run. Thanks for sharing this post!!

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  30. Oh, oh yes! Thank you! I love this post- and thank you for writing it! I feel like there's some pressure in the blog world to get more clicks, more shares, more, more, more. And yes, I'd like people to read what I'm writing because I *care* about what I'm saying, what I post about. I write because it means something to me, and I'd like to inspire, encourage, or connect with others.

    It's a fine line between promoting a blog so someone will read it (because truly, I want to help/inspire/encourage someone out there!), and "selling out." You know?

    Anyway. Great post- thank you!

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    1. Yes, I definitely agree, at least for me! I'm definitely finding peace with a form of Melody's advice and just putting your "blinders" on and writing what is on your mind and heart and let it be and go wherever God wants it to. I think you point out something important, though, that I didn't spell out that well. So much of it is rooted in good...we care passionately about something and want to share a message and that's a beautiful thing.

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  31. This really touched me. I feel like I don't give my blog enough time but you reminded me that is is a small part of my life, not my life. ;-) Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Bobbi. I know you have a beautiful blog but yes, I need that reminder often, too!

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  32. Let's try this again. . . I just commented and it didn't post. Oh well. I wanted to say thanks for writing this. I totally agree with you on this and need to remind myself of it sometimes too. Just wonderful :)

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    1. I'm so glad I'm not the only one and I feel so blessed that my words could help! Thank you, Amy!

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  33. Popped over from Colleen's Martin Family Moments. I'm so glad I did! This post was exactly what I needed to read when I get so tempted to feel 'less than' amidst all the big time blogs out there. Thank you!

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    1. This makes me happy :) Thank you for taking the time to comment!

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  34. I'm here from Colleen's as well.... I just wanted to comment to say YES. I was just talking to a friend about this issue recently, commenting about certain blogs we just had to stop following. If your readership grows because you are honestly sharing and enjoying it, then that's great! (I think this post will be just the ironic illustration of that for you ;) ) But I think it shines through when bloggers are just trying to monetize their blogs. Readers aren't stupid! Some bloggers are able to carefully make the seamless transition, and I think that's great, too. It's just a very delicate balance. Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. I'm pretty surprised at the response, to be honest. I just hope it can be an encouragement to us small-time folk that it's still very worth it to keep writing and to remind myself more than anyone of what I want my reasons for blogging to be. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, though!

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  35. I am reminded of Miss Matty in Cranford who hesitated to start a tea business out of her home to support herself. Because then her friends would not be her friends, but (gasp) CLIENTS!

    But she did it, because she had to after her investments went bad.

    Somehow, whenever we get into a pattern of scraping by for a length of time, God eventually opens a door for my husband to earn more money. Never enough to be "financially stable" in the 2014 sense of the term, but enough that I never feel pressure to monetize my blog. Deo gratias and "But for the grace of God go I".

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    1. I still haven't seen that show! I've been blessed in the same way but I definitely see why others might need to do things differently!

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  36. Oh yes, I loved this post (1st time commenter). Coming over from Sarah at With a Hopeful Heart! And I am glad you are allowing comments, because I really liked Charlotte's post about the same thing a few days ago, but her comments were closed (and yes, I was too lazy to e-mail her…sorry Charlotte). So Charlotte, if you are reading, I think both you and Mary have wonderful perspectives and thank you for putting them out there. I know people will disagree and gee, this is the internet…if 100% of people agree with you, then you probably wrote the blandest sentence ever. :) But for me personally, this did resonate. Not that I have grand illusions of having my blog go big. I don't. I rather love the small community of committed readers and commenters and truly some of my best friends have come from readers that I have gotten to know over the years and some that I even have gone to visit across the country. (True story, my husband and I and our then 7mo daughter took a 2800 round trip, 11 state trip to the Smoky Mountains back in 2012 and out of the blue I e-mailed 4 blogger friends who lived at various points along our trip who I had no more shared e-mails with and a couple of phone calls and asked them if we could stay with them on our way to the Smoky Mountains. And all of them said yes and we had an amazing time and I am even better friends with all of them today. Although, my husband thought I was crazy at the time of making the arrangements, but even he commented that he wished a couple of the other husband's lived closer to us because it would be cool to hang out with them more.) Anyway, my point is, for me I enjoy reading the bigger bloggers from time to time, but the ones I get really excited about are the ones I feel I have personally gotten to know through their everyday posts about life, kids, faith, stuff like that.

    All this to say…thanks for the encouragement. And even I laughed at the tongue in cheek pinnable pic with the fancy writing at the end. :) And like you as well, I am not anti-pinterest at all, I just think the posts accompanied by the pics with the fancy writing are everywhere and it is really obvious what they are trying to get people to do.

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    1. That is so neat! I hope I can someday meet even a few of my online friends in real life! My husband tries to keep them straight but isn't too great at it...he'd probably be exactly the same way!

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  37. Thank you! I needed to hear that!

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    1. I'm so glad and you're very welcome. I hope it was encouraging to you!

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  38. Replies
    1. You're welcome...I'm so glad you stopped by <3

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  39. Thank you for writing this! As a small time blogger I mostly just blog for myself and to keep friends and family updated. I do read some "big" blogs at times but probably only once every other week because I just can't stand all of the crazy ads everywhere. Small blogs are definitely the kind that seem more meaningful to read. At least for me. :)

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    1. I agree about the ads. Of course, there's small-time ads which don't bother me and then big obnoxious pop-out at you ads or the ones that have video or sound on them. Those tend to keep me away, too. Glad you enjoyed the post and thank you for commenting!

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  40. Beautifully written, from a little blogger to you - I think you are great, too!

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  41. While I totally understand kristen_lavalley's point of view in that the bloggers who have moved on to a more professional/polished format put lots of work in to their blogs and can contribute much, I was feeling a little lost and out of place in the blog world. I wrote a much less elegant post than yours about it recently. I like your take better- I took it more from the angle of trying to find my own niche in blogland. Anyway- you said it well and I thank you!!

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    1. Thanks, Laurie. I agree. I like all sorts of blogs but just want those who are maybe less polished and professional to feel like they should still keep writing...they still have so much beauty to add to the internet world!

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  42. Thank you so very much Mary! You are a great blogger. God Bless you and your family.

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  43. Thank you for this. I'm a very small time blogger, and my blogging time is even more limited now than it used to be. I don't even think I have 10s of readers, but I still blog.

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  44. Nice article. I've always felt slightly embarrassed because I didn't follow any bogs. Your blog one of the few I've ever really read more than a post or so from. Basically, I think you're right about writing things that actually matter to you.

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    1. Thanks, Brygyd. And don't feel embarrassed! There's no need to follow any if they're not your thing! But I'm glad you stop in here once in a while :)

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  45. Just wanted to say, I aspire to have a beautiful blog, and this post didn't offend me at all! :)

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  46. Ok, so I'm very late to the game, but as a newly small time, (barely) mediocre blogger, I really appreciate this. THIS is exactly why I decided to give up on food blogging (which brought me so much joy for many years!) and focus on writing about what was real for me. Thank you for your encouragement and kind words!

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Your nice comment makes my day. I love knowing that you were here and the only way I do is if you take the time to leave a note here! Thank you for taking the time to do that! If you'd like to contact me privately, please email me at betterthaneden1 (at) yahoo (dot) com. Please know I read and appreciate every comment even if I can't reply personally.

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