The Blogger Stands Alone

I’ve been blogging for close to two years, and something happened to me this week that has never happened before:  I wrote a blog post that got absolutely no comments.  NONE.  NADA.  ZIP.  I know there are a lot of bloggers out there who’ve experienced this before.  I’ve seen empty comment sections on countless blogs that I’ve visited…. and then scrolled passed without commenting.  But believe me, had I known how shitty it felt to put on a performance for an empty room, I would’ve taken the time to give you my two cents worth of feedback.  Probably.

I didn’t even get an obligatory comment from any of my friends or relatives – what good are you people if you’re not going to feed my ego and tell me that everything I do is awesome?!  Anyone who knew me back when my hair had its own zip code….

High School

is contractually obligated to blow smoke up my ass every once in awhile – especially when no one out in the cold, harsh world seems willing to do it.  Hey, I’ll probably be the one changing your adult diapers if/when you become too old to remember how to navigate the complicated world of indoor plumbing.  So, the least you can do is comment on one of my blog posts if it looks like it’s going to crash and burn.

Which clearly, this one did.  Okay, so point taken.  Obviously, none of my (almost) 1,400 followers had any interest in hearing about my writer crushes on David Sedaris and Jenny Lawson, or the fact that I’d love to know what it feels like to wear their skin like a suit.  Whatever.  You want to be all judgey about it – FINE.  How was I supposed to know I was the only one who got excited about tumors and children dressed up as dead fairytale characters?  It’s not like they tell you those kinds of things in the blogger’s guide to the galaxy.  I had to learn it the hard way.  But that particular lesson came at a pretty hefty price – now my ego feels a bit like week-old roadkill.

No, that’s fine.  Just paint right over me.  My shame looks good in speed-bump yellow.

No, that’s fine. Just paint right over me.
My shame looks good in speed-bump yellow.

Perhaps I’ve been a bit spoiled by the past two years worth of praise from other bloggers and the WordPress powers-that-be (I was Freshly Pressed.  Twice.  Yes, I’m totally bragging – give me a break, did you see the splattered remains of my ego back there??).  I know I can’t realistically expect to always be on top.  I also know writers need to have a really thick skin so they can withstand the public’s scrutiny, time and time again.  And yes, I know that I should be writing for myself, and not just to please the masses or get a pretty ribbon pinned on my shirt.

But here’s the deal – knowing all of that doesn’t make failure suck any less.  It also doesn’t silence the voice of doubt that creeps into my head while I’m sitting beneath a pile of my own stink; the voice that keeps wondering if I’m really cut out for all of this.  And if I wasn’t…. what the fuck am I supposed to do now?  Seriously – WHAT?!

I hope the future has karaoke bars.  If I’m going to be stuck working some shit job,  I’d at least like the option of getting drunk and singing show tunes.

I hope this exit has karaoke bars. If I’m going to be stuck working some shit job in the future,
I’d at least like the option of getting drunk and embarrassing myself in public.

Have any of you writers out there ever had any truly EPIC fails on your blog?  Please share your sob story with me.  Then we can have a few beers, a good cry, and sing a drunken rendition of Gloria Gaynor’s  “I Will Survive”.   It’ll be awesome.

35 thoughts on “The Blogger Stands Alone

  1. I totally know what you mean about no comments and I DID read your post and actually found it delightful. I admit, I tend not to comment on blogs that typically get a lot of comments, preferring to enjoy reading instead. So for that, I’m sorry and promise to comment more often! On the other hand – and maybe I’m the only totally weird one, I don’t have a David Sedaris passion so I just skimmed that part and didn’t feel totally qualified to comment (even though I share a similar Jenny Lawson thoughts).

    • Meridith –

      A COMMENT!!!! Whew… I didn’t know what I was going to do with myself if it happened again. You have pulled me back from the ledge. Thanks :)

      I had a feeling that the main thing that effected the comments on that blog post was the fact that a lot of people probably didn’t know who David Sedaris and Jenny Lawson were (which is kind of a crime). At least I hoped that’s what it was, because that reality is much easier to face than the fact that my writing sucked. Which, looking back, I can see that it definitely wasn’t my best post. By a lot.

      Linda

      • You touched on exactly what I was thinking but decided I couldn’t capture properly. Sometimes I think posts about specific things – like people or products or events – capture fewer comments because people may not be able to identify with that thing. At least, that’s what I see with my own stuff!

  2. Sounds like someone forgot to put on her big girl panties today. Life’s not fair sometimes and maybe your readers were dealing with life or death problems that day, like putting my mom in a dementia unit and knowing she will never know who I am EVER AGAIN! Or waiting for my dad to find out if weeks after his colon cancer surgery and pacemaker implant will he now need to have hernia repair surgery. And if you can pull yourself up by the bootstraps long enough to care, yes he does have to have more surgery. I sure hope we get to celebrate his 89th birthday in January! I will still read your blog because it injects some humor into my stress filled life but I won’t always have the time to write a comment. I hope you can forgive me (tongue planted firmly in my cheek!).

    • Jody -

      My big girl panties are currently at the cleaners because they spent the better part of the day on Monday all in a bunch. But thanks for the healthy dose of perspective. I do know that people have more important things going on in their life than commenting on my blog…. doesn’t mean I have to like it though :)

      I’m so sorry to hear about all the stuff you’re going through with your parents. I think dementia is the cruelest disease on Earth – nobody deserves to be robbed of the precious memories they spent a lifetime creating. We are currently going through a similar situation in my family, so I know how painful it is. As for your dad, while his poor health is certainly something to feel badly about, you still get the pleasure of throwing your arms around him and saying, “I love you.” And he’s almost 90 – what a blessing! You got 20 more years with him than I got with my dad.

      I’m really happy to hear that my blog has managed to inject a little humor into your crazy life – I don’t think you could’ve paid me a higher compliment. If I can bring (even a small amount) of joy into the lives of people going through what you’re going through, I’ll consider that a major victory.

      Stay strong! I’ll be here when you need a giggle.

      Linda

  3. Aww, why did you have to post that photo of the roadkill? WHY???

    That is some mighty fine 80s here you had there, girl. I haven’t had a post that got 0 comments, but on the other hand, I’ve been Freshly Pressed only once. So that’s my ego burn. Sigh.

    • Weebs –

      The roadkill was the best representation I could find to illustrate just how suckie I felt on Monday. But you should thank me for choosing the roadkill picture I did – if you Google roadkill, you’ll find out I could’ve gotten A LOT worse. The fact that this one was painted over actually made me chuckle…. apparently, there is someone on Earth who’s lazier than I am.

      Linda

      P.S. – I ran my texting experiment yesterday, and I got back some really funny responses. I think it will be next week’s blog post. I hope you don’t mind if I cite you as my muse and link back to the original post that inspired me to freak out my friends and family.

  4. Oh, it has definitely happened on my blog before. And, yeah, it feels like crap. I’ve noticed it happens more on the blog posts that are the most important to me, the ones I WANT feedback on. I only had 2 comments on a blog post where I was telling about a Halloween anthology I was a part of, and the proceeds went to charity. I figured people would be all over that since it was all about giving to a good cause. But, no. So I just carry on. :)

    • Lauralynn –

      I had something similar happen when I asked my readers to help me raise money for a breast cancer walk I was doing – there’s no better way to clear a room than to ask for money, even if it is for a good cause :)

      Linda

  5. I am impressed that you posted that picture with the big hair (how I remember you) I think I burned all of mine :) I do read every post, and in the future I will be sure to comment if I don’t see any. I hope you are feeling better now ;)

    • Jean –

      No apologies necessary – you calling me hilarious did wonders towards reviving my cadaverous ego. Thanks! As for my larger than life hair, I think everyone who lived through the 80′s & 90′s had more than their fair share of bad hair days, and the pictures to prove it…. though we don’t usually allow them to see the light of day.

      Linda

  6. Why am I only now seeing you with this hair? I don’t like having to give my email address in order to post comments. Even if it’s not made public,I feel like it’s just another way for the man to track me. Consider this comment a token of our friendship.

    • Desi –

      Wow! I’m honored that you would risk being hunted down by the man just to make me feel better. That’s an even bigger display of friendship than holding my hair back while I puke.

      Linda

  7. You are a fantastic writer! Don’t let occasional post left without comments to plant doubts in your mind. Even Leo Tolstoy wrote few things that after reading leave you thinking “it really was a waste of time writing (or reading it)”. I personally enjoy every post when I get it in email, but being at work when it arrives I can’t really post comments and then things keep piling up and I forget. It may be the reason you don’t get as much comments as you should with the quality of your writing. Post them in the evening and see if it makes a difference. Just keep writing, it’s amazing! Best regards and wish you a Pulitzer in your future!

    • PP –

      Thanks for the kind words about my writing – I really appreciate it. I think my apprehension about my writing ability will probably always be there, but hearing compliments like yours helps to silence the voices of doubt for awhile.

      You made a good point about posting in the morning. I never thought about people reading my blog while they’re at work – that’s actually kinda cool. Stickin’ it to the man!! I bet Tolstoy stuck it to the man too… ya know…. before he died. Or not. Honestly, I don’t know anything about Tolstoy, I was just trying to continue the analogy you started.

      Linda

      P.S. – I don’t really have any dreams of a Pulitzer…. wouldn’t mind a paycheck though!

  8. I think a lot of people look forward to your blogs…here, we often ask each other if we have read
    the latest…they add to our day and so here’s an apology for not letting you know more often

    • Aw, thanks Mom. You actually comment on here quite a bit, so consider yourself absolved of any guilt! And if you ever find yourself in adult diapers one day, I got you covered…..unless Noreen wants to :)

      XOXO
      Linda

      P.S. – sorry for dropping the f-bomb……again.

  9. Hi there, this is my first visit to your blog and am sorry to read you’re feeling despondent about the lack of comments. I have to admit getting 0 comments is quite normal for me and I don’t expect them although I appreciate when people do take the time to respond. However, for me it’s not a given. I guess at a risk of being irritating, which isn’t my intention, it’s clear you expect comments and attach your own personal worth to getting them. I know that ‘liking’ my post means someone has visited and read it, so that in itself means a lot to me, but I write my posts for myself foremost, or at least try to. It sounds like you’re quite self reflective so this might be helpful for you to think about valuing your own blog rather than relying on others. Then when you get 0 comments or even 0 visits, it matters less, cos you like who you are and what you write. My 2 cents. Blessings to you.

    • Starry –

      Welcome!! If my blog was a party, you’d be showing up at the point when all the alcohol has run dry and you just found out that your Uncle Bernie puked in your bed – sorry about that :) Normally, I try to keep things light and upbeat around here. You’d be much more likely to hear me bitching about my rebellious chin hair than anything serious because there’s nothing I love better than making people laugh when they’d rather cry.

      But sometimes my crappy mood gets the best of me. Honestly speaking, I was in a somber mood long before my blog entry went down in flames. I think that’s part of the reason behind the failure – it’s hard to be a good humor writer when you’re bummed. I also think that’s why the lack of comments hit me so hard – because I was already in an emotionally vulnerable place beforehand.

      As for allowing my readers’ comments to dictate my own personal worth, I’d say you’re half right. My readers have nothing to do with how I think of myself as a person, just as a writer. This blog isn’t just a fun, creative place to put down my thoughts – it’s the vehicle I’ve chosen to see if I have any chance at becoming a paid writer one day. And because of that, feedback is all I have to gauge how good those chances are. If I’m not reaching people (enough to make them either like or comment on my blog), then I’m not doing my job well enough. If I could get paid strictly based on how I feel about my own writing, I’d already be a bestselling author :) But sadly, that’s not how things work.

      So, comments (both positive and negative) from all of you are invaluable to me because they provide me with feedback to make myself a better writer – which is something I’m constantly striving for. And for that, I’m grateful to you for stopping by and giving me your two cents…. I really think it was worth more like $1.50 :D

      Take care,
      Linda

      P.S. – For a much better representation of what you’ll find on here (if you decide to stick around after all my whining and bitching), read these:

      http://getwritedowntoit.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/not-by-the-hair-of-my-chinny-chin-chin/

      http://getwritedowntoit.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/letters-to-my-treadmill/

      http://getwritedowntoit.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/one-slightly-used-uterus-for-sale/

  10. Linda, I feel ya! Just started my blog this summer but I’ve been sending out my Wednesday Words via email since 2009. I’ve gotten plenty of radio silence, and then I run into one of my readers who invariably says, I LOOOOOVE your Wednesday Words! Makes me feel a little better, but hey! How hard would it be to send me a smiley face once in a while? Reminds me of a Scrubs episode where Mandy Moore was JD’s girlfriend, and every time he made a joke she said, that’s so funny. But she never laughed.

    Hang in there and keeping making yourself (and us) laugh. I believe there’s a special place in Heaven for us dogged bloggers (or blogged doggers).

    • BB –

      Your comment felt like a big hug, which is exactly what I needed. Thanks :D

      I knew there were a lot of bloggers out there who were struggling with the same issue (or issues that are equally as frustrating), which was the main reason I wrote this entry – I wanted to give people a place to kind of lay down their blogger burdens with mine because it feels good to vent…. even better when you’re in good company.

      As a show of solidarity in our misery, I’m gonna go hop on over to your place and find out what all this Wednesday Word stuff is about – if it’s even half as addictive as Words With Friends, I’m in trouble!!

      Linda

  11. Don’t take it personally. I read your last post, enjoyed it and didn’t comment. I was reading it on my phone and it is a pain in the ass to log in to WordPress from my phone and then leave a comment. Maybe there are 1399 people like me.

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