If A Blog Falls In The Forest

If a tree falls in the forest and there’s nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound?

I haven’t been writing much but not because I don’t have anything to write about. It’s partially because I’ve been busy–the combination of helping out on the ice for speed skating, creating the no tech or t.v. rule at my house, Christmas, Hockey Skating Son getting a paper route which in turn means I have gotten a paper route, and all the other day-to-day stuff–have combined to make my fun writing come last.

By the way, I’m not complaining. Being on the ice with the speed skating kids and then hanging in the stands with the speed skating moms is pretty much the best part of my week every week. The no tech or t.v. thing has been great for our family, and the newspaper route has allowed me to learn many things about my youngest son that he wouldn’t have shared with me otherwise.

But also, the other part of me not writing is because I’m beginning to wonder if it’s pointless, really. I’m on the internet for my job every single day and there is SO. MUCH. STUFF. out there. The conversations of Twitter past have been fading away and my stream is now all  “Me! Me! Me! Click Me!” I see people competing to get page views with their pinnable images and clickable headlines. Blogging is big commerce and people want their cut. I’m not slamming it, I’ve done all of the above too.

But I’ve been putting off writing anything because I’m not sure I see the point to it anymore. Does it even matter if I write about training for a triathlon? Or if I was finally able to do a one-footed glide in a straight line at speed skating (for the record, nope, I’m still working on it).

I mean, who really cares right? These stories that I write….seriously, who the fuck cares that I went for a run or learned how to swim?

(By the way, these are all rhetorical questions, you don’t need to answer them).

This is my mindset right now. I never set out to monetize Speed Skating Mom, it was just my place to tell stories, and I’ve pretty much kept it that way. I’m just not sure there’s a point to my continuing to write about this stuff and I’m struggling with it and how or if I should continue.

You know….questions that I don’t have answers to right now.

I guess this will be a ‘to be continued’ thing.

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About Sharon

Sharon DeVellis is a mother, wife and writer who can uncork a wine bottle in less than 10 seconds but buys twist-offs for emergencies. She’s currently in therapy to stop talking about herself in third person.
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31 Responses to If A Blog Falls In The Forest

  1. Pingback: Blogging: My Therapy | ItsAllAboutMe.ca

  2. Nic says:

    Your post has resonated with me as I’ve also been debating what to do about blogging. My goal with my blog was to share my life with Charcot-Marie-Tooth – both having it and raising a son (and now maybe sons…ugh, genetics such) to others with the same disorder. And also just write for shits and giggles about the silliness of life because, come on, no one wants to read about CMT all.the.time.
    But then cancer killed my mom. And everytime I sit to write, I either can’t push back *cancer* or the gutting fact that my Mom, my biggest supporter of my writing, would never read the post.
    So I just don’t know where to go or what to do.
    And you’re right, the interwebs have become more about compensation and sponsorship and less about sharing for the sake of sharing. And I worry that my wee blog, if I blow the dust off and get back to regularly updating, is even wee-er in the new blogosphere.
    And now I’m rambling…

    Fab and very timely post…merci!

  3. Pingback: I Hate Starting Blogs | Contrary Prairie

  4. Pingback: Goals: Improving | Speed Skating Mom

  5. Dee Brun says:

    I love this post, everything about it..
    The new discoveries you have made with your boys the most. But all the questions you are asking yourself I think we all have at one point or another. I know I have and still do…
    Every Jan 1 I tell myself I am putting the shaker on the shelf..I know I need a change I just don’t know what it is..and don’t know when I will figure it out…

    So I write , take pics and post whatever I want for me…because I want to share it, not because I hope “someone” sees it..

    I read your blog quite often Sharon and try and coment every time I do…I will never train for a triatholon or learn to speed skate. But you should know that you and the words you have writen about your new adventures are part of what inspired me to get fit and change my life over for the past year…

    So for that alone, I am very thankful for your writting…XO

    • Sharon says:

      How much I love coaching the little kids is the biggest surprise to me (and that I actually don’t mind delivering newspapers). I think I’ve found a way that will allow me to continue writing on my own terms without feeling all WTF am I doing. Thanks for your comment, it helped me.

  6. Alex says:

    There is always an audience, and if you love writing, there’s always, always a point. The goals may change (especially in this crazy blogging world) but for me, the past 13 years of blogging have been an amazing experience.

  7. Erica G says:

    Sharon! Stop that!

    You have been one of my biggest online influences. And though I may not comment on every post, rest assured, I’ve read almost every one. And I appreciate MORE THAN YOU KNOW every comment you’ve made on my blog. Writing aside, you’ve also been one of my biggest cheerleaders as I tackle new physical challenges.

    I understand the need to take a step back and reassess. But don’t underestimate your impact or your influence and, please, don’t leave us hanging!

  8. Jenn says:

    I am also not a speed skater or a mum but I love reading your blog. The swimming arc from “omg what have I done” to “I’m doing it” was a lot of fun to read. I also lived vicariously through your RV trip. I will miss your blog if you decide not to continue with it, but fully understand the frustrations.

  9. MK says:

    I started my blog to keep me accountable to the habits I’ve been cultivating over the year. It has grown into something bigger, more exciting now. Every time I don’t feel like writing, I remember why I started it. And then I always have something to write about (because there is always a struggle with one of my habits, whether it be doing yoga every day or waking up early). It seems to me (this is my first time here) that your topic is pretty niche, and interesting. So as long as you still find it interesting, others will too.

  10. I’ve pretty much gotten to the same point with my blogging. I blog about my elsetraining plan on Mondays to help me stay on track, and occasionally I find something interesting to say. As I’ve begun blogging less about myself I’ve found lots more time for life & for reading. I wish you all the best in 2014!

    • Sharon says:

      Well one of the great things about blogging and opening up my realm of health to things other than speed skating has allowed me to meet awesome people like you. That’s something I’m very thankful for.

  11. Heather says:

    I’m neither a speedskater or mom, but your blog is one of the few I do read. You make it okay to celebrate and be proud of our successes and show us how to not be ashamed when we fall down.

    You have to do what feels right and works best for yourself and your family. But please know that people really appreciate and enjoy your writing, regardless of how frequently or infrequently you share a new post.
    Cheers!

  12. Tweepwife says:

    Well, I love how you write. I almost always come away from your words moved in some way, even if to laughter.

    I haven’t blogged in over a year and I don’t think anyone noticed. So, there’s that.

    What you say about conversation is so very true – what happened? Twitter has changed so much in a way I can’t really grasp but I know is not better. I miss the ‘old days’.

    Good luck with your mental meanderings.

    • Sharon says:

      I noticed. I kept going back every few weeks for about half the year when I finally clued in that maybe you weren’t writing anymore. I love the combo of you and Gary – wish you’d get back at it.

  13. Brandee says:

    I struggle with the same things. I only ever seem to get traffic on the odd occasion that I do a giveaway, and I don’t see conversations happening anywhere like they used to. It makes me sad. Even if I don’t always comment, yours is one of the first places I land on when I have a few minutes to sit and read. I really hope you don’t close up shop, as you would be missed. I care about what you’re doing – you inspires me to keep pushing and trying and going.

  14. Jackie says:

    It’s funny how this blog has already inspired people, which may or may not be why you blog, but it’s worth something, right? I am relatively new at blogging and didn’t set out to monetize either and often find myself in the “numbers race” with my blog and my social media for some unknown reason, yet the irony is that I didn’t even know how to check my stats for a few months when I started out! If you enjoy writing for any reason – keep blogging. I can guarantee I have far less of an audience than you do, but I just *need* to write sometimes. For me. It doesn’t have to be for anyone else to read, except you. If, on the other hand, it has stopped giving you any pleasure – take a break. You can always come back to it.

    • Sharon says:

      I never really check my stats here and haven’t for about a year. I made the decision to not worry about it which was really ‘freeing’ but now I wonder if I’m just someone else who’s adding ‘stuff’ to the already overflowing ‘stuff’ on the internet, ya know?

      • Jackie says:

        Who cares? It’s YOUR stuff. And YOUR stuff is FAB. You wouldn’t let these thoughts affect your motivation to speed skate, or do triathlons – don’t apply it here either, if you still enjoy writing.

  15. Keith says:

    Well, yes. It does. But you might be the only one to hear it. There is a fine line between people talking about parts of their lives in an interesting and natural way. Funny is a bonus but not required. A certain level of writing skill is nice. To see runners mention they got new shoes, and what kind they are, ONCE for each pair of shoes is expected. And the same is true for other stuff, other sports as well. A giveaway is nice every now and then. But if the mention goes on and on, with links, and each new post talks about how wonderful these shoes are, well, that blogger has CROSSED THE LINE! They aren’t a run blogger, or a mommy blogger, or a triathlete blogger, or a writing blogger anymore. They’ve become a whore blogger and I’ll stop reading them. There. I’ve said it out loud.
    From what your first commenters said, I’ll have to follow the link and look over their blogs. I’m always looking for blogs and twitter buddies that have something interesting to say. And fundamentally, advertising is NOT interesting. Well, that West Jet Christmas video was brilliant, I have to admit.
    Fair warning here, I was in NaNoWriMo this year, and am certified a winner. (Yay me!) I’ve been working on cleaning up the rough edges and am planning to submit it for publication. Which has the potential of turning my nice little blog into a writing whore blog. I’ll try to hold out…

    In the meantime Sharon, write or not as you please. Ultimately we are all shadows here, and your kids are real.

    • Sharon says:

      I like that you said whore blogger :) I’m more story, less whorey ;)

      And if you publish a book I’ll happily read your whore blog – writing a book is huge and you deserve to promote the shit out of it :)

  16. Lisa says:

    Sigh.

    Bigger sigh.

    I hear ya. The interweb winds are a’changing. We all feel it and I think we’re all struggling with the same questions you have. My two cents? Write on writer girl. People love your words!!! :)

  17. Katja says:

    Candace said what I was about to.

    I feel this away all. the. time. Does anyone even care? And then, does it matter if they do? My goal is to keep writing for fun, which is why I began, and put on the same blinders.

    Keep writing here, Sharon. You’re one my of my favourite places to stop on the internet.

  18. Kaari Cox says:

    Well I, for one, want to know when you conquer that one-footed glide in speedskating :-) There are few enough skater blogs as it is, and while I realize that your blog goes well beyond that…it still would suck to lose one of my “skating buddies.” As for my own blog, I’m like Nicole–I like to write stuff that makes me happy to read and re-read (does that make me self-absorbed? So be it!). I guess I’d say–as long as you enjoy doing it, do it! And know that there will be many of us who will be very sad if you stop doing it…

  19. Sharon, I’ve struggled with this recently as well. I was part of a FB conversation where someone asked “how do you decide what blogs to read” and I was the only person, THE ONLY PERSON, to say that I followed some blogs for years, that I look forward to reading updates about people’s lives, that these bloggers were friends for me, and that I look forward to stories, well written and witty stories about people and their lives. Everyone else on that conversation chose blogs based either a) randomly or b) giveaways/reviews. It really startled me, actually. I wondered if my own blog is a dinosaur, one where I just write about day to day things, who cares about the Sears catalogue, etc., etc.

    But at the same time *I* love my blog and *I* refer back to it to see what happened last year and what did we do two Aprils ago, and to see parts of my own life, like a journal. My good friend Allison at Bibliomama and I talked about this: going back and re-reading our own blogs makes us HAPPY. And you know, I hope you don’t stop writing over here because I follow this and I enjoy it. Blogs, to me, are like visiting and catching up with friends I cannot see.

    • Sharon says:

      I love that about you, Nicole. You are such an amazing person and I’ve thought that ever since I first ‘met’ you in the early YMC days. I think this is the year I go back to reading the blogs I love and putting on blinders to the rest of it.

  20. Candace says:

    Oy vey, I ask this question a lot. Almost daily. I think I need to stop asking the question and put blinders on. I’m not going to worry about who else is doing what in 2014 and focus on what I need to get out of blogging, a) an income (ain’t no shame in that) and b)feeling good about the content I share.
    As for whether or not you should continue, my answer is absolutely yes. You inspire people daily, or make them laugh, or make them think. These things are invaluable and the void would not be filled by someone else. Don’t go :)

    • Sharon says:

      Thanks, Candace. This is the first time I’ve ever felt like “seriously, what’s the point” about writing but putting it out there has sort of helped me decide what to do.

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