Blogging: You Win Some; You Lose Some, You Wait… And Sometimes You Get Flipped Off.


If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time, you know a few things:

I’m my own worst enemy; I waffle on age and parenting (but I rarely eat waffles); I’ve written a novel; I’m wait, wait, waiting to hear from 7 agents/editors who asked to read my work, last summer; I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years, and I’m trying to build my stats; I act like an extrovert most of the time, but really relish my alone time; I find blog stats fascinating; I like Bravo TV (but don’t tell anyone); my kids are top of my list (almost any list); I want to get my novel published this year… one way or another; there’s more, but you should read it on my blog.

This June I will have been blogging for three years, and in that time, I’ve shared a lot about myself and a bazillion other things. I’m generally very direct and honest in my posts; I think it’s safe to say that I don’t use a lot of filters. For some readers that may get tiresome; while other readers tell me that my openness really impresses or inspires them. Nothing feels better than those comments. I put a lot into my blog, and it means a lot to me that what I have to say impacts anyone, let alone readers who I admire and enjoy.

In that three years, I’ve won some and I’ve lost some… and I’m still waiting for some.

Yes! This is me, tooting my own horn. Winning feels good!

Yes! This is me, tooting my own horn. Winning feels good!

I’ve “won” followers, and that feels really good!  When I started blogging, it took a while to get readers. If you take a minute and go back to look at the first few posts (the Yellowstone ones are pretty great, I think), there are very few Likes, and very few comments… none, for some of those posts!  I was fortunate to have one of my posts, The Grass Is Always Greener on Someone Else’s Head, Freshly Pressed, after I’d been blogging for only six weeks. Honestly, I hardly appreciated it. I was still so clueless about blogging; I had no idea what FP even meant! However, that did bring in some readers and  “followers.”  However, since then, I’ve worked really hard to build my following on Word Press and Tales From the Motherland. It’s so much harder than I imagined, back when I started. Each time I see a new subscriber, I am still tickled– but I still keep setting new goals for those numbers. Just last August, my subscription numbers were slowly building from just under 500, and today that number is at 2,896. I can’t wait to see 3,000, but my optimistic goal for 2014 is 4,000! It’s been thrilling to see that number jump so much in such a short time, after just limping along for more than two years. I feel like I’ve won this one!

image: fiddlesnips@blogspot.com

image: fiddlesnips@blogspot.com

I’ve won in the friend department, because I’ve made some wonderful friends through blogging. When I try to explain that to non-blogging folks, I can totally their expressions, as they think “For real?” “Desperate much?” “You think these people are your friends?”  Yeah, ok; I see you rolling your eyes people, but I really have met some amazing people through blogging. Over time, we’ve emailed each other; we’ve followed each others’ blogs; we’ve supported each other in writing and in personal issues; we’ve reached out, and in some cases, we’ve met each other (here and here). I can tell you this, when I was in the hospital this past December, and feeling pretty scared and really sick, a few of these great people were really there for me! They emailed me; they kept me company late at night, and they sent lots of love. As a New Year’s resolution, I put it out there that I would like to meet more bloggers in person, and I intend to follow through. Several blogging friends responded to that post, or have chatted with me via email, to say they’d like to meet cara a cara; I plan to try.  Emily, Carrie, Kelly, Melissa, Julie, JenJennie, Kat, Deanna–  you’re on my radar. Some of these will be harder (Deanna) than others, but they’re on my radar! There are so many other great people, who I’ve connected with, who I’m still getting to know, or who read my blog regularly and are so supportive, but these are the ones who have reached out and shared a little more, or said: stop by some time.  Anyone going to BlogHer? I am. It’s one more opportunity to meet in person.

This is my place to shine, or fail... but it's mine!

This is my place to shine, or fail… but it’s mine!

I’ve won in the me department. Me. This blog is mine, and all mine. It isn’t something I do with or for my husband or kids. It’s not something I worry about writing to please others. I stand by whatever I put out there, because it’s mine. With so much of my life having been about others: taking care of others, answering to others, working for things that involve others, volunteering to help– This blog is mine, and most days I feel like I won the lottery! Given that this started as something to help me get my novel published… I can honestly say that if my book never gets published, I’ll be very sad, but this blog is no shabby consolation prize. I’m proud of what I do here, and I’ve already won.

Ok, and I’ve lost. (For me) with success comes some self-doubt. As my own blog stats go up, as my followers grow, I still feel blog envy. It’s hard not to look at other blogs and wish I could be that great. It’s the nature of my beast: always feeling like I fell short somehow, and trying to sit with whatever I come up with and simply appreciate it. I can’t help but feel disappointed that some of the bloggers I follow, don’t necessarily follow me the same way. If I follow you, I read each post. However, lots of my posts don’t get read by folks I admire and follow. Or, they don’t get read regularly. This blogging community is an edgy, quick crowd. I’m not always that kool, and I know it. Accepting and letting go of that is something I still work on, but it lands in the loss column for now. For all the compliments from some of these folks, it’s the times I don’t see their likes or comments that stings more. Yep, I’m that fragile.

I haven’t been published, and it may not happen. For now, that’s a real loss. Admittedly, the jury’s still out, but it’s been really challenging sometimes to see so many other talented writers in the blogging community doing it, while I still have not. I’m not getting younger, in fact I’m getting pretty damned old. I think I had idealistic expectations when I started blogging, that getting published was right around the corner… Humble pie, is that you stuck in my throat?

I’ve upset a few people… it’s a loss, but I wouldn’t do it any differently. A few of my earlier posts upset a few family members. That sucks. It was a real bummer to hear that some folks didn’t like that I was talking about my experiences, when they saw things differently. I should say, none of them are immediate family members, but these relatives felt that I presented our family negatively. I say it was honestly, my honestly. We grew up in different sides of things, and my experience is mine… not to mention, dead on accurate to me. But, it was sad to see that expressing myself this way could create some very hurtful lines in the sand. Loss.

Waiting. I’m waiting for a bunch of things, but topping that list: I’m waiting to see what happens with my novel. I’m holding my breath. I’m wishing on stars. I’m crossing fingers and toes. I’m pushing buttons and trying to get my work out there. I had 7 agents and/or editors ask to read some or all of my novel… last July. I’ve been waiting since then. One of them rejected my work, months ago. One of them rejected it, today. But, this week, one agent wrote an email that said (about my first 10 pages): “I’m intrigued. Could you please send the next 20 pages and a synopsis?” Twelve words never looked so good! I sent the pages, and now… I’m waiting again. Waiting for the 4 who have sent nothing. Waiting, knowing the odds are stacked against me. But, hopeful

Stats: I’m always waiting to hit the jackpot, in blogging and writing. It’s so exciting to see a good day on your stats; it’s so sucky to see a bad day. I know that lots of bloggers ignore their stats, but I’m not that blogger. I watch them. Daily. Last month, I had one day where I logged on there were nearly 1,500 hits, and more than 1,200 of those were for one post, about my (fake) affair with Barack Obama. For another month, every time I looked at my stats, there was that giant spike, jumping off the stats bar… skewing all the other numbers. It was there for weeks, and weeks…

It’s giant middle finger on the page, each day!
I see it and it reminds me that I probably can’t do it again. It challenges me to try. 
It both encourages me and discourages the hell out of me!

For the past few weeks, every time I looked at my stats for this blog, I was greeted with what looked like a giant middle finger:

A blessing, and a curse. That middle finger is my single best day ever.

A blessing, and a curse. That middle finger is my single best day ever.

Blogging is a wild and wooly ride. Lots of bloggers write about less personal things, but my blog is about me– my life, how I see things. It’s all personal. When you take risks, and put it out there, you win some, you lose sometimes, and sometimes you just wait. It’s all part of the crazy, wild, fun ride that’s blogging.

Tell me about your ride. Are you new to blogging? Are you excited, or feeling discouraged? Have you made friends in blogging? What do you love? What do you not like so much? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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If you like the posts on Tales From the Motherland, please subscribe to this blog.
The link is in the upper right hand corner of this post. Then, check out Tales From the Motherland on Facebook and hit Like. I’d love to hit 400 likes there this year; I appreciate the support! I’m on Twitter; Follow me and be dazzled by my mostly lame witty and clever Tweets. If I don’t follow you back, send me a tweet reminder and I will. I often miss the cues, when new people join. I’m older, and slower that way.

© 2014 Please note, that all content and all images on this page are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless otherwise noted. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

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About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
Aside | This entry was posted in Awareness, Blog, Blogging, Courage, Daily Observations, Freshly Pressed, Friends, Friendship, getting published, Goals, Honest observations on many things, how blogs work, Life, Musings, My world, Parenting, Tales From the Motherland, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Blogging: You Win Some; You Lose Some, You Wait… And Sometimes You Get Flipped Off.

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    Three years–wow, that’s impressive! I think most blogs fizzle out long before that. I always enjoy stopping by to read your words. They’re insightful, funny, and thought-provoking. Oh, and thank you for the mention. Have a great weekend!

    Like

    • It will be three years, at the end of June… but close! I always appreciate you stopping by Carrie, and you are high on the list of folks I’d most like to sit and have a meal… a coffee… anything with! As big of a long shot as it is, the more I get determined to make it happen. 😉

      Like

  2. JackieP says:

    When a person wants something bad enough you have to as stubborn as a mule. We writers have to be that stubborn. Hang in there.

    Like

  3. I very much enjoy your blog and totally envy your writing prowess. My blog is bit of a diary for me. It’s my journey; which these days is predominated by the challenges of raising my son and my own work on myself. Looking forward to reading your published book one day soon.

    Like

  4. Woo Hoo! I’m on your radar! 🙂 This blogging thing is definitely a roller coaster. I am currently in a dip, which likely explains much of my absence. I have to constantly remind myself that I do the best I can to balance…to realize blogging’s place in my life among everything else, to cut myself some slack when I don’t feel like I’m measuring up. But it can feel very frustrating much of the time. I hope you know how much I enjoy your writing when I do read, even though I am guilty of not reading all the time. And I adore out comment section relationship. I have felt so many of the things you write about here…which I think is why bloggers can develop such fast friendships.

    Like

    • Thanks so much, Kelly, and yes– you are definitely on my radar! 🙂 I totally hear you with the ups and downs… it’s hard to keep up, and meet a standard that I want to maintain. As for folks visiting, or not, admittedly I’m like a jealous lover. (Think shuffling feed and droopy head, not boiling bunnies) It stings when I see folks I think of as friends, commenting/liking on lots of the other sites I visit, but not mine. It’s something I struggle with… knowing I’m being a bit immature and silly.

      I think that the friendships forged here are tricky sometimes. I find that I’ll get a round of wonderful messages and connection, and then it goes dry and I can’t figure out “what’s real and what’s Memorex.” Like I said, I’m that fragile. :-p I really appreciate your thoughtful words. Thanks Kelly.

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      • You’re right. It IS so tricky. I can easily fall into over-analyzation mode. But then I really try to remind myself of all the reasons people don’t read, many of which have nothing to do with me or my writing. I mean, I know I don’t read as many blogs as I want/should, and not for lack of good intention. (P.S. I’m really writing this more for myself and the frame of mind I’ve been in recently. I need the pep talk to keep me going. I have been toying with a blogging hiatus, which I think probably isn’t a good thing. So knowing someone else has these feelings is helpful 🙂 )

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        • I know it’s so much harder when you have young kids, Kelly. I have the luxury of not worrying about all the things that kept me so busy when my 3 were little. You’re right; I (too) probably over-analyze too many things! I’d really miss your posts, if you take a hiatus, but I totally see why you might. I imagine I sound pretty whiny here… I think I just find myself sucked into my own thoughts some days. It does help to know that others feel them too, but I should probably edit myself better. 😉 Thanks K.

          Like

          • PS) I keep meaning to tell you: LOVE the new gravatar/picture. Gorgeous, chickie!

            Like

          • No, I think it is good for us to have these dialogues. Blogging is very deceptive. We often see other bloggers and perceive a certain success, or perceive their opinion of us a certain way, or whatever. It’s easy to do with blogging because we can only see a small slice of the pie. But then if we really all just opened up about our experiences “behind the blog” I think we would find a more equal playing field. Everyone struggles in one way or another. There are some big blogs I find myself envying, but then come to find out the horrible problems they have with trolls, which I am thankful over and over again I haven’t had to deal with. Or people with huge follower numbers, but whose posts still aren’t really being read by that many people. Having the guts to to admit your feelings about it all helps open that conversation for the rest of us, So in my opinion, you have edited yourself just the right amount 🙂

            Like

  5. zeudytigre says:

    I found you for your fabulous stories but feel more empathy when I read these personal posts. I am such a small time blogger compared to you though, my husband laughs at my stats. I truly hope you receive good news soon about the novel, but do keep writing here. I feel sad when bloggers I follow seem to disappear. It is like losing a friend.

    Like

    • Thanks so much. I LOVE your stories! Tell your husband that your stats are no reflection of your talent! :-p I don’t have any plans to stop blogging, but some days are tougher… and I just find myself in a funk. We all start out small, and like I said, many of my early posts had almost no likes or comments! I’m really excited to be where I am now, but there’s always a new goal to work toward. Again, I really can’t tell you how much I appreciate your wonderful feedback; thanks!

      Like

  6. Katalina4 says:

    Dawn, you are great peeps. So glad to be on your radar. Can’t wait wait wait til we meet one day… In the meantime, keep at ‘er! My fingers are crossed for the novel! xxx

    Like

  7. I think you hit the most important part about having a blog- it’s me. I love saying “my blog” to people. You’ve done amazing things with yours!

    Like

    • Thanks Lisa! I do find that part very rewarding. I’ve worked so hard, and I feel like it’s really mine… not a reflection of a successful husband, or my role as a mother. Thanks for all of your support. You are a blogger that I’m so glad I met, and happy to call a friend. 😀

      Like

  8. I haven’t been blogging all that long, Dawn. I enjoy writing, especially since I’ve been doing the Flash Fiction and a couple other stories. I live each day as it comes. I’m still responsible for seeing my husband, who’s elderly and has problems with a bi-polar condition, is given proper care. I have severe arthritis and sciatica problems so I hire several people here in India to do the needful, one of whom sees to my husbands needs. A friend I trust helps me with banking. Our children are in the States but help when they can. I don’t worry that much about my blog. I just enjoy the outlet for creativity it gives me and don’t worry about stats that much. I find them interesting and check them from time to time. I’m still in the learning stage of writing. I find that the internet has a wealth of information on writing and research for writing. I’ve found I’ve lived long enough to have had a lot of interesting experiences. I always remember that the famous painter, Grandma Moses, started painting in her late 70’s and lived until she was 100 years of age. As they say, “It’s not over till it’s over.”

    Like

    • Patricia, thanks for that wonderful reminder! I also try to keep Julia Child and Maya Angelou (2 of my favorites, who both got late starts!) in mind… on the days when I feel a little discouraged.

      I really appreciate your kind comments and your lovely way of looking at things. I’ve enjoyed your stories on FF and try to find you each time. 🙂 Where in India do you live? I have been twice and plan to visit with my youngest son, next year. I have already taken his older sister and brother. I LOVE India! Thanks for this comment; it really helps!

      Like

  9. Oh this post is so what I’ve been thinking lately! My blog envy has been eating away at me as I see almost everyone I follow has been FP’d and despite some of my best attempts, I feel just average since I have yet to be seen by the eyes of wordpress. C2C has been around for a year, but MMV only started in December. But then I remind myself that I write because I have to and I have met some amazing people along the way, you of course, being one. And really, that’s what matters. I try not to look at my stats for that very reason and just focus on what I love, the writing and the connection. I have my fingers crossed for you for the novel! I’m appreciate it so much that I’m on your radar. It means a lot even though I know it’s a bit unrealistic. 🙂 Hang in there! xx

    Like

    • Deanna… the whole FP thing is strange. Both times, I did not see it coming and did not feel that it was my best writing. Some of the posts that I do like and wish had been FP go unnoticed, and sometimes even have fewer readers than usual– Very discouraging! As for blog envy: thank God I look good in green! I really do need to work harder on that, as it just pricks me when I see comments on other blogs, from people I follow and like, who rarely stop by mine. Or, when I see dozens and dozens of Likes and comments, and I am constantly hovering at 20 or under. But yes, then I try and remind myself that writing is what I NEED to do, and it really does make me happy. That, should be enough… working on it! As for radar… I will probably be in Europe this summer. It’s looking like Denmark, Norway and Sweden though… if Germany happens, I will absolutely let you know! 😀

      Like

  10. I blog because, like all of you, I like to write. More than that, I like to make people laugh. I figured what a better way to get people to laugh tan to tell the stories of people stoopider than my readers! <—I say that with love, Y'all. 😀

    I have been doing "Dumbass News" for three and a half years now and it's finally starting to get some traction. I used to fret over getting 20 or 30 hits a day, now I am getting a few thousand a day! I guess persistence overcomes (reader) resistance!

    Having said all that, I don't consider myself a "writer". I simply write stuff – big difference to me.

    Dawn is a writer. And a darn good one. I have been a fan of TFTM for quite a while now and will continue to be one for as long as there are Tales from the Motherland to tell.

    Keep up the great work, Dawn!

    You are hit with me!

    Like

    • That should be “you are a hit with me!”.

      Like

    • You are SUCH a great egg, Fearless! You are consistently supportive and positive, and no doubt you’ve earned EVERY single hit you get each day! Thousands a day… Yowza! I’d hardly call that “traction.” Toot your horn darlin, cause you worked hard for that! The way you re-Tweet so many people is so generous and wonderful! I don’t have half that energy! I find it hard enough to stay on top of my posts, and answer the comments I do get! :-p Lame, I know. Thanks for your kind words, and your generous support… over and over again. I’m lucky to have folks like you who continue to support my work, even when I’m whiny. 😉

      Like

  11. jgroeber says:

    Oh, exactly! The middle finger on the page is my favorite part. After being Freshly Pressed it was this bizarre spike flipping me off. The next week was like recovering from a break-up. So forlorn. Who ever said it’s better to have (been Freshly Pressed, I mean) loved and lost than to never have been (Freshly Pressed, er…) loved at all? Zoiks. But I do think it’s the internal satisfaction and all that that really matters (or at least that’s what I tell myself when I hear crickets…) Like I told my kids about dying, it’s the people we love well, the kids we raise, the art we make, the words we write, that carry on after we’re gone. But nowhere in there did I have to say “collected by a museum” or “published” or “had my own reality show.” You are already leaving a stunning legacy every day, and you still have a lifetime (whatever that is for each of us) to keep at it. You go girl! (But know that you’ve already left this amazing mark on the world.)

    Like

  12. sara says:

    I was smiling and nodding as I read this Dawn – all common issues to us bloggers. I have had difficulty at times in talking about important issues that involve other people: but I am clear that it’s all about my perspective and my truth. I am interested in my stats, but not attached to them: I blog only for my own enjoyment and not to achieve any aim, although if I inspire, clarify or assist anyone, that is a total bonus. Good luck with your novel Dawn – are you working on another one?

    Like

  13. DCTdesigns says:

    Dawn I too have made truly wonderful friends through blogging. To those that don’t “get it” I say :)~ And you must add me to the list of writers that would love to meet you. And I don’t have far to travel at all.

    I love your blog. And try to visit as often as I can. I find I can’t get out and read nearly as much as I’d like to. Some days I don’t know where the time has gone. And my job simply gets in the way. Doesn’t the universe understand my creative life and community are way for deserving of my time and energy?

    Now I too have been blogging for 3 years. I have never been published. But I have never been freshly pressed or possibly hit the 1700 view mark. My largest day was 780 something and for the life of me I haven’t a clue why. The previous daily record was 670 or so when I interview a wonderful writer and blogger I adore. Obviously I was one of many of her fans. But I do watch my stats curious mostly and agree that when there is an odd spike it is like a giant middle finger that skews everything. Then I eager await it rolling off the stat page.

    Like

    • Strange, right Dana, that when we hit that big day (stat wise) we then have to live with that middle finger… for a month! Thank you so much for your support and kind words… It means a lot to me. I really don’t take for granted, any connection I make! You’re totally right, we should absolutely meet in person… let’s get that in the works. This summer, I am free a lot more. Et vous? Let’s try and make it happen! 😉

      Like

  14. We live about 120 miles from Mumbai (about 300 km) in a large city in the Western Ghats. I don’t give my exact location because everything is politicized here, and people have been arrested for making comments that hurt the sentiments of one party or the other. You might be let go after being arrested, but they can cause trouble for you and I’m not a citizen. I told someone that I don’t want to be the first person in my family to be arrested or deported. I tell the truth about things and someone may not like it. I’m also using a pen name because I’m writing a memoir that might infringe on someone’s privacy. I’ve changed names of people and places because, although most of the people in my past are gone on now, the privacy of people in those locations, and family members still living, might be invaded. In my blog, I’ve also changed names to protect the people I write about. Of course, if my book never gets read by people outside my family, no one probably has anything to worry about anyway. I’m not into hauling skeletons out of old family closets, so no one needs to fear about that. Anything I write about was known at the time. It’s taking me a long time because I’m learning as I go. Thanks for being so nice. There are many interesting things about India and I hope you enjoy your next trip.

    Like

  15. susanissima says:

    Dawn, you’re so motivated! I love checking in to see what you’re up to. Congratulations on three years of rising numbers and increasing friends. You’re an amazing woman and a true blogstar.

    Like

  16. Since you are one of the most recent blogs to grace my reader with your presence, I nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award! See this post for more details: http://sincerelykaterz.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/the-salad-bowl/

    Like

    • Thank you so much for nominating me, Kate. It’s always such an honor, and a nice thing when other bloggers enjoy my work. (Although, technically, you didn’t say you enjoy my work! Just that I showed up in your reader 😉 ) I really don’t participate in the awards anymore– I know, not very Sunshiny of me! It’s just that I’ve done so many of them that I don’t have much more to say– when it comes to follow through. I feel badly telling folks that, but at this stage in my blogging… it’s all been done and said, and I’m not very good at writing the required post. I’ll be sure to share your link in a future post, to reciprocate the gesture, and again, appreciate your kind gesture. Thanks!

      Like

  17. El Guapo says:

    i thought I’d have a book deal after a dozen posts.
    What a maroon!

    Like

  18. Mike Lince says:

    Congratulations – Three years and steady growth is quite an accomplishment. I have not been able to sustain my writing like you have. I used to be addicted to the numbers – views, followers, comments. I still like those aspects of blogging, although I think I am writing more on other people’s blogs than I am on my own right now. Perhaps I need a topic in addition to travel because it seems to me that travel blogs are a dime a dozen. Do you have any suggestions for dealing with writer’s block? 🙂 – Mike

    Like

    • I’ll piggyback off my last comment, on the Aging parent post… parenting as a dad. Or, tell us more about the issues that come up– as a couple, traveling so much and living as 6-Monthers. Throw in a few that tell the personal aspect of it: aging and traveling, getting in arguments, finding time to be romantic when you’re on the road… in romantic places, being away from family, etc. I think that’s missing from the posts I’ve read. I LOVE your travel blog, and you’ve definitely grown a lot. While I don’t see your numbers, there are so many more likes and comments! I often finish a post and wonder about the background things. Just a suggestion… though you seem to do fine without my input! 😉

      Like

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