Monday, April 20, 2009

The Comment Thing

pretty tulips

I feel like I should explain myself to the poor people who come to my blog trying to leave me a comment and can't figure out where to leave it. Some of my posts have a place to comment and others do not. I promise I'm not trying to be unpredictable or anti-social. There is a method to this. My ordinary run-of-the-mill posts are comment free. The only exception I have been making to this is when I post a tutorial. If there is something wrong with it, or something that can be improved upon, I want to know right away. It's important to me that people have a convenient way of letting me know these things. Also, it makes me happy to see people using my tutorials, so I figure leaving a place for them to leave a link to their finished project and let me know how it went is a good thing.

It's been many months now since I have been mostly comment free. The main reason is that I felt like this blog was encroaching on my life. Time that should have been spent reading/hanging out with my kiddos was being eaten up by my constantly checking email to see what comments were coming in and then clicking around the blogs of commenters. Some people have self-control around their computers, but sadly, I do not (well, not enough, anyway). I've decided that at this point in my life it is better for my sanity and my time to do away with comments. This has freed things up incredibly.

At first I worried that without the social aspect of blogging I might give up blogging altogether. The concern was that perhaps I was blogging because I had an audience and nice folks coming by to applaud the things I made. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find that creating is it's own reward for me. This blog has been plodding along quite nicely without comments and I'm even more happy than ever with the direction I've been able to take with it in terms of feeling like I can do whatever I want without being worried that I have to please an audience.

Some issues that are now no longer, thanks to having a comment-free blog:

The guilt I was feeling for being a delinquent responder to comments.

The creepy feeling I had when receiving comments from strangers...if you haven't had nasty encounters with "anonymous," consider yourself fortunate.

Feeling sorry for myself for not getting "enough" comments, especially on posts that I worked hard on or that were particularly meaningful to me. Isn't it bizarre the effect blogging can have on a person? I never had problems like this before!

Feeling used when my stats showed thousands of visitors with very few to no comments materializing from those visits. Hmmmm. Perhaps I should give up checking my stats too....

Depending on the praises of others to feel good about myself.

I love that this blog is now only one compartment of my life. I can post and then I'm done. I can get on with other things. When I'm hanging out with the family, I'm really there and present with them. My mind isn't on what my imaginary friends are thinking about whatever craft I made.

Of course, there are downsides to this as well. I feel like I've lost a few bloggy friends along the way. Friends who are in frequent contact with each other, but not with me anymore. I'm OK with that. It's worth it to me to sit things out. When I first started blogging I did it as a creative endeavor. Making blog friends was an extra I didn't anticipate. It was fun while it lasted, but I value my real life friends too, and if I spend all my time in the comments that's time away from them. I'm sure there are other downsides, but I'd rather not focus on them.

Thanks for hanging in there with me! Comments are closed on this post, but if you feel the need to chat, there's always email.

joanna (@) greatturtle (.) com