I Guess What I’m Trying to Say is That I’m Tired of Feeling Intimidated to Write On My Own Blog

I still remember the first time I found “blogs.”
I had followed a link from a weight watchers chat room. The blog was written by a woman named Melly. Ordinary Morning, was the name of the blog.
It was 2001.
It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen on the internet.
Granted, I had only been on the internet for a total of *maybe* 3 months, but still, MOST AMAZING THING.
Here was this young, single mother, writing openly and brutally honestly about her life. She was smart, beautiful, devastatingly funny.
I found myself wanting to get to know Melly. I wanted to hear more of what she had to say. “I think we’d be great friends!” I’d think to myself as I would read her words.
I started clicking her links and those links lead to new blogs that, yet again, BLEW MY MIND.
I wanted to know these people! I wanted to be in on their “inside jokes!” But mostly, I wanted to write and put my words out there. Maybe someone could relate. Maybe I could make someone laugh.
I love to write. I would most surely love to blog!
I won’t go into the entire history of how I finally got my blog up and running but I will tell you that a complete stranger was kind enough to answer all of my blogging questions and help set up my very first blog on blogger.
I had a blog.
And I started writing in that blog.
And people started reading.
(One of those people was Melly. And I was right. We became friends. The best of friends. She even came to California (twice!) to visit my family.)
I would write stories about my boys, who at the time, were only 9 and 4 years old.
I was mommyblogging before mommyblogging was a “thing.”
I would suggest you go into my archives and see what I was writing about, but my archives are painful to read. I was going through a severe depression and writing through it all. I wasn’t thinking about “attracting marketers” or “My brand.” I only cared about telling my story, as painful, ugly, honest, and sometimes hilarious as it was.
I showed my stretch marks to the world before there was a movement online to do so. And I took the hell that came along with that. People telling me to keep that shit private because “no one wants to see your disgusting body.”
I was just this stupid girl putting it all out there because it felt right at the time.
It felt safe. There was this core group of people reading. And we were all friends. Kathy. Joelle. Mikey. Wendy. Statia. Trish. Robyn.
But things started to change.
Suddenly, what I was doing had a name. “Mommy blogging.”
And then people started fighting because HOW DARE YOU PUT ADS ALONGSIDE YOUR STORIES ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN YOU DEVIL CHILD EXPLOITER I HOPE YOU DIE IN HELL1!!11!%%!!!!!%%@#
And now people are all “DON’T GO BAREFOOT AT CONFERENCES AND DON’T DRINK WINE OUT OF SIPPY CUPS BECAUSE YOU ARE PROFESSIONAL WHO MUST BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY!”
And I’m all on twitter going “come see pictures of my daughter’s first hair cut!”
Blogging as I know it has changed.
And I just can’t keep up. Because this blog isn’t a business. This blog is personal.
I just want to keep writing about my life. About my kids. About my struggles with health and weight and body image. I just want to write.
I feel like a complete misfit in blogging, which is so weird because I’ve been doing this since 2002 and what the hell?
Blogging is a business! Build your brand! YOUR BRAAANNNNNDDDD!
There’s no denying that I’ve been given some pretty amazing opportunities through blogging. (Interviewing the cast of New Adventures of Old Christine. Meeting Tony Hawk.) And that still amazes me. But that’s not WHY I do it. That will never be why I do it.
And suddenly, it feel like– if that’s not why I’m doing it, why even bother?
I used to be able to sit down and write a post about the most trivial things– like my trip to the doctor’s office yesterday, for example– hit publish, enjoy the comments and move on to the next post. Now I doubt every post. “This isn’t good enough” “no one will care about that” “People are writing about HEALTH CARE REFORM AND YOU’RE WRITING ABOUT PEEING WHILE YOU SNEEZE YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.”
I also used to be able to write about important things, like depression or body image and feel safe. Feel like it mattered. Like by writing my story I was helping people and that people were helping me by reading, by sharing their stories. I know that is still true, but sometimes? I feel like the stories aren’t being heard because we’re all too busy about traffic and page views and twitter followers and OUR BRRRANNND.
And that’s fine! It’s wonderful that women are finding success because of their blogs– I mean it, it makes me so proud. But also? A little sad. Sad that those of us who are just here for the writing, for the stories, for the good content are feeling so out of place and irrelevant.
I don’t even know where I’m going with this anymore other than to say I’m struggling with blogging right now and I hope that by writing this out I will be able to make some sort of peace with it all and stop over thinking this shit and JUST START WRITING AGAIN BECAUSE I MOTHER FUCKING LOVE TO WRITE.

151 thoughts on “I Guess What I’m Trying to Say is That I’m Tired of Feeling Intimidated to Write On My Own Blog

  1. foodmomiac

    You may think that haircuts and doctor’s appointments and stretch marks are trivial, but they are part of all of our lives. And reading about YOUR everyday life is meaningful to ME. It shows me that I am not alone, that I am part of a tribe. You find beauty in everyday things that I might not normally see. I, for one, hope you keep on keeping on. XO

  2. heather...

    And I love to read you!!
    I hope you still write the funny and the serious stuff. I mean, on my own blog I write about serious things, and then the next day I write about my dog eating peanut butter out of the jar. That’s LIFE. From the silly to the serious to the sublime.
    love you. don’t stop.

  3. Annika

    You know what I just remembered about? Web rings. AHAHAHAHAHA! It’s only been like two years since those were relevant! Holy crap!
    I don’t blog for the “right” reasons either. WE SHOULD START A WEB RING FOR BLOGGERS LIKE US! OMG!
    I might need a nap.

  4. pom.

    I love your blog!
    You’re doing it awesome!!
    reading Melly is how I ended up reading you.
    what happened to her? is she blogging anywhere?

  5. Katy

    I know I told you this on twitter, but I’ll say it again here–THANK YOU! for not being a brand because I’m not sure how far blogging would have gone if people had been worried about all that in the future. I realize that it’s important to some people, but not to me. Real is important. I think that if you look at the blogs that people truly love, they’re about being real and not about “being the brand.” I think its fine and great if a woman wants to pursue a career in writing and chooses to do so through her blog. Great. But I’ve never once returned to someone’s blog because they had great branding. Keep doing what you’re doing because if you’re anything like me, you need the blogging to stay sane–I know that’s why I started and why I haven’t stopped yet.

  6. Erin

    Y, many of us are reading you for the same reason. Write for us as you always have and ignore the rest. There will always be that background “noise” and it’s not worth listening to it.
    We love you as you. Don’t go.
    Erin (delurking)

  7. cindy w

    I’ve been blogging since 2003, and yours was one of the first that I ever read. (In fact, I still have your, “Taken, Bitches” t-shirt that I bought on CafePress. It’s too tight on me now, but I still have it!) And you know, the people who talk about “their brand” and who seem to only write to collect a certain number of hits? I avoid the hell out of those blog. That’s not what I care about. I want to read real stories, written by real people. And you’re one of ‘em.
    The way I see it, all this marketing stuff is just background noise. The only thing that matters is your voice and your point-of-view. And I think your blog is great (and I know I’m not the only one).

  8. Miss Britt

    I get this. I sooo get this. I almost emailed Dooce last week – who I don’t know from Adam or vice versa – to ask “would you do this still if it wasn’t for the money? Because I so don’t get blogging anymore” – get this.
    I used to be able to right trivial stories that made me chuckle and not have to worry if it was “important” or “responsible” furthering some social agenda or another.
    So yeah, I get it.
    And I’ve only been doing it since 2005 ish.

  9. Kathryn

    I read blogs because they interest me – they are about people I can relate to, telling stories that make me laugh, make me cry, make me care. I don’t care about branding or anything like that. I know I’m not alone in this, and I encourage you to keep doing what feels right for you. There’s enough room on the web for both kinds.

  10. Traci

    I love reading what you write!! I can relate to it. I have a blog…don’t write on it much because I constantly doubt what I’m writing, when all I want is a place to get it all out. You give me the courage to keep writing!!!

  11. Madge

    I hope you just write, write, write! and forget about the BRAAAAAANNNNND. While the brand serves it’s function I like to just hear how people are doing and know what they are up to. I’ve been blogging since 2004 but never had a lot of readers. I did, however, have a core group of people who would always come by and check in on me. That was worth more than any ad revenue. There’s a lot of deep stuff that went down and I could always count on muh peeps. I’ve semi retired that blog and I’m moving on to other ventures, with a new blog. I still write about the mundane (although, yesterday I was all about the Health Care!!) and not many people come by to read it, but I enjoy going back and reading for myself.

  12. ~ifer

    I found this quote yesterday on Wil Wheaton’s blog, where he was remembering something an acting teacher told him once. He said “”You know you’re actors because if you don’t act, you feel like something is missing. Don’t give an industry that doesn’t care about that the same way you do control over when you do it.”
    I say to you… You know you’re a blogger because if you don’t blog, you feel like something is missing. Don’t give an industry that doesn’t care about that the same way you do control over when you do it.
    I know you don’t know me, but I would miss your words if you weren’t around. Take the time you need to find the love and passion that you once had, and then write for YOU. The people that are only in it for your brand may leave, but they were never really real in the first place, were they?

  13. Lex - (@laprimera)

    I think I found you through Melly! How is she? do you keep in touch? I followed her when she moved her blog and then I don’t know what ended up happening.
    Anyway, Bravo for your enlightenment. Keep writing. Just cuz you love it!
    xoxo

  14. Chibi Jeebs

    You know, I think you can see/feel/read a difference between BRANNNNNNNNDED blogs and non-marketed ones. I’m not saying that *all* marketed blogs are doing it simply for the money, but there does seem to be a lack of sincerity in a fair number of them – you get the distinct impression that they’re only blogging for the money/hits/notoriety.
    I don’t read those blogs. I read your blog, and blogs like it. I *like* reading about your life: if I didn’t, I wouldn’t return.
    You’ve gotta write for YOU – what makes you happy. Reading posts like this, where long-time, GOOD bloggers are questioning whether they should even bother anymore, makes me glad I’ve never bothered to learn about “marketing” my “brand.” I write what I want to write about: if people comment, AWESOME; if not, no biggy – it’s an outlet for *me.*
    *big, fat, squishy hugs*

  15. kellie

    Your blog was one of the first ones that I ever read…I was HOOKED! I love your writing. I am convinced that we would be friends if we lived closer. As a reader, I can tell who writes to write, and who writes for the brand. Please don’t leave your blog, I would miss you terribly.

  16. Lesley @Avalea

    Write! Don’t think. Spell check. Close your eyes and envision that your core is still small/intimate. Publish.
    Fuck the rest…
    Easy said, right? Look, making a few pennies from ads doesn’t hurt, I’m sure. I’ve heard a lot of long time bloggers express this same heavy sentiment. This is YOUR blog. You do what makes you happy. If advertisers leave? Others will come a-knockin. Close your comments if you have to.
    Just don’t stop.

  17. Redneck Mommy

    As you know, I had to go dark this week due to a (as of yet unnamed Big Badness). It wasn’t that I wanted to stop writing it was just the politics of the blog world and the legalities of the real world banded together and shackled my hands far away from the computer.
    As I sit here, working on picking the knots loose, it has dawned on me how much I miss the freedom of just writing whatever the hell it is that I want to without worrying about ad revenue, sponsorships or even my audience.
    I just really miss having my corner of the blog to muck up now that I actually can’t write.
    When I finally am able to shake these chains off and sit at my keyboard, I’m tossing this blogging crap aside and going back old school. Back when it was fun.
    Let others worry about being number one and getting more readers and book deals and whatever else.
    I just want to write.

  18. Jessalee

    I think there’s a point when you’ve got to shut out the rest of the world and write and blog because you want to, without applying these rules and conventions that are being made up arbitrarily as blogging ages.
    I’ve been blogging in some form or another since 2001, and still, after nine years, I have very, very, very little traffic. Embarrassing little bits of traffic. But I know I can write, though I probably don’t write about popular topics, or I’m not engaging or provocative enough. I’m not part of the “in-crowd” of bloggers, and you know what? It totally doesn’t matter.
    I’ve beat myself up in the past, but I had to move past that to doing it because obviously I’m not going to magically be popular one day. That likely won’t change. But just as much as that won’t change, neither will my love for writing and blogging. So I’m going to blog. Yes, I am going to have my feelings hurt now and then (like yesterday when I tweeted about it being my bday with no reply). I’ll keep writing because I love it, and I want to continue to grow in it. I can’t force connections with people, and if they don’t feel it it’s okay.
    Forget about those that tell you what you have to do. They’re not the boss of you! ;) And don’t give up. What you say is important. Your voice matters. And you have had some really great opportunities from your blog, opportunities which you obviously don’t take for granted. Just keep doing what you do!

  19. Mahala

    Girl, you just keep writing about peeing when you sneeze, your baby’s haircut and showing your stretchmarks. I just went through a similar kind of soul searching and I decided I’ll write what I want and make the occasional .20 in the process. We don’t need a “Brand” or a “Marketing Plan” or any of that bullcrap. Just write.

  20. Marie Green

    My blog is very small, but I love it so. And yet, when I start thinking about all of the OTHER bloggers, I feel inadequate, like I should just SHUT UP already because what can I really have to say that hasn’t already been said, and probably said better.
    But then again, I love writing, I love blogging… so I keep doing it.
    I hope you keep doing it too.
    Also, I don’t have a brand.

  21. Mir

    There’s always going to be room for people to write because they love it and they have a story to tell. ALWAYS. None of the rest of the squabbling about brands and professionalism have anything to do with what you do here, nor does any of it make you less “legitimate” or whatever.
    Some of the recent kerfluffle is, I think, about people wanting to be taken seriously as business professionals while not conducting themselves as such. Does that have anything to do with what you want from your blog, or you? Probably not. So don’t take it as some sort of indictment of your corner of the ‘net. It’s something else entirely.
    Don’t let anyone else tell you what to do with your space and your thoughts, Y. Or make you feel less than because you’re doing something different. Just rock on with your bad self.

  22. laura @ hollywood housewife

    I have been feeling EXACTLY this way for a couple of weeks now.
    I re-branded in January because I was *supposed* to (and actually, desperately needed to for other reasons), and even as I get more page views I feel like I’ve lost a little bit of myself in generating content that I’m not always proud of.
    I want to get back to the reason I started a blog. For the stories, for the writing, just like you said. I didn’t realize that blogging is a constant re-evaluation period.

  23. agirlandaboy

    WHERE IS MELLY?!?!
    I love you how explained this weird place we’re in, those of us who just want to post pictures of our kids’ haircuts and our cats wearing dresses. (WHAT?) Because, you’re right, even though no one is explicitly saying that to be relevant we HAVE to be talking about health care or reviewing major brands or racking up half a million page views a second, there’s still an aura of expectation that if we are to be considered “good” at this blogging thing (and I think we all want to be told we’re “good”), we need to be issues-based and political and BIG. I have only ever felt comfortable speaking about myself and FOR myself, and yeah, it feels a little misfitty here sometimes when the trend is to go outside ourselves and bring the world in rather than allow our blogs to be the place where we go INSIDE ourselves and let the world watch if they want to. Thanks for putting it into words, lady.

  24. TheOneTrueSue

    I can relate. The more readers I get, the more hesitant I am to post anything. Because now they EXPECT something. And I’m not always sure that I really know what it is they expect. I’m not writing for me I’m writing for some unidentifiable person who I imagine is out there in internet-land, smirking and waiting for me to fail.

  25. Issa

    Me too. Especially after last week. I wonder where I fit in now. I actually do this, just because I love to write. I don’t make money at it, I don’t write about anything that is important except too me.
    I am sitting here wondering if my words matter at all. Maybe they don’t in the big bad blogging world. I am seriously wondering if my son turning 18 months old tomorrow is too lame to post about. Something, I never would have even worried about a few years ago.
    I struggle with continuing to do this because I love it and wondering if I should stop because I don’t do it how everyone else seems to think it should be done.
    Anyway, what I know is this: I am still reading here, after oh four and a half years, because I enjoy your writing and hearing about your kids. I had someone tell me the other day that my words mattered to her. Well Y? Your words matter too me.

  26. Bethany

    You are one of the very few people left on my reader from when I first discovered blogs a few years ago. (There weren’t even feed readers when I first started reading you, at least I don’t think there were)…
    Anyway, you are still there BECAUSE you write and aren’t worried about your brand. I want to read about your life, your family, your struggles not some bullshit brand crap.
    Do it, Y, just write because you’re really fucking good at it!

  27. carmen

    Write about peeing when you cough. I’ve had bronchitis and um, could give you a run for the money in this regard.
    Keep on keeping on, Y. You’re real and I love you.

  28. san

    Thank you for writing this, Y.
    This is exactly how I feel so very often (and I don’t have a following like you to prove me wrong!).
    Just keep doing what makes you happy… nothing else matters, because this blog is yours and you decide what to put up or not.

  29. Roxanna

    Then write Sweetie, just write. I love your blog, reading about the big stuff, the smaller stuff…all of it. I admire that you do it, period.
    So many times what you’ve written has been something I can completely relate to, or could have even been pulled directly from my own thoughts. And when it’s something that I can’t relate to, it means you’ve given me something to think about, given me a new perspective and probably made me a wider thinking person that I might of been otherwise.
    So…keep writing. I’d miss you if you were gone.

  30. Procrastamom

    It was the Mommybloggers website that brought me to your blog in 2005 (holy crap is that a LONG time ago!). At the time I was faithfully writing my own blog and loving the process of writing daily. I haven’t blogged since early 08 and I consider going back and starting to write again a lot these days. I guess I miss it.
    You’re right though. It has changed so much, what with branding and Twitter, etc. It makes me pine a little for the old days when you could find the next great blog by clicking on the list on someone’s sidebar or doing the thirty second perusal at Blog Explosion.
    (Now I feel the need to express that I miss Flashdance and legwarmers, I’m sounding like such an old lady here!)

  31. Lisa

    When I started JustLisa 11 years ago, it was such a fun environment. So few of us made for a very tight knit community. I remember finding your blog via Melly and thinking you were going to fit right in. A lot has changed since then. JustLisa is same as dead as I find facebook to be easier for me and I don’t have great stories to tell anymore.
    You still have so much to say and a wonderful way of telling it so keep it up and don’t worry what label you’re supposed to wear. Just be Yvonne and write what you know and we’ll read.
    Love ya!

  32. Val

    Stay and write because you are good, and it makes you feel good. There is room enough for those that want to blog for business and those that want to blog because they want to get it “out there”.
    We’ll keep reading. :)

  33. Danyelle

    I prefer to read personal story blogs rather than the branding because I feel like I get to learn and receive insight from someone who has already been through something that I am, will, or could go through.

  34. Ally

    I am not a mommy and often wonder if I should quit writing because I don’t have all those mommy stories to write. I have my own life, in it’s relatively boring sameness. It leads to the same debate you discuss, and just last night I decided to heck with it, it’s my life and I’m writing it :)

  35. Rebecca (Bearca)

    Y, YOU MUST KEEP WRITING. Please. I am begging you. There are many blogs that are SO focused on “sponsored posts” and “mommy blog controversies” and “building their brands” and quite frankly, I don’t even read those sites anymore.
    Sites like yours are the ones that I come back to time and time again. Your stories (peeing while you sneeze! Daughter’s haircut! FABREZE!) need to keep coming. As long as you’re writing, I’m reading.

  36. Adventures In Babywearing

    I only read blogs like you are and what you want to continue to be. I have a whole reader filled with them- there are still plenty out there writing in their journals online (I like to think I’m one of them.) but I
    find myself feeling exactly the same way as what you’re describing here. A lot of the “new description of mommy
    blogs” are the most up front on Twitter and most linked on other blogs and while some are great! A lot just make it really noisy and hard to hear our own selves think so that we can go quietly write in our “journals.” I don’t even know if I’m making sense but it makes sense in my head and I think about it a lot. I want the same thing you do, many of us are aching for how it used to be, and what I’m realizing is that it STILL is that way for some and I want to go back there, too.
    Steph

  37. Lori

    Oh Y. I love you. Please don’t stop, because I look forward to your posts. I don’t care about BRAND….whatever that is. I just like you for you. That day when you showed your stretchmarks…that was the first day I found you. And I know we could be great friends. So. Please keep writing.

  38. mommabird2345

    I REALLY hope you continue to write. I found my first blog a year ago (I know, I lived under a rock). I enjoy reading blogs when I can relate to the writer.
    I am a stay at home mom to 3 girls. Sometimes, I only have adult conversations after my husband gets home from work. Even then, we are busy with dinner, homework, kids baths & sending them to bed. So reading blogs make me feel like I am sitting with a friend and discussing whatever it is that has happened that day.
    If you had 2 readers or 20 million, I would hope that you would continue to write like you do. You are REAL. The “bigger bloggers” don’t connect with me. I might as well read a newspaper or book the way some of them write. I’m not saying that is a bad thing. I just like to read blogs that if I were ever to meet these people, we would be friends (I would hope).
    Be yourself, that’s what made us start reading to begin with. :)

  39. Maggie

    I have only really been reading blogs for 2 years, and I STILL agree with you…2 years and this community has totally changed…it’s ridiculous! You are amazing…you give so many people inspiration, some of whom you probably don’t even know exist, because they come by & read and don’t comment. Please keep it up…I love the emotion, the stories, the photos, everything. You matter, the things you want to write about matter, and there are so many of us standing here to vouch for that. Thank you.

  40. beth nixon

    It’s why I stopped blogging. It became a “thing”. A “thing” to attract more readers. It became something other than just writing.
    I hope you do continue because I read yours because it isn’t a “thing” but like listening to a friend.

  41. Michelle

    You just put into words the very reason why I quit blogging. Why I lost my love and zest for it. It became too commercial. It lost its feeling of community. It became a popularity contest about who could get the most awards, the most mentions on other sites, the most traffic, the most ads, the most promotion, the most the most the most whatever… I hardly even read blogs anymore except for a select few. It’s sad. It makes me feel as if I have lost a very special part of me. I miss blogging, I miss the old days when it was truly for me. Like you, I started to wonder if my content was worthy to put out there. I started to wonder if people would enjoy reading a particular post and whether it would get comments. That’s when I quit. When it became more about the readers than myself, it was no longer for me. I miss that. That said, I can’t bring myself to close down my blog because I keep hoping that somehow I will be able to write again… I keep hoping that it will come back to me.

  42. Laura

    My favorite blogs are the ones where the writers just talk about their day – be it funny, sad, dull, whatever. I don’t want to read about every minute of someone’s day, but gosh I love having someone write about something I’m feeling. the vulnerability level is what I think separates a great blog from a boring/average/ok blog.
    What I HATE are blogs full of giveaways and REVIEWS! I hate REVIEWS in the middle of a regular blog.
    Anyway — you’re doing great. Don’t feel like you have to write everyday — you’re in our readers, therefore when you write it comes up, when you don’t we read other blogs. No big deal.

  43. Amie aka MammaLoves

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    I feel the exact same way. People used to comment on each others blogs. We used to share stories. Now I feel like a big fat failure because I don’t get sponsored or have a brand or a niche or anything.
    I’m so happy to know there are bloggers out there who still don’t know why they do it. It makes me feel so much better to know that if YOU don’t know why you’re doing it, then I can not know too.

  44. Alice

    I hope that this gets you through the hump, because I’m someone who’s always LIKED reading about the stretch marks, pee-when-you-sneeze stuff. Healthcare and Health Insurance Reform are interesting, but I already have a lot of places to read and talk about that. There still aren’t enough places where people (who write well) talk about the daily bits of life that drag us the fuck down.
    Because finding people who write well about that stuff (as you do) is why I read blogs in the first place. It makes it easier to get up out of a funk, knowing that other people have to deal with this shit, too. And it’s great to see when things are going well, but I personally can’t take the All Sunshine And Roses All The Time blogs. They weary me.

  45. Tricia

    Guess what? As a blog reader but never a blog writer I can even begin to tell you how much I hate how blogs have changed. I feel every blog has an agenda and unless it was a blog I read long before the dawn of Twitter Ibdon really bother reading new blogs anymore. Even some of my favorite bloggers that in the past I loved for their raw feelings and sometimes unpolished writing don’t appeal to me anymore.
    The minute I started finding my fav bloggers and following them on Twitter I basically gave up my blog reading habit. So even though people flock to Twitter to gain readership on their blogs I find myself ignoring the blog link because I feel you’re trying too hard to gain readers.
    That being said, after reading this blog post that directed me from Twitter I suddenly remembered how much I do enjoy this blog and all that you’ve written. Glad to be back.
    Was my comment clear as mud?

  46. am

    I stopped reading blogs that are more about brand and topics than they are about life and living. Sadly the number is pretty high…so many people stopped caring about the reason they started writing in the first place. Life.
    Please don’t ever stop that. I have grown to love you since like …gah, 2005 or sommat, because you’re honest, real and you write about whatever because it’s yours. I love it…and I’m SO SICK of brands and name dropping and relevant topical bullshit that I could scream. Please just write about you, because you do it brilliantly.
    You’re amazing, inspiring and talented. Fuck the brand. You’re the brand. The end.
    PS: Where is Melly? I loved her too…

  47. mariah

    I’m new to your blog, but I love it b/c it is authentic (did I spell that right?) I stay far away from BRAAANNNDS You’re real, I like that about you!

  48. Karen Chatters

    You have a wonderful blog. You write about things that are YOU. And it’s YOUR blog, so you should be able to write whatever you want. You can do whatever you want with your blog and if people don’t like it, then they can go somewhere else.
    I would love to make a zillion dollars from my blog. Wouldn’t we all? But I won’t, so I’ll blog because I enjoy it and have things to say that I find interesting. And hopefully someone else will find it interesting too, and if not, they’ll go else where.
    Odds are good I’m not going to write a book. But isn’t this our book? Isn’t this the book of our lives, even if we never get them printed. In some ways, this is part of our legend. This is what our kids are going to look at to get the story of our lives. And theirs.

  49. Overflowing Brain (Katie)

    I read a post at a big BIG blog (that I secretly cannot stand, but it’s like a damn trainwreck, I HAVE to go back) and she stated plainly that she blogged for money and for site hits. And she went on to say that anyone who didn’t wasn’t blogging, they were journalling.
    And I sat back for a moment and considered it.
    And then I realized that that might be true, but I liked my “journal” a hell of a lot better than I liked her “blog” and the same thing goes here. I like this site SO much better than all the other ones that are those that claim to be doing it right.
    It’s not about that. It’s about the writing. And I love yours.

  50. joyfan

    Please stop caring so much about comparing yourself to others and “JUST START WRITING AGAIN BECAUSE I MOTHER FUCKING LOVE TO WRITE”. Please. Please. I just enjoy reading you – but forget about me – if you just enjoy writing, then write! No one can make you feel inadequate – you choose that. And if you need to feel some love, then here: ((((((()))))))) I love love love your blog!

  51. Min

    I never comment for the same reasons you mentioned about posting. Will she like my comment? Will people think I’m crazy or judge my words? Will she even read this comment? There are so many all ready.
    Since you were brave enough to publish this post, I think it’s time to be brave enough to comment.
    Your blog has always been a role model because of how down to earth and real it felt. Your posts never seemed forced and I felt like you were talking to me directly. I have cheered on your little ones and celebrated your mile stones with you despite not knowing you. I thought you were a rockstar for going to blogher (something I wanted to do so badly but know it will never happen) and I was stoked when it happened and looked forward to your follow up recap.
    Your body image struggles have given me courage and helped me feel a little less akward about myself.
    I wish I could change it for you, protect you from your fears of being judged. I miss your posts. :(

  52. Dee

    I just wanted to say I have been a blog lurker for years. YEARS. I only just very recently started to blog myself. One of the very first blogs I read, was yours. I have had your site bookmarked so long I feel like I know you. So, please keep up with blogging just the way you are.

  53. tena

    I write exactly like you said you started out. Sometimes it’s painful to go back and read the archives, but like you, I fucking love it! I just thank God, I missed that “show your stretch marks” phase.

  54. Sarah's Dandelions

    and YOU are the reason I started blogging. I love your stories and your realness. Just keep being you and know that there are so many of us who appreciate you and all the real things you write about!

  55. Skye

    I’m not partial to The Brands.
    I like Real.
    That is why I read you.
    I love your heart and your writing.
    (And) that is why I come back again and again.

  56. Keith

    It’s amazing who’s listening. Write, write, and write some more. Blog for the blog of it :-)
    The initial fun…….I just had one of those moments when I read this post.
    Have a great one!
    Keith

  57. sassy

    And THESE are the reasons that still read your blog but don’t read other ones anymore. I come here anxious to read stories about your kids and your adventures with weight loss, health issues etc. Because you are REAL. You are a person. Not a brand. And that is why you are wonderful. Stay real. The world loves the real you.

  58. Tina

    Y, don’t you DARE let others drag you down! I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, and yours is one of my favorites, because it’s so real – I can identify with everything you write about. I’m just starting out blogging, and I’m fighting the same battle – personal blogs aren’t “good enough” apparently. I say, screw them, write about WHATEVER YOU WANT, and be proud of it!

  59. the new girl

    Did you change the name of this post? If you did (and I’m not losing it) I like it.
    Your whole post was so interesting for me to read. The progression and the shifting of the culture is fast, right? Faster than in many other areas, probably.
    I think about the topic a lot, too. I blog as a hobby and so when there’s a lot of focus on business and branding and ad revenue, I kind of hear white noise in my head. I think that it’s 10 kinds of awesome if people can make money and even a living from their blogging. But it doesn’t diminish the fact that many, many, many of the bloggers I like to read are doing what you’re doing. Writing about life. It’s no less fascinating than in the old days, I just think the focus around us has changed.
    I’ll be reading as long as you’re writing. And I think the blog world would be missing something without you in it.
    Just saying.

  60. Cristie

    Hi,
    I am “new” to this (one year) and one you were my Melly. I found you and you made me laugh and made me know it was all going to get better someday and made me know that I had to write it all out too. I am new but I still understand how you feel because I started this for personal reasons and I feel like I’m somehow failing because I’m not getting tons of freebies or making money or getting on The Today Show.
    Please don’t stop. You are more important now than ever. You and your honesty and your humour and your pictures (especially of Jay:)) Basically, this horribly constructed, not fit to post, run on sentence garble just says this,
    Don’t go away. Write like the wind. There are plenty of us that need you even if we can’t afford to sponsor you.:)

  61. Lynn

    I LOVE that you spelled “intimidated” wrong in your title. Because it means your writing is real and honest and raw. It’s not polished and professional and branded and BORING.
    I’m fighting the big machine, too. I hit publish all of the time on raw writing that is unpolished, and then question myself later because I sound whiny/emotional/crazy. I could spend more time editing and polishing, but then I wouldn’t have time to do the REAL stuff I do that feeds my writing, like cook and play and clean house and hang out with my four kids. And don’t forget having wine, watching movies, reading books, seeing friends, and bedding my sexy husband.
    I actually set out to maybe make money with my blog, but haven’t really spend the time/energy to make it happen. I’m very new, just a few months in, and already I just enjoy writing about my little life, infusing it with meaning, connecting with others. I respect so much what you’ve done and I read you regularly–you are building it bigger and keeping it real. That’s hard. Please keep inspiring me! Don’t go all branded on me, please! I need to know there are established blogs out there who aren’t perfect and spell things wrong, too. Thank you!

  62. rose

    I think I’ve been reading since you started writing. I see the same changes you see. I read blogs for the writing, not the contests, not the formulaic output, or the reviews. You are a writer-a good one. You are able to convey many moods and emotions. Your humor is priceless, your love for you family is boundless. I have learned a lot from your tenacity, whether it be your health issues or your desire to master photography. I have lost so many good reads over the years as the writers become disenchanted with the medium, or hurt by the haters, or redirect their energy to twitter. I hope you continue to write in a way that is valuable to you.

  63. LauraC

    I’m a longtime blogger with a small blog and have watched the blogging craziness build to fever pitch lately. Whenever I start to feel like I don’t want to blog, I think about the reasons I blog:
    * I blog because my 76 year old grandma gets up every morning to read about her great-grandsons then she emails me.
    * I blog because I am looking for real connections and a real community.
    * I blog because I love that I have a forever journal of this amazing time in my life.
    * I blog because it has brought so much more into my life than I ever expected.
    None of these things have to do with branding or getting huge. I do it because I love it.
    And there are those of us who read because we are looking for people who love the writing and sharing.

  64. LoneStarLifer Paula

    Y-
    You are one of the reasons I started blogging. I probably read you, Heather, Melissa for two years before I felt brave enough to try. One reason I continue to read you is because you are honest and real. I can relate to your struggles with weight, marriage, kids, self-image. But in all of that mix is a sense of humor that carries you and your family through, and I like seeing that side of your life, also. I DO NOT BEGRUDGE the trips that some bloggers get to take, like DisneyMoms or the Olympics. In fact, I like those bloggers and I am truly happy they get to do such things, but that’s a world I can’t relate to. The hot mess of everyday family life, that I can relate to!
    Maybe I’m naive, but I think there is room in the blogosphere for all kinds of bloggers. I’ve been blogging almost a year, and I feel immense pressure to figure out how to “market” myself and figure out my niche. Reading too much Twitter can put me in a frenzy to find my brand and find sponsors. I don’t fit in a niche, I just write. From my heart. And I need to remember that this is the reason I started reading you, and the reason I started blogging.
    Let me be clear, I am in no way criticizing those bloggers who have a brand, have a gimillion followers, fly from conference to conference to speak, etc. They have figured out what they want to do and they are doing it, AND that is one thing I LOVE about blogging. Women (and some men) have found a entirely new outlet for their creativity, their passions, their skills. Whole new worlds are open to them that weren’t in the past. But bloggers, fans and readers, please remember, we all blog for different reasons, and no reason is right or wrong. It’s just us.
    Take care.
    LoneStarLifer
    Paula

  65. Danielle

    I like your blog as is – I only wished you post every single day multiple times a day b/c I want more more MOARR!! also, if start writing about healthcare reform I’m out. :)

  66. amy2boys

    Hi! I’m a lurker (sorry). LOVE this post.
    I am still just trying to write things about my kids that I don’t want to forget and document a little of my days and my feelings. I rarely look at stats, and while I’ve made decisions about what I want my blog to be, they weren’t “branding” decisions.
    It’s hard – I feel the same way you do. I’m an educated person and I could be “adding value” but — that isn’t what it’s about to me. If I never grow as a blogger (traffic), I’m growing as a woman and as a person.
    My favorite: “People are writing about HEALTH CARE REFORM AND YOU’RE WRITING ABOUT PEEING WHILE YOU SNEEZE YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.”

  67. Stacey

    I just recently started reading your blog and have enjoyed it. But, the fact that you’ve ended this post with “I JUST LOVE TO MOTHERFUCKING WRITE” has sealed your blog’s place as top 5 in my book.
    I’m so sick of people blogging to fit a particular personality – ‘you can’t be negative, don’t say anything bad, don’t swear, you don’t know who may read it’ etc., etc., etc.
    Blogging is meant to be an outlet, a way to share commonalities and the joys and trials of REAL life, life that happens OUTSIDE of this 15in screen.
    Write on Sista’!

  68. Jean

    I’m just a lowly reader, not a writer. But I love to read your blog because of you. I don’t look for branding…I look for someone who is honest, who shares there life and makes me understand that everything I’m going through in my life (kids, job, relationships etc.) are just like everyone else. Makes me feel part of something bigger, that there are others who understand.

  69. Shelley

    I don’t have anything new to say – the previous commenters have said pretty much what I’m thinking after reading this post. But I’m going to comment anyway because I think it’s important to be supportive of creativity, and it’s a message you need right now.
    I check your blog all the time, and I love the way you write. And yes, like you did with Melly, I always think we could be friends. That’s why I keep coming back. And back. And back. I don’t care at all about ‘branding’, and I never even look at the ads. (And I worked in advertising before becoming a stay at home mom!)
    If blogging is something you love, don’t let anything take it from you. If branding, page views & the business of blogging causes you heartache, then try to ignore that part of it. Because blogging is like high school. What has become the small ‘in-crowd’ of the blogging world is like the popular kids at a high school in the next town. Most people don’t know or care about them. I guarantee you that most people reading blogs are unaware of all of that drama. Most people are like me, just people looking to get a glimpse into someone else’s life so we know that we are not alone. And when we come across a blog that’s obviously a brand, we keep right on going.
    I hope all the support you’re getting now helps to ease the struggle you’re feeling. Because people like me need people like you.

  70. Jen

    i pee when i sneeze too – and i’m only 29. And now i’m pregnant again so it’s much worse. And now i have a cold – and the coughing! but thank you – i like the peeing stories…they make me feel better. and i only shop and thrift stores and walmart (ahh, the hated walmart, but it’s what we can afford) so i don’t give too hoots what brands you put up – they ‘ain’t’ for me! thanks for being you!

  71. ElizabethZ

    I read your blog because I like to read what you write. Period.
    Brand, schmand. Also, brand can suck it. :)

  72. Laura McCammon

    Hi there. I’ve been reading your blog for a while, used to follow on twitter, but never really commented. I am a “newer” blogger, about a year plus now. I feel the same way, however, I don’t do any extras on my blog. I have taken it back and turned in to “my” space, as it was. I write about the non-trivial things, do pictures so that my family can see what my children are up tp (the whole reason I started the blog in the first place) and to keep in touch with the very few friends I have kept when I left twitter and FB. This is your place, you are a fantastic person, writing and very inspiring. Please don’t stop because a handful of people out there put “mommy bloggers’ in “that” category. We would miss you too much!!

  73. Jessie P.

    Yes, please. Stop thinking and just write. I’m so sad when I come to your blog and there is no post. I love your stories and the way that you tell them (funny or sad).

  74. Kori

    I think the “real” writers are the people like you, like me, like thousands of others just like us. the coll stuff is great but honestly, once a person gets “cool” and stops writing about real stuff, the are immediately deleted from my reader-because if I want fluff, I can go buy LAdies Home Journal or watch sitcoms. It isn’t real, you know?

  75. kathy

    Sassy said it for me – it’s the reason I’m still reading your blog. I find the minutiae of your day fascinating! Ok, your writing, your way of expressing yourself is what makes it fascinating. Thanks!

  76. Monica

    I’ll just be totally boring and say YES YES YES YES YES. I feel EXACTLY the same and I don’t seem to be able to stop writing about “how it was back then”. And back then, and back then…. God it drives me crazy! I seem to blog about how-blogging-used-to-be-but-isn’t-anymore more than anything else. I struggle so much with how different it is now. But I keep pushing. I WILL keep pushing because I LOVE it.
    And yes, this is the only kind of blog I’ll read, too. Well, maybe not, but the only kind I love.

  77. Ailis

    I come here, and to other blogs, to read the stories. All the stories. About your kids, your doctor visits, your struggles with weight. I come to learn. I come because it helps me feel less alone sometimes. I come because you make me laugh … and sometimes cry. I am one of many who are grateful you have decided to share your life and be open and honest. When you get opportunities to meet cool people, I’m excited for you. I have never met you but feel like I know you, even thought I’m sure there are private things about your life you choose not to share and I understand that. No matter who we are and what we believe, there will always be people who disagree and are haters. That you have the courage to continue to tell your story, that anyone who blogs has this courage, says that you are a person with strong character. You should be proud of yourself. Please keep doing what you are doing.

  78. crystal

    PLEASE dont start writing about health care reform. I come here to read all about haircuts, doctor’s, your weight loss battles, cheeseburger parties, and aerobic dancing (which how is that going? still claiming your “spot” on the floor?!?!)
    I love just hearing about you (and I bet WE would make awesome friends)! :)

  79. Cheryl

    I don’t comment often, Y, but I enjoy everything you write about. I think I like the trivial, day to day, stuff the most. Peoples’s lives are interesting because they are different. Another blogger I had read for several years recently quit because of too much criticism and judgement. Don’t quit! I come here for the “real life” stories.

  80. Rachael

    I didn’t really start blogging until a couple of years ago. I feel like I came into it right as all of this ‘branding’ and stuff was starting to happen. It’s huge. It seems like so many women out there want to be Dooce and make a living. The problem is that for most people who blog, this isn’t going to be a career. Just as with writing books, you need to have a talent that puts you in a class of your own. I am never going to be that. And that’s not why I blog. I don’t look at the ads on people’s blogs. I read big ones and small ones. I have read some of the bigger ones and stopped because they weren’t entertaining. And I read some that have maybe 50 readers because they entertain me and I make friends. I love your blog. I don’t care about any of that other stuff. I don’t see what is wrong with just writing to write. It’s a shame that there are negative people who choose to read blogs they hate then say mean things. Which I really don’t get – if you don’t like it, why are you reading it?? In any case, I like your blog. And I think it’s great. And I think we should all just keep writing.

  81. mamapajama

    Y,
    Can I just say that the reason I started reading your blog, was because of your commentary and stories on everyday life. It’s real, it’s raw, it’s funny, it’s sad, it’s weird, IT’S AWESOME! All of it!
    Forgot blogging as a business and write what you like, when you like it. Obvs you have quite the fan base and I can pretty much gurantee they like Y the writer, more so than Y, THE-FAMOUS-MOMMY BLOGGER! Know what I’m saying my dear? Please just write whatever you want. I may have a comment now and again, but it will always be respectful, because that’s how I was raised. Haters are sad people who should be pitied and then ignored. :)

  82. angie

    I can relate. I have a sort-of weight loss/mommy/my life blog and I haven’t updated it for almost 3 months now because I have nothing to say that feels “important” enough for my 26 little followers to read. And I’m sure they’ve all forgotten me by now and don’t even care.
    My favorite blogs are ones like yours – where I can read stories and anecdotes about little things in their life that I can relate to. Peeing when you sneeze? Girl, bring on those stories! I can top them with “farting while I do sit ups at the gym.” Yeah. That’s why I love coming here. It’s like visiting with a good friend and just sharing laughs, tears, happiness, and hugs. It’s comfortable here and I don’t feel like I shouldn’t be here.
    I don’t comment often, but I do read everything you post and I love all of it!

  83. Kathleen

    Give me “peeing when you sneeze” over “health-care reform” any day! I don’t come here for a lecture or infomercial or commentary on the latest social or (gag) political ill befalling our country. I come to find out what’s new with my “friend”. Because that’s how I think of you when I read your blog. I’m checking in on my friend. Who I’ve never met. Whose Ugly Sweater Christmas party I totally would have loved!

  84. Leigh

    I don’t want to talk about health care reform! I don’t want to talk about whatever laundry detergent someone wants you to shill! I do, however, need to know that I’m not the only person who pees when I sneeze. Please keep writing about the good, REAL stuff.

  85. Janet

    I love you for writing about your stretch marks and your daughters first salon visit. Those are the bloggers that I love to read. You are one of the good ones, who let us share the good, bad, and ugly of everyday life. I thank you for that. I think if what you do makes you happy, then that is enough. Some want to build a brand and that’s fine too, but if you just want to write then I say write. I’ll read it. If I want news I’ll watch the news. I much prefer knowing that I’m not the only one out there who sometimes pees a little when she sneezes.

  86. girlplease

    For 8 hours a day I have heatlhcare reform shoved down my throat.
    I go on blogs/other sites to read about peeing yourself because you sneezed.
    Let the other mommy bloggers brand themselves. Stay original and you. Brands are boring.

  87. becky

    Ah, I do remember those days so well. I have felt so much of the extraneous crap pushing down on me that I haven’t quite been able to write either. There’s so much in my head, and so much pressure to do things a certain way, get so many comments, attract the right marketers. Sigh. I need to get back to just enjoying writing. I should be writing about my son so I can remember later on. My memory is so fuzzy anyway I want to document it. For me & not anyone else.

  88. jadine

    Your blog was one of the first I’d ever read. I was immediately hooked because you were honest and funny and you used the f-word! I was shocked! I was amused! I like reading anecdotes, cheering for you, and reading about things we have in common. It’s sort of voyeuristic (okay, entirely voyeuristic), but I appreciate you and your blog. I can imagine the effort that must go into thinking of things to write, and the time it must take to write, but there’s no standard to uphold, and there are no rules to follow. Your blog can evolve with you. Please keep writing!

  89. Marci

    I have been reading blogs for a really long time, including yours. Yours was one of the very first ones I found, actually. Now I know why…you were a blogging pioneer!
    Reading you and other people’s stories can be fun, uplifting, heartbreaking, inspiring. I like to read stories. I never look at the ads. Who cares?
    I don’t blog myself but I value yours and look forward to following your ups and downs. I hope you can find the balance and the courage to keep writing. That is why I am here.

  90. Diantha

    I need you to keep writing. I don’t comment much but i read! You give me the strength to get through the trivial days right now. I have 3 little ones at home and sometimes I need to know that someone understands. Oh wait not sometimes but always. I too blog, but don’t feel like I can write freely because people will think there is something wrong with me. Being a mother is hard….being a wife is hard….being myself is hard!
    Please keep writing!

  91. Leah

    Keep blogging what your heart tells you too. I would much rather hearing about you peeing while sneezing than health care reform any day. Your blog is funny and inspirational, keep going!

  92. Casie

    Yay! The everyday stuff makes me happy. BTW, totally w/ you on food textures. I can’t STAND carrots raw.

  93. Susan

    Y — I hear you. It seems like everyone who started blogging about the same time are feeling some sort of blog identity crisis. I wish I could just forge forward, but the words just don’t seem to come.

  94. Kelley

    Y, I’ve been reading you for a long time, before your daughter was a twinkle in your eye…and I keep coming back because you write about your real life. Keep doing what you want to do, forget about strangers telling you what you should write about.

  95. statia

    I love you, asshole.
    It’s so true though. I struggle with it. Part of me wants to be a brand, just so I can stay home with my kids and write for a living, the other part of me gets exhausted thinking about it. I love the old days, and I miss them. I miss the simplicity of it.

  96. Twenty Four At Heart

    I’ve stopped reading so many blogs because hearing about their business and their BRAAAAAAAANNNDDD makes me want to barf. Not that I care if someone else is all about the money – that’s fine … but it’s also boring. I read the people who interest me. The people who interest me are telling real stories about their lives not marketing to me.

  97. lorrie

    Everybody seems to be thinking about this recently, and I’ve read a couple of “Goodbye World” posts. I thought about it and while I’m all OVER the money and branding part of it, especially since I lost my job in December, I mostly want to do it for two reasons:
    1. I’m a raging egomaniac.
    2. For the CHILDREN.
    My blog, http://cluelessincarolina.blogspot.com
    THERE!! I’M BRANDING!!! CLICK ON ME YOU MOFOS!!! lol is telling the story of our lives. When Roger & I are resting in our little urns they’ll be able to get the book I intend to get printed up and read about their childhood. And remember how deeply, profoundly hilarious I am. And how deeply, profoundly well I can write. And how deep is this comment getting!!!!!
    Keep writing!!!

  98. Heather

    I think the whole “brand” thing is really starting to get on my nerves! My favourite part about reading blogs is people who are authentic and not ridiculously concerned with their market share.

  99. angelynn

    Thank you for writing this. What I like to write and read are the everyday stories too. That’s what connects us. To narrow the topics you’re able to write about because you’re worried about advertising must be intensely difficult. I do get a sense of relief in being rather “unknown” because I have the freedom to say anything. Thank you for reminding everyone that you have the right no matter how long you’ve been around to write for yourself and no one else.

  100. Veronica

    Get out!! Melly was my first blog too!!! I loved her writing!! I hadf a blog for 5 years because of her. I still think about her and wonder what happened. Did she end up with the baby daddy? Did she ever get out her mom’s house? These are things I wonder all the time!

  101. pamela

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. Beautiful. I still remember the first blog I read and think about how amazing that person was. and BRAVE

  102. Alicia

    So. I know that I’ve been here before, but now I’m adding you to my motherfucking reader, motherfucker, because I think I’m in love with you.

  103. suzanne

    Yours is one of the few blogs I still enjoy reading. Because want to know why? You have not sold out. You write because you love it. Not to make a living, not to get more exposure.
    Every blogger I adored has sold out so big that I can’t even read them anymore.
    It says alot about you that you are one of the few I have stuck with. There is something so genuine about you.

  104. schmutzie

    I so feel you in this post. My own blog has been intimidating me for months, because this shift in blogging seems to have somehow depersonalized it to an extent. I say we should take it back!

  105. eli

    I read the beautiful Melly too! Her cute lil’ cherub must be preparing for college by now ;-) I followed her to her private blog – but have lost touch. :( I have read you from your earliest days — Mir and Chris too (who actually came a bit after some of the earlier blogs.) I wrote too for me, my very small audience — never had any sort of agenda, other than my storng beliefs, life moments – depressive battles…NEVER even getting close to your size of audience. I just don;t get the current goings-ons in blog-dom, and don;t care. I read you and my fav earlys…and a niche group that I adore. Other than that — I have never had a desire to be in for business or get involved in those that were going that direction. I do wish all the best for all that are blogging. I have so many thoughts on this — but tend to not bother anymore. Life is to interesting in my lil’ corner, my kids – my dull life. ;-)
    Hugs and KEEP on writing — you do it SO very well!

  106. Linda

    I knew you’d get tons of comments, Y, and although I haven’t read them all, I know what they say. Because we love your blog, your honesty, your children, your struggles, triumphs, photographs, stories, stretch marks, confessions, humor, and every pound up OR down. We just love you and are glad you came to the party, and stayed – into the part of the evening where we kick off our shoes and laugh. You make me think about my life, and I read you every single day that you’re here. Don’t go changing. (Unless YOU want to! ):^D xo

  107. Jenni Williams

    Just found your blog for the first time today, after Maria linked to it (yeah I am behind). I am a new-ish blogger have only been at it 18 or so months. I have no BRAND, I make no money. I do it because I like to write about my family, I like to share my struggles with infertility, autism, and loss. I like not feeling alone. I haven’t been to a conference because I am afraid I wont fit in since I have no desire to turn my personal blog into a business. I am not a professional. I am just a mom, who happens to like to write and share.
    Awesome post. Thanks.

  108. APeetsMom

    Amen Sister – you do it. Been coming here since…? 2006? Has is been that long already? Wow. Ok. Well you keep writing – good for your soul and hell – you are so funny!

  109. daniel

    All that trivial crap that nobody cares about? That’s why I still read you. All those “mommybloggers” that are pushing their brand? Pretty much dropped from my reading list.

  110. Heather of the EO

    There are many many many of us that love this exact kind of blog. Yours. The writing and the community. I can’t even really wrap my mind around what “brand” even means. But I know good writing and story-telling and being real and you are all of those things.
    I totally understand what you mean about the pressure. I often sit with my posts and think “this isn’t interesting enough” or “this isn’t like that or that.” But then I always try to remember that whatever is on my heart to write, trivial and not, that’s ME. I am my “brand” and that’s all I want to be. Whatever that means :)

  111. Maggie, dammit

    I guess I just don’t see why anything HAS to change. Who says we can’t do what we’ve always done? I’m not thinking about branding and nobody can make me. (Can you tell I was in a car for 15 hours today?) I can’t seem to make my words right now, I just mean I’d hate to lose those handful of original blogs that embody what personal blogging was–and why should I have to? I shouldn’t have to. Nobody can change you and nobody can change me. What are we losing, really? Keep writing, Y.
    And keep being exactly who you are. Please.

  112. Sharon Heg

    I’ve been blogging, on and off, for about 5 years now. But I’ve never given a rat’s patootey about my “brand” or if what I was writing was “right.” I wrote what was and is important to me. No one else. Creative writing is my therapy and if I can make myself feel good because I wrote something clever or touching, then I’ve been successful. Other peoples’ opinions are secondary, if of any consequence at all. Which is probably a good thing since the most amount of hits I’ve ever had in one day is 63, LOL!
    You’re #1. Concentrate on making yourself happy with your writing. Consider it to be a diary…something to look at when you’re an old lady and want to remember what your life was like in the earliest days of the 21st century. All the rest is gravy.
    IMHO. YMMV. LOL.

  113. edenland

    I love this post. I get it …. apparently I feel like I “get you” after reading this one post. (Here via Five Star Friday.)
    I wouldn’t know what the fuck my brand is. Chick with long nostril hairs, children, and a motherfucking crazy head?? Pffft. All I know is, blogging is the one thing in my life I do that I ADORE. I found my voice, and I’m so grateful.
    And good luck with getting yours back again. Just pretend you’re talking to a few of your closest girlfriends, shootin the shit in your living room.

  114. Kelly

    New reader here, but I have to say that I’ve seen many wonderful writers say the same thing you are. I think the pendulum is swinging back in the other (right) direction… so just hold on and keeping doing your thing.
    Also, Melly was one of my firsts, too! Ordinary Morning was recommended to me back in early 2002. She was so captivating; it’s what kept me in the blogosphere for so long. She was an original.

  115. Wacky Mommy

    i have to come back tomorrow and read all the comments, i love that you wrote this post. i’ve been blogging for five years now? oh. my lands. I found Amalah first, then Zoot, you, Rockstar Mommy and Dooce, and it was like… my tribe. I like seeing how everyone has changed and morphed and the blogs have shifted as our kids have gotten older (my kids flip now when I write too much about them, but they’re okay w/ short, fast posts about them on facebook). it’s an incredible gift (and freedom) that your family has given you, to really dive into the domestic stuff the way you do.
    i miss doing that.
    I’m doing mostly book reviews now and recipes. I miss the old days, the unhinged freedom, but damn, y’all are celebrities now. It’s cool, but a little kooky, eh? I’ll never be a celebrity like that, but i’m happy, anyway. My blog has saved me, on a number of occasions :)
    okay, now bean dip????

  116. Katie

    I am always excited when I see a post from Joy Unexpected appear in my feed reader. Some of the ‘branded’ bloggers are fantastic. But most of them crumble under the pressure and their blog sounds and feels fake. Keep on doing what you’re doing!

  117. AA

    Just try to forget we are all here and write what you want for you. Quit all the blogging stuff except the actual blog writing. it’s okay to have something just for the sheer joy of it.
    I have stopped reading many blogs over the years because they became too much of all the things you mentioned. You are one of the ones I have read for years and still do. I could name several that I read and loved (because I happened to find them when they were brand new), but no longer read because once they are so huge they no longer interest me. I always worry that you will fall prey to that. But so far, NOT! Yea!

  118. sam {temptingmama}

    I love you, Y. And you’re not alone. Not at all. I’ve been feeling the same thing towards blogging lately. Personal blogging is not what it used to be and I don’t know that I want to follow the path it’s taking, yanno? But I love it, I love writing and sharing and I feel like it’s not good enough, that I must have an ulterior motive in order for people to like it anymore.
    *hugs* I’m always here reading. Always.

  119. Mary @ Holy Mackerel

    First time here, but will be coming back!
    Loved this post. It emulates exactly how I’ve been feeling, although I’ve been a part of the blogging world for only 2 years or so.
    There is definitely too much out there of “how it’s supposed to be”, and not enough of “just being”.
    Keep on doing what you’re doing, because you’re doing it right!

  120. Tiffany Hamilton

    Y, I have been reading for several years now and I keep reading because I can relate. You are real, funny and not preachy so keep writing and if they read fine, if not you have something for you and your family to look back on and remember what it was like raising your kids in this hectic world we live in. I no longer read the first blogger I found who eventually turned me on to other blogs, she got too political and preachy and just out there. That is fine for her and where she is in her life, but it doesn’t seem real and she turned it into a business…I don’t want the facade, I want to read about real problems, and funny stories that I can relate to. That is you….keep writing from the heart and let the chips fall where they may.

  121. guarros

    Truth be told / I’m not sure what the whole branding thing is all about. Is that OK to admit ignorance like that? If a mom who blogs never really gets read, is she a mommyblogger? That’s kind of my stance, for me.
    I started a blog because I was lazy and wanted to cut corners when people emailed, called or texted about how I was feeling when I got knocked up – I sent them to my blog. Lazy woman’s mass email – or so I thought.
    Since then, it has become so much more than that – and even if it’s just my mom and a friend or two who read it – it’s something that I love doing so I’m going to keep doing it. I can pull up the last few years of my life at a moment and see what (exactly) I was up to. More than a few failed attempts at keeping up with a journal through out my life can’t give me that.
    I have seen the stigmas around the ‘mommyblogger’ title / pigeon hole that some get put into – but I think if you stay you – who you were when you started writing/the reason you started writing and continue to write/ F everyone else? Just in reading through some comments here – it’s clear that the bottom line is – write because you want to and we’ll be reading because we want to! F everyone else!

  122. gingermog

    I think I found you through Melly. What happened to Melly? I;ve been rreading a small amount of Womens ‘s blog for years and I remember the days before advertisment and back lash bitchery. I always think your a fine, intelligent, witty woman.

  123. jodifur

    This post sums up so much what I have been feeling for a few weeks now. In fact, I’ve had a similar, not so well written post in draft form sitting on the compost screen on my blog waiting to be posted.
    I’ve always said that I started blogging because it was fun, and it when it stops being fun, I’m not blogging anymore.
    It’s not fun anymore.

  124. Dory

    And now you know how far behind I am in my reader. *facepalm*
    Y, I love your writing. You inspire me.
    I’ve had you in my reader since… late 2007 I think. And I’ve granted you permanent immunity from unsubbing. And there’s about a handful of people that I’ve got on that list. It’s a short list, and you’re on it.

  125. B

    Just found your blog today . . . . thanks for this post! I’m thinking of starting one (ever the early-adopter, that’s me :) Just writing to write, hoping someone will be touched/moved/amused. Makes me smile. Keep writing woman. Well done.

  126. C Momma

    I just foudn your blog, hence the comment days later, but I have to say that I enjoy it….especially the trival things (it’s nice to know I am not the only one who pees a little when she sneezes!). Keep writing about what YOU want and being YOU.
    THAT is your brand and it’s all you need.

  127. Laura Weiss

    There is no meta-blogging. No one likes it and it’s against the point. You are fine, you are great. Most everyone, including myself, thinks so or you wouldn’t have the followers that you do.

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