Living YOUR Life

The other day someone asked me that awkward question of “What do you do for fun?”

I said I enjoyed running.  Since we are both runners, we chuckled at the response.  Then I added but when I’m not doing that I enjoy hanging out and blogging.

That’s when I got their attention (and mine for that matter.)

Rather curious, the next question they asked was: what goes on that blog?

For that I responded with: Whatever is going on in my life.  Sometimes I blog about my running, sometimes life in general, diners and occasionally food.  Basically it’s my space to write whatever I feel like writing.  (At that moment I thought I should have just said my fun is planning a wedding…since that is what people expect anyways ha ha).

People are genuinely curious about blogging.  Is it like a longer version of a facebook status?  A longer tweet?  Why do you do it?  Why not?

It did make me think a lot more about why I do blog.  I generally am asked why I blog once or twice a month.  Since I don’t hide the fact from friends and family (and have a lot that read…hello!) people are genuinely curious about blogging.  Whenever someone asks me that question I always think about my reasoning for blogging.  Do I blog for myself?  Do I blog for companies?  Do I blog to make millions?

While I can truly say I blog for myself (whether a post gets 1 hit or 1000), there have been times I’ve questioned that.  There have been times I’ve had to take a step back and realize that I’m never going to change my life or my plans to make it better fit the blog.  I’m going to change the tone of my blog or my beliefs to make a profit.  Once my computer turns off for the day or evening, you won’t find me on the media.


But then there is this side of blogging…Each of these thoughts has crossed my mind at least once while blogging. 

I do it for social media.

Riding a bike...for the media

Riding a bike…for the media

I logged a run to post it on dailymile…or twitter, instagram, facebook…my blog.

Smile and say "facebook"

Smile and say “facebook”

I went out to a restaurant to blog about it…to tweet about it…to take a photo of it.

Hold on don’t touch that, I need a photo. 



Want to go for a run and TAKE A PHOTO so we can put it up online?

I would do this…but what would my readers think?  (this generally pertains to companies asking to guest post) 

Blogging for me is a love/ hate relationship.  I love blogging and writing.  I love sharing my life whether good or bad.  I enjoy sharing my struggles, my good times, bad times and everything else in between.

There is a fine line about living your life for blogging and blogging while living your life. 

I’m guilty of having done things “for the blog”.  Would I have taken 983 photos of coffee for myself (instagram #coffeeaday)?  I don’t know but I highly doubt it.

It’s funny because you start blogging with the most basic goals.  You want to blog for yourself and look back on your life.  That is great.  Then as time goes on you find yourself reading and commenting on other blogs.  You find other blog authors reading and commenting on yours.

At a certain point it would seem weird if people didn’t respond to your posts.

You have built up a following and want to see it continue to grow.  You want to be one of those popular blogs that seems to effortlessly make money.   You spend all this time doing a hobby you enjoy but aren’t seeing monetary rewards.  That is when you ask yourself…are you doing this as a hobby or is it controlling your life?  For me, blogging is truly a hobby I enjoy.  There is an on/off switch.  I turn on the switch…write a post, then turn it off.  Whether blogging is your full time job, your part time job, or your hobby, you still must have that switch.  It is only one aspect of your life and should never be your entire life. 

When does it get to the point where it is too much?  When does it get to the point where your blog comes before friends and family? 

It shouldn’t.

You began a blog to chronicle your personal life.  If you begin living your life to blog then you have lost that.  You’ve lost what you started a blog for in the first place.  You’ve lost your voice.  You’ve also lost truly living your life.

It’s almost like back in grade school when one person starts a trend and we all follow.  One person raves about coconut oil, a few studies come out about how it is the greatest…now suddenly everyone loves it.  Now suddenly everyone is going out of their way to buy coconut oil to post about it (This is just an example…).

It’s a very interesting point to me.  Would you blog if you had no readers?  If no one knew you were blogging?  When a tree falls and no one is around to hear it…does it make noise?


38 responses

  1. First, I love that you blog and your approach to it. It’s honest and real, and I feel like I “know” you. That’s important to need in the blogs I read and the people I feel like I know outside of the blogworld.

    I think, for me, it’s important to recognize that blogging is reciprocal. Just like a conversation, I’d stop talking to someone if they didn’t respond, and it’s the same way with comments and reading other blogs. I’m not as good as staying current in my reader as I’d like – but I think blogging for me us about those relationships, and I like to maintain the important ones!

  2. This is why blogging will never be a source of any income for me. I blog when I have things I want to talk about and share. I have to be “feeling” a post to actually write it. I can’t just be like “hey, I’m going to write today!” I write when I have something to say or something I’ve been thinking about.

    If I had no readers, I’d still blog, but I think I’d write things a little differently. Running posts would be much the same, but posts about being trans would be a bit different. I try to write those to be targeted to *my* audience. If I wrote about transgender stuff in an overly academic way, I don’t think my audience would respond the way they do. I try to give a personal element to it. As much as possible, I want these posts to read like they’re just a friend talking to you about their life.

    • I agree with that. Each post I want to write…there isn’t anything or anyone telling me to post on x,y,z topic daily. I can’t imagine if there was.

      Your blog, Amelia, is one of the most real and one of my favorite blogs.

  3. When I started just a few months ago I had no idea what I was doing, and really just wanted to write and didn’t know or care who’d be reading. Now that I see what the “club” is all about things have changed. I see myself becoming hooked on social media and taking pictures of all my meals to promote myself. It’s weird but since I see traffic go up I keep doing what I’m doing. I like that you question all of this because it’s an easy thing to get caught up in and just keep going. Some good questions to ask myself.

  4. I wouldn’t. But I still would even if I was only engaging with one person. There are literally 4 people maybe that regularly read and that I interact with on twitter. And thats just fine for me. Cause a huge part of why i like being online is the interaction!

  5. I had no idea what I was doing when I started either. A friend suggested that I start a blog, so I did. Why not?
    I’ve learned a lot about blogging and social media that I never would have taken the time to learn. I feel this has been part of my journey as a life long learner.
    I enjoy responding to comments and having a dialog with readers. I enjoy writing as it allows me to express my self, think things throgh and get them off of my chest sometimes. All good.
    I have a free blog so I’m not making any money. It’s all just for fun.
    I am thinking of taking the leap to self hosted and promoting my business. This is a big step and I’m trying to get as much information as possible before I make my move.

  6. i have few readers, largely because my inconsistently. but i’m inconsistent for that very reason; im a busy lady and i have a life to LIVE. when i blog, great. when i dont, great.

  7. I really like your blogging style and that’s why I keep reading. I also occasionally review things and even restaurants and I don’t do it for money or compensation because well… I just like the places and want to tell my friends about them. I too have local readers as well as friend and family who read and like to let people know about what I like to do here in Charleston (after all, it is a popular tourist destination). And every blogger has taken pictures specifically for blogging and their blogs.

    As far as blogging if no one read, I would not. I’m not all about having tons of readers, comments, etc, but I wouldn’t put myself out there for no one to read. If I didn’t want anyone to read my writing, I’d keep a personal, private journal and put even more personal feelings in it. I did that through college and it was very therapeutic, and I still do occasionally.

    • I agree with that Amy. If I had no readers, it would make sense to have a private diary. I truly enjoy listening and hearing other people’s advice.

  8. My answer is easy – I was an anonymous, near-zero read blogger since 2002 on Blogger and Microsoft Live Spaces. Sure it was always ‘overflow’ – stuff I couldn’t write about on the tech/game/general interest sites I was writing for at the time. My output was sporadic and tended to be only a few hundred words here or there … but I have a whole history of output that almost no one read. So yeah, I’d do it 🙂

    But just like everyone else said – THIS is different … hanging out every day with all of you wonderful people for a short bit in our blog-world is a nice part of my life, a great place to share things with similarly-minded people who will hopefully call me on my BS as well as supporting me through everything.

    And as someone who grew up before the internet or cell phones … I embrace taking loads of pics – they are so easy to store and delete and collect up now … So while it is possible to do things you wouldn’t otherwise do JUST for the picture (my wife last night – STOP taking pictures of food and just dish it out already! haha) … I don’t let it change the trajectory of my life.

  9. I think part of why I shifted what I write about was so I could be more in the moment. I didn’t want every experience to be just for a blog. I love the way now I can talk about running from a perspective that shares my thoughts, but more true things that I wish I’d know when I started and less what is happening in my life…it’s a funny thing this blogging!

  10. Interesting results with the poll. I expected it to be more in favour of the other way 🙂

    Personally I would blog if I had no readers (maybe I don’t now, lol). It’s a reason why I don’t have comments on my blog. I can’t say I’m always going to have comments turned off, but it’s working for me now.

    I hardly check stats either. I like it. Makes it feel more like a journal…a very public journal.

  11. Your blog is authentic and that’s why you have so many readers. I hesitantly started a blog because I do love reading them and wanted to have a journal of my running to share and get feedback about. I don’t ever want to over promote, that’s my biggest pet peeve. Write how you feel and those who get your style will be drawn to you. The ones who aren’t will find a style that fits them and that’s perfectly fine. Your blog is great Hollie!!

  12. Interesting point. At this point I DO blog with nobody reading and have been for quite some time. It’s somewhat of an online journal for me, it may change at some point but I like recording my life for now.

  13. When I first started my blog it was more of an outlet because my friends weren’t runners or really into fitness and I didn’t want to spam my facebook with my running constantly…and to keep a log of my training and races. While my blog isn’t widely read nor do I promote it much it has helped me connect with local runners and build friendships. Considering I have a crazy busy professional life (that I love) it will never be more than a side hobby for me but I love how it has enabled me to make connections with the running community.

  14. This is one I’ve thought about a lot, and when the answer isn’t for me, I take a break (with or without saying so ha). I love to write and keep track of stuff and connect with other people, which is why I started in the first place, but above all, my blog is my space to do whatever I want. If that’s sharing races/running, food, life stuff, and whatever else, that’s what goes up. If I don’t feel like blogging or I only want to do it because I feel like I have to, then I don’t. Blogging is supposed to be fun (usually), and when it’s not, I know I need a break.

  15. I’m very “selective” about what goes on my blog. Training is a given, obviously, but I don’t talk about work too much or other personal stuff. I see my blog as a small snapshot of my life, and some things are the focus (training), and other blend into the background.

  16. I love your comparison of a blog to a “longer Facebook status.” I definitely think people judge me when I say I have a blog, like I think I’m soooo important and deserve to say more than the average person. The truth is, we all just like to write! It’s a cool way to chronicle your day-to-day life and have people respond who have similar interests and experiences as you. It’s (for the most part) fun and a great creative outlet. It’s funny because when I first started blogging (June 2013 up until January 2014) no one read my blog. I had maybe three comments on each post. But for some reason I kept chugging along. I’m not sure if it was for the hope that eventually more people would read or just that I genuinely loved blogging, but that’s a long time to be writing almost daily to not hear much back haha. But nowadays I LOVE blogging because of all the interactions I get to have with people! It’s an awesome feeling.

  17. i love that you only take 983 pictures of your coffee. I’ve been known to exhaust entire memory cards without getting that elusive thumbnail 😉 Please keep on blogging; we all need creative outlets!

    • LOL, I know the date I started recording the coffeeaday and just go from there! I won’t stop blogging for a while 🙂

  18. I think it would be harder to blog if no one was reading– a lot of what gets me writing is knowing that people will be reading what I write. BUT… even if no one read, I have grown to LOVE blogging as a way for me to relive my life! I love looking back at old posts and remembering what I did a year ago. Blogs are like a really big (public) diary 🙂

  19. Hmmmm….such an interesting question. I know that I love blogging, but a lot of why I love it is the people that I have met and connected with. I think I would have to say that if no one ever read or I was not connecting with anyone I might not.
    I can honestly say that I do not blog for money…blogging actually costs me money. I do occasionally get something free, but that has nothing to do with why I blog. Would it be nice to some day make some money doing it….well, yes of course…but I will not change what I want to say or change who I am to do that. I love to connect with other runners and people in general and this is such a fun way to do it. I like to encourage other runners or those just getting started. I would some day LOVE to be an online coach. I could coach and encourage others by helping them achieve their goals and they can read about mine on my blog 🙂
    All that being said I think I blog for the connection to others so if it were gone I would not blog 🙂

  20. I blog for myself – I love to write and share and even better if i can help inspire even one person in the process. I go back and forth at times wondering if I should do all the stuff you’re supposed to do to promote but at the end of the day my life comes first and the blog is something I do for a hobby and nothing more. I also keep it up because I receive enough feedback that I’m inspiring people that it makes up for any doubts that I should stop.

  21. Ooo now that’s a tough question. I want to say that I’d continue to blog even if I had no readers because I really do love it, but part of what I love most about it is making those connections with other people… so if that wasn’t there? Ehhh. I might still blog, but probably a little less frequently. I had no idea what I was getting into when I started to blog, or that it would take me where it has, but I can honestly say that it would be hard to stop blogging for good. The longest I managed was 9 months, and I seriously missed it like crazy. Still, it was mostly the interactions that I missed. Blogging is a great creative outlet, but it’s the people that mean the most to me. Great post, Hollie.

  22. I can relate to much of what you’;ve said but similar to Amanda, without readers/bloggers, I wouldn’t have made some amazing connections- and that in itself, is probably why I continue blogging…that and being random and unashamed lol. I need a filter.

  23. That is a really good point. So many of my pictures are taken with the intentions of sharing them with others.

    As for blogging, I think I’d start blogging but would eventually fade away without any readers

  24. I’ve been blogging for years (three or four different blogs), but I’ve done next to nothing to promote them. I only recently started adding tags to my blog posts. So I guess I would blog even if no one read it. My theory is that if people like what I have to say, they’ll stick around. I don’t really like when people follow me just in order to get me to follow them back. I find hat sort of depressing.

    All that said, I’d still love it if I could somehow make money blogging without feeling like I had to censor myself doing it. Just because it would be cool to make money doing something I already enjoy.

  25. I love how honest you are about this. Sometimes we do things for the blog/SM and others we do for ourselves…I’d like to think I do more for myself than the SM aspect but I know I struggle with it. BUT in reference to the blog.. you are one of the 4 people who read it regularly and typically you know whats going on in my life before even reading it on the blog… so yeah… I don’t do it for the blog. SM (yeah, there’s that though…). Lord knows I love me some DM/IG/FB/TW

  26. This is always an interesting topic. When I started it was to talk about my love for running which my friends were pretty much sick of hearing about. I had few readers/comments but joined a few communities to seek them out. Not for any monetary gain but for connections and to have a safe space to talk with other like minded people about something I truly love. I’m not sure I’d continue if no one else read it. I’d move on to other things that make me just as happy!

    • I completely agree with you. I think I would enjoy blogging but eventually get tired of it and move onto something that makes me as happy.

  27. Interesting post….especially since I am trying to decide whether or not to continue to blog….I just don’t have the desire to anymore and I am trying to figure out why I had the desire to in the first place. I don’t think I ever changed what I was doing to fit the blog…I used to WANT to share everything that I was doing. That changed for some reason. I don’t feel the need to share every meal I make online.

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