It started innocently enough a little more than a year ago. While I was learning to fly I began reading flying blogs, anything that someone wrote about their learning to fly experiences. I started off with reading author, pilot and flight instructor Greg Brown’s blog, The Flying Carpet. He guided me through learning to fly with his posts on flying. He connected me with other older pilots who I could relate to in my learning to fly experiences. Up to that time I had heard about blogging but didn’t really know what it was.
For months I continued to read Greg’s blog and student pilot blogs. I found myself searching for more life experiences from other student pilots and spending more and more time on-line. I can’t seem to pin point the exact moment I decided to start a blog but sometime not long before my first post on January 8, 2010 I happened on to the WordPress.com site and it talked about how easy it was to start a blog.
I’m not that tech savvy so I took it slow and played with the blog idea and themes. I choose the name FlyingGma for two reasons: both are because of defining moments in my life. The first part was my pursuit of learning to fly at age 48 and the second part was for my new role as grandma in August of 2009. I really didn’t know where I was going with the blog when I started other than to learn something new.
I started to read other blogs on WordPress.com by way of “Freshly Pressed”. The seduction began when I started seeing the featured blogs on the front page of WordPress.com. Seeing my blog featured on Freshly Pressed became my goal.
I read many of the Freshly Pressed blogs to see what they were doing that made them unique and ultimately chosen for the Freshly Pressed feature. I started subscribing to various blogs that I found interesting on Freshly Pressed. Up until this point no one had ever commented on anything I had written except for two dear friends that I shared the fact that I have a blog.
Just as Satan seduced Eve with an apple the statistics seduced me. WordPress definitely knows what they are doing when they say they have stats to obsess over. It’s true. When my blog started to be read regularly by others and they left a comment those numbers became more important. I began to check the stats more than once each day. I definitely liked to see the numbers improve or special comments left about what I had written.
Next I read a blog about someone who worried about the subscriber that they had lost and wondered why. I didn’t realize up to this point that I could subscribe to a blog or have subscribers. I was still learning about WordPress and blogging. I began subscribing to other blogs that I enjoyed reading and adding links from my blog to their blogs. The statistics just kept getting better. Somehow in my mind I equated better statistics with better writing, which was far from the truth. My writing has improved by practicing daily but it still has a long way to go.
I have observed bloggers remove posts from their sites because no one commented on their post or perhaps didn’t even visit a blog on a day. At first it bothered me that what I wrote wasn’t read or people didn’t visit my blog because of the topic I chose to write about that day. Then I thought just maybe the reason they didn’t read could have been they have a life outside of blogging and were spending time doing something else that day. Maybe they were doing something special with their family, which would be a better thing than reading my blog. Good for them!
I haven’t blogged for almost a week thinking about the seduction/obsession that blogging has become in my life. What was I giving up in the amount of time I spent preparing my blog and photos? Time with my husband, family and other things that I enjoy like reading, quilting, baking and of course sleep.
There will be more balance in my life from here on out. I will continue to blog but probably not as often. Time is a commodity, which means there is not an endless supply of it. Using time wisely is my new obsession not wanting to squander even a minute of the precious gift it is.
January 23, 2011 at 8:02 pm
I hear ya! But I think you’re priorities are correct–a great quote worth remembering is “moderation in everything, including moderation.”
I look forward to continuing to read your posts.
January 23, 2011 at 8:12 pm
Thanks Thomas, I do appreciate your perspective on life. Looking forward to your posts as well.
January 23, 2011 at 8:08 pm
Loved this, especially: “Then I thought just maybe the reason they didn’t read could have been they have a life outside of blogging and were spending time doing something else that day.”
And good for you:
Time is our most valuable and irreplaceable commodity ~ a bank account which mandates daily withdrawals, prohibits deposits, and pays dividends when we spend it wisely.
January 23, 2011 at 8:16 pm
Loved this from your comment:
“Time is our most valuable and irreplaceable commodity ~ a bank account which mandates daily withdrawals, prohibits deposits, and pays dividends when we spend it wisely.”
I only wish that I would have found it for my post but this is just as good because it is available for others to read in the comments. 🙂 Twice!
January 23, 2011 at 8:29 pm
I wrote it! 🙂
I googled it to make sure (because I’ve adopted so many quotes over the years that I wondered), but google sent me straight to SLTW.
January 23, 2011 at 9:26 pm
You are one wise woman… Thanks for sharing!
January 23, 2011 at 8:22 pm
I enjoyed your reflective post and needed the reminder to not let the snake snatch me into biting the apple…wait…honestly, I’ve already thrust my teeth right smack dab into the apple. This time away at the writer’s conference in New York reminds me to find a way to manage my writing life, blogging and all.
With that said, I so enjoy your posts and hope you continue on a regular basis. I’m a faithful reader because you have encouraging messages my heart needs to hear.
January 23, 2011 at 9:28 pm
Thanks for the kind words JoDee. I am so happy that you had some time away for your writing. I can’t wait to read all about it.
January 23, 2011 at 8:47 pm
Very good point.
January 23, 2011 at 9:29 pm
Thanks, it is easier to write about it than to actually follow through with it but I am at least going to try.
January 23, 2011 at 9:39 pm
I am with you–tis a fine balance–and one I mess up a lot.
but…writing is my passion…and I love this community…and i am enriched…
so…the apple is always alluring.
i had been wondering where you were.
January 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm
I love the community as well just need to set some boundaries for myself.
January 24, 2011 at 4:31 am
Great post to wake up to, and you are so right… Time is the ultimate commodity, we have to take care of it properly. No obssession is good, but a bit of it may push us to accomplish things. The secret, as you mentioned, is in balancing all. That goes to every area of our life. Good luck with your time! We readers hope that you will reserve some of it for us!
January 24, 2011 at 8:14 am
I like the idea you mentioned of pushing us to accomplish things. It has pushed me to write more in one years time more than I would have for sure.
January 24, 2011 at 4:56 am
I’ll miss you around here, Jeanne, but I do understand your dilemma and your need to balance your time in a way that works best for you.
Strength and hugs to you from London
January 24, 2011 at 8:16 am
Thanks Sunshine. I’m not totally disppearing from the blogging world but definitely will be here less. I will still have time to read all my favorite bloggers, you and so many others.
January 24, 2011 at 6:01 am
The balance aspect of it all is important – and I’m so glad you’ve had more time to do things you enjoy with those you love this past week! I admit – I’m a “lazy blog replier”. I subscribe to certain blogs (like this one) and have every post delivered to my email acct, where I can read all the new entries 1st thing everyday (1st thing I do when I turn on the computer is pull up my emails). The only problem with this is if I want to comment on one I have to click on the links and wait about 3 minutes for my computer to connect with that blog (dial-up connection here in the sticks LOL). When I’m in a hurry before leaving for work that can sometimes take me longer than I like…. 😦 However, I felt I HAD to comment this morning to let you know that I/we subscribers are here – and do read whatever you are gracious enough to share with us, unfortunaly wordpress doesn’t count our email subscribers as a daily “stat” (almost makes me feel like a “stalker” sometimes! LOL). One feature I wish that they would change. 😦
Hope you have a great day – and just know that “we are here for you”! 😉
January 24, 2011 at 8:19 am
Thanks Shady for your comment. I do appreciate all that I have read on your blog this past year. I think your blog was the first one that I officially subscribed to when your Strawberry Bread went Freshly Pressed.
January 24, 2011 at 8:29 am
I can totally relate! Since starting to blog about a month ago, I find all I do is read blog after blog, on everything and anything, not to mention all the time I spend posting on my own blog!
That being said, I love your honesty.
~ abbie ~
January 24, 2011 at 8:39 am
There is an endless supply of reading material out there in blogs. I love to read! I’m with you on reading anything and everything. I love to learn new things. Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your blogging. I hope you have as much fun with your blog as I am with mine.
January 24, 2011 at 8:37 am
I, too, am a bit obsessed with stats…I love comments more, though! It amazes me how many people read mine all the time, but never leave a comment!
Have fun pursuing other parts of your life…we’ll be here to read whatever you write!
January 24, 2011 at 9:02 am
I’m so excited to work with my new camera that we bought on Saturday. I’m sure I’ll have plenty to write about with that whole experience. My how cameras have changed.
My kids will start calling me “Stalker Mom” for trying to get perfect picture of each of them.
Got to go, I think my “stats” are calling.
Carol Ann Hoel
January 24, 2011 at 12:55 pm
Great post, Jeanne. We all must find the perfect balance. And when we do, soon the parameters change requiring another adjustment. I pray to find the way to keep my posts and comments pared to the time available. It’s a never-ending challenge. I think it’s a privilege to touch the lives of others and to be enriched by reading the posts of other bloggers. Without maintaining balance, it won’ work. Blessings to you, Jeanne…
January 24, 2011 at 1:06 pm
Your comments are always thought provoking and challenge me to do a better job daily. I do like the your idea of it being a privilege to touch the lives of others. Blessings, Jeanne
January 26, 2011 at 1:39 pm
Honestly, you read my mind. I’ve been pondering all this for a week now and came to the conclusion that I need to cut back on the blogging. Maybe 4 days a week instead of 5, or even less. I just don’t have enough time to do other things I really want and need to do.
I think the fact that we’re mindful of finding a balance means we have a shot at it. Best to you….
January 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm
Thanks for your comment. I was at the same point you mentioned. Not having enough time to do the things I want to do and need to do because of the time spent blogging. Mount Washmore(laundry piles) wait for me daily.
February 2, 2011 at 6:48 pm
An excellent post! I really haven’t done much with my blogs (yet), but I intend to. Thank you for the reminder to keep things in balance and to check my motivation for what I am doing.
February 2, 2011 at 10:41 pm
Thanks for the comment Ted and for stopping by and checking out my posts. Balance is a difficult thing especially when started seeing some statistics. It made we want to post more and do a better job for sure but began to take time away from some very important people in my life.