Yes, it’s August again and thus the 12th Blogaversary for me. My feelings have waxed and waned about my blog over these past dozen years. I was terrified to start this blog. It was a big scary deal. I was tech phobic. I did it anyway because in the end, I knew I would become a better writer because of it. And I have.
It was a WordPress world back then. I hung out with a bunch of WordPress dot comers visiting and commenting on each other’s blogs. But over time they or I faded back into the no woman’s world of the Dot orgers, those of us self-hosting out in the netherworld.
I have gone through many phases of my life through the writing of the blogs of this world known as Shalavee.com. The stories of my fight and progress to claim my creativity and squelch my anxiety are all housed here. All my creative projects are here as are stories of the lives of my children and me as a mother.
Shalavee is like a huge palace I built word by word but ended up rambling around in alone. I never have felt like I lived up to the possibilities that this blog offered me. While I found so much community on social media, Instagram in particular, my blog has always felt very solitary. I love/hate that. Because while I enjoy being able to stretch out in my mind via my blog, I never truly felt in community with or in it.
Somehow, I always imagined it would be enough to write and people would come to read. But unless you are a wicked publicist, the traffic isn’t a given. Oh, on my post for the 1980’s Betty Crocker Beef Stroganoff recipe there was plenty of traffic. And a few of my random pieces got lots of views via somewhere else. But SEO isn’t my bag and in fact, the constant mention of it began to feel offensive at some point.
And lastly, I have a sad and stressful history of my blog’s upkeep and getting the help I needed. The renovation processes were extremely stressful and, in the end, seemed to take so much joy out of the end product. I never felt very supported in the ways I needed to be. Again, I suppose I imagined I would have a happy team of blogging elves with me on the journey. But my best friends aren’t even reading so what does that mean?
Secretly, I wonder whether I just orchestrated all of this to keep myself from “succeeding” as a blogger. But then I was successful at writing for all of these years incessantly. I truly got to be a better writer. But I never had the wherewithal to move beyond and above this realm. And that has always seemed a missed opportunity.
Shalavee is getting complicated and tired now. And technological incompatibilities happen more and more. So, my next thought is to cull what I can and use it to write my retirement book? I will continue to post until such day as I deem it necessary to stop. So, until them, I’ll just keep writing.
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