Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I am Colleen Vanier, the worst blogger in the world.

While at BlogHer a few weeks ago, I was a little taken aback when someone called me an "Old School Blogger". Huh. I have had this little space on the interwebs since early 2008. Before then I had a geocities blog, and since back as far as 2002 I've had some sort of site online. Maybe I am old school.

Or a nerd. Whatever.

When I think "old school" bloggers I think of other people who've not just written a blog for a long time, but people who are far more successful at it than I.

Don't get me wrong - I don't exactly care about being successful at this, whatever "success in blogging" might mean. I do it because my entire life I've been a writer. Its simply an outlet to share what I write - however crappy or entertaining that might be - with other people. I'm completely comfortable with why I'm here and with how many people do or do not read.

That hasn't always been the case. For a long time I struggled with "why the hell am I doing this?" If you were to poke through my archives...MAN I wrote some crap! There were times I was the consummate mommy blogger, gushing about my babies. Other times, trying too hard to get folks to click over to my blog, I wrote about things no sane person would ever care to read. Like cleaning off the top of my fridge. (I did find a baggie of bullets up there, but other than that the cleaning experience really didn't need to be documented.) I did PhotoHunts and Thursday Thirteens and Wordless Wednesdays. I linked to any carnival or blog hop I could find.

I cre8buzzed and I plurked and I tweeted. I obsessively visited as many blogs in a day as I could, leaving a trail of drivel-ous comments behind, hoping other readers or the blog's owners would click back and read my blog, too. I posted ads and checked site stats nearly hourly.

I had become obsessed.


I didn't realize it until much later, but I had begun to use my blog and online social networking to fill the huge voids I had in my personal life. (I went to a great BlogHer session about it this past year - you can check out the 'Til Blog Do Us Part?' live blog here.)

Until I went through a bout of depression in late 2009/early 2010. I all but had a breakdown and I just mentally couldn't stress about many things anymore, my blog included.

I'm back at it of course, and back to "normal". I've stopped focusing on how many posts I write (screw those stupid NaBloPoMo things) and instead decided to focus on writing quality posts.

These days I still read blogs, but you'll notice I have no blogroll. Its just one more thing I can't keep up with. I typically have 1,000+ new posts in my Google reader and that's just fine by me. I have a fan page on Facebook for this site that I just don't do much with. I still tweet, but more often about my lack of coordination than anything else. I finally created an account on klout only to find I have influence in pirates. (Seriously? Not "Milwaukee" but "pirates"? Whatever Klout.)

So I know the song and dance. "Have a niche!" (niche smiche) "Write what you know!" (farts and boogies) "Network!" ("I need chocolate. That is all.") "You are your own brand!" (Uh...is "completely unfocused and easily distracted" a brand?)

I may be the very worst blogger in the world, but you know what? I DON'T CARE.

Because honestly, lately I've had more positive feedback on what I've written than I ever imagined possible.

Private emails from friends thanking me for what I wrote. "I can so relate...its like you KNOW MY LIFE."

Quiet comments in the hallway. "I just want to tell you I love the way you write."

Comments on my personal Facebook account. "Can you write a book? Because I would like to read it!!!!"

*I* always thought I was a good writer, but to have other people tell me that? And that they appreciate what I do?


I am Colleen Vanier, and I am the worst blogger in the world.

And I'm totally cool with that.

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