I am not a blogger.
There, I said it.
I came to this realization yesterday, after the funny (as in “weird,” not in “haha”) response I had to PopChassid’s marvelous list of 7 bloggers he thinks deserve more attention. As I read about all the fabulous bloggers (Several I had heard of, and a couple I had not…my favorite post by one of the unfamiliar ones was Ruchi Koval’s interview with her yetzer hara. Just so funny and true!), I felt more and more (embarrassing to admit) jealous.
Now, I’ve blogged here before about how important it is not to envy other writers. I’m a big believer in being farginen those around me. But I sensed something unusual about the variety of jealousy I was experiencing.
I didn’t begrudge the bloggers in question their success. It actually brought me pleasure. What stoked my frustration was that their blogs were actually better than mine. I was envious not of their fame, but of the quality of their product.
I’m not saying that my blog is a bad one, it’s just not top notch. Look: the featured bloggers’ posts are more edgy, on topics that are more universal, they have more readers, the graphics are often stunning — you get the picture.
So I asked myself, did I want to be a top Jewish blogger? After a bit of a think, I decided…well, no.
The purpose of this blog is to connect readers with Jewish books, to help boost literacy, and so on. But it is also to connect me with my current and future readers — the kids, teens, parents, teachers, and librarians who have read my book and/or my magazine work and are looking for more of the same. Additionally, my blog lets editors and such know a bit about me and my work. And it does that.
Do I spend the bulk of my professional efforts on my blog? Certainly not. I spend far more of my quite limited time on writing short stories, overhauling my novel (perpetually, it seems), and so on. Blogging is not an afterthought, but I’m not spending the start-up money, time, creativity, and so on networking, designing, and building my website that any of these top Jewish bloggers (and PopChassid himself, Torah Musings/Hirhurim, Jew in the City, etc.) do.
Flashback: I remember sitting in Econ 101 in the first month I was in college, with my professor (the wonderful Prof. Asif Dowla) explaining the meaning of “opportunity cost.” For every decision you make, one of the costs is losing the opportunity to follow the other path. Thus, every time I chose to work on a story for Inyan, an essay for Tablet, a play for the kids in my synagogue (this week’s project), or my novel, I lose the opportunity to build the super-fantabulous blog of my dreams.
And that’s okay.
So while I blog (the verb), and do so with regularity, I remain a writer who blogs, not a blogger (noun).