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).
8 thoughts on “I am not a blogger”
Oh my gosh! I love this post. I so relate to the feelings you describe. It’s a huge struggle for me not to compare myself to the “stars” but to work as hard as I can and have fun doing so.
It’s always nice to have my feelings about something confirmed. Otherwise, I have a tendency to think I’m the only loony one around here. 🙂
For sure it’s normal – it has to be!!! Because otherwise all of us would be loony –I think part of being creative is always wanting to improve and looking to others for ideas, inspiration and feedback. And second guessing ourselves is a byproduct of all that. Again, great post!!
Hey Rebecca! Such a beautiful and thoughtful post. I hear your frustrations! I totally feel the same way in similar situations. It’s almost impossible to control feelings of jealousy sometimes. What matters is how we deal with them
NOW. About that list. As I mentioned in that post, this was a purely subjective list, and based on people’s blogs I had gotten to know over time. For some reason I can’t really explain, mostly I guess because I have a limited attention span, I haven’t had the chance to check out your blog. I didn’t even know you had one! I knew you wrote for Tablet and whatnot, and loved your writing there. And I, of course, LOVE your comments on Pop Chassid.
Anyway, point being that these sorts of things are always so subjective, and that’s why it’s good to just keep plugging along. I think it’s great you realized you’re not a blogger (if it’s true!) but either way, it’s good to remember this is all part of the process, and sometimes we’re up and sometimes we’re down.
I’m so excited you commented here. 🙂
The more I think about my post, the more I’m happy I wrote it.
I love your list…and I never expected to be on it (or that you would know I blog, either). It was more the reaction I have when I read a story that’s in exactly the genre and style I aspire to write and the piece is so good that I wish I had the skill, etc. to write it myself. Like part of me wants to grow up and be like that.
The truth is that your blog and all the blogs you listed are really accomplishing a mission…and that mission is really different than my personal and career objectives. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about exactly what my yeod is, and I don’t think it’s influencing people directly through essays on a wildly popular blog. But at least most of the bloggers you cited are trying to do just that, often with great success. Realizing I’m not a blogger helped me solidify that I was recently thinking on those terms.
I was so happy to see Ruchi there. Her writing voice makes me insanely jealous, but in a (mostly) good way. 😉 She’s the real deal.
OH my gosh. Just found this by googling myself (uh that sounds a little weird, but I was looking for something specific :). Soooo I was as shocked as you to find me on that list! I’m just a small-time blogger like you, Rebecca. But I truly appreciate your kind words and that you enjoyed my post. Thanks for that. I just subscribed to yours and look forward to hearing what you have to say. And Nina… I am so blushing! You’re a great writer in your own right! Thank you for the lil ego boost 🙂
I’m glad I boosted your ego!
It’s actually good practice to occasional google yourself. 😉