The Narcissistic Blogger

I am reasonably new to blogging.  Like Twitter, I started both around April this year.  I have met so many bloggers through Twitter, and to be totally honest, I am somewhat intimidated at times.  These people are good.  Their posts sing.  I love reading them and connecting with them.  I am in awe of their ability to write an interesting post almost daily.  I haven’t been able to master that yet.  I might get two done in a week and I think on the odd occasion I have written three.   But daily?  I’m not sure I have anything interesting enough to say that would make people visit my blog each day.

Blogging has opened up a whole new world for me.  I am finally able to write and have other people read my writing.  That feels good.  One thing I have learned is that I love sharing my writing with others.  I love seeing my blog stats go up.  I love comments.  I love comments particularly when someone tells me my post has helped them, or it resonated with them.  This is what makes my heart sing.

For as long as I can remember I have written.  Mostly my thoughts.  When I’m at my angsty best I can write pages and pages of words pouring directly from my heart.  When I read them years later I can almost feel my heart bleeding onto the page.  I sometimes don’t believe they are words that I’ve written.  But they are.  It is my handwriting after all.

The scary thing I find with writing is that it brings out some narcissistic traits that I wasn’t aware I had.  I become obsessed with people reading my writing.  I constantly check my blog stats.  I mean constantly.  I become frantic, constantly hitting the refresh key.   I hope other bloggers do this, because if they don’t I’m definitely in serious need of a life, or medication!  I also hope I grow out of this habit.  The constant refreshing … not the medication habit.   I like that one.     

I want my readers to comment.  I love hearing people telling me that my post meant something to them.  When someone tells me my writing is good my tummy literally tingles.  The very beautiful Lisa Reynolds told me my writing was like and old friend.  That gave me a glow that stayed with me for days. 

On the other hand, if my comment count is low I start to feel that perhaps I am a bad writer.  That my posts don’t move my readers enough to write a comment.  I start to lose confidence in my writing.  I start to panic.  I look at blogs written by my idol bloggers and see their comment count and go back to mine and feel failure setting in.  I tweet my blog in earnest hoping more people will read.  It becomes frantic.  It really is madness.  This feeling lasts for a couple of hours.  After a while I pull myself together and let it go.  

These feelings make me question why I write.  Should I write for me or should I write for others?  I find this question difficult to answer.  In the first instance I believe I should write for me.  I should write because I enjoy it.  Because it makes my heart sing.  I enjoy crafting a sentence.  I enjoy taking thoughts from my head and putting them onto the screen.  I enjoy reading them back.  I enjoy changing the words around.  I enjoy writing.  This is a good thing.   Would I enjoy writing if no one ever read my writing?  I’m not sure I would.   Like any artist, I like people to view my craft.  It is human nature.  Am I an artist yet?  Would I say I’m a writer yet?  Not yet.  I’m still working on it.

Prior to blogging, the majority of writing I have done has been angsty writing.  The type of stuff you write when your heart is breaking and when you need to understand your feelings.  Private writing.  Journal writing. 

In addition to writing for myself, I choose to write now because I do want others to read it.  I want to share the things I think about.  I want people to read what I have written and nod their head in agreement or even shake their heads in disagreement.  I want my writing to make people reach back into the dark recesses of their minds and hearts and feel a kinship with me.  I want them to sigh with relief that they are not the only person to feel the same way.  I want to inspire people.  I want them to smile.  I want them to laugh. I want them to cry.  I want my writing to move people.  I really do.

I have been lucky with my blog writing so far in that I’ve never had a negative comment nor a troll visit my blog.  For this I am very grateful.  I know that it is only a matter of time before they rear their ugly heads.  Am I ready for them?  I don’t know.  I think I will feel a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and I will momentarily question whether I want to keep blogging.  I know that I will move on and keep writing.  I’ve found my writing groove and I want to keep it going.  Hear that trolls?  You don’t really scare me, but, I would appreciate you staying away.  Thanks.

So, now that I’ve shared my reasons for blogging and the crazy things I do to feed my ego after I’ve blogged, I would like to ask you, my lovely reader to share something with me.   The very gorgeous A-M over at The House that A-M Built wrote a post this week where she asked her readers to say hi.  To identify themselves so she knew just who was coming to her blog to read about her life and her house.  I loved this idea for two reasons.

Firstly, I would love to know just who stops by my blog.  I’m nosy like that.   And secondly, it’s that ego thing – I’d like to get loads of comments.  I’m being honest.  Us bloggers really do love comments.  It is a buzz.  So please, say hi and introduce yourself.  Put a link to your blog in your comment and I’ll make sure I come over and say Hi to you.

About Annieb25

A mum to 2 teenage boys, would be writer, thirsty for knowledge, Radio Solution solver on Radio 1116 4BC and so much more!!
This entry was posted in Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to The Narcissistic Blogger

  1. Cate Pearce says:

    Annie, there is a little bit of that narcissism in all of us, some more than others. And some just hide it better!
    And this has made me smile because I wrote this
    last month. Read it and have a laugh at all of us, there’s a piece of every blogger used in it, for sure.
    Oh, my name is Cate and I like white chocolate 😉

  2. Taryn says:

    I used to be obsessed with comments and visitors and all those blog stats when I first started but as I became an old hag at it (have been blogging for nearly a year now) I care less about hits and stats and and blog just for ME. It is my vehicle to express myself without being interrupted and I don’t have to share it with small children! If anyone reads it or wants to comment, I am very grateful and it is nice to have been read. I’ve had a few trolls come and visit, and they have pounded my confidence and now I have bloggers block!! Lots of love to you Annie x

  3. Great post Annie. I too am a stats whore, though I’m getting better. The longer you do it – and I think I have a princely two months on you – the less you check. Or that’s how it works for me anyway. Unless it’s a post I really love – then I want everyone to love it as much as I do. Anyway, I’m Allison, I am all about dark chocolate.

  4. Moi says:

    Hi Annie,
    I’m Moi. Mum to 3 gorgeous boys (5,4, and 7 months).
    I’m slowly reading my way around your blog. I think you write beautifully.
    I’ve been contemplating blogging but am just not ready to commit yet.

  5. Christie says:

    Hi Annie, I have been away for awhile and need to catch up with some of your back posts (actually 645 back posts in my reader!) so I thought I’d better comment and let you know I am here again. I love looking at my stats too, I figure the only way I wont be so interested is if so many people are visiting that I can’t keep up!
    I’m so pleased to hear you have found your groove (just when I’ve lost mine, are you sure it’s not mine you’ve found? Oh hang on, the writing is too good to be mine! Never mind.)

  6. Girl Clumsy says:

    Ha! I was complaining about this very topic on Twitter just this evening.

    I’ve been blogging now for 6 years. It began as a travel diary, but became a more serious blog in 2007. I try to write things that will interest me.

    I’ve only really checked stats etc in the last year or so. I must admit I don’t really understand it, but I do know I hate seeing flat lines that indicate “no visitors”. It sucks.
    People say you’ve got to do things that interest you, but I just don’t seem to get traction with any of that. If I write about what I’m doing (aka, impro, theatre) – nothing. If I try something unusual, like my recent feature piece on the seat of Ryan, trying to be a bit more writerly-like… meh.

    Then I try comedy bits, like my Julia rap, and the reaction is a even more meh, and all of a sudden I’m in a pit of despair that I’m not funny at all and I should just quite this whole writing lark and live in a cave with bats forever more.

    And sometimes I’m all despairing and I’d love to write a big whingy angsty whingy post, and then I think no, my PARENTS read my blog and they’ll get worried, and everyone else will tune out because shit that Natalie is constantly on about how crap she is and she isn’t and that whole attitude is getting really old and you know what I’m going to stop reading this and unfollow her on Twitter.

    You have so many commenters here! You’re so lucky. I don’t know what it is, but the network you are plugged into are generous and caring commenters. I don’t seem to have that.

    I’ve joked that because I’m not a mommyblogger or a fat acceptance blogger nobody reads my site. I don’t mean to offend anyone by that, but I do feel like I’m in a weird area where I’m a personal blogger who tries to do a bunch of things but none really well to attract people beyond those who know me already and find me tolerable DESPITE ALL MY SHIT.

    Wow, I’m totally ranting.

    Point is, I completely understand. I enjoy your blog and will always try to comment.

    Now I think I need sleep.

  7. tessatalks says:

    Hi Annie,

    I’m Tessa. Nice to meet you! I came across your post on the ‘Blogging’ feature page and I’m glad I did. I too, am a stats junkie! I transferred my blog from Blogger to WordPress not too long ago; impressed with the features and professional-like-look-and-feel of the WordPress platform. The one thing that stuck out at me for sure was the stats feature. Some days (i.e. 0 views) can make me cringe; other days (i.e. 1 view even) can make me jump up and say Hooray! Either way, I write for myself – I’ve given up the paper and pen journaling and am slave to the quick ‘tap-taps’ of my fingers on my laptop to tell myself (and maybe the world) a little bit about me. I know for a fact I have only a handful of readers – no, correction – a fingerful of readers, morelike – a few friends. But this does not sway me. I write to write because I love to write for me. Anyway, thanks for the insight. And thanks for making me feel less of a stats junkie 🙂 Take care!

  8. Jenny C @jayjaycee1 says:

    You have me! Hee hee. I am only starting my blog, Annie, and admire your posts. To be honest I’ve had my blog up since April too, but every time I go to write something I chicken out or go blank. Not that I don’t have things to say – just that well, I guess I’m as narcissistic as anyone. I get scared that no-one will like what I say, my style of writing, or even just…care. It’s only been this year that I have actually called myself a writer, even though I have written in publications on and off for ten years. Self esteem is a puzzlement.
    One of the first blogs I started reading was Penni Russon’s Eglantine’s Cake. She inspired me with her beautiful way with words, and the ways she saw her world. I wanted to write like that! Then I had to wait til I could say, “I want to write like me.”
    Now that I am further into the blogging community, and more importantly have just been appointed blog editor for the mag I write for (blimey) – I am putting aside my fears…and starting. Be on the lookout for my ‘first blog announcement’, both for my own page, and for the mag.
    So thank you, for writing, for being you, and for inspiring us.

  9. a-m says:

    Hello lovely. Well I met you through Twitter, and the gorgeous Katrina who just knows everyone in the universe, and I was immediately drawn to your honest, often heart wrenching writing. I would love to be more honest, like you, in my blogging but I get the ‘behind the scenes trolls’ as soon as I do… and to be honest… they scare me. One because I know who they are…. and two, if they aren’t who I think they are… then who are they?… and why do they hate me when they don’t even know me?!! I have been blogging for 2 and a half years now. I think my stats and comments reflect peoples curiosity now!.. what’s she up to today?… oh waffling about her boys again… move on. The thing that makes me anxious about my commenters is hurting their feelings if I don’t get back to them… I really struggle to find the time to reply to them and visit their blogs. It’s interesting psychology this commenting business. Why do people comment? I comment if I am moved by a post, to support, to encourage… I know how important it is to feel accepted when first blogging so I try to also comment on new blogs that don’t receive many comments. I feel that I have to share my readers too as I am so grateful for this loving community… because they have changed my life course, by sharing them around, I hope I am changing theirs.. for the better! A-M xx

  10. Hello lovely Annie,

    I’m so glad my comment of your writing being like an old friend stuck with you, because that is how I see it – it’s easy to listen to, isn’t pretentious, and most importantly is full of honesty.

    When I see one of your new blog posts, it triggers me to make myself a cup of chai (as I know you probably had one as your wrote), make sure the kids are occupied, and then sit down for a virtual chin-wag. Always happy to chat with you through about the highs and lows of life.

    I haven’t yet got my blog up and running – there are a few things I need to get finished first that will be incorporated in it – but when I start I know you’ll be one of the first over there for a chat with me.

    Always a pleasure Annie 😀

  11. Bern Morley says:

    You aren’t alone. From my very first comment, I was like Whitney on a crack bender, I just wanted more.

    I get a little lost too. Unsure what to write and never want it to become a chore or work, because then I don’t think people will want to read it.

    I find my networked blog on Facebook gets a lot of action. Perhaps set it up that way?

    Either way, your readership will grow because you are a sensational writer and even more sensational person. Lovely, beautiful hearted and wouldn’t hurt a fly.


  12. Rachel says:

    Ok because you asked so nicely for the first time Ill leave you a comment lol… I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now… and I do love everything you write…. and this post hits the nail on the head …we all have an ego and that ego needs to be feed lol…

  13. Maxabella says:

    I’m here, you know I am.

    I never check my stats. I can’t even remember my stat-counter password. But I’m just as narcisstic ‘cos I blog for comments! I love the interaction and hearing other people’s thoughts on the topic that I wrote about. And I’m all over the comments on other people’s blogs because I know how important it is to let them know that I was there and they made me feel something.

    It’s just the best bit about the whole thing.

    Lots of love to you, Annie. I love your writing and I love your blog. x

  14. Mrs Woog says:

    My name is Mrs Woog and I am a comment whore.
    I am also a blogging whore, a product whore, and perhaps just a whore in general.
    Nice to meet you!

  15. Seraphim says:

    Hi Annie
    I loved your honesty. I used to be obsessed with stats and comments but I have’t looked at counters in about a year. I made a conscious decision to blog for me and not to let it wound me if I do or don’t get feedback. I ADORE comments. They mean much more to me than the numbers x

  16. Ali says:

    I Love reading your posts! Im not quite the Blogger, my Blog is pics with a few notes thrown in 😉

  17. Sarah M. says:

    I have been thinking about the same things lately. I really like reading blogs of people who are experiancing the same things as I am, it makes it easier to to go on about your daily life when you know someone else feels the same way. I have been blogging for about a year now, and I still can’t decide if I’m writing for me or for others.

    I found your blog through Flog Yo Blog and thought that I would come by and say hi and leave you with a link to my blog if you are interested.

  18. Thea says:

    That is exactly how I felt about blogging not long after I started…exactly!!
    Now, I don’t even check the stats…well, not very often, certainly not daily or 10 times daily like I used to.
    But I still am a comment-a-holic. When I get none, or not many, I’m crushed.
    My last few posts have had hardly any, so I don’t feel up to posting anything at the moment. I’m sure people get busy, readers come and go. I’ve just got myself so busy I’m finding it difficult to read any blogs let alone comment.
    But I can totally relate to everything you’ve said.
    Brilliant post…again!! xx

  19. Dear Annie the Narcissist Blogger :-),

    I think you’ve answered your own ponderings here – you want to move people and inspire people; you want to make them laugh and cry. So comments are digital music to your fingers. I think that means you are a communicator, a connector, a people-person, and clearly you have a lot to give.

    Loved the title of this post because it was thought-provoking and intriguing – another sign of a good blogpost I think.

    I always feel privileged when I read your posts because they are so honest and from the heart (and not in a cliche-d kind of way) so please keep up the narcissism – I think many people are not only grateful for your sharing but also helped by it. Smiles to you.

  20. Just thought I’d drop by to say hi as I just found your blog through ‘FYBF’. I too am new to this and have just mustered the confidence to start putting my blog out there a bit more. Being new to this, I am a stats junkie too and I’m heartened by the comments by more seasoned bloggers that this starts to wear off after awhile.

    I still get that heart in my mouth feeling when I hit the publish button, or if a comment comes through, and its hard not to change how you write when you think of a potential audience but I keep trying to write what matters most to me, even if I’m still in the process of figuring that out.

  21. francesjones says:

    Hi everyone,
    I’m clever. I comment late because if I comment early, my inbox gets full of comments! 🙂 I’m careful about what I write, I have to feel comfortable knowing that at the end of the day, what I put out there for the world to see is forever.

  22. Lauren says:

    I’m Lauren. I’m local. I’m me, and I’m narcissistic too!

  23. tiff says:

    I visit. Not enough.
    I have an almost identical post that has been sitting in drafts for a month. I feel insecure about my writing. I crave comments. I enjoy the interactions and I too question why I need those things to feel good and why I am writing at all because I didn’t start out writing for anyone else but myself.

    Love your work xx

  24. Rachael says:

    I’ve asked this question of myself many times i.e do I write for me or someone else. I have a blog that is rarely commented on, I think mainly because I write so sporadicly. I also feel I haven’t got the freedom I’d like as there are people I know in real life who read and I don’t want to offend them with my opinions.

    Anyway enough about me, I found you just earlier today via a comment you made on FA post somewhere in the blogosphere. It was things I felt but am careful about saying as a lot of people I like and respect are very into Fat Acceptance. I am too to be clear, but when it comes to myself not so much.

  25. Emma M says:

    Hi Annie
    Have found you via Al Tait’s Weekend Rewind. I would start following you on Twitter but already am and have been enjoying your tweets!
    I have just started blogging for myself – about a month now, I think – and have had identical thoughts to those you expressed. My newness means I don’t quite have the hang of being neurotic about checking stats yet but I suspect I will be. I used to write a newspaper column and after that contributed to a news website but wasn’t able to access stats and results then so being able to do so now is very exciting!
    Obviously enjoy getting feedback on my posts as much as anyone but also just love the process of writing, thinking up sentences, tweaking them, getting that little thrill when a great idea (well, what I think is a great idea) for a post strikes me. I don’t post every day either – am so impressed that people find the time to do so – but try to get two to three up a week.
    About me … live in a little town near Kalgoorlie in WA, married (no children yet but two lovely nieces and a nephew live just around the corner and spending time with them has calmed my terror of parenthood), former sub-editor, now gold room person at a gold milling operation and freelance web/graphic designer.

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