Friday, January 24, 2014

When I've Failed as a Blogger

I don’t like to do things, unless I can do them well. I hate falling short of what should or could be. I hate conceding. I am not wired to quit.

But I think it’s time to admit that I've failed; I’m not a blogger.

I tried. I did my best to write as much as I could. I read the posts and the e-books and the articles that talked about Blog Titles and SEO (which I still don’t understand or even know what it is). I attempted to implement the advice for adding followers and readers and subscribers and building the all-powerful PLATFORM (because I’ll never ever publish a book without one – it’s a known fact).

I don’t add pictures that are taken from my 35mm camera. The ones on my blog are either Instagrams taken off an old iPhone, or they are from my talented friend Jennifer. They don’t show the white, sunlit walls of my impeccable house with gallery walls and well groomed children. No pictures of Hunter’s boots in sand/snow/puddles/grass.

I don’t engage on those hot button topics on Twitter. I used to follow them and try. But I’m not the one to battle and write out convincing arguments. I cannot craft well written and succinct treatises that can move and persuade. I’m a 9 on the Enneagram and I just want us all to get along.

I don’t have a newsletter and my blogging is about as infrequent as it can be. I don’t’ know which days and times are best for sharing my posts. I am too tired to do all the different link ups and synchroblogs and other things I tried so hard to participate in when I started.

I am blessed with some amazing friends. They are such talented writers and they are fantastic bloggers. I’m in awe of what they do. But I can’t do it.



Over the past six months I've battled. I've wondered what to do, how to do it. I've seen bloggers and writers I respect post some hurtful things. I've seen egos explode on Twitter. I've seen anger and hurt and cries for justice and hope and life all spoken at the same time, getting lost and hidden and I've just wanted to walk away.

I've stifled my words because it felt like a giant echo chamber and I don’t like adding to the noise. There are so many beautiful words out there fighting for breath……why add mine?


I live in a city and it is houses and buildings and streets and dirt all so close together that there isn't a lot of room to breathe. It’s loud and pressed in and unrelenting. But I realize my breath comes from typing out words on a screen – here is where my lungs expand and find the air I need. Here the sun shines and the breeze is clean and crisp. The space is wide and expansive and there is room for me. There is room for you.


From A Shared Lens 


I admit I've failed as a blogger, but I’m still a writer.

So I’ll keep blogging. Infrequently or frequently will depend on my mood, depend on my time. I’ll blog when I want to share the beauty that surrounds me. I’ll blog when I see my girls look up at the clouds and talk about God. I’ll blog when I look out on the lake, listening to crashing waves while the sand warms my feet.  I’ll blog when there are more babies shot in my city and my heart is bursting because I’m just so tired of the violence. And I’ll blog when I remind myself that my girls aren't just princesses, they are mighty Dragon Slayers and the world better watch out.


I’ll remember that scarcity is a myth.  And I’ll do what I am made to do.


A huge thank you to Elora, for listening when I was tired and reminding me who I am.

26 comments:

  1. Oh, Brenna, yes yes yes. I'm a failure as a blogger, too, but you're right, it makes no less as writers. I'll leave the getting the words into the right hands into Someone more capable than me, I guess. Because I can do about the same as you. Write so I can breathe. :)

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  2. Oh, thank you. Once again, I exhale after not realizing I've been holding my breath. It's ok to be a writer who blogs, rather than a blogger. That is where I am, too. And it is freedom. So freeing. I am free to love well because I don't have a strictly self-imposed deadline layering on the guilt and chipping away at my joy. Raising a glass: To writing what matters to you. To raising mighty Dragon Slayers. To setting hope free with your words.

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  3. I like that--a writer who blogs. When I first started blogging, it was a way for me to work out thoughts and questions I had. Then I took a break for a long time. When I came back to it, I discovered that it was all supposed to be about networking and platform and it felt like there was/is so much pressure (real or imagined, I don't know for sure) and I've on and off felt disheartened. But lately, I've just been feeling like "I'll blog when I have something to say and if a month goes by and I don't blog, then fine." Right now I'm on a weekly schedule--Sundays, even, probably the worst day to try to get traffic! But it is what is working for me at the moment.

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  4. Yes! Welcome to the club. I'm a terrible blogger, but at heart I know I'm a writer just faking my way through being a blogger. Keep writing, keep sharing your words. That's more than enough :)

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  5. Yes, yes this!
    I am not a blogger either, but I blog
    because I am a writer
    or a poet
    or just a giver of words

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  6. i hear you Brenna and must admit that i too am a "failed blogger" i want to blog regularly about my art but life always gets in the way. However you are way ahead of me in that you love writing and write exquisitely i must add, while i no longer enjoy the process. Keep writing my dear and when you do blog know that i will be there reading your beautiful words!

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  7. Oh, Brenna, me, too! I get this. But I keep plugging away because it is so helpful for me to write it out. Whenever you want to write in this space, I will be reading it. You are a wonderful writer - and I think you're a great blogger. But then, I don't know what SEO is, either. And I don't much care. And Twitter? Not for me. 140 characters is just enough to say something thoughtless and not enough to recover from that. I use it only for short convos and for plugging my own posts. Ain't that pretty?

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  8. Oh Brenna! I loved reading this - you're not alone. I thought, many a time, I was the only one! Release. Letting go. Just being real and authentic. Thank you for speaking this truth. It's right on time! And my favorite, thought provoking words are these:" so many beautiful words out there fighting for breath." What occurs to me is that our beautiful words will be found, and they will be life-breath for some weary soul at just the right time. Here's to the grace of knowing our limits, but knowing also our unique "bent" and passion and living from a place of that which is true and real.

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  9. Brenna, I can so identify with this - like you've been peeking inside my own head! There's freedom in the realisation, isn't there? That we don't need to strive to be what we aren't. And yet you should know I love your words (even if I read them weeks late) and am glad you created this space here to share them with us.

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  10. To be honest, I think that blogging is SO MUCH EASIER than actually writing. I can throw together a list of "Seven ways to ----" or "Five tips for ----- before Thursday" without really trying, but when I sit down to write something real, or to answer one of the Story Sessions prompts, I am completely blank and also terrified I'm proud of you for choosing the harder, more beautiful road. And I'm thankful for your friendship.

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  11. Thank you, Jamie. Freedom. Yes.

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  12. I find it so freeing to be able to make our own path and do what works for us. "I'll blog when I have something to say." Yes.

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  13. Thanks for reading, Lindsay. So glad I'm not alone!!

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  14. " a giver of words." BEAUTIFUL

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  15. I actually think you do a great job blogging :). So grateful for ENOUGH

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  16. Thank you friend. What you have to offer is water to a very dry people. So grateful for your voice.

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  17. I'm trying to remember that it isn't that they say it "better" but they say it "different." Our words have power, yes? Thanks for reading!

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  18. Combined we could be a powerhouse!! :)


    Grateful for you too!

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  19. I have been peeking! :) The striving is so hard and it takes away from the words we are meant to share. Thank you for this!

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  20. Marvia, thank you for YOU. You are an inspiration, girl!

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  21. I am so so grateful for you. For YOUR words, your encouragement, your wisdom, and just YOU!!!

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  22. It took me a while to find the comment link...but atlas there it was tucked in after your, "posted by Brenna at 4:12 pm. From reading the comments I can tell you have hit on something a lot of us feel and don't even know how to put it into words. I love reading others post, love commenting but cannot for the life of me write something that does not flow. I know when God is in my words whether I speak them or write them and frankly I care a whole lot more about what He says then others. I have quit often in my mind but never actually carried it out...something will flow and I have to go back to letting it out. You my dear are a breathe of fresh air...a wise hearted breathe of fresh air.

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  23. Lovely, honest, important. Also, made me think of this: http://www.leannepenny.com/2014/01/15/how-to-stop-worrying-about-who-isnt-listening-or-reading-or-watching-and-start-loving-the-people-who-are/

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