Thursday, February 7, 2013

BLOGGING IS GETTING OUT OF HAND

Today I wasted a couple of hours of my life I can't get back, looking for a few stupid brass candlesticks, trying to put together a table for Mardi Gras.  I have so much junk that I have bought over the last few years just to do tablescapes week after week for the limited amusement of a few readers (that I have stashed it away in places that I can't even remember).  What I am about fed up with, truly, is the silliness of doing tables that are fake, not intended for a real party, maybe today or maybe perhaps some other time.  Truthfully, I am very busy with my real life, and I am increasingly unwilling to spend my free time getting everything just so, then photographing it all, only to get lukewarm reception for my efforts.  I kept telling myself that this exercise is really just for me (personal gratification), and that I will use this "design" for a company table at some time in the near future.  Truthfully, I hardly ever do.  When I actually do have company, the emphasis is more on the food and the friendship, the planning of a good meal and the selection of the perfect wine, and not so much on the trivia and minutiae of putting a table together just so, although that is a small part of it.  Those occasions usually don't get photographed anyway.

I think I am going to take a break for a little while from "tablescaping" (and possibly a permanent goodbye), although tablescapes bring me the most blog traffic.  I can see that I am not the only one.  Some of you bloggers who have done this for years are frequently publishing stuff from times past, from sources not your own, or from "friends" who set embarrassingly elaborate tables for probably no one.  Then I notice that other bloggers just kind of disappear into the sunset.  I disappeared once for about six months, and I am not sure that anyone really noticed.  Very disheartening, really.

I think am going to go back to the original reason I started blogging in the first place which was to share a little slice of my life for those who are interested in reading my take on the day, and to "visit over the back fence" with kindred souls.  If you like me, fine, and if you don't, well, that's OK, too.  I am not trying to win a popularity contest, and I do not blog for profit.  Therefore, I am not looking to "grow my blog" or "promote my brand" or get free stuff from sponsors.  

When I have something to say, I will write about it, and if I don't, I won't.  I always appreciate anyone who reads and their comments.   Blogs can be fun, a nice way to share, and this format is a great way to reach out and connect with kindred spirits.  It is a shame that it has become such a competition for who has the most "stuff" and who is the most competent at making great photos or making the most money from the advertisers or getting into the most elite blogging groups du jour.  

To me, that sounds like high school cliques, and I have to tell you, I hated high school.  It was brutal.  Having said that, I do want to tell you that I appreciate every one of you who do read and comment, who seem to "get me", and appreciate what I write.  I can tell from reading my own blog that it has gotten boring at the risk of not being "politically correct."  I recently have had a couple of health scares, and if nothing else, it has shown me that time is precious, that it is finite, and that our days are numbered.  We should spend our time living our lives in a fulfilling way, and maybe we should think harder about the way to do that. 

So, I am taking a break for a while, and when I post on this blog or my other one, EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO MY OPINION, it will be because I have something I want to say.  And hopefully, I will write something you will enjoy reading.

Scribbler





22 comments:

  1. While I enjoy all the pretty tablescape blogs, really I do, I enjoy even more personal stories as you did about your time in Santa Fe and even going to a small southern town funeral. I have wondered whether all of you who have been blogging for a long time balance life vs blogging about life. I applaud you for examining this in your own life and determining steps you want to take to make it better for you.

    I say, bring it on! And I enjoy blogs from many perspectives. I'm old enough not to need friends that are just like me. I love friends that I have lots in common with and friends who challenge me, amuse me, sometimes even shock me. Bloggers are different. It's a great chance to get to know how others live. The only bloggers I draw away from are bloggers who think everyone should think like them or they don't want to play nicely.

    Time is precious. Enjoy it.

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  2. Yes--tablescapes are pretty, but it gets old rather quickly I think . Keep it real.

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  3. Gurlfriend tell it like it is...I posted something similar on LoblollyLane.

    http://loblollylane.blogspot.com/2013/01/over-my-headliterally.html

    ~Jo @ LOBLOLLYLANE

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  4. Ellen, I have been thinking of doing the same...only a handful appreciate the tables. You will be missed, your tables were always outstanding. Stay in touch!

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  5. Ellen, I too enjoy your writing. I love the tables you put together, but I totally get your perspective on it all. I do tables b/c it's an opportunity for me to be creative and I only started blogging b/c my friends and family said I should. I did tables for me before I started blogging and will continue even if I stop blogging. I enjoy blogging not b/c of the fake tables we set for no one to enjoy, but b/c of the many interesting, smart, funny, and creative people (you being in that crowd) that I have a common link with and that I wish I could hang out with. I would really miss the opportunity to connect with them/you. dianne

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  6. Since I have not posted anything since December (maybe longer), I totally get where you are coming from. I do read blogs but usually don't comment from lack of time.

    I have so many things I bought just to tablescape and now have to purge my storage area. And my craft area is an unused mess too. It seems that I have started one too many projects!

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  7. Preach it, sister! I am in the process of having a break at least until school is out. I just can't teach and blog, and spend hours looking for the "right" thing for my tablescape. I , too, am not one of the popular ones. I don't have the money to spend, nor do I want to make money blogging. If you go back to blogging and do what you want, I bet you will feel rewarded. I have been bad about not commenting on people's blogs since I took a break, but I am still out there watching everyone. I started out blogging because I liked to share my photography and like decor. Tablescaping was just the easiest to change and reinvent frequently. Now I am not so sure ...

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  8. Ellen, I will read you no matter what you post, because you are a wonderful writer! I do love playing with dishes and seeing other pretty tables, but I've been considering blogging about other things as well.

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  9. I have been having some of the same feelings. I knock myself out to do a table or a post about something and I also have been getting a lukewarm response. I resolved the other day that I am just going to do my blog for FUN, not to compete with anyone, not to "grow my numbers" as you said, not to get sponsors etc. I started out on Rate My Space and met alot of very nice people through that who encouraged me to start a blog when RMS got so mean. So, I did but I now am finding it way too competitive. I spend WAY too much time reading others blogs, commenting and not getting as many responses to MY blog. So much for blog "ettiquette". Have a good break. I hope you will come back, or just post sporadically if that is what is good for you. XO, Pinky

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  10. Leave it to Rev. Ellen to preach it! Go on, girl!!! Preach it & teach it!!! Can I hear an amen? (Whoa...that was pretty good. I'm Catholic. We usually are a bit more reserved in our remarks! :-) ) You know what you like and what you don't, and it's always good to follow your heart. If you like doing something for awhile and then decide it's no longer for you, then cool. Tastes change, circumstances change, people change. Blogging, like pretty much everything in life (except paying taxes, PAP smears, mammograms, and root canals) should be something you do because you enjoy it. Whatever the content of your blog - be it beautifully set tables for fun/profit/personal fulfillment/other, words of wisdom on life as you see it, politics, religion, art...whatever! - it should be something that speaks to who you are, what you enjoy, and what makes you tick in this short life here on earth. I enjoy your witticisms, your insightful thinking, your honesty...AND your creativity in tablescaping! So whatever path you decide to take, I'll be along for the ride with my seat belt on!!! If you stop chit-chatting with me, though, I'll hunt you down and beat you like a Salvation Army drum!!! Don't make a sister go crazy up in here! Just sayin'. :-)

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  11. Ellen I have the same reservations and mixed feelings. I get piped up and do an elaborate table every so often, but I don't have real parties and a big social life that warrants it. I've cut way down on tablescapes and told myself to just do what I feel like doing and not worry about keeping up with anyone. I do enjoy doing it, kind of like playing with our china sets when we were kids (plastic or tin!) I got a new camera a year ago that helps me capture things like I've never been able to do but my goal was to try and get things as real looking at they felt to me and not to have to fight with a flash. I took on doing tablescapes like a hobby and started to build on it, but soon realized I was gathering things at an alarming rate. I've seen 10 people on my blog at once with (my little meter) and not get one comment, so go figure. I agree with you about the popularity thing and I told myself not to worry about it and just stick to my roots. I think one problem too is finding the right group of people to follow. That's my goal these days...I'm a traditional decorator, not shabby French or primitive etc., so I'm working on gathering more people to follow with similar goals. Don't give up, just find new people to hang with!

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  12. I agree with Alycia, you should do what you enjoy...I was trying to explain blogging to a friend...to me it is my magazine, I think up the subject, I take the photos and decide which will make the cut, I decide the dialogue and I put it to gether and when it is completed, it is published...yay what a fun feeling...I too however have noticed fewer followers of really well put together blogs and it is alot of work, but it is creative work. What I do have a problem with is people who take a picture or 2 pictures with 2 sentences and publish it as if it were a blog...I don't think so..You have done some spectacular tablescapes and I know you had a fun time putting them together, there are just so many blogs out there and commenting on all of them would be impossible,so the comments are fewer and fewer (so sad) you can tell when people who have a blog get tired,you are right they do put out a lot of other peoples stuff...junk...bullitins..and so many advertisments the blog becomes too difficult to navigate through....My blog started when I was recouping from cancer surgery, I believe learning and doing my blog helped me recover, it was just the boost I needed...I hope to see more from you, take care...

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    1. Thank you for your kind thoughts and perspective. When I discovered blogging several years ago, it literally saved my sanity, as I had gotten stuck in a city and a house that I never wanted because of my husband's job. With the economic crash, came the realization that it would be a long time if ever before we would be able to unload it and move on. I am not going to disappear for good (probably), but my appearances will be when I have something to say or share that might actually interest someone. I just subscribed to your blog.

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    2. Thanks Ellen, that means a lot to me...I am happy you are not disappearing, I will be coming back to visit again.

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  13. Ellen, I really do understand!! I had to take a break last year and did not feel guilty, at all. My problem is that I have always loved tableware - I mean really loved it and have never had a close friend who was like me. We have other interests in common, but not this one. I have found such kindred spirits by blogging and that is what I have missed. Fortunately, I am not a competitive person, so I just trot along trying to use a few creative juices and see pretties on my table. I will miss you - hope that you do not stay away completely!!

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    1. Thank you. And not bloody likely that I will be gone for good. (Sorry in case anyone was hoping...) Just today I bought some unneeded flatware, just because I like it. It's purple!

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    2. I need more purple in my life! And pink, I've decided!

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  14. I smiled the whole way through this post. You rock!

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    1. Thanks! Do you not have a blog?

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    2. Oh no, my dear friend. I do not.

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  15. Ellen, I came late to your blog and had not even realized that your speciality may be tablescaping. I've enjoyed them certainly but not the most. I love the decorating projects that you do for you and your husband to enjoy and they are lasting unlike a tablescape. Also enjoy your taking us along on your quick trips expecially when you talk of "around town" in Birmingham because I can relate to those place. I've seen some of them because my daughter's family lives there. I always learn something new from you.

    I appreciate the time and effort bloggers give to their craft but I've always known that I'd never be able to keep up with it so I can certainly understand your needing a break or changing your format. Go for it!
    I won't give up looking for you.

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  16. I understand how you feel. I am a new blogger and I realized that I can't compete with some of the other bloggers out there who have lots of decor and endless ideas it seems. So I decided to just stay in my little niche and do what I enjoy. I find other peoples lives interesting and I follow blogs for lots of different reasons. I enjoy reading yours, especially when I saw your Mom's name was Geneva, that was my mom's name as well. I thought it was so nice that you wrote a book about her too. I see you have written another post so I hope you decide to stick with it because we need bloggers of all kinds and I love an opinionated blogger!

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