Friday, July 22, 2022

The State of the Blog

It has been almost a full month since my last post! And so much has happened that I could have written about! We had a big family wedding here in NY just before the Fourth of July, then the Baptism of our youngest grandchild the day after the wedding, then a week-long vacation with four of our boys and their wives and 13 of our grandchildren at our Oyster Haven VRBO lake house; and since then, daily visiting with relatives from both my husband's family and mine...

There has been so much to write about, but so little motivation to write!

This might be part of the problem.

Yes indeed, that might be it for sure.

Anyway, this is just a quick post to say that eleven-plus years ago, I hit the "publish" button on my first post for String of Pearls (which is what I called this blog before I tweaked the name with a tip o' the hat to the Irish a few years back)...and somehow, I'm still here.  I'm still blogging.  

And as if the fact that I'm in my 60's doesn't tell you that I'm a dinosaur, saying that I'm a blogger in 2022 shouts it loud and clear.

So many of the blogs that I followed back in the day are no longer being updated.  Haven’t been in quite some time, actually.  When I joined the fray, there were Catholic bloggers who'd already been at it a long time. Little did I know that the Old Guard bloggers whose names were so well-known that all you needed to say was "Grace" or "Dwija" or "Britt" and everyone knew exactly whom you were talking about were about to abandon long form blogging for the brighter, shinier world of Instagram.  I had jumped on a speeding train that was about slow down and pretty much head to the station for the last time, and I didn't even know it.  Eventually, I followed the crowd and started posting more on Instagram than I did here at the blog...but I was ON FIRE for blogging as a newbie in 2011.

When I started this site, my youngest son was about to graduate from high school and head off to Notre Dame, and my oldest son was about to become a new father to identical twin girls.  I was about to become an empty-nester and a first-time Grammy, all at once. And suddenly, I had this great platform for archiving family memories and keeping an online journal, not to mention a thoroughly delightful way to exercise my writing muscles on a regular basis, all wrapped up into one glorious package.  Plus, there was an unexpected blessing: blogging was a way to connect and make "friends" with fellow writers and other like-minded fellow Catholic moms.

I loved blogging.

I blogged nearly every day the first few years.  In 2011, I wrote 286 blog posts (and I started in March, so I missed the first few months!).  In 2012, I wrote 331 posts; in 2013, 275.  Those were the halcyon days of blogging for me.  Jump ahead to 2017, and I only posted 49 times that whole year.  If you add up 2018, 2019, and 2020, there were 142 posts in all; my goodness, in one of my prior "unproductive" years, 2016, there were more than that (180).  I'm making a short story very long here; suffice it to say that I'm blogging way, way less these days.  It's already July and so far my output for 2022 is 23 posts, counting this one.  2011 me would not recognize 2022 me.  I did spend six of these past years immersed in the Insta-world; but I can’t blame my meager blogging output on Instagram anymore, because I deleted my account in 2021.

But I’m not quite finished, I guess.  This blog is not dead yet.

Jenny Uebbing, one of my earliest blogging heroes, said in her most recent post at Mama Needs Coffee, "blogging is dead!"  But she also said, "I can resurrect this dead horse any old time it works for me and then beat it back into submission with my silence and nobody will care."  Hey, that’s how I feel about my dying horse, too. (But Jenny, I for one do care about yours!  And once a month is just not often enough for me to hear what you have to say!)

She only blogs sporadically now; but in another recent Mama Needs Coffee post, Uebbing says, "My heart always thrills at the sight of an old fashioned long form blog post popping up from one of my dusty, trusty favorite blogs who've somehow managed to survive instagram tiktok and substack."  (I had to look up substack, because like I told you above, I am a bit of a dinosaur; but YES!  Yes to all this!) 

So many of the bloggers I "met" early on have a big presence on Instagram these days, but not so much in the blogosphere; however, several of them are still at it, and my heart thrills at the site of their latest old fashioned long form blog posts.  Kendra Tierney doesn't post as often as she used to at Catholic All Year, but she's still blogging.  Colleen at Martin Family Moments, Madeline at A Dash of Snark, and Beth at A Mom's Life are still updating regularly, and they are my core blogger "friend" group that I visit with these days.  Ernie at  No Small Feat is another regular blogger who's been at it a while but whose site I found just recently.

I now have more than 1,500 posts in my archives, and over 650,000 page views—it would be sorta cool to get to a million.  (She throws her head back and cackles!  As if!)  But it looks like that would take another ten years at least, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be at this that long!

I currently have an IT problem that I can't quite figure out: I can't comment on either my blog or any other blogs using my laptop or iPhone, but I can do so on my Kindle.  (??)  It's as if the blogger dashboard doesn't have me signed in to my account...and yet I can still do my blog posts.  I don't get it.  I hesitate to try to "fix" the problem, because I'm afraid I'll end up locked out of my blog altogether.  So if you've been kind enough to leave me a comment in recent months and I haven't acknowledged it, sorry about that!  It's just a lot harder for me to comment than it used to be. But I love hearing from you!

P.S. This is now my only social media outlet!  I'm totally off Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.  I've never been on TikTok.  And Substack...yikes, what next?  I can't keep up!  So I shall only blog!  (Posts are coming soon about all the wonderful July goings-on in the Pearl clan, so stay tuned.)