Why Do I Still Blog?

Why Do I Still Blog?

I’ve wondered a lot lately why I’m still blogging. If I were to stay true to the horse blog nature of SMTT, this is what I’d have to say about my weekend:

Simon got his first true beginner rider when my Mom hopped up for her first time riding a horse solo. He had many confused ears and only did one, “I don’t know what you want so I think the right answer is probably trot away” which I thought was pretty solid. Simon politely requests to stick to riders who know basic equitation. I told him that since I promise to keep him safe for the rest of his life, he can deal with the occasional beginner.

While this was happening, I attempted to ride Roman in a not-usual-for-him bit. When I asked for the canter, he was like “Yo lady this bit is not really my jam” and I said “Why thank you for safely expressing your discontent” and then we trotted. The end.

Riveting stuff folks. Super exciting.

Best pony is the best.

When that compelling content is the highlight of my horse week, I struggle with what I should do with this blog these days. I feel like I can’t call it a “horse blog” anymore. It’s a online space for my own thoughts and a platform for me to tell stories, but what I do when I don’t have much of a story to tell?

As y’all know, I have dark days and lighter ones. Sometimes I write about the dark ones, and sometimes I don’t. I never want this to become a place for whining or feeling sorry for myself, although I feel that often I flirt with that line perhaps a bit too closely. I share moments of my grief when I feel compelled to, but sometimes my judgement is cloudy because grief. That makes everything cloudy.

If I ask myself why I still blog, the answer is wholly selfish. It’s all the feedback and comments from you readers telling me to keep writing that drives me forward. I am 100% a validation whore. Comments, praise and criticism are fuel for my blogging fire. Does that make me a lesser blogger? Probably! Do I care? Not really.

The crazed eyes of Panther Puppy getting a new toy

Still when it comes to content, more times than not lately I am coming up short. I feel like I’ve cultivated a captive, loyal audience that hangs out waiting for me to post. This is perhaps absolutely a tad dramatic, but I’m grateful forΒ all of my readers and I feel as if I’m letting this cloud of eyes down when I don’t post.

If I were to blog daily again, it’d be the literary equivalent of me shrugging my shoulders. I’m here. This week I’m juggling a writing group, Japanese class, getting ready for my Halloween party and making sure Roman gets quality rides between me, my trainer and a trusted amateur friend. Tim’s birthday is tomorrow, but I don’t know what to say about that that hasn’t already been said. I worry that grief is the only thing I know how to write about anymore.

After circling around the question, I can’t answer why I still blog. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the 980+ posts I’ve written here in the past 6 years or the 22,000+ comments people have left me.

I do know that I appreciate all of y’all. Maybe that’s enough for right now.

47 thoughts on “Why Do I Still Blog?

  1. Honestly, I’d follow along regardless of content/frequency posts. I followed Young House Love when they were blogging daily and still follow them now when they share their kitchen remodel posts. They went through this struggle a fair amount because they were blogging for the job of it, and it was impacting so much of their lives, down to how they literally lived in that comments guided their decorating in their own home.

    I think that whatever you decide to talk about whenever you decide to share it will be fine for most of us. Would we like more, yes. πŸ˜‰ But I’d also like to sit down and eat a whole bag of those pumpkin spice Krispy Kremes, but we can’t always have what we want. πŸ˜‰

    You and I share a lot of common interests, and I appreciate good writing, so I’ll always tune in and will most likely validate you with a comment. πŸ˜‰ This blog was my inspiration to start blogging, though some days I don’t have a whole lot to say either, so I just don’t. I do lack the validation/viewership that you’ve accumulated though, so I doubt anyone, other than my grandma, notices the lull.

      1. I used to read them all the time as well, which is unusual for me because I usually am not into the family / super plasticy suburban type bloggers… but they had great design skills and a solid voice.

        1. I loved reading their blog as well! I don’t think you’re alone in your struggles though Lauren. I think all of us Bloggers go through a period like this where we wonder why we keep blogging. I’ve hit that point myself and my posts are so sporadic its awful, but I leave the blog up and I post when I can and have something new to say. You should do the same because those of us that love your blog will be there to read the new posts when they come out and leave you comments! πŸ˜‰

  2. Lol @ Amy. I haven’t gone through nearly the changes you have, but I wonder about keeping on blogging myself sometimes too. Part of it, I think, is being Facebook friends with so many of you guys. I post an Instagram picture, get the likes that tell me people are out there, I like other bloggers’ pictures…it feels like enough, but in the end, the reason I keep blogging is that it isn’t for me. There’s more to the story than a picture for me. Like long winded lesson recaps. And I miss the days of commenting all the time, I feel like those days died too after I could just simply click a ‘like’ button for many of my favorite bloggers.

    As much as I 100% agree with Amy and love your posts, you gotta find your own reasons, and life is too short to do something like blogging out of imagined obligation.

  3. It’s hard to sustain a blog. I’ve been blogging for about nine years and every once in awhile I’ll take some time off and post infrequently. Usually the urge to blog more comes back, but it’s supposed to be fun so when it starts to feel too much like work, I step back.

  4. I’ve been really struggling with the motivation to blog lately — you’re actually doing a lot better than I am! It’s not that I don’t have stuff going on… I just don’t feel compelled to write about it? But I have been actively reading and commenting on blogs, so YOU aren’t allowed to stop! LOL

  5. It is your story! All of it. Past, present, and future; all the seasons. People can relate and to more than just the horse part. The horse is what brings us together, but we all have other things in our lives…even if it seems like we do not to others πŸ˜‰ Keep on keepin’ on. We like your story.

  6. I remember as a teenager going through some “why am I still doing this” things, and someone telling me “because you want to find out why you do it”. I think blogging is one of those things. What we write about can change in a very organic way. It’s more about the doing than the what, if that makes sense. I think most of your readers are here because of your fantastically honest writing, not just because of the horses (though that’s a plus). There’s also something undeniably human about wanting to hear about and be indirectly involved in other people’s lives. Even things that seem mundane to you may be exciting or interesting for others to read about (hey, I want to go to a Halloween party! I hate being a shut-in, dammit!).

    Of course, sometimes you need a break. Sometimes you need to slow down. Sometimes you just can’t be interested in writing about your life. And that’s completely ok, too. You’re not letting anyone down by living your life. You’re not our personal reality TV show. The writing has to be for you -first and foremost-. That’s not selfish, it’s sensible.

  7. Lauren, we don’t know each other, but we are mutual friends with a certain hunter jumper trainer and you both are crashing at my place when you come to Vermont in November. I just wanted to say that I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years and that I had to put my best friend of 12 years to sleep shortly before Tim passed away. I have to say that your blogs and your writing on dealing with grief, if not helped me get through, at least gave me something to relate to. I found a lot of comfort and common ground in your posts and I hope you keep blogging. Tragically my perfect dog’s 3 year old son was hit by an electric car and killed yesterday- just a senseless, violent, horrible accident. I’m going to have to go back into the archives and read your writings again now that I’m a mess again. Anyway, thanks and looking forward to meeting you in person.

  8. I empathize with your post – but I can say that while I started reading SMTT because it was a great horsey blog – I continue to read because you’re a great writer and I find myself enjoying your posts regardless of subject matter, or happy factor.

    There are horse blogs with great horsey content that I find myself scrolling by as my reading time gets shorter and shorter (see: toddler), but I consistently click through on yours. So – while that’s not novel or surprising, it is true, and I’ll continue to click through even if the posts are few and far between.

    Also – Cute simon. so cute.

  9. I answer this question a little differently. I’m in a semi-hiatus right now for different reasons, but blogging is still an important way for me to mark time and progress with my horse. He’s not my whole focus like he sometimes used to be, but it’s an important (to me) release from other things.

    And I count you a friend and I’ll read whatever. πŸ˜‰

  10. I read whatever you post! I originally read for the horsey content, now I read because you’re an excellent writer and come across as the kind of person I’d likely be good friends with in real life. Bottom line though, the blog is for you – write what you want, when you want πŸ™‚

  11. I am not a horsy person (not that I don’t like horses, I just have other passions and occupations and a complete lack of finances to add on a hobby whatsoever) – I do love your blog though, even when you post very exciting descriptions of your horse week: you ARE a great writer. I think you are a great person to actually know in real life, but living in Europe, the chances are slim that I could ever cross your path elsewhere but here. Whatever you decide to do, you already have all my respect and well wishes.

  12. I am not a blogger and don’t have any aspirations beyond trail adventures with my pony – I don’t know that I’d be able to reliably generate content more than once or twice a week. But I’ve enjoyed all of your writing for a few years now. I love the horse show photos, how you process experiences, how much you love Simon, how honest you’ve been on what you struggle with and I always enjoy your house pictures too – love your style. So, from yet another Internet stranger (although, we are both Laurens!), I’ll always read anything you write because it always provokes some level of thought or emotion for me, no matter what the topic.

  13. Certainly if blogging doesn’t do much for you, you’re not obligated to keep doing it. But I will say that even though I get to see you in person, this gives me another window that I might not see into on a normal basis, and I appreciate that insight. I do also very much enjoy your writing in general, even when it tends toward dark and moody. There’s a distinct lack of creative writing in my life since graduating (that isn’t a novel), and the quality of writing in your posts helps to fill that hole a little bit.

    These are all selfish reasons though, and have nothing to do with why YOU should keep doing it. So I’ve got plenty of validation to offer, but not much in the way of real motivation unfortunately.

  14. I’m another one who originally came on board because of the horsey posts, but I stuck around because a) you are a terrific writer b) we have the same kind of dog and I love all your dog posts c) I love your crafts and creativity and d) I am in the process of reinventing my own life, so following your journey gives me insight and hope. You are a very admirable young woman! I am happy to read whatever you care to write about and look forward to every post, no matter what frequency.

  15. I’m still here. I don’t blog anymore, and I’m down to following 4 blogs total. Time forces me to read quality. It doesn’t bother me you don’t only blog about horses, though, some of your dark posts I skip due to my own dark past. And that’s ok. I still look forward to opening up Blogger and finding a post of yours. <3

  16. I don’t care what you write about. You’re a good writer. When I was a kid, once I asked my mom this question about a book: “What’s it about?”. She said the plot didn’t matter, it was all about how good the writer was.

  17. Yup, that’s enough for now. Whenever and whatever you write, I will read it. That much I can promise you. And if you decide to hang up your blogging hat, and we are just facebook friends who used to be blogging friends, I’ll be okay with that too. But I might still come back here to read my favorite posts from time to time. So, if you do stop writing (which I hope you don’t, but understand if you do) please leave the site up, if you would be so kind.

  18. I can’t say a whole lot because I no longer blog, and I have not blogged in over two years. But I still check blogger every day for updates to my favorite blogs and would be severely disappointed if you were to quit.

  19. OMG Lauren! You have to keep writing you silly!
    That said, I empathize- my blog tends to be closer to an Instagram feed with photos and a little blurb here and there. Personally, that’s how I like to generally consume content (although your writing is fabulous and I love your posts) because I’m busy and while I want to see what’s up with everyone, I can’t necessarily hang around for a novel. There’s no shame in a short post πŸ™‚
    I think it’s GREAT that your Mom came out and rode and I love that pic- she looks so happy!

  20. This is only the second time I have left a reply, but I have read your blog for a long time. I love your writing, no matter what you write about. Your insights help a lot more people than you realize. Thanks!

  21. “I feel like I’ve cultivated a captive, loyal audience that hangs out waiting for me to post” You have!!! I love it when I get a Facebook notification that you have posted a blog! Keep blogging.. whether it’s days weeks or months between posts.. I’ll be there to read it!

  22. I feel like a lot of bloggers who have been around for a while are struggling with blogging right now. If the mood strikes you to write and share, do it! If it doesn’t, don’t. You know I love your writing even if I don’t always comment, and while I would be sad to see you stop blogging, I would also 100% understand if you did. It may be that’s a chapter of your life you want to close. And maybe someday you will reopen it. You do what’s right for you. πŸ™‚

  23. you’ve created a very special online space here over the years – and are absolutely correct about cultivating a loyal audience. like others have said, i came for the horses but stayed for the author. you have a great perspective of the world and your experiences in it, and i’m grateful that you choose to share that with us.

  24. I’ve never labeled my blog as anything other than a lifestyle blog. When I started it, most of my readers were fellow shoppers from a site called Little Black Bag. I called it a lifestyle blog and wrote about things I enjoy in my life. Sometimes it was shopping (whatever, I’m shallow), sometimes running, sometimes horses. I think it’s evolved currently into mostly a horse blog, but it could change again as life does.
    As a reader, I follow along because you tell a beautiful story. Sure, some days are darker than others, but that’s always true in life. I love reading about your fur kids (horses and dogs alike), but I also like reading about you and what’s happening in your life. I don’t think anyone needs to blog every day. I just hope you’ll keep popping in with an update. Though you have to do that for YOU not for us.

  25. I am also in the group that started reading for the horse content and have stayed for the writing. Whatever and when you post, be it horse things or more personal, you have a way with words and how you go about it, expressing what’s going on in life.

    The darker emotional content? It’s there because you needed to let it out. You’ve been honest with your feelings and I can appreciate that. You’ve shared a lot, when there is a lot some of us can’t share for one reason or another. Your sharing allows us to relate on a deeper, personal level even if we don’t or can’t post a comment.

    As for stepping back or even walking away for a while from posting, many of us find ourselves not only doing that with our own blogs, but with commenting as well. There are blogs I read and just can’t bring myself to comment on often, unless the content is something that strikes a nerve or is that engaging that I feel the urge. Otherwise I lurk in the shadows and don’t comment. Some days My mood is not one to be sharing anything with anyone so I don’t post comments anywhere, but that’s life.

    Bottom line is that you don’t “Owe” any of us a blog post. We just appreciate them all as they come, no matter the content.

  26. I’m glad you do it and I’m also really glad you do it for you – it’s tough to keep something going if it’s not rewarding / fun / satisfying. Take a break, or not. Write more, or not. You can always come back to the blog and the internets will always be here

  27. Ditto what everyone else wrote above. I don’t care what you write about, you are a fantastic writer and it makes any topic you write about worth the time to read. I know that you are only sharing the parts of yourself that you chose to share, but I feel like I’m getting to actually *know* you and it’s cool to get to know someone on a deeper level than the superficial friendships that our busy lives tend to cultivate. So I like your random posts just as much as the horse ones for that reason. But don’t ever feel pressured to come up with content for us!

  28. I love reading most of your blogs, no matter how often you post. It shouldn’t feel like you HAVE to do it every day, IMHO. While I love the horse topics by far the best, I also know life doesn’t consist of just one thing. πŸ™‚

    BTW, your mother is BEAUTIFUL!

  29. Just showing up, even if the content isn’t riveting is pretty awesome in my books. I’m always interested in reading what you have to say because you can tell a story…. It’s a talent. I have laughed, I have shed many tears (can’t help it) while reading, and I can’t help but listen (read) to every word you say (write). Thank you for sharing your thoughts, even if you are not sure which ones to share right now. Just being here is enough.

    bonita of A Riding Habit

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