15th blogoversary: Hello out there…

Last week, I had a bit of a blogistential crisis when I realized I was approaching 15 years in this place. My data-oriented brain looked back over 2022 and ran some numbers: 144 posts; 41 (28%) that had comments; and of those, only 12 of them (29%, or 8% of my total posts) had comments from more than one person (excluding responses from me). Almost all of the comments came from a half-dozen readers. I was looking at those numbers and I thought – maybe it’s time to stop. Maybe 15 years is enough. Maybe it’s time to fully transition my social media presence away from this dinosaur platform onto platforms where I have more engagement, like Instagram or TikTok.

Except…I don’t want to migrate. I still enjoy blogging, regardless of interaction. I like having a quiet space to post my book reviews, cat stuff, photography, and monthly wrap ups. I like the organization of the Zen Leaf. I like the wealth of memories and thoughts I’ve collected over the years. Since I gave up writing fiction in 2016, this is about all I have left of wordplay, and I do still enjoy writing, a lot. Yeah, back in 2008 when I started, this was all about connecting with other people and making likeminded friends across the world. It’s not about that anymore, with so few of us left, so I have to evaluate on new criteria – something I haven’t done in a very long time.

(figured a new header would be nice for 15 years!)

There isn’t really any question of me quitting outright, so the question became, do I take this blog private, and write only for myself? Or keep writing into the void publicly, with sporadic interactions with other folks? I thought about that, how it might change things for me. If I made the Zen Leaf private, I honestly don’t imagine there would be much of a change in how I use it. After all, over 70% of my posts get no interaction at all if 2022 is any indication, and that’s never stopped me from writing or posting. If I went private, I might be less formal in reviews of books I don’t like (ha!), but otherwise, I don’t see a lot of change. That left me teetering on a fence about what to do. Fifteen years is a long time, and it might be time for a clean break.

I decided to leave the question for a week and come back to it. There were drafts ready to go for most of the time in between, when I was going to be extremely busy, so I didn’t think much about blogging during that time. Then I finished another book, and came to do my post-book wrap-up admin here, adding it to lists and prepping a blog post for when I had a chance to review it. The date of that post would need to be after this blogoversary post, which I had yet to write. I thought – this could be the first post, the first book review, that would be private. Something in my gut tugged. The book itself wasn’t significant, but I would craft my words to review it, and even if those words are only read by five or six people, it still feels better to know that they are out in the world to be read, if people so choose.

That answered my question for me. If I don’t have any blogging angst and I do this because I enjoy it, if I don’t care that the majority of my posts don’t get any engagement, then it doesn’t matter if I continue publicly or privately. However, if it feels better on a gut level to keep going the way I always have? There’s no reason not to at that point. I can write for me and me alone, publicly. And for those half-dozen folks who have been here for so long, I still see you, and appreciate you, and know you’re celebrating 15 years with me. We might all be blogging dinosaurs, but we haven’t completely disappeared yet. Cheers!


About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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10 Responses to 15th blogoversary: Hello out there…

  1. R.G.N. says:

    I never comment (though we’ve exchanged messages on Insta!) but I’ve been reading almost all your posts for years! Not 15, though, I don’t think. You should follow your heart, but selfishly, I do enjoy your posts and reviews!


    • Amanda says:

      Hello! It took me a min to connect you to your insta account but I figured it out. πŸ˜€ I didn’t know you read my blog, thanks for letting me know. I do think my heart says to just keep going. It’s not like I ever cared about engagement, not since like 2010 anyway, heh. I just had a brief moment of existential crisis, probably bc I was stressed and didn’t have a clue what to write when I sat down at my computer that day. Ha! Usually when I get like that (in the summer!) I can just take a break and not post very often for a few months. This time, the crisis resolved itself before it really went anywhere. *shrug* πŸ˜€


  2. Ann says:

    Hi, I’m another long time reader but not a commenter. I have to say that I enjoy reading your blog and keep it bookmarked to check to see if there’s a new post. I enjoy the kitten content too, as I have adopted a wild kitten of my own.


  3. I just wanted to comment so you know I’m still here reading even though like others I don’t always comment. I don’t want to be that person that just hits the “like” button, as it comes across, or can come across, as spam. Like you, I’ve been around blogging for a long time (I think about 18 years, if I’m remembering correctly, with various blogs) and like you, I’ve had my share of existential blogging crises. “Do I stay or do I go?” And we’re not the only ones. Another blogger I know, Melissa, announced this week she is folding her blog after 15 years and going to Substack (actually already there), where I already “follow” her. I tried posting at the blog and Substack, but it just doesn’t work for me. I still like the blog…all this rambling, in a roundabout way to say, I’ll still read you wherever you go (hope that doesn’t sound creepy, I realize, as I type it). Sometimes I don’t know what to say, thinking I’ll say too much (like today) or too little or just give an offhand comment when you’re dealing with big issues, so that’s why I don’t comment. It’s not that I don’t care. I just don’t want to come across as flippant or dismissive, like I’m not reading what you’ve written. Anyway, this really is a ramble. I guess I should save it for my own blog post. πŸ™‚ Keep doing what you’re doing with the blog and what makes you happy and content.


    • Amanda says:

      You are one of those folks I know are reading when they can, commenting when they have something to say. I can say ditto to all this re: your blog. I know I’m not always the best at commenting either, but I do read and of course we talk on Insta etc, and I hope someday, J and I will get up to your part of the world and get to meet you and your wife in person! I’ve always loved blogger meetups. πŸ˜€ I was sad but not surprised to hear about Melissa. I’m a bit of a lurker there too. I’m afraid I have no idea what Substack is though and I don’t think I’m going to investigate. I have platforms, however small, here, Insta, and TT, and I don’t think I need to migrate to another. I’m even struggling a bit with tracking books on both GoodReads and Storygraph this year, bc I want to migrate off GR but I’m still figuring out SG. But at least I can still see Melissa – and so many other bloggers who have quit – on other platforms! Insta seems to hold a lot of us these days. I think Twitter was like that once but I haven’t used my twitter since 2016ish I think? I need to just delete the account, but I haven’t yet…


      • We have deleted Facebook and Twitter and never regretted it once, especially with Elon Musk taking over Twitter. I haven’t heard of Storygraph, but probably will stick with Goodreads, just because I really don’t read that much anymore. I tried Substack and might again, but for now, I’m content to read Melissa’s newsletter via the site (it was/is easy to subscribe). I’m only on Insta, here, and Goodreads, and on the latter, I interact very sporadically, if at all. I mostly use GR for tracking the few books that I do read.


      • Amanda says:

        Oh yeah, I never interact on GR at all. I mostly keep it as an organizational tool, but since it’s owned by Amazon, I’d like to move over to a different location, hence trying out Storygraph. I’m in the process of getting off FB though I might end up needing to keep it if I have to keep a Page there for photography. I guess we’ll see.


      • Well, I imported my books to StoryGraph. I’m not thrilled with Amazon either, but won’t lie that I still use from time to time. Try not to, but sometimes…


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