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Blog Struggles: The Online Blogging Diary Begins

…I have always sought to be understood and, while I was taken to task by critics or colleagues, I thought they were right, assuming I had not been clear enough to be understood. This assumption allowed me to work my whole life without hatred and even without bitterness toward criticism, regardless of its source. I counted solely on the clarity of expression of my work to gain my ends. Hatred, rancor, and the spirit of vengeance are useless baggage to the artist. His road is difficult enough for him to cleanse his soul of everything which could make it more so.
Henri Matisse

Blog Struggles Article SeriesAfter Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference (SOBCon) this year, Dave Taylor invited me to go with a small group to the The Art Institute of Chicago to see the Henri Matisse exhibition. As I walked through the gallery, studying “The Back” and “The Bathers” series as it developed over time, I learned that Matisse returned to the subjects repeatedly, doing them again and again to find the “just right” perspective, never satisfied with the final project. I thought about how I return to my own art time and again, revealing my own artistic nature by revisiting the same subject over and over again.

People ask me why I blog about blogging. We all know how to blog by now. After seven years of blogging almost exclusively about blogging, most of them blogging about WordPress, haven’t I run out of things to say?

Again, to quote Matisse, “Truth and reality in art do not arise until you no longer understand what you are doing and are capable of, but nevertheless sense a power that grows in proportion to your resistance.”

Blogging is an evolving media. While it has been more than 17 years since I launched my first website, journaling before blogging became the namesake for the process, I’m constantly learning. I’m also constantly challenged by this medium of expression, and I love watching myself grow as my industry grows.

the crowd outside the Chicago Art MuseumStanding in the museum, the quiet whispers around me, a sick feeling sank into me. It’s too quiet. I’m surrounded by art that represents expression – loud, boisterous, almost violent expression – yet people treat it like it’s a church. I wanted to laugh out loud. I wanted to shout. I wanted to dance.

Dave Taylor wandered near me and whispered, “It’s too quiet in here. The artists would hate it if they were here. They would want us to celebrate their art not revere it.”

I laughed then quickly stifled it, complying with the implied request for noise suppression amid the loud images on the walls.

It was a bloggy moment.

The True Magic of Blogging: Finding Like Minds

One of the joys I have in blogging is finding like minds, those who share my vision, and even my opinion, some commonality with what I write about. While some might say Dave read my mind, in a way, that’s what I want people to experience when reading my blogs. I want them to say, “You read my mind!”

The greatest comments I get on this blog are ones that thank me for having the answer after they’ve looked for it so long, and those telling me that this is a valuable resource for them. I have what they need. I read their mind.

In that vein, I decided right then and there that it was time to invite you into my head so you could see what I think as I contemplate and produce my own artistry. As Liz Strauss said so beautifully in her brilliant keynote at SOBCon, “Don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain.” Well, the wizard pulling the cords behind this blog is going to step out from behind the curtain and invite you into my world. I’m going to try to blog regularly in my series to give you the behind the scenes process of how I blog. Consider it a blog diary on blogging on blogging, if you will.

Here’s hoping you like-minded individuals show up and help me make some noise, because it’s just too darn quiet around here lately!

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.


  1. Posted May 3, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Well, enough of the quiet. I’m glad you’ve decided to step out from behind the curtain! Here’s to lots of noisy connections.

  2. Posted May 4, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Blogging has been overtaken by Twitter and Facebook to a large degree. Those that blog regularly tend toward ossification. You may need your artist’s chisel and hammer to break away.

  3. Posted May 5, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    It’s amazing to think what an impact blogging has had on your life. I have to disagree with Brian. Blogging is entirely different than the two and can’t be replaced in that way.

  4. Posted May 5, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Hello Lorelle,
    Without doubt blogging has had a huge impact on your life and I want to hear about your blogging struggles and maybe ever share mine.

    The most transformative impact impact on blogging has been social media and microblogging. These days we are witnessing the power of social media broadcast range and the change it evokes. Tweets, retweets and “likes” are having their effect on blogging linking patterns and the SERPs. We are blogging less and we are struggling more.

  5. John Wilder
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    You don’t say if you can set up a business from your blog and also get ad sense ads placed on your blog? Can I add click bank or paypal on my blog and create an online store?

    John Wilder

    • Posted July 6, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      @John Wilder: You are on a blog. Ads are not permitted. They are a violation of the terms of service and could result in the closing of your blog if you do so. I do not discuss such subjects on this blog.

  6. Andy
    Posted May 18, 2010 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    You are right. Writing blogs can help in knowing various persons with different ideas and helps in communication with various persons.

  7. Posted May 21, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Adding some noise.. it has been a long time since I last visited your blog. I love to blog although my blog isn’t going anywhere further than 100 RSS readers. But I still love to blog and knowing that someone out there might be reading my blog although not all the time.

  8. sherry
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Really blogging helps us a lot…specially at the time when we have noone to be listened.I am starting to write my blogs bt still dont knw how to start.Though I hv much to write,am trying…And your story reflectd mine too.

  9. Posted June 8, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    The topic is suddenly timely, given the announcement re: the abomination known as re-blogging. Well, and that “like” button, too.

    One real relationship is worth a thousand anonymous facebook “friends”, and one halting but thoughtful comment is worth a thousand hits on a “like button”. The wordpress team has gone fuzzy-headed on this one – content creators beat purveyors of fluff every time.

    Grrrrrr…. You want noise? I’ll make noise. Glad to see you back and posting. I’ll be reading.

  10. psychicjim
    Posted June 14, 2010 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,
    I have just discovered your blog and want to let you know I am inspired by it. You have a lot to offer others as a blog teacher, and I for one am learning from you, thanks.

  11. Jens Berger
    Posted June 15, 2010 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    You are right. It’s amazing to think what an impact blogging has had on your life. I am thinking also.

  12. Posted June 21, 2010 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    You are right. It’s amazing to think what an impact blogging has had on your life. I am thinking also.

  13. Francesca
    Posted July 15, 2010 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Lorelle, I am always hugely interested in what you have to say about blogging. As a newbie in the blogging field, there is a lot I still have to learn and your posts have often been illuminating for me.

    So, keep going.

  14. Posted July 23, 2010 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Like Francesca, I too am a newbie in the blog arena. I am a self proclaimed Blogger Novice. Like Henri Matisse, I too avoid Hatred, rancor, and the spirit of vengeance in my life because I already have too many things to worry about and work on to add these things to the mix. It’s just not worth wasting my time being in some kind of bad mood.

    When I had people tell me someone was mad at me I would always tell them they had 2 problems, getting mad and getting un-mad, but I had no problems.

    I have only recently started to explore the world of blogging outside the small blog site I was previously a member of. Thru my explorations I have come across so many wonderful, interesting, incredible and awesome blogs that I can’t believe I was completely unaware they were out there just waiting for me to find them and enjoy them. I’m glad I came across yours as I can use every bit of helpful information I can get to get my blog started and growing. I still have a long way to go but I look forward to the journey and meeting new people along the way.

  15. Posted August 12, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle, you know I’m always interested in what you have to say. I’m here lurking in the shadows.

    Your biggest fan.

  16. Jonan Castillon
    Posted September 23, 2010 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle, it’s so nice and warm to know about your fulfillment in blogging and the power of its influence on those who read and comprehend your thoughts. Yeah, I agree that like-mindedness among the blogger and the reader is very crucial to establishing that feeling of fulfillment. The blogger receives fulfillment and joy from readers who attest how the blog post have helped them. Thank you for sharing your ideas and creativity in writing, not only for this post but for the rest of the articles. Personally, it was when I brought my writing talent into the internet through launching a freelance writing career. So far so good and I’m happy that internet and blogging resources abound and creating a blog is just a matter of clicks and drags of the computer mouse. Cheers!

  17. RayRay
    Posted June 16, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I know it’s long after the fact, but I just wanted to say how inspiring this post was.

    I will also add that there’s definitely some value in finding UNlike minds, provided they are willing to work WITH you rather than against you. A civil debate on the internet is like glimpsing a unicorn in the woods. It’s beautiful and assumed to be mythical.

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] and Tell It To the Telephone Pole A few people were concerned when I started my first Blog Struggles Diary recommending that I not blog every day thus changing the whole tone of my site. This confused me as […]

  2. […] I have always sought to be understood and, while I was taken to task by critics or colleagues, I thought they were right, assuming I had not been clear enough to be understood. This assumption … more → […]

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