Monday, February 11, 2013

How Blogging is Like a Marriage

I've been thinking a lot about blogging recently.  It could be because last month was my third anniversary of blogging. Coincidentally our 32nd wedding anniversary is this week.  As I've been pondering both anniversaries I have been struck with how similar blogging and marriage are.  

Starting a blog is like starting a romance.  Do you remember the infatuation of those first weeks and months of blogging?  Do you remember how annoying you were to everyone else?  All you could talk about, think about, and do was blog.  That unreasoned passion is short-lived though and must give way to a deep affection and liking. Sometimes with blogging (as with a marriage) you forget why you fell in love in the first place and you falter in your dedication when little disappointments come along.  In marriage the infatuation stage supposedly lasts a year or two and in blogging I'm guessing about the same.  

As I was thinking about this post I noticed an article in the New York Times that just said it all:  Long-Lasting (Blogging) Love Takes a Lot of Work.  One of the points that I found interesting in the article was that we tend to become habituated to positive circumstances - or in other words "we get so used to things that make us feel good that they no longer do" (also called hedonic adaptation).  The author suggests that we take time with our blogs (I mean spouses) and express what we like about them.  She also says that variety is the key as it is innately stimulating and rewarding.  You can't just keep writing the same kinds of posts all the time or you will become bored with your blog (as will your readers).  Instead you must change things up to keep your blog "fresh, meaningful, and positive".  Surprise yourself by learning something new or trying a different kind of post.

I also looked at some marriage advice to see how it might apply to blogging.  (Who knew that the best list I found would be on Wikihow.)  So here are some sensible tidbits for helping you have a better blog (er, I mean marriage):

Be yourself from the start of the relationship.  So important.  I love when people say that my blog sounds like me.  It isn't always easy to stay true to that when we read other blogs and want to channel a little of their style.

Exercise your sense of humour.  I love funny blogs, but I'm not a humourist.  Even if I'm not outright funny I do try to stay light-hearted and not sound preachy.

Try to let the little annoyances go.  It is very easy to look at other blogs and see what they are doing, the ideas they have, the projects they are doing, the opportunities they have received and feel disappointed in your own blog.  It is always important to keep the right perspective and let those little annoyances and jealousies go.  You never know how long or how hard that other person has been working on their blog.

Make time to post regularly and visit other people's blogs.  Not always easy when life gets in the way, but to really grow a blog it is important to spend time with it.

Be cautious and think before you choose the words you use.  It is so easy to post something you may regret later. Always think whether you would share that same information with someone sitting next to you on an airplane.  You never know who is reading your blog and once it is out there it is there for good.

Learn from your mistakes.  If you ranted and raved in a post and regretted it later, move on.  There's plenty of room for forgiveness.

Act like everything's okay.  To get over a blogging slump, it is important to try new things and look for inspiration to bring happiness back to blogging.  Sometimes acting like there is nothing wrong and you are satisfied with blogging is the best medicine - just keep going and the inspiration and freshness will catch up to you.
Remember what you love about blogging (okay, I added this one on my own).  Then you can focus on the real reasons you blog when you become discouraged.  I've been meaning to come up with a list that I can pin to my notice board.  
Any other suggestions?

And what do the pictures of citrus fruit have to do with blogging and marriage you ask?  Well nothing actually, but last weekend I decided I wanted to sample every citrus fruit that was available at our nearest grocery store.  I couldn't get enough of all that citrusy goodness so I had some fun and took a few photos.  It was an exercise in healthy eating and trying new things to keep life interesting (see this post).  

Oh and by the way, have you tried a Cara Cara orange - that's one of them cut open in the photos above.  They are the best orange I have had bar none.  They are so pretty with their pinky-orange segments and are sweet and juicy and delicious.  If you get nothing else from this post than an orange recommendation, then I will consider it a job well done.  Let me know when you have had one.

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Linked to Make the Scene Monday at Alderberry Hill,
Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now


  1. Grace, this is brilliant. Just perfect. :) Thank you!

  2. 1. There is no way you can have been married for 32 years! You look too young!
    2. Love this post! The comparison is great. I would also add that you need to work at it! Just like marriages, you need to tough out the rough parts and figure out what works/isnt working and try to improve.
    3. I once bought cara cara oranges by accident and I thought they were a grapefruit at first! I had to do some internetting to find out what they really were. I liked them, but I think I still prefer regular oranges for my citrus fix ;)

  3. Hey Grace - good advice. I love cara caras (have some in the fridge right now) but blood orange are still my fav. J

  4. Great advice, and I love your citrus shots. This post is timely since I seem to be separated, and possibly on the path to a divorce with my blog. I think the issue for me is that I started out my blog with one thing in mind and then switched gears somewhere along the line. So the marriage analogy would be that maybe I married the wrong man/blog, or we grew apart. Thankfully that wasn't the case in my real life. :)


  5. Great post! Great anologies/tips! Beautiful "citrusy" shots too:-)

  6. Loved this post, Grace. Picked up some orange today. Once I get an oven up and going again here I will let you know about those cookies I am itching to try.

  7. Your beautiful citrus pics make me hungry for an orange or a grapefruit. I bought Cara Cara Oranges last week because I read about them here and they are SO good. My daughter loves them too! I have also been enjoying poached eggs over steamed asparagus with some hollandaise sauce. Great post and superb analogy! I think I need to shake things up a little bit because I am getting a little bored of my posts sometimes too!Have a lovely week Grace and Happy Valentine's Day! Angie xo

  8. I'm craving a Cara Cara orange right now, and I don't think I've ever tried one before.

    This is an inspiring post to me, because it is filled with some great advice. I need to read it again, I think....

  9. Love this post Grace. Such a great perspective on blogging - and marriage! Hope you two (your blog, that is) continue to be a happy couple. Happy anniversary!

  10. Love this post! They really are alike, aren't they? I'd add one....Just let it flow. That's my mantra these days. Don't think to hard, don't sweat it, don't worry about what anyone else thinks. Do what you love and let it flow. It always seems to result in me being productive instead of being bogged down in thinking too hard.

  11. I'm going to have to try to find some Cara Cara. Your photos of them are making me crave one. A great post and great tips.

  12. Oh, Dear Grace, this is so timely. I am in the process of reevaluating my business and wondering whether I should continue with it and my Blog. Do I still have anything of interest to say in my posts? Or is it time to make a graceful exit?

    I need to give it some thought. Maybe I need a bit of a Blog "fling" to give me some new perspective? You know, the blog equivalent of an extramarital affair to prime the pump, so to speak. Quelle idée!!

  13. Ha! I love it. It is all so true. You know how easily people give up on marriage, the same holds true for blogs. It is really easy to become discouraged, especially when you see some blogs growing readership or followers at a rapid fire pace. But, as you say, you need to remind yourself why you started blogging in the first place. I have been at it for 3+ years and have yet to gather 200 followers which may lead some people to wonder why I continue. But, I do enjoy connecting with the few readers I have and the daily practice of sitting down to write has been fun for me. Perhaps perspective is what it is all about for me.
    Great post, get's us all thinking.