Friday, April 11, 2008

Stress? Who? Me?

A fellow blogger (thanks, tacogirl!) recently sent some of us bloggers a link to an article about bloggers being under stress and a few who have died from heart attacks lately. Although the article dealt mostly with people who blog professionally and get paid for it (what a novel idea!), it did get me to thinking.

Even though I am retired, I do live in Mexico and stress here is inevitable. I try to keep it to a minimum. But I do often feel stressed out. And it usually has to do with maintaining two blogs.

I try to keep a storehouse of blogs in draft format. If I wake up one morning with no idea whatsover, I can always call up one of my drafts and publish that. If it is complete and ready to be published! This is a photo heavy blog and a lot of my drafts are waiting for me to find just the right pictures to illustrate it. Or enough pictures to post it.

But there are many nights where I lie in bed, toss and turn and worry about what I am going to publish tomorrow. Or I compose the text in my head, which is very helpful for relaxing and falling asleep. Not! B often reminds me that this is supposed to be a hobby, not a job. Even though he is right, I still treat it like a job, spending maybe way too many hours on it. Both physically and mentally. Sometimes I get jealous of fellow bloggers who live in large cities where there are thousands of things to report on and photograph. But here on a tiny island that is 5 miles long and 1/2 mile wide, subject matter can be tight at times.

And the really big stress maker? Mean, rotten or nasty comments from people. Fortunately, I have a fantastic reader base who are very suportive of most of what I do. I hardly ever get a bad comment, so when I do I fret about it for days. Wrestling with the decision of whether I stepped over the bounds, whether or not I should amend it or delete it entirely. Just one comment can make me question the validity of what I do. And every comment I receive, unless it is a personal attack on me and not what I have said, gets published. I think I mentioned before that I have only ever rejected and not published two comments. I figure if I get to have my say, then you can too.

I have held back on publishing some posts, thinking that maybe I was being a bit too bitchy or my sense of humor might not be understood. Like the recent What Were They Thinking! It was not very well received and I spent a few sleepless hours pondering comments and emails I got about it. I thought about that one long and hard before hitting the PUBLISH button. But I try never to attack people for who they are or what they are. That is just not me. But if you choose to wear or do something that I think is just wrong....and do it in public....then you are fair game. Besides, posts like that one reflect who I am, another side to my multi-faceted personality. And guess what? I may just post another one someday!

So does blogging cause me stress? Hell, yes! But ya know what? It by far and away causes me more happiness, has made me much more aware of my surroundings and the best part....I have met some fantastic people that I would never have met save for the world of blogging. And soon now, I am going to get to meet even more of those people in person! So maybe a little stress is a blessing in disguise!


Anonymous said...

Wayne - interesting Blog entry. I never stress about any of it - really.

I find Blogging as a Bully Pulpit opportunity. The more I do it the less I worry about controversy. In fact, I rather enjoy the gray topics that often bring out the reds and greens and occasional black temperaments.

Being as a Blog is a personal commentary it should be honest, sincere and informative first and foremost to our family and friends, and then to anyone who dares to read. No stress that - no?

Now I suppose if you feel a commitment wherein you have production 'deadlines' then pressures may mount - and I think you must have some of that as you have a design; whereas I write an entry when the moods strike me and am completely without plan or organization.

I suppose selfishly it is nice for we readers to be able to click on your link and know when we will find a new entry - no such luck with mine ;-0

Each Blog eventually takes on a character - perhaps the kinder, gentler ones are more appealing? I think there are more women readers than men generally - if I were pandering for readership like some I suppose I might use a Martha Stewart format mixed with that of the Today show - but that is not my bent - mine is to vent and feel better about it while also getting some comments that might help me along the way - and that does happen.

Some days I think about stopping all the nonsense - but then what would I do with all that extra time - take up woodworking perhaps?

In the mean time thanks for your efforts - I enjoy your Blogs.

John Calypso

Theresa said...

Wayne, when it stops being fun, it will be okay for you to stop doing it. I have never gotten a negative comment, but I don´t think that is necessarily a good thing. Either only people who agree with me read my blog, or I am such a bleeping Pollyanna that I never say anything thought provoking or controversial.
When you post stuff like the ¨what were they thinking¨ post, I just figure you've had enough. After all you live on the beach in a tourist town, how many beer bellies can you see without getting sick of them?
I am looking forward to the blogger meeting.

Heather said...

Wayne, it's obvious from the quality of your blog that you take it very seriously, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. That said, however, my blog is supposed to be a stress-reliever and an outlet for my feelings. Some days I write 3 entries on the same day and sometime a week will go by with nothing new (and I will concede that after a few days I start to worry about my next post, especially when I get the emails from people jabbing me to put up something new).

As for nasty comments, well, you know we all go through it at some point. It's up to you to decide if you think the comment had any merit or if it was just someone being a jerk.

Bottom line: it's your blog and you can do with it what you want. I'd be sorry if you stopped blogging, however. My morning routine would be forever altered.

See you soon!

Anonymous said...

I also have a blog. As others have been saying it's a way for me to write my about my feelings and stress-reliver. I enjoy reading your blog and find myuself looking everyday for your next witty entry. I enjoy reading because you are living in Mexcio and I am living vicariously through you. Your sense of humor is delightful and your photos are wonderful. I would be sad if you stopped blogging all together but it should be a good thing for you not a stress factor.

It's your blog and if people don't like what you say..they don't have to read it, it's your opinion, it's your space so who cares if a stranger doesn't like your opinions/ideas. Why do people think they have the right to go all nuts because of something we say? There are some very weird people in the world. Isn't it weird that someone we have never met can make us crazy!?!? What's that all about?

Of course I will be on Isla in just a few days, if I see you and your camera...I'm ducking ;) unless you give me time to put on my lipstick, then we can talk oh there's also I need to be having a good hair day. lol Just check with me first OK!?!? :)

tacogirl said...

I agree sometimes it can be stressful - but bay far is way more rewarding (and therapeutic) than I ever imagined.

As to comments for the most part people leave ones that match what I am putting out there. I have had to censor the odd one as it was just useless negative energy or spam.

wayne said...

Mr Calypso: Our blogs ARE totally different, as is every other one I read. While my blog may cause me occassional stress, what I am writing about doesn't. It is clear though that you write about things that are causing you stress or concern. And usually rightly so. I don't read your blog to be entertained (although I usually am!). I read your blog because you challenge your readers and give us something to think about. Keep it up!

Theresa: I wouldn't call you a Pollyanna, a nice lady perhaps. I like your blog for your writing style. Straight from the hip and it is more like listening to somebody tell you a story than reading a blog.

Heather: I know you have a taken your share of shit from people who think that they alone are perfect and know what you should or shouldn't say in your blog. I guess I agree with you. Why listen to some jerk? I'm gonna keep on keeping on and if people don't like it, hit the little red x in the upper right corner. I write this blog to entertain. If somebody isn't entertained, they should just move on.

anonymous: too bad you didn't leave your blog address! I would like to see who you are and what you are writing about. As for ducking the camera, if you normally wear lipstick, why would you even consider going out in public without it??! I would never make fun of somebody's hair style (unless it was just weird!) and I totally understand bad hair days. I understand helmut hair even better! I would be glad to check with you first but I don't know who you are! I like what you have to say about people thinking they have the right to go all nuts over something we choose to say. Why give these people the power to make us crazy? You are sooooo right!

tacogirl: thanks for the comment. I agree that blogging is far more rewarding than not.

La Gringa said...

Yeah, Wayne! It is supposed to be a stress reliever. You need to get out of that mode -- though I'll admit that I've been there myself.

I find that I'm much less stressed if I have a few drafts in reserve for when I just have "nothin."

I know that you believe that everyone has a right to have their say, but if it is so bad that it's keeping you up at night....well, I just don't agree.

I don't expect all my readers to agree with me, or even be necessarily polite -- though, of course, the vast majority are -- but when someone can't give their opinion without being vulgar or obscene, that's where I draw the line. It is MY blog after all, not a public forum or a public service.

Well, I don't want to rant too much on your blog. ;-)