Blogging is Worth the Effort, Even Without the Pay

Sometimes I feel like the world’s worst blogger because I’m so inconsistent on my personal blog. I go through phases — sometimes lasting as long as a few months! — in which I post regularly. And then, suddenly, it’s mid-July and the blog hasn’t been updated since February and wow, seriously, where has the time gone?

It’s just, you see, there are so many things to do. Not just writing-wise, but life-wise. There are shifts to work, days to sleep away, friends to occasionally meet up with. There are articles to write and books to read and also books to write.

So many of those things are either guaranteed to pay me, or at least have the potential to do so. Blogging on the other hand? Not so much.

I wish I’d marked the date when I stopped doing things because I wanted to and began doing them because I needed the money. I feel like maybe I could log that date in a journal as the day I crossed some sort of real threshold from “child” to “adult.”

I wish I’d marked the date when I stopped doing things because I wanted to and began doing them because I needed the money.

And maybe I could mourn the loss of my former days more appropriately, you know, if I better knew when I had lost them.

Maybe this is foolish thinking, to harken back to a time when I could while away whole days lounging on a couch reading a book without trying to figure out how to make it profitable, how to make it productive. When I could whip through a whole series and then go back to the beginning and start again on page one because there’s something so sweet about reading the same words when you know how the story ends. It’s a whole different perspective and it lends the story a different slant.

Nowadays it feels like everything I do has to glean a reward. Not just because I’m a single woman living in New York City who did not pursue a career in a traditionally high-paying field (aka, fine, I feel like I have to get paid for my work because I’m broke otherwise), but because time itself is at a premium.

Or maybe it’s just that the things I want to do in my free time are the exact same things I was trained to do professionally. I’m not a person who has one career track and side hobbies. I went to school to study writing because it consumed me and there was nothing else I wanted to do, ever, really.

Blogging grew out of a love for writing and reading and wanting to do it more and more and grow my base and presence on the Internet. The first years were incredible. It was like journaling, except people responded, which for someone whose extroversion manifests through writing, is pretty much the most amazing outcome.

And then I discovered websites that would take my words and blast them to their own followings and even pay me, and the game changed. Suddenly, my blog looked so much less exciting.

So why do I still have it? Why do I still (try to) make it a priority? And why, on top of that, did I join a group blog earlier this year, which is also unpaid?

Honestly, sometimes I don’t even know. It’s hard. It’s incredibly frustrating sometimes to pour my heart and soul into a blog post, then check my stats and realize that, because I’ve spent the past few years freelancing, I haven’t built up my blog’s base readership, so my blog posts don’t get as many views as my articles.

It sucks to write and not get paid, at all.

But my blog is my home. I can write what I want, how I want, and most importantly, when I want.

The thing about places that pay is that you have to play by their rules. When I wake up in the middle of the night with my heart screaming to say something, I can publish it to my blog and it’s immediately out there for people to read within seconds. You don’t get that traditionally.

And no one will edit me. They won’t edit out swear words, or rearrange sentences, or fiddle with punctuation. My words are mine (which of course means so are any errors).

And the group blog is great because it’s a community. A little Internet family of people I wouldn’t have known otherwise. We don’t really have much in common, except that we write.

Some days, that’s all you need.

Karis Rogerson

Column by Karis Rogerson

Karis Rogerson is a mid-20s aspiring author who lives in Brooklyn and works at a cafe—so totally that person they warn you about when you declare your English major. In addition to embracing the cliched nature of her life, she spends her days reading, binge-watching cop shows (Olivia Benson is her favorite character) and fangirling about all things literary, New York and selfie-related. You can find her other writing on her website and maybe someday you’ll be able to buy her novels.

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