More Thoughts on Blogging + Comparison

• 18 February 2011



































As many of you know, every now and again I've brought up the subject of comparison and the trap we often find ourselves in as bloggers (found here and here). You've responded honestly and shared many an excellent tip...thank you for being so open! I know your words have helped me keep my thoughts in check and to keep things "real" around here. Funny though, trying to avoid the comparison trap is not something that's easily mastered; rather, it's a lesson that requires revisiting on a frequent basis. At least this has been my experience.

A great place to start is Melanie's recent post about blogger jealousy. I love not only what she had to say, but the reader responses to her dilemma (she threw the question out on Twitter this week and received some great feedback). I hope you'll take a moment to read them! Also, I'd love to know what else you'd like to add. What do you do when you find yourself jealous of other bloggers? How do you combat those less-than-lovely feelings and move your mind to a place that's content and at peace with itself?

image by Stephanie Brubaker

28 comments:

Leslie said...

rather than jealousy regarding others' blogs, i most often find myself wondering what these women are giving up to make their blog so fabulous. after all, these blogs are not tangible things. they are, in the end, just floating around cyberspace somewhere.
i wonder what the bloggers' kids are doing. are they going to remember a mom who was always on the computer because she just had to post this one more pretty thing, or send out one more sponsorship email so she can make fifty bucks? or are they going to remember a mom who is at peace with herself, who shows her love to them freely, and who could really not give a hoot about some blog. i wonder how many of the bloggers who have made it a career ever really wanted a career in the first place? i don't, i never did. i'm a wife and a mom and my blog is not a major priority in my life. if it ever becomes one, i've got some rearranging to do.

Rachel said...

The most successful long-term blogs are those showing vulnerability. We all envy other blogs; I chase after and read the ones I am envious of. Then I post about them like crazy because they are constantly fueling my curiosity and inspiration. This only creates a wonderful, symbiotic relationship and inspires me to work harder, improve my aesthetic and content. It's a great motivator and what keeps me going even when I haven't reached my own personal blogging goals. You need to know you're one of my muses!

Liz B.B. said...

hi, cute steph!
it's liz, here....(hope activity days mtg went well!).
as far as "jealousy", i used to feel it more when the blogging thing just was getting "hot", now i just appreciate that there are people out there in the world who take time to share their talents.
i know i have talents that are not crafty perhaps, nor "blogg-able", but appreciate seeing what others have to offer.
i think when you see something, other than making it about YOU (which we all seem to do), make it about THEM...how COOL IS IT THAT THEY DO THAT!
if i feel jealousy, i have to ask, "is that me?"..."do i really want to do that?". sometimes i do, sometimes i don't.
i think you do a great job "keepin' it real", though you have some SERIOUS SKILLZ...and i mean SERIOUS.
love ya.
happy winter break! off to phoenix for a get-away, thank heavens!! xoxo

Emily said...

My solution to jealousy is found here: http://lds.org/general-conference/2010/10/trust-in-god-then-go-and-do?lang=eng. the 4th, 5th, and 6th paragraphs reminded me that we are each blessed in abundance. Blooming where we are planted shows contentment in life, and focusing on making what we have beautiful increases joy.(Aside from which--I have much less time for blogs when I'm focusing on making my own life great!)

Mary said...

Wonderful thoughts and great comments as well. I agree, this is a topic that we should revisit from time to time. For me, if I start feeling a pang of jealousy, I know it's time for me to take a break from the computer. When I step back and look at all I have to be grateful for in my own life, it's honestly hard to be jealous of how many readers or comments some other blogging woman out there has, or how talented they are at crafting, or how beautiful their house is, etc etc. I never got into blogging to make money or even to attract readers, though - it's more of a gratitude journal for me anyway, and perhaps that's a difference. I've found that everyone has their own reason for doing it. I also remind myself that the lives behind the blogs can be vastly different from the little glimpses we get to see.

Jenna said...

Such a great topic, and I'm so glad you remind me of these feelings every once and a while. I feel like a cheerleader in high school for worrying about the number of followers I have, but I don't want my blog to have giveaways that require you to follow, tweet, facebook, etc just to change that. For me, the idea of blogging has always been about personal reflection, sharing ideas/advice and connecting with people on some common ground. Of course, I'm always working on making it bigger and better, but never at the expense of compromising the "human" factor that makes blogging so great. In fact, it's your honesty on topics like this that makes your blog one of my favourites!

Natalie | The Bobby Pin said...

I walk away.

When I find myself jealous about someone's fabulous life, or wishing I had what they had, or especially find myself wishing I was as happy as they were, I click the unsubscribe button. That's the best thing about the Internet. You can just walk away.

I'm in a vulnerable state in my life right now and I need to surround myself with imperfection, not shiny and happy. It is easy to get caught up in the world of blogging, what is trendy, what is new, but really, it is OK to turn it off.

Daniela said...

Hi! I just wanted to say Hello to you. Your blog is on my daily blog list so I thought it is appropriate to finally introduce myself. Thank you for what you write, it really brightens my day!
-Daniela

eco ike said...

There's so much amazing content & crazy talented people out there that's it hard not to get a little jealous occasionally. I find that completely UNPLUGGING (no computer or phone) and "living" (exercising, playing with the kids or dog, reading, etc.) is a great way to balance out any negative feelings I'm having! We all have to remember to be kind to ourselves & take time to fill our cup :)

Ana Degenaar said...

I need to go back and read all these posts. It sounds so interesting. Thank you so much for sharing!

carol said...

I love to learn stuff from blogs but sometimes they just make me want to buy stuff that others get to have. Here is a question-does reading or writing blogs make you more isolated or less isolated, from society and your real life?

Anonymous said...

Intriguing topic! I think the fear of inadaquacy is what's keeping me from starting a blog, which I've had a subtle urge to do for three and a half years. For now, I think I'm happier as just a reader, gathering inspiration and enjoying the feeling of connectedness to other women. It's interesting how the pretty things draw me to blogs but it's the writer's sincerity and transparency that keep me coming back. I guess this would be a good time to thank you for what you do! :)

Erin said...

Maybe I am the oddball here but I honestly don't think I have felt jealous of bloggers I read regularly. I mean sometimes I wish I was in there shoes, well sort of and only in particular situations because they sound amazing. (Your time in France comes to mind.)But I don't think I would call it jealousy, but I guess it kind of is I just don't feel spiteful about it.

More often I get annoy with people who brag too often, and occasionally I hate when a blogger seems condescending to their readers. But again the blogs I enjoy most rarely if ever seem to do that and if a blog had those aspects I just wouldn't read it

kalanicut said...

Two quick thoughts. After a sudden & serious illness last month, it was my blogger friends who most reached out most to me with good thoughts & prayers. I have learned to be appreciative of them in a whole new way.

Second, I have written down my what I want my blog to be, how I can build it, my blog voice and a whole bunch of ideas to blog about. When I get out of sorts it's easy for me to get back in the groove if I return and look at my notes.

I understand the jealousy. I thought I was pretty creative until I started reading a lot of blogs. Now I hover around "you're okay..." LOL. But I am continually learning to be appreciative of this community of inspiring people. I think I most appreciate conversations like this where everyone can share. Thank you Steph for always being inspiring no matter what the conversation. :)

Jen said...

i totally get jealous of other blogs (this one in particular!) cause i see all the fabulousness out there and then i look to myself and get shot down. although i always think we had a awesome time, that i took great photo's, that i had written wonderful words and then i go to my reading list and realize that the time was awesome but the rest was just okay.
I have a vision for my blog but i wonder if anyone is out there with me. with minute comments i get sort of gun shy then i remember that i am doing this for my children and get back on track and if i inspire someone else in the process then kuddo's for me. and that 3-4 posts a week is perfect.

i have though found all this blogging a very valuable resource tool - i have learnt so many new things and "met" so many new people. but yes i find myself getting jealous and as one commenter said - where do they find the time and what are their kids doing? i have about 10 minutes a day, now all used on this comment - to browse and write. since i don't have a laptop and the computer is in the basement i have to choose my time wisely and appropriately. i would LOVE this to be my job, to schedule my day accordingly to make all the projects one by one that are on my list screaming at me to get done but i don't have the means to figure out how to do that.

my husband always points out to me that i try to be too martha-esque - making projects for kids and blogs, baking and cooking my heart out for the one person who might read my posts, stuffing so much into one day for memories that i'm not really enjoying myself. then he reminds me that she is divorced.

so yes i get jealous of all these blogs who seems to have it all together and can post, mother, bake, sew, inspire, photograph like professional but are just like you and me. or are they?? maybe a clan of stepford wives??

Mary said...

"I often find myself wondering what these women are giving up to make their blog so fabulous."

That sounds judgmental.

They are probably giving things up but you are in no place to judge their time management skills or if they work really hard at night or if they have a nanny or if they are choosing to have a career.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to rain on everyone's parade, but I always thought that the main driver of the production and consumption of lifestyle media, including lifestyle blogs, is jealousy and comparison. Not that there's anything wrong with it.

Monica said...

I ALWAYS think of one of my favorite quotes: "Comparison is the theft of joy." I am a stay-at-home mom, with 3 kids under the age of 4. It's REALLY easy to get sucked into the beautiful blogs that are out there, being at home, taking care of my kids. I find myself wishing I was doing/being more than what I am doing right now in my life...being a mom. I keep saying to myself there is a "time and a season" for everything. But on the other hand it is wonderful to see what is out there, get some wonderful ideas, and learn what you do like or don't like and tweak it for your life. There is DEFINETLY a balance...geez.

Love what you do. Thank you for your blog :)

iamwoman said...

Just the other day I was talking to a *friend* about this issue in fact, and how the idea of meeting a blogger in person is quite intimidating due to well...how perfect blogs can appear (so the person behind the blog must be as well, right?)

And then we sat back and said, "but you just have to know she isn't perfect...no one is...and just because a blog potrays amazing house renovations or darling party ideas, does not mean that a life or a person is perfect"

I think that instead of focusing on jealousy, I try to recognize the inspiration that can come from seeing a glipse into the life of another. There is a reason that I am attracted to certain blogs. Not because I envy, but because they are uplifting and motivate me to be better.

And I also think that is so much of the reason that my own blog shows such...ahem..a well-rounded view of myself. I sometimes record the not-so-pretty because well, life isn't all sunshine.

Stephanie said...

Alrighty...I've got 1/2 kids down for naps so I thought I'd jump in here. You are all full of great advice--just as I hoped!So, I'm seeing a few patterns emerge here...

1. We need to fill our own souls before we can fill others'.

2. Taking an internet break every now and again is productive and healthy.

3. We can't judge women based on their blogs (we don't know the whole picture).

4. Reading blogs that uplift us and inspire us is a good use of time and can have a positive affect on our spirits and our lives. And, isn't that the whole point?

Carol, you made an interesting comment about social isolation. I have read that if children and adults spend too much time on the computer (or in the case of teens and kids, gaming) then it can affect their ability to socialize in a normal manner. Like all things in life, "balance" is key here!

Kalanicut, thank you for always leaving nice comments and for leaving them often :)

I have more to say here but Baby Gray needs to nurse so I'll be back in a few...keep the great thoughts coming!

Heather said...

...and here I thought I was the only person suffering from blog envy! :) I find that it is easy for me to find people who excel in areas where I am weak and insecure, not just in the blog world, but in the real world as well. Comparing my blog to other people's blogs is the same as comparing my house or my hair to theirs... I agree that vulnerability and real moments make blogs memorable for me and try to remember that when my house is too messy to photograph for my blog or I don't have any new and exciting ideas to post for the world.

mrs. c said...

I guess I am just naive, I enjoy reading blogs where there is a sharing of ideas. I so enjoy seeing lovely photos. I learn something new every time I visit a blog, maybe not a fact but I learn about the person that wrote the blog. I have made friends that I plan to meet someday and if I ever think that someone else's blog is silly, I have to think that there are those that read mine and think the same thing. Guess what, you don't have to read or comment. I think that we should not spend our precious time being jealous.

Lesley said...

I don't think I can add anything to this. I definitely do have bouts of blog envy. But, then, I remember that I get this incredible boost of inspiration every single day when I wake up and enjoy my coffee and see what the Google Reader brings me. It's like Christmas every morning. I love the people I've met online that I couldn't possibly find right in my "real" neighborhood.

Maybe one day I'll find my real blog voice. I know that part of my problem is that I have too many freaking blogs (in addition to my home MCM remodel blog, I have a "sanitized" family blog, and then an underground blog that my family doesn't know about).... So, in the meantime, I try to keep my blog jealousy in check by reminding myself of the feast that is delivered to my door every single day in the form of so many beautiful, inspirational blogs like yours.

And, remember that some of us have been enjoying your blog for much longer than you'd know. :>

Briana said...

Great topic and discussion!

There are so many degrees of jealousy. For example, I get a little twinge of jealousy when I read on a blog about a recent trip they took because right now I'm sick of winter and being inside all the time! :) This is just a twinge though- a fleeting moment. And I actually enjoy being able to day dream and live vicariously through them for those few moments.

If I find myself getting more than a twinge of jealousy it's usually because I'm not being grateful for the abundance around me.

I think that all women are talented. I also know that we all aren't perfect. Confession: I suck at cleaning and organizing. And somedays I stay in my pj's past noon. And my daughter ate a sugar cookie for breakfast this morning.

carol said...

I liked #3 about not knowing the whole story. One day a man we were visiting, after telling us how many raspberries he had picked, asked us if we wanted to take some of his raspberries home with us, we said sure. He then brought out buckets for us to pick our own. It was hot and sweaty and scratchy. And a little scary-it was a forest of bushes. And we were in clean clothes on our way out to dinner. If it was in a blog you can imagine the beautiful pictures of us in the country ,row and rows of greenery and lovely bowls of red fruit. so is the blog a lie or is it making a memory more positive? A day to be jealous of or not?

stephmodo said...

Leslie & Mary, I understand what you are saying about giving up things in order to blog. Everyday we make choices as to how we spend our time.

I am woman, I love what you say about recognizing inspiration as that's what blogging is all about!

Also, Marta's post on Blogger Jealousy is also an enlightening read:

http://www.martawrites.com/2010/03/blogging-jealousy.html

Eva / Sycamore Street Press said...

Great post. Great thoughts. This doesn't just apply to blogging. I find myself jealous of other designers, illustrators, and stationers. My secret to keeping it in check is my husband. Whenever I voice any jealous-type thoughts, he just reminds me of what a nice thing we have going, and to be happy for that.

lynne said...

I was just thinking about this the other day. I think that acknowledging that jealous feeling that sometimes comes when blog-reading helps me to realize how silly it is to feel that way ... to just try and appreciate the inspiring things out there, and to incorporate them into your real life as best you can.

I always find so much that is inspiring here, by the way! I have adapted many a Steph-modo tip & recipe for the benefit of my family. :)

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