When Bloggers Disappear

I always wondered why bloggers wiped their blogs and started over. They’d disappear from a space I’d loved so much and reappear months, sometimes years, later in a whole new space. With a whole new blog. I’d always wonder – why? Didn’t they know that I was still here, waiting for them to come back to the space I’d come to love? And the blogger in me wondered – why walk away from all those followers? It seemed so silly. It was you blogging before. It’s still is you blogging now, regardless of the URL, name, and design.

But now I know. Because I’ve been wanting to come back to this space for some time but couldn’t.

Because the name is wrong. Because I hate the name of my blog. Isn’t that just so stupid?

It seems like the days of cutsie blog names has passed us. I can’t just be like – let’s call it Archie & Eggplants (terrible) or some other adorable noun & noun combo. Maybe blogging is dead in general (or at least the way we used to do it). I don’t know (but I hope not).

I feel like I never found a name that fit this space. So instead of writing anything here, I’d log in to WordPress and just feel like it was all wrong. I’d write half posts and feel so uncomfortable about the whole thing. My blog is an ill-fitting sweater that looks cute on the hanger but then is a little itchy once you put it on and maybe too tight in the upper arms and too boxy to ever be flattering. But I’m not ready to throw it away yet.

I don’t want to start over from scratch. Am I mortified by some of the things I put on the internet in past years (2012!)? Absolutely (like the time I put my 5th grade report card on the internet, the time I attempted to make a tutorial on the worlds ugliest hairstyle (but I was serious), or the time I dyed my hair a hideous brassy blonde and was somehow mostly okay with it). But it also feels like a weird version of distorting the truth if I deleted my most embarrassing posts from way back when. They are part of my story here and I shouldn’t deny some poor schmuck the opportunity to go back and read from the very beginning, because I know I love doing that when I find new bloggers. I barely remember writing many of those posts so re-reading them is insight about who I am (or am not, anymore) and what used to matter to me. What I used to like. What I used to think was funny (stop it with the gifs, 2014 Nadine).

Stay Humble

So here I am. Still pondering what to call this place and also trying to remind myself that the name of the place doesn’t have to be perfect. That it’s more about the words here.

It can’t just be me that gets hung up on this kind of thing. It can’t be just me who wonders if it’s worth doing at all if it isn’t perfect. It’s why I burned out on blogging in the first place. My posts took ages to write and I edited them over and over again, constantly wondering if something was too controversial or too boring.  Worrying whether the internet would question my intellect over some minor grammatical error. Wondering whether someone might read it and think it was a waste of life or worse, not read at all.

I’ve been out of this game for a good long while now. It feels like a different world. I went back to being a blog reader instead of a writer. For some weeks and months, I stepped away from this world all together.

I want to blog again but I don’t want it to be so completely consuming. I’m not a full-time blogger and never want to be. I want this to be an enjoyable space for me again. I also need to re-learn so much of what used to be second nature to me. How do I put a picture on this thing? What does Yost SEO do again? And while we’re at it, should I figure out what liketoknow.it does? Being a blogger is no longer a large part of my identity. Maybe this space will be better for it.

Here I am. Let’s give this another try, shall we?

Also, here’s what Archie has been up to.

sleeping-golden-retreiver

p.s. If you have any blog name ideas for me, drop me a line below. Or feel free to yell at me in all caps and tell me it doesn’t matter anyway. Much appreciated.

p.s.s. I only re-read and edited this post like 3 6 times. WHICH IS A FREAKING RECORD FOR ME.

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  • Yay! Seeing your post in my email was like an early Christmas present!

    And I get it. I truly do. Sometimes I see my auto tweeter and the posts it unearths and I cringe a long time. But do I go back and delete the posts? No. for the very same reasons you don’t.

    Wish I had name suggestions other than “hey, what about Nadine Rebecca dot com?” But I don’t. I’ve struggled with the same thing myself for years and my blog name remains the same. If you find a good resource lemme know mkay?

    xoxo

    • You’re the best. I don’t have auto-tweet set up for that exact reason haha. I’m too mortified by what it might unearth from the depths of early twenty-something shenanigans. I feel like I’ve had this talk with you about the blog name before and I’m so impulsive, I just go with what sounds good to me in that moment. I’ve thought about first-middle naming it but I feel iffy about that. Idk. GAH.

  • It’s hard to find a name for a space that’s always changing. Good luck with that 🙂 I’m finally mostly satisfied with mine, but it took a long time to find it. I just made a list of words that resonated with me and played with the combinations.

    I’m definitely one of those people who end up pulling vanishing acts and starting from scratch. *snicker* There’s no good reason why, except that I feel I need to do it, for a fresh start, to remind myself to stay on target with what kind of writing I want to do. To remember that it’s a hobby, not a lifestyle. I never wanted to bother with redirects, because then you have to keep renewing the old domains. Plus sometimes I freak out about privacy and I’ve learned to just indulge myself. I still have all my archives in a private blog, and it’s fun to browse it sometimes.

    I still struggle with [having a blog] though, especially when I’m in a weird emotional state like I’ve been all fall, for various reasons, because what I feel like writing seems a little too raw for even my small audience. So I avoid it.

    • I freak out about privacy sometimes too, which is why I’ve always kept my last name separate from this space. I think my presence in blog land is directly related to what’s going on in my real life. When I was planning our wedding, I was distracted by other things and blogged less. When I was planning a recent trip to italy, I spent months researching stuff for that instead. I agree with you that it’s necessary to remember that it’s a hobby and not a lifestyle for some of us. I hope I can find the right balance this time.

  • welcome back! it’s really hard when you stop being into it and if you’re anything like me, you put a lot of pressure on yourself. i’ve taken some time off here or there in the past 4.5 years and i think despite the guilt i feel, it makes me better and appreciate writing/blogging even more. just know that whatever you have to say, your loyal readers/fans are going to be into it 🙂

    • Well thank you. I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself. I build it up in my head. Like, well if I come back now, it has to be something really really good. I do the same thing with social media. It’s a silly thing to stress about but it happens.

  • Autumn

    I am in the same boat. I have been wanting to get back into it… but for all the same reasons, it seems to strange! I hate what I used to write, but am wondering if anyone will come back to read posts that aren’t GIF-filled and a “5 things to…” list.

    http://www.theunreal-life.blogspot.com

    • I got very in the mindset that things had to be pinable or how-to or lists. And truth be told, having a whole blog where I seemed like I was a know it all maybe made me look like an a-hole. I think there is a group of blog readers who crave the way it used to be. Maybe they’ll still be here.

  • Lauren Harrelson

    Welcome back! The internet definitely needs more pics of Archie 🙂

    • Thank you! He’s somehow gotten less photogenic with age (maybe he’s just gotten annoyed with me taking pictures of him) so I only have the occasional non-blurry photo these days.

  • Ah welcome back! You are one of the bloggers that originally made me say “huh, I want to do this, too!” I ask myself these questions as both a long time blog reader and a new-ish blogger. I have to constantly remind myself that I don’t have to do any of the things I SHOULD do as a blogger. It’s too much! Not everyone needs/wants to be a full time blogger. Blog land is a strange little world. Hope all is going well with you and can’t wait for more updates!

    • Thank you! It’s so easy to compare yourself to other bloggers. Sometimes I have to step back and remember that some people do this full-time or are able to do blog stuff at work and I’m just not. Feeling so much “I should” or “I have to” is hard.

  • I did exactly this. My old blog (Handbags + Handguns) is still there, but I started a new one. The old space no longer worked for me. Good luck in your name search!

    • True life, you were the first blog I ever really read. You and Little Miss Momma. You were really into Twilight back then and I was right there with you. Weren’t those the days?

      • HA! Good ol’ Twilight. Those were the days.

  • So happy you’re back!

  • girl, these are trenches i’m in with you. not so much because i’m struggling with a name, but because i’m trying REALLY hard to reestablish why i started, where i’m going, and how i’ve changed over the last five years. i’ve come to wonder if i’m ever going to start again (lately, part of me wants to) and then another part doesn’t. soooooo, how do you balance that? dunno.

    but, i missed your words. because your space is one of those where the words were missed. dearly, dearly missed.

    • Christine at GVK

      Amber! I’ve missed your words too! Glad to see you online here.

    • I think it’s an identity crisis a lot of bloggers share. We both started this whole thing so long ago that so much of it has evolved since then. People say there is still room for blogging from the heart but then I don’t see too much of that. I’ve always loved your blog and you were one of the few bloggers I’ve read who blogs about faith in a way that doesn’t alienate people who don’t share your faith. I’ve been following along with #makingteamthomas too and I’m so excited for you guys!

  • Christine at GVK

    I am WITH you on this. I redesigned my blog, I reprised old posts, I am taking course upon freaking course on how to grow my online presence, and yet I cannot do the work. It’s SO consuming. It’s a battle. But I will say I was THRILLED to see you post here. I hope that, along with the other commenters here echoing my sentiment, help coax you along.

    • Consuming really is the right word. I also started to feel that the more I posted, the more overwhelmed I felt because of the constant guilt of not replying to comments or interacting with the folks who took the time to read and share. I put a pressure on myself to blog daily and make everything hyper sharable and for most people with a full-time job, that just isn’t sustainable. Thank you for your sweet comment. It’s nice to know people still remember this place 🙂

  • yay! Happy to see you’re back.

  • I’ve been in the same place. Wanting to write again, but not sure if I want to in the same space I did before. I think I decided (we’ll see if it changes tomorrow) that I need to just start writing and if the name or location needs to change I can cross that bridge later, but there is no point in going through the effort to create a new space and then end up not writing there either. We’ll see what happens, but I’m glad to have you back!

    • I agree with your thought process on this. I think I get caught up in the whole “branding” thing. Like if my blog doesn’t match my instagram handle and my twitter is it even worth it? And yes, it is worth it, even if they don’t match. It just got so overwhelming.

  • I changed the name of my blog a few years back as I had grown and the original name didn’t sit right with me any more. We all grow and change that is normal so it is normal that we might want to change our blogs as we grow

    • I really love that thought process and I think you’re right. I think it’s just challenging to put a name on this space as a reflection of who I am now. I’m not sure what I’d name that except really, my actual name.

  • Kimmie Merkley

    I have missed your blog so much and am so happy that you’re back. You always sounded so real and friendly and I loved reading what you thought about.

    I know exactly what you’re talking about with the over-analyzing- I just started a blog a few months ago (calmlybykimmie.blogspot.com- I used BlogBrighter a ton!) and will edit an insane amount before I post anything. And sometimes I don’t even end up posting because I think it’s too boring! It just comes down to psyching myself out too much.

    • I’m glad you used Blog Brighter! I swear I used to know stuff about blogging even though I feel like I’m far from an expert these days. You’re right, you are psyching yourself out too much and I do the exact same thing. It’s so hard to get out of that head space.

  • Yay! I’m so glad to see your post. I know exactly what you mean about being in a blogging rut. I think that as long as you do what makes you happy and you’re not dreading it then do it to your heart’s content. As far as the blog name, I have been in that boat like when I had my Dateless in Dallas name for my blog. Funny enough, Bella And The City came to me through someone else so if you don’t think of one yourself, it will come to you on its own and you’ll know 🙂

    I hope to see more of your posts, but no pressure! Have a fabulous day! <3

    • I’ve loved both of your blog names. I’m sure one will come to me and if it doesn’t, I’ll just use my name. It might be semi-lazy and not really “brandable” but oh well.

      • Aww thanks Nadine! I’m sure it will come to you, I’ll send good blog vibes your way 🙂

  • Welcome back! I’ve been in this place before. It’s tough, but you have to just make it what you want it to be. People are attracted to honesty and realism. There are definitely people out there (like myself!) who still reads blogs that aren’t in it just for the cash, followers, or to sell a product. I love feeling like I’m catching up with an old friend.

    • I’m glad there are still blog readers like you. I got kind of jaded with reading some blogs because they just felt so commercialized. I don’t mind a sponsored post here or there (if they’re done well and with the blogger) but it seems like everyone became a know it all (myself included) about how to do something or lists or advice. Sometimes a brain dump is a-okay.

      • I’m with you there! I prefer to feel like I’m reading and catching up with an old friend.

  • I can totally relate to the way you are feeling. Unlike you I didn’t take a blogging hiatus but I have lost a bit of the passion for my blog because I’m so uninterested in creating a blog that is a curated mini business. I fell in love with blogging because it was a form of creative expression that I could use to share my life. Now there is so much pressure to make your blog a lucrative brand…I get why that is great for some people but honestly it has sort of ruined blogging for me. Good luck creating a new space, I’m excited to read along!

    • “Curated mini-business” is such a good way of putting it. I get caught up in the whole “my blog is my brand” thing and it’s so hard to keep up with the women who are doing that so well. I definitely compare myself to those people and worry if it’s worth it to do at all if I’m not doing it on their level.

  • Nancy E.

    I feel like I wrote this post because it is exactly how I feel about blogging. I was a long time blog reader before I ever attempted to create my own and boy.. was it a struggle. BUT it was fun. I loved the challenge of trying to figure out html and other blog stuff that I’ve already forgotten. One thing I regret is not telling people about my blog.. I was kind of embarrassed to tell family and friends but now looking back I wish I had because I think they would have been huge supporters and that probably would have helped me keep with it. I have tons of draft posts saved but can’t bring myself to edit or post them. BUT at least we’re not alone – it seems that a ton of bloggers are in the same boat which is reassuring!

    • I’m still embarrassed about my blog! It’s so funny that you mentioned that. I have very few people in my real life who know about my blog and I like it that way. I think I open up more knowing that it’s just “strangers” on the internet vs. people who know me in real life. I’d censor myself more if I thought someone I went to high school with or something read my blog. And I totally feel you on the drafts thing – I’ve got….wait for it…91 POSTS IN MY DRAFTS. LOL like why?!

  • I was just creeping on your insta and thinking I really missed your voice in the blog world. Welcome back!

  • Welcome back! I’ve missed seeing your posts pop up on Bloglovin’. The right name will come to you.

    • Fingers crossed that you’re right!

  • Girl, me too! Like seriously, I don’t think I’ve read or dedicated time to even approaching any blogs for the past 6-9 months. It’s just all meh to me, like blogging is dead. But it’s only “dead” because I’m not doing it – when in fact it is still very much a thing and a job for some people.

    I just redid my blog design and I’m typing up a 2016 recap post for later this month, because in the end my blog really is for me. I don’t have and never really did have much readership and I’m okay with that.

    Also with the whole name thing – I just use my name-ish/username for all my online stuff, because it really is just me in the end. Kimberrleigh was the creative way I came up with spelling Kimberly like 7 years ago and it’s just become what I always go by online. Can’t go wrong with your name (or a variation of it).

    • I the idea of blogging for me. For certain posts I’ve certainly used my blog as a way to hash out my own thoughts and opinions about certain subjects. It’s also great for documenting where I was at those points in my life. I just need to do this my way and try super hard to not compare myself to others. And I do agree that you can’t go wrong with using your name – it’s probably what I’ll go with.

  • Oh gosh, this post hit the nail on the head. Found myself nodding to everything you said – especially that part about the ill-fitting sweater, and also about not completely wanting to remove yourself from the blogger you were in the past. Here’s to figuring out how to make blogging work for you – one post at a time. So happy to see you back, in whatever little way you’re able to for now! 🙂

    • Thanks, Caroline! I get really caught up with my blog being a brand and not just a writing space. I think lots of people did and those who were successful at turning their blogs into brands are doing super well. Too often I compare myself to those people and need to step back and remember that this started as a writing space and to stay true to that.

  • I totally get this. I’ve gone through it too!! I won’t even read my livejournal from college except when I’m looking for something particular that I know I can’t find anywhere else, LOL! As for names… oh so hard. You’ll find the right one as you figure out this space though. 😉

    • OH man I wish I had a livejournal from college. It would be hilarious and totally cringeworthy.

  • Whenever you said you edited and re read your posts several times I always thought “wow! She is dedicated and takes this very seriously!” I only edit my posts for paid posts and guest posts. I think the key with blogging is to not take it too seriously. I’m so glad you’re back!

    • I wish I could do that! I (unfortunately) care too much what other people think of me. Even strangers on the internet. I constantly fear that I’ll sound stupid or narcissistic or boring.

  • Alyssa Loring

    With you, girl! My noun & noun blog name feels young but replacing it feels like a lot of work. Glad to hear you’re back!

    Alyssa / Feathers and Stripes

    • The noun + noun blog names are still such a thing! And I don’t think yours sounds young. I just don’t even know what my nouns would be.

  • Just Sayin’

    I love this! This is exactly why I walked away from my old blog. And I did just completely abandon it. But hopefully this one will stick?

    • I’ve had a couple bloggers I read disappear and have actually gotten worried and wondered if something terrible had happened to them or something. It’s crazy how close you can feel to people you’ve never met. The beauty of the internet, right?

  • It’s weird but blog name matters so much! I don’t consider myself to be creative or crafty in any way but blogging is a creative endeavor and to show up and do it on the regular it has to feel “right” and the name is a big part of that. I was just going through my blog roll and had to remove some who I realize hadn’t blogged since 2015. I haven’t completely disappeared myself but I have dropped off a bit as tends to happen when you are not a pro blogger counting on it for income. I’ve struggled with ‘if I don’t do it consistently then I shouldn’t do it at all.’ I’m coming to grips with the idea that since I’d miss it if I quit entirely my blogging will be whatever it will be. I write when I am so moved, and whoever wants to read it will (or won’t) and that will have to be good enough. Hope you find your groove. It’s pretty obvious that there are readers waiting on you.

    • I feel like the push in blog world for some time is to turn your blog in to a brand. To brand yourself and your content and to have it match across every social platform. And that is ridiculously overwhelming. I can’t do it. As you said, writing is a creative endeavor and it does have to feel right. I can go back and look at posts and tell which were from the heart, which ones I really wanted to write, and which were forced. The forced ones weren’t worth my time or my readers time.

  • Ugh yes, nailed it! And Archie just looking so dang cute as always!

    • Thank you! He’s being his usual bratty self too. Dang cute but bratty.

  • Jae

    I’d like to echo everyone else’s though on this: welcome back, and we missed you, Nadine!

    • Thank you! That’s so sweet and makes me feel good about this space.

      • Jae

        P.S. I think you don’t need to change your blog domain at all. If you ever think of doing so, might as well go with your name: Nadine Rebecca! Truthfully, though, it doesn’t really matter!

  • Carly Arkfeld

    It’s funny because I am so new to the blogging world and I just stumbled upon this because I am so afraid of being one of those bloggers that disappears. I really enjoyed reading this and I love the genuine tone with which you write. I hope you don’t disappear again and honestly, as a reader I care so much less about the name of your blog than about the content. If I can read a post and feel connected with you as a person I would be excited to see updates even if the name of your blog was “BLOG” so keep it up! I’m excited to get to know you!

  • Sarah

    Yes to everything! I have felt the same…for awhile I just couldn’t post a blog until the findingtiffanys.com logo was a better fit. But I still have trouble actually posting anything though – your rereading comment struck a nerve!

    You could always change the URL of this blog if you decide, but then keep your current URL for awhile and have it forward to the new one? Or archive your older posts so they are still able to be found but don’t show up in the main blog feed?

    Regardless of your blog name, branding and URL, I am so happy to see your blogs again! I loved following along before and related a lot to your voice and content.

  • I feel so relieved to see this post from you 2 months ago… to see everyone’s comments and know that I’m not alone having that same feeling!! I’ve revamped by blog with a noun + noun name. But this time I’m sticking with something I *think* I’ll still be comfortable with when I’m old 😉

  • This is a really good post. I’m going to follow your P.S. and tell you in all caps that, in my opinion, THE BLOG NAME DOESN’T MATTER. 😉 What matters to me is the connection between the writer and the reader. An author could write a book with a terrible title and I could love the book nonetheless. If you want to change your blog name, go for it! But know that the title is not why people love you and your blog <3

    [www.thesoulfulbunny.com]

  • You know how I feel about names, I hate Pink on the Cheek. It doesn’t mean anything, but it;’s just there. I think everyone goes through self doubt about their blog, as if changing my blog name would take away all the doubt and blog distress. Really, it’s just a name. Focus more on the content and the vibe your blog gives off.

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