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I Am Not a Blogger, I Am a Human Being!

Posted By Guest Blogger 7th of December 2010 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

This guest post is by Katie Tallo of Momentum Gathering.

I’ve developed a tweet. It’s involuntary and annoying. My vision’s distorted. All I’m seeing are the letters S, E and O. Worse, I think I’m losing my mind because I don’t know who some of my friends are—at all—no idea who they are. I play with my widget all day. I’m obsessively turning my plug-ins off and on, off and on. I’m stumbling and tumbling around most of the time and alarmingly, there’s a growth mutating out of the side of my name. An @ has attached itself to me wherever I go. I need help.

I think I’m turning into a blogger!

It all started way, way back, seven months and thousands of links ago. It was a tweetless, friendless, skypeless time in my life—a simpler time when my inbox was empty and my surfing, innocent and drifting. A blog was some kind of weird public diary that weird public people did. Like pole dancing—too revealing. And yet somehow intriguing.

Naively, I peeked into a blogging forum one day and was instantly hooked. Suddenly, I was swinging from the nearest web publishing platform. Before I could stop myself, I’d picked a domain name, created a blog, and then brazenly published my very first post for everyone to see.

I was out there, naked. And I liked it.

I joined a blogging club, hung around the forum, attended webinars, blogging bootcamps, skype sessions and even flew off to a big conference in Vegas. Soon, I was being invited to other blogs. I even had some guests on mine. I chatted, commented, liked, moderated, shared and tweeted like a full-on social media butterfly. I was up all hours of the night, creating post after post, strutting my stuff. I couldn’t stop. While I madly typed and wildly clicked, my avatar just kept on smiling.

But all this linking and lurking was taking me deeper and deeper into the web where I soon found myself being chased by an angry mob of marketing-guru-type-experts who could smell my newbie blood. They threw me scraps of promises and secrets, coaxing me with freedom, riches, subscriber numbers and success! I ate up their feeds. I bookmarked their manifestos, signed up for their courses, bought their e-books and grabbed every freebie I could download.

Blurry-eyed and completely surrounded, my fingers moving rapid-fire across the keyboard, my mouth dry with dehydration from hours glued to my laptop, my soul screamed at me to get up, stand up, to even look up … and that’s when it happened … I did look up. I looked into the monitor and saw my reflection. I was a hideous visage of my former self—unrecognizable. I rolled back in my chair, lifted my hands to my face and screamed in anguish,

“I am not a blogger! I am a human being!

Okay, maybe it didn’t quite happen that way, but you get the point. Being a blogger can feel inhuman at times—an existence that’s indifferent to even the most basic of bodily functions, like walking, sleeping, eating, and peeing.

Blogging can completely change you … if you let it.

I blame no one, but myself. I found my passion and that passion caught me by surprise. I felt like there was so much to learn and so little time. I was trying to catch up, trying to get where everyone else seemed to be, trying to make my mark, trying to be everything, all at once.

It’s impossible and inhuman and I won’t do it anymore.

Maybe some of you feel this way too. Maybe you’re burning out big time from blogging. If you feel like you’re twittering on the edge of the grotesque, then it’s time to pry your clammy fingers from the mouse and lean back for a moment.

It’s time to be a human being again.

This doesn’t mean you stop blogging—far from it. But the human being has to emerge again. I’m going to be a mother, a wife, a filmmaker, a vegan, a runner, a motivator, an organizer, a camper, a volunteer, a writer and then a blogger. I am all of these things. And it’s all of these things that inform my blogging. If all I do is blog, I’ll end up with nothing to write about and my blogging will implode.

You have to live first, then blog.

Seems obvious, but the internet will feed you an endless stream of wants if you want it to. So I will stop wanting so much and remember what it is I really need. I don’t need to be the best, to compare, to win or to succeed at all costs.

I will return to who I really am and get back to what makes sense to me.

I will make my own rules. I will say, “forget it!” to SEO (for now), get to know my friends, sell things worth buying, give away great stuff, make loads of mistakes and focus on having amazing conversations. Most of you will find your own way to be human and make your own rules. The best bloggers already have.

Take Darren Rowse, for example. When I attended that conference in Vegas and sat in the audience at the keynote presentation, there was a tear in his eye when he spoke of his son who peeked over his shoulder, while he was writing “to the world”, and whispered, “Make sure you tell the world something important.” That’s likely Darren’s number one rule.

What’s important is the human stuff.

The stuff we all have in common, our pain, our struggles, our challenges, our worries, our victories, our oneness, and even our blogging. Because that reflection in the monitor is most beautiful when we see both the human being and the blogger looking back at us together. So I guess that makes me both a human being and a blogger after all.

Katie Tallo seeks to inspire simple, joyful life change through her blog, Momentum Gathering. Subscribe to her blog and grab her Life Cleanse Starter Kit if you need a little help feeling human.

About Guest Blogger
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  1. Bless you Darren for putting on paper what I have been screaming from the rooftops. People that choose to communicate their message in a meaningful way are not bloggers. They are not speakers, and they are not tweeps. They are people that have a message that they need and want to share with the world. Your tool may be a website or a lectern. But the end goal is the same: To share a message and teach someone else a lesson that you had to learn the hard way.

    Not 10 minutes ago I went to share something on my twitter account and had to backspace over it because of how negative it was. It was a comment about someone who published a 22 page ebook on how to retweet. Really? 22 pages on echoing somebody else’s words? It is fluff like that and the ebooks on “How to blog” and “How to make $100,000 a year blogging”. ** The blog is not the goal or the ends ** . It is writing and communicating your message. And people have been writing and communicating long before WordPress v0.1 came out.

    Bless you my friend. I hope to see more posts like this. I’ll work on the same.

    • Awesome job Katie! I think one of my biggest addictions to the blogosphere now stems from the fact that I have sifted through all the scam artists and found the people that actually care and want to make a difference. My thought process immediately shifted to “I have to become friends with these people. Even though I am still a newbie I see the progress I’ve made and feel inspired to keep going. Sometimes that inspiration leads to me staying up until 6 in the morning.

      • Kevin, I totally get that kind of addiction. It’s the addiction to being inspired, challenged and to learning and growing. It can keep you up all night. It’s worth it, just not every night.

    • True Kevin…those people, like Darren, who inspire and motivate make the addiction so worth it.

      And Katie…it’s almost like you peered out of my monitor and showed me my reflection; a few months ago. Since then, I’ve learned to delegate and focus on telling the world ‘something important.’

      Thanks for this post.

  2. Ack. Just saw this was from Katie. She should get the props for the excellent post.

  3. Yes blogging can overwhelm your life if you don’t setup a plan..I plan my day out and stick to it..its helps a lot.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  4. Hi Katie,
    What a compelling article. And so true. I sit in front of my monitor for hours on end sometimes without even realizing I am doing it. Then the reflection, it’s like who is that person, looks like me but not to sure.
    I think most bloggers can relate to you.
    The most important thing is to live your life, get away from blogging be somebody else rather than a blogger. Your blogging will thank you to. Where will your ideas come from if your best mate is a computer.

  5. Katie, I think you have been reading my mind. I’m not sick of blogging though, I’m sick of reading blogs. Everyone is an expert. No one has ever made any mistakes. They can’t back anything up, but their “expert” speculation is the be all end all in whatever they are talking about.

    Gross! I make mistakes every single day. I don’t know everything there is to know. I really don’t mind if you know that. In fact, I will be the first to tell you. It’s too difficult to carry on a facade, and rarely is it sustaining in the long term.

  6. Katie, what a great piece (and brilliantly written, too!) It is indeed easy to get sucked in — and suckered — by the world of blogging. Sometimes we all need to take a big step back.

    I also agree with what Angie’s picked up on — there can be much too much hype in the blogosphere. We’re all human, and ideally, we’d all be selling products that we’re proud of to people who we love … but sadly, that’s not invariably the case. A little healthy scepticism is often valuable.

  7. Katie,

    you’re right, we have to stay humans. Being a blogger must remain a cool thing to do. Not only we can make us grotesque by overdoing, but we can also endanger our health, and not only our social relations.

    Being a blogger at night, I know what this is all about, and I also have terrible stories about time badly spent, being less productive than normal, and ending up exhausted.

    Serious blogging is real work, and managing a multiple jobs lifestyle is not easy. But it’s nevertheless possible, and this must also remain fun, right?

  8. I love this post and I’ve been battling with the same thing. I started my travel blog ten months ago and I said it was just for friends and family. But then I got on Twitter and StumbleUpon, joined a few online communities, started meeting other travel bloggers and finally succumbed and created a FB page for my site.

    I’ve given up on insisting this is a site for my family, but still struggling with balancing my blogging life and my traveling life.

  9. Great.. some bloggers forgot about their humanities.. Including me.. Haha, but it’s okay. Nice post by the way.

  10. Hi Katie,
    As always, your eloquent writing kept me glued to this very important post. Sometimes I do feel like The Elephant Man, hunched over my computer with a sore neck and aching back. Thank you for reminding us to get out of our seats and walk away from the computer. There’s a beautiful world out there to be explored, even when the cyber world is enticing and fun. Real life is more fun.(But without the cyber world, I wouldn’t have met you, so for that, I am very grateful!) Congrats on a fantastic post on this amazing blog.

  11. Wow! While the topic is in itself quite poignant for all bloggers, especially those who have been blogging for several months now, I am spellbound by your style of presentation.
    No doubt you are a great blogger and definitely a very pensive person.
    I’ve been successful in maintaining a balance so far between my lives as a student and as a blogger.

  12. Katie I’m laughing hysterically!! Thanks, this is great, and I needed it as I’m rushing to finish a post while my “real” work is blinking on another browser. You really describe it well, what you could become, and all I can say is thank god I got into blogging just a little bit slower over a period of time, couldn’t afford to go to blog world, and I’m too ADHD to play on Twitter much lol I think my shortcomings are my salvation..

    Favorite line: “While I madly typed and wildly clicked, my avatar just kept on smiling.” LOL! I know what you mean. Great writing :)

  13. Very interesting read. I especially like “It’s time to be human again”. It is just so true. Being a blogger is a factor of being human, being a person. If all we do is blog then what is there to write about, right? being a person, working, or just simply being yourself will help ypu write something truthful, something worth reading.

  14. Unfortunately, it’s not as if the realization suddenly makes it all easy to go back to LIVING. Part of the problem is the blogosphere seems so enthralled with productivity, we egg each other on like we’re at a frat party. Go, go, go!

    I’d much prefer it instead if we bloggers reminded each other what it is we wanted to do here in the first place: share our passion of the world around us. And to do that, we need to be human beings, living a life we can love. Great reminder, Katie. I owe you one.

  15. Katie, this is so true, especially at this time of year. The virtual world is so compelling, instant gratification and feedback everywhere. But the internet is a harsh mistress, who exacts more from us than we may know. Step away indeed, every now and then. I’m a fan of Exercise TV myself:). Or, even better, a walk around the block. The printed word.

  16. What a great post to read just back from a two week, no computer vacation. I had a great time but was ready to whip myself into a frenzy for being “so far behind.” Thanks for calming me down lest I lose all the benefits of my vacation! This post was just what I needed to hear!

  17. Thanks, Katie, for another fun, inspirational, eye-opening post.

    ” I felt like there was so much to learn and so little time. I was trying to catch up, trying to get where everyone else seemed to be, trying to make my mark, trying to be everything, all at once.”

    There IS so much to learn , so much to experience…I want to be in the middle of it all! But no matter how exciting it feels to allow the fires of ‘keeping up’ consume me, I’m soon reminded that keeping up with myself must be my first priority.

    Thank you for being such an amazing model for those of us on this discovery journey!

  18. Darcy Cardinal says: 12/07/2010 at 2:20 am

    i already am a human being, I found this article to be a warning for myself as I would like to create my own blog, not for money… But just to express myself creatively… I get the feeling that many people other there have become bloggers by just losing there passion and creative side… Just to make some money… But it’s really just a loss if you loose the human side… Thanks for this post… Darcy

  19. Great post Katie! RT’d. Think you’re going to like my guest post on DIYThemes this morning — How to Increase Your Blog Traffic By Getting Naked – http://bit.ly/gTzesF

    PS – Time to take a shower is what really seems to elude me…but I just quit a big paid blogging gig to try to fix some of those kind of problems. Hoping to getting back to smelling better and feeling human soon…

    • Shower? What’s that?

      Katie…just when I think it’s all been said, you say it better. The blogosphere is lucky to have you. Come and go as you please. You will always be welcomed with open arms.


  20. Hey Katie
    I loved your post and really get how passion can become dangerous.

    I’ve had a personal blog for nearly 4 years and I posted whenever I wanted.

    3 months ago I started a blog for a business my brother and I will be launching next Feb … suddenly I became BLOGZILLA … SEO … spreadsheets … incessant commenting … readinga dozen or more blogs a day … learning and more learning … Google Analystics [Marc did an intervention] … on and on and on.

    Then 3 weeks ago I decided to move from where I live in rural Ireland back to Dublin … and give away everything I own. On Sunday I will leave with a big suitcase, a corkscrew and my dog Coco.

    I’ve been waaay too busy to read other blogs or SEO or even really think about blogging. I wrote a few posts for my blog and brother Marc has been covering for me. I’ve been sharing the madness with my Life Dreaming FB fans and I think that my being scared and pissed off and just tired … as well as damn excited … has linked me to my readers.

    This is the first post I’ve commented on in weeks.

    I love blogging and being online … and I love ignoring it for days on end.

    • Love your story, Blogzilla-in-recovery — that scared, pissed off, just tired stuff likely resonates because it’s raw and human. It’s what connects us. Great strategy: love blogging and love ignoring it for days on end too. That’s sane. Thanks for sharing, Liz.

  21. Great post Katie. You made me laugh, (pole dancing vs blogging). You made me cry (quote from Darren Rowse’s son). Important reminder about how having a life must come first if we – and our blog – are to survive.

    Note to @Carol Tice – Yes, it’s good to take a shower before you “get naked”!

  22. Great post Katie, it shows how much we have changed to be a blogger. Best bloggers are those who are still human and live their passion. Those who become complete bloggers lose the human side and vanish quickly.

  23. Well said, Katie. Awesome post!

  24. I’m so pleased I read this.
    I’ve become glued to my chair and fixated on the screen. I’m determined to change back into a human being and actually do some exercise in January. I’ll just see what classes I can find on the net… when I’ve finished a run of posts, that is…
    In all seriousness, this was a perfect post for me today.

  25. Excellent post Katie, well written and expresses what many new bloggers feel!

  26. I have had days where I would stare at the computer screen for hours… And feel so dull afterwards..
    That was in the starting. Now its more balanced. I go out, meet people, get ideas and write with more discipline and focus. You’ve touched on a very important topic. Thanks

  27. Computers make us dull. People make us human. Break free from the technology bonds and be social…. like old-school social. Technology isolates us from human relationships.

    Now I love technology but I know that there comes a time to have a life without the connection to the virtual world. At least an hour a day. Isn’t that what the NFL says?

  28. Very straight from the heart and much needed advice for we bloggers. It does get crazy really, there is always so much to catch up on and so many pressures coming in from every corner. And because there are so many tools to measure your progress, it becomes increasing captivating. You want to reduce your alexa rank, you want to increase number of comments, you want to increase facebook fans, you want to increase twitter followers, you want to reduce your bounce rate, increase email list etc …it just never stops and that’s where the danger lies…the continuous keeping up and catching up sucks you in deeper and deeper till you get drowned completely forgetting to live.

    Thanks for reminding us once again. That behind all the words and links, there still lies a human being that has a responsibility to live!

  29. Great post Katie.

    I absolutely understand what you mean. There are definitely times when I feel like I’ve started to assimilate with the machines. Thanks for reminding me that there’s more to life than this keyboard and monitor.

    I especially like what you said about those life experiences helping fuel future posts. If we don’t get out and live, all we can write about today is our experience with writing what we wrote yesterday. Yikes!

    This was an inspiring way to start off the week.

  30. Brilliant! It’s as if you were in my head Katie, gathering material for this post. My lizard brain has been so freakin’ loud lately due to my blogging. “What’s important is the human stuff” and like you, I’m going to get back to more of those human activities that take me away from my laptop. Then? I’ll have something worth writing about. Thank YOU!

  31. Katie, it is truly fabulous to see you here on problogger!

    To be human and to be blogger – ahhh, it can be done, YES! No need to be cloned right?

    I remember sitting in the audience when Darren told the story of his son “peeked over his shoulder, while he was writing “to the world”, and whispered, “Make sure you tell the world something important.” ” – that was an incredible powerful moment and message. I’m thrilled you were able to bring that story into this post and share it with “the world”

  32. When I’m looking at my hits and when I look at my earnings report, I feel happy. I feel like a blogger. But no I’m still a human.

  33. This is my resolution for the New Year – to spend less time on “crap” online. There are some things that are worth reading and keeping up with and the rest is just clutter. I’ve already started by cleaning up groups on facebook, clutter on twitter, and feeds in my reader. A lot of it I can live without and not miss. What ever will I do with my free time? Read books, knit, cook with the kids…

  34. Thanks for the amazing feedback on my very first Problogger guest post. It’s very cool to be here connecting with new people (and some good friends too). All of your ideas are so great they’re worth gathering together in one massive high five to being human, so here goes … focus on sharing and teaching, stick to a plan every day, live then blog, make mistakes, take a step back, do the hard work but have fun, read and sell and share only what you love, explore the real world, embrace your shortcomings, be yourself, live a life you love and then share your passion, say no, shower often, get a life first, live your passion, exercise, go out and meet people, be old school social, take responsibility, let go stats, get away from the laptop and find something worth writing about.

    That is an amazing list created by you! You are very human and I appreciate that. Thanks.

  35. Katie, What a wonderful reflection on blogging and being. This couldn’t have been more timely. You are a fine writer, a talented blogger but more importantly and amazing human being.

  36. This is so true. We can get addicted to anything. We have to pull our heads out of the clouds and back to ground level. Your article reminds me of those stories about people that starved to death playing online games. As humans we have to find balance in all we do, work, social life, and personal life.

    • Ashlie, you’ve also reminded me that what we’re talking about is addictive behaviour which becomes obsessive and irrational. Your example of online gamers reminds me of stories of gambling addicts who don’t dare leave the slot machines so they end up wearing a diaper. Now, that’s inhuman.

  37. Fantastic post!

    It is so easy to get so involved with your blog and even your business that all you have to talk about is that! It is so important to take breaks as often as possible, not only does it give you a fresh perspective on things but it can also inspire you to move in a new direction that can be more profitable and more informative for everyone involved!

    Thanks for a great post


  38. So true! I feel the same way. It’s like it seriously turns me into a blogging cyborg!

  39. Katie, You know I love your writing and your work. I was entranced by your description, the metaphor, humor, and truth. Thank you for always reminded me to be a human first. :)

  40. What a great post, just about sums up my life – and my thoughts. Nothing left to be said. Well done! :)

  41. You are absolutely right Katie! How can we blog if we don’t live a life to blog about? Absolutely brilliant writing! Loved the way you pulled us in, and comparing pole dancing and blogging? Great!

  42. I loved this post. Very well-written.

  43. Excellent! I say this as often as my blogging-pals will let me…even if you can’t pry your nose out from behind the computer screen long enough to see why you should be living your life THEN sharing, not the other way around, even if you have to see something just from the “blogger’s” point of view…you can at least give some merit to the idea that you would have nothing to blog ABOUT if you stopped living your life…getting out there…experiencing things. Same goes for TV, same goes for most awesome hobbies that can consume everything about you. Great post.

    (p.s. i don’t know if this is the right place to tell you this or if you already know…but since you switched to the new look, when you hit “tab” from the comment box to comment, it leads you to the homepage of problogger and your comment gets lost! just fyi)

  44. Katie, you have come such a long way but your writing has always been beautiful, powerful, inspiring and (I wish) contagious (so I would get the bug of writing this well)! And I think I had something to do with dragging you to Blogworld – no apologies for that and you are coming next year too!
    A powerful and funny and great story altogether. Katie, you never disappoint. I am proud to call you my friend.

  45. Yesssssss!!!! I loved this piece. I was just discussing the human side of business on the web earlier today! We forget who we are talking to. We are all just REAL PEOPLE. Think about who you know, who you want to make an impact on, what you yourself would be interested in… and write about that! Trust your instincts, we are all craving that unique voice only you can produce. Great post.

  46. You’ve clearly shown how most of us can become too passionate about blogging to the point that we forget everything else. I believe that all of us have experienced that situation once in our lives.

    Whenever I find myself becoming too passionate about something, blogging for instance, I try to set aside at least 15 minutes to empty my mind of all thoughts. This helps me step back a bit and realize that I need to pay attention to other equally important things such as my family and social interaction.

  47. I don’t have words to write about darren.Simply great.

  48. Incredible article. This is the same mistake repeatedly doing my many young and newbie bloggers out there (which includes me). We want to be on the top of the world, we want to get the attention of the entire world, but what we forget is we can’t just do this by sitting infront of a computer all the time and write something which is valuable to the humanity. If we want to really be a blogger, first we must have to be a human being.

  49. Oh Katie! I am tears from laughing so hard at how true this is! And again in tears at the end when you mention Darren’s son’s sweet comment. (I watched that on YouTube as well)

    I have had to stop myself and break away from the computer many, many times as I can’t see to get enough of reading and learning. I have finally found somewhat of a balance of blogging and life. But it does take effort not to sneak a peak as a walk by my laptop.

    My husband’s recent comment “I thought blogging was going to take less time after a year” Ha!

    Thank you so much for such a fun post!

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