September 24, 2008

Ill-Advised Post

So there's a shiny new template up at Cranky Fitness, and more visitors than ever. I've got a great co-blogger whom I love working with, and ambitious plans to turn Cranky Fitness into a book... things are looking great!

Gosh, what a lovely time for an emotional meltdown!

So yes, that was indeed Crabby McSlacker over in the comments at Mizfit recently, inappropriately blurting out my doubts about blogging. I was in a bad mood, and I found myself pondering, out loud, whether I should think about quitting the whole Cranky Fitness deal. I even found myself in tears several times during the day; anyone who's met me knows this is not normal crab behavior.

What's UP with that?

I don't know why it hit full force yesterday. But it's been simmering for a long time: What am I doing? Where is this leading? How could I ever quit Cranky Fitness? But how can I continue to blog indefinitely, with very little income to show for it and no exit plan?

What the Hell are You Talking About?

This whole post is going to seem bizarre to the majority of you, who either (a) don't have a blog of your own or (b) have a blog that you write for your own amusement or to further your self-improvement goals.

Blogging is just supposed to be for fun, right?

Well, yeah, it is mostly. But there is a subgroup of bloggers who blog not only because we enjoy it, but because we have delusional fantasies hopes that some day we might actually earn some income from it. This could be either from advertising revenue, or by growing a large enough audience that we can promote our writing or our businesses or whatever.

I got plenty of warning that this was not likely to happen, but I started a blog anyway. It takes a long time to grow a blog big enough to make money; very few folks make it. Those who do are often experts, brilliant writers, folks who have their fingers on the pulse of pop culture, or tenacious, talented marketers.

I am none of those things. But I jumped in anyway, and found myself instantly hooked. I wanted to somehow "succeed" at it.

The Downside of Blog Ambitions

If you're trying to build an audience for your blog and make money from it in some way, it's more of a challenge than just blogging for fun. At least that's true for me. It takes way more time. You would think, with just one blog to write and the luxury of an awesome co-blogger, Merry, handling my "blog duties" would be a piece of cake. Some people write many successful and popular blogs, all by themselves! But I'm not a speedy, efficient, go-get-'em type. Stuff just takes me longer than it does other people.

And have I mentioned I'm neurotic?

To grow Cranky Fitness into a "real" blog, I figure I have to write not just when I feel like it, but when I don't. I write long posts that take hours and hours and then realize they're not "good enough" for publication so I don't run them. I worry when feed subscriptions drop for no reason. I watch the stats constantly. I feel terrible when I realize I haven't commented on blogs I like; I feel dumb for not taking advantage of promotional opportunities that could help me get the word out about Cranky Fitness, just because they involve a little extra work. I forget to link to great blog posts I've seen even though the bloggers who've written them link to me all the time.

Most problematic of all, I am a painfully slow writer, and it can take forever for me to do the research, organize my thoughts, and compose a post. (I know it doesn't seem like it, given the slap-dash quality of the writing. But, sadly enough, even slap-dash takes me a huge amount of time and futzing around).

Let's face it: I'm a dawdler. I'm sure one day they'll discover a gene responsible for dawdling. And when they do, I plan to blog about it at Cranky Fitness. Slowly!

And there's also stress. How can blogging be stressful? I suspect my family and friends think I'm nuts. But there is always something I'm behind on; something that needs doing. My brain is constantly trying to turn everyday events into blog posts, when it should probably be experiencing and enjoying some of those events. Sometimes there is even sleeplessness. And there is time spent blogging that would probably be better spent with loved ones.

Net result? It's kind of like a job. With only the hope of money someday, not the actual green stuff that could buy groceries. (Okay, technically we get a little bit of ad revenue, but it might shock you to find out how little that is).

Then Why Do It?

So here's the thing: if in some ways blogging resembles a job, it also happens to be one of the best jobs in the world, at least for me.

I've never done anything as satisfying, exhilarating, joyous, and engrossing. For all my whining and frequent feelings of inadequacy, I would love to be a professional blogger.

I've met and befriended so many cool people; I've learned so many fascinating things; I've participated in so many discussions where I was totally blown away by what others had to say. When I used to hear talk about blog "communities," I had no idea. But it's true! It's the best part about blogging. Well, and I also love getting to mouth off about stuff and have people actually stop by and read it. Oh, and the occasional free hazlenut candy bar. Those are nice too.

The weirdest thing? "Crabby McSlacker" is not just a blog name. In my own mind, I really have become Crabby McSlacker. Is that twisted, or what?

So I can't imagine ever giving it up.

But then some days I can't imagine continuing to spend so much time at a "job" I love that doesn't pay any actual money.

Why am I blogging about this?

It's a really dumb idea; I know that.

A good blog friend of mine posed the question: what is your goal in posting about this?

And I didn't have an answer. Not for a long time. But then it kind of occurred to me what this is all about: I need to kick my own ass.

I think it's time for me to get serious about turning Cranky Fitness into something at at least resembles a Real Job.

It could be the blog-based book proposal I keep talking about but never seem to get around to writing. It could be increasing our page views to a more serious number and getting some non-trivial ad revenue in. (We get about 35,000 a month; I suspect we need to be at least triple that to even have a hope of being seen as a "real" blog by sponsors or book publishers.)

Hell, I'd be happy to sell T-shirts and coffee mugs. Whatever.

I have a deadline in mind but it seems a really silly idea to share it, since I could change my mind tomorrow. Let's just say it's not in the immediate future. But it's no longer just "whenever," either. There's a date. This is a first for me and it's a scary thing to think about.

And if I can't turn it into a job...

It doesn't necessarily mean the end of Cranky Fitness.

Perhaps I just need to transition the blog into something I do for solely for fun. I could post once a month if that's all I felt like. Let Merry handle all the real health and fitness posting while I put up cute pictures of my cat. Who knows.

Am I the only one or do any other bloggers struggle with this?

Does anyone else find that blogging is taking up more and more of your life, stealing time away from other pursuits or even from the people you love?

Do any of you ever fantasize about walking away, but then recoil in horror at what it would be like, the morning after, to suddenly have no blog?

Is there life after blogging?

Or non-bloggers: does this all sound totally crazy? I imagine it does; sorry about that!


  1. Mine is more for fun and to keep me accountable while losing weight. Sometimes I do feel guilty if I miss a couple days of posting and visiting blogs. I try not to let it take away from my loved ones. I usually only get on the puter in the morning before they wake, at naptime and now and then after they go to sleep....but not often since by then I am beat!

    I understand your dilemma. Putting so much into something that isn't creating revenue is rough......especially if you need the revenue. BUT, you are doing a great service to those of us out there who are lucky enough to have found you. I love your blog and check it daily :)

    Maybe the change of seasons is sending you into a funk! It does that to some ;) Whatever you decide, we are behind you cheering!!

  2. Well now, Crabby, I can see you're having a bit of crisis about this, but you're giving it great thought.
    I blog because it's my social outlet and because it makes me write regularly.
    Posts make excellent fodder for books, but they still have to be massaged gently into something. I have used my posts from my former team blog Prozac Palace as a springboard to a memoir.
    Blogging takes my time, but I enjoy it. I feel like I am part of something as opposed to a writer in isolation. I love the isolation, but the touchpoint of communication, even through a keyboard, is important.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this and letting us in.

  3. I blog for fun and accountability while losing weight so I can't relate to it feeling like a job, however I can understand your dilemma.

    I will say, that I'm glad you shared this. You're torn, it's understandable. I hope you will not give up Cranky Fitness as it is one of my favorite blogs to read and if you sold merchandise or wrote a book to help increase the revenue, I'd be in line to buy it. Ok, it's virtual shopping so there's not really a line, but metaphorically speaking and all.

    I hope you find your resolution to this dilemma soon and try to not feel bad for having these thoughts. You are only human after all.

  4. You are totally right and your points are valid - it is damn hard to force yourself to write everytday - these witty bon mots don't just pop into our heads every minute of the day, The way I see it, there was life before blogging and surely, there will be life after. So we have to focus on life DURING. I am coming to understand what a massive time suck it can be to go around reading and commenting on 100 different blogs every day, but for some people whio are trying to increase readership (and thus, earn money), that's what it takes. I'm in a different sitch but still, I have found myself drawn to blog-hopping which, while enlightening, can be exhausting.

    The thing is, Crabby, you have a gift and it shines through in your writing. Hours and hours seems like a long time to spend on one post, put I know you include a lot of links, science, references, etc, and that can't just be thrown together. Personally, I blog because I LOVE writing in general and that's yet another way to write, plus I've met some unreal, amazing, crazy-funny friends through it. But I don't let it consume my day and more recently, I've been giving myself a day off here and there...especially if I don't have anything interesting to say.

    I'm excited to hear what your new news is. Just know that your fans will support you, we'll be here for short posts as well as long, and you need to do what makes you as happy as possible.

  5. Oh Cranky - you KNOW you are not alone in this struggle. I'm so there with you girl. When I first started blogging, I had no idea the amount of work that goes into the successful ones. And, like you, I feel pressure to grow my blog and not "just" do it for fun - even though that is the reason I started. I don't have any answers for you - I'm terrible at balance - but I do hope you'll keep posting about this and letting us see the process. I know you are going to do something great with all of this!

  6. I started my blog as another way to be accountable. Then people actually started reading it and I thought: oh no! I need to keep this interesting!

    Even for me - non-professional blogger type - it takes time. And sometimes I don't feel like I have much to say and then I feel guilty. Or I want to just whine and complain and vent, but then I think well that won't be much fun to read. And yes, I do find myself thinking in every day situations about whether something can be turned into a blog post. It's a sickness I tell you.

    All of that is to say that I don't think you are alone. I have no advice for you other than to say: The blog is not your life (much as we all enjoy reading it) so don't let it take over. Make sure you have some fun, just for the sake of having fun.

    And I would totally buy a Cranky Fitness t-shirt. :)

  7. I just want to say how much I appreciate these comments! Of course I feel somewhat vulnerable and little bit embarrassed to throw that all out there. And it's a little mystifying why it's hitting me all of a sudden, after almost a year and a half of blogging.

    Don't worry, this blog will not descend into a weekly whine-fest... oh wait, it IS a weekly whine-fest.. but I mean, I will go back to whining about health-related topics, not blog-related.

    Don't know why I felt the need to put my rather conflicted, messed up feelings out there--not sure if it was the right thing to do, but I really appreciate your patience with me! This very special group of folks totally rocks.

  8. (((Crabby)))

    I totally hear you on the slow writing.

    When I'm castigating an idiot or responding to something goofy or stupid on my blog I can usually whip something right out, but if I ever sit down and say, "I'm going to write a post about topic X", well, that's pretty much not going to happen. If it ever does, it'll take for-freaking-ever.

    I've never aspired to make any money off my blog -- I don't even run ads -- but I do have a desire to at least be somewhat widely read, and get lots of comments that I get to read and respond to... my blog's been running for over two years and I'm still just one of those small-time nobody bloggers. :p Partly because I'm not all that serious about my blogging and I do no promotion at all other than joining social networks.

    I can only imagine the kind of dedication and effort it would take to generate the kind of readership that would bring in actual money while also writing a quality, thought-provoking or entertaining post every single day. Hell, I have enough trouble writing something every day.

    Do whatever you need to do, but don't be a stranger! I need my Cranky Fitness in the morning. ;)

  9. I agree with everything said here. My blog is definitely a "fun" blog, but I feel extremely guilty when I don't keep it updated.

    Just know that you (and Mary) are appreciated!

  10. I would soooooooo buy a t-shirt and a mug and a mousepad and the Cranky perfume and the Crabby McSlacker Barbie!!! I really really really think you should consider some sort of merchandising - look what it does for Natalie Dee?!?!

    I totally get you on the timesuck that is blogging. But let me just also say that the sun would shine a little less brightly if there were no Cranky Fitness in the world. I have so few joys in my life...please don't take this one away from me!!

    Seriously, I'm sorry you are feeling so down about this. I think you have a good thing going here and I wouldn't give up on it just yet. I'm glad you have a plan in place and yes, turning the blog into a book will take a ton of work, but to see all of your hard work come to fruition would be totally worth it, right?

    Hang in there, these dark days will pass. :)

  11. 35,000 sounds like Mount Everest to me! But then I don't intend to ever make money from my blog, I started basically because I missed having a therapist. And then I figured out that the therapist didn't do anything apart from give me an outlet to vent, so I went ahead and found some other saps to bore instead. For free! :0)

    But even though in theory it shouldn't matter for me, I still get SUPER stressed out about missing a day or coming up with good post material. It's even got to the point where I'm worrying about taking a break to write my book - sheesh, talk about putting the horse before the cart!

    It's that terror of losing blog momentum that plagues us all though, even the teeny tiny blogs like me.

    The thing is we only worry about this stuff because writing on here is something we're so passionate about. That's why you're saying this Crabby, it's because you love it. And you're good at it.

    If it wasn't hard sometimes, it wouldn't be so rewarding.

    TA x

  12. T-shirts? Coffee mugs? we are WAITING to buy them! (Where are the Evil Cupcakes? Want!)

    "folks who have their fingers on the pulse of pop culture" I think you have your boot heel on the pulse of pop culture--does that qualify you?

    You are severely underestimating the quality of your writing. Sit down and have a talk with your Inner Editor. Threaten it. Suck up to your Muse.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky, addicted to the Crab

  13. I totally get where you are coming from. I am constantly thinking of how to put a funny spin on the everyday things that happen so I can post about it on the blog! Every time I take a picture, my family and friends ask if it's going to show up on my blog!

    It is time-consuming, and I sometimes feel the same pressures you are talking about. In my very first blog post, I said I wasn't sure how often I would post, because I didn't have much to say. Then I immediately put pressure on myself to post almost everyday!

    But, for me, anyway, blogging is my social outlet. I lead a somewhat isolated life out here on the ranch, and blogging has opened a whole new world of wonderful, funny, warm-hearted people for me, and I would really miss them if I (or, God forbid, THEY) quit blogging!

    Here's hoping your crisis resolves itself with results that work for all of us!

  14. I used to have a blog that I kept up with pretty regularly. But it started to resemble a job with too much stress and little benefit. I decided to end it if only to keep my sanity. I toy with the idea of coming back to the world of blogging, but right now it still seems like work.

    I really enjoy reading Cranky Fitness--I'm glad you've decided to stick around!

  15. Hi Crabby!

    Well, I certainly understand what you talked about! Of course, YOU were a significant reason I started writing my column. Because of my nature, I feel I must create a good product, and of course, I have some fantasies about where it might lead. Fortunately, several people have been so supportive that it keeps me keeping on! Really,like psychiatry, it's an area I can't reach with a knife! When it comes down to it, the wonderful people I've gotten to interact with through the Internet is what it's really all about.

  16. When I first started out blogging, it was because I was going to implode. And I felt like I should update every day, if only to let anyone who was reading know I was still alive. Then I realized that the writing was becoming a crutch, and I was putting so much energy into just living and writing the blog, that I wasn't giving myself the energy to get better. So I stopped, for a while.

    My new blog started out as fun, then I added those stupid Google Ads. Despite BK saying that I should relax, we didn't need income, etc., etc., I felt a ton of pressure to generate some revenue from it.

    I quit the Ad thing yesterday, mainly because the results for the Google Search were starting to scare me ("teen girls", "athletic girls", "girl massage"), and the Ads that were being displayed weren't ones I wanted to be associated with (diet teas), and Google didn't listen when I asked that the be removed.

    Now, the only ad on my blog is via Amazon, and it's a list of the things that keep me healthy. I have more control over it, and frankly, I've chilled out about the ads.

    You could try to do freelance writing, as I found you through a story by Women's Health.

  17. If you ever need any help, I'd be glad to. Your blog is one of the funniest, most informative, and best put-together blogs in the biz, and i'd be surprised if you don't make a windfall eventually!

  18. I love your blog and find it highly relatable. I think that if you really have passion for something...even though sometimes it can be hard, you can suceed at it. Personally, I do my blog for myself and you and one lady are usually the only ones that comment. Thanks for your support.

  19. late to the soiree and you know my thoughts.

    when I get stuck on the WHY I just return to my personal mission statement (Im thinking all things. not just MizFit) and ask myself if it's furthering that or hindering.

    just a thought.


  20. Love the idea of Cranky Fitness t-shirts, I'm sure you could make some cute ones. :) Just make them in bigger sizes, or I'd be more cranky than ever. lol

  21. Yes.

    The Dieting Ninja is a temporary blog for me - a place to hide out, and to post progress and things I've learned - to give me an "in" to a community of people who are going to force me to stick to this whole "getting healthy" thing I'm doing.

    But I have another blog, and it's actually about 3/4 famous within the blogging community that it is in.

    There was a time, not too long ago, when I just wanted to throw in the towel. The comments I was getting were negative, semi-hateful things, mixed in with a great big dollop of the "I just don't care"s, it was a bad combo.

    I don't make any ad revenue from it - I probably could, but I feel WRONG doing it. I hate ads. Ugh. And even if I did, it probably wouldn't come to more than ten or so bucks a month. Not worth it, imo.

    But I had to sit back and ask myself why I started the blog in the first place. I only post twice a week, and some weeks that seems like an incredible mountain to climb.

    I know what I would need to do in order to take it more seriously, but I consciously am NOT doing those things. I do not have time. You're right, properly doing a serious, professional blog like that takes a TON of effort. Writing blog posts is only the tip of the iceberg.

    I sat back, evaluated my options, and decided to keep writing for my original reasons, and not do the expansion I would need in order to make it a source of income for me.

    As you said, writing the entries alone takes a ton of time and research (you can't seem like an informed blog if you don't bother to check your facts). The networking and commenting and feedback, and constant second-guessing of articles is too much for me.

    Also, I totally understand what you mean about internalizing a blog avatar. =]

    I think that Crabby Fitness has a VOICE. I think that it has what it takes to make it in the "big time". You've got an awesome audience and a voice all of your own. Your writing style is engaging, informative, and incredibly entertaining.

    I'm eager to see where you take it. And remember, you're never alone with blogging woes. <3

  22. Mizfit asked me a little while ago why I don't have a blog, and you pretty much covered it!

    I have fun making the occasional comment on various blogs, but I would absolutely hate, hate, hate to do it on a regular, obligatory basis.

  23. You are certainly not the only blogger out there with these feelings - I'm so there (and a dawdler as well).

    When I started my blog I figured I'd just keep track of what I was doing (craft blog). Then I discovered people were actually reading it - and coming back for new posts. Then I felt pressured to not only blog every or every-other day, I felt pressure to do that craft every day - and make it more readable - don't include regional slang, try to use correct grammar and all that. Since I rarely got comments, though, I was able to mostly deal with the self-imposed pressure and eventually went to a weekly post, which still takes me quite awhile to write. Even the short ones take me a couple of hours. Though I don't have to do research, I proofread like crazy and photos take forever to edit/configure/upload. :-( If I do a tutorial, it can take me two or three DAYS making sure I have everything *just so*.

    Just recently I didn't blog for 3 WEEKS - finally someone posted a comment asking if I was ok. LOL It did get me to do a post this weekend, and actually get the craft-stuff back out, but yeah, it's a struggle the longer it goes on, I think, especially if it's mostly a one-topic blog.

    I would miss your daily postings, as I they are interesting, funny, and motivate me to exercise, but you need to do what you need to do for YOU. If you take a break, that's ok - we'll be here waiting more-or-less patiently for you to come back. :-D

    And Crabby, I would love to buy a Crabby t-shirt and a mug!! I'd be the awesomist chickie on the bike trail!

  24. My blogs is just for me to vent, altho I still feel bad if I don't post daily.
    On the other hand, I enjoy reading other peoples blogs. I've met so many nice people and shared encouragement and sorrows with them and it has really helped me.
    If you find Cranky Fitness to be too much, take a break or scale it down to 3 posts a week. We'd miss you , but we'd understand. The hardest thing about working for yourself is you are your own boss...and sometimes the work part takes away from the fun of it.
    You guys do such a great job...but don't let it take over your life. Maybe guest posters can help out and give you a bit of a breather?

    Have a cupcake and come back in a bit :)

  25. Crabby, I totally hear what you're saying! When I started my first blog (Lethological Reader), I harbored secret hopes that it would be read by tons of people and gain a following. But then I started being more spotty about my posting, because I just didn't really find much interesting to say (and I didn't have a coherent theme to the blog), and then I wasn't posting at all.

    Now with Leth Gourmet, I have a theme, and I try to mix it up with lots of different kinds of posts to keep myself interested. And I make sure that I write my blog post before I'm allowed to read any of the wonderful blogs I follow every day (like yours). I had a visitor tracker for a while, but I found that it was making me a little crazy, I kept checking it, so I took it off.

    Crabby, it may take a while to write you posts, but they're wonderful (as are Merry's)! And if you need to take a day or a week off, we'll still be here when you get back :)

  26. Definitely time to start designing those T-Shirts :)

    Crabby -- how about writing a book on blogging: the good, bad, and the ugly?

  27. p.s. I can really relate to this post!

  28. My blogs are for fun and to complement a writing career at such time I manage to secure a book deal. But I completely sympathize with your feelings, feeling anxious that your job, which you love, isn't actually making money. I struggle with that, re: my writing. I work my ass off on my novels with no guarantee that I will become a published author. But the way I look at it, a dream is worth it. Doing what you love is worth it -- and you have one heck of an awesome blog. I remember when it was brand new, and I'm amazed at how it's grown in such a short time. You've done -- and you continue to do -- a great job as a blogger. Your blog has its own feel, its own voice, its own take on things -- and it's damn fun.

    So I say, keep on keeping on, doing what you love, and keep moving ever more toward professional blogger-ism -- looks to me like you've been moving that way since day one. Keep the faith! :)

  29. Hey Crabby! When I started my blog (Half-Fast) I had this tiny notion at the back of my head that maybe, maybe one day it could make enough money for me to do it as a job or get a book deal, but it wasn't really the ultimate goal. I started it as an outlet for my writing, I simply wanted to write again. Every now and then I catch myself daydreaming about being a full-time blogger, but it would be almost impossible for me to transition into that role as I currently work 40 hours a week at a regular job.

    The most important thing you can do is to just keep putting high quality posts up, and the rest will all follow.

  30. Blogging DOES take up a lot of time- I spend a good couple hours almost every day doing the blogging thing when I know I should be studying etc. Why do I do it? Because I love it and because I know that the essence of who I am is a writer. It's where I belong, its what I ought to be doing.

    But its still a lot of effort.

    By the way, if you came up with a cute Cranky Fitness t-shirt or tank, I would be all over that:)

    This is a wonderful post and something which all of us can relate to- really really love it.

  31. I wish I could promote my fiction blogs a little better, but that's only because when I write a story, I want others to read it, and I don't have time to pursue traditional publication at this juncture of my life.

    Your situation sounds a bit like my worst nightmare-- writing under pressure in the hope of making a buck or two. I applaud people who are able to succeed at it, but it sounds like a good way to suck all the joy our of sitting down at the computer.

    I hope you can find that sweet spot where you can earn some money without losing the fun of doing what you're doing. I enjoy your blog and would hate to see it go away. Remember that even if you're only earning cupcake money, you're making friends who are no less real for being pixellated.

  32. I know your background and I think "physician, heal thyself!"
    Go see yourself and get some help.
    Then again, I started my blog just to get some crap out of my head and then I realized it was kind of fun to write about crap I had in my head, then I realized that some people wanted to read the crap that came out of head. I still like to write and I write at my own schedule. And I usually find that once I start writing, something better comes out than when I first thought about writing. Then again I have those days where writing is like a fart bubble that clears out the room.

    My therapy appointment is this morning at 10:am and he's a nut who brings his chihuahua to the office and spends most of the 50 minutes talking to the dog rather than listening to me. What are we going to do?

    Maybe a name change is in order...Wonderous McDoEverything -- do you think your career would flourish?

    Don't give up. Keep writing. I love your personality and it shines right through even when you're freaking out about whether or not you should write or write a book, or be neurotic or make money from your blog. Do it if you love to do it but only write on your schedule. I'll still follow.

  33. Well, I'm glad you're sticking around! Jeez, I was worried for a few minutes, there.

    I know (well, I can guess) how much work goes into the successful, hugely visited blogs. It's not something I'm about to attempt. That's why I submitted a guest post to you, rather than have it on my own little obscure personal blog. See, I put a lot of work into that thing, but I wasn't about to start putting that much work into posts on any sort of regular basis.

    But yeah, the blogging community is lots of fun. I'm really enjoying my time here :)

  34. You are not alone! I may only blog for fun, but I do feel conflicted and guilty about my lack of blogging sometimes.

    Often, I'll seriously consider shutting down one of my blogs (yes, I run 2). I think it isn't worth it, I don't update enough, I have nothing clever to say, and on and on. But then, when I think about losing the contacts I've made of the past year and a half, I feel bad about letting my readers down! And then I feel guilty for not posting enough all over again. I can't imagine how bad it would be if it was something that wasn't just for fun!

    I appreciate everything that I read on Cranky Fitness! You and Merry have a unique voice and a way of entertaining while sharing information that few have. Keep truckin', and things will work themselves out one way or another!

  35. I'm new to your blog (did your stats go up recently?) but I've been blogging for about 2 years.

    And I could have written this post.

    I have 8 more months before both of my kids are in school all day. At that time, I'll need to justify my existence with some sort of paycheck.

    Like you, I would REALLY like it to come from writing.

    Cheers to us. Let's give it our best shot and see what happens.

  36. I can understand how you're feeling. I'm amazed that you can (and others) can get daily posts out there. I struggle with averaging twice a week. I find it terribly time consuming and I find myself censoring my blog voice all the time. But I have met some incredibly supportive people out here and though I feel the pressure of keeping up, I do it because I love it.

    Earning an income from it has never really occurred to me but if anyone can do that, it's you.

    I think you're probably going through a transitional period. You've made changes and are hoping for results. I think they'll come.. eventually. You've built up an amazing number of followers in what is really a very short period of time. I think that with the right tweaks and outside changes, you'll continue growing and thriving. You're a straight-shooter and you're fun. That's a winning combination.

    Don't lose heart.

  37. Dear Crabby,

    You are one of my heroes. You are doing what you love, and I admire you for it.

    You also do it so entertainingly, and with style.

    Please don't give up your dreams.

    I will gladly buy the merchandise and book.


  38. I totally understand! The more I get into serious blogging, the more time I have to spend at it. Especially when you are trying to build a readership. This means that you have to go read other peoples blogs and comment on them. This can be very time consuming in itself.

    I have had days when I thought that maybe blogging wasn't worth it. Then I realized that blogging has helped me in a lot of ways too. Plus it allows me to keep my family and friends informed about my life. This is important to me.

    So yeah, I understand! Whatever you decide will be supported wholeheartedly by all of us. You have the right to be happy, healthy, and successful too!


  39. fantastic post.
    I've never read the blogging dilemma articulated so perfectly!

    (I will be back to leave a real comment. Right now, I must feed children.)

  40. I wish you would talk about me more on your blog. When you linked to me, my stats went up, but now they're down again. I think that would totally solved your dilemma. And by "your" I mean "my".

    I love your blog, and if you wrote a book, I would buy it. I hope that your crisis is resolved soon.

  41. Ok I came back again to say something sincere and heartfelt about how grateful I am for all you guys and your support and advice...

    then got totally distracted by The Gazelle's comment which had me laughing out loud.

    See, this is why I can never quit blogging, I love this crowd too much.

    I will try really hard to figure something out because how can I not have this in my life???!!??

    Cranky Fitness readers are truly the best.

  42. As you can tell, there are a lot bloggers out there who can relate. Making money from a blog is hard work and happens rarely, but if anyone can do it, you're definitely on the short list.

    For me, as soon as something becomes about making money, it loses a lot of its appeal unless I'm continuing to have fun with it. So, my unsolicited advice? Have fun, enjoy the ride and see where it takes you. The money, fame and fortune will come eventually. (Now, please, please, please start designing that merchandise!)

  43. I am sure that your internal conflicts will resolve themselves. You do a great job with this blog and we would all miss you if you retired.

  44. Crabby,

    About the crying thing--menopause, peri-menopause, perhaps. Don't be insulted, I have no idea how old you are.

    I am a writer. It is a solitary profession. I share a group blog (I just found out that's called a glog.) with five other mystery writers, so there is no great pressure on my to put up a daily post. Also, I try to keep the number of blogs I visit down to under a dozen and I can't visit them each every day. I do a lot of catch up reading on the weekends.

    My point (and I have one) is that you may have to revisit your goals. Your original intent was to have an awesome blog and make some money. Well, you have the awesome blog! How important is the money? if you take cash out of the equation would this be easier for you?

    It's work. We all know it's work but blogging should not generate stress.

    Take your time. Think things through and you will find your correct direction. Maybe the whole point of the exercise was to find your "fitness" community. And here we are!

    Hugs. Terrie

  45. Are you in my head?! I've been thinking the EXACT same things lately. It has become a stressor and ironically enough, one that is keeping me from working out!! LOL!

    at the same time, I love all the people and connections i have made and I *miss* everyone when I am away from the computer.

    I love your blog and your writing and I would totally buy a cranky tshirt.

    I realize I am zero help at this point. Just know you are not alone in your thoughts!

    (maybe we should start a social network to address this issue? Kidding! KIDDING!!!!!)

  46. I came back to add two things:

    One is that you're welcome to blog about me too. I am truly fascinating. In fact, like The Gazelle said, you could totally cut some blorners by introducing each one of us to the other inside your CF blog.

    The other is the idea (what that Jill's?) of the Crabby McSlacker Barbie is fantastic but can you make her sort of slovenly looking? Then I can take her to the Barbie Convention in Kansas in 2009 when Chris and I go. Yay.

  47. I just started blogging ( and hope to one day lose the 79 lbs I'm attempting and turn it into a backinyourskinnyjeans type blog with news, insight, etc. I have almost NO readers and I'm still obsessed with my RSS subsription number, comments, and page views. So I get how you feel and I'm not even a big blogger.

  48. ok. I'm back.

    Bottom bottom bottom line: Even considering the friendships, the community, the validation, the new outlet I'd found outside of being a stay at home mom, blogging began to take from me more than it gave to me. (sisterskinny days. not now)

    I had to stop.

    Looking back though I wish there had been some way to take what I have now (sanity) and keep going under some sort of revised structure (posting 2-3 times a week type, etc.)

    ok, I'm going to email you the rest, lol...

  49. Honestly, I have delusions of grandeur, and often toy with the idea of turning my blog into something as close to professional blogging as cranky fitness. I am amazed at the tenacity, wit, and creativity that most pro-bloggers exhibit.

    I however am currently firmly stuck in the "blogging for myself" zone. I simply don't have the time to devote to growing my blog in the was necessary to "go pro".

    So yeah, you don't sound crazy. You sound frustrated.

    There are a lot of us out here reading, who will read every post you put up excitedly, and who appreciate the effort you put into crafting each post.

    One of the things I've been toying with as far as spinning "blog into gold" is the idea of pitching a column to a fitness magazine. Perhaps that might be a good idea for you as well?

  50. I completely understand where you're coming from ... I had high hopes for The Office Diet when I started out (heck, still do), but the reality is tough.

    I'm still enjoying The Office Diet, but it's main monetary benefit is that it got me a staff blogger role with Diet Blog, which got me staff blogger positions on a few other blogs, which convinced me I COULD write for a living.

    Plus I'm about to launch a NEW IMPROVED blog where I can actually talk about stuff that isn't dieting and exercise (it gets kinda obsessive after a while).

    I totally think you should do the book proposal. I actually wrote one for The Office Diet a few months back and showed it to an agent at a convention. She didn't want to buy it, but she did give some really useful advice. Like you, I'm trying to build up the site a bit before trying to attract more interest. I think 35,000 hits a month is impressive (it's over double what I get) and I suspect many publishers would think it sounded good!

    Take a break from blogging if you need to, we'll still be here when you get back.

    Sending big hugs your way!

  51. Well! I like the new look of your site! Very very nice indeed.

    Ahh, I get what you're feeling. Yes, blogging is fun and frustrating all at the same time. I had my blog mostly for fun, to keep me motivated at reaching my goals, to be part of a community and experience what blogging is all about. If I made a little money on the side, cool!

    But even my blog took up a lot of time. I'm up to my ears in Italian preparing for two operas next month, and there would be no way I could keep up with blogging.
    I'm having enough of a challenge keeping up with reading other blogs! Alas, I have to resort to reading some of them at work... even on my cell phone. Oh, the humanity! Wait! Scratch that! I can neither admit nor deny that I read blogs at work.

    Crabby, I say do what is best for you. It sounds like you're making a plan of what you want to accomplish and how to accomplish it, and that can be very helpful.
    In the end, whatever you decide to do, know you have our support :)

  52. crabby please dont stop

    comics curmudgeon has a donate feature

    just a thought

  53. Crabby, gosh I'm sorry! You have a lot of company right now, but Mercury just went retrograde, I think it was yesterday, and it makes us go backwards on all things related to communication, and it also makes us open for introspection. (And effs up computers and phones and communication in all ways). Your blog is still essentially about you writing, it seems to me that writing well is, for a writer, excellent exercise, and if it is taking up too much time, then cut it back, even if it's once a week, but I for one hope not out! This is one of only two blogs where I even read all of the comments! You are a savvy, honest and excellent writer, and your comments section shows that, they are all smart, funny people. AND you can be having that mid-life womanly thing slapping you around too, I cry at stupid country songs all the time now and so does the hubs! Letters from Home still gets me every time.

    My was personal, to keep me painting, and later also for selling, which went south along with eBay as a a now crummy venue. So I just rant and vent on it, with an occasional art related post, because art is just as lousy or more so for income as writing or acting (I actually think less so, what a waste of a degree); artistic talent has nothing to do with it, it's who you know or who knows you, it's all based on other's whims. Also, having the added pressure of "I only have X amount of time to do X many great paintings, sell them immediately for X # of $$, before they make me go back to working a "real" job :P" made a lot of the pure joy disappear! You can't let that happen to you either, the love is what shines through your words.

    I think writers and books have a better chance, but then there's all those hit books that were turned down by 129 publishers before someone took a chance and they got published (and made into films); and I read them and can't understand how something so fabulous could be turned away that many times, when so much garbage is printed daily, and even makes bestseller lists. I'm a fussy reader, it needs to be lyrical, which is why I could never read the Harry Potter series, just plain poor writing style. Great content for sure, presentation not so much. You have what it takes, you're on a good subject, and I also would definitely buy a T and a mug, so maybe the merchandising thing is really an excellent idea! (Did you ever meet Gil the Crab (he worked for Honda for awhile) over on MySpace? I bought HIS stickers and a mug, he was hilarious and not nearly as clever a crab as you, AND he pinches! If he can make money off his 'tude, you can.

    My blog in a year made approximately 37 cents off of ads. It took me hours to get them in, too, and that is why they are gone. I'd be dead 350 years at that rate before I ever got one check! My hit counter was junk and never worked, and I don't care. I figure I have 3 readers and I know who they are. I pretend I'm writing for other readers, but really, not.

    I agree with previous posts; have a cupcake or two, go for a rockwalk, go read some of your back posts and comments (we take time to post comments for you, time we could be doing other things, because we LOVE what you are doing and the community you have made here), and maybe go look at Amazon's self publishing format. My husband has a great book, written, ready to go, and we may try that. It would likely fail but at least we could say we tried. If you self publish, you can sell from the blog, and then the big guys would take notice, say Hey! and buy the book, reprint it, and all our copies (signed by the author of course) would become collector's items.....

  54. See, my own blog is so pffft! that I couldn't even write the word the first time around.

  55. Your blog is awesome, and I really hope you can continue, but obviously you have to do whats right for you, whatever that may be. I found it a few months ago, via DietGirl I think, and have slowly worked my way through the entire archive. I love your approach to health and fitness, and its a great source of inspiration for me. I'm currently working on losing about 30kg (not sure what that is in pounds, when are you Yanks going to figure out the metric system?) but I hate all that horribly perky advice you usually get from most of the stick thin health experts. "Just get up 20 minutes earlier to go for a walk" and "just eat smaller portions," like its that easy. I like reading your stuff because you acknowledge that its hard to stay healthy, while still finding ways and reasons to do it.

    Also, I would love to get my hands on some Cranky merchandise, so if you start doing that please, please, please make sure you could ship it to Australia.

  56. Wow.

    You guys are great. I seem to be teary again, but this time in a good way.

    I feel so lucky to be part of this blog community--I love all the funny, smart-assed, determined, warm, thoughtful, complex, cantankerous, compassionate, curious, kick-ass, amazing folks who come here.

    I WILL figure something out; I can't lose this connection.

    Thanks guys. I can't tell you how much this helped me today.

  57. Hang in there have been my fave blog since I found you. I've always wondered how on earth you and Merry could manage to post such funny, information filled posts EVERY SINGLE DAY and still be sane. It's all I can do to post once a week and mine arent' even well researched or funny.

  58. Oh crap -- we're supposed to be sane? Crabby, you never said!

  59. Crabby I am so with you there. You're experience is matching much of what I'm going through at the moment. I've built a blog up, put hours of writing into it. Love it, but make little money from it and still have blogging and online ambitions.

    For a long while it's felt as though I haven't had time to further the plans. In between doing my other work, blogging and networking online, there wasn't much time left. And it's something I've been talking to other bloggers as well. Those who started around the same time as me. And I'm realising it's all about priorities and making the time.

    It feels like my blog is in transition. Quite where to I'm not sure. And at times that's overwhelming. But it's also kinda exciting as well.

  60. Do other bloggers feel the burn (out)??

    ofcourse. That's why I'm on leave from a PAYING blogging job. That's why both of my blogs are kind of lolling about, losing readership I'll likely never get back.

    For me, at least, I know it's partly a medical issue, partly pure burn out, and maybe the location of the planets. Or something else.

    But I've been blogging for almost 5 years? I think this is my 2nd burn-out. BTW, it seems that these feelings happen most in the spring/fall. I know when the seasons change that I'll be back OK.

    Add to the time of writing, the time needed to read blogs and comment (people, we bloggers LIVE for comments. Do us a kindness and comment on more than the 1 or 2 most popular blogs. Please), and there is a lot to do as a blogger.

    If don't first do it for a love of the writing and a telling of the story, then you're here for the wrong reasons.

  61. As many have already expressed, I am right there with ya. Almost Fit is my second major attempt, with 3 other blogs on other subjects in the slow, dawdler's device maker that is my mind.

    I have an idea: Why don't those of us who are interested try to help each other out with this? There are so many intelligent, thoughtful people out there doing the same thing - it seems like between us all there must be a way to help each other.

    Anyone interested? Any ideas?

  62. Borrowed from Astrology . com, does this feel familiar? I am certainly getting whacked about, Crabby are you a cardinal sign? ;)

    The Key Issue

    The key issue here is one of focus. Mercury's retro phase tends to bring unforeseen changes and blockages, but the aggravation and frustration that many of us experience during these periods is often due to our own inability to roll with the punches. Is this due to our ego-fixation? Mercury sets out to restructure our thinking processes and for many of us this is painful and frustrating. Moreover, these experiences reveal flaws in our internal organization as well as our external planning, which can make us feel foolish and inadequate.

    Mercury retrograde, like any cosmic aspect, affects people differently, depending on where it hits their personal charts. Some people actually prosper under a retro Mercury, especially if Mercury is retrograde but otherwise well-aspected in their birth charts. It is also a time when matters begun under a previous retro period will come to fruition, or completion as the case may be. Firm decisions that have been previously made when Mercury is traveling normally through the zodiac may be implemented or finalized while Mercury is retrograde without too much worry, for experience shows that this can be done without undue problems arising.

    When Mercury is retrograde, everyone's thinking is more introspective and we tend to think about issues and concerns which relate to the sign involved. With Mercury retrograde in Libra, people with this sign prominent in their charts will be especially prone to such introspection. Libra is a Cardinal Sign, so the other Cardinal Signs, Aries, Cancer and Capricorn will also receive a touch of the lash!

  63. I hear ya. My schedule is so crazy right now I barely have time to read blogs let alone write mine. I don't know how you manage to find so many interesting things to write about. I am always amazed by the fact that I WANT to read what you have to say every single day!

    I also consider you as a friend. Analyze THAT!

    I care about when you go on vacation and when you moved I cared about the tile dilemma. When you comment on my blog or back to me on yours it makes me happy because we have a connection so how.

    I hope you can find the balance that you need to make this enjoyable for you because (as you can see by the comments) you are providing joy to so many others.

    ...and the Crabby McSlacker Barbie idea, hilarious. You could write a whole post about that one!

  64. took the words right out of my mouth or head, whichever it may be. I honestly feel overwhelmed sometimes when it comes to my blog and then there are weeks when it just comes naturally and I love it! I do keep finding ways that may not make me a millionaire by blogging, but does help add a little bit of income each month.

    But, for the most part, I do it because I LOVE it and I love to help people and if blogging is the best way to do that, then I will continue to do it!

    ((HUGS)) to you Cranky! Your blog rocks, so for me , its worth it for YOU to blog! LOL

  65. My blog is for fun but like you I'm a painfully slow writer. And I feel some sort of obligation to my 6 regular commenters. I love doing it, but I'm a slacker and would totally let it go if not for the few comments I get. It's going to be even tougher when I come off maternity leave and go back to work where I'll have no internet access. So my blog may start to slowly and painfully die...

  66. This post made me want to give you a big hug! Blogging is hard work (see: my lack of posting since, oh, march) even when you have stuff to write about. Keep up the good work, and if you need a break, take one. We'll all still be here when you come back :)

  67. Thank you, Crabby............:)

    I've felt like this so many times, but have grown to love the research, the accountablity, and the writing.

    I knew going in it would be hard, but I jumped in with both feet anyway.

    I love the identity Crabby McSlacker has, and what a voice she possesses. Kudos for building your audience with your great posts.

    Just like you, I never seem to have time to visit the sites I really like, plus comment on them. In fact, I'm sorry I haven't been around here too much.........:(

    The only thing I can add is keep up the good work.............:)


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