The psychology behind sabotaging a mildly successful blog

There’s no other way to say it: I choked.

Depression Introspection, originally hosted on Typepad, was a mildly successful blog within its niche community. I updated the blog regularly and within a year, watched my stats rocket and was named one of PsychCentral’s Top 10 Depression blogs. I enjoyed researching and learning information then providing analysis for the world to see. I wasn’t the first (or second or third) mental health blog but I was part of the early game.

After claiming the #1 spot for PsychCentral’s Top 10 blogs of 2007, I freaked. I averaged 5,000 page views a day. For a nobody like me, I found that nothing to sneeze at.

Then the pressure was on. The pressure came from no one but myself.

I regularly received emails asking for advice or comments on older posts. But the pressure to keep and satisfy an audience became overwhelming. It was all self-created. I wanted to compete. And when the competition loomed large and appeared daunting, I cracked and walked away from it altogether. Updating the blog was no longer fun, I hated doing research, learning about mental health became a chore.

From 2006-2008, my entire life surrounded my mental health and learning about it. Within 2 years, I grew and changed. I no longer wanted to write about mental health on a daily basis. Nor did I want to put so much time and effort into generating content that earned me very little money. But I have a bit of a historian in me: I can sit back and appreciate the hard work I put into this blog. In an effort to preserve the content, I spent a good bit of time and energy into moving this blog from Typepad to WordPress. Even without updating this site new information, my old posts (especially on Lamictal) still get regular hits and comments. Simply that amazes me and makes me realize how valuable some of the information is within this blog.

With the exception of the Quotes of the Day, which are scheduled to update through March 2010, this blog is basically defunct. It’s up as a resource for people to browse through and glean some kind of knowledge on various psychotropics (however outdated the information may be). There is always the possibility I could update regularly again but I doubt it. Like I mentioned previously, I’ve grown beyond simply mental health writing and update a personal blog titled This Journey is My Own where I blog about various topics from introspection to politics to religion (mainly Christianity) to race relations/identity. I run quite the gamut than what I used to write here. And I purposely do not mix the content because I serve two different audiences with each.

So there you have it. I’ve since learned that I’d rather never succeed than watch myself hopelessly fail. Not that I was failing with my blog. Far from it—I was succeeding, succeeding beyond anything I could have ever imagined. And when I saw that I had to work to maintain that success (after having achieved it so effortlessly and carelessly), I choked, sputtered, and stalled.

And walked away.

I know a lot of people were sad to see the regular updates disappear. I fell off the blog scene and keep up with people mostly through Twitter. But I did what I had to do for me. To maintain my sanity. The joy and the love for writing the blog were gone. Once those things go, it’s time to end it, which is what I did.

My other blog has a regular audience of about maybe 5-10 people max. And that’s okay. Any more “success” and I think I’d choke.  Besides, I’m really just trying to write for “an audience of one” now.

So if you’re new to the site and visiting, feel free to take a look around, there’s some good information to be found. If you’ve been a regular reader, thanks for your loyalty in showing me that I’ve got what it takes to be mildly successful.

God bless,

7 thoughts on “The psychology behind sabotaging a mildly successful blog

  1. Kass, I think every blog has it’s own life cycle, it’s own trajectory in the blogosphere. You didn’t fail; far from it. This blog of yours provided a valuable service, now it’s time to move on to other things. That’s something to be proud of, not ashamed.

  2. I completely understand the pressure you put on yourself, sometimes (well most of the time, actually) we’re our own worst enemy.

    “Talk to yourself like you would a friend. Would you say those things to your friend?” – Kimi H.

  3. Enternal Love
    Grab hold of the utmost love,
    gaze upos its eternaty.
    Passionate images enclose you in a dream.
    Chosing illusion over reality.
    Dreams over life.
    Pleasure over freedom.
    Your desires take hold where you’re sheltered.
    Only to get a glimps of a healing wish.
    Leaving unheard echoes behind.
    Waiting for the miracle that will embrace your soul.
    You’re touched by the unblemished angel.
    Your ambitious heart is betrayed, lost and wretched.
    Invisible to the eye,
    controling over your mind,
    Precious memories will stay at ease.
    Intertwined into a collapsed promise.
    Only to remember your unconditional detemination.
    So the fragile body has warmth.

  4. OK, that all makes sense. Good luck to you, whoever you think you are.

    Stick to something less challenging and that people won’t come to rely on, would be my advice.

    Who needs the pressure? Not you, that’s for sure.

  5. I am here because of your most recent update. I have browsed through your thoughts and relate to many of them. Probably the most significant thing that has helped me through my own battles as been that, as a result of becoming a Christian in my 20’s, I have come to really understand the old gospel song, “This world is not my home, I’m just a trav’ling through.”

    Probably the deepest source of my own struggles lies in the fact that I fit in with very little. I am always the outsider, the misfit, the weird one. When I can remember this truth (the world not being my home) it helps a lot. Am I currently suicidal? No. Do I long for true home, a better place, a place with Jesus where all WILL be good and I WILL fit in? Yes.

    My husband teases me that I have a death wish. He is probably right. But that does not bother me. I simply long for something this world truly cannot provide, but the one coming will. So hang in there, gal. You are contributing a great deal and that is good.

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