Warning: This post is long, rambling, and may not be of interest to non-writers (or even writers for that matter). But it’s been on my mind so here goes….

I love to write. I love to tell stories. I love to share my opinions and to think out loud “on paper”. 

I don’t love scrambling to produce posts to meet self-imposed deadlines. I don’t like trying to attract followers, promote my work and get people to read it. 

I like interacting with other readers, writers and bloggers. I enjoy commenting on their blogs and reading their comments on mine.

I don’t like all the time it takes to produce, write and manage a blog. I also don’t like the fact that I’m not making any money at it and probably won’t unless I spend even more time on the business aspects of blogging that do not interest me.

I know I’m a writer, but which kind? Am I really a blogger? Am I a columnist or opinion writer? A journalist? Should I write books? If I’m a storyteller, where do I tell my stories, and to who?

These are the questions I’ve been asking myself, especially over the past several months. I don’t know what the answers are.

Blogging seems like a great way to connect with people; to build and advance a writing career. 

On the other hand, it also seems like just another social media app to keep up with, except the posts are longer and take more effort to produce.

Since the new year started, I’ve been doing an experiment. I’ve dedicated myself to posting more often and sticking to the magazine style format I currently have. I’ve been making regular posts in each of the categories, totaling several posts per week. 

My goal is to see if I can grow my reach, get more reads, more views, and attract more people to the site.  Three months is, of course, a ridiculously short timeframe in which to run an experiment like this, but that’s where I am right now. 

What I discovered is that I do have a small, core group of readers who will take a look at most everytning I post. I appreciate those people very much!  

I have not grown my audience or reach very much, even considering the short, 3 month time span.  There’s no indication that my audience will grow, and even if it does, will it impact any of the issues on my mind?

This is where I’m stuck.

Do I have the time and energy to devote to blogging at this intensity, in hopes of growing the readership? I’m trying to balance writing with my career as a musician and other projects.  I’m not saying I don’t have time to write, but I may not have time to run my blog in the same way I have been. 

So what do I do? I want lots of readers and wouldn’t mind being paid for the work, but I may not be willing to stick it out long enough to see if it will happen organically, and I don’t have the appetite or money to do what’s needed to grow it through a more business-like model. 

This raises the next question: Do I even need a personal blog?

Besides my Five O’Clock Shadow blog, I also write for Wise & Shine magazine. I feel like I post my best material over there. The things I post on my Five O’ Clock Shadow blog are mostly fillers and short posts; one comedy, one about environment and sustainability, a quick musical post, and then another weekly article that points to the more substantial article that I post at Wise & Shine. 

So one could argue that maybe what I should do is just post at Wise & Shine. It’s not that I dislike the material on 5 O’Clock Shadow, but clearly my most thoughtful and worthwhile reading material is at Wise & Shine. So if that’s the case, what do I need a personal blog for?

I’m not sure.

Maybe it’s the musician in me but I like the idea of publishing books and collections. They seem kind of like albums. Musicians work on an album for a length of time, and when it’s finished, they hand it out to the world. At that point the musician begins working on another album. I like that approach. I have several book ideas and enjoy working on them.

If I had a magic wand, here’s what I would do. I would write a newspaper column like I used to do for my hometown newspaper. The pieces would be mostly on dealing with life and things of that nature . I would also write a second newspaper column, perhaps in a different newspaper. That would be my RebEarth category, as currently shown on my blog. I would be paid for each of these columns, and would write each weekly. 

I would reassemble my Old Man Rants material into some kind of book format. I have a whole bunch of other pieces that I am grouping into book formats too. Of course, if my magic wand is still working, people would buy the books. 

Well at this point, you may be thinking that what I really want to do is write, have people read it, and pay me for it. So if that’s true, why don’t I just turn my blog into a subscription site?  The answer is because I don’t have enough readers. 

So how do I get more readers? Well, they say I should keep doing the things I’ve been doing for the past several months and not really enjoying. So there is my conundrum.

I hope that my relationships with fellow writers and bloggers will continue. But until I figure this all out, don’t be surprised if I mess with my format, experiment with a whole bunch of things, and even disappear from the blogosphere sporadically.

I am totally open to opinions and comments on this from other writers and readers. Do you struggle with this too? What do you want out of writing? I am open to all thoughts and ideas.

Follow Five O’Clock Shadow for the types of stories mentioned above. Please visit and follow Wise & Shine as well for substantial stories from a talented team of writers on a variety of topics. For Todd’s musical activities, visit www.toddfulginiti.com