Stage 1: Denial. You set up your blog. You are excited. You start blogging all your favourite bands and sites and friends. You think your design is nifty, that you are someone special now. You want people to visit you.
Stage 2: Anger. You begin visiting other blogs. You find a few you really like. These people, they are so cool! You follow the links from their sites, hoping to find more of these wondrous blogs. Alas, you only find links to the same five blogs. No one is linking your blog! No one cares! The circle seems very, very small, impossible to break into. You lash out at other bloggers.
Stage 3: Bargaining. You begin linking other blogs with kind words in the hope of return links. You beg for email, beg for voicemail messages, beg for any recognition that you are a human being and your voice needs to be heard. Hits continue to drop, because you are whining a lot and no longer linking fun toys and sites.
Stage 4: Depression. The blog becomes a diary. You talk about giving it up, about how much time it is taking away from your "life" and your "personal site." Secretly, you hope to receive emails begging you to continue blogging. When you don't, you either close down your blog or enter...
Stage 5: Acceptance. You accept your small place in the burgeoning blogger ranks. You learn to blog for yourself, and don't fret if you skip a day or two or if your hits begin to roller coaster. You leave out the meta-blog junk, even if it means you now only post 2 or three times a day. You cultivate friendships with a few other bloggers via email and icq, and find a small circle of community within the big, ugly blogger world.
I definitely recognise myself in the first four stages and it would seem that an awful lot of bloggers can never make it past stage 4. That is certainly the crunch and I'm still unsure as to whether my toys are well and truly out of the pram or I can accept. I have certainly enjoyed making this post and using the interweb like this again so you never know.
So what is the best cure for this blog "depression"? I read these wise words somewhere out in the blogosphere (I'll link if I find it again)
"Imagine the un-fleshed hordes who could at any instant listen. And don’t keep track of traffic."