Plank Pullin’–Green Eyed Edition

It’s Plank Pullin’ time!  The one day a week that we strongly resolve to ignore the multitude of specks and sawdust around us and pull one bona fide plank from our own eye. Matthew 7:3-5, style


This week my plank is in the form of some pretty serious envy.  My awesome online christian unschooling friend Jennifer’s site exploded when she wrote a post about why she doesn’t cry (or yell) over spilled milk.  And I do mean exploded.  The post went viral on facebook, being viewed thousands of times, and her followers tripled on all fronts. It was crazy!

And I was so. jealous.

I think every blogger would like to write something so encouraging and inspiring that it affects people on a grand scale.  And she did it.  She didn’t even mean to do it.  It wasn’t even a very long post, or unlike a lot of her other posts.  But darn that little facebook “like” button can get. around. town.

Here’s the part where some of you say that you don’t care if anyone reads your blog, and you write it for your own satisfaction, and you actually wouldn’t like a massive jump in followers. 

Well, that’s not me.  I’m pursuing this blogging / writing thing as a hopeful profession, if such a thing is possible.  And a viral hit is a bloggers dream.

So I have spent the better part of the week being a little bitter about her success.  Partly, because we are so similar.  Seriously.  If there were a pod half way between Georgia and Phoenix, her and I would be the two peas in it.  Our faith, educational philosophy, writing styles, and senses of humor pretty much mirror each other.

But I had to have a talk with myself (and God) (and her) and ask forgiveness for my plankyness.  Because, honestly – she deserves the recognition.  Her spilled milk post is inspiring, and though we do have many similarities – I could not have written it.

Because, you know what?  I cry (and yell) over spilled milk all. the. time.

I don’t want to.  And I could write posts about how I realize I shouldn’t, how I’m striving and praying not to.  But, at this point, I still do.  I still live in a state of reactive parenting often.

And to make my envy even more unwarranted, my Easter Fail post has actually given me my own addition of new followers and has been viewed and shared a record number of times – for my site.  Nothing like spilled milk, but a respectable following none the less.  And although I have been happy and appreciative about that, I’ve also let comparing myself to someone else’s even larger success, taint my own genuine “achievement”.

So, sorry Jennifer and blog world for being so green – eyed!  I am officially pulling my jealous plank from my naturally green eye. And as penance, I’m drawing even more attention to her well deserved success!  Open-mouthed smile

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  1. I think the key is in what you said. “She didn't even mean to do it”. There's something to be said about not trying. :-)
    My recent post Saving time- money and sanity

    • I know what you mean. I should clarify maybe that – what she wasn't trying at was having a “viral” post. I don't think I've ever TRIED to have a viral post either. But her and I are both trying to be better bloggers. We've been both stealing the same tips from the same websites about improving our sites! Lol. Because seriously, we are bloggy twinsies.

      • Okay, so this is my “advice”. I love some of the stuff you write. I really loved the Easter story. However, I have noticed that on days when you post 2 – 4 blog posts, I miss all but one of them. I wonder if the one I am missing is THE one. KWIM? I know that a lot of people use google reader (not sure if you do), but I don't, so I assume that many of your readers also don't. Perhaps there are other faithful followers of yours that are also missing some of your great posts? Just today I saw a post of yours that I had never seen and I faithfully check your blog every day. (and I miss your posts when there are none!) I looked back to the day it was posted and sure enough, you had posted 3 posts that day, and I missed two of them.

        I know it's your blog, but I think that you would get more readers/ faithful followers/ retweets, etc if there wasn't a surge of posts all in one day.

        :) Just something to think about. I have no doubt that you have what it takes.

        Like Jen said, there are a lot of negatives that go with the positive of being noticed. It was the realization that I can't handle the negativity that made me okay with my blog not having a following.
        My recent post Saving time- money and sanity

  2. I sincerely hope that when your blog explodes (because it is absolutely a question of when, not if!!) that you're able to handle it more gracefully than I. As you know, the past couple of days have been rough with the comments. And when I woke up this morning to even people who *agree* with my general philosophy picking apart my every word and having negative things to say… it completely deflated me. I'm not feeling like blogging at all at the moment, and right now am just very, very sad.
    My recent post Im Officially Old

    • Isn't it sad that people can get so mean over something as peaceful as peaceful parenting? Sigh.

      I know what you mean though. Whenever I get a flurry of negative attention via comments, it drains me and I have to pull back for a few days.

  3. Yep….it has been a tough week for me. Truthfully, I have had twinges of jealousy over how your blog has really taken off. In my mind, I get thinking about how you've gone from virtually no comments to a ton on every post in the last couple of months. It sucks to get drawn into that kind of thinking, and I hope it has been caused by a culmination of a half dozen different things that have me feeling “off”.

    Cause, when it comes down to it, I like you, I respect you and I want good things for you. I can't count worth (mine or anyone's) by number of comments and followers. I can't dedicate hours a day to my blog, whether it be writing or promoting. Competition tends to bring negativity into my life and way of thinking.

    There's my plank. Well, one of many. I've had a ton of planks to pull this week and then some!
    My recent post Almost Wordless Wednesday

    • Isn't it funny how this works both ways? I'm being jealous of someone else, someone else being jealous of me, and I'm positive someone else is being jealous of you!

      It does take a conscious effort to “grow” a blog, but it doesn't have to take a lot of time. And you can work on it a little at a time. Check out Amy Lynn Andrews blog for some simple tips. Also check out Single Dad Laughing's new site (will work for followers), there aren't even that many posts on there yet so it's not too much to catch up on.

      I love you Michelle! You were here when, literally, NO ONE else was! <3

      • I was going to say basically the same thing. If you want to feel better, just hop on over to my blog for perspective on your hits/comments. LOL! :)

        Have faith…your time's a-comin'! <3
        My recent post BIG GOD little me

  4. I heart your confession – and add mine. Somebody who already has books published just tweeted about a new deal coming with her publisher. My normally blue eyes turned green – but nobody saw – well nobody – like people. God Bless and keep you and all of yours. I really hearted this post. Thank you.

  5. This post was the reason I finally added myself to your Google Friend Connect over there. :) It was SO real. :) So honest. And that's what makes a good blogger.


  6. Your honesty is refreshing. I really love the way you write. Thanks for sharing. BTW, I just started following the Path Less Taken, and I, too was jealous when I saw the blow-up. But then I was totally scared when I saw the negative comments. It's scary to think of what the dissenters will say. I almost decided to stop blogging out of fear of what people would think of me if my blog ever blew up like that (probably won't). Anyway, it's just funny because I want my blog to get popular, but I don't want to get a bunch of nasty comments. Because I take that stuff so personally. It's a trade-off I guess! Still, thanks for this post.
    My recent post Mom To the Rescue!

    • It really is unfortunate that the “bigger” you get the more you have to deal with the haters. Sigh. I take it personally, too. Trying to develop a thicker blogger skin.

  7. justlovemom says:

    Thanks for sharing this Jessica! wow, I appreciate your honesty. and you do this every week? brutal. I plank remove usually when it starts obviously festering. I'm inspired. Maybe I'll link up next week. there may be a speck of pride to pick out first…

  8. primadonna says:

    Jessica … i adore your blog. although every time i check in, it seems to be plank day! apparently i have outstanding timing!! anyhow … thanks for referencing your Easter story. my grown daughters and i are sitting here laughing out loud about all our hilarious 'fails'! blessings to you sweet one as you parent and write and praise a great God in all of your adventures!!
    My recent post april 28

  9. Man, one of my posts went viral. My mom posted it on facebook and then TEN WHOLE PEOPLE saw it. Hahahahaha.
    Oh, and well… I totally and completely get what you are saying. I can empathize. I understand. I know what it is like to write something and want it to be read.
    My recent post Grace Explosion-

  10. I am one of the people who found her site that day. Because of that, I also found your site!! This is a great post. I can only imagine what would happen if I spent time every week pulling a plank from my own eye. Thanks for the encouragement!

  11. Life is complicated. I do know that.

    I also know that every time I get on a high horse about someone else's kid, one of mine does something so despicable I don't want to admit I know them. It's humbling.

    The whole concept is so true. When you get your life perfected, let me know and vise versa. And seriously what would even be the fun of that? love, Val

  12. Man, all my posts go viral like that! On MySpace.

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