I have been a meme holder for almost 10 years, having started Wicked Wednesday in June 2012, and always ran it with the greatest pleasure. However, in the past three months, I’m constantly wondering if we might have outgrown memes.
Or maybe it’s just me who have outgrown them.
Let me explain and see if I can work towards an answer.
Fluctuating and dwindling numbers
Wicked Wednesday was born after Wank Wednesday and Wanton Wednesday both stopped within a week from each other. I enjoy writing for those prompts so much, that their stopping felt as a lost. That was when I jumped in with Wicked Wednesday, and the rest was history, as they say.
The meme did well from the beginning, averaging 18 links for the first 31 weeks, which all fell in 2012. In fact, the first time the lowest number of posts were linked (12) was for prompt 131. The highest number of posts ever linked was 78.
The highest number of participants in one year was 138 (2019). In 2021, that number was 69, which now is down to 40. In 2020 and 2021, the average number of posts links was 22. Up to now for this year, it’s 17. Not bad, but definitely a downward trend.
For some, Wicked Wednesday once was a weekly stop, but not anymore.
Part of it is because ‘the thing’ happened.
One pond became two
Back when I started blogging in 2010, it took a while to discover the sex blogging community, but by 2012, I viewed myself as a member, and so did others.
The sex blogging community is not a large one, which means at its core you interact with the same people. New ones appear, are welcomed, and only a small percentage of those still blog after six months.
Like Master T likes to say: it’s like constantly fishing in the same pond.
Then the pond split into two.
‘The thing’ happened in April 2020, just a month into the first lockdown. I believe our freedom being take away from us made everyone go a bit crazy.
With the community splitting in two, some memes ended up in one pond, others in the other.
Paying the price or outgrowing and moving on?
Are we all — in both ponds (yes, I checked the numbers) — still paying the price of ‘the thing’? Or have we collectively outgrown memes and moved on to other pastures?
Memes have been around for over 12 years, and since nothing in life stays the same, maybe memes also have run their course.
Many of us have changed direction after April 2020. Some stopped blogging, some rebranded their blogs (I now call mine a lifestyle blog, which it actually already was even before ‘the thing’), others moved on to platforms like Medium, even when still maintaining their blogs.
With changing direction, the focus on memes have dwindled. I noticed this in 2021, which is why I adjusted the rules for Wicked Wednesday, allowing people to link two posts from the same blog, or even three — two by themselves and one guest blog. Had I not done that, the average number of links would’ve been lower in 2021.
My opinion is that the dwindling interest in memes is a combination of moving on and outgrowing it, and would’ve happened even without ‘the thing’.
Or, maybe it’s just me?
I started on Medium in February 2021, and in the past year have built my profile and presence there and am thoroughly enjoying the journey. This is something I will continue alongside my blog.
There’s an overlap between my blog and Medium. Many of my blog posts make it to Medium, in an edited version. At the same time, I am writing new content for Medium, and those sometimes find their way back to my blog too.
I enjoy this cross-pollination and pour much of my energy into that.
I am currently also on a journey of rediscovering my authentic self, with the help of a life coach. I want to leave people-pleasing me behind me. Part of this process is looking at things that give me energy, and those draining my energy.
I have many irons in the fire: caring for Master T, running our household, working 4 days a week, maintaining my blog, writing on Medium, running memes (Wicked Wednesday & The Menopause Diaries) and bullet journaling. Those are all besides finding time for myself.
For months now, I feel like I am running after the facts. I have complained many times to several people that I just don’t seem to get back in the rhythm anymore. I didn’t miss a beat when ‘the thing’ happened, but since the second half of 2021, I’ve lost it.
Decisions to be made
For weeks now, I have pushed all the above around in my head.
I have decisions to make.
Have others outgrown memes? Have I outgrown my meme? What gives me the energy, both online and offline? What do I want to do?
I’m currently on a 3-week break from work, and in these three weeks a lot is going to happen. I’ve made the concession not to move, but if I have to stay where I am, I want to change the house into what I want it to be. There’s a list of changes that will happen in these three weeks.
Let’s just say, after living here for almost eighteen years, I am finally taking ownership of the house. Making it my house. (That’s a story for a different time.)
And while working on those changes, I will think of memes and blogs and energy and what I want; how I want to move forward.
Decisions have to be made.
Maybe I already made some decisions, but for now, I want to know: do you think we have outgrown memes?