A few months later, I met Hilary at a party and discovered that she is also a blogger. She explained to me how to put Sitemeter on my blog (a counter of visitors) and a few other things.
I read their blogs (and I still do), studied what they did, then bravely branched out in search of other interesting blogs using Google blog search, entering key words and phrases like “stay-at-home mom” and “midlife.” I’d also click on an interest that I’d listed in my profile, which connected me to others who’d listed the same interest in their blog profile. I found Menopausal New Mom, who was also new at it. She was my first blog bestie; exchanging comments with me as we wrote about our lives. A few months later, Abby Normal and I discovered we had things in common. Both of us are stay-at-home moms after having been an engineer (her) and a computer programmer (me), and we each have three kids; hence, another blog friend.
The relationships grew as I clicked on avatars, the followers of other people’s blogs.
Relationships? you may ask; especially if you’re not a blogger. How does one have a real relationship with someone they’ve never seen or whose voice they’ve never personally heard?Remember pen pals?
As a self-affirmed blogaholic since 2009, I’ve “met” people from all over the world, and find that everyone’s life has an element of interest. I’ve learned that the degree to which bloggers discuss their personal lives is quite varied, and that I am susceptible to laughter, joy, fascination, gratitude, knowledge, concern, worry, and grief when reading their blogs. Of the hundreds I’ve visited, there are standouts that keep me going back; like watching a particular TV show, reading a certain newspaper column, or the books of a favorite author.
In doing so, I’ve followed pregnancies to birth, listened to struggles caused by debt, been inspired to cook by recipes and pictures of food, been awed by great writing, admired the best photography and art, learned more than I’ll ever retain about plant species and gardening, gotten personal accounts of snow storms, earthquakes, and raging fires, read book/movie reviews and recommendations, listened to the opinions of intellects, appreciated the wit of the clever ones, etc.
I’ve also prayed for blog friends who have cancer and other health issues, and cried when two blog friends passed away.
Relationships? – yes.Sometimes I bravely mention you – my “blog” friends – to my “real life” friends.
“Whooo?” they say. “Oh.”or
“You what? Blog? Ohhh… Uhuh.”Hard to explain to people who work at computer screens all day and can’t stand the sight of one when they come home.
Hard to explain to people who don’t write or like to read.Hard to explain to people who are not “people persons.”
Hard to explain to people who don’t like to talk.Hard to explain to people who are not overly curious.
And that’s all okay.
In 2009, I received a blog award from another blogger, and turned it into a post titled, “Why I Blog.” Then, the impetus was having a forum to write and publish, which resulted in immediate gratification. My precious three year old manuscript was shelved; put on the back burner in favor of this new-to-me medium that required no approval; no wait for the expertise of an editor or agent.I also mentioned my appreciation of “other bloggers” in the post, describing them as “interesting people.”
Today, writing is still my purpose for maintaining a blog; however, the purpose is twofold, as I have grown to see my “blog” friends as “real life” friends.Words and images are powerful and convey much; even when expressed personally in a blog.
How have your feelings about blogging changed since you started? Have you met any of your blog friends?