Monday, December 12, 2005

A Little Bit of History

I was inspired by Wendy at Green Girl Art to take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about how I got started blogging. In January of this year I was re-reading one of my favorite books, Eat Mangos Naked, by the fabulous SARK. This time one of her featured inspirations caught my attention. It was the adorable pic of Andrea Scher, hands in a praying position, eyes diverted, that drew me in. I noticed she had a website, Superhero Designs, and I checked it out. There I discovered her on-line journal. I had never heard of blogging, didn't know what a blog was, and didn't know anyone personally who kept a blog. But I was hooked. I read her religiously. On Andrea's contact site I discovered more wonderful bloggers. There was Jen Gray, Stefanie Renee, Dooce and Celebrating Mediocrity. My circle grew and all the while I was secretly desiring a blog of my own. I loved how these beautiful women were sharing their lives, their journeys, their truth and topping it off with the creativity of photography. I wanted a place to share my thoughts and experiences, a place to share my soul. As I continued to read I became a little bit bolder and began leaving comments. Then in August my good friend Cherri mentioned that her husband had a blog, and that it was FREE. Thus A Sweet Life was born. My first post was a Mary Oliver poem. It was too late in the evening for a proper post but I was too excited not to get immediately started. At first my readers were confined to family and friends and I averaged a couple of comments a week. Then I began to travel through the blog world using the "next blog" button in the upper right hand corner of the screen. That little button lead me to Heather and Heidi, blogging sisters. They were the first blogs I read outside of my initial blogging community. I noticed that every Tuesday they were posting self-portraits. I inquired and was introduced to Self Portrait Tuesday. Participating in SPT lead me to so many, many beautiful, inspiring bloggers. And there were "meme" games whose links brought new bloggers into my life. And I also began linking to other bloggers through the comments they were leaving on some of the blogs I read. Now I have a community of bloggers that I read faithfully. Some of you I found and some of you found me. I love this community of life sharing, soul revealing spirits. I consider you all "my girls" and often think about you, pray for you, light a candle for you, and carry you in my heart.

What I love about blogging is the challenge to put myself out there, to dig deeper into myself, to voice my experience, to tell my truth, to risk revealing the thoughts of my heart. It has deepened my love of sharing my spirit through my words and it has greatly improved my photography skills. For me this is so much more than silliness. It really is an opportunity to grow, to heal, to let go. And that's why I do this...religiously. It's a creative outlet that I've been hungering for. I've kept journals and diaries since I was a girl but this is different. Journals and diaries are private and are rarely shared with others. But with blogging I'm claiming the blessing of letting myself be seen and heard by others. I'd do this regardless but it is certainly affirming to receive the abundance of supportive comments I receive from all of you daily. You all inspire me in ways you'll never know. I am continually inspired by your creativity, your honesty, your humor, your voice, your beauty, your talent, your writing, and your boldness. I'll keep telling my story and opening my heart if you'll keep doing the same. Blogging my be a small thing but it has the power to connect, to teach, to affirm, and to remind us of our beauty, purpose, and desires...and I love that. Thank you for what you give to me fellow bloggers and beloved readers.

And I am sorry that I didn't include links on tonight's post. This mama is tired and wants to get in bed early. Any website or blogger I mentioned in this post is listed in my favorite blogs at the sidebar.


Blogger Swirly said...

This is lovely. I actually consider myself fairly new at this as well, even though I have had my website for years. I have kept a journal on my site this entire time, but was rarely consistent and I also hardly ever read other online journals regularly. Now it is something I keep up with every week, and I love all the inspiration I get from writers, artists, moms, and other creative souls. It has been a real treat to become a part of this community. I enjoyed reading the story of how you started your site and why you enjoy it.

7:48 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

I love this glimpse into the birth of A Sweet Life. This world of blogging is simply amazing to me. Connecting through truth, laughter, stories, photos, art, links, it, love it, love it. So glad you are here.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I think you Heidi and I all started blogging about the same time, because I had just started when you left a comment and then I came and checked your blog out, pretty cool, we are growing up in blog land together. I love reading what you write, it's always so true.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

I agree with you when you say that blogging offers opportunities to dig deeper, heal and grow. I have only been blogging since this past summer and yet this medium has been incredible. I too used to journal quite a bit and yet this is so much moreā€¦

9:07 PM  
Blogger telfair said...

This is a great description of the best things about blogging! People ask me why I do it, and I can't ever explain it as nicely as you do in this post.
Even though I'm new in this world, this circle of "blog friends" has been an amazing thing for me over the last few months, and I appreciate the opportunity to share with so many wonderful women, too! Thanks for saying what I couldn't find the right words for.

11:12 PM  
Blogger dani said...

it is a wonderful little community of ours isn't it?
here's to more sharing and growing together!

1:07 AM  
Anonymous mary said...

I couldn't have said it any better. I'm still pretty new to this and am amazed at how much I am enjoying blogging and the blogging community. I am inspired every day, and that is exactly what I was hoping this would do for me.

1:10 AM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

and how lucky are we that you
have chosen to do this
and to do it religiously...
your blog is the first one i read
on a daily basis
and if time permits only reading one,
its yours...

3:12 AM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

I'm so grateful to have found you because your words inspire me. If it wasn't for SPT, I wouldn't have found all of you new 'friends' in my life.

3:19 AM  
Anonymous wendy said...

this is really beautiful.
I love coming here because your entries are so heartfelt and your words are beautiful.
thank you

4:13 AM  
Blogger Living Part Deux said...

I'm right with you - and SO glad you have chosen this medium to express your heart. We are all the richer, for sure.

6:40 AM  
Blogger ESB said...

It's so funny and cool to read this because just last night I was talking to several people about blogging, and about how it's changed my life, how healing it's jump started my writing..helped me to grieve...and put me in touch with a lot of really kind and wise people. Glad it's been so good for you, too.

7:43 AM  
Blogger Frankie said...

What a wonderful tribute to the blog world, and everything you said had me nodding along in agreement. You are so amazing for sharing all you share with us, and I know I say this all the time, but you make me so grateful for everything. You inspire me endlessly and even though we've never met, I consider you a "girlfriend" as well, a kindred spirit who I think of often and fondly. Thank you so much for everything Michelle.

8:55 AM  
Blogger melba said...

Blogging is really changing the way women communicate; this is so amazing and real! Sometimes I get a little caught up because I should probably be writing out my Christmas cards right now, but it is so much fun to connect with the blogging community of artist and writers. I am glad you started a blog and share your journey with us all.

9:32 AM  
Blogger mati rose said...

this is so rich! my reasons are so unarticulated! thank you for your blogging:)

10:53 AM  
Blogger red sun said...

thanks for posting this. you're a true inspiration. i'm new to blogging too and haven't quite figured out how i'm going to construct my site yet. i'm trying to draw out the creativity in me, but am usually too scared to do so. thank you for showing me the way.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Athena said...

Sometimes it takes things like memory lane to help us reflect on why we do the things that we do; and give what we do right now meaning. Your post is inspiring.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Glamorous Jo said...

Three cheers for blogging!

12:50 PM  
Blogger Michelle Fry said...

I like reading about how it all began for you. And, Mary Oliver is the greatest poet ever, so sounds like it was a good first post.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Marigoldie said...

I'm so glad you visited my blog today. I want to bookmark your site--I looked at your flickr gallery a while back and I really like your photos.

Great to hear your blogging story, too.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Bethany said...

This is so beautifully written! I'm so glad you started blogging! I'm still relatively new at this, and you blog has been such a source of inspiration for me! You're a beautiful artist and I'm so glad to 'know' you!

3:06 PM  
Blogger Server Girl said...

i just love to blog now and look at everyone elses blog as well. It is so much fun to see how others live and how similar everyone is!!

10:27 PM  
Blogger Suse said...

You put this perfectly. This blogging community is amazing and I feel so grateful and blessed to be part of it too.

4:14 AM  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

Andrea's was the second site I discovered (via someone else's) and I still read her every post. (And Swirly, your first commenter, was one of my earliest reads, too, a couple of years happy she's posting regularly now.) :) This is a beautiful post, Michelle, and captures so much of what we all love about this medium. It's so hard to explain the blogging dynamic to someone who hasn't experienced it herself. I have to say though, I find myself more and more feeling like my blogworld is my "real" life in terms of my friendships and support network. I've been blessed with an incredible amount of fabulous real-life friends over the years, but I guess I'm in a place in my life where I crave awareness and a deeper knowing...and am drawn to like-minded souls in those ventures, and blogging fills that need for me. We all want to be known--not for fame's sake, but just for someone to say: I see and acknowledge you. What an incredibly powerful and moving experience it is to risk putting ourselves out there...and to continue to be accepted and loved. I would only differ with you on one thing: Although it may not be entirely mainstream yet (even though it's getting there), I don't think blogging is a small thing...I think it's something that has the power to change the world. :)

6:34 AM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

your daily writing inspires me and your encouragements to write on my blog are so uplifting... i don't know what i'd do without your blog. thanks for listing my link... i still haven't figured out how to do that on mine.... but when i do, la vie en rose will be there! cheers! snowsparkle

3:33 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

I really enjoyed reading this, have enjoyed the stories of others as well. can't believe how much my world has opened up by joining the blog world. superhero, wish jar and dooce were my my first blogs and yes, isn't it funny how the next step you take is often the simple act of leaving comments. I am planning on writing about my entry into the blog-iverse soon too.

glad you made the leap and I am honored to be a part of your circle:)

1:08 PM  

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