Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Transformation of a Blogger


Some days the post I wrote the night before sits with me all day. Today was one of those days. Last night I went from not knowing what I would write, to spilling my guts. So of course I couldn't help but ponder the evolution of the post. I know, I think too much but that's me. That's what I do. My mind is usually always spinning and the majority of the time I'm asking myself, why. Why did I react that way? Why did I feel that way? Why did I write what I wrote and what was I really trying to say? Did I say it? What was I trying to give voice to? Those are the questions I've thought about today. Sometimes I start to put the pieces together and I end up understanding myself, my wants, and my needs a little better. Other days the questions remain a mystery and that's the way I leave them--as a mystery. As I sat with these questions today one word kept creeping into my head: relationship.

When I originally began this blog, almost a year ago, I wanted a place to give voice to my experiences, my thoughts, my feelings, my poetry, my life. I had been writing for a long time (mostly in journals) but I had never shared my writing with anyone. This blog was a next step. It was a chance to put it out there, in the public sphere. It was a scary and vulnerable step but it was a step I was aching to take, and one I have no regrets about. At first I wrote solely for myself. No one read my words. No one left comments. Then over time I begin to gather a little audience. And as my audience grew something unexpected happened: I started building relationships. I started belonging to a community. In the back of my head I had always hoped that would happen but it was one of those wild wishes made in the middle of the night that was never spoken outloud. I've been asking myself if having a community, if having readers, has changed the way I write. Perhaps some, but what has changed even more is the reasons I write. The initial reason is still there and still important. I still write to give voice to my life. If tomorrow I lost all of you I would still write...at least I hope I would...after I grieved the loss of all you beautiful souls of course. But now I also write in order to build relationships. I share myself so that you will know me better and in order for a deeper relationship to take root. And then, I'm lucky enough to come to your blog and get to know you and an even deeper relationship can take root.

This is a long way of telling you how I feel my blogging life is changing and evolving. I may have secretly hoped for readers but I never expected to feel so committed to my fellow bloggers. I never dreamed that in the middle of the day I'd stop dead in my tracks and think about one of you. I never dreamed that as I curled up in bed at night I would take time to hold one of you in my heart. I never dreamed that I would talk about you to my family and friends as if you lived right next door and we had tea everyday. I never dreamed I would feel so committed to you. And so I have begun to share myself here not only out of my need for voice but also out of my feelings of commitment.

Which brings me to some changes I'm having to make in my blogging life. Once upon a time I read every single blog on my sidebar, every single day, and left a comment on every single post. That was also done out of my desire to build relationships, and because I know the heart and soul that goes into a post and I want to honor and acknowledge that. However I'm beginning to realize I just can't do that anymore. I would like nothing more than to spend all day reading blogs, discovering new blogs, connecting with each of you fabulous beings...and get paid for it (HAHA!). Until that day I'm gonna have to do something different. Many of you have commented on the new organization of my sidebar. I'm glad you like it. It was born out of this new realization of my limits. Since there are going to be days I can't read every single one of you (I hope there aren't TOO many of those days but you never know...) I'm going to have to decide how to handle that. And so I decided the best way to do that was to ask myself on those days one question: What do I really need today? Some days I may need a good laugh. Some days I may need delicious words that I want to eat. Some days I may need a shot of inspiration. Some days I may need to loose myself in beautiful art and creative juices. Some days I may need to come home to some of the first bloggers I ever read and feel the warmth of familiarity. You get the picture.

Why then, you may ask, did I ask for some of your favorite links this week. That too is based on relationship. I love my circle of bloggers (each and every one of you) and I also want to open my arms to others. I want my circle to grow. I want to explore and discover and be further challenged and supported and inspired.

So if you don't see me around EVERYDAY, on EVERY post, know that I have not lost my commitment to you. If anything I hope this post speaks loudly about how committed I feel to this community. It is amazing and incredible and life altering. My not being around as often may just mean life has gotten in the way, again... And I hate when real life gets in the way of blogging...

ps--I have posted an update at the Journal Project blog.

27 Comments:

Blogger deirdre said...

I am also amazed by the relationship I feel with other bloggers. There is a sense of community that surprises, and pleases, me. I'm so glad to be able to know you through your blog. You are a gift.

8:32 PM  
Anonymous amanda said...

you've said all of this so very well. and I feel a lot of what you've said, too. There's so much amazing beauty and creativity and love out there in blogland...and just recently I've found myself more and more 'okay' with only seeing a glimpse of that. wanting each visit I make to a blog to be meaningful and with intent, which ultimately means 'fewer' visits. you're right...if only real life would just get out of the way sometimes...there WOULD be more time for blogging. ;)

8:39 PM  
Blogger Star said...

Many times when I read your posts I feel like you've crawled inside my head and read my thoughts. And then you've taken them and expressed them so eloquently that I just sit and not as I read the words. Thank you, Michelle.

9:07 PM  
Blogger Sarah e.Smith said...

Amen! I too have a hard time commenting on all of the blogs that i read on a daily basis. I have taken a step back from my blogging practices and post when I can, comment when I can and hope that I still have an audience out there. It's nice to know that I am not alone with these feelings :) I am so happy that you like your necklace, and thank you for your kind words :) I am also glad that you won my E-Bay auction :)....it's on it's way!

9:28 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

i resonate with so much of this. i have been going through a transition within my heart about blogging in my life for all the reasons you listed here and of course, some of my own.

i feel your commitment, my friend...as i hope you feel mine.

you are so special to me.

xo,
boho

9:48 PM  
Blogger Deb R said...

It is indeed a bitch when Real Life gets in the way of Blog Life. :-)

I think your plan sounds very sensible. And I love today's photo!

9:58 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

all you have said is so very true. i have had a similar realization over the last few weeks...the guilt i let rain on me when i am not getting out there to all the blogs in blog world...but we all do the best we can. and on most days, that is pretty darn good. i think you are approaching this all in a very authentic way, which is, to me, the most important piece when it comes to making decisions.

11:00 PM  
Blogger Kim Carney said...

As with any best friends, they understand. And I think we understand you can't give all to this blogging experience, but can give alot some o the time. As in with best friends, when you hear from them it is wonderful, but you don't expect them to call everyday. I am just thankful you are out there in the blogging world, and that we get a little peak at what you are feeling/thinking sometimes.

Make is authentic for yourself, blog for yourself, as I hope we all do. And we will continue to be enchanted ;)

12:03 AM  
Blogger my pink sky said...

this is the magic about this whole experience...we are committed, what we feel is real, the relationships are palpable...therefore we understand each other's plight! reaching out with your words is like throwing a pebble into the pond...it resonates far and wide, and needs no answer :)
~mindy

12:37 AM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

i think many of us
will completely get
where you are coming from...
and may even be in the same situations
sometimes...

i am just glad that i found you
and that you do what you do.

:)

5:55 AM  
Blogger The Whole Self said...

ooh ooh ooh...i'm right here with you! i had to do some reorganizing in my head (and my sidebar) too.

5:55 AM  
Blogger rose colored glasses said...

What a lovely post. I felt every word. I ma new at blogging life and so would love to open up to a bigger audience. Haven't gotten there yet. But you are my new inspiration. I love your writing.

6:05 AM  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

Ahhh this made me so emotional.

My blogging is so similar-

So much fear comes up in me, depending on others for love and security...and that I do rely on the bloggie sisterhood for that.

Thank you for being open and honest, and loving and real.

I love you babe.

6:31 AM  
Blogger Becca said...

I am quite new to the blogging community, but I've been amazed at the way I feel drawn to all these wonderful writers willing to share their lives and hearts. Everything you wrote rings true to me.

6:33 AM  
Blogger Visual-Voice said...

I've been struggling with the same thing. So many blogs to read and so little time. I feel like visiting this place of yours is like taking a walk in a garden. I don't want to rush through it and miss all the lovely flowers. I want to spend quality time at a blog I admire and take some time to weigh the person's thoughts or pictures.

I like your solution, and think your categories are great (thanks for including me in one of them!)

:)

6:37 AM  
Blogger baylor said...

I do the same thing with reading others' blogs.

xoxo

7:52 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

the community we are nurturing around us is amazing, i agree. and like you, i don't always have time to read everything, or comment, but i think that's okay. the connections have already been established, and currents of loving energy are pinging around all over the place - it's tangible...
Sx

11:06 AM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

thank you for your wholehearted embrace for all bloggers. and i completely understand how reading every one, every day would be too much... i admire you for organizing it in ways that support your self care... and i will love navigating to favorites using your new sidebar categories. i feel honored that you've included me in "thinking outside the box." cheers!

11:34 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

What a really great post! I have been feeling so much the same, because I keep finding these amazing people! And it is like a new and different sort of relationship, and I never want to hurt feelings, or make people think I don't appriciate what they put into their writing.

Very well said. I think many of us feel this way. I may copy your system, if you don't mind?

:)

11:49 AM  
Anonymous samantha said...

This is a very thoughtful and thought provoking way to consider blogging - I know I feel like I gorge myself on all these words, and inadequate in leaving comments that clearly say what I wish. I fall back on the same words, which I hate, but I am so inspired and encouraged by so many women (and a few men) out there. I feel bad that I get caught up in reading everyone without energy to really respond as a post deserves! So I may consider your system as well - it's a good one.

And it makes me smile down deep in my soul to be in the category I'm in - thank you for that!

12:22 PM  
Blogger melba said...

I think something is happening here...
Something is coming next for us in this blogging community...
Part of it is definately justBe...
But it is more than that...
But I don't know exactly what.
But I feel the momentum...
Don't you?

12:36 PM  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

Michelle, Six months ago I started a blog. I had NO idea what a blog was, I was dared to do a blog by someone who has had a blog when blogs started. The only thing she told me about blogs was this, "Do not except comments and do not read other blogs, it is a time consuming habit that has no end!"
I started my blog foregoing her rules.
I am OVERJOYED by the community I have stumbled into, the people I have come to know and share with and the overflowing happiness I feel! This blog community is a breath of fresh air for me! Literally! and it is in ENGLISH!
Though with all that said, I understand what you are saying, I have been struggling with the very thoughts you are bringing up. Your ideas and thoughts are very helpful, and I thank you for honest sharing and shedding light.
If you do not read my blog, or do not leave a comment I will LIKE you even more!! :)

12:36 PM  
Blogger megg said...

Hi there! OH, I HEAR YOU!! Thank you for your honesty about something that a lot of us feel. I will look forward to anytimes your face is in my comments, because now I will be honoured to know that you needed me! xoxo

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh I think you have created a wonderful solution to a very common challenge in the bounty of blogging-- good on you!

~bluepoppy

1:59 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Hon, you do what you want, read when/what you want, etc.
This is a "no strings attached" friendship.
Hugs,
a.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Living Part Deux said...

Michelle, this is very thoughtful and a plan that will allow you time to gain exactly what you need from blogging. I appreciate that you shared it with us. It's empowering in a way. Thank you.

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

Oh hon, you're preachin' to the choir with this one...I can't possibly keep up the way I used to. And I feel a tad guilty about that...but then I think: would my blogging friends prefer that I sit at the computer and read blogs for hours...or actually live a life...that probably would not have evolved the way it has if I didn't have my blog-circle? I, too, have grown very attached to my blog-sisters (a few men, but most are women)...I can't tell you how many times I turn around while sitting at the computer to excitedly relate something that's happening in the life of a blogger I care about to Jeffrey. Just the other day, I was thinking how much I LOVE how my blogging community has infiltrated my 'real' life...and how very, very HAPPY it made me to have all of you out there in blogland.

3:57 PM  

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