Will you be my friend?

Keyboard-Blogging

I have been blogging for almost 5 years now. When I take a step back and think about it, that kind of feels like… wow. Except for I guess I should be a little more honest with that statement. I have had a blog for 5 years now. During which there have been several peaks and valleys of blogging more or less or, well, not at all.

In 2013 I published 20 posts, one every 2 1/2 weeks or so. I followed that up with a whole 2 posts in 2014. Now here I am again and I sort of feel like, “Where did everybody go?” Turns out a lot of my blogging community did the same thing I did. They quit blogging. Or cut way back. And I miss them. I miss the interaction. I miss hearing about a reader’s reaction or input in the comments. I miss reading about their lives on their blogs. I miss the connection and the friendship.

I don’t want to seem ungrateful, because I am. I am grateful for anyone that spends their precious time reading a post on my silly, little blog. I’m grateful for the few bloggers from my past that are still around. And I’m grateful that there are others out there I haven’t met yet.

I’ve been browsing tags and scanning blog rolls and butting into conversations. Basically doing all the things I did when I first started blogging, and it feels a little uncomfortable. It’s like I’m awkwardly asking, “Will you be my friend?”

Because that’s what blogging means to me. It’s not about a microphone or a stats race. I know for some it’s about writing and I can appreciate that. But I’m not really a writer. For me it’s about friendship and connection and community. I want mine back or to find a new one, and I want it now! But that’s not how it works, is it? Just as in real life, it takes time and a little luck to build meaningful relationships.

So I suppose I just need to be patient… I suck at being patient. There, now you know something about me. What should I know about you?

Photo Credit: Blogging? by Anonymous Account is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Real friends

A couple years ago I randomly decided to start blogging. I honestly can’t remember why. I don’t think I thought too much about it. I just up and started.

And look what I’ve gotten myself into. I’m blown away. I have met more than a community. I’ve met friends. Real life friends. I mean, I haven’t actually met any of them. But they are still friends, and they are very much real.

A few weeks ago Ashley noticed I hadn’t been very active in cyber space. I was in a funk and turned to you, yeah you, for a little support. Since then my funk’s smelled a little less funky. I’m doing okay. So thank you for that. Yeah, YOU.

But I still haven’t been super active in cyber space. This time around I have different reasons. Jason’s been off work, and I’ve been spending my evenings (usually dedicated to the computer) with him.

I also decided to read a real, live book. And because I am an engineer I am not capable of also reading blogs. Nor am I required to follow grammatical rules or spell correctly. Or attempt to expand my sixth grade vocabulary. (And I don’t want to hear any of that whiny, “But I’m an engineer and I read blogs AND books, and cook dinner every night, and take care of my three kids.”)

So that’s what I was doing – hanging out with Jason and reading a book – when both Melie AND Amy cared enough to ask if everything was okay.

I’m blown away. To just about tears. You guys are amazing and beautiful and real and MY FRIENDS. Yeah YOU.

What’s next

In case you were wondering, I do plan on continuing the daily posts. I’m just going to do it every few days now. I need a little break from everyday. I find that the evening, after Ruby’s gone to bed, is the best time for blogging. It also happens to be the best time for watching television. And for, you know, interacting with that man living in my house.

It was fun though. I feel like it’s been a period of growth for me as a writer. It was an opportunity to try new things. This blog has gone through a lot of changes over the last year or so, culminating in the last couple of months. Now I’m sort of sitting back and thinking about where I want to take it next…

Themed Posts

Yep, Ruby Tuesday is here to stay. For now anyway. I don’t expect to win any literary merit awards with these, but the family seems to enjoy them.

Runner’s High is also sticking around, but probably on a random basis.

Writing Communities

Over the last couple of months I’ve participated in writing challenges at Yeah Write, Trifecta and Scriptic. There are things that I really liked about each of these forums. Different things:

  • I felt the most engaged and invested in the process through the Scriptic prompt exchange. I also liked the specificity of the resulting assignment.
  • I liked the layout of the Trifecta website. The rules for participation were very clearly outlined and easy to find. I respect the level of professionalism the editors brought to the group.
  • The bloggers linking up with Yeah Write blew me away with their level of interaction and support.

As much as I enjoyed trying my hand at these writing challenges, none of them fit me as well as those custom made jeans I could only afford with a Groupon. I suspect I will continue to participate in this sort of thing if and when it feels right.

More on Community

The best part of blogging is community. OBVIOUSLY. What I really liked about joining the groups above was meeting new people and reading new content on a wide variety of topics.

I would really like to showcase some of that great stuff, the stuff that keeps me trapped in BlogLand, here on this blog. I’ve attempted to do this by including the ‘My Community’ and ‘Worth a Read’ sections to the right. But they haven’t really had the effect I wanted them to have. So I have some other ideas. Be on the lookout for an update on ‘Worth a Read.’

I am also toying with the idea of inviting the occasional guest over to post. We shall see…

Content Restrictions

One of the things I love about this blog is how versatile it is. I’ve written about everything from running to parenting with a postpartum mood disorder to the politics of Big Oil. And for some crazy reason you guys keep reading. Thank you for that!

That said, I’ve stretched myself and this blog more than ever over the last two months, and I realized there are some limits. This blog is about my life. It’s non-fiction. And it’s about right now. I’m not opposed to writing about something that happened in the past, but only if it’s relevant to what’s happening in my life right now.

This leaves me in a bit of a predicament. Sometimes I want to write out of bounds. Yet these lines are important to me. And so I’m on the verge of doing something I said I would never do – start another blog. That’s all I’m going to say about that for now.

And all of this leaves me with Some Questions for You

  • What writing communities are you a part of? Have you participated in any writing challenges you would recommend?
  • How do you highlight your community on your blog?
  • Do you feature guest posts on your blog? How do you manage it?
  • Do you or have you ever kept up multiple blogs? How did that work out for you?