How Another Blogger Inspired Me to Keep Writing

On November 5th, I considered deleting my blog. It was in the breakup that I was going to find peace.

If you’ve been plugging away at social media for any length of time, you know it’s a huge commitment. And a huge time waster.

It’s easy to get sucked into the whirlwind. I’m just as guilty as the next person. We live in a cultural climate where “public preening and oversharing” are the norm. It’s a Me–Me–Me world, and gosh darn it, you’re gonna notice me.

“Look! I’m staring at a pile of potatoes.”

In order to stay relevant, the experts say I should be tweeting numerous times per day, posting once per week, and updating my instagram account hourly. I know what I should be doing in theory, but my heart is telling me something different.

Therein lies the paradox. And the reason behind my resistance. The exhibitionist nature of social media is wearing on me. I’m having a hard time accepting the narcissistic generation we’ve become.

Myself included.

I wasn’t sure how to resolve this internal tug-of-war. The short answer is I planned on walking away from WordPress. For good. I couldn’t justify the effort one has to pour into blogging, especially when it doesn’t yield a big return. Let’s face it, no one is making millions blogging for leisure.

I understand that most of us blog for a sense of community. Blogging makes us write better, communicate better, and ultimately listen better. I get it. The problem I have is when blogging to starts to interfere with my home life.

This was my mindset three weeks ago.

My thoughts started to shift on November 6th, when I received a message from Deborah Bryan, one of my treasured blogging pals. She invited me for coffee.

I first stumbled across Deb’s blog in 2012. I was immediately drawn to her tender spirit and sophisticated writing. Deb’s writing flows with graceful transitions, rhythmic sentence structure, and a passion that ignites the screen. She’s a true craftsman of the English language.

This woman is a godsend.
This woman is a godsend.

After texting back and forth, we finally settled on a date. The days leading up to November 20th, were filled with anxiety. You know, the kind of butterflies you get on a first date:

What if I don’t meet her expectations? Dress or pants? Flip flops or boots? Hug or handshake? I’m a hugger but I don’t want to invade her personal space. How do I ask her to take a picture with me? She’ll think I’m stalker. What if she doesn’t show up? Or worse, she shows up and we have nothing in common? What, then? Awkward silence . . .

Our time together was none of these things. We talked, we laughed, we ate, and talked some more. Well, the eating part is not entirely true. I was so excited to be sitting next to Deb in the flesh that I forgot to drink my coffee and eat my quiche.

I left the restaurant with a dry mouth and empty stomach but my heart was full.

Thanks, Deb. You restored my faith in friendships. You may have prolonged the lifespan of my blog, too.

I'm in love. Is there anything more to say?
I’m in love. Is there anything more to say?

In the spirit of fostering online friendships, I couldn’t resist throwing out some questions. I’m particularly eager to read your responses to question #3 and #6:

1. Do you have any ‘real life’ blogger friends?

2. Which blogger are you just dying to meet?

3. If you’re stranded on an island, which blogger would help you survive?

4. Do you remember the FIRST blogger you connected with online?

5. Some bloggers have cool jobs, anybody you’d like to swap careers with for a day?

6. There’s a dinner party coming up, which blogger would you love to be stuck in the kitchen with?

7. Favorite blog design?

Advertisements

54 thoughts on “How Another Blogger Inspired Me to Keep Writing

  1. Hi Anka ๐Ÿ˜€
    Don’t give up blogging on WP. Come and go when you wish. I’ve had weeks off in the past and I am still here.
    1. Ute from London and Manny a blogging teddy bear stayed with me in Spain. I have a local friend who rarely blogs. I met up with an Israeli blogger in Israel. She showed me Tel Aviv and we spent a night by the Dead Sea.
    2. You ! lol
    3. No idea.
    4. Yes. Nia from niaphotography.
    5. No. I’m retired. Says it all really !
    6. Ute from http://utesmile.wordpress.com/
    Have fun and keep blogging my friend. xox โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good advice, Ralph. I don’t know why I feel pressure to always be ‘on?’ I should be able to come and go as I please. I think it’s my ALL or NOTHING personality.
      Anyway, it sounds like blogging has been an enriching experience for you. I can’t imagine what you must have felt like traveling to Tel Aviv. I wouldn’t have slept a wink!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have but one thing to say to you, Anka my friend, whom I am most happy to have back.
    Nah, nah, nah, told you so. (Imagine it in a sing-songy voice.)
    It’s amazing, right? It’s the same relationship on line as in person, only better, because it’s IN PERSON!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You were right, NTT! I couldn’t stay away forever. There’s something about the WP community that keeps me coming back for more. Yeah, guess it’s all about the peeps, especially the cute kitty CAT types!

      Like

  3. I am glad you decided to stay. For me, it’s about me just getting my words out of my head, whether someone reads them or not. I almost shut down in January but realized I woudln’t have this outlet to use when I needed to work through something.

    1. I’ve a blogger in person that I am friends with; there are several I am Facebook friends with that I would happily meet in person if not for distance.

    2. The ones I am on Facebook with that I can’t meet yet because of distance/cost.

    3. DJMatticus, maybe? He camps and such. He would have to bring his wife and cute baby along, because they are all cool ๐Ÿ™‚

    4. Yes. We are no longer in contact, but I have a few that have been “regulars” for quite a bit of my two years. More people I have interactions with have been following for 6 months to a year.

    5. Anyone who works from home and/or artistic careers. Not that I have talent, but still…

    6. El Guapowitz! He doesn’t blog on his main site now but he still comments. He posts his cooking adventures for the week every Sunday on twitter. He’s funny and he knows what to do in the kitchen!

    7. I like different elements on every blog I visit. I can never get my own right either. One day…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sheena, sorry for the delayed response! My baby has a double ear infection and I haven’t been able to peel him off of me.
      Anyway, I’m always amazed by bloggers like you who can churn out posts daily. I consider myself lucky if I post once per month.
      As for your blogging buddies, it sounds like you’ve made some genuine connections. What a gift! I’ve never stopped by El Guapowitz’ blog, but it seems like he’s the boss in the kitchen. I so appreciate that level of patience when it comes to cooking!

      Like

    1. It’s not even 7:00am here, and you already have me spitting out coffee. You will FOREVER make me smile, NTT! By the way, my husband tells me the same thing.

      Like

      1. Missed you too lovely lady! And why oh why, do you have to live on the other side of the country? If I’m ever in NY, you’ll have to pencil me in.

        Like

  4. Hooray for meeting Deb! And I’m happy you’re staying on blogging. Soooo many times I’ve wanted to quit, mainly due to the incredible amount of time it takes to keep up with a blog. But I love it too much, so I decided to just blog when I get a chance and not to sweat it if I don’t get around to it.

    I have met a bunch of bloggers in real life. A few I’m close friends with and I talk on the phone with one blogger in particular for hours and hours. She’s already visited me in Maine twice and has met my entire family. It’s amazing the real relationships you can form online!

    The first blogger I really connected with was Charles from Mostly Bright Ideas. I met him and his wife a few years ago and I remember being incredibly nervous meeting him, like I was having lunch with a celebrity or something. haha!

    Glad you and Deb had such a great meet-up and I loved the pics too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When I first started blogging I was naive. I had no idea that people could actually form such strong connections online. I created my blog as a form of free therapy, a place where I could clear my head.
      I, now, relish in the friendships I’ve made both online and offline. They’ve been a saving grace for me in many ways.
      Also, I’m not going to give up my dream of visiting Maine some day. After all, I did select this state for my 5th grade geography project. I’m totally mystified by the lobster roll craze . . .

      Like

  5. Wow lots of questions but good ones. First though about relevance – don’t let anyone sway you to tweet or anything else. You decide what is relevant to you.
    1. Yes I have about half a dozen who are real life as in – not made up in my head- but only one I have met in person and that is Joss Burnell the Crowing Crone. Joss is an author, class A blogger and reaches outside her comfort zone to embrace life.
    2. Hard to choose just one I am dying to meet but would say Judith Baxter from New Zealand who is growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com. Judith is an adventurist who listens to her heart and head and chooses how she will live the rest of her life.
    3. I could survive any circumstance, even a deserted island if I was with Celia from thekitchensgarden.com. She is absolutely without limits in sustainable farming and resourceful thinking. And if I could convince her my name was Daisy or Sheila I would not have to do anything except lap up the bounty she provides! Oh Celi is also from NZ but living in mid USA. What is it about that down under charm and appeal?
    4. The First Blogger was Tricia at thedomesticfringe.com and she was the very first person to contact me after my first post four years ago. I’ve learned a lot about life lessons from Tricia and she is one wicked crafter but since my creative skills are limited I take pleasure in knowing she got my share of talent.
    5. Being of a retired nature taking part in a career for even a day has no appeal – alas.
    6. Georgette Sullins at georgettesullins.wordpress.com is my choice for kitchen sharing. I would want it to be her kitchen in the country and I would swim in her lump free gravy – well not swim, but you know.
    7. No faves on blog design. Goes to lack of creativity thing.
    Thanks this was fun! Glad you decided to stay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New Year BB!! As you know, I’m a bit behind in my blog responses. It’s been an eventful holiday season in my home. Unfortunately, we’ve been battling the flu.
      In any case, it sounds like you’ve built up quite the blogging tribe. Friends from around the world. And I gotta say that you and Cecilia should be a package deal when it comes to survival skills. I would love to learn more about sustainable farming!
      Also, for the record, I wouldn’t mind literally swimming around in gravy as long as there were warm dinner rolls lying around.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello! I remember the first time I met in real life a friend through through blogging I had the same questions and butterflies go through my stomach. Luckily we clicked just as well as online and we were both chatterboxes ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’d love to say: noooo, never stop your blog, but the truth is we are all human beings and if that is what we think is right, then do it. If continuing to blog makes you happy, then do it too!
    I sometimes want to give up my blog too, but havent stopped it yet exactly because of the people I get to chat to and meet.
    Answers to the questions: (I may be vague)
    1. No. Apart from the ones I’ve met already so they are now my “real life” friends, no, none of my friends around me have a blog.
    2. and 3. I’ll jump… sorry!
    4. I do remember. I actually wrote her an email before I ever started blogging. She answered back. She helped spark my blog. She follows mine now and we chat a lot ๐Ÿ™‚ so cute.
    5. Oh gosh, maybe someone thats a professional restaurant reviewer!
    6. Hey I have a food blog, so I’m surrounded by so many talented food bloggers, I wouldn’t know who to pick!
    7. The minimalistic ones. Sorry, I’m boring in that sense. For my own blog I like a minimalistic design so that the content and photos stand out.
    Have a great afternoon! xx

    Like

  7. Yay!!! You’re still here!! Don’t leave, okay? I totally get all of this. A blog is a commitment no matter how you slice it! I still don’t have my computer, so my answer will be short. Let’s just say I would love to meet you! Guess what? I’ll be in your neck of the woods come February. I’ll email you with details.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yayyyy! I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to sitting across the table from you, Amy. February can’t come soon enough.
      Also, get the computer up running. It’s almost Friday Fictioneer time . . .

      Like

  8. —-How cool that you met Deb from The Monster In Your Closet!
    Were you nervous? Did you click immediately? Awesome!!!
    The first time I met a “Blogger Friend,” I was so afraid she would think I was a fake, that she wouldn’t like me! So high-school.
    But it was WONDERFUL & she was exsactly like her blog & we sat there saying, “I can’t belive you are here! OMG.”
    My top person to meet is Elizabeth from New York. We have lots in common & we talk on the phone about once a month.
    Um, so many others that I can’t count.
    Def. Mandy from South Africa & Vidya from India, and….so many to count….!!!
    FYI… I do not tweet everyday. I post 2 times per month.
    If that means, I’m not relevant, I don’t give a sh*t!!

    xxx Love from MN.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hardly slept the night before. And yes, the butterflies in my stomach were doing jumping jacks!!
      But all those crazy emotions disappeared when we met. We hugged, we laughed . . . our conversation was effortless.
      Sounds like you’ve built deep friendships too, Kim! Can you imagine traveling to India or South Africa?? I would travel that far, but I’d have to wait till my kids are older.
      I LOVE your attitude about staying relevant. Truth be told, I’m the type of person who cares MORE about quality not quantity. It’s never been about the numbers for me. I appreciate the genuine connection.
      Stay warm my dear!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m glad you decided to stick with blogging a little while longer Anka! As someone said before dont put so much pressure on yourself. It’s just blogging. ๐Ÿ˜€ You are relevant to a lot of people. We miss you when you don’t blog but we understand.

    I do have some ‘real life’ blogger friends. I connected with two local bloggers in particular earlier this year…this after reading each others’ blogs for a while and being shy about reaching out at first and after our meet-up we have been friends since. We meet for coffee just last weekend in fact and are currently planning a trip to BlogHer 11 in NYC next year!

    I am absolutely dying to meet in person Stephanie of http://WhenCrazyMeetsExhaustion.com. My plan is the next time I’m in the US to make a coffee date happen. *fingers crossed it will happen in early 2015* I think we could be besties in a non-creepy I feel like we already are kinda way.

    On this note, it is amazing to me the “friendships” that form just from reading blogs and commenting. When the writing is real and the comments are real…you get the sense that you “know” the blogger. I am not sure that it isn’t entirely weird to care so much about people you only know through their blogs.

    I don’t remember the first blogger I connected with online tho. But if I were stranded on an island, I think the blogger who would help me survive the experience would be Shantaya of the http://thepinkexpat.com/…the girl has been travelling the world solo…I think she know’s a thing or two about survival.

    I don’t want to switch jobs with anyone (I’m trying to leave mine)…and besides I like living vicariously through their writing just fine ๐Ÿ™‚

    At a dinner party I would love to be stuck in the kitchen with Leah http://littlemisswordy.wordpress.com/, you and Stephanie…now that would be some interesting conversation!

    No favourite blog design really I am attracted to good writing…the presentation not so much.

    Keep going! And when you need a break…rest but dont quit okay ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vernette, I could totally see you and Steph hanging out in the real world. I miss that girl!! She has a soft spot in my heart, too. And I know she’d make us laugh till it hurt.
      If you plan on going to Blogher ’11 next year, I’m sure you’ll meet lots of WP bloggers in person. In fact, I think Miss Wordy is living on the East Coast now. Lucky for you!
      As for the dinner party, I think me, you, Steph, and Leah would have a blast. We would need more than a few hours together. We’d also need several bottles of wine and bars of chocolate!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. How nice that you were able to meet up. Two great bloggers getting together. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I haven’t met up with anyone yet. I’m social online, but in real life I’m a major introvert and the thought of meeting new people raises my pulse. Big time. But I’m sure if I went through with it, I’d be happy I did.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My heart was definitely racing, Carrie! But I felt like I’ve known Deb for years through her blog. I put my fears aside and it was TOTALLY worth it!
      If you ever decided to meet up with another blogger, just know you’ll get zero sleep the night before. Also, concealer is great for hiding the bags!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Geez Louise! There are WAY too many I want to meet that I couldn’t narrow it down. I have met Robin from Breezes At Dawn, Kathy from Reinventing The Event Horizon and her wonderful partner Sara, and Bill from Dealing With COPD (RIP). I would love to travel and meet all of the bloggers I love! Yourself included!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Colleen! That’s an impressive list. Guess you can travel since your kiddos are grown adults. My time away from the home is still limited.
      As for meeting up one day, I would love nothing more! You live in Ohio if I’m not mistaken, right? My husband’s aunt lives in Fairborn so there’s a possibility it could happen one day . . .

      Like

      1. YES! And I met Robin at a Color Run THEN discovered we were mutual bloggers. We drove to Kentucky to meet Kathy. And we used a voucher my husband got when he was bumped flying for business to fly and meet Bill in Florida. ๐Ÿ™‚ We have been very lucky. And yes, no babies in the house makes it MUCH easier! When you are heading to Fairborn you let me know!!!!

        Like

  12. I’m happy you didn’t walk away. You can do as much or as little as you want… no need to feel pressure. I can tell you love writing and you have interesting things to say so why close an avenue you can use whenever the spirit falls on you? I have met one blogging friend in person just a few weeks ago when he vacationed here with his family. It was so much fun!! And I’m planning to reach out to another one soon. I have a few friends with whom I have very meaningful exchanges outside the blogging world, and would love to meet them in person whenever we might be able to bridge the distance.. I’d love to meet you too if your vacation plans ever bring you this way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Were you nervous meeting him, Tiny? Did you visit with each other for more than a couple of hours? My time with Deb was limited because I had to pick up my son from school. It was definitely short but sweet. But I know we’ll meet again because we live in neighboring cities.
      As for visiting Florida one day, I think it’s in the works. My kids have been begging to go to Walt Disney world!!

      Like

      1. Maybe I was a little nervous, but slept well the night before. We met outside to photograph birds together for a couple of hours. It was really fun and I learned a lot as he’s an experienced photographer. Then we had a very nice lunch with his family before they continued from here to their vacation destination in a neighboring city. We hope to do it again next year. And when you come to FL pls let me know. Orlando is only about 1.5 h drive from the beach here…and it’s good for the kids to get to swim too and to meet the dolphin, Winter, from the movie Dolphin Tale. He lives right here!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I suck at Twitter, and I don’t have an Instagram, but I love to blog. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a couple of my blogging friends face to face, and there are several others I would love to sit and have coffee–or a beer–with. ๐Ÿ™‚ No pressure, Anka. The beauty of blogs is in the individuality, not the rules. Do this the way it makes sense for you and your life. I’m glad you’re here. โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mrs. F, I somehow hit the ‘unfollow’ button on your blog. Jeez, I’m sorry! All because of one slip of the finger–iPhones are such delicate little creatures. I’ve since corrected the problem and you should be showing up in my Reader again.
      As far as blogging rules, I’m going to do what Elsa did and “Let it Go.” I’m going to embrace who I am and let my true colors shine through! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

      1. lol, it happens, no worries–though I’m glad to have you back. ๐Ÿ˜›

        Yes! Embrace the blogger you are, that’s who we come for, not a vague ideal of what a blogger should be. ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  14. No one would blame you if you stopped or cut back as you must have a very busy family life. You have to do whatโ€™s right for you. My answers are:

    1. Yes, as it happens. Although not many. And, more importantly, I donโ€™t tell friends about this blog. Itโ€™s only through anonymity that I can write what I write.
    2. I think none, now, after I almost met up with American Girl No.2 in Ireland, but then didnโ€™t, at the last minute.
    3. ???
    4. By โ€œconnected withโ€ I guess see the answer to question No.2.
    5. I honestly donโ€™t know what jobs most bloggers do. A whole lot of mystery surrounds a lot of us.
    6. Oh, I donโ€™t know.
    7. I just picked one and stick with it. I donโ€™t look to fiddle so really donโ€™t know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New Year, FM!! Hope the first week of 2015 has treated you kind. Or, at the very least, you’re catching up on some much needed sleep from the holidays. I’m still recovering.
      As for blogging, it sounds like you’ve built a close circle of friends. But I do agree that mystery surrounds most of us. And to be honest, I prefer having that element of mystery. It keeps readers coming back for more.

      Like

    1. Glad to know I’m not the only one who’s conflicted. When you’re a mom, it’s hard to justify spending that much time away from your kids. Thanks for stopping by M&M. Have a fantastic weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Reading this made me beam all over again! Strangely, Anthony’s hiatus (which ended Tuesday) left me with less time instead of the more (?!) I expected, so I haven’t written a post about the goodness of that morning … not with my fingers, anyway! I’ve been writing it in my mind since we met and hope to type it up today, J’s naps permitting.

    I’m already looking forward to our next catch-up over coffee, and so, so glad for the chance to connect offline. Online friends are a joy, but there’s a peace of mind and comfort from catching up (and hugging!) in person that’s very different.

    Talk to you soon. ♥

    Like

    1. It’s hard to believe that almost one month has passed since I last posted. Looking forward to catching up with you in a couple of days. And yes, nothing beats talking (and hugging) in person. Can’t wait to hear about your trip!!

      Like

  16. I love to write and never had an opportunity to explore it. So after one of those fun lay offs we all love; I found WordPress and decided why not? It will be fun and easy!

    Did some writing and hit the button and voila! A like and a follower!

    Somewhere it took that turn you wrote about. Link your account to Twitter, get the correct tags…grow! Get millions of followers!

    I decided awhile ago that yes, I need to do these things. But like a nice wine; you have to let it age at its own pace. Or you will end up with a bottle of MD 20/20!

    I will do enough to keep me sane and happy and what happens will happen.

    Thanks for the read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Steve, I love your analogy about letting blogs age like fine wine. Anything worth while takes time. I’ve never been a numbers person. I prefer genuine connections over dozens of followers.
      On a side note, I apologize for the late response. It’s difficult for a mom of 3 to squeeze in alone time, especially during the hectic holiday season.

      Wishing you all the best in the New Year!!

      Like

      1. You too! And thanks for the reply. I am enjoying the hustle and bustle of getting gifts for my one child and my other family members so 3 kids must be a real boat load of excitement!

        Good luck and Merry Christmas!

        Like

    1. Happy New Year, Sarah!! It’s hard to believe that I’ve been away for more than a month. Then again, like you said, we can pretty much blame our kids for not staying on top of things. Miss you my beautiful friend!!

      Like

Your Two Cents in the Grit Storehouse.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s