Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why? Why? Why Do You Do It?

I started blogging last summer as a little month long exercise for me. I wanted to teach blogging to my students, and before I teach something in writing, I want to do it myself. I didn't plan to continue it after that month, but I found I was hooked.

It was HARD for me to click that publish button the first time. It still is, truth be told. My heart always jumps in my throat a little. One of the main reasons I love blogging is because I have been gifted with such a treasure of blogging buddies who have enriched my life beyond imagination. As much as I enjoy it, I haven't shared my blog with too many people I know personally. In fact, only two people I know in real life even know I have a blog. I'm more than a little shy about it, and I don't really know why yet.

I read such polished and articulate blogs every day.  Your talent, my friends, truly amazes me. I so enjoy reading your stories and slices of life and seeing your pictures and artwork. Personally, I have no aspirations of taking my writing beyond blogland because I know the limitations of my writing abilities. I mainly write to satisfy my creative itch. But there are others out there who are working on books and some who are already published authors.

With thanks to my blog friend Clint over at Lyrics of Love and Lore, I am hijacking his question because I want to know from you all: Why do you blog? Let's get a good blog discussion going about this.

46 comments:

  1. Stop me before I BLOG again! (LOL) In my 2008 mission statement I explained that I started my SDM&M blog because I saw a need. The story of the Shady Dell is one that needed to be told and nobody else was doing it. You could hardly find any mention of it on the internet other than the typical few words like "great place, good times!" The Dell was more than that. It was in operation nearly 50 years and was home away from home for countless thousands of teenagers from all over Central Pennsylvania. I was not willing to sit idly by and allow the Shady Dell to remain nothing more than a footnote in York County history. I asked myself "why not you?" and "why not now?" and that's how my blogging began. I believe that I have become a better writer since 2008. I also believe that I have become a more loving and compassionate individual through the wonderful friendships that I have formed. Few of my family members know about my blog and even fewer care. That suits me just fine because I would feel "exposed" knowing that they read my words, yet I feel very safe and comfortable sharing them with all of you.

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    1. Shady: I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with this shyness about sharing our blogs with people we know in real life. Not even my own mom knows I write in a blog.

      "I also believe that I have become a more loving and compassionate individual through the wonderful friendships that I have formed." Amen to that! So very true for me, too.

      I applaud what you are doing for the Shady Dell. You have spread the ideals and foundations of it literally all over the world. I believe John and Helen are so proud of you and are looking down with great joy at how you do it, my friend.

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  2. Shelly, I started a blog purely for my own amusement. A few people stumbled in, I made return visits to their blogs, and amazingly the interactions with these friends whom I have never met have become a really satisfying part of the experience. Reading blogs and comments probably takes up as much of my time as writing for my own blogs. I have tried to quit; can't do it.

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    1. vanilla: I think it is amazing how incredibly satisfying these interactions are, and most non-bloggers don't even realize the potential for it. I am like you- I've tried to quit, but I can't. And I'm glad for that.

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  3. Oh wow, I get to be the first! Shelly, if you wanted to write books I know they would be wildly successful! We love your stories!

    I blog because of of a repressed need to express a more fully fleshed out form of thought. But sometimes it's just so I can have contact with people. I didn't expect it to be like this. I never expected to make friends. At first I started blogging to help spread the word about my handmade business, but now it has become like a little coffee house on the corner where I'm engaging with folks I never would have met in real life. Blogging for me is the heart of my engagement online; no matter the fads of fb, pinterest, etc, I find this medium to be the most personal, inspiring, and loving place.

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    1. Jenny: I love how you describe it as a little coffee house on the corner. That is so apt. Blogland, at least my part of it is filled with incredibly warm, supportive, and caring people. I think we all long for that kind of heart to heart interaction we find in writing and commenting. And, I'm so glad I found you as my friend!

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  4. But third is good...everyone must have been writing at the same time:)

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  5. I started blogging six months ago to connect with people since I live a very sequestered life. I've always liked telling stories, usually in paint (I'm a retired professional illustrator) but now I enjoy doing so with words. It's also great meeting people like you.

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    1. Stephen: I do like how you compare telling stories to painting, because that's exactly what it is to me. I do enjoy reading your blog!

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  6. I blog for quite a few reasons. A while ago, I quit it for a couple months and I missed it so much. I missed the contact with others. The interaction. We should never lose sight of people in our lives, but as long as there is balance, these people are real too.

    Have you ever heard the song by Kathy Troccoli, "Go Light Your World"? That's what I see with blogging,and my blogging friends, little lights lighting up the world. We are Jesus to each other.

    My blog is me. It is a place where I am not lost. When I became a mother, and was no longer doing daycare or working in a school or working outside the home for that matter, it was easy to kind of lose a part of myself. I suppose to give it willingly and lovingly to my children. With blogging, it's like I've found myself again. I can think things in my head and write them, as serious, thankful or random. It's my very best. My inner thoughts and feelings compiled in a diary kind of. I always think, if I die, (while my kids are young)I want my kids to read my blog to see what I was really like inside, what went through my head.

    Blogging is also a sharing of ideas for me. I have many blogs on my google reader that I just look at for art ideas or cooking blogs for meal ideas.

    Sometimes it is just seeing another mother going through the same thing as me and not feeling so alone. My very first blog I ever went to, the woman had 6 kids and they were all going through the flu...we were also going through the flu at the same time and she had a great sense of humor and it got me through those dark few days of loneliness.


    I'm going on too long here....
    I used to not tell anyone I knew I had a blog, but now after a few years of it, and with Simeon, I've told a lot of people I know, just so they could see him. I don't have anything to hide, what you see is what you get and so why not? (but it took a while to get there)

    I'm glad you kept it up. I love how you answer each person individually. I try but just can't. I try to respond sometimes. I've learned so much from coming here, from you. My life is enriched because of you.

    We all have a choice to make each person we meet better off by meeting you or worse off. You make each person better.

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    1. Jamie Jo: I love, love what you said. Especially where you said your blog is you. That's how I feel- my blog is the most authentic me there is out there. And I know what you mean about finding like minds and situations out there to inspire us. It really helps make difficult situations better.

      You are always, always so sweet to me (and to everyone), and I so appreciate how you make me feel so loved. You are one of the big reasons I stayed in, with your encouraging words. You always inspire me with how much you do so well, my friend!

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  7. I blog because I have always blogged. Without knowing it, of course. I have written and imagined and told stories since I was very small, starting with short stories and pen pals.

    The surprising part of blogging that I've come to find is the people I've met/connected to. I did not expect to become involved with the lives of the people I've met online, but I have, and that is a reward above the feedback I get on my work.

    Pearl

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    1. Pearl: I have found that most people who are naturally gifted writers as you are have some form of that early storytelling in them. I, like you, never imagined the wealth of meaningful connections out there, and I am grateful.

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  8. I beg to differ with your remark about your writing limitations. You are one of my favorite Bloggers and you are VERY talented, so BLOG ON!!

    I blog because I love the connection I make with other bloggers. I meet people that I would never get to know otherwise. And, I learn all sorts of things - there is always someone in Blogland who has an answer to my questions. I also enjoy the encouragement that Bloggers share with one another. I am not a writer but I have a love for the written word. I get a buzz when others read my words and a highlight of my day is when people take the time to leave Comments.

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    1. Sweet Tea: You are so sweet- thank you! I know exactly what you mean about the blogging connections. They are like none other, anywhere. And, you are a writer. I love the way you put things in such an interesting, succinct way. That's why you always have so many readers!

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  10. Why do I blog? In the beginning I was curious, what was all the "hype" about blogging..I had heard of it, read about it a few times, being disgusted with FaceBook and Tweet...I started considering blogging as an alternate to expressing thoughts/feelings:meeting new people far and wide, up close and personal: SO I started my blog ..as it turned out the LORD had a plan from the beginning I was just the one void of the purpose at the time which is how the LORD wanted it b/c it would have become "mine" and not HIS avenue....I no longer FaceBook or Tweet:
    I have met some of the most awesome people, those full of laughter, joy, and such wisdom ... and photography and artwork such crafty people...my life has been enhanced and increased in richness by those that I have met through blogging...I have received encouragement, and inspiration by many of those I have connected to thru blogging.
    I have an incredible desire to teach as God imparts wisdom and knowledge of His Holy Word...love to receive the feedback on those postings...so many times the LORD will use one of my blog friends to enhance the lesson, to help me see the truth from a different angle....I can sure be a black and white person at times: Blogging is as much a part of my day as prayer, studing and my lil Abby Girl...all which makes my day so enjoyable and at night before I close my eyes I think of all the goodness of my day and most of that goodness came from those found in the blog world inspired by our Heavenly Father: That is why I blog!!! wink wink ...long winded preachers! ROFL

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    1. Rhonda: You use the blog for such wonderful reasons, and do it very well, I might add. It's always an encouragement and an uplifting time when I read your posts.

      Please, don't stop, and don't change what you do! Thank you, my friend-

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  11. I started blogging because my teenage daughter made me. It was an escape from our then-dreaded daily existence and most importantly it made us both laugh at a time when it was desperately needed. I'm not sure why I kept it up other than I do so enjoy the interaction it brings. I know that I'm not a writer or story-teller, but I have a voice and I enjoy reading and commenting probably more than writing my own posts.

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    1. laughingmom: I so love the interaction. I wouldn't keep doing it just for the sake of writing, I don't think. And I know what you mean about it being an avenue for humor. I'm glad I met you through blogs!

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  12. I blog because if I'm going to keep somewhat of a history of my kids and their growing up years then it's blogging or journaling for me and blogging is way more fun! I started my blog, very nervously, a few weeks before my youngest was born. I loved it immediately. And I fell madly in love with blogging a few months later when my husband, kids and I were able to look back at all the posts like a fun scrapbook.

    I know that "mom blogs" are really only enjoyable for said moms and grandmas, but that's who I write for so it works. I had a great time with the A to Z challenge last April, so once in a while I try to be a little more creative, but for the most part it's just a journal.

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    1. Nancy: I've started thinking of my blog like you do- a wonderful place to store memories and family times. I so enjoy reading your blog and avidly kept up (and still do) everything you have on Caring Bridge. You are so inspirational!

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  13. Hi, Dearest Shelley.
    When I started blogging lst year, I don't think I had a clear aim p;) However, as I have gained more friends, I started to feel enjoyable to see vast world of my friends share for us. At the same time, it sure is a worthwhile feeling to have a place being able to share mine and getting feedback from dear friend like you is a marvelous treasure for me. How wonderful to have these relationship♡♡♡ If it wasn't this blog, my world would still be a small one.
    I just feel awkward using my poor English, I wish I could write what I want to say more accurately both in my post and comments, haha.
    I thank my friends deeply for their concern and sweetness for my good times and unfortunate times.
    So, I must say LOVE for these relationship will be the main reason for me♬♬♬

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    1. My dear friend Miyako: Your feedback has always been such a treat to me, and what a joy it is to learn from your posts! Your English is remarkable, and I think you express yourself so very well. I totally agree with what you said, "So, I must say LOVE for these relationship will be the main reason for me♬♬♬"!

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  14. If you are not a blogger and you tell people about blogging and that you have some great friends - they don't get it. But now that you are a blogger - isn't it wonderful? I mean the friendships are they best. I love my blogger friends. sandie

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    1. Sandie: Who would have thought, before we all got into blogging, that we could be connected in the ways we all are? I think of it as nothing less than miraculous.

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  15. When I first started blogging, it was to keep in touch with my daughter, who was living in Puerto Rico at the time. But then I started to "meet" such nice people, and I discovered I like to write, so it became a way to give people a glimpse into my life, while I had a little peek into theirs. It's horizon-expanding, and I've learned so much from so many different types of people who live all over the country. It's become, to me, a cathartic release from tension and worldly cares. It's a way to air opinions and gather the opinions of others - and hopefully learn something in the process. It's a way for me to be creative. It's a gift of friendship and really good people.
    Your blog is one of my favorites. Don't sell yourself short!

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    1. Karen: That's a great way to describe it: horizon expanding. It truly is. I am like you, too, in that it is a wonderful, positive release. I've so enjoyed meeting others, like you!

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  16. Shelly, Shelly, Shelly....

    First of all, you are as talented at spinnin' a yarn as anyone I know---and I know lots of folks. A little humility is cool, but we all see your talent. If you WANTED to write a book, you could.

    Thanks for mentioning my blog and taking the subject to the next level! Blogging is such an interesting subject.

    Blessings.

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    1. Clint: You are too kind- but I really don't think many folks would be lining up to buy it!

      I really enjoyed the comments on your blog. You started a great topic!

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  17. I started blogging just to get my creative ya-ya's out but it has become so much more. The support I get from my blogging buddies is incredible. I hope I do the same for them.

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    1. Bossy Betty: You do my friend- and it's wonderful how the reciprocity of blogging works.

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  18. I would say that blogging was an answer to my prayer to God for something more in my life. I wasn't babysitting my grandchildren any longer and it only took a couple of hours to get my housework done. I was bored and lonely so I prayed. God showed me blogging through my sister Liz, who had a blog before me. I joined so I could read and comment on her blog.

    I did not know at first that my blogging friends were the answers to my prayers. My loneliness is gone. My life feels full and happy most of the time now. I have found friendship, love and understanding through people like you. I never dreamed this would happen when I started. I love reading about all of you. People are just so precious and special to me because we are all children of God and so we are brothers and sisters.

    I see no limitations in your writing. You are truly gifted.

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    1. Belle: You are one of the kindest (and one of the first) people I've met in blogland. You were so sweet to comment and read my posts from the very beginning. You are so right that blogging provides friendship, love, and understanding. I will always be thankful I found your blog!

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  19. Why it was started and why I continue to blog has evolved into somethin' totally different.

    My sweet DIL set my mornin' email up in a blog sayin' that they to too good not to share. I continued to write because Blogland was just a good place to practice but then became aware of what a vast and beautiful outreach it is.

    We have a community that prays for one another. Lifts each other up and helps carry one another's burdens.

    This is one chick who in in awe of the carin' love shown here. I have a little neighbor girl who is also in my SS class and Kid's Church. I wrote her story over a year ago. Strangers sent gifts from all over the world and still today I get an occasional card or box for Angel.

    When my daddy passed a little over a year ago the emails and cards came flowin' in. Durin' my horrific seven month shingle outbreak I was sent gifts of chocolate, books and CD's. If fact just this Jan. when we celebrated our 39th weddin' anniversary I was sent an original CD filled with love songs played on a piano just for me.

    I love to write, play with words. I adore to watch 'em dance and come to life on the page but most of all I love the beautiful people I've connected with though bloggin'

    'Nuff said...........

    God bless ya sweetie and have yourself a fantabulous week!!! :o)

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    1. Nezzy: I love hearing how you got started! What a smart daughter in law you have. I, too, am amazed at the love and compassion that are out there in our little blogging world. I never, ever would have dreamed. So often we hear only about the bad things the internet brings, but this is something that should be shouted from the rooftops! I am so glad to have found your blog.

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  20. I blog because it is fun for me. It is my little outlet that is all mine. I have always enjoyed comedy, so it is a way for me to express the funny side of life through writing. I just love the chance to be creative! I am si happy you started blogging. I always feel uplifted here. :)

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    1. Kelley: And your writing is always so funny! And, thank you. That's always an aim of mine.

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  21. My reason for blogging is similar to Pearl's in that I have always done it. I have loved the art of story telling ever since I can remember. I have journals starting back when I was 7 years old that include fictional stories and my musings about what what happening around me.

    Blogging is a wonderful outlet for my creativity. And i agree with you about the interaction with other people I would normally never have the pleasure of getting to know. It is such a gift.

    I understand your heart being in your throat when you hit publish. I also understand wanting to keep your blog a secret. We write what moves us and it is scary to think we might be judged harshly as a result.

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    1. Crystal: For me, finally jumping into the blogging waters started with reading some of your posts and deciding it looked like so much fun that I had to do it, too.

      You found your literary voice early. I think that's what blogging helps so many people to do- find that voice inside them and give it a forum.

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  22. I discovered your blog tonight was extremely impressed by your red cow"girl" boots...I am new to writing or the exposure of my writing...I have name my blog, Cloak of Darkness due to the abuse as a child being the heavy cloak that I wore for so long....then the LIGHT came and brought new insights, healed my blindness to the hope, joy and peace...and I have purposed to use my writing, blog to bring hope and peace and healing to others along with the continual healing of the little wee girl within that never had a voice...would like to invite you to visit my blog...please don't see it as gothic or evil...it is to be an expression of the darkness that rules and robs one of the LIGHT and to express the inward feelings of abuse! Thank you so much .....

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  23. Dandelion: Thank you so much for stopping by! Those red boots are my very favorite ones to wear and I wear them with dresses, skirts, and yes, jeans.

    I look forward to visiting your blog!

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  24. Shelly,
    This is such a good question - but unfortunately, I don't think I have a really good answer right now. But I am going to give it some thought and see if I can figure out why I blog. :)

    Until then, know that the rest of us are blessed by the wonderful stories you share with us. Have a wonderful weekend. ...Marsha

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    1. Marsha: Thank you for your kind words. I can't wait to read the rest of your installments in your story- really you have me waiting with great anticipation for the next one!

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