Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Surviving Blogland

A writer is, after all, only half his book. The other half is the reader and from the reader the writer learns.
~P. L. Travers

There are many blogs with tips about how to have a successful blog that start with something like this: Choose the purpose or subject matter for your blog, attract your visitors to your blog, and so on. My blog is mostly a personal journal of events and thoughts along my life's journey to my Lord; staying on a particular subject or attracting a large number of readers is not my goal. However, I do very much appreciate the few readers I have; it is very encouraging for me to continue my journal.

I was thinking that I have not seen any advice on how to survive the other side of blogging. You see, some of my favorite bloggers have been posting less often of late, including myself. Some are observing Lent and some are just particularly busy in their real life and some may just not be in the mood to write. It is like an infectious illness putting the skids on my blog world and I may even be helping it along! My husband calls me a high maintenance woman, but I believe I am only high maintenance in my need for communication and if I feel cut off, I get...uh, moody, even needy.

It is no one's fault. I firmly believe happiness is a choice and I do not expect people to make me happy...but lately I have felt like my support group is...ungrouping. Yes, I know it is not a real word and to be honest these individuals are not in a real group, except in my little cyber world. I have come to realize that I handpicked a support group for my needs, but is it a small group and rather fragile. If just one is not posting for a few days, I feel unbalanced. If for more than a few, I feel the loss deeply of the people themselves, of course. However, I recognize there is this need that reading their blog fills in me also.

So, I have given this some thought and believe that I have a recipe for a good blogger's support group:
  1. Sharing faith. This is my top priority for the majority of blogs I read that they are written by Christians, but that is not to say that I would not be interested in a blog of a differing faith so I could learn about it in a personal way.
  2. Like interests or similar lifestyle. An obvious given! Everyone looks for people to whom she can relate.
  3. Enough differences in interests or lifestyle to be interesting but not irritating. Let's face it, there is enough peace-stealing conflict just in real life, so I do not need to add more purposely, however I do like hearing opinions that differ from my own and getting to know a person.
  4. A balance of blogs with deeper insights to challenge emotional and/or spiritual growth and those that are generally lighthearted and uplifting. Now this one is the most important to me personally. I need a balance in this because I am not the lighthearted and uplifting type—I know I am not shocking anyone with this confession—so I need that in my support group. On the other hand, I am more drawn to blogs that challenge me, so I tend to have more of them than the other.
  5. A good pinch of motivating and educating to spice it up. I need to know what others people are doing, reading, or learning to help me decide if that is something I would want to do, read, or learn, and maybe add to my own lifestyle. I also like learning in the way people teach people, not in a boring uninvolved textbook style, but with a person's own opinions on the matter. It makes it far more enjoyable and memorable for me.
  6. Inspirational in that they prompt me to write in turn. When I write "inspirational" I do not necessarily mean that pat-you-on-the-back kind nor that how-to-write kind, but something that motivates me to write, even if on an unrelated subject.
I think this list covers the main things, but if you have some to add please do.

The thing that make it all worth the while is not to survive in Blogland but to thrive in it and that requires a balance with your real life too.

~ My Lord, thank you for the people You have brought into my life through their writing. I appreciate them all very much, very much indeed! ~

7 comments:

  1. I am new to blogland and wholeheartedly agree with your recipe for a good blogger support group! I tend to be on the more serious side and attracted to deeper serious blogs, but like you, also need the light-hearted and uplifting. I look forward to getting to 'know' you more.

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  2. Paula, all the blogs I read regularly are good ones, but to get a good "happy" fix, you really need to visit the Tomato Soup Cake blog on my list. Diane is such a delight!

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  3. I would apologise ~ except I am grumpy & bad tempered & I seriously need proper sleep. lol I do know what you mean. I hate when my *people* ain't blogging for a day or so. Longer than that & I get anxious. My brain just ain't functioning at the moment though I do have news & will e~mail you ~ when I can get a bit of a grip on my mind. ☺ I can't blog. Too many people read there who don't ned to know. lol Missing you but I am not fun at present. Back soon. Promise.

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  4. Ganeida, sounds like you need Diane too! Now, we have been friends far too many years for me to take your grumpy, bad temper personally so have at it, woman. LOL! Seriously, I really do understand. Talk it out with the Lord and get some peaceful rest.

    I have just been missing you and Diane and even a couple of newer finds. However, I do know what you mean about being in a bad mood for it (although I find writing therapeutic in that sense) and not being able to blog about certain things that are gnawing on you one way or the other...I have a few too and most of those you know.

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  5. I find your list very valid reasons for blogging. And I'm glad I came across it. It shows tremendous sensitivity into social and heartfelt sharing. It's definitely very valid.

    May God richly bless you and your blogging friends.
    Bill

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  6. Hey Linda... I'm baaaaack! I've missed you too, ever so much♥ Can't wait to be all caught up and back in the regular bloggity swing of things. Love ya dearie:-}

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.