|Day 7-- How did I ever live without her?|
How ever did I live without this lady in the green skirt? She's my friend. (shuttup. I have attachment issues-- I have saved all my babies' toothbrushes.)
As much as I hate to see her go, it soon will be time to send her on her way. She has served me well this week. She'll be here yet to Shake It Shake it and announce the giveaway and to reveal the surprise post Saturday.
I felt that a celebration of one year of blogging needed a post on "What I've Learned In A Year of Blogging." When I began the draft of this topic, my notes filled 3 pages of my notebook.
Either I learned a lot, or I didn't know a lot.
You decide. No hurt feelings.
THINGS I LEARNED FROM ONE YEAR OF BLOGGING:
Blogging will take so very much more time in your life than you could ever imagine. So.Much.More.
Computer time is not the same as Real Time. One hour of computer time is equal to about 15 minutes in real time. Take into consideration all the freeze ups, load time, jumping across media: FB, twitter, your blog, other blogs, email, skype. Plan for that, and it'll reduce the stress of trying to get it all done.
You will talk to people you never dreamed you'd talk to.
You will become frustrated at how disinterested your non blogging friends are in your blogging existence. ("Ummm...so, yeah, wow. 10,000 tweets? huh...so...good, right? I mean, that's good...right?")
You MUST get to know more experienced bloggers who will explain to you things like the "super nice" lady who keeps emailing you to ask if she can use your blog for a guest post on her felted purses that you're trying to remember just how and when and where you know her from, is really not a super nice lady looking to do a guest post on purses at all. No, she wants to use your blog as FREE ADVERTISING FOR HER PURSES. Especially when she "found" your blog right after you did a post on "Pursey Galore." [Thanks, Lori...I can't believe I was actually emailing her back and forth with "Hi! Good to hear from you again!"]
Be prepared for public displayS of humiliation. DisplayS with a big S at the end, since there will be many. You will tweet yourself, you will thank yourself for the follow, you will send a DM instructing someone else that "see, this is a secret between you and me DM, cool, huh?" and it actually won't be a DM. You will have 500 people on twitter call your attention to it--they'll be like ants to a dropped popsicle. To tell you-- in case you didn't notice. That you sent a tweet and not a DM.
You will receive a negative comment, or two, along the way. The first one will kill you. The second and third ones, you'll just delete, and won't even flinch.
People around you will say the words "blogging addiction" like it's a bad thing. I think of it as "blogging connection."
You will gain the blogger butt. And I don't mean powerful glutes developed from long hours of sitting.
Don't let the size of someone's audience, number of comments, or accomplishments intimidate you. I'd guess that 70% --no, 80%--of the contact that I've initiated with established bloggers, has been returned.
You will LOVE the people that you meet from blogging.
You will be grateful for the opportunities and doors to friendships that blogging opens up for you.
You will LOVE blogging more than you could have thought possible.
You will wonder where all the stories in your head used to go.
Blogging will make you walk a bit taller, smile a lot more, and will strengthen you for life's battles with your secret online corps of friends that are very real.
You will become a more interesting person, who will know so very many little this and that things...just enough things to keep dinner conversation with your family flowing. And lively.
Do not determine the worth of a post based on whether it was comment heavy or not. You posted it because you had something to say. That is enough.
If you follow someone, and they don't follow you back, do not decide to unfollow them based solely on that. Do you enjoy their blog? Does their writing make you smile? Does their writing push you to do more with your posts? Do you look forward to what they have to say? Do you learn something each time you visit?
If yes, then why stop? I have been following one blog, (actually, more like 4), commenting every time they post, for a year now. I laugh every time I am there. I think these bloggers are exceptionally bright, clever, witty, and very talented.
They have yet to visit me, or reply back. Will I stop visiting them? No. I gain too much from my visits there. They make me a better blogger, plus, I'm a humor junkie...and they are among the best. Always delivering. Their comment counts tops out at 13. But, to me, they are Stellar. I will keep following them.
Do not be offended when someone you are faithful to visits you sporadically, but you see this blogger on a daily basis at other blogs. Even if they are your bloggy crush. Be a big girl and realize that this blogger has her daily favorites, and you may not be on that list of what she needs to get in that day. Or she has a relationship with the blogger she visits daily. Or she just doesn't have enough hours in the day. The point is: DO NOT take it personally. People don't purposely shun us, they have their agenda, their daily list of "must do" and "never miss."
Just like us.
Taste is subjective. We can't be everything to everybody. Some people will love us, some people will think we are only meh. You have to be Okay with that. Not everyone loves Benecio Del Toro [though I canNOT for the life of me ever understand that one.]
Make peace with that fact of life. Not everyone is going to be crazy about your blog. I've gone online and read community forums that call themselves "I Hate So and So Big Blogger." Now, this big blogger sees $850,00 a year from blogging and gets 20,000 comments per post... do you think she focuses on those that create an online group saying they hate her? Probably not. You be the same. [not hate her, I mean, be grown up about it].
Make commenting easy. I'm sure lots of my comments have been lost because I don't go back and check if I did the word verification thing. I comment, hit publish, then X out. I NEVER go back and check if it went through.
Respect your reader. Seriously. If you wouldn't want to read it, then DON'T POST IT.
Think about what you want to offer your reader. For me, it's companionship. I would like to think that I offer a place where a reader can come anytime they have a minute, like a short visit with a friend. Like a home where the backdoor is always open.
Don't think you're great because you get 25 comments and don't think you're not great because you get 0 comments. You are not your blog. Keep that reality in check...spend time, quality time, away from your blog.
Be who you are and embrace it. Laugh at your mistakes. I know I'm a dork and don't know a thing about a thing. So what.
BE PATIENT. It takes a good year [and that year will go quickly, though it may not seem like it in the beginning] before you start to see some solid direction in the kind of niche you have.
Have fun. Love what you're doing. Be grateful for the AMAZING people you've met. Celebrate that the internet came to be. Be happy that you have your very own little space in the world, to place your words in.
Thank you, all, I am grateful for you. You've made this week so wonderful for me!!
Still to come: just a few more days with my green skirted friend. A giveaway, and a Saturday surprise post.
THANKS for being here this week! I have really loved celebrating with you.