Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Class of 86

(With thanks* to Beth over at Word Nerd Speaks for the post that inspired this one.)

Today marks my 86th consecutive post--shattering my previous record of barely scraping together thirty consecutive posts for NaBloPoMo each November. Certainly, many of those 86 posts have been of the quantity not quality variety, but most were at least not humiliatingly terrible and a few of them have actually made me kind of proud. Making the commitment to daily blogging and actually keeping it has been a revelation to me in so many ways--some of which I may babble on about at some point.

Tonight, though, I mostly want to babble on about one of the things that has made daily blogging not only possible, but a real pleasure, and that is the sense of community I have found in our little corner of the internet. I would guess that I read around 30 blogs regularly and I check in as often as I can on quite a few more. I tend to comment in some way on almost everything I read because, for me, I know how much the acknowledgement and sense of connection means.

In addition to daily posting, I work full-time (at a job that is, like many jobs, alternately incredibly rewarding and deeply soul-sucking) and share my home with Hubby, two grown-ish children and (often) their significant others, and three dogs. And, of course, I'm still tending in some long-distance way to the oldest two growner-ish children. Daughter-Only and I also share a computer. She is finishing high school online and working at the local grocery store so the time she has available to use the computer is at a premium and often overlaps with mine. All of this means that on some days, I binge on posting, commenting, visiting. And on other days, I'm a ghost of my usual presence, lucky to post a crappy cell phone picture with a punny caption on my blog and a couple of lame emoticons in the comments section elsewhere.

None of this should be mistaken for a lack of gratitude for my readers or a lack of interest in the blogs I frequent (and unfortunately frequently miss a few days of) because I have great bloggy love for all of you and the sense of community and connection is more meaningful to me than I can really express without sounding like a total idiot. (Sounding like a partial idiot? Apparently totally okay.)

I think a part of what makes our little corner of the internet so great is the richness of the lives we come here to share, so even though I have seriously considered using a vacation day at work just so I could put the finishing touches on a blog post or catch up on reading everyone else's fantastic posts, I know the truth is that the very reasons it sometimes gets crazy-busy trying to balance the blogging life with the real life are the reasons both lives are so rewarding.
*And maybe apologies.


  1. I dont think you sounded like a total or even a partial idiot. I relate to so much of what you said and totally understand the sense of community. I started blogging for reasons having nothing to do with relationships but now that's why I keep blogging - lame as some of my posts are - but I love the sense of friendship and community that is blogging :)

  2. I have written every day for the past 25 days. I think I am getting better. I don't want to stop writing every day not because I am getting better but I want to be part of the community here. I love it. I wish I could spend more time enjoying it. But alas like you I have a life off line that I also enjoy. Balance IS good.

  3. So much to comment on, but I'll settle for the theme of community. For me it's not about frequency of comments at all, just the knowledge that there is an exchange of ideas or concepts that merit a closer look. And anyone who can share a computer successfully with a high school student is a better person than I am.

    As far as daily posts, I deliberately let a day go by at the start of this month, just so that I could look around smugly and say, "There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am obsessively compulsive about posting…despite evidence to the contrary."

  4. I definitely feel the same way about community- I started blogging as a journal for myself, but now blog just as much for the sense of community it brings. i love that so many of our blogs overlap and that we follow each other- I'm coming to love my 'friends in the computer', learning a little bit more about them each day. I always read posts eventually, but don't always have the time to comment in as much depth as I'd like. I know that people understand though, that balance is key and that some day real life takes precedence over online life:) 86- Wow!

  5. After stumbling upon the bloggy universe while going through some troubling times, the friendship, camaraderie, and acceptance I found here amazes me.

    I have one of those rewarding/soul sucking jobs, and my bloggy friends have helped the soul sucking part matter less.

    The Jack Nicholson line from As Good As It Gets, “You make me want to be a better man,” comes to mind. That’s just one of the positive things you bloggy wonderfuls have done for me.

    Community, yes!

  6. I enjoy reading your words -and I think you are awesome. I love the blog community and all the connections that are there to be made!

  7. Echoing everyone else's sentiments, I too have found much support from our community during a most difficult time.

    Your post has led me to think about how or if my writing has changed since my first post. I believe that it has. Then I wanted to understand why.

    This is the conclusion I came up with.

    At the beginning I wrote to examine my thoughts and exploring my feelings. I referred to this as therapy writing. I did not tell anyone about my blog.

    Since I knew that no one else would be reading my posts, I did not worry about censoring myself. I was not concerned about the use of proper grammar, punctuation, run on sentences or spelling errors.

    One day I let my husband in on my little secret. I shared one particularly emotional post with him. I watched his face as he read. I saw that my words evoked the same emotion in him that I felt when I was writing the piece. When he finished reading, he looked at me and said, "That was really good. Would you mind if I shared this?"

    There is something powerful about being able to communicate with others on such a personal level.

    So, now when I write I have to admit I do think about my readers. There is a little more editing going on that when I began. I try to be more aware about the proper use of who or whom and where and when to use quotation marks.

    I have learned a great deal from other writers. The thoughts and ideas, such as those in your post today, are stimulating and encourage more thoughts and ideas.

    I try to stay true to the freedom of my expression. I will only censor myself when I think it might hurt someone in my life on a personal level.

    So I guess my writing has not changed that much after all, but perhaps because of our community it has gotten better.

  8. When I settle down at the computer, my family asks if I'm off to visit my blogging friends and the answer to that is yes!

  9. I think that it might be because of these rich, full, real lives that some of us are drawn to the land of blogging. It's quiet, it's patient, it's a way to interact and discover things about people, to be taken outside of ourselves and our lives without the messy business of face-to-face contact or social convention. I know I have been surprised and puzzled by the attachments I've formed. I try not to take any of it for granted. Blogging for me is about the writing, and so I am consistently surprised and amazed that people stop by and read - repeatedly. Each comment is like a little spur to keep it up, but almost every day when I hit "publish" I think this will be the post that they read and say "OK, that's enough of that now." So when the hits and the comments and the compliments come, it's a surprise all over again. To think that people such as yourself take the time out of incredibly busy and sometimes stressful lives to sit and read my nonsense and then think about and then say something about it is truly amazing to me. And to discover such talented, diverse people who all have basically the same drive as I do to express in this way has been inspirational in so many ways.
    In summation: I don't expect it, I don't take it for granted, and I don't get all butt-hurt if someone's real life takes precedence.

  10. It's kind of weird that I spend more time with my blogging friends than any 'real-life' ones on a daily basis. But, I love the sense of community I feel.

    I don't know how those of you with full-time jobs do it. If I didn't have such a flexible schedule, I'd probably only post once a week, if at all.

  11. This is the first time I've found such a community in blogging and I love it so very much. Like S. Stauss said..."to be taken outside of ourselves and our lives without the messy business of face-to-face contact or social convention."

    Getting to know you has been an extraordinary pleasure.

  12. I also love the community feeling in the blog world. The support is amazing, and I love and appreciate every comment you leave.

    Glad you take time for all of us, [be that in commenting or posting], but just remember, it's ok to put your real life first. We'll be here when you come back.

  13. That is fabulous- 86th consecutive post! Great work. Sometimes I only get back once a week to blogging and reading blogs and I am not working fulltime or have some of those other commitments you juggle!
    Good for you!

  14. I have "met" some of the coolest people through blogging and other interneting. I love it. It makes humanity cooler somehow.

    I usually just nablopomo in November, so doing it this month has been a stretch for me. But a good stretch. The kind that kinda hurts and pulls, but then leaves you feeling super relaxed. I'm not sure I'd it 86 days though! Good for you!

  15. Yes, it has been one of those weeks and I am so late in adding my voice to the chorus here. I echo all that has been said and am pleasantly surprised at the sense of community that I have found. A while back I wrote about the absence of surprises in life these days - so many things have been determined and there were few happy surprises left - and , guess what, here is one of the happy surprises - I was never expecting to have such a community when I started blogging. Like Lynda said, in the beginning, no one even knew i was writing and I was happy to write for therapy and for me. Now I know I am part of a writing community and it feels even better than writing alone. Thank you for putting this post up. MM. and for the group that comes together in support of each other.

  16. The sense of community amongst bloggers is amazingly wonderful. Before I was a blogger, if anyone had told me that I would feel like part of a genuine neighborhood online and count people I've never met to be real friends, I would have thought they needed to get their head checked.