Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Take What You Need, Give What You Can

I'm currently working on MATTERHORN and THE INFINITIES by John Banville but I'm really slow so I thought I'd check in with all of you with some non-book thoughts.

I began blogging in 2003 with the idea that my blog would be a kind of online journal that would enable my friends and family to keep up with me. I never really saw the potential for blogs to be anything else. It is amazing how blogs have transformed our world. CS Lewis said that we read to know we are not alone and I think blogs have proved that fact. No matter what you are going through or what interests you have, there is likely to be a blog out there by someone going through the same thing.

I decided two things a long time ago:

1) I decided I will not pursue growing my blog for profit.  I like being small and I like not having my blog covered in advertising.

2) I decided that one blog cannot cover everything. So, I added a religious blog and a crafting blog and left this one as a personal/book blog. I think it works pretty well.

Before I had these revelations, I felt a lot of pressure to post everyday and to be interesting and to drive up the traffic on my blog. Having a popular blog can definitely have its downside.  I have become a fan of CJANE over the last year.  I find her thoughts on motherhood to be funny and honest.  She always makes me laugh.  I was surprised to hear that she often gets really nasty comments and hate mail.  Her sister, Stephanie, does as well.  What did these women do to deserve that? Well, I guess they are just honest about themselves and their lives and that can rub some people the wrong way. It takes guts to put yourself out there.  We may not always agree with the things that people say.   I don't always agree with things that my favorite bloggers write.  But my philosophy is "take what you need and give what you can."  If you don't like a blog, don't read it.  If you take issues with certain aspects of a blog, then skip over that part and just take what you need.  Most of all, be supportive of people who are taking a chance by sharing their lives with you. Give what you can.  The downside of blogging is that people feel free to say nasty things with impunity that they probably never would in person. I don't want to be a part of that. Let's just support one another! Life can be hard enough without having to fight virtual battles as well as the day-to-day ones.

I have been so lucky to meet amazing people through blogging. You can find many of them in the sidebars of my various blogs. I have been inspired to read books I never would have otherwise and try to new craft projects. I have been encouraged and supported by complete strangers when suffering from post-partum depression and dealing with my reluctant working-motherhood. I have won contests and participated in swaps. I have learned about new products and fashion tips.  I am inspired every single day by the blogging world as it makes our big wonderful world a little bit smaller by connecting us with each other.

Blogging---Take what you need. Give what you can.


Gary said...

Amy, I loved this post and agree with absolutely everything you said. You've grown remarkably as a blogger and you continue to be a major source of inspiration to me and what I do on my own blogs (which now total five).

Thank you for everything. Seriously. You are a wonderful friend.

Bookfool said...

What a lovely post, Amy. You and I are so much alike in our blogging philosophy. I have no interest in using my blog to advertise. I'm just in it to chatter about books and family, share a few photos, and purge a little. I haven't gotten any nasty comments directed at me, but I have gotten some nasty comments directed at authors or the topics of their books and I absolutely will not approve them -- one of the reasons I moderate comments. Those go straight into the trash. Blogging should not be a forum for hatred or anger, IMHO.

Marie said...

Nice. I have ads on my blog, and I do feel pressure to post more often because of it. It would be nice to not feel that way sometimes! I like the motivation but still. You do such a great job with yours- it's always a pleasure to come by and see what you're up to. :-)