I know it also had something to do with my general dissatisfaction with Facebook—which is the main form of online communication amongst my peers. I wasn’t sold on it though. It seemed to me so quick and trivial. It wasn’t a way of sharing like I wanted my communication with friends and family to be. I also imagine starting to blog had something to do with the fact that in researching on the web I frequently found myself on blogs for years. Knitting, sewing, baking, cooking, gardening, green cleaning, and on and on and on. I’ve found loads of blogs which have always been a great resource for all those things, even before I knew what a blog was. But, I was only a voyeur, not a participant at that time.
Or maybe I could subconsciously sense that a community was secreted away in there, somewhere.
I also guess that I could also say that I also never really expected anyone would read what I wrote. I mean, it is pretty every-day sort of stuff and I am no expert on any of it. Why would they? It all goes back to the first paragraph and my confusion over why I started blogging in the first place; I didn’t really think anyone would read it. I wasn’t sure if I should write it, but for some reason it felt right. (Maybe the fact I didn’t think anyone would read it was a factor that actually encouraged me to start writing it). None the less, people did start to read it. I was quite surprised by how many members of my extended family have told me how much they enjoy my posts. That they like to know what I am up to. That I inspire them with how happy I seem to be living my life. That they tried out a recipe I suggested. I figured my sisters would read, I thought my parents might. Maybe I should have expected my aunts and cousins would be my readers too, but I didn’t. But even more shocking than my family was how many total strangers from all over the world started reading and commenting, creating a dialog with me.
I felt like I was actually making a (perhaps small) positive difference in other people’s lives, which to me is the height of success or accomplishment. I already knew that the blogs I was reading were a positive influence on my life. But, giving is even better than receiving.
That said, I have gotten SO much from my blog-friends (yes, that is what I call you). I’ve learned about exotic fruits and vegetables that I’d never even heard of and of places where snorkeling and raging tropical storms are regular occurrences. I’ve learned about making your own household products from beer to calendulla balm to vanilla extract to laundry soap. I’ve learned that Coinstar machines generally have a few coins left behind in the tray, and it’s worth checking if you happen to pass by one. I’ve learned about all sorts of things that are fascinating, but that I’ve no interest in personally, like making cheese and how to successfully make and utilize cloth diapers for babies. I’ve learned about foreign cultures—foods, holidays, houses, traditions, hobbies. I get a real kick out of the difference between UK and US English. I couldn’t begin to count all the things my blog-friends have taught me.
And I also wanted to offer a very specific thank you to the kind and gifted Pen from Kindred of the Quiet Way for the parcel, coming from all the way across the Atlantic, which waiting on my doorstep when I returned from the library yesterday. The apron fits perfect and I am so thrilled to use it. And the autographed books were an absolutely delightful surprise and am sure I'll enjoy them greatly, as I did In Celebration of Simplicity. And then there was the handwritten note. I don’t know about you, but I don’t receive many of those. That note was so sweet, just a simple little snapshot of another simple, extraordinary life. And I felt so very blessed. Thanks, Pen. It made my day.