Tuesday's Bloggy Lovefest

I'm starting a little bloggy love here.

When I started blogging almost two years ago, I was unaware of the "rules" of blogging. Of the different kinds of etiquette that exist within the bloggy world. I started blogging just to keep my family in the loop on the kids and then motherhood gave me a lot of funny material and allowed me to keep writing as a stay at home mom after leaving the news writing business. And well, I've been blogging ever since. It has, to me, become an addiction, like it has to so many other people. I love to write. And I love to read good writing.

So then when I became more involved in blogging and saw that there was this sort of bloggy language out there, I had to sort through all the "rules" and come up with my own "style". I had to answer questions for myself like when do I put someone on my sidebar? Do I let them know? Do I expect them to put me on their sidebar in return? How do I comment on a new blog without seeming stalkery? Silly, I know.

After this long trek through the blogosphere, I realized I do have my own little style and it just sort of hashed itself out. And I realized that everyone is different and has their own style. Isn't that funny? There is a bloggy language that people just kind of learn. It seems funny to even write about, but everyone knows it and it's true.

So what do I do?

I tend to read a blog for a while before I decide to put it on my sidebar. I don't really know why I do this, I think it's because to me, the sidebar is like the blog equivalent of saying "I love you" and I'd hate to be the guy on the date who expresses their love immediately instead of waiting the recommended time period after which it is socially acceptable to share it. But that's just me.

And when I put a new blog on my sidebar I let them know, not because I want anything in return because I don't. If they want to read my blog, then yay! But if not, that's ok. I write a lot of fodder and I know that. But I still like to read theirs. I just like to let them know that they've inspired me or that I really like reading what they have to say.

And when do I comment? I comment on things that people write that speak to me. And that means pretty much every time I read their blog. (After all, that's why I read them daily!) On the other hand, I don't like to comment just to comment, because I don't want to be a fake commenter. I want to leave a genuine comment. Sounds stupid, maybe, but it's like conversation. You don't want to just sit there and nod blankly at what they have to say, and leaving a shallow comment just to leave a comment is to me, the equivalent of the "nod and smile." It just occurred to me that maybe I overthink things.

So when someone is going through something difficult and they blog about it, sometimes I read it and have to think about how to say what it is I am thinking and return to comment because I don't want to say something generic but I want them to know I am thinking about them. And sometimes I leave long book comments because whatever it is that someone said really spoke to me and I just can't seem to write enough about it. And sometimes I don't comment even though I want to, because I have writer's block. But I really like to comment as much as possible because if they are like me, it is so nice to see that little comments number at the bottom of a post grow to be a big number instead of a 0. I don't care who you are, when you have comments, it makes a person feel good and I like to make people feel good.

So, in sum, a blog makes it onto my sidebar, not because they give things away or because they comment on my blog, but because I love their stories and they inspire me and I connect with them in some way. And I have met a lot of new people recently through the Summer Slimdown here, through my giveaways, through the Couch to 5K program that I'm doing, and just through other bloggers and when I realized how many more blogs I read and like and that my sidebar needed to be updated, I realized that what a better way to let them know they've inspired me than by sharing them with everyone so that other people can be inspired too!

So every week -- and I'm going to get ceremonious here-- I'll feature a new blog that I read that I really like and that in some way has or does inspire me that's going on my sidebar. And sometimes I'll pull one that's already got a home on my sidebar because I want to give out some extra love and I just love their writing so much. You know I just love to share my favorite things with the world. So this week I'm going to feature two, a newbie and an oldie, because I can't help myself.

The first one is the newbie; SJ of My Big Fat Irish Blog, where she journals about her quest for weightloss and posts recipes and interesting articles (one of my favorites was about a ropeless jumprope -- yes, a rope-less jump rope -- you can read here about my first foray into jumproping which was a huge embarrassing failure and see why I find this amusing). I found her (actually she found me) through the Summer Slimdown here. But her weightloss blog was what led me to her other blog, And All the Jones Men where she blogs about her life in a household full of boys/men -- a little something I am learning a thing or two about. I love her stories and her pictures (she takes a lot of great pictures) and we have a buttload in common. You should really check her out.

The second one is Maggie from Maggie's Mind and I just can't say enough about her. She is an amazing writer, the kind who writes exactly what you are thinking about something you've done or experienced but in a way you couldn't possibly form into words. Almost Seinfeldian if there were such a term. But she's also genuine. She can take any experience she has had and truly tell a story with it, whether it's about a woman working at a drive-thru (read this touching post), or the time she lived in Japan. And her ability to haiku??!! It's seriously uncanny. Maggie is the epitome of a storyteller and a poet. Some of the things she comes out with make me laugh out loud. Other times, it makes me cry. And I'm not the only one -- that's probably why she was nominated for the Best Blog of All Time Award. I just love reading her blog. You will, too. Trust me.


  1. I had some of the same worries and then just jumped in. I've been bad about blogging lately but I still try to visit blogs on my sidebar more often then I blog myself. I also visit a few blogs that I don't have on my sidebar but that's because I stumbled on them and while I comment on their blogs and they comment on mine it seems like overstepping to "advertise" their blogs on mine. Probably my own craziness but oh well.

  2. Um, wow, I am, um, suddenly completely speechless, and my head feels real funny, like it's getting all puffy around the edges. I don't even know what to say. (takes a deep breath)

    Sincerely, very much, thank you.

    Those are some of the kindest words I've ever heard, and I am honored because you are one of the handful that I put in my blogroll, too, because you also are genuine and have a kind heart. I like reading the way you write and what you write. I do the same thing, reading someone's blog until I'm sure it belongs on my blogroll. I just added one today that I've been visiting for months. :)

    This is a very cool idea, too. Someday I may do something similar.

    Again, really, thank you.

  3. And this is why I love reading your blog. You have a fantastic writing style that I just adore. I, too, remember trying to figure out the "guidelines" of blogging, and then just went with things as they came.

    Definitely glad to have "met" you on the net!

  4. Awww..you are the sweetest girl! I agree with you..I spend a long time reading blogs before I put them on my sidebar. I can't even remember how I found you, but I know that I connected with you immediately. I laughed at your stalker comment because that is how I felt when I asked you if you minded that I added you. :)
    I love blogging. It is my habit, my morning routine..I would hate to not have it in my life.
    All that aside..I feel like I have known you forever, you have been a long time friend, we have so much in common. It brings our distance just a little bit closer!
    Cheers Friend! :)

  5. Thank you so much for the nice compliments and the bloggy link love! I've really enjoyed your blog and yeah, you are right - we do have a lot in common!

    I can say that I'm sticking around this place for good :)


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