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Write OnJuly 15, 2005

You know what I find interesting in blogland? I like to see how the circles meet and mix and separate. If you were around four- to five-ish years ago, you remember that blogland was a little town. You really could visit all the sites and have a relationship with 'em. I wasn't knitblogging back then, but I was blogging and eavesdropping on the knitters. I didn't want to be one -- the relationships looked if not clique-ish, then at least very,very tight.

But I blogged about my knitting once or twice. Then I left a couple of comments. You remember those ones, the tentative ones, the push of the Publish button that left you rather giddy. I did it! That writer's gonna read MY words! Then, oh, god, what if she comes to MY site? Lord, let's clean house.

Then I started forming the friendships. The town turned to a city. Multiple zip codes. Then the friend circle got a little unwieldy. There was that whole "shall I link or not" question that I finally solved by only linking family. And all the friend-circles linked their friends, and referenced them, and had their own in-jokes and taglines and slumber parties.

It reminds me of the rings in a tree trunk  -- you can almost date to the month when someone started blogging by the average ages of her/his circle's blogs. Newer bloggers get cozy with other newbies, fast. Older bloggers are tired of trying to keep up and lack that OCD drive to read every single post someone else writes, to memorize cat/DH/SO names and favorite colors. And they're fighting the guilt that comes with that. I have the greatest respect for the people who just read what they want and publish when they want and comment where they want and don't fret over it. Cari, that's you. (See? Tight linkage, yo. My girls know who they are.)

Why am I writing this? It's 0528 in the morning and I've been up for, like, forever, so you might know the answer to that better than I do. It's quite probable.

Maybe it's because I want to encourage the newer bloggers -- keep writing, keep commenting on the blogs you love. The connections can take a while to forge, but they happen, and they're strong and good and truly, deeply amazing when they do.

And maybe I'm writing this because I want you to forgive me when I don't comment as much, when I don't respond back to comments. I'm still reading, still blog-hopping and eating up the details and loving the new faces and appreciating the creative, thoughtful, intelligent comments, but I'm totally lazy. And less willing to feel guilty about it, so that's good. That's actually really good.

I started blogging with the goal of kick-starting my own writing. A little online CPR. And it's worked. I'm writing more now than I ever have, and it feels amazing. Gold stars for everyone!

And as usual, thank you.


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Great post.

Hear, hear!


As one of the non-blogging-but-frequently-eavesdropping-sometimes-commenting readers, thanks for the post :-)

Gold star! That was the watchword of a recent vacation: "You get a gold star!" Everyone seemed to think I was being funny.

Bella, you're a great commenter & responder. It's funny, the way we can be happy to have new friends and to be part of a movement (channeling Arlo...), but simultanesouly a wee tiny bit nostalgic for the closeness of the old days...

Well said.

(Psst... Rach... I adore you, baby. Well said, as always.)

(tightlylinkedGAWK) MWAH!

Indeed, my friend, I agree and thank you for getting this message out there. I've only been at this for two years, but it feels like the field/ring has grown exponentially and I simply cannot keep up (and keep my job and my family!). But I do love to follow a link and find someone new. And I can't say how happy I am to be in one of your circles ~ XXO

Oh wow. I know you have no way of knowing this, but just this morning I was rather grumpily eyeing my blog and thinking, "Nobody reads. Why am I doing this, again?"

I made the leap into blogging from LiveJournal, where you can amass regular readers pretty quickly, and the blogosphere does seem a bit more difficult to crack. I figured it must be like a new school; you just sort of hang around, don't be pushy, and wait.

Anyway, thank for this post. You've helped put things back in perspective, and given a bit of encouragement where some was definitely needed.

It is really amazing how big the knitblog world is now! And it's still really great to come across a new blog, leave a comment, make a new friend. , even if it's just that one comment, that one time.

thanks for the post!

i've been cleaning out my bloglines list because it got too overwhelming and i just couldn't keep up anymore. in fact, i started avoiding my bloglines list so as not to see how many posts i needed to read in order to catch up. i will try and not feel guilty.

I really identified with this post! It kinda validates my decision to do what I've been doing -- read and lurk, and uncloak only when I've got something to add or if I just want the blogger to know that another happy reader is definitely listening.

FYI, I save a lot of time in reading other blogs by using Bloglines.com, which aggregates all the rss/xml feeds for me -- now I only visit a site when I KNOW there's something new there. ;o) Yours is one of my faves, by the way. (Ain't I a suckup. But a truthful one.)

Write on = right on!

Have a swell weekend.

You are cool beans Rach! I may not blog, but I so love so many who do..thanks for sharing so much of yourself .. you're the bestest in the westest in my book!

I always read your blog. Yours is one of my favorites=love it. I can tell very quickly if I will like vs. love a blog, but I can't quite put my finger on why. It isn't necessarily the knitted items. Must be the energy of the blog. Yours is open and happy and of course, well-written. It keeps me coming back.

This is great encouragement for someone just starting out in the knitblogging world. Thanks!

WOW! I read your blog daily (yes, I am blog dork) I am often amazed at your subject and always amazed at your projects. I often type my own entries on my blog and think "why bother" I started my blog so my family up North could be up to date on what I am doing in South Florida. They do not read it, well my dad occasionally. But then it turned into "I WANT PEOPLE TO LOVE ME TOO" Ok, double dork!!!
You are ever encouraging and always appreciated, THANK YOU!!!!

Great post! I always feel a bit guilty when I don't comment or answer comments and what you wrote makes me feel a little less guilty!

Thanks for you ongoing support and you fabulous blog!

Well said and encouraging for those of us trying to establish ourselves in the knitblogging world.

Ah but love when I remember you you have visited and commented even in the silence:0) My linking and commenting are erratic as my posting but I do actually read a few regularly, and the few are those I have a feeling I'd laugh with if we found ourselves in the same room and the silence would be companionable and the conversation challenging and creative, looking forward to finding myself in the same room as you one day:0) Take advice from Anne on protective gear needed ha-ha. Your blog is alive what more could we readers wish for and those of us who feel friendship possibilities are definitely glad that you're very much alive and part of our lives no matter how far away we are geogrphically.

Yup. Totally.

Thank you. As a new knitter and new blogger, it's good to hear. I know that newbie knitters aren't making or creating anything that's of interest to people who can pull off the kind of thing that you do, or Wendy, or any of the other people I blog-stalk for that matter. But the encouragement is definitely welcome.

Yep. Just... yep.

Aw, Rach. I'm feeling very nostalgic now because it's been two years since I started blogging, which means two years of knowing you, and, well, you know, *sniff*. I loves ya.

I'll take ya Rachael, any way we can have you. :)

Brava - and thank you.

I started blogging because the blogging knitters were having so much fun. And it is fun and I'm building a community of online knitting pals, but even though I've only been at it a few months, I'm overloaded by trying to keep up with everyone's blogs and all that is available out there. Of course, if I could turn reading and commenting on knit blogs into paying employment, that would be a different matter!

I totally hear you! Most of the time I feel like I'm saying the exact same things in all the comments that I make. Other times I feel like I've written an entire post in someone's comment box [um...like now?]. It's awesome that your writing...I should try to do that too...

Even if you don't comment, we still love you. There is only so much time in the day to read blogs. After all you need time to write and spin and knit. Oh, can't forget that you still need to eat, sleep, play with the kitties, and work to pay for the other stuff.

Nice post. So many points you made ring true for me too. It kinda makes me wish that I'd been a knitblogger way back then, in the small town days.

Have I mentioned lately how much you brighten my day? (And that isn't in a stalkerish sort of way, mind you.)

I wish I could link to this post, because you said everything I want/need to say about a million times better than I could say it.

Super post, Rachael--you are so right. This little blogosphere has become quite a metropolis, and that is a great thing! :)

This is a great post! And encouraging to a very new blogger. I started a blog to "join the conversation" and it's been fun. Blog on!

When you say: "Older bloggers are tired of trying to keep up and lack that OCD drive to read every single post someone else writes..." I'm assuming that they want to read the posts because they enjoy reading them in which case it wouldn't be OCD because then it would be ego syntonic. Your work with inmmates sounds really interesting. Anne Lamott wrote about her father doing something similar at San Quentin.

I read a while before I ever posted to anyone's. Of course when I started reading them, I didn't have one. Now I do and really the only time I feel guilty is when I don't post for a while. But hey, my life may not be exciting, but I do have one. It doesn't let me post a lot. LOL!

Dude, there are sleepovers? How come I'm never invited? Is it the snoring? The farting? The fact that I sleep nekkid or in jammies with sheep on them? (or in a t-shirt and boys boxers)


What they all said.

I completely understand. When I first started my blog, I wanted all the people I've always checked out before to come over and visit my blog. But after awhile you realize that's not really feasible. It's too hard to keep up with the online friendships I've made thus far. I can totally understand those of you that have been blogging for longer than me that find it near impossible to keep up with all us "newbies."

I read blogs for a few years until this year I realized that I could have a blog if I wished and I really enjoy it. I don't worry about who comes by. It's nice if I have a lot of comments, but if not, it's a great record of my knitting for myself and I'm quite happy with that.

Take care.

Right on. The blogging thing is mainly for myself...I feel the guilt of not always being timely with the comments, responses, and my blog rounds...and I have very few (but well loved) commenters. I trust most other bloggers days are just as hectic as mine and they know I just can't do it all, all the time. As one of my readers said, if we lived for the blog and worked at keeping all the ties up...there wouldn't be much knitting or stuff to blog about!

This was a really sweet post, and very prescient of you to know what is on everyone's mind. I have to say that I read quite a few blogs; some I would never comment on, some won't let you comment (they want email), and some I want to comment but I often feel unsure of myself. Even though people put so much of their lives out on these blogs and I am sure are encouraging feedback I feel as if I am eavesdropping on the conversations of people with whom I would like to be friends but am just too afraid to speak. (It's probably a coolness factor - I don't think I'm cool enough.) At least that is how I feel, even behind the anonymity of an email address. Subsequently there are so many blogs I read where I want to comment but don't, even as I love peeking into their world, feeling connected with them, and yes, feeling envious at times (mostly because of their knitting skills). So perhaps blog writers shouldn't worry about people not commenting all the time, and may-be we readers should take the time to say hi, just to let the writer know we appreciate what they are doing.

Did you see this article about Olallieberry pie?

I thought of you when I saw it!


You made me want to comment!

I try to blog like the girl who just writes when she wants and comments when she wants, but I definitely fall victim to my own insecurities. (It's nice to know I'm not the only one.) I started my blog for the same reasons you did and I try to keep that top of mind.

So...yeah. Great observations. Keep writing!!!!

Yes. Exactly. I'm in the middle...not one of the earliest wave of knitbloggers, but well into my second year now, and completely blown away by all the newcomers since. It is hard to keep up, but somehow important words do get around. Like yours.

Great post. And I somehow only discovered your blog today, although we've clearly both been around for a while!

Thanks for this post, Rachel. It is easy to get discouraged -- not to mention tempting to quit. I often feel like Kris, "Nobody reads. Why am I doing this, again?"

It can also be intimidating in a way. It can take me forever to finish a project, and I'm a start-to-finish kind of girl. How interesting is it to blog about the same damn shopping bag (see my blog for evidence of how boring this can be) for months at a time? It seems as if so many knitters out there in blogland cast on and bind off a project in a matter of days . . .

As a new blogger, I also still have yet to figure out how much of my personal life to let into the blog. Is it interesting to hear about my house guest that won't leave? Do people really want to see another picture of my cat or care that my partner came home from jujitsu with a bruise the size of Alaska? I just don't know yet. . .

Love your blog though, and read faithfully!

Perfectly said. Our world just grows and grows.

Thanks for the post...Now I know there is hope. I keep telling myself "You're not in high school anymore. They don't have to like you!" And I have been making sure I leave comments where ever I roam.

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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