Friday, September 6, 2013

200 Blog Posts

Are you a blogger? 

Bless your dear heart, and I pray for the endurance of the Holy God himself to come upon you and persevere to read and write all the things that your head and heart manifest.

If you’re not a blogger, bless your dear heart for reading all the things that my head and heart manifests.

I am a blogger, and I read blogs. In fact, I read so many blogs that I use a blog reader website which compiles all the blogs I follow.  I can even sort these blogs into categories and I read these organized categories of blogs daily (shout out to Bloglovin’, haayyyy).

A quick look at my blog reader tells me that I follow 75 blogs on a regular basis.  Wow, Andrea!  That seems like a lot of blogs!  Is that a lot of blogs?  Because it seems like a lot of blogs.

I’m not going to lie.  It is a lot of blogs.

I read blogs for inspiration, for writing style, for laughs, for news, for recipes, for tips on life, parenting, home design, blogging itself.  I read them like some people read crime novels or historical fiction or watch old movies or televised sports.  I always loved reading biographies, and because a lot of blogs read like daily bios, I consume them.  It doesn’t matter that the person I’m reading about is a stranger.  Whether I read about a favorite blogger’s experiences losing a pet or moving to another town, I’m in. 

This summer we were blessed to be busy with family vacations, during which I read no blogs.  I read books instead.  Or nothing, because a person can't torture her children via daily sight-seeing and museum-hopping with her nose in a book.

And in one week my blog reader would collect the blogs I follow, to the tune of oh, I don’t know, over two hundred. 

And I was backed up not once or twice, but like three or four times this summer.  Backed up on blogs, that is.

There is nothing more disheartening than realizing that you have neglected over 200 opportunities to read your favorite bloggers’ musings.  Some are more prolific than others.  Those blogs would be glaring at me with ten entries sometimes.  On one occasion I closed my eyes and clicked the “Mark all as read” button and started fresh.

On other occasions, like after our last vacation, I dug in and read.

Over 200 blog posts.  And they kept coming.  So as I was reading two-week-old posts, the new ones were added.  Hours and hours of reading.  I was a machine.

I read about the first day of school, mammograms, lost pets, grieving, mind dumps, parenting issues, and vacations.  Being busy, recipes, sick spouses, continuing education, funny situations, even the process of writing.  I read book reviews, stories about personal illness, and a lot of reflective pieces.  Because that’s what bloggers do best:  reflect.

I had missed it.  I missed all those opportunities to read and cry and laugh with my fellow bloggers, those who inspire me every day, who are real people, who are smart and loving and funny.  And because I missed the opportunities to read them, I missed opportunities to encourage and tell them “Great post.  I really enjoyed reading this.”

Because unlike a book, you can respond to the author of a blog.  You can comment on how you appreciated their writing, their humor, their beautiful photos.  Which, as a blogger, is important.  Most of us are doing this because we love it.  Most of us aren’t getting paid for it.  Blogging is just you and your computer.  It’s nice to know that someone out there appreciates your efforts.

So I read over 200 blog posts.  And I continue to read, and respond.  It’s important to the writers, the individuals who sit at their lonely computers every day to do this thing that they love.

It’s important to me.

*******

49 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! I am so happy you agree. I was thinking just before I hit the Publish button that people might be all, "Jeez, get a life."

      :)

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  2. so grateful for your kind words of encouragement. loved this post. and now that google reader is no longer an option, i'll have to look into bloglovin. thanks!

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    1. Yay! You're welcome. I love your blog and look forward to reading it - it always puts a huge smile on my face, because you are funny and because you write like I think. :)

      Blogging can be lonely, but when people let you know that they are out there smiling with you, it blossoms into a community that you didn't even know you were a part of.

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  3. You have no idea how sad I get when I see a bloggy friend post on facebook, "I know many of you saw this on the blog, here is an update" and I realize I did NOT see it on the blog because I have not been in my reader for a few weeks and I feel like I am missing so much awesome!

    Run on sentence much? Yup...just like my reader right now is a Run On Reader.

    Love this post, yo.

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    1. Thanks, Katie. I hate feeling like I'm missing anything, and rely way too much on people repeating information over and over.

      Run-on sentences are real life. Okay, my real life.

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  4. LOVE this post! Seriously. I don't blog souly for comments, I blog mainly for therapeutic reasons and because I enjoy it, but comments are great. It is nice to hear feedback about your writings.

    I always try to comment every post I read, spreading the blog love. :)

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    1. Yes - I so appreciate a person baring their soul in a blog post - who knows who is reading it, their spouse, best friend, mother, pastor? Blogging can be a gamble - you never know how others will take it.

      That's why I always try to comment - to let the blogger know that his or her efforts and transparency are acknowledged. The favor is usually returned.

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  5. I had the same thing happen to me this summer at one point - total blog reader back up. I found it sad, too, because I enjoy it all. The reading, the commenting, the connection - all so awesome. And when I feel like I miss out on those opportunities? I don't like it.

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    1. Yes. I hate knowing that I might be missing something! I feel like I have something invested in the blogs that I follow.

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  6. Well, I just started my vacation, and I haven't opened my reader in 3 days. I dare not. Because I know it'd be hard for me to click Mark As Read, but I know I'll have to. Sigh.

    Thank you for making the effort, you!

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    1. Do not dare open it! I had lots of opportunities to read on vacation, but I chose not to, telling myself to enjoy my time and that I would catch up later.

      And if I didn't get to it, I just didn't. But this particular time I really wanted to. :)

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  7. I used to be the same way. I don't have time to read blogs like I used to and I do miss staying up to date on all my online friends.

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    1. Maybe someday you will have some time and catch up. Blogs are like soap operas that way - you can come back at any time and be right back into the mix!

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  8. Greta sent me here. I feel the same way you do about blogs. It really satisfies my nosy side to get a peek at someone's life (and it's even better, because I have their permission). I'd love to know what blogs you read. There are so many blogs out there I've never read and I'd love to try some new ones.

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    1. Yes! The nosy part of me is what brings me to other blogs. How did her husband like the haircut? Did the baby get potty trained over the weekend? What was the result of that test? When people invite you in, it is sacred, somehow, and I'm right there.

      Hmmm... blogs that I read... I could write a whole blog post on that. I'd love to give them all a shout-out!

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  9. My reader had me overwhelmed that I ignore it now and blog hop. I feel the same way about the blogs I hop to and need to leave a comment trail so they know I love them. Consider this my first stop. Love this piece. Sharing it on my FB to share it with others of the blogs ilk. We are an eclectic roaring bunch.

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    1. Thank you so much! I agree, readers can be overwhelming. I used to subscribe via email to every blog I followed, and that was nutso. When I split up the blogs into categories it was much easier to manage. Except when I let it go for a week.

      So glad to be your first stop on the comment trail!

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  10. Oh, for real- the "mark all as read" guilt. Sometimes you need to. But it's so great to immerse yourself in friends' lives again, you're totally right!

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    1. I especially have that guilt when a blogger builds on a story I missed, and I have no idea what they are talking about. But people are usually good about linking to back stories, so I don't feel so guilty about clicking them all "read."

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  11. Yes! I don't usually have time to catch up on all the ones I've missed, but I often sit and read the last several posts from a blog to get caught up. Every few days, I do it. I miss it when I don't!

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    1. That's a good idea. I don't always comment if there are a lot to read, and feel bad about that, too.

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  12. Hello there, first time here and I LOVE THIS POST. Only another blogger can feel you on this!

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    1. Thank you Jennifer! I am so glad to be part of this community. So many of us can relate.

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  13. Hello there, first time here and I LOVE THIS POST. Only another blogger can feel you on this!

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  14. I so love this.......it's like you hopped into my brain and sorted it all out for me.

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  15. I have to remind myself sometimes that the blogger isn't going to get a notification that says "Leigh Ann just marked all of your posts as read even though SHE DID NOT READ THEM!" I subscribe to so many blogs. Some I can read daily, some i have to be in the right mood. Some I only like reading on my phone because the tiny font on their site drives me crazy. But I still love to read them.

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    1. OMG ha ha Leigh Ann! Oh, the paranoia of the Mark As Read button. And yes, I separate them like that too. There is a definite process, which is probably another reason why I love reading blogs.

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  16. There have been a few times this year when I've had to use the nuclear "mark all as read" option myself. The number just got overwhelming!

    I did appreciate you going back and commenting on a whole slew of my posts at once. It made me feel proud that I wrote that many things that triggered comments in your head. Thanks for making us fellow bloggers feel special.

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    1. Thank you, Tammy. I appreciate when bloggers I read comment on my posts, too. I feel like my efforts are validated.

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  17. I haven't gotten to the point of hitting that button to mark all as read. I can skip over some (mentally marking) but I still have to go through the whole thing to read the ones I feel like I can't miss. And there are some that I can't imagine missing one post, even if I'm two weeks late (which happened earlier in the summer. And it's hard because I felt like I'd never catch up again). Sometimes I'll resolve to read what I can, then start anew, then when I get a break go back and read the ones I missed (because the idea that I've missed something? Nope. Can't do it).

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    1. You're very good not to hit that button. I feel the same way about hating to miss anything. When I get backed up I tend to read all of one blogger at a time, which keeps things straight in my head. And I work from the bottom up so I get the oldest ones first. And then I get to a particularly prolific blogger and before I'm done with them they've got four more posts to read. It's madness.

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  18. Yeah, this has happened to more than once lately. Mostly, it's been the week or two leading up to the start of school and then the throes of the back-to-school process itself. One particular weekend, I had 180 to catch up on. I hear you.

    I have a group of bloggers that I read regularly for various reasons and I really do hate to miss them. I try to keep up on at least those, but sometimes life just gets in the way. I appreciate that you don't hit the "mark as read" button and move on. I can't do it, either. This is a nice community and to not give it the love and attention it deserves would be sad. Blogging has been important to me over the last year+ and even if I get a bit delayed, I try to get through and get caught up. Now that we're past everybody's first week, things should start to settle into a routine.

    And so, on that note, Bloglovin tells me I have about 126 to catch up on today...

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    1. I have come up with a plan and make sure I read for a certain amount of time each day. When the reader gets over a hundred or so it can be overwhelming. But you're right, it's a good community to be a part of, and as a blogger you know how important it is that someone's out there reading what you have to say, and it's nice to return the kindness. Good luck, and have fun reading!

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  19. Andrea, I'm proud of you to read through those 200 blog posts. i know the feeling. I have two blog readers, BlogLovin and Feedly. Sometimes I cringe when I see how many are pending because I want to read them ALL. But I can't. I wouldn't sleep,and I already have sleep issues. But I empathize fully with you on the ability to connect with a blogger, unlike with an author. That's part of the beauty of blogging!

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    1. Thank you so much!

      You said it perfectly - connections are what I love about blogging. I don't know what I'd do with 2 readers. And I'm with you on the no sleep thing. Sometimes I just have to walk away for my own health.

      That's not a problem, is it?

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  20. Well bless you! I'd love to be one of the blogs you follow. I do think it is so important to encourage fellow bloggers. It is no fun to put your heart into something send it out to the world and have no responses. My blog is not a popular one, so when I do get a comment it can honestly make my day. I follow so many incredible under-recognized writers, it amazes me how much talent is out there.

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    1. It is so great to spread the love by following and encouraging others. Most of the time I just write to get it out, and when there is a response it is that much sweeter.

      The blogging world is so overwhelming - there's so much to choose from! I love finding new favorites.

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  21. I cannot believe I keep coming back and reading these blogs...you are so very real, Andrea...I am old enough to be your mother, but I continue to enjoy this...like i said before...keep writing and I will keep smiling!

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  22. you are the BEST for going through and reading and commenting! i was quite excited to see your comments :)

    i must admit that i have had to throw in the towel and start fresh a few times when i just got way too far behind. there are only so many hours in the day...and there are a lot of good TV shows to watch...

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    1. You are right, there are so many hours... and it only takes a day to get behind.

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  23. Dude, you're so spot on. we blog because it's fun and enjoyable. It's a much needed outlet. Making friends is the best perk. Thanks for reading mine and truly I love coming to your place too. Happy reading to us both, right? ;)

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    1. Yes! I love reading your blog - Happy reading to us! :)

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  24. I had not thought it through enough to put it into words. But, yes! It is the ability to respond immediately. To say, you touched my heart. I am with you, sister. And to have the same come your way. This is why I love my blogs and my bloggy friends.

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    1. I am so glad you came here to read this and say that. Where would we be without our blogging community? :)

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  25. Damn. I'm truly impressed. I just can't keep up. I constantly feel bad about not stopping by HERE because you're so awesome about stopping by my place. At least this sort of explains it. You're on a frickin' mission!

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    1. It's definitely a job, but one that I love. I know there will be a day when I have to forget about keeping up, and I hate to think about that!

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