everything else / LIVING WELL

opening up

opening up

Hello. I'm still here. Blogging has been taking a back seat to life these days. The weather. The Laundry. A year-end homeschooling review. New friends. Rearranging and decorating. Dishes. Four little girls.

Those are the things that have been calling to me and keeping me away.

But I've also been thinking about blogging a lot lately, as well. Thinking about what it means to me. What I want it to be. What has changed. 

I've been a little nostalgic for the old days of blogging. Nowadays there are so many avenues for us to "connect"–twitter, facebook, flickr, blogging, that in the end all of those places feel kind of diluted to me and less meaningful. 

And while I love my blog for the way it marks time, I miss the interaction and that community feeling. That seems to be missing for me lately.

I enjoy the communication.

I like hearing from people.

Last year I adopted this new "philosophy" about blog reading. I decided that I was only going to leave a comment on someone's blog if I felt like I had something to add to the discussion, or if I felt truly "moved" by what the person had said or written about. 

But now, I've completely rejected that "approach". Blogging is about the interaction and the community and the people. And that means letting someone know you've stopped by. 

To use Emily's analogy of blogland as a neighborhood…if we were neighbors, from the same neighborhood, and I passed you on the street, I would say hello. I wouldn't pass without saying anything just because I didn't have something "meaningful" to say. I'd at the very least, acknowledge you. Chances are good that I might even stop and join into conversation with you. 

And that's kind of how I feel about blogging now. Even if I don't have a lot to say, I need to let people know I've stopped by. I need to say hello, leave a footprint.

But then, there's also reality. Who has time to leave a comment on every blog they read? 

So for me, that has meant doing some serious slicing, dicing and editing of the blogs I subscribe to in my reader. That doesn't mean I'm reading every blog post, every day, but it does make it easier for me to respond to the blogs that I do read.

I liken it to my friendships in college. Freshman year, I was friends with lots of people. Tons of people. I was just happy to be finding friends and people to hang out with. Someone to sit with at lunch. Someone to save me a seat in a lecture hall. But as my college years went on, that group of friends became smaller and smaller. By my senior year, I had a small, close-knit group of friends that I cherished. 

And I kind of feel like I'm in my "senior year" of blogging. I don't need to read 50 blogs. And while I still enjoy discovering new people and places, I have a small group of blogs that I consider part of my community and many I consider close friends. This way, I can hopefully bring back the "old school" approach to blogging. The interaction. The community. The relationships.

So I hope you don't think this is a slap on the wrist to all you blog "lurkers". I will be honest and say that sometimes it is discouraging when I venture over to take a peak at my stats and see how many of you stop by without saying hello…but that's not what this is about. This is strictly about my thoughts and feelings on blogging, for me. 

I think we all go through these phases. Days when we're ready close it all down and walk away. Days when the posts are popping up in our head faster than we can get them out. 

And I think it is good for all of us, me, to give something that oftentimes takes a lot of our time, plenty of thought, evaluation and inspection. 

So if you've made it this far, thanks for reading and patiently wading through my thought-process, as I figure out what my "senior year" of blogging looks like for me.

opening up

Hello. I'm still here. Blogging has been taking a back seat to life these days. The weather. The Laundry. A year-end homeschooling review. New friends. Rearranging and decorating. Dishes. Four little girls.

Those are the things that have been calling to me and keeping me away.

But I've also been thinking about blogging a lot lately, as well. Thinking about what it means to me. What I want it to be. What has changed. 

I've been a little nostalgic for the old days of blogging. Nowadays there are so many avenues for us to "connect"–twitter, facebook, flickr, blogging, that in the end all of those places feel kind of diluted to me and less meaningful. 

And while I love my blog for the way it marks time, I miss the interaction and that community feeling. That seems to be missing for me lately.

I enjoy the communication.

I like hearing from people.

Last year I adopted this new "philosophy" about blog reading. I decided that I was only going to leave a comment on someone's blog if I felt like I had something to add to the discussion, or if I felt truly "moved" by what the person had said or written about. 

But now, I've completely rejected that "approach". Blogging is about the interaction and the community and the people. And that means letting someone know you've stopped by. 

To use Emily's analogy of blogland as a neighborhood…if we were neighbors, from the same neighborhood, and I passed you on the street, I would say hello. I wouldn't pass without saying anything just because I didn't have something "meaningful" to say. I'd at the very least, acknowledge you. Chances are good that I might even stop and join into conversation with you. 

And that's kind of how I feel about blogging now. Even if I don't have a lot to say, I need to let people know I've stopped by. I need to say hello, leave a footprint.

But then, there's also reality. Who has time to leave a comment on every blog they read? 

So for me, that has meant doing some serious slicing, dicing and editing of the blogs I subscribe to in my reader. That doesn't mean I'm reading every blog post, every day, but it does make it easier for me to respond to the blogs that I do read.

I liken it to my friendships in college. Freshman year, I was friends with lots of people. Tons of people. I was just happy to be finding friends and people to hang out with. Someone to sit with at lunch. Someone to save me a seat in a lecture hall. But as my college years went on, that group of friends became smaller and smaller. By my senior year, I had a small, close-knit group of friends that I cherished. 

And I kind of feel like I'm in my "senior year" of blogging. I don't need to read 50 blogs. And while I still enjoy discovering new people and places, I have a small group of blogs that I consider part of my community and many I consider close friends. This way, I can hopefully bring back the "old school" approach to blogging. The interaction. The community. The relationships.

So I hope you don't think this is a slap on the wrist to all you blog "lurkers". I will be honest and say that sometimes it is discouraging when I venture over to take a peak at my stats and see how many of you stop by without saying hello…but that's not what this is about. This is strictly about my thoughts and feelings on blogging, for me. 

I think we all go through these phases. Days when we're ready close it all down and walk away. Days when the posts are popping up in our head faster than we can get them out. 

And I think it is good for all of us, me, to give something that oftentimes takes a lot of our time, plenty of thought, evaluation and inspection. 

So if you've made it this far, thanks for reading and patiently wading through my thought-process, as I figure out what my "senior year" of blogging looks like for me.

136 comments on “opening up”

  1. Very thought provoking. I don’t have my own blog, but I do follow many, and I’m a terrible lurker. I never thought of the neighborhood analogy – I just thought it might be rather time consuming to read through a ton of comments from readers. I think it could easily become exhausting. And often, I feel like I have nothing profound to add to the conversation.

    I’m not sure how I discovered your blog, but I have been enjoying it very much.

  2. hmm. I don’t comment much anymore. most blogs I browse through in my feed reader, looking for ideas for living better. I do always read yours, though. I get very few comments, which is fine because I don’t comment often, and I’ll admit that I never ever check my stats. So probably I should remove the stat counter. . .

    love up on your girls, M!

  3. HELLO !!!

    i’ve been having similar thoughts. really missing some of the people that used to stop and say hello on my blog and don’t anymore. it IS about community. and i miss it. and twitter et.al don’t feel the same for me either.

    not commenting on people’s blogs is the one thing that makes me feel guilty in internet land….

    anyway. thanks for sharing. welcome to your senior year ! 🙂

  4. i’ve been thinking about these things, too. i love the analogy of the neighborhood. you’d say hi neighbor over the fence, even if you didn’t have the time or the thoughts to talk more…but still,the time…there’s the rub.thanks for getting me started thinking in this way…and i guess maybe i’m a sophomore???xo

  5. Ummmm….yep, me too. This past week “life” has been happening around here too. Not too much to report, just norman craziness. But I still feel guilty. Thanks for putting my exact thoughts out there in such a clear fashion.

    Much love to you neighbor.

  6. I know exactly how you feel. I’m starting to comment more on friend’s blogs. There was a time when I, for some reason, didn’t need to do that, but its funny how its all come back to that simple need to nurture friendships…and neighbors.

  7. Hello! I enjoy your posts very much. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on comments. I don’t have a blog and don’t comment on the blogs I read as much as I’d like to. But it takes all of 25 seconds to jot a quick note, so hello to you today, Molly!

  8. I feel the same way – and I am guilty of reading whenever you post and not always saying something. Sad. I will be better about that!

  9. I’ve been a lurker for awhile, but have always subscribed to your old philosophy of blogging, and rarely comment on the blogs of people I don’t know. I like your thoughts about saying hello, though, so I’m just piping up to let you know I was here. 🙂

  10. I commented on the “Mouse is a good cat” entry, but I have read through your entire archive. I’m very impressed with your way of raising the girls and I enjoy the tales of farm life! Hopefully, someday soon, I’ll be able to retire to a farm of my own. Who knows? Maybe I’ll start a blog about it and crafts I do there! God bless!

  11. I’ve been feeling much the same way. And I’m feeling the same way about sort of narrowing down. It’s hard though, to feel like you’re missing something.

  12. so much of what you say about commenting resonates. i’ve missed those conversations since i stopped blogging (though really, i’d missed them long before i stopped). but this is such a good reminder that those conversations are still possible, and that there is much to be said for just saying hi even when there is not something deep and profound to say. and so, hi :)xo

  13. I confess, I have been following your blog for awhile now (almost a year) and have yet to leave a comment. I stumbled onto your blog while procrastinating my Master’s homework, and have checked in regularly ever since. I enjoy reading stories of your life in a rural area with your growing family. I grew up in a rural area and always wanted to have a large immediate family. So… thanks for sharing your life with us. I will continue to check in, but now I’ll let you know I’m here. 🙂

  14. i get this. i haven’t been out and about in the world of blogs and flickr that much either lately which is nice but i do miss the connections that seemed stronger not so long ago. i am glad to have stopped by here tonight, to have read your thoughts, and to have “connected” with your post. so “hey. how’s it goin?” (lovely peony too. – ours are still on there way)

  15. I agree; it IS discouraging to see how many people stop by my blog without saying anything, but then again, it is also discouraging to comment on a blog and never hear an acknowledgment, especially on a well known blog. I think that happens to people enough that they end up just lurking. I couldn’t even get more than one lurker to fess up when I asked for people to say hello, and my blog is teeny tiny. I try hard to respond to every comment I get, but even the few I get sometimes get away from me.

  16. Hi, Just passing by but I do have to say I don’t always comment on all the blogs I read but I’m usually pretty inspired by yours on a regular basis to comment. Thanks for sharing.

  17. i am so appreciative of you putting these thoughts into words. things do feel much more diluted with all the ways to connect…i am one who just does not get that “thumbs up” feature on facebook (the most disconnected way to “connect” out there). it feels like all these other ways to connect aren’t as heartfelt as the blog comments i used to leave (or receive) when i first started blogging five years ago.this has given me some good things to think about…thank you.

  18. Good thoughts, as always. Blogging is wonderful and tough, too. I remember when I started blogging a few years ago I felt the community was established and closed, but with time I’ve found my own little community. Some times I delete a whole slew off my reader and then slowly add some back. My faves stay- even if they don’t feel like my community I enjoy reading about families, crafts, etc. Thanks for your thoughts and good luck in your senior year! (BTW, makes me think of Felicity’s senior year- you never know where you’ll end up!) Cheers.

  19. I have no blog. I read quite a few. I’m usually of the comment when something strikes me ilk. It is true that I comment much less on the blogs that I can read in their entirety in Google Reader. I recently edited my blog roll too. I always enjoy your blog!

  20. So I guess I could say that I also kinda had your same philosophy of if my thought didn’t add to the discusion, then I wouldn’t comment. And while this is half-way true the real reason is that I feel in secure. I do not trust my writing/commenting. I feel as if I am the freshman in the room of Grad students and my writing/comments show my inexperience and lack of eloquence. So please accept my apologies for lurking and not commenting.

    Molly your blog is my quiet place, my retreat, my mini-vacation spot. Whether it be a recipe, teaching idea, family life glimpse, craft idea, farm story or just to get lost in some of your photos…Thank You. I started following you after the overhaul at BC and have been a HUGE fan ever since. Sometimes life get in the way and I miss a few posts and it is almost like there is and extra Christmas present under the tree.

    Well I must go as my youngest is melting down waiting for Mommy and her bedtime. Birdy (and the girls) are so precious! Seeing a new little one lately makes me feel empty (but I’m not quite ready for 3) so I enjoy the stories and peeks into babyhood-dom (??apparently I am more tired than I knew, wow!) Enjoy the late spring/early summer and let your Blog be a fun place for you aas it is for so many of us!

  21. It’s complicated, isn’t it? I’ve turned my comments off, as part of my process about this. Part of it is that there just isn’t a timely way to get back to everyone who comments (and build that community). I’ve had lots of throw in the towel thoughts lately.

    Anyway, just wanted to chime in and say you’re not alone 🙂

    xo, K

  22. well said. and i hope you enjoy an awesome start to your “senior year”. 🙂

    i mainly wanted to commiserate with your “habit” post today because our feather-y ladies have made a similar mess of the veggie beds of late. time to install some legitimate barriers… though i was liking the woven willow…

  23. I agree with you on the blog neighborhood. I know what a commitment it is to put yourself out there in the blog atmosphere day after day and I just wanted to thank you for sharing your heart and your stories with us. Looking forward to what your revelation brings!

  24. Hi! I never did before, but lately, I’ve been trying to make myself leave a short comment on each blog I read. You share so much of your life when blogging, I think it’s only fair to know who’s reading.

  25. Interesting way of putting it, Molly. I think your approach of doing what feels right is the best way to go. After all, blogging is supposed to be about fun, right? The minute it becomes a chore it loses its main appeal.

    Looking forward to see what you discover

  26. thanks for the insight….I actually thought that on some of the “more popular” or “well-known” blogs that I read, it would almost be annoying to the blogger to comment unless it was something….important. I often want to just leave a note to say thanks or hello…..and have resisted, as to not bog down the comments. Now that I’ve heard this perspective, I will be much more likely to stop in. Thanks for pointing this out! I love your analogy of passing a neighbor and not saying hello….so true….of course I would say hi! So…..hey there! THanks for your words today!

  27. Hey Molly–I often lurk, because I figured you don’t have time to read a zillion comments 🙂 Glad to hear you are doing well and that you even have time for thinking these days!

  28. I like to read thoughts on all of this and I agree, I like to comment to let people know I’ve stopped and read, even if my comment doesn’t feel all that helpful. But who has the time? I’m glad you are enjoying the living though.

  29. i’m really very shy, and have always felt like i am intruding when i sense that there is an established community of readers for a blog — kind of like a brand new neighbour no one has met yet, i guess! i really love your blog, although i am in a very different place as a parent — my girls are in the early parts of the teen years. and i am not ready to blog myself.

    so thank you for sharing your world with me. and i will try to be braver and let you know i am here more often…

  30. Why, hello there! I have been ambivalent about blogs for a little while now — hence my own posting absence and only sporadic reading. I do miss it though, and miss the old days.

  31. I love your thoughts and totally agree. I think I have fizzled out with posting on my blog because I was feeling that lack of community… still trying to figure it all out and wondering who is in my neighborhood.

  32. i guess i should say i have a few blogs that are purely for visual inspiration, too. but mostly, i’m finding that kind of inspiration through the people i follow on tumblr. so i guess for me, i’m sort of going “back to my roots” as far as blogging goes–hoping for it to be more about the community feel, like it used to be for me.

    xox.

  33. lisa, i think the “guilt” thing is a whole other issue too. i feel like we shouldn’t be feeling any, you know? (i know you do. 🙂 since we’ve discussed this at length. 🙂

  34. Hi sarah! 🙂 I think you make another good point, that WHEN people started blogging effects how they feel like they fit in to the community. But I do think, when they stay with it, eventually they find their own niche and neighborhood.

  35. Hi Susan. And thank you.

    That’s part of my thinking of only offering a snippet in reader. Even though it may be frustrating, I hope that it will encourage people to stop by and connect.

  36. I can relate to the feeling of people stopping by and not commenting, which to me sometimes feels a little sad and lonely. I remember when I started reading blogs, at least ten years ago, and the feeling of community and friendship was so amazing to me. That people who would never have met in person could have this friendship and this sharing was so inspiring, and still is. So thank you for being willing to share bits of your life with us here, I very much enjoy your blog.

  37. First of all, please don’t EVER feel bad for not commenting here and please don’t ever worry about your writing or words or anything. I hope that my blog is a welcoming space for everyone. Second of all, thank you so much for your sweet words about my blog. I have to admit to having moments when I’m ready to let this season of blogging end, but when I read comments like yours it is a real encouragement to me. thank you.

  38. Kyrie, you bring up another issue that I think about a lot too. Sort of the other side of the coin. I’ve toyed with the idea of turning off comments, as well. And all that means for me. And that’s part of the freedom I feel at habit. It is complicated and there are so many ways to look at it. Thanks for chiming in. And I certainly hope you’re not throwing in the towel anytime soon…

  39. oh! I’d love woven willow fencing. so beautiful. The hardest part with our “brood” is that they follow us everywhere around the yard. I was literally hiding from them and trying to “lose them” when I needed to go out to those two rows outside the garden yesterday. But they still found me out! 🙂

  40. i know what you mean about jumping in to comment on what feels like an established community. it’s a bit intimidating. but i hope you’ll feel welcome to say hello here whenever you feel like it. and thanks for commenting tonight.

  41. Hi Carol! I totally understand your feelings. I used to think, “oh, I’d blog even if no one commented.” But really, you’re putting your thoughts in a public space and the commenting and interacting are part of that. I think if I only wanted a journal of my days, without the community aspect, I would keep it private and personal.

  42. Hello, My name is Stephanie and I too am a silent blog lurker. I stumbled upon your blog from a fellow Wheatie. We were in the ed head program together and it’s fun to see your insights on homeschooling and life on the farm I like your insights on the appreciation of the things we often take for granted–I recall you once talking about having a strong body to do work each day and I thought, so true!

  43. Interesting… I don’t have my own blog, but I am a regular blog reader. Honestly, I didn’t realize that blog writers (or at least some of you!) felt this way. I always kind of figured it would just be annoying if I left a “meaningless” comment. So thanks for writing this post. It has made me see things in a different way.

  44. I guess I’m a bit of a lurker. I comment some, and I get very few comments on my own blog, so maybe that’s why. And I can relate to sophiefair’s comment about sometimes feeling like I might be intruding into an established community. But then sometimes I feel compelled to comment and so, like now, I do!

  45. Not a lurker, just found you…but I agree. I miss the community feel of blogging and Twitter and Facebook don’t do it for me.

    And how did you get the bloody Fonts to work? I could never get them to show up on my blog! Must be advanced templates?

    Regardless, I’m enjoying your blog. . .

  46. Well, OK, hello then! I’ve had your blog listed on my favorites for a while now and I look forward to every new post. I’ve left a few comments here and there, so I wouldn’t consider myself a lurker, but I haven’t commented in a while. I read your blog because I love the glimpses into another life in another part of the country, and the warmth of your writing. There is such a sense of place and family about your blog.

    Thanks! 🙂

  47. Well said. I mostly tend to read via reader as I can read more quickly that way, but you make a good point about how that approach detracts from the community aspect inherent in blogging. So, hello!

  48. Hello from Finland. I stop by your blog almost every day I’m at the computer. Usually when I see you have posted new pictures on Flickr. Then I know there is something new on your blog too :-). Thanks for keeping on writing.

  49. I so totally agree- I always liken it to peering over someone’s back fence- you really should say hello. But there are some days when I just don’t have time, or I just don’t know how to respond to a post and then I just leave it. But that happens rarely. Never mind- you usually get lots of people saying hello. My blog stats say I have readers from all over the world and yet I really only ever get comments from 4 people- my mum, my dad, my step mum and my sister in law. THAT’S IT! I’d love to know who else out there is reading my blog, but every time I’ve tried to have a drop in and say hello post, I get nothing. I still like to blog. And so much of it for me is sharing our lives with my family who live in another country. But still- it would be nice to know who else is out there peering into my life.

  50. interesting thoughts – my husband often asks my why I read blogs. i don’t have one of my own. i think i like the honesty as i make my way through this world with my children. i love hearing how other moms do it! thanks for you posts…!

  51. Hello! I don’t have a blog of my own, so I didn’t know how important comments are to the author. I enjoy stopping by and visiting with you!

  52. Did you read my head space this morning? All I can say is yes! yes! yes!

    Last night in a fit of frustration, I cut my reader subscriptions to my absolute must-reads. No more clutter. And I made this pact with myself that I really want to stop and comment at each of the blogs I read each day.

    I’ve been reading here for going on three years, but yet rarely comment. I wanna change that. And before I forget, congrats on the Artful Blogging! I grinned so wide when I saw your piece in there.

    I am getting just a wee bit tickled in the funny bone to realize your post and my thought process/new blogging philosophy dovetailed together this morning.

  53. Hi neighbor. :)I think I feel this way sometimes too- it’s all a cycle this blogging thing. I think i will come back to my love affair with it in the fall…I always stick my head inthe sand when it gets warm out lol. LOVE YOU girl. xoxoxo

  54. I just found your blog recently . . . just in time to see the new addition and make my womb ache! I was hoping the whole way through this post that you weren’t leading up to closing down your blog! I do not blog (anymore) and have cut my list way down, but you are on it and I enjoy your posts so much. I am a homeschooling mom of three, living in the suburbs but longing for the country, and you take me there. Any your chickens are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen!

    You may be sorry you brought so many of us out of hiding!

  55. I’ve never really liked the term ‘lurker’, makes me feel like a pervert in nothing but a trenchcoat, waiting in a dark alleyway for a passerby…

    But know that others have different blogging philosophies as well. It doesn’t mean that we appreciate your work less. I smile at what I read, I print off some of the recipes and tutorials and try them out in my life. Usually if something works for me, or if a post awakens something in me, I’ll comment.

    But personally, I’d prefer to have someone write a thoughtful comment on my blog (which I never really update – teehee) rather than a rote comment, just because they feel obliged to do so.

    Anyhoo – my two cents. I do agree with the diluting of what is done online these days, so many new applications to subscribe to, to watch, to take the time to learn – it’s enough to force me back to my sewing machine or make another batch of banana bread!

  56. hi heather! thanks for your perspective on this. i appreciate it. but i also didn’t mean this to be a post about people not commenting on my blog. i was just thinking out loud about where i am in my “blogging life” right now and my desire to regain that community feeling that has been lacking for me.

  57. Like sophie above I sometimes feel shy about commenting. Sometimes I sit and stare at the blinking icon on the comment box and exit out b/c I just don’t know what to say. Your blog is inspiring…I enjoy every visit. I am often in awe as even though I have a busy life with five kids I feel a bit dull in comparison. Thanks for all you share!

  58. I read a bazillion blogs but rarely comment because I don’t have a blog of my own to link back to. Your post made me re-think that… Perhaps, i should just say a quick thank you when something I have read inspires or challenges or moves me. To begin the new blog-reader me: “Thank you. This post made me realize that it is a bit selfish of me to read wonderful blogs but never give anything back.”

  59. Molly, I agree with so much of what you’ve said, and you put it so much better than I ever could! “hi there” – I’m out for my morning stroll 🙂

  60. Hello! This resonates with me big time. I’m never really sure whether I’m doing the blog for myself as a scrapbook-ish thing, which is fine, or for others seeing as I get lots of people checking it each day but no comments. Feedback is nice every once and a while. I haven’t updated my blog in a few weeks so your silence seems like nothing, life just takes over sometimes. I really don’t know how you do it with all you have to take care of, but I’m so glad you do. Thank you for continuing to share with us. I love that commenting is like saying hello to your neighbor, it only takes a few minutes and it brightens their day! Thanks!

  61. I found my way to your blog months ago via finding my way to Habit. Both blogs have become favorites of mine. A true delight to read and look at. Inspiration.

    As a blogger, I get everything you’ve said. I find myself mainly commenting on blogs of friends and family that I *know*, not so much on blogs that I’ve come across and follow but don’t have any real association with. But then, it is the community of motherhood and creativity that I love so much…perhaps sometimes more worth a quick comment over Aunt Zella’s new coffee cake recipe. Although that’s good stuff too….! See, you’re not alone. 🙂

  62. Hi, I’ve been reading for a little while (a few months maybe?). I don’t comment on blogs very often – not having one myself I often don’t feel justified in commenting(and like sophiefair above, feel that to do so would be to intrude on an existing community). But I do really enjoy your (and others’) writing and am often inspired by what you have to say.

  63. late commenting here, Molly, but you know I completely get this. I’ve been struggling with balancing life, creative projects, and a new-found immersion in work (the real professional paying-kind, which I’m glad to be doing). The scales are seriously tipped away from my blog right now. It will still be there (whether the readers are, or not) as a space for my voice, when my written words can catch up with my own swirling mind. So will yours. Relish these times with little Birdie and the girls. We are all here when you are ready to share. No pressure. That’s the beauty of having this space you’ve created all your own. We will be here.

    xo

  64. I think it’s the blogger curse, we all feel like we should be doing this or that.. even considering throwing in the towel. The same goes for facebook, twitter, or any of those community sites.. I’ve thought about shutting it all off but truthfully.. I need to read inspiring words like yours, and know that I am not alone in my stay at home mama endeavors. PS I don’t twitter and may very well shut off Facebook.. to limit myself to just reading my favorite blogs and commenting!

  65. I’ve subscribed to the “no comment without something new to add…” philosophy, as well – and I think your point is very well made. If this is the community that we all seem to believe it is, then a friendly wave and a kind word are plenty to add.

    Thanks for expressing it so well…

    And Hello!

  66. Interesting thoughts. I am a blogless lurker, and don’t tend to leave many comments. Maybe because I don’t have a blog, so you (or other bloggers) can’t know me like I know you. But I don’t want to sound like a weird stalker, either. I should leave more comments, so it’s more a conversation than me peeking in your windows. All that aside, I have two sisters, and your girls remind me of us when we were little.

  67. well hello neighbor! So many of the things you said are so very true to me as well. I dont feel the need to read 25 blogs everyday, becasue I simply cant comment and read thrugh them all. and it is so very nice to just be able to blog about whatever it is that is gonig on, just to be able to record it. Best wishes to you and your little girls

  68. I too am one of those “lurkers”, mostly because I always felt like commenting was done by those who really knew each other. I appreciate your post today and the new perspective it has offered me about blogging. I love the idea of being neighborly online, and offering a few words of hello and appreciation. I have been reading blogs for a couple years now and have even attempted to write myself but have not quite hit my stride yet. Thanks for your words today.

  69. Hi there ::waves:: – it’s a bit gloomy today in our neighborhood, so I’ve been reading a lot of blogs today. I will try to be more mindful of dropping a note here and there. 🙂

  70. i have been thinking similar thoughts…wondering if we get into a consumeristic mindset in blogging?? Reading blogs to merely consume information and inspiration and then possibly forgetting about/neglecting the relationships/community that blogging offers?

  71. You know, with blogs that are more popular and receive a lot of attention via comments, I tend not to comment as much. Like Jen said, I just figure that these moms/writers are busy enough without having to reply to one more comment! It’s good to know your perspective on this.

  72. hello.

    i have similar feelings. sometimes blogging can be a hit to your self esteem. you write something you think is great and you get a few comments and you think what was wrong was that a dumb post and you second guess yourself and go rounds about all of the issues you just brought up. At least I do. And then I run into someone who tells me “I loved that post!” and I have to remember that people are reading and enjoying, but just don’t have the time to comment always, like me.

    anyway, we are moving. I need to talk to you about that.

  73. We recently had a friend pass away from a long battle with cancer. It has been so neat, and even an avenue of healing to google her and see the “footprints” she made in the way of comments on blogs. Wisdom she imparted, glimpses into her life that we never even knew about, fun anecdotes and little blurbs… it’s precious. I read your blog every time you post. I enjoy it. You are an inspiration to many. I tell people, “You should read this blog–she makes raising chickens look so glamorous!” Have a great day, Molly!

  74. I have been thinking about this post all day. You are very right and i need to make more effort.

    So like others, I am coming out of the woodwork to say “hi” and to tell you that I was dead jealous when Birdie was born as my little girl was due about that time!! She was eventually (days seem like years when you are pregnant!) born on the 26th of March.

  75. hi molly,i love love love this post. your posts are nibbles of wisdom, and this is yet another. often times i feel like i’m attending the same school with the rest of you, but i just run with a different circle – or more likely, i don’t run with any circle whatsoever. this is a great pond we’re all in and as we pass one another by, simply saying hello is perfection.i wish more people would recognize the value in kindness with no strings attached. i think in this community where our literal voices are not often heard, our true intentions can be blurred in the typeface. let’s get back to being neighborly.so often i consider my place in this arena, and it is a challenge to not compare my space with that of anyone else. i like to make things, share ideas and inspiration, and talk about motherhood and cooking and music with people, simple as that. but so much has changed in the 5 years i’ve been blogging. and yet, if there is one thing i have learned, it is that writing in this format is good for me. i am allowing my voice to come out and be heard, honoring my hopes and dreams, and trying to remain true to myself.and so i’ll keep blogging for now.and yes, my friend, i shall be sure to say hello when i stop by your welcoming and accepting space.xoxo

  76. I am mostly a lurker, though i do (and have) commented on your and other’s blogs when something strikes a cord or when I have followed for more than a few months. I want to be neighborly and say hello. So I say hello there! I’m glad you are out there and sharing the way you do — really it’s quite fantastic –your generosity.Here’s the thing that holds me back from speaking up more often: I feel that my everyday life and encounters take and deserve my full attention. I’ve never been very good at spreading my attention that way — to the people out there who are not in my everyday life. It’s something I know I should work on. I really do value and appreciate those connections but I am okay with saying thank you and moving on. I don’t feel it is diminished by moving on. … but I could be wrong.

  77. Hello!! It’s my first visit to your blog and this post resonates with me. I love every comment left on my blog, I cherish it because I appreciate how thoughtful it is to not just read and move on but to take a moment to say hello.

  78. Its my first time visit to your blog and Im so happy to read your post. You have put so well into words how I feel about blogging after 3 years.

    I love your idea of visiting a small group of bloggers that really has become kind of friends over the years.

  79. Hi Molly,

    I have to admit that I have been following your blog for quite a while but haven’t commented until now.I started reading when I was showing WOG (dutch for work avoiding behaviour :-)) while writing my PhD thesis. Now I’m at home with my little baby girl. Since then I have cleaned up my bloglines, but the blogs I still follow feel like old friends (even if I rarely comment).One of the reasons to clean up was to be able to comment more, to give a sort of ‘thanks’ for the effort to write the blog and the peek in your life, so thanks!

    Jet

  80. Oh I’m so glad you opened up this discussion. I often feel the same way… like I shouldn’t comment unless I have something really noteworthy to say. I guess I also worry that people will feel slighted if I comment in some places but not in others so I guess I tend not to make too many comments anywhere. I think I over think 🙂

    Anyhow, let me just say, HELLO! I’m glad you’re in the neighborhood!

  81. I was just ‘stopping in to say hello’…this is so well-written. I’m feeling in blog limbo right now because my own blog has been taking a back seat to life & I’m almost ’embarrassed’ to comment on other favorites when I have so little for show & tell time.

  82. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on blogging in “your senior year.” As a new blogger I often find that many blogs read like magazines-perfectly polished. And they are pretty, but sometimes I wonder what the people behind the ideas are really thinking. I think that’s what makes the difference between a distant feeling magazine or tv show and blogging-that there is interaction and real people living & sharing their real lives-not always the idealized life.

  83. rachel, i think you make a really good point–that some blogs have become like magazines–we simply flip through looking for inspiration without any interaction. but that’s not what blogging was originally, in my opinion. maybe there will be a shift back to the “old ways.” 🙂

  84. Hi Jean, Thanks for your thoughts. I completely understand where you are coming from and I think you make a good point about how you want to give your full attention and time to the people in your daily life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

  85. i feel like we need to sit down to a cup of coffee and a long conversation about this very topic. (and we also need to delve into the topic of music because it is a passion of mine that doesn’t come out through the blog…) xo.

  86. congratulations!! My middle girl, Mary, has her b’day on the 26th. March will be a busy month for me! 🙂 And you are so right–those final days feel like years! 🙂 Hope you are doing well!

  87. gina, your comment gives me chills. i’m sure it has been an amazing blessing to see your friend’s footprints, as you put it.

    thanks for your kind words about my blog. and i’ll be sure to tell the hens they’re superstars. (though they already think they run the place.)

  88. aimee–i’m catching up on comments tonight, but later on in this discussion someone compares blogs to magazines–all glossy and perfect. and I think that is very true. We simply “flip” through them looking for inspiration without any interaction with the people behind them.

  89. Leaning over the fence to say hey.

    I haven’t been blogging lately (months since my last post, I think). It is equal parts too much other stuff going on and not getting that community feeling. I never had many readers to begin with, but when no one comments, it gets to feel like I’m talking to myself. Not that that is unusual around here.

  90. Hi Molly! I read and enjoy your blog very much but rarely comment. I don’t often feel like I have much to contribute. Oh well, today I’ll just say HI! and tell you your girls are just adorable. Big hugs from Kosovo!

  91. well we all had to comment on this post of course! I go back and forth between trying to say something meaningful and just a quick hello. I am a horrible lurker though I do admidt. Having google reader helps. They have a “next” button you can put on your toolbar and when you click it, it takes you to the most recently updated blog–directly to their blog and not through the reader. I forget how pretty some people’s blogs are if I just stay in a reader all day (it’s like going outside after being indoors for too long!).

  92. Molly, you know how much I admire you. your Mothering is something to behold. But I feel old school blogging needs to truly BE old school, sans the commercials in the margins and all the giveaways. As a quiet member of your fan club always cheering you on I must say, it is the change in your blog that leaves me, not less likely to read, but less likely to comment. A short precious post like your most recent one delivers me to a place in my heart I long for, that is why I visit you. xo

  93. Hi. Thanks for this post. I am really bad about commenting on blogs that I read and love and visit every day. I need to do that. I know how great it feels to have people comment on my blog. And I know how sad I feel when people don’t comment for days and days. I don’t have time to comment every single time, but I am going to make a point of commenting several times a week on the blogs that I visit most. I like your idea of community. I want that too.

  94. I don’t have comments on either. I just can’t – they suck me into the internet like nothing else can, and then I lose hours I should be with my children.

    I don’t comment either – not much, anyway. I read blogs in my feed reader with a timer set and then it’s back to real life. I love the blogs I read, but I can’t comment all the time.

    In your say “hello” analogy, I’m the one who walks by just smiling. I always smile, but I might not say “hello.”

    That’s what I have to do to strike a balance between the goodness on the internet and the goodness in real life. (I’m not good at balance).

  95. I find your blog beautiful and inspiring and that’s why I return again and again. I’ve been a devoted lurker for quite sometime now.

    On my own blog I receive like 20 hits a day! Woo Hoo!! I don’t care though. The blog is my journal for myself and for our family. I’ve never kept up with a book form journal or family history for long but there is something magical about blogging so as I’m totally addicted. The magic for me is somewhere mixed up with the photos, the typed words, the templates, and the possibility of comments. They are seductive. The possibility of comments. Oh and the real clincher for me in keeping up with the blog has been printing it out in book form using the awesome “slurp” method from Blurb. Love it.

    Keep sharing through your blog, please.

  96. Molly, Thanks for posting this. I hadn’t thought of commenting as a community builder, and have always subscribed to the idea that if I’m not adding to the discussion with something new, then it’s not my place to comment (for comment’s sake). So many thoughts running through my head right now, but perhaps the loudest is one of nostalgia. I’m a bit sad that we have to form communities through the internet, and the written word, instead of face-to-face with members of our communities. I’ve been overseas for the past few years, living in tight knit communities, and blogging for the family and friends back home. I’m finding life here in the states so compartmentalized. It should be so much easier to connect to neighbors, to entertain on a moment’s notice, to LIVE. But time pressures, the amazing amount of opportunities, and just the size of my city…well…here we are blogging. We find our support in new ways.

    I could go on, but I’ll stop before I write a book. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and making me think about this and how I structure and build my community.

  97. I love this so much- doing some catch up blog reading as I simply don’t have the time (and no organized way to read blogs- like google reader!) so much of what you said resonates with me and I so love the neighborhood concept. Thanks for this.

    xoxo

  98. I just found your blog through Kyrie’s through Habit. Us poor modern day folks…having to reach out so far to find people to talk to. Isn’t it funny how we are surrounded by so many people, yet (at least in my case) I know them so little. And so I retreat to blog land. I keep my own, I read others and I empathize with your words. I’ve only been blogging for almost two years and my readership is quite small on most days. I’d like to have more people visit and say hello, but I’m not sure how to make that happen. I don’t want to advertise my blog to real life acquaintances, but I want those who are really interested to read. I guess, I’ll just keep writing. I love it. And it’s been a great way for me to record time in my life. But yeah, it would be nice to feel a part of a community too.

  99. Hi, Although I am often late in checking posts, I read your blog a lot and it always touches me somehow – your lifestyle, your parenting style, your connection to your grandmother. Plus, you are a beautiful writer. I don’t usually comment, but as a result of this post, I thought I would. 🙂

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