Saturday, August 22, 2009
Why Blog? - - - And 3 More Short Subjects!
While reading Willow Manor last night, I stumbled on her post (here) about comments and whether they are an obstacle or catalyst to readers. Willow has over 1,000 followers and it's not uncommon for her to have 50-100 comments per post. It boggles my mind, yet I can see why people like her blog. I do too.
Anyway, some of the 125 comments on the post about commenting (LOL) and her more recent post (here) about blogging being a transformative moment for her, got me to thinking (again) about why I blog.
For me, blogging started (3 years ago) as a diary or journal... just a place to keep a written and visual record of my life. My husband partakes and is interested in only part of my life... I needed to honor the other parts in some way (I guess)... and blogging became the way. Besides it was technically challenging and fun.
Somewhere along the way, in a barely noticeable progression, my motivation began to change. Rather than doing it for myself, I began to respond to the blogging community by trying to tailor my posts to my readers, finding subjects and adding images that I hoped would appeal and draw comments. Ah, comments! Yes, I craved them and thrived on them, the more the better.
Now, in the past few months, I'm noticing another shift in motivation. Do you recall my recent post about witnessing (here)? One of the email responses to this post called it deep listening. Isn't that a great term? My recent shift is toward trying to develop a community of deep listeners.
OK, I don't mean that every post and every comment needs to be deep. (Wouldn't that be a headache!) But that the general focus of the community (both me posting and you commenting, or just reading) tends toward witnessing, deep hearing and inner truth. Yikes! That sounds a bit daunting. Yet, I think it's my motivation at this time.
A Few Reader Thoughts about Witnessing
Susan said: Interestingly enough, my online blogging has helped me connect better with my family and friends who choose to read. Those non-stitching friends have begun to understand what I stitch, why I stitch and how important it is in my life. ~Me too, including my husband!~ ...my public witnessing of myself and my own feelings leads to others witnessing not only my feelings but their own as well. Some of my favorite online exchanges have occurred because of my most private, public posts. ~Again, me too... This is what I mean about building a community of deep hearing people!~ If someone is interested in witnessing my life, they comment. If they aren't, they move on. We tend to attract those who have the same values and are struggling with the same issues. We ... tend to group ourselves and that is a beautiful phenomenon. So, rather than us choosing our witnesses, our witnesses choose us. They choose to spend the time getting to know us and writing a meaningful comment -- because they care and they want to -- and those feelings are real and very, very healing, supportive and loving. ~How true, Susan, and well said!
Jacquie pointed out that witnessing for her is a validation of time spent pouring out my heart of hearts. ~I agree and also think blogging can be self-validating.
Penny says: witnessing, when it comes from the viewers heart and spirit, when they are really and truly engaged with what they are looking at - can be a motivating process. It opens not only me up to them, but them up to me and that is a gift that they give to me also. ~That's how I look at it too... as an exchange and as a gift.
Pegnard wrote: Am I willing to share my spirit, in a spirit of aloha, on a blog? I started one, but don't write there too often yet. I hope people will be kind. I've experienced so much joy from reading other blogs, felt such a kinship. I'd like to share back. ~Again, it's the exchange thing... the sharing back... the give and take of blogging that appeals to me now.
Carolyn emailed: ...we only expose ourselves to those we completely trust to like us even after they see/witness "who we really are." And that usually only means one or two special friends and no one else, especially family members. Blogs allow us to safely allow others to know who we really are and safely identify with like emotions and feelings. ~Yes, I think there is an element of anonymity or distance that makes blogging feel safe. The level of safety, developing slowly for me as I wrote and read, is quite high now.
Sabine wrote: Blogs, and especially the BJP have a lot to do with letting people witness through art and thoughts presented, and they have a whole lot to do with trusting people. ~I agree, trust is so much a part of this.
Post, comment, witness, exchange, trust, validate and transform... that's what blogging is all about for me at this point.
Teaching in Phoenix - Bead Museum is there!
Right around the corner... October 1-5, I will be in Phoenix, Arizona teaching bead embroidery and giving two presentations!
Oct. 2nd will be a whole day at the Bead Museum! I've never been there previously, but have heard lots of praise for their huge collection of beads and beadwork and the way it's displayed. This museum is currently the only bead museum in the country (in the world???), since the one in Washington DC closed. A few months ago the economy almost forced our only remaining bead museum to close its doors. Fortunately, various Bead Societies and private concerns around the country donated sufficient funds to keep them going for a little while longer.
I'm telling you this, because IF you have the time and can get there, this may be a good opportunity to see the museum! I'll be teaching a 1/2-day Beaded Button class (great introduction to bead embroidery), giving a slide show about how glass beads and buttons are made and signing books... That's Oct. 2nd at the Museum. The contact information is here, on my website.
If you'd really like to go deeply into bead embroidery, consider taking my 2-day Improvisational Bead Embroidery class on Oct. 3 & 4, also in Phoenix but held at the Farm at South Mountain. More than a techniques class, this one is all about tapping into your original, creative self through beading. A side-benefit of taking the class is that you get to attend my presentation about Visual Journaling with Beads, Fibers, Threads and Fabrics for free! Contact information is here.
Introducing A Friend's Website & Blog
This is my neighbor, walking-buddy and friend, Gayle with her husband and pupdog. Gayle asked me to build/design a website and blog for her herbal farm business. I'm no website designer, but together we developed a simple site, which is now live!!! At Bountiful Herbs Farm, you will find natural, hand-made soaps and many other wonderful things your body and home will love. Enjoy cooking and gardening??? Gayle likes to share favorite recipes on her blog, Herb Crazed... plus useful gardening tips. Thanks for giving her a visit and a taste of what it's like to receive comments!!!