Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Blogging Highs, Future Lows

To my extreme delight and surprise, Ninja Captain blogger, Alex J. Cavanaugh honored me on Monday with one of his annual You Rock Awards. Not only am I humbled by Alex's kind words but also by being in the company of the bloggers he's listed. Thank you a million times over, Alex.

Sometimes I worry about blogging. Are as many people doing it as before? Is the hey day of blogging over? I've heard both sides of the issue and still don't know the answer. I've known bloggers who've stopped but I also have met some new bloggers through A to Z and IWSG. My blogging network keeps expanding, not shrinking. I think the real question is not whether blogging is withering away but why I blog in the first place.

Like so many writers, I first started blogging because I was told by a publisher that I should have a blog. I had no idea what to do but thanks to some contacts I made early on, I learned. Learned how to make posts more readable. How to meet new people. How to keep followers and make friends. Two of the bloggers who really helped me with advice early on were Alex and L. Diane Wolfe.

But the reason I keep blogging is because of the friendships I've made. I feel like I know my blogging buddies more than I do most of the people in my writers' groups that I meet face to face once a month. My blog friends make me laugh, give me reasons to think, and sometimes give me cause to cry. I've grieved for the loss of their pets, a parent, or their battles with illness. I've mentioned them in my prayers many nights.

Last fall, I mentioned many times on my blog how I worried about my daughter studying in Morocco. All those 'she'll be fine' comments helped a lot. Starting next week and continuing for six weeks, I'll probably mention my stress as she once again travels overseas. This time she's going to Oman for an intensive study of the Arabic language. Her selection to the program sponsored by the King of Oman is impressive and I would never hold her back but my poor blood pressure. I know many of you will keep her in your prayers. Oman is just a little too close to the troubles for me to relax. Read Kelley's thoughts on her trip on her blog, The Open Roof.


I won't be posting on Friday while I'm at the writing conference but I'll be back on Monday for the Blood, Boobs and Carnage Blogfest.

What bloggers influenced or helped you at the start of your blogging career?  What is your primary reason to keep blogging? Do you think the heyday of blogging is over or is it still going strong? Did you know where Oman is before you saw this map?

46 comments:

  1. And you completely deserved that award!
    Like you, my publisher told me to get my butt online and start a blog. Many helped me along the way, like Diane, Elizabeth, Lee, and Stephen. I've remained because of the friends I've made here.
    Will continue to pray for your daughter's safety.
    Enjoy the conference and see you Monday for Blood, Boobs, and Carnage!

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    1. I'm sure I'll be glad to be home on Monday. Thanks again for the award.

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  2. You and your daughter remains in my thoughts. I'd be worried sick too.

    Strangely enough, the people who influenced me no longer blog. Like everything, there's an expiration date. People move on. I still talk to my mentors, but they're on to other things, and that's okay. That's how life works.

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    1. A few that influenced me have stopped or slowed down a lot. I miss them.

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  3. Congratulations on the award, Susan! I've been blogging for about five years now, and it's all of you that keep me from feeling like I'm alone in my weird little creative story writing universe. :)

    Your daughter sounds like a strong and confident young woman who has her wits about her. She'll be okay.

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    1. Blogging is great for alleviating the loneliness of writing,

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  4. I am one of the other recipients of Alex's award. A great feeling and congratulations to you. I too would be worried about your daughter, not the safest part of the world these days.

    I started blogging because I knew another blogger. I discovered I enjoyed doing it and I have made so many friends along the way that I would hate to stop.

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    1. I can't imagine stopping either, Jo. Too many friends here.

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  5. Congrats on the award.

    I stumbled around with my blog for several years before discovering the Book Blog Tours group. Some of them don't post anymore, but that group really helped me establish my blog.

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    1. And thanks for passing it on to the rest of us.

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  6. I started blogging for pretty much the same reasons and then I discovered all these people doing the same thing I was (ie, writing) plus a whole lot more that were blogging about other things of interest. The hard part is limiting my on-line time so I still get some writing done!

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    1. Blogging can take up a lot of time. I have to limit myself too.

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  7. I starting blogging for the same reason and L. Diane Wolfe was one of the first blogs I connected with too! She used to run little contests of coming up with a quote for a silly cat picture. I was so thrilled to win one week.

    I had a general idea of where Oman is, but seeing it snack-dab next to Yemen and Saudia Arabia, I can understand your concern. The good news is that Oman is not usually in the news when it comes to the recent "troubles". I hope it stays that way.

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    1. She was one of my first blogging friends too. Oman does have nasty neighbors. Even thoughts of her flying over them is scary.

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  8. I starting blogging for the same reason and L. Diane Wolfe was one of the first blogs I connected with too! She used to run little contests of coming up with a quote for a silly cat picture. I was so thrilled to win one week.

    I had a general idea of where Oman is, but seeing it snack-dab next to Yemen and Saudia Arabia, I can understand your concern. The good news is that Oman is not usually in the news when it comes to the recent "troubles". I hope it stays that way.

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  9. Congratulations on the award! I couldn't think of anyone better to receive it. :)

    I started blogging for the same reason...to build a brand and get out there...and I keep blogging for the same reasons...for the connections I've developed.

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    1. Thanks, Chrys. And many like you, I met through A to Z and never let them go.

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  10. I don't blog with the frequency that I used to, but I keep doing it because of the connections I've made.

    Sounds like your daughter's on an amazing adventure!

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    1. You've been busy moving and I've missed your funny posts.

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  11. Congrats on your award! How exciting for your daughter; what an adventure that will be!

    I do agree that the hey dey of blogging is probably not as what it was when it first started, I think Facebook took away some of the people who used to blog. Blogging is a time commitment, but I blog like you blog, for the friendships made. I get to learn so much about different parts of the country/world without ever leaving my home :)

    betty

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    1. I've learned about many different parts of the world and country too. And this winter I commiserated with so many others about the weather.

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  12. I wasn't even considering writing a novel when I began blogging. I started my blog because I was so sick. I rarely left the house back then. Had maybe one or two "good" hours a day and just felt useless as a human being. The blog offered a place to DO something productive. For someone with an illness that pretty much makes them housebound, it also offered interaction with other people, which I desperately needed. I read those old posts and can see how far I've come since 2010. I'm still not where I want to be, but wowza! so far beyond where I was.

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    1. I'm so glad I met you blogging. I hope it continues to be a healing balm for you.

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  13. After I posted my comment I realized I forgot to tell you Congrats! on the award. You DO rock!!! Well deserved, Susan:)

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  14. Susan, you do rock! And its odes seem blogging has waned a bit. I don;t see a lot of new faces in the blogging community. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places.

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    1. Maybe we're not as actively looking for new blogs as we once were but I know what you mean.

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  15. Congrats on the award indeed. Still plenty of bloggers out there and I know more about them than many people in my life too. Hopefully your daughter stays safe over there

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    1. Double thanks, Pat. I know your cats better than you. LOL

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  16. Blogging has been a valuable network. I made friends via blogging and have learned tons from what everyone writes about. Congrats on the award! You do rock.

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  17. I think Alex helped all of us!! ANd LG Smith helped me get started, too. Your daughter really will be fine - this is such an amazing adventure for her!

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  18. I am not a writer. I started my blog because I liked to document. I write in my blog now because I like it!! I just finished my 3rd A to Z Challenge and I am driving by today on the A to Z Road trip. Hope you enjoy yours

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  19. I'm definitely still blogging because of the people I've met. Maybe the "heyday" is over, but it's only because the people who haven't invested in their bloggy relationships are gone. And yes, I knew where Oman was. I hope your daughter's time there is safe and educational.

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  20. I think the loyal bloggers are still around and will always be. Blogging is my number one social media tool, and I love doing it. Not just writing posts, but for the people I've met. Congratulations on the award! :)

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  21. Alex helped me as well. And I have to say, the A to Z challenge was a big part of why I stuck with blogging (so wonderful and weird that I was a co-host this year). I'm glad blogging became a way of connecting with people for you. I feel the same. Congrats on the award!

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  22. Congrats on the award. That is special.

    I think blogging is as active or inactive as a particular blogger wants it to be. I've been slacking off myself, but I know many people who are out there visiting and posting everyday, and active in many other social media. Being social is essential for some, not so much for others. It is reciprocal;; the people that usually complain about a lack of visitors usually don't tour the blogs much.

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  23. I don't understand so much when people worry about blogging, no offense, please, I mean none at all. I just come at it with a place of fun. I'm not here to sell a book or because a publisher told me I had to be in social media. So for me, there's no worry. Again, it's all about the fun and the connections with others that some, turn into real friends. Others, blogger buddies. Either way, it's great fun. But will I do it forever? No idea. But for today, I blog.

    Happy Weekend.

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  24. Have a great time at the conference!
    I've been blogging less because real-life obligations take too much time away from writing time, so I devote more to stories than blogging. I miss visiting other authors' blogs, but honestly, I don't think readers care whether we blog or not.

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  25. Lynn Viehl was one of the first author blogs I followed in a stalker way. She always had up to date information and shared so much about her writing process. She's the reason I tried nano when I first started writing romance. I try to blog at least twice so readers can get a peek at what I'm up to in real life or in my book life

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  26. Blogging is one of those social media activities where people come and go but very few stick around for the long haul. I enjoy it and can't see myself ever dropping out although I have cut back several times over in the past few years.

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  27. Hi,
    Congratulations!
    It is so nice meeting you. My heart agrees with your thoughts about blogging. This year I participated in the A to Z Blog Challenge for the third time, and it was the best one ever. I read so many blogs that were first class.
    I also am meeting new blogging friends and yes some have become like a family to me, especially since I am living as an ExPat American in Europe.
    Hope you enjoyed your writers conference.
    All the best.
    Shalom,
    Pat Garcia

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  28. Hi Susan - well done for the Alex' You Rock Award .. excellent news and congratulations! I saw your daughter was off to Oman - I admire her spirit and her desire to learn about the Arabic world and to enhance her knowledge of the language. I am sure she will be fine - she will have done the checking up ... and there'll be support ...

    It will be anxious making - but also such a brilliant step in life ... congratulations to you, your daughter and the family - you'll be so proud of her. Take care - cheers Hilary

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  29. Oh my, as a mother I feel your pain. I wouldn't probably rest a wink the whole time she's gone. I spent one day in Morocco on a tour and I can't imagine being a woman and a 2nd class citizen for more than a day to be comfortable. Best of luck to her, and to you. Kids often don't understand how hard they make parents lives. Congrats on your award and glad you've enjoyed the blogging.

    Sandy at Bridge and Beyond

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  30. No publisher told me to blog. Publishers don't really speak to us poets, you can see them imagining their money being sucked into a green tornado at the thought of publishing us. I still am not completely sure why I'm still blogging...

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  31. Congratulations on your award! I don't think blogging is going anywhere, but if recent trends say anything, thankfully it is turning more intimate and less personal; less about commercialism and more about human connection, which makes for increasingly more interesting content. :) Your blog is definitely one of those, so this award is well-deserved! Congratulations!

    -Alex Hurst

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  32. Blogging is one of those social media activities where people come and go but very few stick around for the long haul. I enjoy it and can't see myself ever dropping out although I have cut back several times over in the past few years. good morning quotes

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