Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Feels A Little Like High School...

I have to confess: having this blog feels a little like high school all over again.


I'm excited to read new blogs and make new blog friends. I'm amazed that I have a new community of people that I am now in contact with. I love checking out new blogs and seeing the unique, creative designs that bloggers come up with. That gets me giddy because I love good design. I am constantly showing different blogs to my Design Director hubby and pointing out what I like in each (it's a very cool perk to have a graphic designer as a husband).


And yet, there are moments, where like back in high school, I feel left out. On the fringe. I've made some wonderful blog friends, but I still feel like the girl who wants to be a part of the "accepted" cool group but can't find a way to get in. I'm not cool enough to have people read my blog or if they read, comment. I'm not important enough.


I find myself dealing with the temptation of trying to make my blog cooler and more like everyone else's. I find myself wondering if there are some hidden blog rules that I don't know about that I'm breaking - could that be the reason why I'm on the fringes? At least this is the thought that runs through my mind in moments.


I find myself wondering if I should change my blog and essentially and aspects of myself (since my blog reflects my personality) in order to be read more/accepted more/important enough to warrant a comment. Maybe I'm too personal - not universal, enough? (Feel free to add your 2 cents, on this one). Should I focus more on being cooler and more appealing - writing on more popular, provocative topics? Hmmm...maybe. Is that the answer?


Even as I write this, I can think of a couple blog friends who I wish would comment on my blog more often or if at all. When they don't I can't help but wonder if I'm just not important or "cool" enough for them to spend the minute or two to read or even comment. Especially when I see their comments on other people's blogs - you know, the ones that have the over 400+ followers.


Hubby reminds me from time to time why I started this blog in the first place: as a place to share my thoughts, to chronicle my life, to keep my writing consistent so that my writing can get better. Most importantly, so that I can stay in my element, as a writer, because honestly writing is so much a part of me, like (this is slightly corny) breathing. But really, like breathing. I need to blog or journal of some sort, so that I remain in that element. I need something like this to ground me since the days can be a whirlwind of busyness and distraction with things that are so far from writing.


So why then do I at times find myself getting caught up in wanting to be a part of the blog "in-crowd" if there is such a thing. I wouldn't know. I feel so out of it sometimes - totally naive of the blog world -that I have moments where I think I'm missing something. I mean, I still don't even know how to put links in my posts. Like I would love to give big love with links to their blogs to the blog friends that have been amazing and encouraging to me like Cheryl at Mommypants and Mrs. M. at Mothering Mayhem, Alexandra at Good Day, Regular People, and Lady Jennie at A Lady in France to name a few but I still don't know how to put links in my entries. How do I do that, by the way? What is this girl missing?


So are these the insecurities that come with being a new blogger or is there some truth to the idea of a blog "in-crowd"? Is this part of the reality as I navigate through these blog waters or is this all in my mind? (Feel free to answer, you more experienced bloggers).


In the meantime, like in high school, I'll just keep moving along, interacting and making new friends where I can and spending time with current ones as I battle my insecurities. Letting the excitement of visiting blogs - current and new ones - and checking out their unique designs and wonderful posts be my motivation as well as the satisfaction and fulfillment I get when I write and share one of my own posts.


Because you know, that makes me giddy. And "giddy" trumps "insecurity" any day.



Has anyone felt like this when it comes to blogging? Is there a blog "in-crowd"? How do you cope with the insecurities? Definitely share, this new blogger would love to know...

88 comments:

  1. Oh, sweet lady. No need to feel this way. You are always at home at my place.

    Now, come here, let's do this thing together, b/c you know what?

    ALL bloggers feel insecure...oh, yes.

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  2. Send me an email, OK? And we'll talk longer. I tweeted this out..

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  3. I am new too! (I have a blog that's just over a month old) And have felt exactly the same way.

    Twitter helps. There are lots of really friendly folks who will make you feel welcome. Commenting on other blogs makes me feel like I'm part of the conversation.

    It's hard. I agree, but you're not alone in feeling this way. Email or tweet me. Youcan totally sit at my high school lunch table!

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  4. Just found you from a tweet from The Empress.

    I can totally relate to this post. I've been blogging since last spring and still don't feel like I make 'the cut' in the blogging world.

    Sure my niche is pretty small but it's what I know. I usually only get 2-3 comments from a post and maybe it's because I don't add enough 'umph' to my posts. Or maybe I'm just not that cool.

    Either way, I'm content with being on the fringe of blogging society. Sometimes, it really just feels like a personal journal since I don't really have a consistent following. But, it's all good.

    Nice to meet you!

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  5. I am a sheep for the cool crowd (PS the cool crowd's ringleader Alexandra sent me here)
    http://www.google.com/support/blogger/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=41379

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  6. Oh, Melanie! I feel this way so often. I just keep plugging away and doing my own thing, even though I don't have a "tribe" of my own. My blogging motto is: to thine own self be true. I write what I feel and I try to be honest and kind. But it is so hard to keep from comparing myself with bloggers who are more popular.

    I think you're wonderful, even if I'm not able to visit as often as I'd like (real life cuts in on my blogging time!).

    You are not alone in feeling this way. Us little guys need to stick together!

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  7. I'm here because of Alexandra's retweet too. She just recently made an appearance on my blog and I was so excited! I have days where I feel like I rule the world and days where I am talking to a wall. I care more about what others think than I have since junior high. It is exhilarating and debilitating all at once. An yes, I too feel like I exist on the outskirts. Although, that's exactly where I existed in high school too.

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  8. Funny you should post this. I was just feeling this EXACT same way this morning. I always feel like "crowds" have been formed...and should I dare to even send someone a message on twitter or comment on their blog..i risk being made fun of. It's ridiculous.

    I don't think blogger intend on seeming rude. I think they're just protective of the people they know as "friends" and worry about those trolls out there that just want their traffic, to be mean, etc.

    ohh..and if i hear one more "seasoned" blogger say something about newbie bloggers putting their time in..I'll barf. I have been blogging for YEARS (just on a much different blog..that is now shut down (as it had stories of dating...not appropriate for my family)). But regardless...aren't we all suppose to support each other...and not try to act superior? Uck.

    Hang in there. You have a new reader now :)

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  9. Sorry...tried to say "bloggers" not "blogger" ...i got all excited and typed too fast.

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  10. Thank you Empress...always bringing us fresh and new voices.
    I too struggle with insecurities: what could I do differently to drive traffic to my blog. When I do that I find that I'm chasing my tail, getting a little wild eyed and frustrated and then my writing suffers.
    Listen to your husband. Stay true to yourself and your writing.
    Also YES YES YES...dive into twitter, engage EVERYONE you can relate to. You'll build your community faster than any other resource!

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  11. I think we all feel this way sometimes! Even those big bloggers...I bet they feel this way, too. I'm tweeting this and stumbling it...it's really a great post.
    Every Saturday, I do a post with my favorite posts I found throughout the week - this one will be on it :)

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  12. Well shoot, I just lost my comment. You are not the first or only or last to feel this way - I've read many posts on this subject and of course felt this way at times. It's hard to come into any new group of people without feeling insecure, let alone a group of people this large.

    I think you have the right approach. There are TONS of "crowds" in the blogosphere, in or out or otherwise. If you comment and interact with writers whose writing you adore, you'll find you have a group you love and the rest won't matter so much? Even when you notice it. I think. Maybe.

    PS When you are editing a post, if you highlight the words you want to make into a link and click on the little button that looks like chain links, you can add their url and blogger will create the link for you. Does that make sense?

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  13. Aww...this post really touched my heart. I know all too well how you feel. I feel the same way every. single. day. And I've been blogging for almost five years.

    Hang in there. Hang in there, because the people I've met through blogging - including The Empress - are amazing and supportive and have gotten me through some pretty low times.

    Feel free to email me ANY time!!!

    xo

    p.s. to put links in, you click on where it says "link" on the tool bar on top of where you write your posts (either in edit HTML or Compose mode) and plug in the URL in the box that comes up. Hope that helps!

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  14. There is nothing wrong with being the dark horse in the race. Ever.

    You know the blogs with over 400 followers? They feel like this too. And let me tell you a secret: most of those 400 followers? Never come back. Having a big number in some box is not the same as having a community. If you feel like you've got one, that's more than I can say for a lot of people here. Hold on to the people you care about - they're who make you feel cool so they are the only ones who matter.

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  15. I saw a tweet from Mommypants and stopped by to say hello. I think we've all been here. We start for the reasons you mention but it IS nice to be recognized. I've personally found Twitter a great way to connect with other bloggers. There's no such thing as butting in and I've found responding to people's tweets and doing a "reply to all" when you see two people talking and want to join in. In fact, a few times I've apologized for "butting in" and I'm told "there's no butting in on Twitter."

    Keep doing what you're doing!

    Oh and I found a tut on clickable links for Blogger (ignore all the blah blah and skip right to the picture). :-)
    http://bloggerfordummies.blogspot.com/2006/03/how-to-make-clickable-link.html

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  16. I feel the same way! I've met some great, great bloggers, but apparently some of the people I've tried to befriend are major bloggers. I had no idea! They're too busy for a little newbie like me. But I'm happy to be your not-as-cool bloggy friend! :)

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  17. I could have written this myself. I'm going through the exact. same. thing. I just realized (like, this morning) that I need to do what feels right for me. It definitely helps to educate myself on more social media and making my blog the best it can be, but I can't try to be like the other bloggers I admire. I have to be me. Write like me. Join the networks that are a good fit for me. I think that if I relax a little, continue to make connections and support other bloggers, then the good things will come. We just have to keep at it and produce quality work. A lot of the bloggers that I really admire have only been doing this a year or so. A lot have been doing it longer, and we can't expect to get where they are overnight. Keep it up!

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  18. KLZ is right. I have a lot of followers, but most of them don't visit, especially not daily.

    I started out small, too---blogging to anyone who would listen. It took time and persistence. Committment. And you have to engage with people. Twitter and Facebook will help.

    As for putting links in, that took me a long time to figure out, too, but you should play around w/ all the stuff in your dashboard when you're drafting...and if you have a questions, post it on twitter! (are you on twitter? if so, I am @ErinMargolin). And on Facebook I am Erin Best Margolin. Would love to get to know you!! (and help however I can---I found you from Empress' tweet and am about to retweet it now!)

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  19. Also, get yourself on twitter and facebook. Follow all the blogs you like to read (I'm @mommy_pants). Join in our Red Dress Club twitter party which is this Wednesday at 8 p.m. eastern, 5 p.m. Pacific. Join a community like SITS (sitsgirls.com). Comment on other blogs. You have to put yourself out there a bit, but it's worth it in the end!

    And - get rid of word verification on your posts. Some posters won't bother typing in the word so they won't comment.

    xo

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  20. AMEN, SISTER!!! I am right where you are. I don't have a sexy, funny topic... BRCA and ovarian, not so much. I fear that by posting a comment I might blemish your rep!

    Anything I link up to, I do my due diligence to post comments to everyone's post, everyone else gets, like, 50 comments, I'm lucky to get 15. So goes it, I try not to take it personally. (But it's hard)

    I'm here for you. Email me if you want to vent or lament about being a newbie who feels left out.

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  21. You're not alone!

    KLZ makes a good point in her comment - that # of followers means nothing. At all. It's misleading because many people do the "I'll follow you if you follow me" thing - it can be gratifying to see that number in the box, but when no one's actually reading it doesn't make a difference. But it misleads small bloggers like you and me.

    I just sent you an email from jen@bardall.net - in case you want to talk some more. I have way too much to say to fit it all here!

    If anything I hope you see from this that there is a supportive community out there!

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  22. I think everyone feels insecure at times! It is great that you have your husband to remind you of why you're blogging!

    One of the biggest things for me is to remember that I never know what is going on for others. Sometimes I intend to comment on a certain blog but then I have to do something else. Or maybe I feel so close to the blogger that I type up a really long response, it gets deleted, I don't have time to re-type and don't want to see flippant with a short response.

    Keep having fun with your blog!

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  23. New follower from Twitter - absolutely NO need to feel this way! LOOK AT ALL YOUR SUPPORT, chickie!! :) This is a great post, too, I know I have felt the exact same way. Brush it off and keep writing! Bloggy hugs to you!:)

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  24. If you keep your blog about what's important to you, then the comments shouldn't matter.

    And, as I type that, I wonder how many comments I have...

    :)

    Just keep your heart in the right place and don't write for anything or anyone but yourself. It's NOT about the comments but the experiences you gain from blogging. Also, how long have you been blogging, anyway? I didn't check. I've been at this way longer than I care to admit and still don't rake in the comments like some big blogs. The main reason, as far as I can guess, is that I don't comment enough or tweet enough or keep my contacts close to me. I don't make the time for it so I'm ok with that. The people who make the time to comment on 50 or 60 blogs a day and/or tweet a lot will reap the benefits. That, and true to the heart writing.

    Oh, and a bit of luck, really. ;)

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  25. Less than 30 minutes ago, I told a friend I've succumbed to social media insecurities lately. It's so strange. I'm 39 years old and quite confidant with my intentions and generally self-assured but there's something about online life that makes us all a little unsure. Perhaps it's because so much can be misconstrued without the face to face contact.

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  26. Found you via a retweet. :)

    I so, so, so get this. I don't blog often enough, but I try to do it whenever I can. I try not to get caught up in how many followers I have or how many comments I get, but I can't help it. When I get anything over 2 comments, I throw a little party. I think it's human nature.

    As for Blogger help, I've been on it since 2006 so I know a few things. Sorta. Feel free to find me on Twitter (The_BMG) or by email & I'll try to help you if I can.

    So glad I found you! I will try to stop back! I added you to my Goole Reader now! :o)

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  27. Another 2 cents worth of nothing... if you do join twitter, have a thick skin. I don't think people mean to ignore others, they're probably absorbed in other convos at the time. But I've asked about 100 questions and... crickets. Again, try not to take it personally. Absolutely do not change your subject matter, be true to yourself. That is what will make your blog successful. Not that I would know, but that's what I've heard!

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  28. Oh yeah. Another comment. I live not too terribly far away from you. :o)

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  29. honey, i so, so (...so...) could have written this post. you have no idea. high school was never my thing and blogging def. brings up some old anxieties. i am in blogging who i am in life: someone who prefers a few awesome friends than a lot of acquaintances.

    your husband is right--return to the reason you started blogging in the first place. that's what i had to do and i'm much happier for it.

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  30. Yes, everyone feels insecure sometimes!

    And part of it IS just being new. It takes time. I had almost no readers for the first 6 months, so you're way ahead of where I was!

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  31. You are definitely not alone! I totally feel that way all the time! And you know when we finally got over 100 followers? When I stopped worrying about it and jointed the Twitter universe. Though there are at least 80 of those that rarely read our blog, if ever. I still don't have a big following, but I'm enjoying it and have met some great people, and that's what's important. Just my two cents - I love blogs I can subscribe to by email - I will come back far more religiously than if I have to sift through my over-full reader that I don't have time to pare down. That's just me though, plenty of people use their readers. ---Ally

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  32. I found your blog from a tweet by The Empress and I can totally relate to everything you say in this post. I starting blogging last summer and didn't think it would matter if anyone ever read it. That didn't last long though.

    Then I "met" someone on twitter (@mammywoo) and she told me I need to keep in mind that it's the quality not the quantity whether it's a post or the friends you make through blogging. It's something I knew before but hearing her say it made me realize that one meaningful comment is so much better than 50 "cool post" comments.

    I still feel bad if nobody comments but I always try to keep what she said in mind. If you're not already on Twitter I would highly recommend it. During one of my moments of feeling like my blog sucks, I was tweeting and The Empress made me feel so much better. It's great for support. :)

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  33. I felt exactly this same way when I had my (forgive me if you don't like this term) "mommy blog." I think it's a woman thing -- sometimes blogging feels a lot like being in a sorority -- it can great pillow-fighting fun, and then...DRAMA in the form of insecurity rears its ugly head. Blog for yourself first, and then having more readers will just be the icing, my friend.

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  34. I don't check any sort of data on my blog. If someone comes then I welcome them. If not? That's ok too. Being online is an odd thing sometimes. If you said this to a non online friend she might think you're strange. Go for quality not quantity. Trust me. No one but you notices. Do what you want, when you want and the rest won't matter. Much.

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  35. Yes. What they all said. Just do your best. Write things that bring a smile to your face. And return the favor when you become a bigshot!

    Nice to meet you! My folks live in Longmont. Small world.

    Twitter: @awaywegonancy

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  36. Your title says it all! I have felt this way too. Many days. But I've decided that there's room for everyone. Your blog is great -- I'm going to read more now and come back soon.

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  37. So much great advice! Twitter and Facebook and blogging communities help you find the connections, but KLZ's right - keeping them is a different story. And to be honest, I feel like I keep up with a different group through Twitter. I would guess I follow/subscribe to about 100 blogs. Blogs I really love and don't want to miss. But I just can't read 100 blogs a day, so I'm ALWAYS behind. The posts I manage to catch are the ones that get tweeted because they are 1 click away.

    My stats say that most of my traffic comes from The Red Dress Club, BlogHer and Twitter. So maybe check those out?

    I'm also a small blogger. Started my current blog a year ago on New Year's Day. I had 2 followers. But I didn't really take it public until last April. And I didn't have a clue what I was doing until last September when I did KludgyMom.com's Back 2 School/Back 2 Blogging challenge. I highly recommend checking out her site for those posts with tips on how to improve your blog.

    But even after having done those things? I still only have 31 followers. It kind of bummed me out for awhile. But I have a hard enough time keeping up with the comments that I do get, and I don't think I have room in my life for my blog to become so big I need to raise its priority in my life. So for now? Just trying to enjoy it.

    Reliving high school for me, too, though I think I may be slightly cooler than then since I at least occasionally rub elbows with the "cool kids". And none of them are rude. I can't tell you how many times I've asked for help, and they've come running to the rescue.

    Also try to build a tribe of similar bloggers, and those that are about your size. Do guest posts and invite others to guest post (Sidenote: I would LOVE if you would guest post for me!) to expose yourself to other traffic.

    BTW, LOVE your blog design! I know how to do graphics, but have NO IDEA how to load my own design into Blogger (HTML/web ignorant), so if your hubs feels like giving any tips? I'd take 'em. :)

    Hang in there! Keep your chin up! All that stuff. :)

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  38. Hiiii! I'm over here because sweet Erin Margolin tweeted you out.

    I know how you're feeling, that sometimes this big ole blog world can seem like a fun cocktail party and you're standing in the corner, feeling a little left out.

    Please don't feel that way. I've never met such a great group of people, so willing to support and embrace each other.

    And the bloggers you've mentioned up there are good friends to have in your corner, especially that Empress. It looks like you're another one she's taken under her wing. You are a lucky girl. She's my fairy blogmother, too. Listen to her, she knows of what she speaks.

    Creating a blogging audience takes time. Like my dancing friend KLZ said up there, don't worry about the numbers. Blog for the enjoyment of it all and everything else will fall into place. Before you know it, you'll have created some pretty great relationships with other bloggers.

    And as for other bloggers commenting on your blog, don't fret too much about it if they're not there as much as you'd like. Even some of my best blogging friends, I don't get around to see as often as I'd like. I know they understand that it's not that I'm not thinking about them, but with so many blogs to visit and then there's that little thing called real life, we all do the best we can. And same goes for me, I don't sweat it when I don't hear from some of my blogging buddies.

    Don't be sad. We're here to help. Your blog is super, super cute. And don't worry about being too personal. We are all way too personal. That's one of the best things about blogging.

    So, it's nice to meet you. I'm Joann Mannix and you can find me over at laundryhurtsmyfeelings.com Oh yes and join us on Twitter. It's a great way to make friends. I'm @joannmannix over there, but I warn you, I get a little too personal.

    Take care my new friend. Keep your chin up and know that we're here for you. Sending you bloggy love.

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  39. Trust me all of us have been there at one point or another. I blogged for nearly 7 months without the first comment. Yeah talk about defeating feeling. But I found a community called SITS and started there. I would go to the blog of the day and bounce around from there. As a matter of fact I just did a HUGE guest post on how to get followers and commenters on another friends page. Feel free to come by my place anytime. And I am your newest follower

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  40. Wow. I came over from the tweet from The Empress.

    2 things.

    1. I feel the exact same way. My posts get almost no comments. Some of them, I think are pretty decent. But I am biased. Clearly. You have about triple the number of comments here than I have *ever* gotten in nearly a year of doing this. With Twitter. With putting in comments with other blogs I like, etc.

    2. You've got a TON of the cool kids commenting on here. Cool kids I've never even seen at my place! So you're doing it right. Just keep going. My suggestion (for whatever it's worth - because clearly I'm not doing it right! LoL) is to be true to yourself. Don't make your blog a popularity contest...then it will be all fake & not you anyway. I don't think you'd be satisfied with that. :)

    Good luck!

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  41. Stopping by from Twitter..
    I have felt, and continue to feel much the same way. I feel like I'm on the fringes.. Twitter especially makes me feel more lonely in the blogging world.. Everyone is talking to each other, and I feel like I'm hanging on at the edge of the group...throwing in a comment here or there, that sometimes is acknowledged, but more often not.
    I want to be like the 'cool' kids too. My husband laughed at me when I told him that.. as it was my reason behind finally joining Twitter, and creating a Facebook page for my blog.
    This is my first time visiting, so I can't comment on your blog per se (except for it's gorgeous layout), but I'm going to go read some more now.

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  42. Hi! I found you through a tweet (Twitter: rules.) and I understand. Do I ever! It takes time, and you will see yourself grow, change, evolve.

    Overall, the blogosphere is the nicest, most accepting place I know. And yet, like I said, I relate to feeling like the new, geeky kid at the coolest school in town.

    So glad to know you. Hope to see you around Twitter and will be back to read more! :)

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  43. Here via a tweet from The Empress (love her). Gentle blogger, I feel this way all the time. I often think about closing shop and giving it up, but then I remember I'm REALLY doing this for myself. It's easy to lose sight of that when we start focusing on the circle of "cool kids" we keep seeing on the Interwebs. I think they're probably all a lot like us. Just keep on doing what you love doing. I'm humbled to even be commenting with the likes of those here today. :)

    You can also email me w/Blogger questions--I'll do my best to help!

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  44. I've been blogging for five years. Five years! And I still feel this way most of the time.

    You get what you give, I've discovered, but it takes time.

    Comment, every where you go that you like. Get on twitter and don't be shy. Self promote if you want to draw people in. Keep linking with the RDC. We're good peeps.

    Don't change!!! Please. There are too many cookie cutter blogs out there.

    If you get out into the community, the community will come to you. Promise!

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  45. Comment #45! Way to go, Mel.

    GET ON TWITTER. I say do that first...it's a must.

    love you, girl.

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  46. Oh, Sweetie, I know exactly how you feel.
    We all have those days when we just hear crickets, I promise.

    My best advice is to be yourself and build friendships with people who will have your back. Before you know it, you'll find that your circle has widened so much. When I started blogging in April of 2010, I made one blogging friend and she has held my hand through it all. Over time, my list of true friends has grown and yours will too.

    Write from your heart, don't write to make anyone else happy. When you try to change to make someone else happy, you become unhappy yourself and it doesn't feel genuine. Keep writing...the people who identify with what you're saying will come and then they'll keep coming back.

    If you need anything AT ALL, just send me a note. I remember all too well what it felt like in those early days.

    You're going to do great!
    Nichole

    (I'm also one of the hosts of The Red Dress Club.)

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  47. Oh, forgot: think about getting rid of word verification. I dont' use it. You can always delete the comments if you don't like them. It's too risky with word ver...people don't hang around for it.

    just a lady who stays home with her kids.

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  48. I found your blog from a link off of Twitter. Your writing is so very good, you've got nothing to worry about in that regard. Now that people are reading it, they'll be back for more. I think part of the problem was the word wasn't getting out. I'm a newbie blogger also and out on the fringe. I don't know how to do links or other basic things either. I would like more attention from the blogosphere and to fit in more. I decided to just post for myself, instead of trying to write for others and see what happens.

    It's kind of crazy that you feel left out and then I come here and see you've got 44 comments already!! Without realizing it, you've become one of the cool kids. Which just goes to show that the whole popularity thing is perception anyway. Whether you have 1 comment, 10, 100 or 1000, you'll always feel like you should have more. Bask in the attention and if you're not on Twitter, you're missing out. It's SO FUN!

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  49. OMG.......I feel the same way! When The Empress tweeted about me last week, it was a huge pick me up....

    but then....this week back down to 3 comments...and it sucks and I want to quit my blog..

    ..And my husband told me the same thing yours did (are they brothers?)...'cause I write because I have to...

    ..but sill....I want to quit...

    ..not because I want to be cool, but I want to be all Sally Field..."You like me, you really like me"...

    So this is my long ass way of saying I get it.

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  50. OH man, where to start? I actually started blogging just to chronicle my kids' lives and such and had no idea this whole community existed at first so that wasn't really an aspect of it for me, so we differ in that regard. BUT. I'm in it now and have been for over four years now.

    What you do HAVE to remember is yes, you want to be accepted and liked but unless you are paying people or giving stuff away on the daily you're just NOT going to have a million followers. If you are writing and posting for you then you will find a good following that likes your style and is worth it. You know what I mean?

    My blog has evolved from little posts about my son's potty-training (he he) to a place where I post my photography and my writings and feelings as a mother. I've made great friends through blogging but not thousands. I think at this point it's quality over quantity both in followers/readers and comments.

    Good luck to you. I hope you're able to find your way and I'll be back to read. :)

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  51. 36 comments! I have never gotten 36 comments on ANYTHING and I've followed all the rules! I've tweeted and linked up and shouted out and all that stuff for well over a year.

    But whatever.

    I write what I want to write - it says so in my profile. Writing is more for my soul than anyone else's...if it resonates and people love it, that's just gravy.

    Great post, I'm glad to have found you. You're obviously doing something right!

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  52. Hi Melanie! I'm new to this blogging/twitter thing so I get this feeling. Please don't fret about the site, it really looks stunning and vibrant! I have added you to my reader so that I can keep up with you. I hope the day finishes out well, and remember... tomorrow is a new day! Sincerely, Your newest reader (Cecilia)

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  53. When Empress tweets, I come.

    Everybody feels this way at times...I am going through a big period of feeling left out right now and I have a lot of followers. A lot. I am blessed, but still don't feel like what I'm doing is ever good enough, cool enough, etc.

    Like with a lot of things...this too shall pass. Just know that your feelings are real, and it's not because you're a blogger who's just started out or still finding her way. We're all still finding our way. :)

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  54. Ok. Sent here by my gal Alexandra. And I almost died.

    This post? This one right here? Well just like the rest of those rascals up there? This could be my post.

    I have been blogging for almost four years. FOUR DAMN YEARS! It wasn't until I got on twitter and started making friends and connections and joining stuff (like The Red Dress Club...PLUGGIN' IT!).

    Now I have a handful more people reading my blog (you know the people who aren't my husband or my mom).

    And I totally took the GFC box OFF my site. That really is no indication of who is reading/loving you. For some people, it's a showy thing. And that is not why I blog, so I got rid of it.

    Write like you and write often...that is the key.

    oh, and hit up TWITTER! SERIOUSLY (I'm @ksluiter)!!!

    You sort of have to work your blog...even if just a puny bit. :)

    Hope to see you around! I like your style...layin' it out there!

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  55. Okay, how did you access my thoughts and feelings! I found you via all the retweets you've been getting (which I too retweeted this post), which I suggest you join Twitter if you don't already.

    I find that posting consistently (at least a few times a week) and engaging on twitter and through email is what makes me feel apart of the community.

    I notice that when life gets busy and I put blogland on the backburner I come back and have to work harder to pick up where I left off.

    Out of sight, out of mind.

    Thanks for posting this, it was eye opening to read the comments, especially those of what I consider "top bloggers".

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  56. Oh, you are SOOOOO not alone. Trust me!!!! Keep up the good work :)

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  57. Whaddayaknow?!? Another Twitterer here! And - you bet - another who feels like you do. I do admire a lot of the "big blogs" out there...they're good, to be sure...but guess what? I'm cool with being on the fringe. I take comfort in small milestones...a few followers...a new commenter here and there...a post of mine retweeted. But I also take comfort in my "bread & butter" as I like to call them...those friends and followers from "the real world" who I see on a regular basis and who know me...all of me. If I can make THEM smile...or laugh...or think...or feel...then I find that very gratifying. Tell you what...you keep being you, and I promise to keep being me...and let's check up on each other every now and again. OK? Hugs. For real, sista.

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  58. I feel exactly as you do. Every single day. And then I get up the next day and feel it all over again. I am completely insecure about blogging. I always feel left out and unfollowed. I so get what you wrote here.

    I'm glad I found you through GDE's tweet, I will be back for sure. Hang in there with me!

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  59. I also found you through a tweet. I've been through all these feelings OVER AND OVER again. I've tried quitting, but there is just something about blogging for me that I have found I need. I've finally reached a point where I don't care as much about followers as I used to, but the feeling of wanting more attention never goes away completely. And maybe it's because I'm an older blogger, (as in age), I feel like there is so much I'll never figure out.

    I will end my whine fest now. Loved this post.

    You're husband has the best advice. We should all remember why we really blog.

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  60. Let the Empress be your guide and support! She was right there when I needed a pick-me-up!
    Your post is how many of us, myself included, feel regularly. I daily question where my place is in the blogging world but then remember I'm doing this for me.
    You writing is great and I'll be back to read more! Get on twitter an follow me so I can follow back @MultitaskMumma

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  61. Pick several bloggers and frequently post on their blogs. In time, they'll go "oh, she's been to my blog quite a few times, lets see what she's all about".

    Don't pick blogs that have a very competitive and high amount of traffic and viewers. How often do you think those big name bloggers actually read every single comment. Some of them have even turned off their comment section because it was getting out of control.

    My suggestion is find blogs that aren't so big, and comment on those blogs until you establish some sort of internet relationship and with time, their followers will check your blog out and vice versus,increasing your network.

    Don't comment on 20 blogs and expect someone to comment back. Start off with a few, and establish that connection.

    Every blogger started off with a follower of zero..Soon enough you may be one of those "bigger fishes" in the cyborg network.

    PS. This is what my big name blogger friend told me.

    I,myself is just beginning my own blogging journey:) wish me luck

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  62. I'm over here from Erin's tweet. We've all felt that way at some time or another. I took my follower widget down because those numbers don't really mean anything.

    Just keep on writing and doing your own thing. Read the blogs you enjoy and write about whatever YOU want to write about. Basically, be yourself because.

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  63. I didn't read all your many many comments (yay), but I wanted to tell you what I think works.

    I comment everywhere and I think that's what brings people to me. Also, when people comment on mine it reminds me to stop by and read theirs and comment too. There are some people that I will comment on every single post (or almost) simply because they do the same for me. Those are my best blogging friendships because we're there for each other each week, several times a week and we know what the other is going through and thinking.

    Love you

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  64. Oh yes! For linking. When you type your words into the little box, you'll see a few symbols above the box. One of them looks like a sideways figure 8. That's the link box. First copy the link you want (like the Empress' blog or one of her specific posts), then go back to your little box and highlight the words you want the link to be, like "The Empress" and click on the figure 8 box. That will allow you to paste the link. Click OK and you'll see that "The Empress" is automatically highlighted and will link back to her post. Also, that brings people because if they're in WP, they get an automatic message that someone linked to them.

    And do go to your settings and get rid of the Word Verification that is required in order to leave a comment.

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  65. This right here? Is an honest-to-goodness from-the-heart post. It's truly the good stuff that keeps readers coming back. Put yourself out there, stay true and you will find your groove. Just lookit- the 64 people who visited and commented before me agree! :)

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  66. Hi there! So I'm a new blogger, too (started in Nov 2010). I relate quite a bit to this entire post. One issue I struggle with (maybe you, too) . . . do I want to be a writer with a blog or a blogger? Even though I'm new to blogging, I'm already tempted to go a conference to make more connections in the blogging world, feel part of "the crowd." But then I'll finish a short story or a chapter in my book and realize that if I'm going to spend $800+ and actually have some time to myself without the kiddos, then it ought to be at a writing conference.

    Anyway, I truly love blogging and reading comments, etc. I've avoided keeping myslf to one niche as a blogger(just writing, or just motherhood, for example). And I realize that makes it hard for me to find my blogging crowd. I'm okay with that.

    I think it's so important not to get too wrapped up in who is commenting and who isn't. I've felt the way you. BELIEVE ME! But lately I've tried to focus on the people who DO comment, to visit those people's blogs, etc, rather than clamoring around the internet at other places with a "look at me, PLEASE" kind of aura. You don't want to get too caught up in trying to get any particular blogger's attention to the detriment of the people who regularly visit you. Does that make sense? And yes, it can all feel like high school!

    Also--when you do get new followers (on Twitter or on the blog) from GMPRESS'S tweet or for any other reason, I think it's important to reach back, follow back, visit back. It can't be a one-sided thing. (I'm not saying you'd do that, but I've seen that happen with other bloggers, which may be why the next day, like FranceRants mentined, it goes back to 3 comments).

    So that was my VERY long two cents from a complete newbie and NON-expert. Hope it helps a little! :) Nina

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  67. Just read through the comments. All great. I especially like lezly's. AND, I agree with everyone who said get rid of the verification thing. It's an extra step that just takes a few seconds too long. ;) And if you join Twitter, I'm @NinaBadzin

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  68. I agree with all of the great comments and hope you don't feel so alone with so many words of encouragement. If you do join twitter I'm @fourplusanangel

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  69. Found you through a series of tweets. I'm going to go through and read the comments and then read more of your blog, but for now just wanted to say, yes, I know ;) I'm a new bloggers too - started in January. I'm mostly happy with my traffic and the number of comments, etc. but a secret part of me wants to hit the big time. But then there would be lots of pressure and expectations, etc.

    So I'll come back and visit you and comment. Want to visit me too? ;)

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  70. Oh honey. I love all the advice you received above. I hope you feel the bloggy love and empathy, because we all once started with one reader. One lone soul who "got" us. Most of the ladies above me in this comment section are much larger than my blog, so take this advice as you will, but don't get caught up in it. Please. I have stumbled across gem after gem of just incredible writers and people, such as yourself, usually thanks to TRDC or that lovely Empress, and then just as soon, click on one of the "prom queens" and wonder WTH?

    Write your wonderful words and your tribe will form. An authentic tribe full of supportive people who want to see you succeed in whatever you want to pursue.

    Come join us on Twitter - the locker room chatter can be quite entertaining :-)

    twitter - AshatShades

    XO - Ashlei

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  71. Wow! I read about your post on Kludgy Mom's blog and I had to come over and read what you had to say. You're not alone by any means girl. I have those days where I think, why isn't any one reading or commenting!?? You have to put yourself out there. Twitter is an awesome thing. If you write a great post, link it up on there with a snazzy lead title. People will come in there to check it out. Like some one else commented above, just because some one has 400 followers listed on their page does not mean all those people read their blog daily.
    Keep writing, keep connecting and play with the posting. You'll get it.
    Looks awesome so far.You got over 70 comments on this one. :) Hang in there!

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  72. Hi Melanie,
    Don't think for a minute that these seventy plus comments would have happened had this post not been as well written and compelling as you made it. I mean the Empress is good, but not that good : ) OK she is that good, but she works really hard at creating and maintaining relationships like no one I have ever come across in real life or on the internet. I have to admit, I do wonder when she sleeps. Don't you love the hubs and their clear perspective. He sounds just like my Agronomist who says the exact same things. I think his advice was spot on. You're a lucky lady.
    Take care,
    Dana
    If you still need a quick tutorial on the link thing, just pop by and I will email you the really simple steps.

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  73. Melanie,
    I'm new too and this post is exactly what I've been feeling.

    One thing I learned in high school? It's better to stay who you are and dabble in all crowds (cool, nerdy, etc.) because you keep your own unique feel.

    Come over to my place and let's create a new
    in-crowd : )

    http://fondofthesilliness.blogspot.com/

    Also, I will tell you about links if you can tell me how to put things in my side bar!

    Amanda

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  74. I am late jumping in here, but want to add my 2 cents. I have been blogging for exactly a year, and often still feel as you do. I have never met a blogger who is not somewhat insecure at heart. Maybe 5% of us were the "cool kids" in High School, But the rest of us, um, we're writers! That = nerdy bookish kids in H.S, right?

    And now I am squirming and feeling all envious of you and thinking 73 comments?!?! I have NEVER gotten that many even on my "big" posts that got linked by major bloggers/organizations. Sigh. See we all have that envy and insecurity.

    Good post, good writing, nice to "meet" you.

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  75. Melanie,

    Also coming over from Gigi's and I have SO much running through my head that I want to share except I know I'll forget most of it. Which is sad, because I'm pretty sure it's all brilliant. Or it's junk.

    Sometimes it's hard to tell.

    Most importantly - EVERY SINGLE blogger feels like this sometimes. Seriously. I was once talking to Tiffany from SITS and she was telling me that she had this big goal to get SITS to 5,000 followers. Then one day she reached it and now she wants 10,000! The point being, wherever you are on your blogging journey, there is always going to be a bigger and a better blogger out there. Or a bigger and a worse blogger. (And aren't those the ones that just stick in your craw?) And as someone who's just starting out to have such amazing/supportive other bloggers in their corner? You're doing something right.

    Anyway, I should actually eat my lunch now and not spend all of it babbling to you. But I would love to help/talk more if you'd like. My email is megan@bestoffates.com and I'm on twitter as @bestoffates.

    P.S. Studies show roughly 1-3% of readers comment. Which that number is a lot higher when you first start out, you shouldn't measure success based on comments - tons of people read and just won't say anything!

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  76. So after being a blogger since 2005, I just wrote a post similar to this today. Every comment above me I just want to write "ditto" to everyone of them

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  77. Wow! You sure hit a nerve, eh? And I'll add my voice to the ones who have already said they feel this way too.

    It's a bit ironic that you're hitting on this now -- I've got about a million things to read in my RSS feed and so I'm behind the eight ball and I haven't blogged in hundred years and I suck at Twitter and I feel pressured to do that too and....

    It gets overwhelming. So I log off and go eat cookies.

    But thank you for writing this. Now I don't have to, at least for a while.

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  78. Blogging is rough. It's amazing and it's a high when you connect but sometimes you write things that are personal and you think for sure others will get it too but then it's just crickets. It's hard to not feel like an open wound in those moments or like a failure. But then the next day you write another post and 77 people comment and give you love :)
    Thanks for giving a voice to how we all feel!!! Your blog rocks!!

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  79. I found you from A Kludgymom/Gigi's post today. We've all been there. I'm stil there some days(don't go to my blog and let my numbers fool you).

    Just keep being you- people respond to an honest voice. But, it also takes a lot of work in participating in communities and reaching out. I think most people found my blog b/c I found them first. I commented like a mad woman and that is how I got people to comment on mine. Not that it's all one comment for a comment.

    If you are trying to add a button to your post to link up, go to the HTML view of your draft and copy the code there.

    Here's my tips for blog newbies, though it seriously needs updated, but it's still a start, if you are interested: http://thingsicantsay-shell.blogspot.com/p/blog-newbie.html

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  80. I found you through a RT of a post about your post :)

    I'm a relatively new blogger myself and you are certainly not alone. Think of quality over quantity. I run a product review/giveaway blog and have done TONS of networking, so I have decent "numbers". But I still only get a few comments usually on my personal posts.

    Twitter and Facebook are great tools for networking. If you are focused on numbers, you can do blog hops to get "followers" but not necessarily long-term readers. Put yourself out there, but stay true to your own voice and what you want to write about.

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  81. I definitely feel like that sometimes. I think I have blogged about it many times, on how do you break through and join the popular crowd. Do I need a cool new outfit for my blog or some exciting story to share that will get tweeting and facebooked everywhere.
    I think it just takes time, time I hope that will pay off.
    Keep your chin up. It'll be okay.

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  82. you have so many comments I wouldn't worry about your popularity hun! Plus you'll do fine you picked the same background i did when i first started!! Just do what is in your heart cause that is the sort of stuff that gets more comment love and makes you all the more better :) in a way blogging is like cheap therapy lol

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  83. there are so many blogs that I don't read because they make me feel inferior as a mother...and so I bet there are people that don't read my blog because they think I'm too snarky and real...
    and yes I think it is like high school. Some people that have a bazillion followers I just don't get...I personally don't think the content is great and I can't stand blogs that do a million reviews...but some people eat that shit up...so there you have it...
    I just babbbled and came to no conclusion...huh..sorry about that...

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  84. Write because you love to write. Blog for yourself...always and ignore the drama. You can make yourself crazy worrying about why people comment or don't comment.

    Just write.

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  85. You are not alone. I still feel that way. I've taken a break from writing because I felt like I was trying to please everyone else. I wasn't coming up with interesting things to say so I figured no one wanted to read. I think it's important that we remind ourselves why we started our blogs in the first place and try not to get caught up in the comments and followers! Don't change who you are and how you want to write!

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  86. Girlfriend, you can see you are NOT alone! I came over from Natalie's blog because, even 3 years later and with over 1300 followers, I still feel inadequate at times. I'll read other blogs and feel like mine's just not good enough.

    But then I have to remind myself that I'm not blogging to impress others, even though it's super easy to get caught up in that. Write from your heart...that's all that matters.

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  87. Are you kidding? Do you want to feel neglected? Try writing a blog for 5 *years* and getting on average 2 comments a week! My own husband can't even be bothered to read it. In fact, he often hears about what's going on in my mind from a co-worker who happens to read it. My best friend who lives overseas reads only a few posts a month because she can't get the blog at work and doesn't want to sit in front of the computer at home. Not even for me.

    Sometimes it's all pretty discouraging. After all this time blogging I only have a little over 70 followers. I say to myself every day that the people who are with me really like me and that my blog is just writing practice for myself. I do enjoy it. And I have to realize I'll never get rich or famous from blogging. And try not to feel jealous of The Pioneer Woman and Hyperbole and a Half. But it's so hard!

    Just keep writing. Try to remember that blogging is just for you and forget everybody else. If you keep reminding me, I'll keep reminding you. I've started following you!

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  88. I was clicking around and found your blog. As for this post, I just have to say---You and me both sister. I remind myself OFTEN that I write because I wanted so badly for my parents to help me remember my childhood. I write because I want to remember the little things and the big things. But sometimes I am sad because I know that in my heart I also write because I want my words to matter. I am adding you to my reader, because your 'best of' matters to me. I look forward to more.

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Please...speak your mind!