Managing the Bloghood

Catching myself is not easy.   I need Bloggers Anonymous.  I can’t quit.

While Word Press kindly sent stats about how many times our blogs would fill 747s and Taj Mahals, those statistics did nothing to help my time management.  After nearly a year of working this formless world of blogging, time speeds by faster than shooting stars.

As with all aspects of life, I needed an honest and thorough inventory of this blog life.  I have been reviewing my connection with you, my  Bloghood beloveds, around whom I’ve cast a rather large net.

I’ve discovered some startling facts.

  • I have subscribed to 70 regular, active and fascinating blogs.  On top of this, I belong to a Writer’s Club that hosts many more members with blogs and comments.
  • I read your blog’s comments – then pop over and check out the commentor’s blogs and the comments they receive.

Are you still with me?

Me, of course, with my tattoo - pontificating over whether to read, comment or write.

  • Most of  the blogs to which I subscribe post daily.  Some post multiple times per day.  This is a dilemma.
  • Is this what the Guides meant when they told me to start a blog, write and connect?  They told me that I was to fulfil my role as a Spirit Builder.

Back to my opening statement, do I have to reduce the number of blogs to read?  How would I do that?  Do I have eyes bigger than my day?  My writing has taken back seat, but maybe that’s where it’s supposed to be.  I laughed when Word Press posed the question:  Do I want to post more frequently?  No, Word Press.  At this stage, I just want to post and read blogs, leave comments and have a life away from the computer.  Just add a few hours to my day.

Since you are a bunch of divergent keeners who come up with brilliant material, please share how you manage your blog activities and still write your posts.  I do mean “write”…I cheat at times and put in other people’s photos and others’ quotes (as I’m doing today – see below).  Maybe that’s not cheating, but I prefer to author most of my own material.

What has this inventory shown me?  I love this blog life.  It’s exciting.  It feeds my need for a global mentality.

What do bloggers give back?  You are the story tellers and the teachers.  You encourage.  You support.  You buoy bloggers just when it seems time to quit.  You provide an opportunity to give.  You act as if we something to offer.

One of my non-blogging friends said, “The comment sections are like big love-ins.”  At first I felt defensive.  I told her that if we want critiques, we can join a writer’s club.  Or, via email, ask individuals, whose opinions we trust, for feedback.  Then I realized, it’s good to encourage, appreciate, support and adore each other.  Is there a better place for some literary stroking?  If anyone doesn’t like a blog, there is a very simple, silent and significant solution.  Don’t come back.

Turns out that one of my favourite Blogs, The Only Cin, has similar feelings:  Here’s her perceptions: http://theonlycin.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/blogging-diplomacy-and-keeping-panic-at-bay/

Now on to my Spirit Builder role:

What is it like to die?  What is on the other side?  Nanci Danison knows.  She’s been there and remembers.

Nanci shares a powerful message.  Here’s a link to Part 1 of a series of her videos.  Nanci Danison is/was a Medical Lawyer who died and came back to life.  She chose to come back to her body.  She made the decision to remember what it was like being on the other side.  She returned a committed messenger.  She came back with a memory full of evolutionary material.

If you want freedom from concepts that shackle our lives,  Nanci addresses Karma, etc, in this other video.

In another video, she answers a huge question: “What does God expect from me? This one gives me God bumps.

Hi.  I’m Amy and I’m a Blogaholic.

Please share your Bloghood tricks.  Help save my soul, fellow scribes, so I connect and write smarter.  I don’t want to take up a tactic confessed by one commentor.  She takes her Blackberry to bed.  She hides it under her pillow.

My Over The Top Guides are pushing some hilarious stuff on me.  The last time I asked them about a very moving event, the visual they provided looked like a staff Christmas Party.  One of them was dancing with the woman with the red leather coat.  I was in stitches. Flagrant teasing.  Unconditional joy oozed out of that scenario.  I’d like to find a way to outsmart them.  If you have any ideas about that, pass those along as well.

2011 is definitely a year for fun.  As I told a friend, it’s going to sizzle.  I’m putting a seat belt on my saddle.  The bronco is another story.

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50 thoughts on “Managing the Bloghood

  1. Pingback: BLOGGING: DIPLOMACY AND KEEPING PANIC AT BAY « The only Cin

    • Ha Har! Isn’t this a fabulous coincidence? Did we push the publish button seconds apart? We are pioneers, Cin. We are turning over a turf that did not exist before. We need to learn how to maintain our purpose without falling into the comment merry-go-round. I love to be able to “get around”, but the commenting, etc. etc. takes hours if it is meaningful. Maybe we need to just the “like” button (if we truly do) and leave unless there really is something meaty to say. I know a really seasoned blogger who supports bloggers like crazy by making incredibly relevent responses to every comment she receives – and she receives from 50 to a 100. She’s just been taking two months off. I believe she needed it!

  2. i almost didn’t recognize you. out of the corner of my eye I thought it was a glob of
    very dark chocolate with almonds. Now i want to eat some.
    I am amazed you manage to follow that many blogs . WoW !

    Good to see you mentioning Nanci. The nuance and depth of what she got out of her Near Death Experience is the most intriguing I have heard.

    • Oh, Della – I would love to be that age and stage once more – I hope you know I was being totally facetious! I thought the numbers across the picture would keep people from even daring to think I would put a picture of me in my skivvies on the internet – at any age!! But if I wasn’t eating my morning porridge, I would go to my fridge and grab a piece of the very dark chocolate with almonds that you mention. My secret sin!

  3. Not sure I have any answers…I’ve had to modify my schedule…I setup blocks of time for various blog related task and try to stick to it…I’ve also stopped looking at the stats since that’s not why I write any way. 🙂 If you get any great ideas…then please post them…heaven knows I need them.

    • Thanks Charles – since this is my year of adjusting to no longer working, I am still feeling my way towards setting up new disciplines. I’ll need to quit my writing club. It’s geared to young mothers and wives so I’m out of my world by a mile. Like Cindy said on her blog, the circle needs to get smaller. Perhaps I’ll find a rotational solution.

  4. I read this last night and had so many things to say that I decided to remain silent and process them.

    Here goes:

    1. I love your tattoo. Very becoming. 😉

    2. Figure out why you blog. This is THE KEY.

    3. If you blog to connect with others, keep doing what you’re doing . . . within whatever time parameters you choose.

    4. If you blog to write more regularly . . . write first, then respond to comments you receive, then read and comment on other blogs as time permits.

    5. If you blog to share what you’ve picked up on your “forays” through the blogosphere . . . then it’s fine to be a “conduit” by posting links and quotes. That’s not cheating, and is a big time saver if someone has already said what you want to say and you just want to point people in their direction.

    6. If you blog to share your own experiences . . . keep writing from the heart.

    7. If you blog to gain new perspectives on life . . . keep visiting and commenting on other blogs (as time permits).

    8. Etc.

    No two bloggers have identical reasons for blogging ~ and our reasons may change from day to day.

    We are the ONLY experts on our life. Only we know whether the time we spend in the blogosphere is time well spent, or just another “Waggish Way to Waste Time.”

    Now, I’m off to hear what Nanci the attorney has to say about life after life. 🙂

  5. Well then…..sounds like you’ve answered your own question!

    Truthfully, I started the weblog as a means to stay connected with folks I’d met in another internet venue. I keep it for me–which is why most times it makes little sense to the poor folks who drop in. *laughing* It’s a part of my routine–it’s my morning coffee and my evening television replacement (since I don’t ‘do’ television) and interactive.
    I visit…for me. LOL Go figure, the weblog experience is ALL about mememe! (yes, I’m a selfish, greedy monger!)

    Now, lemme say that I’m very connected to some folks. Hugely so….and not by my own plan. I end up crossing paths and landing where I’m suppose to. And I’m privileged to share with them–well and truly.
    I’m gifted back a thousand fold. I guess that’s the way it’s suppose to work in my life.

    And I have great fun. It’s NOT a chore, it’s not cumbersome….it’s a daily connectedness to those I’m suppose to be connected with…for whatever purpose (not of my own).

    Do small things with great love.
    It’s one of the small things that I’m privileged to do–that’s all.

    And I’m liking Nanci.
    But I figure you already knew that I would.

    • Interesting transitional tool, Mel – and a great attitude about it all. And then there’s those incredible photos you throw in for just a bit of entertainment! You are so on the button – doing small things with great love. What else is there? My blog is guided by a plan other than mine, as well. BUT…I love commenting when I really feel a connection. And I know you understand that! It just takes a lot more time than I ever imagined. When I’m not writing, my time allotment is out of balance and I may not be following directions, but I never stop loving the connections.

  6. Your post reflects that you are doing a lot of soul searching in this experience of blogging. Thumbs up to you, Amy! I believe that helps us to learn and grow, in and of itself. I can only speak from my own experience in visiting your blog. I find your writing extremely creative and your message clear.
    Thank-you for sharing the videos. WOW. I was extremely pleased with Nanci’s message about “What does God expect from me”. I had an old teacher, years ago who was able to help me understand that message and it made a huge difference in my life. It as really nice to hear it, once again. Judging from your comment section, you are reaching many and even if you were only reaching one? Would you stop? Keep up the sharing. 🙂

    • Leslie, you supportive and positive blog buddy! I have no plan to quit blogging. I even spent this afternoon with that woman with the Red Leather Coat! Felt good to just write.

      It’s just that there’s a new challenge unfolding. We’re all breaking new turf. Who would have guessed ten years ago that a whole whack of ordinary, intelligent, creative and capable people would suddenly have to deal with time management due to a fascinating new family on the internet? For example, one black belt blogger who responds so incredibly to all comments (up to 90 on some articles!) suddenly had to take a 2 month sabbatical. Burned out! Who would have guessed we’d be dealing with such interesting issues?

      I do have revamp the number I visit each day. It’s hard with so many fabulous blogs out there. So I’m fishing for good suggestions. 🙂

  7. Great Post !

    You have made some good points, I’m sure we have all wondered, how others do it and you got some very interesting feedback.

    I do admire people who get a lot done. I suppose the more you do the more you can do.

    I don’t blog so much so I can’t give pointers, but as for planning, I have other blogs set to private, with ideas, links, images, categories, tags, etc. which works for me.

    Bloggers Rock!

    • Thanks Tokeloshe. A few bloggers have chosen to respond to my email with some good pointers about pruning and staying current, as well. I will follow Cin’s idea of having a smaller “inner circle” and step out of that when time permits. Re planning: I suspect that your approach to “private” setting is like our “draft” setting. Thank goodness it exists because when I look back at some of them, I’m glad they are still in draft!

  8. I understand your dilemna completely.
    Unfortunately blogging is a time consuming affair, that wont change i suspect
    My answer is simple.
    .
    I sleep four hours a day, drink lots of coffee.
    Maintain a militant attitude to the daily grind. that is to say i dont stop. lol
    I have for the time being locked myself away from society until such a time i can replace my 55 – 60 hour a week job with my art.
    I maintain the belief that i will be successful and it’s only a matter of time.
    Most of the time i feel like a jenga tower. lol
    But it’s a decision i made and journey i know will be worth it in the end.

    • Richard – Thank you for telling me about your blog life. Wow! I feel like a part-timer! 😀 Now…I want to share this man with you – Seth is the man who is hired to talk at Publishing House conferences because he sees what’s happening. He’s putting out the warnings and making suggestions all over N. America. Here’s his ‘synchronistic’ comment about managing 200 blogs in one hour! http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/01/in-defense-of-rss.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2Fsethsmainblog+%28Seth%27s+Blog%29

      I want you to remember me when you are famous, please. Sizzzzzzzllle in 2011.

      • Oh yes, the old RSS.
        It’s all a bit confusing to me. lol
        Truthfully my offline work these days have reduced the time i have available to follow blogs.
        I dont subscribe for just one reason.
        I’ve noticed that 50% or more of bloggers start one, run it for a few months then either stop posting or delete them.
        So i go out looking for bloggers.
        Following through peoples comments i can usually find most of the active bloggers i follow generally.
        I suppose that works for me.
        .
        I certainly admire your dedication to giving so many people so much encouragement

        • The RSS subscription saves me time. It tells me when a blogger posts anew and shows when blogger is not active. And all of this is done outside of my email inbox. I’m very impressed with all the different methodologies so many of us use.

          I’d like to claim “encouragement” as a dedication. However, it’s more a outlet for expression. You produce and I see the beauty! I just can’t keep my mouth shut about it!:)

  9. I loved reading this and the responses you’ve received…this give lots about which to reflect. As I see it, it helps to set an intention before signing on and be mindful of why you are blogging. I have just had a couple of days off and that’s not a bed thing to do either. I give myself permission to not respond to every single comment like I used to try to do. I do comment when I can or whenever there is something in particular I want to say. I know right now I need to put a time limit on blogging since I have a novel to rewrite and I am going to do that by setting a time limit for myself. But do realize, Amy, that in your blogging you are touching other lives and no doubt that is (at least right now) part of your divine life purpose.

  10. I had this issue in my mind several weeks ago. I’m one of those who didn’t realize how much involved and time-consuming “blogging” is. So thanks for putting this issue out there and for all the comments. I myself am taking them all on board.

    BTW, I enjoyed watching Nanci’s videos. I read all of Neale Donald Walsch’s books and she is basically saying the same things Neale mentioned in his books. But, as in many things, the more you know, the more questions come up. I suppose I’ll read her books to find out more. Thank you for introducing us to Nanci.

    • Conversations with God and Nanci’s messages – it’s all about freedom. I am so grateful to share these philosophies and to feel the Divinity that exists all around us.

  11. Empathize with the blogging issues. Over the two years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve had to modify my strategies a number of times … almost as often as I’ve felt compelled to “redecorate.” In fact a post on this subject is scheduled to go up on this Monday, I think.

    I am a fan of some 77 websites. There are ten of which I read every post. Yours – as you know – is one of the ten. Cindy’s and Charles’ are two others. Comments: most time consuming. Writing: I’m a writer. That’s what I do. I write first, comments and visits later. If you notice, I don’t often make daily visits. I’ll come and visit your site and read everything I missed at one time. So I do it when I have time to relax, enjoy, and really take it all in. If you bothered to write it, I want to give it the attention it deserves.

    I see you are up now Amy! What time is it there. 3:14 a.m. here in Northern California … that’s how I get it done, litteraly “Musing by Moonlight!” Ha!

    Thanks for the links to Nanci. Will check them out …

    Here’s to happy days and sleepless nights!

    • Aha – I was waiting for your input, Jamie. Thank you, I do notice that you go at this with your own rhythm – which is why I was waiting to hear your insights. Yes, this sleep business… I know how important it is to get at least 7 hours, but my 7 hour cycles keep changing. It’s just the adjustment to all the freedom I now have.

  12. Hi 😀 Great post – loved reading this and the comments too.

    I always wonder how to control the whole blogging process…when really, my focus is writing. However, I’m writing more now that I have my blog, so it’s kind of a double-edged sword. I’m not sure I can give any advice, as I’m often chasing my tail in order to reply to people…but that’s an important part of it all…and I’ve met some good friends in the process.

    The only things I do try to do are:
    – have a seperate folder on my email for blog posts written by other people thus not crowding my inbox
    – I make a list of the folks that comment and strive to visit their blogs next (although that list keeps on growing)
    – As I respond to folks I delete their posts from my special folder on email…
    -If I have the time, I will put the remaining posts in date order and try to pluck off the oldest ones first

    Sorry, nothing exciting! Hope you have a great day,
    Chloe xx

  13. Well said, Amy – sigh, no insights here, especially since I need my full night’s sleep…every night! And the fact that I’m a slow reader, wanting to absorb it all. Can only do our best 🙂

    Hot tattoo pic, BTW!

    • Wonder when we are going to evolve into being able to leave comments verbally. Would that save any time or would the comments just be longer? Tattoo pic – yeah I may have been somewhat close to that at 19.

  14. Pingback: Blogging: A Waggish Waste of Time? « Spirit Lights The Way

  15. Hi Amy .. you’re so right .. and we forget the sarcasm in peoples’ words or tone of voice when they disprove of something … or don’t understand, or more importantly aren’t prepared to look at what we’re doing as positive.

    So your friend rings true to the above .. and my sister-in-law said the same thing about my writing – handing me books from my mother’s flat – well here’s something to help you “How to Write Better” .. or some such titles. We can phrase things more kindly – and certainly that’s what I do with life now .. “Hilly, look here’s a couple of books on Writing .. perhaps they’ll be of some use to you with your blog as you progress …”

    Re blogging .. I’ll comment once a week on those that write 7+ posts .. unless it’s really interesting .. and comment where I want to comment .. and not others – but I love the relationships, support, and learning we get … everyone has many talents – none of us are one sided ..

    I’m going to be doing some new things, so will have to balance life carefully .. but I’d hate to lose what I’ve got … but on the other hand, I want to achieve my goals and be successful etc .. the people who are successful are persistent, consistent and determined – other things can’t stand in their way .. they have one track minds .. I need to get on that path … and must get on that path for other reasons ..

    I’ll keep managing as I can in 2011 .. with as much balance as I can throw in … looking forward to the wonderful life ahead .. Happy New Year .. and a successful 2011 to one and all … Hilary

    • Ah, Hilary, that would be an “ouch”. I’m so delighted that you are “persistent, consistent and determined”. It’s important to follow the purpose that pulses through our lives and souls. I look forward to see what your “new things” will be.

      Thanks for your suggestion about commenting on blogs that post frequently. That definitely would help.

      We’re on the way to a good year, Hilary.

  16. Hi Amy .. thanks .. I sincerely hope the year ahead will be good, I’ve had my chips in recent years!! I meant to add a note re verbal comments – I think that would be disastrous … we think even less before we speak?!

    In your Reader do you categorise your blogs .. and therefore make your reading of them easier .. some you scan, some you comment on some you ponder etc .. ?

    Cheers Hilary

  17. It’s obvious that a lot of people are struggling with this dilemma, including me. You want to maintain the contacts and relationships you’ve worked so hard to establish, but as it all continues to grow, you feel yourself being spread thinner and thinner. At some point, you have to reduce either quantity or quality; there’s just so much time in the day, even without sleep. I don’t have the answer, and maybe there is no one answer that works for everyone. But I believe we’ll all figure it out. The fact that you chose to share your feelings about the situation has already helped lessen some of the stress for me. So thank you.

    • Thanks for commenting, BB. I have so much respect for your writing, your cartoons and your supportive attitude. It’s comforting to learn that you also have to manage this issue. I agree, we will all massage this issue until we’ve found a comfortable level of response. It’s a new phenomena and turning new turf is a thrilling adventure. Obviously we all need to write – the alternative is to implode and leave a mess of words – inappropriately spat and left sprawling. There are days when I only want to wander and be social and others when writing has irrevocably placed itself as the first priority. No decision needed.

      • Amy, I just want to be clear that I’m not drawing the cartoons on my blog. Almost all of them are from an online clip-art service I subscribe to. I’m manipulating the images and adding dialogue and captions, but the talented people who created the originals remain anonymous. I only wish I could draw like that.

        • Thanks for the clarification, BB. I did think the cartoons were your handiwork, too. Wow. That’s another set of skills to bring it all together. The results speak well of your relationship.

  18. Amy, don’t we all struggle along this way. We started out aware that we’d find a community here and now we want to feed and nurture it but then have those realizations about the time the feeding and nurturing is taking. I like Nancy’s idea of having a discipline. Of course, I’m a rule follower so when in doubt, I throw together the rules and see if I can live by them. But I think we should keep talking about it.

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