This is my 100th post. When I created my very first blog, I never imagined writing so many stories. Well, actually, I never imagined writing even one story.  A blogger not writing even one post?
I have to admit I knew practically nothing about blogging when I stepped out into the blogosphere. I’d never read any blogs, not even one. I didn’t know what blogs were all about. I was just looking for a way to tell fellow grief sufferers about my book Grief, Love and Hope. I had a pile of books with no one to share… I thought I’d post some information.
I asked a friend to tell me a little about blogs. I then read a book from the library. And soon I felt courageous enough to click the ‘create a blog’ button. Voila! I had my very own blog. I added some information about me and my book. Soon everyone would know about it. Or would they?
Each day I entered the words ’Sue Elvis Writes’ into the Google search engine. And each day there was no result.  As far as everyone was concerned, my blog didn’t exist. A couple of weeks went by. I was still invisible. Perhaps there was a problem. I contacted Google Help and explained my dilemma. A reply soon flew back: Did I realise I needed to write some posts? An empty blog would never be noticed by the search engine. The advice: start writing.
Well, I felt a bit red-faced after that response. Obviously I had a lot to learn. So I sat down and wrote my very first post: Hello. What should I say? Of course, I mentioned my book and it looked like I’d have to continue writing so I announced I’d be writing more stories… I tentatively pressed the ‘publish’ button. No going back. I was a blogger. Actually I got a bit excited, especially when my good friend Anthony stopped by to admire my newly created blog and encourage me in my new venture.
My first post lasted a matter of hours before somehow I managed to delete it. And I deleted my one and only comment too. I sat down and wrote Hello Again. Would Anthony return and write me another comment? He did.
And since that day last October, I have been writing and posting. I am a blogger.
But being a blogger hasn’t been simple.
There are things I’ve got too caught up with: the number of followers, page views, and comments, comparing blogs and content and styles, wondering if I should get involved in such things as blog parties and memes, or not. I've had up and down feelings. Is anyone truly immune to such things? To be honest, I would like someone to read what I write. Somehow sharing stories is much more rewarding than writing just for myself. I want to make connections with other people. But I am learning. I no longer obsess about all that. I write. God will take care of everything else.
I have mused over the question of blog etiquette. If someone follows your blog, should you follow theirs? If someone comments on your post should you return the favour? And what if you discover you have little in common with a blogger. Can you unfollow? Or is this unkind? Commenting on other blogs, lets others know you are around. It leaves the message: I’ve also got a blog with posts waiting to be read. And connections and friendships can be made, which is good. But… what about visiting a blog and leaving a comment solely to attract attention. What if the commenter has no real interest in the posts, and has no intention of returning? And do bloggers 'follow' in order to gain followers of their own? Do bloggers actually do that? If so, is it all just part of the game?  I am still musing…
One thing I am in no doubt about: friends. I have met so many interesting people in the blogosphere who are enriching my life. But are bloggy friends different to real life friends? Fellow bloggers know us through what we write, what we choose to reveal about ourselves, not the whole truth. I do try to be honest in my writings but I do leave out all the ordinary stuff. Sometimes I wonder if I stopped being a blogger, would I lose all my new gained friends? How many of these friendships would last beyond blogging? Would people still email me to say hello? (I'm sure you would, Noreen!) Would anyone really miss me? There are a few bloggers I would love to meet in real life. If I could fly around the world, without thinking about the expense, I’d love to knock on a few doors: “Hi! I’m Sue from Australia, your blogging friend.”
I look at my blog’s most popular posts. It is very interesting. Hello Again is there at the top which I can’t quite understand as I think there are many posts far more interesting.  It must be the word ‘Again’. Did I go somewhere? Why ‘again’?
And I am pleased but surprised that so many Thomas’ stories are in this list. This delights me as it was Thomas’ story I set out to share. So many people have been willing to read my tales of sorrow and love, whether they have experienced grief or not.
And just like there are stories which have surprised me with their popularity, there are a few that I really enjoyed writing but they attracted no attention at all, like The Big Crunch and Kings and Queens and Baggy Shorts. Sometimes readers don’t react the way I expect.
Every blogger probably has her favourite posts. The post I had the most fun with was probably Why I’m Not Celebrating the Queen’s Birthday. It just flowed out onto the screen. And I always enjoy writing about Thomas because I am constantly surprised at how I can keep finding new things to say about him.  I also have a special spot for St Joseph’s Sofa.

The best thing about blogging? It's those very special moments when you know you have connected with someone - "I feel just like that too"... "I know just what you mean..."We must be twins!"
Isn't life surprising? I never really meant to become a blogger. I never intended to write so many stories. I found out that blogging is much more than a means to promote my book. It's all about having the courage to be 'me': to show my feelings, to be honest and open and to share my life so others can share theirs with me. All for the glory of God.

But the big question now is: Will I write another 100 stories? Do I have another 100 stories inside me to tell? I don't really know. We shall see!
Thank you for reading my posts!

Post a Comment

  1. It takes a while to feel your way with blogging, doesn't it? I'm a lot newer than you and I'm just starting to feel more comfortable with it all, now - of course, having a little group of lovely ladies to share comments and posts with helps a lot.

    As for blogging etiquette, I'm still figuring that one out. For me, I think it needs to be an extension of real life manners. If someone 'talks' to me, they deserve a reply and it's also a good thing to keep up with friends, by leaving a message from time to time. I like having blogging conversations and feeling a sense of community, and I'm also finding it a lot of fun creating something which is useful and meaningful to us.

    I love these thoughtful and honest posts of yours, Sue - I look forward to seeing that you've written something new when I look at my blog list:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Vicky! Your tips on blogging etiquette are very sensible - "an extension of real life manners".

    "thoughtful and honest posts" ha! Sometimes I am good at getting myself into trouble but life is interesting!!

    I love sharing my posts with you. God bless you, my sister.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sue,
    I can very much relate, blogging takes some getting used to. I had no idea what blogging was either before I started 2 years ago. I came across Blogger and learned by hitting buttons (trial and error). Well, the story is a bit stranger than that but that's the easy way to explain it. Someday maybe I'll write about it. I have had many of the same questions as you over the years concerning followers and such. I like to follow blogs - people are interesting and there are a lot of good blogs out there. Sometimes I make a mistake but I don't stop following the blog because I wouldn't want to discourage the writer. Especially since I know how much work goes into blogging.
    Like you I am often surprised at which posts people like the best - they are never the ones I think they'll be.
    Well, I'm glad you and your sister both blog. Perhaps at some point maybe you'll join in on the new blog "Community of Catholic Bloggers" :) God bless!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Mary, You are quite right: losing followers is so discouraging especially when a blogger works so hard writing posts. And I like following too! Lots of great bloggers out there and I enjoy keeping up with their posts. Yours included!!

    I'd love to join in with your new blog sometime, Mary. It's nice to be asked.
    Thank you for your comment. God bless!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi, Sue: I read your post just after reading another friend's post about why she is going to stop blogging. That really saddened me.:( I know it's hard to blog. Actually, I've only had a hard time of it when I'm trying to do something that I really can't or when I obsess to much about my stats/followers/comments. I have to remember like you...I never meant to be a blogger. I'm not a writer. I use this to archive our life because I don't scrapbook. Sometimes I write about stuff if I feel I have something worth saying. Just today, I worked a half hour on a post, but deleted it after I was inspired to do so. That was hard, but it was good....for me. It was cathartic because I didn't know how much emotion I was carrying inside of me over an issue. It wasn't meant for my readership to read. It was meant for me to be healed in that area of my life. I wish I could always remember this.:) Congrats on your 100th post!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Grace!
    Thank you for stopping by and commenting. That's one of the things I really enjoy about blogging: having a conversation with friends.

    I agree that writing is cathartic. It's just knowing what I should put on my blog and what I should keep in my own personal journal. Aren't we all going to have a wonderful record of our lives when we finally give up blogging? We are capturing so many memories and thoughts.

    I wonder about your blogging friend and why she is giving up. It sounds like you will miss her posts. Sometimes I think all the time I spend on the computer might be better used doing something else. I sometimes feel like deleting my own blog. But then someone stops by and says hello, or I get an idea for a story I can't wait to try out...

    God bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. "If I could fly around the world, without thinking about the expense, I’d love to knock on a few doors: “Hi! I’m Sue from Australia, your blogging friend.” "

    AAAAHHHH !!!! Before you do so please give me time to vaccum clean the house, and mow the lawn, (the front garden at least), and make sure I have posh biscuits, and tea, and coffee and (what else?) oh ... must get another tea set ... and a better tray to serve it on ... dash ... must fix the garden gate ... it squeeks and needs a drop of oil on the hinges ...

    I'm too tired just thinking at what I have to do if you called unexpectedly!

    And I have to be on my best behavior. No jokes ... not too serious either ...

    Panic ... panic ... This Blogging thing is too difficult. I'd better give it up!!!

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey Victor, does that mean I'm not welcome? I'll bring my own biscuits and you can be as funny as you like.

    What if we had an international bloggers' conference? We could all meet up in real life? Do you think we'd recognise each other? For a start I don't even know what you look like. But I have a mental picture of a very funny man, British of course, who lives with a fiendish cat and drops food on his tie when surprised. I can see you marching on your treadmill to the sound of bagpipes. I bet you're not like that at all!

    Thanks for your comment. Always good to hear from you. God bless!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sue, I would of course, still email you to say hello! And I hope I'm one of the lucky people who you'd like to surprise me with a visit!!

    As you know, I've been around the blogosphere a little after you came on the scene and I've had the same thoughts too. I don't want to make blogging my idol so I try and take time away on some days or for a couple of days. But I must admit, I'm most interested in learning about Our Faith and have learned and grown closer to Jesus and especially Our Blessed Mother because of blogs. So, it's a blessing as long as I manage my time with it and do not become obsessed.

    I do think there are bloggers out there who come and ask for a follow back to up there numbers and I'm usually apt to support them but then, I realize they're not coming back to visit me. But how can you though when you have 200, 300, 400 500+ followers? Some are in the thousands!

    I was blog hopping last night from Holly's Pay it Forward meme and before I knew it, time had flown by and I had found some fantastic Catholic blogs! It almost feels like spiraling down an unending hole with the hopping around that can be happen.

    This is a perfect example, I go on there and click on Laura's from Day By Day in Our World (she's great writer like you and does many cute posts involving her children, homeschooling and reviewing) and she's paying it forward to Joe from Defend Us In Battle Blog (which you should check out because it looks really interesting) and then he has a list on his sidebar with other blogs and then hopping over and then finding more and then I wonder... where did I start? Oh yeah, from Holly's meme and Laura's blog. It could go on and on if I let it. That's the key though isn't it "If I let it."

    Sorry for the length here!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Sue,

    You got me just about right. I do like the bagpipes, whisky and ginger marmalade. You'd recognise me at an International Bloggers Conference because I'd probably be wearing a kilt, or a tartan shirt. But where would we hold the Conference? Edinburgh would be my favorite location, or perhaps Perth ... in Scotland of course!

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sue, what a delightful post. I guess that I enjoyed it so much because I have many of the same feelings and questions! I would absolutely love it if you showed up on my front door step one day! I feel that even though we live different lives on different continents that we are somehow kindred spirits in many ways.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Noreen, of course you are on my list of people to visit! You were the first person I thought of. Maybe one day...

    I am a new blogger like you Noreen. I'm not one of those experienced bloggers who's got it all together. I'm still learning and working out what it's all about. It is easier when you make good friends who support and encourage you. Some people come and read and then disappear. It's the regular readers who stop to say hello who really bring a smile to my face and make it all worth while. And I'm also glad we joined the blogging world and stumbled across each other about the same time. And I just love long comments, Noreen! Isn't it wonderful when a comment turns into a conversation? God bless!

    ReplyDelete
  13. All that's missing is the Scottish accent, Victor. I don't know much about the real you but I do know what your voice sounds like. And it's not Scottish. I lived in Scotland when I was a child and I had a real local accent.

    I bet you're nothing like you describe. I'm guessing you're a rather conservative London business man with a very boring job, who enjoys escaping into his Blogger identity while spreading the Good News. God bless!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Dana, how kind of you to say you feel like me sometimes. I thought everyone else had everything worked out perfectly and I was alone in my musing.

    Kindred spirits? Yes!!! And one day I WILL turn up on your doorstep. Grateful for your friendship God bless!

    ReplyDelete
  15. GHi sue, I read this yesterday, but hadn't got back to comment until today. 14 comments later.
    Blogging..I have met some lovely people who I would never have met if I had not blogged. Yes we share our lives and we comment and Vicki, it is like a community.
    I keep my followers on my dashboard, on one of my blogs, so I don't focus on it.
    I like all these conversations - it fleshes out the blog post, doesn't it.
    God Bless
    Leanne

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Leanne, I enjoy these conversations too! So kind of readers to stop and share.

    You have your followers on your dashboard? How does someone new follow you when you haven't got a gadget on your blog? I haven't worked this out yet otherwise I would have followed your blog a long time ago.

    Thanks for adding to the conversation. God bless!

    ReplyDelete

Author Name

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.