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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Chatting Segment of My Blog


I would like to begin this post by thanking all of you who were so supportive and so kind when I took my recent blog break.  Some of your comments brought tears to my eyes, and all of your comments made me feel so much love and encouragement. When I took that break, I wasn’t sure if I would return to blogging.  

In analyzing why I considered abandoning my blog, I realized that, for me to enjoy my blog, I have to take back ownership of it.  I understand that I am the one who put the pressures on myself, and I have to admit to myself (and to you) that if I continue blogging the way I was blogging, I will again put those pressures on myself.  For me, right now, if I want to continue blogging, I have to change the way I've been doing it. 

Being a slow learner, it took me a long time to realize that weekly blog events are just not for me. I will not be hosting a weekly meme/event/party, and  I don’t plan to link to other weekly events.  I know it is not rational to feel pressured into joining other blogger’s events, but I am not always a rational person (that probably does not come as a surprise to most of you!)  If a blogger linked to my Favorite Things event, and they hosted an event, I felt that I really wanted to support their weekly event by posting something appropriate to allow me to link to their event.  If I linked to an event one week, I felt that I needed to try to link to that event every week.  I struggled to come up with posts that would be appropriate for all of those different events, and I began to regard blogging as a chore instead of something fun.  I also felt guilty, because I know that blog etiquette requires that, when I link to a meme, I should attempt to visit all (or at least some) of the other links, and I was never able to find the time to do much of that.

I so appreciate all of you who linked to “A Few Of My Favorite Things”, and I want to thank all of you who so graciously host weekly memes. I do feel like I am cutting myself off from a lot of you wonderful bloggers and a lot of blog visitors.  Although that is not something I want to do, it is something I know I have to do.  If I want to blog, I don’t feel I have a choice.

Having said all of that, I am reminded of my Mother’s often-repeated advice ~ “Nevah say nevah, because if you do, you’ll eventually have to eat the word “nevah””.  In spite of her advice, I have, over the years, had to eat that word several times.  So, I’m not going to say that I will “nevah” again link to or host a weekly event.  I’m just going to say that I don’t think I’m going to take on that responsibility again.

I do plan to host my yearly Valentine party, and if I can come up with something appropriate, I will link to other blogger’s special events.  I will also continue to occasionally post favorite pictures that I steal borrow from other blogs.  They just won’t be part of a weekly event.  For me, blogging is not fun if I am putting pressure on myself to join all of the memes.  I know, I know, I don’t HAVE to post about anything.  I’m tellin’ ya, I need psychiatric help.

I know that this decision will lead to my having fewer visitors and fewer comments, and   I do love the connections I feel when I read your comments.  Howevah, when I began blogging, I didn’t expect any comments, so, no matter how few, I am still thrilled when I get any comments on a post.  I’m going to try to go back to the roots of my blog, and just blog when I want to blog and blog about what is going on in my life at that moment.  I say that with full awareness that not much goes on in my life that would be of interest to anyone else, and with the awareness that my blog will probably not gain new visitors and will lose some visitors.  My posts may be more sporadic than they used to be, because I will only be posting when I want to post.  I know that, at least for now, this is the only way I can continue to blog, and I do want to continue.  I hope you’ll understand and continue to stop by for visits.

All chat (especially when it’s me doing the chatting) and no pictures makes a post dull, so I’m sharing some of the fabulous inspiration I’ve recently seen in Blogville.  (Click on picture to be transported to these inspiring blogs.)GIRL IN PINK



table 21

Alycia, Amanda and Amy, please feel free to take the “One of Laurie’s Favorites” button to post on your blog.  Also, please feel free to let me know if you do not want your photo on my blog, and I will quickly remove it.  Thanks to all of you for all of the inspiration you share.  (I don’t know how I ended up being inspired by three bloggers, whose names begin with “A”!  I do know that I will NOT be going through the alphabet to find inspiration photos ~ that would be another responsibility I definitely couldn’t handle!)


Thank you to my visitors.  I hope that you will visit me in the future, in spite of my decision to give up weekly events.  laurie


Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Oh Laurie,
You really expressed just how I feel! So many of the bloggers I feel closest to are the ones I met in my early days of blogging.
I want the human connection and to me, that is the best part of blogging!
I have never hosted a blog party because I knew I could not keep up. But nevah say nevah, right?
I love your posts, I love your pictures and I think that blogging first for yourself is the very best way!
I will always be over to say hi!
Big Hugs,

Salmagundi said...

I'm one of the casual bloggers - just doing it when I want to. However, I do link to parties and then feel bad because I don't do my part commenting, etc. So, I've been thinking that I should quit linking. I've never had a lot of commenters myself, but appreciate very much those that do like you. I sincerely hope you continue to blog - I know I enjoy it when you do. Take care, Sally

Rebecca said...

I never got started with the memes, awards, links, etc. I think there is far less pressure that way. No one intends it to become "pressure" but there is a subtle temptation to keep "topping" the other person or even one's last project...

That's what I tell myself anyway :) I know you'll find pleasure in your return to blogging with different expectations of yourself and others! Enjoy.

GardenOfDaisies said...

YAY for getting rid of all blogging pressure and stress and making your life happy!! This is a hobby, it should be fun!! Glad you will be back to post from time to time, when you feel like it!

Anonymous said...

This is so true! Blogging should be a joy, not a burden. I will keep following and in touch, because I enjoy your blog.
I haven't joined Saturday Favorites for a while because, like you, joining all the weekly parties gets overwhelming sometimes. One also runs out of blog fodder. And my blogging is on a much smaller scale than yours!
Have a wonderful week!

ellen b. said...

Generally...weekly events or not I tend to visit people I have in my google reader. I'm glad you have found your peace with blogging!

Sharing with Sherri said...

What? Are you saying you really aren't "SUPERWOMAN"? Whew... I'm so relieved. You were really starting to give me a complex;)

You're right blogging should be fun and "nevah" feel like a chore!
But we all understand that at some point it can feel like that way...

It sounds like you've got it figured out whats going to work best for you and thats great!

Amy Chalmers said...

Well I love blogging, but I wouldn't if I felt I had to blog. So lets go easy on ourselves and enjoy this sharing medium. Thanks so much for introducing yourself and your blog to me, I truly get humbled when someone appreciates my blog and puts it out there for others to see!

April D said...

I can see how you could feel that way. The etiquette is hard to know at times. . .and the intoxication of COMMENTS is a bit, well, alluring. I'm so glad I found your blog, though!
Still following here!
(and thanks for being honest about your feelings)

shannon i olson said...

I feel the same way....what to post and how it will fit where, if it weren't for link parties I would not have grown to the following I have but.....I really want to blog about what I want and when I want. I LOVE my followers and love new followers too. hard choice to make!

lvroftiques said...

A big DITTO girlfriend! I'm just so glad you'll be posting at all! Blogging can get to be such a chore. Give yourself permission not to push so hard and just enjoy it! *winks* Vanna

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Love you bunches and I will be here whenever you do post and will check in to see what's going on. I can't comment on everything like I use to do either, so I do understand. I also can't join all the parties. Life has to happen somewhere in there and seems like mine is really busy lately. Love ya, Hugs, Marty

Laura S Reading said...

I originally started blogging just because I loved to read blogs and felt I needed to do something to make a connection. I had no clue what I was doing. I've been blogging a year now and feel even more lost many days. Still, I would not give up the connections and friendships I have made.
I fell into the trap of writing to fit a hop or meme and when I could not keep up with all my favorites I began to do the same 2 or 3 types over and over. Even I was bored with my posts.
When I changed the name to "Exploring" I had intentions of just sharing the great things I found on the web. Still working on that. I don't want to look like I'm stealing content or just being a newsfeed. It is hard work to find your niche and then keep it up!
You know I have been inspired by your posts about your family and your home and your decorating. You can share as much or as little as you like whenever you like.
Your posts are getting a letter from a friend, and not expected on a regular basis.
There are a few hops that I try to hit as many links as I can, but when I can't I am satisfied to hit 5 or 6 and then just return comments on those who come to see me. I think a nice comment is better than a LOT of comments.

I enjoy seeing your name pop up in my reader or blogroll (I started a blogger blog just for the fancy blogroll that shows me when a new post is up) but I would never want you to post because you feel you OWE us a post.

Keep smiling.

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said... did you get into my head? I used to LOVE to do some of the weekly memes. That is how I found so many blogs I love...probably how I found you...but they were like 25-30 blogs. I used to go to all of them. Now the memes are 100 - 200 blogs. There is NO WAY. And honestly, no matter how many I go to, I don't get that many coming back to me. Not that I NEED the numbers, but it makes me wonder why I don't show anything of interest when I find interest in theirs. Anyways, I have been thinking about ending my blog. I can't buy new things, I don't paint my furniture, I live a rather quiet, dull to some life. So what can I post about? I will not make my blog a place of sad things...although I do have them.
So, right now, I am stepping away from the memes. That doesn't mean I will never do them, I just am not planning my posts around them.
So I hear you, loud and clear. Let's see how it don't have to show gorgeous stuff all the time for me to visit. I just like stopping by and saying...HI!

Helen said...

I'm one of your followers who never participated in any of your parties, events or memes. I simply enjoyed you, your style, your wit. I still do. So I look forward to reading anything you want to share in the future ... I bet others feel that way too. I feel as though I've known you forever ~ it's that old Rate My Space connection.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Casual blogger - Works for me! :-D I write a post and will link to an event if I think it will fit in. Lately, most don't. Lots of everyday stuff going on these days, and looks like it will be that way for some time now.
Did you get any of the storms yesterday?

Mellodee said...

Aw, Laurie my friend. I think we all feel that way sometimes, maybe even often, possibly even always!! Life is too short to feel pressured to do things that no longer bring joy! Write what you want, when you want, I promise, most of us will be right here whenever you post just like always. Somehow I don't think we'll never see one of your wonderful vignettes or tablescapes or "finds" ever again. Just be sure that if you post something it's because YOU want to, not because WE expect it.

Things like this happen in all aspects of life....for instance you see a cute pitcher in a store, say "Oh, how cute! I just love pitchers" to the person you are with, next thing you know you have 800 ugly little pitchers because everyone assumes you are "collecting" and that's the only kind of present you get for 20 years!!! When, actually, you really only wanted the first one you bought for yourself!

Hmmmm, now that I've typed all that, I realize that it is NOTHING at all like your feelings about blogging. LOL!! I think my mind is going. So ahhh, never mind! :D

vignette design said...

I hear ya Laurie! Being under pressure to come up with something for a blog party or even feeling obligated in any way just takes the fun out of blogging. Stepping back for a while let you see that. I've been feeling the same way. It's hard not to pay too much attention to the number of comments and the number of followers, but that just isn't a good reason to blog. Having something to share that we are excited about-- to share with like minded people, that is what I want blogging to be for me. Not a chore. I'm so glad you are baaaack!
xo Delores

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Laurie -- I think you're right -- at times we've probably all felt the pressure. I've taken on more responsibilities lately at Church and can't visit or post as often as I was -- and yes, I've lost a follower or two and I know the guilt of both spending too much time at the computer and also not visiting everyone each and every week. But I've so enjoyed the friends I've met along the way, I wouldn't totally want to lose contact. Know we'll love hearing from you whenever you feel the urge to "chat" with us!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Laurie I am so glad you are back and I think your decisions make perfect sense. I cannot host a weekly party either and I do link up to parties but I do it when I can. It works for me. Welcome back sweet friend. hugs, Linda

Kat said...

Laurie, I had no idea you had taken a break, because it apparently coincided with a break that I took. I'm glad you're back, and I'm glad that you are getting back to what made you want to blog in the first place. I used to participate in so many weekly events that I could barely keep track. The only thing I seem to post now is for Saturday Centus, because I've found that the writing is what I enjoy the most. Rest assured that your friends will always be fascinated with what you are up to, because we all love you to bits. Hugs, Kat

Cathy~Mille Fleur said...

Oh Laurie...all I can say is DITTO!

I have been taking a break...deciding if I am going to keep on blogging...whatever you want to call it...for many of the same reasons! I just want to have with my blog pressure to get big and fancy;)!

I have always loved my visits here...what ever formula you are works for YOU!!!


Sarah said...

Laurie, makes me smile when I see you've left a new post. You already know I truly understand. Blogging is supposed to be fun, not a chore.
Great inspiration photos. Thanks for sharing. They are new to me. ~ Sarah

Anonymous said...

It is a balancing act for sure and I certainly don't have it down! I am sitting here feeding my 500 envelopes in my printer for our ministry newsletter so am doing some blogging too. Oh goodness I would drive myself crazy if I went to every link on a party!! I pick 3 or 4 interesting ones or ones that look like may be they wouldn't get a lot of comments - I was just sharing with Holly that it's always in the back of my head as to whether I should give blogging up- so much life- so little time- but I so enjoy the many beautiful friends I have met over this crazy, interesting, scary thing called blog land!

bee blessed

Ldy ~~ Dy said...

Hmmmm... so that's what I have been feeling lately! I often felt it was becoming more of a chore to post something so that I can join up in a blog party... rather than just post something of my own day to day activities or happenings, which is what I initially wanted to do! Then I started meeting my blogging friends and trying to join all the different parties and I lost track of just reading and commenting at my leisure. I started feeling the pressure on myself. I think I might start cutting back on the blog parties and just enjoy showing and telling, visiting others blogs and posting here and there. It might cut back on visits back to me.. but then the pressure is gone and I think I will feel better about the whole blogging experience! No matter what I will always drop in on you now and again! Hugs!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

I am so happy that you decided to come back, Laurie...and on your own terms. I have to agree with you. I had let blogging eat up too much of my real life and that's not good. I have also decided to do it on my own terms because I have three wonderful grandchildren who are 15 minutes away and friends to meet for lunch...not to mention a house and yard to take care of...and I just can't sit at a computer all day! We will love to see you "whenevah" you can join us!...hugs...Debbie

Sue said...

I think we just all have to come to terms with what is most important for ourselves and our lifestyles. It is easy to get caught up in the whole popularity thing- based on the number of followers or comments we have. But we are NOT back in junior high anymore- we shouldn't have to "work to impress" anyone in order to justify our own self worth. There are more than a few bloggers who have insecurity issues and have to "beg for followers." They participate in every meme/party. How can they possibly answer comments, questions to all of those? I have a life and couldn't possibly spend the entire day at a computer screen! I do too much of that, as it is. I think a lot of people question why they blog- we just don't know about it. As for those who step away for a while, re-assess their values, and decide to do things on their own terms, I believe that they become much happier with themselves. So glad to see you pop up on my reader. I'm in the process of editing that out today- I don't have time to read 2000 posts! LOL See ya when I see ya, my friend!
xo Sue

Linda (Nina's Nest) said...

Well, Laurie, Amen! That's a great post and the comments are right on target. Well said! Linda
p.s. Glad you are back.

Tomarie said...

Hi Laurie!! Thought I'd pop by for a visit! :-)
I think it's great to come up with your own rules that will keep you enjoying all the fun there is in blogging. I love what Helen said....people come here for YOU and for no other reason!
We have been working sooooo much on this deck/platform and in this heat! But the pool that was ordered just came a few minutes ago! Yippee!

Tricia said...

Laurie, you were greatly missed! Your "voice" is one I really enjoy, and I'll be happy to see any post when it pops up in my Google Reader. I totally understand how hard it is to post regularly when you work full time AND have a family!

Miss Laura Lu/RMS4291960 said...

I haven't been around in blogland in forever! I was playing with my ipad this morning and you were the first friend I picked to catch up on. Maybe now you'll have more time to come up to Mempis! I treasure our lunch and rummage visit! I left blogging too! I missed everybody...but the time it took to come up with something to blog about was just too much and became another something to "have to do"! I respect where you are right now girlfriend! I'll still be around to chat with miss Laurie! Love ya and God bless! Lauralu

Olive said...

You are very rational and sane my friend. It is impossible to keep up with all the blog parties and comments. Real life is real life after all:)

Diann said...

Hi Laurie!
Well girl, you hit the nail on the head with this post. When I first discovered memes I was so excited. then one led to two then to six then to a gazillion!It is such a double edged sword. I have met so many amazing bloggers through linky parties. And I tried to link up to all of them. But, I am getting to the burn out point myself. Right now, my real life is so crazy busy. So, as hard as it is for me, I am stepping back from a lot of parties. I have a few that I absolutely love, so I will continue to link to those simply because they make me happy. But, more than not, I will be just posting stuff I want to post. The biggest problem for me is, like you said, the guilt from linking up and then not being able to visit everyone. It's like I can blog or I can visit. It is too hard to do a lot of both. I let myself get overwhelmed and now I need to put it back into a manageable and enjoyable hobby. I had really debated on stopping my linky party. But, I decided to continue it, at least for now, because thrifting really is a passion of mine. I know I am going to be losing a lot of commentors and visitors which is sad to me but, I have to do what is right for me at his time. I talked to Troy the other night and told him that I just can't balance it all and I am feeling the pressure to keep up. So, it is "blog party downsizing" for me starting next week. I am so glad to see you blogging my friend. I always look forward to your posts and it has absolutely nothing to do with memes. And I swear, your blog is the ONLY place that I seem compelled to write these big honkin' comments. You just bring it out of me!

Ginny said...

Laurie that is totally how I feel. I was reading your blog when I first started blogging about 3 yrs ago. I never hosted a party nor did I link to anyone else's. I enjoy blogging, but I do not like the stress that some of these events bring to my blogging. I keep mine simple and blog when I feel inspired. I truly like your blog and will continue to visit.

Debbie said...

Laurie, Laurie, Laurie...
You summed up my same blog feelings very well. I actually don't join that many weekly things and feel some sort of peculiar feelings of inadequacy because I don't.

I need therapy too.

I remember exactly what first drew me to this blog. Plainly and simple, it was your voice. I loved the way you explained and shared things.

Whenever you do. Whatever you do. I'm sure I'll be reading right along. I sincerely missed you during your break.

bj said...

Blogging, for me, is a fun and exciting hobby. I love the memes...
it is just that some of my favorite ones have become too large. I am not sure how to change this as the host WANTS it to be a big success...and I understand that.
I just join the ones I enjoy, I visit all I can and let it go at that. I try not to take it all too seriously and when I start to feel pressure of any kind, I will close my blog...NEVER deleting it because it is my journal for my family.
Enjoy blogging in YOUR way and maybe the fun will come back for you.

Jewel Sauls said...

I know exactly what you mean Laurie and had to come to peace with blogging a while ago. I felt guilty that I never had the time to visit other bloggers like I "should" have and that I was rude. But when I didn't blog my local friends that liked seeing my tables from Facebook told me they missed it. SO I just decided to blog when I like, link when I like and visit when I like. Sounds rude but it's just realistic.
I love your posts and some of your tables are my ALL TIME favorites! I'll look forward to whatever you put up!!

Cindy J. said...

Whatever you do...I am so happy to get a peek into your creative, fun, lovely self! Love, Cindy

Kathleen said...

Yes, yes, yep, and I hear you!

I am just glad to know you are out there and can pop in now and then. I don't know how people post everyday,and then visit everyone who visits them! I say roll all those little posts into one grand post so I can leave one comment. I just don't have time everyday !

So that's my New Yawk 2 cents! :)
It is always good to read your posts, just don't go totally awol!

Barbara F. said...

Hi Laurie - just what you need, a new follower! :-) I understand completely, which is why I refuse to set up my blog only focusing on one thing or one topic. It should be about having fun, not a job. When a me-me interests me and I can do a post, fine, I visit the blog on my left, right, above and below, and others as they pull me in, or not if they don't. I can't worry about being a part of it every week. I enjoy visiting here and hope you continue to post at least once in a while! xo,

Anonymous said...

Laurie, as a relatively new blogger I am listening! I resisted creating a blog because I didn't want to take time away from visiting all the lovely blogs that I have come to enjoy.

I think I could easily get sucked into the feeling that I have to do this and have to do that. I'm going to try to learn from the seasoned bloggers. No stress on myself and just enjoy the ride!

So glad to have you back; whenever you post it will be well received!

xinex said...

Hi Laurie, I am glad you decided to come back and it's your blog, so you can do whatever you want. And you are right, it is not fun to feel obligated about anything. I would enjoy whatever you post, I am sure of that, so I will be looking forward to them when you post.....Christine

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Hi Laurie
I sent you an email a little bit ago.

Thanks so much for this post.

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~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Hi Laurie~ ~Understand. .I stopped blogging for a few months and just recently began again. No pressure this time I'll post when the feeling strikes me. It might be once a month or 3 times a week. Life just got too busy to keep it up. Do what makes you happy and life is good. Hugs~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

Ginger said...

Hi Laurie, glad you are back to blogging, and I hope you continue to enjoy it and not feel pressured. I had to give up my blog, not that it was anything like yours, because I had a hard time coming up with things, and then going through this divorce, I am afraid it might somehow get used against me.
I love your blog and think you do such a great job with all your pictures and the posts.

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Alycia Nichols said...

Hi, Laurie! I, too, recently took a break from Blogland. Not for the same reasons, as you know, but it was still a break. I have been blogging for just under a year now, and it has become a part of my life. I completely understand how you would need to take it back on your own terms, though. It can get overwhelming at times if we let it. There is SO much out there!!! I never really spent very much time on the computer before I began blogging. But the comfort and support I have felt from my blogger friends during a very difficult time has convinced me that this is where I am supposed to be. Thank you so much for showcasing one of my photos on your blog. You have no idea how humbled I am by your incredible gesture. Have a wonderful, wonderful day, Laurie, and I hope we can continue to be Blogger Buddies for years to come!

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