“If you loved me, you would read my blog”

Dear Bloggers,  I’ve talked with many of you throughout the blogging years.  We’ve shared the trials and tribulations of blogging.  The ups, the downs!  The highs, the lows.  The wonderful creativity of sharing ideas and thoughts, the lulls in inspiration.

Yes, we’ve shared a lot.  Bloggers of the world, I salute you!  I salute you for sharing of yourself publicly.  You’ve taken yourself from the world of private journal to public column.  You’re expressing yourself on a world-wide screen.  You’re out of the closet!  High Five, dear blogger.  You’re awesome.

We’ve talked, haven’t we?–about those trials and tribulations.  We’ve uttered our doubts, our sadness, our frustrations. 

The frustration one of my friends expressed recently broke my heart.  I am still thinking about it.

She spoke from your deepest blogging pain.  She mentioned dearly beloved family members.  Precious friends.  And then she uttered these words:

“I just want to say to them–If you loved me, you would read my blog.”

Yes, dear blogger, I know what you mean.  In my most secret thoughts (OK, not my most secret thoughts–I think they’ve been said aloud more than once) I have felt the same thing.  And I have heard this from the confessional lips of more than one blogger.

Maybe bloggers who write about specific topics such as photography and nature and spirituality don’t mind.  They don’t expect family members and friends to read.  Because who is really interested in all subjects? We can forgive Grandpa the raving fundamentalist for not reading our spiritual blog.  We can forgive our sister the doll collector for not reading our gun-collecting blog.  We can forgive our city-dwelling friends for not caring about wildflowers and moose.

“But–” said my suffering blogging friend, “This blog is about me.  Someone they say they love.  Why don’t they want to read about what I think?  What’s happening in my life?  I mean they don’t have to stop by every day.  But every few days?  Why don’t they care?”

I wonder how to answer this question.  Let’s try this approach:

“I’m sure it’s not because they don’t love you,” I say.  “They are probably busy.  Maybe they are not readers.  Not everyone likes to read!”

“My sister reads books every day,” my blogger friend replies.

I try Approach #2.

“Maybe you need to turn it around.  Try to look at it differently.  I know!  What if you look at it like we are all pieces of God.  Only certain parts of God will resonate with what you want to say.  Then you can be grateful with whoever decides to visit your blog.”

Long pause.

“Are you a religious fanatic?” she asks.

I pause–briefly.

“I am a spiritual fanatic,” I reply and begin to think quickly about Approach #3.

“OK, I really do know what you’re feeling,” I say. ” My husband would understand, too.  He’s been writing a column for the local newspaper for at least 30 years.  He’ll meet people on the street who will say, ‘Been fishing lately?’ or ‘What’s happening with you?’ and he’ll know they haven’t been reading his column because he’s told everyone in town what’s been happening lately.”

I could tell she was starting to feel better.  If a newspaper columnist feels this way, it’s OK for us bloggers to feel this way, too.

“I think he’s gotten used to it after 30 years,” I continue.  “He doesn’t really seem to mind.”

“I wish I could get to the point where I don’t mind,” she sighed.  “When my mother asks me what I’ve been doing I want to scream:  read my blog!  I have been writing my heart and soul out.  If you loved me you would read my blog.  You would.”

“Some people don’t want their friends and family members to read their blog,” I try to console one last time, “They want their blogging to be a private space.”

“I wish I felt that way,” she said, “I wish I could be mature enough to say that it doesn’t matter.  But it does matter to me.  I want my friends and family to care enough.”

Suddenly something begins to take shape.  “You know,” I say hesitantly, “maybe our true friends and family are the ones who are present to us, who do care, who show up regularly.  Maybe whoever is in our life today–whoever engages–is what is important.  Not who we want to show up.  But who does show up.   Maybe our heart just needs to be open beyond old expectations of friends and family.  Who shows up today are friends and family…do you think?”

Dear blogger, I care enough about you to read what you have to say.  Thank you for sharing of yourself.  Thank you for your creativity, the way you express your feelings in such a real way, your unique expression.  Don’t ever quit blogging.  No matter who reads–and who doesn’t read.

**Disclaimer.  The names, sentences and thoughts have been altered to disguise the frustrated blogger.  I have taken amazing creative license (with her approval) to attempt to share this common blogging woe.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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48 Responses to “If you loved me, you would read my blog”

  1. “Not who we want to show up. But who does show up.”

    Kathy – That’s key!

    Your friend said she’s been writing her heart and soul it. It sounds to me like she’d still write even if NO one ever showed up to read it. And if that’s the case, then hopefully she’ll release her expectation of others (setting herself free at the same time) and embrace writing for writing’s sake.

  2. Elisa's Spot says:

    Wow! I wish I had read this BEFORE a certain phone call this morning. I love the words and the indentification and the expression. The roiling on the inside and the ability to see doors and windows from the outside, the choices as to which ones one really wishes to take or to allow, and the ones we simply aren’t able at any one moment to notice.

    It can take guts to shout loudly: HEY AM I INVISIBLE, I NEED …THIS OR THIS…TO KNOW I’M HERE!

    It can take even more guts to shift what we expect are the only answers that feel like responses to us. It can be very hard to tell, which times we are getting answers, that do not feel like answers and make that relieved shift to having our needs met. It can also be hard to plunk down a line in the sand and stand our ground for exactly what we want. (personally, i think i want things, and then i get them….may times to find out that i didn’t really want them in the way i thought.)

    Thanks Kathy and anonymous blog persona.

    • Kathy says:

      It does take courage and guts to state our needs, our desires, our fears, our challenges. Sometimes we want to so quickly turn things over to the positive without feeling, truly feeling, what it feels like to express that which hurts.

  3. Lucienne says:

    Oh Kathy,

    do you happen to have a mirror in your kitchen…? I had this fantasy that you were talking to yourself in the mirror, fixing your Soy Morning Mocca Java while pondering how to write this blog so everyone you love would get the point….;)

    • Kathy says:

      I am lucky, Lucienne, in that many of my family members do read this blog. Having said that–everything is a mirror for us. Writer and reader alike reflect one another constantly… Cup of java to you today, dear friend!

  4. jeffstroud says:

    Kathy,

    Brilliant! One must ask themselves, and I know you have and I have why am I writing my blog? what is its purpose? In my first blog I made those statements.
    These words on my blog are for me, to show up, to experience who I am. If others come along and read and comment great? If not that is ok, too. This has to happen in “real time” too! For if I have expectation of people, places and events, the true fulfillment of this experience does not happen.

    The fact that your blogger friend is asking why, is a step toward their awakening. Good for them. Good for you to be so wise and offer your wisdom.

    I am grateful for each person who reads and comments on my blog or about my blog. I have gotten message from other people who’s friends who have read my blog and think very highly of it. Has my family ever read my blog, I doubt it, do I care? No not really…

    Blogging is for me, everything else is Icing on the Cake!

    I am Love, Jeff

    • Kathy says:

      Jeff, I know my friend is reading these comments~~it is good that asking questions can be a step to realizing more, for helping to drop expectations.

      After I read your comment yesterday you prompted me to ask again, “Why am I writing this blog? What is its purpose?” Will keep pondering that today. A new purpose seems to arise fresh with every offering–from the sublime to the silly. I suddenly have no idea what is the purpose of blogging. LOL! That figures…

  5. jeffstroud says:

    Opps ! I meant to say something about your photographs! Something. Oh Just kidding… I am glad to see you are reaching out, trying new things, these are interesting and creative.

    Jeff

    • Kathy says:

      Jeff, these photos are part of the train-photographing series (a couple days ago.) I like the train photos the most of all the recent photos. The light was perfect, the geometry stood out, the eye adjusted, the camera cooperated! Thank you so much for your valuable appreciation.

  6. Colleen says:

    Kathy, being a non-blogger I’m maybe not even qualified to make any comments on this…….
    But, as a blog-reader, I have deep and heartfelf appreciation for all of you who do blog. Who share yourselves and your lives in this way. You constantly surprise me, delight me, make me laugh….sometimes cry, nudge my heart and soul in such unexpected ways.

    Kathy….you my friend, showed up in my life today. Thank you.

  7. Dawn says:

    Done the blogging both ways – very public and more private. Sometimes we have “messages” in us that need to get out – and sometimes we need to hear our own thoughts first before we set them out in the wild!

    Keep blogging – our pictures and words reach who they need to reach.
    🙂

    • Kathy says:

      That is a good way to look at it, Dawn. There are different ways of blogging, different levels of privacy. Different ways we’re comfortable sharing with the general public–and ways we want to process quietly first. Good point!

  8. Marianne says:

    Great topic, Kathy! I love what you say about our true friends being those present with us. I have many people outside my family that I’m closer to. And ditto to what Jeff said. I too, began blogging for myself, to learn about me and explore creativity. However, I must confess that I do like it when someone comments (family or otherwise) and visits my site. But, it is a personal blog and I know that many people are not into “stuff” that I’m into. Thanks for a great discussion. Again.

    • Kathy says:

      It is a fun discussion, isn’t it? I convinced my friend that this is a topic that isn’t mentioned often, but really needs to be expressed. We need to get this out into the light! Pondering presence this morning–that presence (in the form of communication) helps us feel closer to people. But also pondering absence of communication–and thinking about how we can either (A) strike out in annoyance because a person appears absent from our life or (B) somehow love them in their absence.

      Have been meditating on this during the week. It does feel good when people comment and/or visit the site.

  9. Boy, although the Halloween ictures were interesting I enjoy these so much more. My favorite is the rusted one with the grass/flowers….?

    Thanks for sharing yourself all the time to us to go inside and have more courage, faith, fun, and spiritual experiances!

    ::hugs::

    Kim

    • Kathy says:

      I am glad you like the railroad photos, Kim. I hope we all have the courage to face these kinds of questions and concerns–whether our mind says they are petty or not–and find the gold nuggets buried within.

  10. sonali says:

    Fantastically expressed the deep inner feelings of a blogger. yes, one blogs having a goal to make a difference to somebody, and when no one reads, i know! But yeah, your post definitely, makes a difference to keep a blogger high on energy!

    Wonderfully composed! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Sonali, thank you for stopping by. It does enrich us when we can make a difference with our words and feelings and presence~~may you find many readers who resonate with your beautiful words!

  11. Susan D says:

    I struggle with this. Not a blogger either but have written – off and on – all my life… poetry, newspaper articles, short stories … and on Facebook…
    When I wrote the guest blog, you know I suffered as none of my family or friends even bothered to check it out, until very late in the day/night.

    Hard to admit to experiencing the same feelings when no one, or only a nibble, happens re Facebook posts. You also know that I purged 47 “friends” who never stopped by to say hi or to even “like” anything. How hard is it to click the “like” option on fb? … yeah, hurts when no one acknowledges my words. Oh, not all my sports stuff – don’t care, but for the other thoughts, posts, yeah ….

    Here’s the thing: I tell myself that I’m self-centered and needy for wanting to be acknowledged. Then, I go to another level and tell myself that I’m arrogant for thinking I don’t need what all humans need – to be recognized. Then there’s the self-righteous me who prattles on, saying “well, I always comment on people’s stuff”- pat, pat, pat. No matter what, it all ends up being about me. There’s the rub.

    Love the topic, love the photos, love you, Kathy….

    • Kathy says:

      Susan, I told you yesterday~~I absolutely love your honesty. You express “forbidden” or “scary” feelings with more courage and bravery than most folks I know. You inspire me all the time to be more honest with my own shairngs.

      I remember after you posted your guest blog and how much it hurt you when your family or friends didn’t stop by. (I shared that story with my blogger friend, too, as another example of not being alone in this.)

      Aren’t we all self-centered and needy and wanting to be acknowledged at times? At other times we’re wise and beautiful and creative and amazing? How do we live between the tension of these seeming opposites? How do we accept ourselves without attaching to an extreme?

      Oh oh! The spiritual fanatic is coming out! lol…

  12. P.j. grath says:

    One of my friends sometimes apologizes for not reading my blog more often, saying she knows she “should.” I tell her there is no obligation attached. I want to write it, and I love it when people want to read it and do, but it’s just out there, making no demands on anyone. Another friend told me outright that she doesn’t want to read the blog precisely because it’s what “anyone can read” about my life. Even strangers can read it! She wants to hear from me directly, one on one. But I’m sure you, Kathy, and others have had the experience of writing personal e-mails or letters and realizing that you’re repeating yourself, over and over. There are many private confidences I save for personal conversations with friends. Then there is the blogosphere, where a stranger may happen along, be interested in what I’ve written, and we become long-distance friends. Do my readers love me more than old friends and family members who don’t read the blog? I don’t think so, but my blog readers have no other access to me. I do know what your blogger friend is feeling. I have been through it! It’s a rough spot in the blogging road, but there is smooth sailing on the other side, once we come to terms with accepting what people give us and being grateful for those who receive our gifts as we intend them. Peace!

    • Kathy says:

      Pamela~~your words will give hope to many! “I do know what your blogger friend is feeling. I have been through it! It’s a rough spot in the blogging road, but there is smooth sailing on the other side, once we come to terms with accepting what people give us and being grateful for those who receive our gifts as we intend them.”

      To think that it’s a necessary stage that many of us go through. And that–eventually–we will come to a place of simply writing because we want to write. Period. So simple!

      Hugs, and peace to you, also.

  13. Carol says:

    I’ve caught myself more than once responding to a question from someone I know “it’s on my blog”; fortunately I usually catch it before it gets all the way out. My family and friends do read my blog, or at least most of them, but most do not comment. My bloggy friends comment. I appreciate all the visits and the comments, but I have to remind myself when I get disgruntled because something I’ve written that I thought would strike chords and get responses does not, I really am doing this as an outlet for me. Others enjoying it is a bonus. There are days when it’s hard to remember that though.

    • Kathy says:

      Laughing, Carol! Me too. Unfortunately I don’t sometimes catch it on time, especially with my poor mom. “Mom, it’s on my blog!!” She reads every 2-3 days, so she’s sometimes behind-the-times. Most of my family doesn’t comment either. We have to remember: we’re doing this as an outlet for us. Others enjoying it is a bonus. (Our blogging mantra, lol!)

  14. Carol says:

    Oh duh! Love your photos. I’m working on getting myself to take pictures from odd angles of odd things. Maybe I’ll make a resolution next year. And then maybe I’ll keep it.

  15. Karma says:

    I, too, wish I would hear more often from “real life” family and friends about my blog, but as you’ve so eloquently explained, we are developing another set of family and friends here in the blogosphere. I don’t think I would have necessarily “taken” to blogging as quickly as I did if it weren’t for the interaction. It can be fun to follow the interaction and see it spill over occasionally to other blogs that many of the same folks read. Hopefully your anonymous blogging friend can take heart in that idea.

    • Cindy Lou says:

      Yup….it really does feel like a family and one that I’m thankful to be a part of. Thanx, guys! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Karma, I often wonder if I would blog so much if it wasn’t for the feedback and response. It’s a really interesting question. On the one hand, I love love love creating. Mostly with words, but photography is becoming a close second. Sometimes I think it would be more “pure” to blog being completely detached to feedback or readership. More mature. More spiritual. But you know what else is strange? I blog in “Simply Here” and never care two hoots about readership. It’s simply blogging to express, to create. Twenty readers is a wild & crazy day. OK, maybe I care .25 hoots. But not much!

      I think my friend is seeing how many people fill the same way. Hopefully…

  16. Robin says:

    “Maybe our heart just needs to be open beyond old expectations of friends and family. Who shows up today are friends and family…do you think?”

    I like that. 🙂

    Most of my family and friends don’t read my blog either. It’s gotten to be a joke when they ask about what I’ve been up to lately and I say, “If you read the blog…” It wasn’t a funny-ha-ha joke at first but I’ve been blogging long enough now to have found out what you said is right (in all of your approaches!) and now it has become a funny-in-a-good-way joke.

    Perhaps their lack of visits have provided room for others to enter my life. Who knows? Whatever the case, I am grateful for those who do show up and comment or not comment. 🙂

    I really like your bits and pieces of trains photos today.

    • Kathy says:

      Robin, that is cool! The stages that bloggers go through. Kind of sounds like the stages of dying…we eventually get to joking and acceptance. LOL! I have thought of that, too. When some folks don’t visit, there is a place for more to enter in. I, too, am grateful for those who show up and comment or don’t comment.

  17. Cindy Lou says:

    What incredible wisdom all of you have!

  18. barb says:

    The interesting thing is that I know friends and some family read but they never comment – though occasionally they will say, “I read it on your blog.” However, I am always pleasantly surprised by the people who do read and comment – I think I have very low expectations. I write it for myself and am pleased if others read.

    • Kathy says:

      Low expectations are probably the key to a happy life, barb. (That’s what I imagine, anyway.) When we have high expectations, we are so often disappointed. I want to be like you when I grow up. smiling…OK, some days I am like you. Not all days, though.

  19. Dawn says:

    I think some of my family reads my blog…but rarely if ever comment. Then there are people at work or distant friends that will say something when we’re together and I’m wondering how they know something and it occurs to me that they’re reading the blog. I wish they’d comment more, but I think they like the anonymity. Some have even said they didn’t think they were “qualified” to comment..like what they said wasn’t important. That’s sad.

    • Kathy says:

      Isn’t that interesting when odd people read your blog? I don’t mean odd in the sense of eccentric–I mean odd people that you wouldn’t expect to read your blog. It makes me sad, too, when people say they aren’t qualified to comment or that everyone has said everything already. That’s ridiculous! Everyone may have said it all ready–but not like you can say it. Every one of us has a special energy to add.

  20. Nicole Smith says:

    Now that I have become so inconsistent in terms of reading blogs or Facebook, I have developed a very different perspective on this than I had when I was a regular blogger and following blogs of my friends daily.

    It seems like another existence, that mode.

    I have been defriended by at least one person on Facebook for this sort of reason. I remember feeling a mild surprise and disappointment – I like her and often enjoyed reading her posts on the infrequent visits I make to Facebook. I was drawn in to comment more often to her than to most of my friends, which made it ironic to me that it wasn’t good enough to meet her standards. I didn’t make a fuss about it, just let her slip out of my life since that was her wish.

    Perhaps deciding people don’t care if they don’t read your blog is in a way insisting that they share your priorities in terms of how they spend their time online. For many reasons, people’s online habits can be/become radically different from one’s own, but they can still care, very much.

    I remember when I used to get exasperated at people without Blackberrys, who didn’t check their emails for weeks or months on end. Now I just accept that emailing is not important to them, and that if I want to stay in touch, a phone call could be more effective – if that works for them…

    The world isn’t all about me and what I think is important. I appreciate others’ individuality.

    Thanks, Kathy, for giving me the opportunity to think about this issue, and comment here. You will always matter to me however absent I may seem.

    • Kathy says:

      What wisdom, Nicole! (OK, I am thrilled to see you. I am thrilled you commented. I am thrilled you stopped by. OK, will stop blathering like an idiot now.)

      Here is your incredible gem that stood out: The world isn’t all about me and what I think is important. I appreciate others’ individuality.

      YES! I would like to highlight that in bold…if I can figure out how.

      It sounds like you have been moving through the Stages of On-Line Presence into a larger awareness.

      May we all rise to that place–without beating ourselves up on the Internet Highway.

  21. Reggie says:

    OK, Kathy, I’ll admit to having those very same thoughts too. :-} {slightly wobbly, embarrassed smile} This was a most insightful blog – as were all the comments you got. Thanks for shining the light on it. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Reggie, I think many of us have had these thoughts, at times. Shall we start a support group? I am so grateful to my friend for expressing this! She gave a great gift to all of us, didn’t she?

      By the way, I’ll bet you weren’t feeling sad or wobbly or embarrassed yesterday, were you? Congratulations for making the front page of WordPress.com on Freshly Pressed!

      Any of you comment readers please scurry over to look at this amazing tale: http://namibsands.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/the-first-photos-of-miss-milly-mays-younguns/

      I won’t say any more, but it involves a hen and piglets. No kidding!

  22. georgia mom says:

    A FRIEND E-MAILED ME SAYING SOMEONE IN A SMALL UP TOWN HAD WON 140,000 IN THE LOTTERY. WONDERED IF IT WAS YOU AND BARRY. TOLD HER I WOULD CHECK THE BLOG. ALSO ADDED THAT 140,000 WOULD BE A BURDEN TO YOUR BUSY LIFE STYLES! THE FAMILY DOES LOVE ALL THE BLOGGERS. SOMETIMES WHEN WE READ ALL THE STOIC COMMENTS, WE FEEL UNABLE TO CONTRIBUTE. ESPECIALLY AT AGE 78 WHEN WE HAVE TO GET ON THE COMPUTER TO RECALL FACT AND FICTION IN OUR PASTS AND WHEN WE HAVE TO PUT OUR ‘TO DO LIST’ ON 3 X 5 CARDS!!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh wouldn’t we have loved to have won the lottery?? Sounds like someone in the Upper Peninsula got very lucky. It wasn’t us… I think you are the best mother-in-law in the whole world and I am so very glad that you read this blog. And that sometimes you stop to comment!

Although I don't reply to every comment on every blog, I do read all comments with mesmerized interest and try to return the favor by visiting YOUR blog or at least sending you heartfelt well wishes.

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