Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hello, My name is Dana Ellis and I have an addiction..

I live inside my blog.. I just can't stop. My fellow bloggers might understand. My children's grandparents are thankful. But for the rest of the world, I feel that quite often, someone turns and rolls their eyes after I say, "you know, that's funny, I just wrote about that on my blog". I imagine that they have conversations with their husband's that go something like, "If I have to hear one more thing about Dana's stupid blog"..

Maybe all bloggers aren't like this but I know I'm not the only one. I've heard others.. Comments like, "I met her through my blog", "she's a blog friend", "she's an amazing blogger", or, "this is so going on the blog". We have various blogger relationships. There are those that come for informational purposes only: the coupon blogs, the photography blogs, whatever your hobby. Even this is a compliment because these readers believe that you have something to offer. There are your most loyal blogging friends. They visit your blog regularly and leave a comment even when they don't have anything to say but they just want you to know you're not alone. You may have never even met these people in life but somewhere in your heart, you know that you are kindred spirits connected by cyberspace. There are your blogger friends that you do know but are also weighted down by their own lives and only get a chance to connect during nap time. You've tried to get together. But you ended up spending your time breaking up fights between your children and trying to yell over the children so you can hear each other. There is the relative or friend from sixth grade that sets up a profile just for you so that they can leave you comments. They have no interest in having a blog of their own but if it's important to you, it's important to them. These are friends worth holding on to, friends worth fighting for. There are friends and relatives that tune in regularly but don't leave comments. Maybe they don't know how, maybe they're afraid they'll say something stupid. But regardless, they genuinely care about your life and have nothing to gain from being there.

My strangest blogging experiences have been when someone approaches me that I know but didn't know follows my blog.. I instantly try to replay everything I've ever posted in my head and see it through their eyes. IE: Wow, how she take what I said on that day? I wonder if it offended her when I said that.. I never used her as an example did I? Oh gosh I hope she didn't think I was talking about her when I said this because I so was not..

Granted, not all the experiences are positive. There is the person that comes along just looking for a disagreement. And there is the wonder of what caused someone that used to read your blog regularly to stop. The funny thing is, I know that when this happens to me, it's simply because I got busy. There is also the person that you know has been lurking about for years but they never chose to say something until they disagreed with you. Disagreeing is okay. As a blogger, I like to hear opinions different than my own. They help me to grow. But disagreeing only is generally frowned upon. But, at least for me, for the most part, it's simply a circle of friends that I love and enjoy. And if I'm being truly honest, these people that live inside this world have become an important part of me.

So, how is it that this real yet not tangible experience can become so much a part of our lives. Maybe it's my need to finish a complete thought when my kids aren't there to disrupt me. Or maybe it's because I can have my kids disrupt me and go back and find my place and finish the thought. Maybe it's my need to express myself to someone other than a two year old. Maybe it's my need to feel that I can still use my brain for something other than remembering where I put the wipes. Maybe it's because I usually get low on minutes on my cell phone about half way through the month. Maybe it's my need to be able to think something through and re-read it before I put it out there. Maybe it's simply a need to be heard.. I'm sure it's a mixture of a lot of those things and more but I'm having a hard time putting my finger on it..

So what about you? Do you blog? Do you read blogs? Why? What is it that so entices you as it also does me. Please help me shed some light on the mystery of the blogging phenomenon.



No matter how mixed up it may seem, these are MY thoughts and how I see it said...

Hey Dana,

Hmmm I kind of find the same thing. I had a lady leave a comment on one of my blogs that lived in some othe state and I have no clue as to who she is. I THINK (and this is from another blog lover) some people like drama and find great comfort in seeing others go thru things, other people are just curious as to what you may write next, some are bored and have nothing else to do and some, really are interested in our well beings and want to make sure we are okay. At least I find these things with my own writings.

For me personally, its a way to escape. To have a moment where everything is OK and nothing else matters while I write. It keeps me calm and sane.

Keep writing girl, I love it!!

Nellie the Great said...

At least you get comments on your blog. ;) You're the only person who consistently comments on my blog. :) I have a bunch of lurkers, which is ok by me. :) To me, my blog is primarily a way to disseminate information (particularly now!) but also a chance to express myself. Like you said, sometimes it's nice to be able to use words like "disseminate" and "consistently" without having to explain what I mean. Keep going girl, you always give me something to think of and a chuckle or two. :)

Papakeith said...

Your blogs keeps me intouch with your part of the family. To be very honest I read you my son not so much. because you share life and what is going on with ya'll. He is theological and I do that every day. You blog life and that keeps the geographic distance not so far. Love always.

Christy said...

I absolutely read your blog! I enjoy all of your posts and I'm so very envious of how you are able to put such thought and emotion into every one of your posts. You are funny, smart, honest and have become my "5 minute get-away" from work.

Sometimes, I feel silly for blogging. I think, "Who would want to read this?" I get nearly 25 hits a day and comments are rare. But, occasionally I’ll run into someone at Wal-Mart and they say, "Hey, I saw that Post on your blog about ______________and it made me smile, laugh, cry. Recently, I did a post about a trip to TX with my parents, and I have had more people tell me how much that touched them and how proud they were of me.

Originally, I started my blog to journalize the renovation of our first home... it has now evolved into more than that. I enjoy blogging; I don’t know why--- I just do. I think I’ll enjoy it even more when I when I have a kid to talk about, and hopefully my posts will be more meaningful… but for right now, its just christyandpatrick.

BTW- I bought the "B" from Ross and have nearly finished my B&W picture frame hallway. :)

rachel =) said...

i write because i think i would explode otherwise and i blog what i write because it's important for me (and everyone else, to a certain degree) to be heard and to be understood. and i think because when we write here we say exactly what we mean and we have the time to think it out, it's more intimate; we cut the chase and get to what's really on our minds. i think that may be a part of why when we make connections with people we don't know through our blogs, it's something special. those are my two cents. ;)

i promise i'm going to email you soon! tonight or tomorrow, check your inbox. i love you, and i'm glad we still have the connection of the internet. =)

Anonymous said...

I have never missed one of your posts! I don't always comment because I don't always have something worth saying. I read to keep up with you, Adam and the girls. I tune in to see new pictures of my girls who I do not get to see nearly enough. (BTW a few more recent ones would be appreciated;-) I started a blog for the kindergarten and found that I am not such a good blogger. I just don't have time to keep it updated but I am glad that it is something that you enjoy because it does keep me informed. Love you Denise

Sara-Beth said...

I blog because it listens. It is the only thing that lets me get it all out, proof read it for complete thoughts, and can't argue back. It's therapy of sorts. I started so that others could watch Maggie grow- but I am horrible about posting pics and can't figure out video.

I love to read blogs! It is nice to know you are not alone in your thoughts, to get suggestions from others, or just see a different point of view expressed. I love to people watch and I guess reading blogs lets me "watch" people whenever I want.

I wasn't into blogging until I met you... Now I can only hope that one day my blog will be as inspirational and addictive as yours!

Brenda Collins said...

I blog because this is how I stay in touch with the world outside of my home. We move a lot (5 times in 6 years)! So this keeps me in touch with some of the same people no matter where we go. I get to keep friends.

I also blog because it is a place where I can keep track of what Lexi is doing and don't have to write it down in a book. We are limited on the amount of stuff we can take for each move. So all we have to ship is the computer and not a crap-load of memory books and scrapbooks.

I read blogs for the same reason I write in one, to stay in touch with the word outside my home. I love you! I love your blog!

Amy said...

I started blogging during my husband's first deployment to Iraq. He left 3 days before our second son was born. I hated for him to miss anything so I started a blog. I updated everyday with pictures of the boys and what we did. I hoped it would keep our family close. It did just that. What I didn't expect were all the other family and friends who enjoyed seeing what was going on with our family.

Unlike your blog, mine has no real thoughts. Just random tidbits of our daily life. Mostly pictures with a few cute stories thrown in here and there. Just enough to keep the Grandparents happy now :-)

I started reading other people's blogs the same time I started my own. It was a great escape late at night when the kids were in bed and I couldn't sleep because I was worried about my husband. Most of those people will never know how much their blogs helped me during each deployment. Just having some time to hear others' stories and to know I wasn't the only one going through whatever "crisis" we happened to have that week, was a lifesaver.

Since I started my blog, we've been through 2 deployments, 4 moves, and countless trips. It has become a wonderful way to keep in touch with all those folks who become part of your extended family at each place.

And now as I get braver and comment on some of those blogs I have read for so long, I have made some great new "friends".

Jay said...

I started my blog in the middle of a hard time, mainly just for something to do with all my free time --but, over the last year or so, I have used it more as a vent than anything else. and... Over the last month or so, I haven't used it much at all, other than checking out my sidebar links for updates. HA.

I read other people's blogs for various reasons... I have a photog blog that I check regularly b/c he brings something totally different to the usual table. I have a few inspirational blogs that I check, mainly b/c they do what they set out to do. And obviously, I read my friends blogs to check and see what is going on in their lives.

I read YOUR blog for several reasons:
1. I love you dearly
2. You have a way of making me feel like it's okay to not be perfect... in a "motherhood" world where it seems like that is the expecatation.
3. Free stuff. Hey, at least I'm honest.
4. I like to know what is up with Phwoey and Emma.

As for the blogging phenomenon, I don't really have an explanation - but I am glad that there is one. I don't know how I would keep up with people if there wasn't!

Lori Lincoln Grizzell said...

I have just started blogging and I can tell that it will be addictive. I sort of hope that it can stay just a journal of my thoughts, daily happenings, and a way of working out the things that are at issue at the moment. I love reading other blogs but only comment if I feel like I have something to add to the discussion. My one problem with blogging stems from a mindset that is well-established in my personality, and tends to have an effect on virtually everything I do. It is a sense that time is passing and I am being "unproductive." I think I can thank my genetics and environment for this gnawing, grating spoiler. But right now, blogging is winning the conflict.

Nellie the Great said...

Wow Lori, that's an interesting way of looking at things. I tend to see things almost the opposite of you. My blog time is some of the most productive time of my day! I love connecting with friends and family and sharing with them. Before blogging, I used to spend lots of unproductive time endlessly repeating information. I'm so thankful for blogs! Not to mention the fact that I get to meet and reach out to people all over the world through my blog. In my mind, the mundane tasks and chores that can fill up the day aren't always where I should be spending my time. I really hope you love blogging as much as I do and I pray that you find all your endeavors productive! :)

Anonymous said...

While I don't comment every day or on everything you write, I don't miss a thing...even the couponing and money saving things you post.

Information about what's going on with you, Adam, Emma, and Chloe are the highlight of my day. Really, sometimes it is the only laugh or pleasant moment in my sometimes overwhelming day. Your blog makes me and others "think outside the box," put ourselves in another's place and hopefully gain a little empathy for the situations you present for us to be prayerful about. You challenge us to be better, and you don't even realize how truly talented you are or how many people's lives you may be changing.

I remember vividly being a stay-at-home mom when Adam and Jan were little. It is the hardest, while most rewarding, job ever. I, also, know the added stress of being a preacher's wife during this same period of time.

Sanity is not overrated; and I remember sometimes being lonely during that time of my life, not having many adult conversations, often babysitting for other people, answering lots of phone calls from people that I didn't really have time to talk to (and some I didn't even want to talk to because they were so needy and took so much time away from my children and the things I needed to accomplish.) If I had been able to blog or even read and comment on other's blogs during that time (I did journal some,) I may not have needed to take anti-depressants, and I would have had more time for my children.

What you are doing is a ministry way beyond what is imaginable. Helping those who are lonely, giving needed money saving tips to those who are trying to stay at home with their children, keeping in touch with those who love you, using your time wisely to be a friend to as many as possible without neglecting your children, and shining a bright light and showing love to others that draws them to Jesus rather than sends them away in disgust.

I can't possibly thank you enough for the example you are living from my grandchildren. I love you.
- Lynn

Holly-- The Storm Chaser said...

I started blogging because I wanted to keep a "journal" of all the things my kids say and do. Everyone says, "Write it down or you'll forget it." So, this is my way of combining scrapbooking (which I've never gotten into much) and writing those memories down.

I too find myself thinking in blog terms throughout my day. I narrate to myself when I'm people watching in public, but then my Mom-nesia kicks in when I sit down at the com-pooter and I forget what I was going to say. Motherhood-- fun times.

So glad you love blogging cause there are a bunch of us who love reading!

George Houston said...

I know what you mean when you meet someone that reads you blog and you never knew it. It makes me feel like a celebrity.

I started blogging because I was reading blogs about people how ran and did triathlons. Blogs is where I would turn to find info on endurance sports because I didn't have anybody else to talk to about the sport. So, after a while of reading I started writing to share my story with others.

Runnin' Mommy said...

I just recently started reading your blog as you described, during nap times. I have really enjoyed it! I am new to the blogging world. I do it to keep our family and friends up to date that live out of town. I will be the first to say that I don't update regularly. It is a work in progress. I have found that I learn so much through the few blogs that I read regularly!