~Wednesday, August 14, 2013

On Blogging

He Loves Me Not is turning eight this month. Eight years.

I hope I've grown in those eight years. I mean, I know I have. The first page of my blog reads of a scared 24-year-old girl, not of an engaged 32-year-old. But steps I've taken were so small that they didn't feel like leaps and bounds. It's only with time you can turn around and realize you are nowhere close to where you started.

So I guess I'm supposed to inject some wisdom of what I learned from writing a dating blog for eight years.

Be real. The reason I started this blog is because I was desperately lonely and I wanted someone to know how I was feeling, all of the ugly thoughts and emotions. I didn't feel comfortable attaching that to my real name, probably because at the time I was being harassed on a different blog with my real name on it and I couldn't take any more shame or rejection. But I think as humans we seek connections with one another, and this is formed not by being polite and proper, but by being real and honest.

Find your style. This is not my first blog. This is actually my third. One's been outright deleted and one's been taking up space on the ol' Blogger server. Despite being penned by the same author, they did poorly, receiving an average of 60 visits a day. This one, back when I was posting three times a week, received about 1,000. The difference, I believe, was that this blog had a clear, defined style while the others were hodgepodges of links and quips of funny conversations and day-to-day life. The posts on this blog read like chapters in an ongoing story. I used lots of dialog originally because I didn't trust my interpretation of conversations. I wanted to present impartial dialog so someone could tell me what the hell was going on. Eventually I found my style and ran with it. I didn't need pictures because my words painted my pictures. I preferred simple web design so as to not distract from the writing.

Love and hate your commenters. This is probably my biggest struggle. People! They love to help! Bless their hearts. But also the Internet is a trove for the worst people on the planet. Be prepared for lots of unsolicited advice. Also be prepared to read in detail what a terrible human being you are. It's your blog, so it's your rules. My rule was to weed out trolls by not allowing anonymous commenting. You are within your rights to delete nasty, rude comments.

I think the best comments were ones that created discussion or shared feeling. There are people that root for you and pray for you, and they are just the best. There are people that make you cross cities and states and sometimes countries to meet. I have my Canadian wishlist and my United Kingdom wishlist. As a whole, my life has been more fulfilled by the relationships I established with the commenting community.

To thine own self be true. Sometimes commenters can be right. Sometimes they can read the dialog and put together perspective that you are too close to see. And sometimes they can be grossly wrong. Sometimes they will tell you to not take a chance on a Jewish man because you are different religions. Listen to your gut and trust it.


Anonymous said...

While I haven't been here from the beginning, I did read through all the posts once. I love your writing and hope you continue.

Dawn said...


Bathwater said...

Blogging has always been rewarding for me. Real and honest is the best advice for anyone. We are not all going to be popular. So of the things we say will not always be popular but honesty, and sharing our struggles forms universal connections.

Danielle said...

Reading through my first posts are the epitome of embarrassing and I've had half a mind to delete them. Yet, they do remind you on how much you've grown... or sometimes not at all.

Anonymous said...

I've always enjoyed your posts and I hope you will continue to blog - if you need to start a new one to represent the new chapter of your life I'm all for it!

Juanita said...

I'm with katie up above - I read so many years of posts once I finally discovered your blog. I love your writing and seeing how much you've grown and what an amazing place you're at in life now.

Anonymous said...

I just want you to know that your blog helped me through a tough time. I think sometimes people underestimate how much their writing/thoughts/comments can make a difference to someone sitting in another part of the world.
Like many - I was not here from the start but I have read every one of your posts and they have all made me feel something - I was never left with any indifference. You deserve only good things Sarah. I hope you continue to blog - living vicariously through you has been amazing! ;-)

And even if I'm not on your UK list - that's ok.... I guess! :-P

Anonymous said...

I feel a little teary eyed reading this...it's crazy to have read your story from the beginning and to see it end. I know your life goes on, but for me, you've become a beloved character out of novel.

It's always so hard to say goodbye when books end. I really do hope you continue writing, because in books, we get the happy ending but we are just left with an ending, not a continuation of a person we grew to love.

Thanks for filling many of my days working in a slow lab in a hospital with laughs and insights. And thanks for sharing all of the personal, hard to tell details.

Anonymous said...

Happy blogaversary!

M said...

that's wonderful advice. Also, your blog has been magic to read x

Angela said...

I can't wait to read the new blog. :)


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