Wrap it up

30 Nov

And NaBloPoMo — the month of daily blogging and trying to convince others that you are not saying a dirty word, thankyouverymuch — is at an end.  I learned a few things (thank goodness) and now I make a batter out of those small items and bake them up into little cupcakes for you:

Blogging every day is work
I knew this, or rather, I suspected it, which is one reason why I haven’t really tried blogging before.  I’ve always written in journals, and I’m still lugging those journals around with me from ten, twenty, and thirty years ago.  (I know, because I just unpacked them.  Oh, the red-faced pain of reading my teenage draah-maaah.)  But blogging is different — blogging is public — you want someone to read what you’re saying, you want them to react and you hope they’ll drop you a note and stop by again sometime.  Even the shortest post takes time to put together, especially if you want to include a visual element to your story, as I do.  (Because my eyes like to read, too.)  With a daily blog, there’s hardly time to edit, to rephrase, to find a more elegant expression, to be more (or less) funny, or, let’s be honest, to spell — forget housework, work-work, email, feeding your children, baking, finding clean underwear, etc.  So kudos to the daily bloggers.  I’ll still get grumpy when I visit your sites and you haven’t posted an entry in days (dammit!) but I’ll understand.  You needed clean underwear.  Fine.

There is a blog for everyone
Another  reason I held back from blogging: would anyone particularly care?  The answer is yes.  There is a blog for everyone.  On every topic.  Nothing is too small, too specific, too personal, too esoteric.  This is powerful — we are not alone.  In my very specific genre of ex-pat American mothers living in the UK who have young families and who like to bake (and in my case, are possibly crazy)  there are dozens and dozens of us.  (See how I just said “us” there?  I just created a tribe.  I believe the rally cry will be: “Oooh, lovely!”)  Expand the focus just a little and expat women are writing about their amazing journeys all over the globe.  How freaking awesome is that?  Also amazing, the small person writing in a closet can have the impact of the big talking head writing from a studio. Have fingers and a laptop?  You have a world-wide platform.  Wow.

If you quote Fight Club in your post heading, you will get the.most.hits.ever.
You met me at a very strange time in my life.  ‘Nuff said.  (~waving at all the people who have now arrived here by accident.~)

Bloggers create supportive communities
Who knew?  I had fallen in to the mistaken belief that bloggers worked in isolation, shooting out their thoughts and then moving on.  Hmm, a bit of a masculine conception of blogging.  Turns out, blogging is for chicks!  I now have a long list of blogs I check near-daily, just to see how everyone is doing.  I might +1 or check a positive tick-box on a blog, just to show support for the writer — good on you for posting!  Doesn’t even matter what — just good for you for putting yourself out there and making the world a better place, one post at a time.  +1, my friend!

Blogging is worth the effort
When you’ve just moved to a new country — just for example — and just moved in to a new house — totally random example — and your kids just started a new school — just, you know, example off the top of my head — and you are trying to make new friends — I wonder who she means — and missing your old ones terribly — waaah, it’s me, it’s me — the daily discipline of blogging keeps your mind moving, keeps you looking around for new and engaging experiences, gets you rooted in yourself and in your day to day life.  It’s a good thing.  I’m grateful.

So what are you waiting for?  Are you going to start a blog?  Write a novel?  Drag out your old journals and start inscribing a new page?  What’s your favorite blog to read and where do you go for inspiration?  I’ve been so happy to have you all drop by this past month — truly, it’s meant more than I can say  — and while I won’t be posting every day in December I will keep on bringing you more butter and jam to go with the bread of our every day.

xo~ Monique

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19 Responses to “Wrap it up”

  1. Sarah November 30, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Why do you have to live so far away? WAH again! And really, by comparison you are close. And I knew I knew that line from somewhere – your facets continue to intrigue me. And YES I will be pissed when you haven’t posted in a few days – and I don’t mean drunk. And clean underwear is overrated – Banana Moon Boy wore dirty ones today (not by my choice). Butter and jam for the bread of our day – that’s a mantra I could live by, so I’ll try my best to be patient. No guarantees. (I’ll serial post on past entries to let you know I’m hanging around – waiting.) 🙂

    • Monique November 30, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

      How awesome are you? I’ve been so encouraged by your comments … like you are in some secret support squad for expats — flash the scone signal, woman gone crazy, needs Sarah Support!

  2. Ruth November 30, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    You’d BETTER keep posting, because I’m addicted to your blog now. 🙂

    • Monique November 30, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

      Ha! I think there are facilities for that. =) Ditto back to you, I love your blog.

  3. Lisa November 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    Originally, I didn’t want to be like every other stay at home mom and start a blog…. but I did, writing about being a first time mom wasn’t my thing and that blog slowly faded. Then, even though a really popular trend right now, baking turned out to be my thing. I try to tie in a little bit of everything- baking, books, kids, travel, living abroad. I agree that everyone has something to say and there will always be someone to read it!

    • Monique November 30, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

      And I think you’ve nailed it … a blog works when it reflects your own interests, even if no one else is reading ~~ find your groove and you’ll find others who like that groove, too!

  4. Ally Bean November 30, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    I found your blog via Zazzy. I met her during NaBloPoMo [not a dirty word] and am sorry that we didn’t connect earlier this month.

    I like your list of what you’ve learned. I agree particularly with your last point that blogging is worth it. Any doubts that I had were dispelled along the way as I NaBloPoMo’ed [not a verb really] through the month of November!

    • Monique November 30, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

      Hi thanks for commenting! Now I’ve found your blog & can try to keep up with yet another interesting thought stream! 😉 Laughing with/at this line of yours: “I’m at my best when I have a beverage in my hand. It can be hot or cold, but the mere existence of said beverage gives me the will to go on.”

  5. Zazzy November 30, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    Congratulations on making it through the month! You’re right, there’s a blog for everyone with no niche too small to form a community. Sometimes you even find a blogger that you connect with outside your own niche and the community grows. It’s a good thing. I hope to continue to follow along on your journey.

    • Monique November 30, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

      Thanks Zazzy! I’ve been so happy to read your comments this past month and to keep up with your blog as well.

  6. Emma Lee-Potter November 30, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

    I’m so glad I got involved in NaBloPoMo and discovered so many great new blogs like yours. I hope you are settling well in the UK and I will definitely follow your blog from now on!

    • Monique December 1, 2011 at 10:02 am #

      Hi, thanks for stopping by! Looking forward to keeping up with you through your blog as well!

  7. greatscott3 November 30, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

    Oh I want to get on board with everyone and say I love your blog too! I’ve loved watching you grow during this NOPOBLOMO (whatever!) process and how honest/real you always are. And I love this post. I started my blog with the intent of keeping our family in the loop during our crazy journey…but it has turned into so much more (for me). It has connected me to other people (like you), fufilled my desire to journal (never could get that going), keeps me looking at the big picture (yea, I was grumpy, but my kids still sweet so I must not be THAT grumpy) and gives me a creative outlet that I have long been looking for (although my photography is an expensive hobby!). As you said, blogging is awesome–so freakin’ awesome!–and I’m glad to be in the blogosphere with you! xoxoxoxo

    • Monique December 1, 2011 at 10:01 am #

      NOPOBLOMO? No problemo? Ha ha ha!! I love the structure to your blog — the gorgeous photos and the love of family — the window you open in to the world around you — definitely reaches out to more than ‘only’ far away family. {Blogoshpere hugs!} =)

  8. Louise December 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Nice work on making it the 30 days! Found myself nodding in agreement through this whole post. It is work, but totally worth it!

    Even though I enjoyed it, I’m glad NaBloPowhatever is over so I can spend more time reading other people’s blogs and continuing to get to know you all better. It’s such a comfort to know there are so many great women out there sharing their every day experiences.

    Looking forward to more butter and jam! 😉

    • Monique December 1, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

      Yay! The internets seem cozier since NaBloPoMoFoShoLallerlallerlaller … but I need to find an extra 2 or 3 hours in the day to keep up with everything!

  9. Colleen Gavan December 2, 2011 at 4:52 am #

    I love your reflections on posting every day. I was trying to think about what I learned and now I don’t have to because you nailed it! I’ll continue to follow along.

  10. Kristy December 9, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    Monique, I’m so pleased you blog. Blogger ex-pat ladies like you get me through the homesick days when I’m thinking to myself: “What the hell am I doing here?!” It’s nice for us to share our experiences and know that we are all in this thing together.

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