Blog — It’s Not a Four-Letter Word

Okay, you got me. “Blog” is indeed a four-letter word. More on that later.

Let’s talk about pencils. Smooth, shiny, six-sided stalks of serenity. A graphite core tucked away, hidden, enveloped in a cocoon of quiet promise.

Pencils are patient. They don’t act as harbingers of deadlines, rather, they offer sustenance to the challenged mind. Who hasn’t tasted the metallic triumph of chewing on an eraser’s casing at the end of a pencil? Who hasn’t drummed a pencil on a desk, twirled one to tune out a teacher or broken one in half, releasing an unleashed dormant Lou Ferrigno?

Here I am a decade ago, looking decidedly not dorky in my sweater set and sneakers. Though, a week ago, in the operating room with my son, I did transform for a few terrifying seconds into The Hulk. Had to be done, and nothing was really harmed except an errant spotlight.

Back to pencils.

Pencils offer nothing but hope. The chance to express yourself, any way you see fit. (Beginning to see my connection to blogging here? Not yet? No problem. Let me be more obvious.)

Blogs offer nothing but hope. The chance to express yourself, any way you see fit.

Too obvious?

Let’s pause for a moment, and reflect upon why you’re here. Most likely you have a blog of your own, and most likely it’s here on WordPress. If you leave me a comment (and if you’ve linked your Gravatar like a good little blogger) I will, using my commonly available one to two brain cells, be able to find your blog and leave a comment in return. Pretty neat. Comments are definitely a reason to blog.

I’ve been blogging a little over a year. Learned a lot of “netiquette,” and seen my share of horrors (check out the video link in that post’s first comment). Yet one giant, overarching, ever-present theme I’ve read in the posts and comments of fellow bloggers is, “I don’t tell people I have a blog.”

I can think of a few reasons for this (not counting the above-mentioned horror in what I otherwise believe is a fantastic blog!). Most of the time, I don’t tell people I have a blog either. Or I do it by way of a pre-apology. A “please don’t feel like you have to read this” warning brief. Accompanied by a hidden message, “Of course I think it’s awesome or I wouldn’t have mentioned it to you.”

Blogging is a very private endeavor, by virtue of it being a written expression of your soul.

Yet at the same time, blogging is an incredibly public endeavor. And that’s what took me the better part of a year to reconcile. How can something so intrinsically good and open and downright illuminescent — you learn about yourself, when you write — withstand the ravages of the open internet?

Through BBFs. Best Blogging Friends. Never was this more clear to me than when I first posted about my son’s need for a third surgery. He’s five. And the outpouring of well wishes, the mountainous amount of sympathy and prayer and good thoughts directed my way — it changed everything about the way I viewed blogging.

I looked around at other platforms before I started my blog here on WordPress. Scratched a few pencil marks over with the other guys. Tried to get a feel from the zeitgeist about where I should house my adventures. In the end, I chose WordPress (clearly you know this, as you are reading my WordPress blog right now and you are a smart individual). WordPress is classy, elegant, and full of all the hopes and promise of a fresh pencil. Also, it’s full of more smart individuals than I’ve found on any other blogging platform. It’s versatile, like a hoodie. Something you enjoy for the simple reason that it’s comfy, there when you need it, ready for anything, and accepting of who you are at this very moment.

But wait, there’s more.

Every time I need a new surface to scratch on, WordPress delivers. VideoPress, Customizable Themes, Widgets — it’s like I can reach all the prizes tacked to the temporary walls at a carnival. Many of my very favorite blogs have changed their themes more than once during my tenure here. Like all good ideas, monkey see monkey do. I think I’ve had four different themes since I began. Because I keep learning new features. And WordPress keeps launching new features. Or updates. Like we’re all working together to make this blogging journey a finely tuned machine. When WP first rolled out those little orange notifications, I remember many of us squealing with joy like we’d found the last seat in musical chairs.

Yet beyond the technical, lies a humming, roiling undercurrent of reality.

Through blogging, I’ve read about birth and death and new jobs and old memories in a way that just doesn’t exist anywhere else.

For many years, I was a TV News Reporter and Anchor. I’ve worked in all mediums of writing and reporting. Television, print and online. I’ve been a print editor, a video editor, a writer, videographer and photographer for those media. I’ve sat as Board Member for local chapters of national writing groups.

Yet there’s something quite different and special about blogging.

In the year that I’ve been blogging, I’ve enjoyed so many wonderful posts, visited amazing countries, seen breathtaking photos, read heart-pounding stories, learned recipes, learned history, learned the soul of a people all from the blogs here on WordPress. We are a community, are we not? And I am glad to be a part of it. An online writers’ group such as I never could have dreamed just a year ago.

If it weren’t for WordPress, my path to travel on those difficult days would be shy a good number of encouraging intentions. And my guilty admissions (too much chocolate) would have about a hundred less minds to enjoy them. I would never have heard of geoducks (see horror, above), seen professional portraits of the world’s beauty or lost myself in the grandeur of homespun memories.

Blogging is — a chance.

My parents had an electric pencil sharpener that sat like a mini monster on our kitchen counter. Loud enough to drown out all other sounds, tempting enough to draw me to it over and over with a yellow pencil poised in my eager palm. Just daring me — to write something new.

It’s a great feeling.

Whether or not you share your blog, really, it’s never something to be ashamed of. It’s not a four-letter word, forbidden in mixed company. Well, as I previously conceded, it is a four-letter word. But let’s lump it in with this four-letter word, from Will Smith.


Blogging is, well — DAMN!

534 thoughts on “Blog — It’s Not a Four-Letter Word

  1. All so very, very true, but no point was better put than “Of course I think it’s awesome or I wouldn’t have mentioned it to you.” I felt fully exposed, in a good way, with that sentence. Damn!

    1. Too true. I feel silly telling my friends about the newest updates with my photo blog and business, but it’s so so so exciting for me! The laughter and happy sharing is definitely worth the chance of feeling sheepish!

      1. I’ve been wanting to say congratulations on being Freshly Pressed (yet again!!) – how fantastic and well deserved. It’s a hoot that my comment has been so popular – makes me feel that much more connected!

  2. Love this post! I struggled over the last year choosing what to share or keep private from the blogging world. After a lot of thinking, pains from thinking too hard :), and noodling it over, I decided to share more. This community is one so close-knit and simultaneously huge that there is always one person, at least one, who needs to hear what you have written whether it’s a sweet memory, a funny observation, or those god forsaken geoducks!

    1. My sentiments exactly, Tori. Although I am new to the blogging world, and a certified over-thinker, sharing more (if even to one person) has helped me find my comfort zone here on WP.

    2. Hi Tori, you make some great points, and I think you share just the right amount. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy your blog so much! You are open, and honest, and willing to laugh at yourself (such as with that scarf-wrap-dress!).

  3. Hi Melissa,
    First, let me confess that I love sharpening pencils. I don’t know why, but the whir of that electric pencil sharpening sends me into a happiness frenzy. Long ago in a world before computers, I wrote with pencils in a tiny notebook. Now with all the technology at my fingertips, I still sometimes revert to pencils because they remind me that writing is an art not to be hurried. WordPress has a wonderful community of writers who continually make me laugh, cry, and contemplate life. I, like you, feel forever blessed by the talent shared here.

    1. Couldn’t agree more, Vicky! And I love that term, “happiness frenzy.” I’ll have to remember that one, as my excuse the next time I eat too much chocolate (which will be in about five minutes).

  4. Melissa, you captured the essence of blogging perfectly. When I first started my blog, it felt like jumping off a cliff naked–like I was baring my soul to the world (or at least my five followers at the time), which was both exhilarating and terrifying. Then the comments starting rolling in from far and wide, and people like you made me realize that blogging is a wonderful outlet to connect with amazingly diverse and interesting people. And the support? There’s nothing like it in any other medium–especially the WordPress community. Thanks for sharing this delightful post. And pencils? Yep, I’m still a huge fan for everything they represent.

  5. Damn! You’re good Melissa. All the thoughts I ever had about blogs are right here in this one beautiful post. I agonize over “publicizing”. I keep private but then I seek approval. This post offers pride and the gift of courage. Thanks!

  6. I’ve only been blogging for a few weeks and already I can relate to much of what you said. Particularly how you feel when sharing your blog with others. I sincerely hope this will be a part of my life for many years to come.

  7. Wow, Melissa, you’ve summed up quite a bit of what I think about blogging and how I feel about this community. Why shouldn’t I tell people I have a blog? It really has been vital for me to have the ongoing positive support of other bloggers. I couldn’t keep blogging without it. WordPress is a great place to be and I am thankful for it, for without it, I’d never meet such amazing people like you.

    I still struggle with finding the balance between private and public life. Knowing what I should put out there and when. Most times I try to go with my gut instinct and I’ve never regretted it so far.

    1. And I’m glad to have met you too, Darla, as you are an amazing person! With a fantastic blog. You are so down to earth and full of humor, I look forward to all your posts. They are a bright spot in the blogosphere.

  8. Great post (and not just because you mentioned my blog and the rather unruly geoducks!) 🙂
    I have been blogging for almost a year and have found it to be so much more than I expected. The people are wonderfully supportive and I love the freedom I feel to write about, well anything really. I love how fellow bloggers are there reading, liking, commenting on the stories I choose to share whether it be about the Tooth Fairy, the death of my dad, random things my kids do, or, yes, even geoducks.
    And as for telling people about my blog, I don’t. I have only told a very small handful of people in my life. I am not sure why but so far I think I will keep it like that.

  9. Hi,
    A great post. Blogging certainly surprised me when I first started to enter the blogosphere, I have learned so much, visited cities all over the world, learned about different cultures, and the list goes on.
    I also feel we have a great community of bloggers here at WP, just amazing how many different people can come together from opposite sides of the world, and visiting some blogs is just like visiting a friend. 😀

    1. Mags, everything you said about the blogging world in general, I feel applies to your blog in particular. It’s fantastic. I learn something new EVERY time I visit. And you always brighten my day!

  10. Great write-up. I work for Automattic (, and this is exactly what gets me up in the morning and keeps me as motivated as on day one, years after.

    Thanks for blogging with WordPress, and on 🙂

  11. Insightful, beautiful blog. Like you, I’m a refugee from commercial broadcasting (a news director for an AM/FM broadcast group). My blog serves as a personal diary and commentary on local news without feeling the pressure of the workplace. Don’t feel shy about your blog–the wordpress community is a great group offering support and a wealth of ideas. Enjoy the experience…

    1. Hello fellow refugee! I never thought of myself as such, but the term fits quite nicely! 🙂 My only experience with radio was in college. Some classes, of course, and then I had my own show at the popular hour of oh-dark-thirty. Four in the morning, or something wonderful like that, on Saturdays. I had one listener, and it was my husband’s (boyfriend at the time) roommate. Still, it was amazing experience. Being a News Director is a wildly hectic and demanding profession; I’m glad you got to enjoy your experience in a place like Hawaii! Happy blogging.

      1. Thanks for the nice comment. Yes, I’m a past veteran of the midnight to 6 a.m. shift..what a life! Now, as a teacher, I’m mostly sane…my wife would, of course, disagree. Best of luck in your blogging adventure…blogging is lots of fun….Russ

  12. Mostly, I don’t advertise among my family and friends. And I sometimes wish that my blog was totally anonymous. Then I could really tell you some stories without offending anyone.

    1. I keep my blog anonymous so that my past stalkers don’t find me. Of course, this anonymity also lets me write things that I wouldn’t write publicly otherwise. However, I do wish this world was a safer place for women, so that we could really reach the heights we wish for.

  13. hi, i just started blogging, but to be very honest i love it already, as u said i too kept it a secret, but silent i guess all seek for approval. the whole thing you mentioned about blogging along with its relation to the pencils is amazing. you truly inspire me. beautifully written. all the thoughts that crowd inside my head has materialized in the form of your blog. you are a gifted blogger. 🙂

    1. Why thank you! And yes, it is nice to have “approval” from fellow bloggers. Or even just a happy click on the “like” button. Kind of like a cyber hug, and with the power to help you keep on writing.

  14. Great post! I’m reluctant to mention my blog because I don’t want people to feel pressured to read it. If they have decided not to read it, I don’t want them to feel awkward when they see me again. Much to my embarrassent, my husband passes out my blog’s business cards like he’s the Easter Bunny passing out eggs and candy.

  15. I quite enjoyed this post and agree that pencils are indeed patient and i have chewed on quite a few metal ends of th emany pencils i’ve had before…and drummed and twirled the same to drown out my professor’s voice out of boredom…this article is superb..thanks for sharing your insight on blogging..i agree with every bit of idea you’ve imparted here 🙂 ..cheers

    1. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the post. Pencils and pens and any writing implement, really, have always been special to me. Just as I said above, they, like having a blog, represent a “chance.” Cheers to you, too!

  16. I wish I’d read this a year ago when I started my blog. I still remember the terror I felt when I pushed the “publish” button for the first time. I’m still struggling with the what to share/not share decisions. I post my blog on my facebook page, so lots of people who know me know a LOT more about me than I would probably mention in casual conversation…but I’ve really not had any negative experiences, so I guess I should just lighten up! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on blogging.

    1. yes, I publish on facebook (and twitter too)…but only because I had no idea of the reach of the wordpress community. Maybe I’ll stop, I don’t know yet 🙂 I agree, my friends will be learning much more about me 🙂
      Glad I ‘m not the only one who breaks into a sweat as I press the ‘publish’ button 🙂

    2. I do the same thing. I push my blog posts to facebook and it sometimes feels weird to think people who know me might be reading my blog posts end up knowing more about me then I know about them. I only have a few friends who are bloggers. For the most part, I’ve been hearing lots of supportive feedback from friends.

    3. You’re welcome! 🙂 And I guess I escaped that “terror” feeling when I first hit the publish button because I figured no one was ever going to read what I wrote! Now, I write my posts at night and set them to publish in the morning. So it’s a nice little surprise when I see them come up. No pressure, that way.

  17. Great post as always. Congratulations on being featured on the front page (i.e., freshly pressed).

    When I think of the four-letter word blog, I think of another four-letter word: time. Writing is an investment of time, energy and soul. Blogging is the same. A huge investment and yet hugely worth it.

    I’m so very proud of my children and the wonderful young men they are turning out to be. I couldn’t imagine any context where I would look at one of my boys and say “he’s not mine.” (Even though we all joke about doing it, of course). On the contrary, I find myself at school and sporting events wanting to lean over and say to other parents “that one’s mine.”

    Why wouldn’t I do the same for my blog?

    1. Hi Kevin, thank you! From what I’ve read about your children, you have every right to feel so proud. They sound like wonderful boys. And I agree with your thought on writing, “a huge investment and hugely worth it.” So true!

  18. Great post! Love the BFF idea, that’s so true. Here’s my addition to the post: “Without blogs I would never have made the Lou Ferrigno connection to the Hulk and King of Queens, nor that he STILL does the voice of the Hulk in the Avengers!” Haha, thanks for that!

    1. Does he really? Does Lou Ferrigno do the voice for The Hulk in that movie? My husband and I made it out for date night a few weeks ago, and that’s the move we saw (loved it). Now you’ve got me curious!

      1. Yah apparently. I didn’t read on through your post after seeing the photo of the hand prints and wondered who he was (before you actually said it in your post, silly me), so I looked up his wikipedia page. It says he has done the voice in all the movies since his TV show, plus some computer games and animated TV shows. The Avengers had him uncredited, but I guess that’s because the Hulk didn’t really have any lines, just grunts. I guess I just always thought it was the current actor and they modified the voice…

      1. 🙂 But once it was blunted, they had to wait a long time for the pencil sharpener to be invented (1828) before they could use it again! 😉

  19. Not long ago I quit sharpening pencils, not because I don’t totally love them but because I’ve returned to journals from years past and found the lead to have faded. Some of it is hard to read. I’ve since moved on to pens. Sharpies…my favorite.

    I think sharing our lives is instinct. It’s human nature. The cool thing about a blog is that is allows us to be a little more creative than to simply doodle in our diaries.

    I hope your son is doing well. You have a wonderful sense of humor and an infectious enthusiasm to share. Have a great week!!

    1. Thank you for your well wishes for my son! He is doing great. But very anxious to be able to run and jump and climb and all the things five-year-olds just need to do. 🙂 Just a few more days, hopefully. I appreciated this line in your comment very much, “an infectious enthusiasm.” Yay!

  20. I love your blog, I think it’s very inspiring, you’re stories are so true, thank you for sharing! I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award and One Lovely Blog Award! All my best to you. xoxo Dany

  21. Get post. Ive only been blogging a few days but already I feel like my ‘blogging best friends’ really want me to do well and to write well and to just keep blogging. Theirs a great online community that makes writing all the more worthwhile and fun. Well done getting freshly pressed as well!

    1. Thank you. I was a reporter and anchor for a number of stations around the Pacific Northwest in the late 90s and early 2000s. It was a fun time in my life, but I am much happier as a writer. 🙂

  22. You’ve pretty much expressed all of the same feelings about writing a blog that I’ve felt. And since this is a, freshly pressed, I would imagine that many others feel the same way. One thing you did’nt cover was what happens when you start a blog and it takes a completely different path from what you originally had intended? Should you open a new blog address and split off what no longer kind of fits or just keep it helter skelter in it’s original confusing form?

    1. Hmmm… good question! I think only you can know the answer. A blog is so personal, such a reflection of its writer, that the design and path must come from within.

      That said, I do prefer blogs where I know what to expect when I get there. Whether it’s a familiar tone, a focus on a certain subject, or visually presented with a common theme, it’s much more enjoyable for me to read than one where I’m left confused, or not knowing where to click.

      Think of it as your own private magazine. What are you about?

      This very thing happened to me a few months ago. I’d started a blog with a focus on how children play. Then it morphed into all sorts of topics and it just wasn’t making sense to me anymore. So I left it, and started this blog. And another SUPER cool feature here on WordPress is that if you do want to start a new blog, you can “export” any posts that you want from your old blog to your new blog (look in your Dashboard). And all your comments will come along, too. So I brought with me the posts that I felt most reflected what I wanted my new blog to be about. And I’m so happy I did.

      1. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I didn’t know about the the export feature so at some point my blog will will split into two. Congrats again on freshly pressed!

  23. Well you certainly captured that four letter word – blog – and how lucky we are to have found this community in which to share our life experience. There is only one big wish – to have more time to read blogs and more time to write them – now, where is my pencil?

  24. First time hearing of your blog but did thoroughly enjoy the experience. I have never before thought of pencils as an immense freedom. They are a window into our very own souls. They teach us when we grab them and when we put them down. My guita pick and my pencil. Two things I will not allow to be taken away. Wonderfully brilliant post. You speak truth to fello bloggers and may you be blessed for that

  25. Unlike most I always tell everyone about my blog, regardless of the situation. As long as I can fit it into each conversation I find myself content with the slightest interest strangers (yes, strangers) and family percieve to have.
    Some may call it obsession, but I call it…an obsession.

    Congrats on the notorious Freshly Pressed!

  26. This is such a beautiful post! I love it, and I completely agree with you. There is nowhere quite like wordpress….. 🙂
    Congratulations for the freshly pressed!

  27. Melissa, very well said, my friend.

    Blogging is a family. They walk with you through the lean and the fat times. There really is nothing like it.

    I’m at about nine months in this journey and it gets more challenging and rewarding. But the connections remain constant. And that’s what it’s all about, after all.

        1. Interesting, Melissa. Mikalee Byerman, who commented above or below me on this comment, came up with the term WBFF for her and me – Writer Best … But I’m not sure if you saw where she made that comment. So, on BBF it may have been Darla, or one of my earlier posts on blogging. Not sure.

          My memory is shot! 😦

  28. I totally agree that a blog is a personal endeavor — yet here I am, turning my blog into a book (yes, it’s a “blook” — you heard it here first).

    Call me crazy!

    Best of luck with your bouncing baby blog. I’m sure it has a bright future!


  29. I agree and can so relate to everything you’ve said….I love blogging and have lately not blogged as much as I wish. In fact, I just got through writing about not writing as much as I need to. Writing to me, is more than expression through words, its like breathing, at times.

  30. Wow, being in your blog, made me feel ‘Empowered’ I am the guy who doest keep a diary, for fear that someone might pick it up and read it. Is blogging for that type of person? I do not know why I have felt this way for most of my life. But It would be nice to be able to open up, without the fear of being judged. Thank you for your lovely page.

    1. Yes, blogging is for “that type of person.” Even the person who doesn’t keep a diary. 🙂 Blogging is like a diary, to some extent, but when you really get into it, it is such an interactive experience that’s nothing like the solidarity you can feel with your diary. It’s an open exchange of thoughts. I wish you much happiness and happy blogging.

  31. Beautiful, insightful post! You captured “blogging” perfectly, with open honesty and candor. Love it!

    1. Thank you. And yes, linking your Gravatar to your blog is SO important. It’s really the only way for someone to find your blog, if you comment on theirs. As for the little circles — that’s just part of my theme. Have you been to the Theme Showcase here on WordPress? You might want to check it out, to find one with all the features you’d want. I promise, there’s one there!

  32. I can’t believe how much I agree with this.
    Writing helps me feel happier no matter what. Sometimes, I write to let my thoughts out, and sometimes, I write to remember things.
    I love all of the analogies and references on other things in this post 😀

  33. Wonderful entry! I agree with everyone else when saying that a lot of how I feel about the WP community you’ve summed up expertly! It never ceases to amaze me how many talented writers are out there, and I love discovering new people every day! I look forward to hearing more about your adventures, and hope that your son is doing well!

    1. Thank you very much for the well wishes for my son! 🙂 He is happily on the road to recovery. Healing nicely, but so frustrated that he can’t run and play just yet. Hopefully soon! And thank you for the kind words about the post. I agree — there are more talented writers out there than I even have time to read. And I read a lot.

  34. This post I think is truly relatable to anyone that has a passion for writing. Blogging is such a release, and it honestly allows a sense of peace to enter my mind, at least temporarily. We all are family in some way or other, and we should all just join hands and kumbaya with our little pencils.

    Lovely post.

  35. That’s so true. Blogging for me is travel around the world. And the advantage is that is free and your only suitcase is your talent. 🙂

    1. So true! I love “traveling” through the blogs here on WordPress. It’s like how I feel when I read a novel set in a far away land. So fascinating, and so wonderful to have these glimpses into the world around us.

  36. Well said, and congratulations on Freshly Pressed. I don’t necessarily tell people I write a blog, and they wouldn’t necessarily find me since I write under a pseudonym. But interestingly enough, my readership continues to grow, the feedback I get is a wonderful learning and training experience, and I find that topics can vary, and readers will still follow along.

    Congrats and thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, you make some great points. Topics can always vary as long as the “voice” stays the same. I was just discussing this with another commenter above. And I think readership and its growth is not at all dependent on people who know you in the real world. It’s all dependent on quality. And as yours is growing, you must be writing some wonderful stuff!

  37. Thanks for reminding me why I blog! I recently switched from blogger to wordpress, because of the reasons you mentioned- I love the layouts and publishing options.

    Oh my goodness… now I have that “dig a duck, dig a gooey duck, dig a duck a day” song stuck in my head LOL

    1. No way. You do not know that song, do you? 🙂 Fortunately my husband’s playing a song on his computer right now, so it won’t get stuck in my head. He turned on this “grown-up” song because I randomly asked him, “What song is in your head right now?” We’ve been teasing each other because it seems we always have a “kid” song stuck in our minds. Just for reference, he answered, “Once Upon A Dream,” from Snow White! 🙂

  38. I can only repeat what others have said….well done !! From the heart true. I too write under a fake name as I don’t know how to spell pseudonym (hope that other person spelled it right as I hate misspelled words). I hope to be able to articulate thoughts such as yours in the future.

    1. Thank you very much. Writing is writing, whether it’s under your name or not. You should feel proud to be getting your thoughts down and “out there,” even if you don’t get credit! 🙂

  39. Great post! I definitely love my blog but I also don’t want too many people I actually know reading it. I am proud of my blog though, with how much time and work I put into my blog. 🙂 Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  40. Discovered you through freshly pressed… love your post! I am new to blogging, but already having so much fun getting to know other bloggers and discovering new blogs! 🙂

  41. Hello there,
    I really enjoyed reading your post. I am new to blogging and so far, I have enjoyed blog hopping to see what is on other people’s mind. As for your’s, it awesome!!!

    Thank you for sharing,


    1. Thank you very much! Isn’t it fun, to blog hop? 🙂 Sometimes I just click through the posts in the Topics section to see what others are saying about whatever’s on my mind that day. But not that often anymore, as I follow a lot of blogs already, and need time to read those!

  42. I have been a closeted writer for years. Who’d want to read my stuff? I’d always think. Until I started blogging. It helped me “come out” as a writer to friends, family and co-workers. You have to strip away so much and reveal yourself. Scary and freeing at the same time. And slowly, it becomes addictive. This piece was so great! Loved it.

    1. Thank you — glad you liked the post! And yes, of all the things blogging is, “freeing” is among the very best. So glad to hear you have found your way out into the world of writing! It’s a great thing.

  43. Very nice — I can relate to the connections with other writers being such a huge plus about blogging. I resisted reading other blogs for the longest time — I felt like I was intruding on someone’s journal. Duh. But it’s the part about blogging that keeps me here. Great people.

    You should work for WordPress 😉

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    1. Ha! I could work for WordPress, I guess, as some sort of promoter. I tend to do that, for things and products I really enjoy. 🙂 If I like something, I want everyone to know so they can be as happy as me. Make sense? Anyhoo — Congratulations to you, too, on being Freshly Pressed on the same day! Like I said, we’re Freshly Pressed twinsies.

  44. Great post! There is a duality to blogging that can be easily overlooked. It’s like writing your private diary for the whole world to see. I am reluctant to mention face-to-face that I blog, yet have no problem posting it on Facebook. Sometimes I wished I didn’t tell anyone so I could just be completely open on my blog and not worry about offending too many people. 🙂 Sometimes I’d just like to complain and not get a call from someone saying, “Was that about so-and-so?”

    You are right though, blog is more than just a four letter word.

    1. Well, I guess the bright side about getting such a call is that you know people are reading what you write. 🙂 I do know people who have two blogs, one public and one private. Whatever works, I say.

  45. Dear Melissa,
    This little piece is beautifully written straight from your heart. You have spoken many things that is still hidden within me. I have too mentioned about my blog to about 4-5 friends. Yes, like you said there is purpose like many of the bloggers here. I hope i am able to gather courage to tell a few more people about my blog.

    I wish you the very best and my prayers for your family.

    Warm regards,

    1. Thank you for your good wishes, Vannie — they are very much appreciated. We are all doing well, now that the surgery is behind us! My little guy can’t wait to run and play, but it will be a few more days yet. Ah, the torment, for a five-year-old! Many happy wishes to you, too, and good luck with your writing and sharing.

  46. I envision blogging, and especially blogging on wordpress here, as the positive part of the internet. There is hardly any trolling. Quite contrary, on a platform like this, there are so many good souls, it feels like a family reunion everytime I explore the topics at hand. And there is so much of it, simply because bloggers are everywhere. Today, I read about Georgian cheese and checked online (I admit, not on WordPress) about where to get some. Only half an hour later, I was reading about a travel report from South West America. Awesome! And there is the sharing of your thoughts. You have to admit. Half of us is kind of egocentric. We want to be read. We want the comments to be full of compliments or constructive feedback of how to get better. We want to connect – when we are ready – with everybody in the world. Somehow, we would like to care how people are doing in countries we can’t even spell, right? Well, at least that is what I think about the beauty of blogging. Very nice post of yours. Cheers!

    1. Thank you. And I agree — this is definitely a positive place among the crazy world that is the internet. 🙂 Like you said, there is much beauty to be found in blogging. Cheers to you, too!

  47. Thank you for this beautiful share. As a neophyte blogger (3 months old) I can already relate to much that you speak of. The entire process of blogging has already been enchanting for me….even IF I only have 5 followers (I think! lol!)….blogging, for me, is an intimate venture into exciting and unchartered territory. You post was beautifully written and thoughtfully constructed. Thank you so much. Have a super and evening and best wishes in regard to your future blogging endeavors…..oh…..and huge congrats for being “Freshly Pressed!” Well done.

    1. Thank you! And five followers is a great start. The only way I got there when I first started was because my husband subscribed twice! Once at his work address and once with his personal address. 🙂 Your comment was also beautifully written, full of words that mix well with what I know of fairies: neophyte, enchanting, venture, super — here’s to happy blogging!

  48. Your writing is so entertaining! I found myself jumping to see what the links were, start to read the new post and then remind myself it’s best to read one at a time!!!

  49. Stumbled onto this post thanks to the WP front page, and glad I did! Thanks for writing about the joys of keeping a blog on here; I’ve been thinking of writing something similar which you also mentioned, about how blogging and writing challenges you to “find yourself.” I was starting freshman year of art school when I began my blog, and it was terrifying at first- what and who exactly was I supposed to be in my posts? That question made the whole thing fun for me. Also, I’ve come to be really proud of my blog, and it’s the first place I send people when I want to show my artwork digitally. Anywho, thanks for writing this great post! -Irene

    1. Thank you, Irene! 🙂 And I think you should definitely write something similar, as you mentioned. It’s a great feeling, to get these thoughts out there. Also, what a fantastic use for your blog — to showcase your artwork in a medium that is artistic in itself!

  50. What to share?

    When I first came to blogging I was hesitant and guarded. Then I read something about how if you ever want to write a memoir you’d do good to be comfortable sharing your innermost secrets and thoughts. Blogging seemed to me to offer the opportunity to see how far I was really willing to go. What I learned was your true writing voice is your most honest one. That’s what makes any writer unique. Now I’m 216 days into writing about the ups and downs of a year of living sober at my Year of Living Sober (!) blog. I’ve shared more than I ever imagined possible about what is a very personal journey of temporary teetotalism.

    Suffice to say I love blogging because I’ve learnt how to really share myself.

    1. I agree completely with this line in your comment, “What I learned was your true writing voice is your most honest one.” Yes! You’ve got it. The blogs I enjoy the most are the ones that shoot straight. Talk to me like I’m right there with you. Sounds like yours would fit that category.

  51. Beautifully expressed, Melissa – I’m so glad this post was honored with a Fresh Press, so that I could meet you and hear you articulate reflections that resonate so loudly with my own brief blogging experience. Thank you for this; I’m looking forward to reading more of your work!

    1. You’re welcome, Tele, and thank you as well! I’m glad you can relate. Blogging has been an amazing creative outlet for me, and I wish the same for you. Sounds like it already is! Cheers!

  52. Great post! I like the way you voice out your thoughts on blogging, how it is something very personal that we share with the world. It’s awesome when you can organize your thoughts and come out with something reflective of yourself. Like you I started blogging at WordPress because I want to share with the world what I went through being a cancer patient. I convinced myself that if I could touch even just a soul out there to go on with life despite all odds, never losing faith in the process, then I am fulfilled.

    1. That is one of the very best reasons I’ve heard for starting a blog. I commend you. And I have no doubt that you have inspired others by sharing your story of strength. Best wishes for continued good health!

  53. “Blog” … Not just a 4 letter word.. and “Pencil” not just a ‘Smooth, shiny, six-sided stalks with a graphite core tucked away’…………………. great post… loved it!

  54. Dumping my underwear drawer out in the middle of the floor at a dinner party. That is how I felt when I started a few months ago. I have learned to love the feeling of seeing if something in my head has a connection with someone else. Oh and to be able to write about what you want to write about is an amazing thing.
    Thanks for the post and congratulations!

    1. Yes, writing about what you want to write about is amazing, I agree. For two big reasons. One, it helps you discover things about yourself in a much quicker fashion than if those thoughts simply drifted around in your mind. And two, because we have the freedom to do so, and that is a gift. Thank you!

  55. Hi…Very interesting post. I like the way you define a blog…I feel and enjoy it. I just recently joined WP, so I’m a beginner blogger, I’m lovin’ it. I’m not a professional writer, but I feel the writer within myself. The practice and consistency of blogging, share, allow me to express my thoughts and convey a positive message to the world. Again, thank you for sharing, keep the good work. Hope your son is feeling better.

    1. Thank you very much for the well wishes for my son! He is feeling great, and bouncing off the walls, as much as I’m trying to keep him still! Just a few more days, and then he can do all the things a 5-year-old boy simply must. 🙂 I am glad to hear that you feel the writer within yourself. That’s a great feeling, and I’m certain it will lead you to some amazing places.

  56. Love how this post is such an encouraging and optimistic picture of what blogging is. And the best part? You’re totally right about everything! I’m still learning everyday what blogging means but it’s been such a great experience so far. And congrats on the FP! Damn, blogging is awesome.

    1. Oh goodness — I wish I had an answer to that one. To me, it’s best to keep some things private. I go by the rule, “when in doubt, don’t.” It’s the same rule that I use when buying clothes. Inevitably, if I’m trying something on and twisting this way and that to “make” it work, I know that I’ll never wear it. I’ve learned this the hard way! So now I just put it back on the rack (or delete a questionable idea) and I’m always, every time, thankful that I did so.

      That said, the best writing is open and honest, so I pick my post topics carefully and then I have a lot of fun. 🙂

  57. I really enjoyed reading your post! Being a very new blogger to WordPress myself, it was really encouraging to read some of the great things you’ve experienced through being a part of this community. I do hope to learn more each day, and maybe make it to one year as well! Glad that you are now Freshly Pressed, congrats!

    1. Thank you! And I will hope for you to make it to the year mark — and beyond. Blogging is so fun, and there is SO much to learn. Not about the technical stuff, that’s really just details. 🙂 I mean about the world and the cultures within it. Happy blogging!

  58. I don’t tell people I have a blog also! Haha. I’d rather have strangers reading my blog than people who know me. I guess letting my friends know my deepest thoughts would make me feel so vulnerable, and awkward when I’m with them. And it’s true, a blog allows us to freely express ourselves..I actually have an outlet for everything! a blogspot where i write my personal rants, and a wordpress where i confide my professional life. Reading your post makes me feel I’m not alone, that I have a community here in the web that fully understands my need to blog.

    1. You are never alone. 🙂 I hear that sentiment echoed a lot, here on WordPress. It’s a nice feeling. So easy to reach out and make someone’s day, and so easy for them to make yours.

      I’ve given out my blog address to my friends, but I am always surprised when one of them lets me know she’s read something I wrote. And more surprised if she liked it! It’s a great feeling, I have to say, even if it is so hard to share at first.

  59. I would have to agree with your comments. For me, my posts allow me to share my world with anyone that is willing to listen. It has at the same time allowed me to see the worlds of so many others around me. Great post

    1. Thank you! And what you wrote is so true. I feel so lucky that I am able to share in the lives of people all around the world. When I see how people live, what they’re eating, who’s walking/driving/riding a bus — it always amazes me, the little differences that make up the big picture of our planet.

  60. Like so many other bloggers who have commented and liked your post, I would also like to say that I think what you’ve written expressed my thoughts exactly on what blogging is. I’m a young blogger (I started mine months ago but I don’t always post due to the busy sched) and I just wanted a space where I could write about my rants, raves, and whatnots. That little extra I get would be the smile on my lips when I see that someone has seen my post and read it (whether it was liked, commented, or not.) Blogging is wonderful and scary at the same time. It’s a risk of exposing yourself but at the same time a chance – like what you said – to share who you are. Cheers!

    1. That is so nice! And I’m happy to hear how special blogging is to you. I am happy anytime I hear someone enjoys writing. It’s the best form of communication, to me. And you are right to feel happy if your post is read/liked/commented or any mix of those things. The more you blog, the more that happiness will grow, I’m sure.

  61. Wow. There’s so many things in here which I agree with – I toyed with the idea of a blog for a couple of years, going back and forth between ‘this is a wonderful thing to do’ and ‘this is a really bad idea’. Ironically, I write for a living! But for me the biggest hurdle was how much to reveal cos my family is fairly private and I didn’t want them to feel their privacy was being violated. And I agree, sometimes the best way to get going is to just sit and write with a pen (or pencil) and paper! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    1. Thank you! And I think we all struggle with that. Just where to draw the line. It’s a personal choice, and so when you look at it like that, you really can’t go wrong! The choice is all up to you. 🙂

  62. I agree with triptracker above, my greatest joy in blogging has been the opportunity to see into the worlds of others, all over the earth. Blogging wakes us up to the fact that we are all more alike, than different.

    1. Yes! I agree completely. Sometimes when I visit a new blog I think, boy, I have nothing in common with this person. But if they seem nice, and I enjoy their writing, I’ll check out a few more posts. Very soon some similarities become apparent. It’s like making new friends. Takes some time, but it’s worth it. 🙂

  63. Very good post. I have been blogging for a few weeks and only have a few hits. Although more would be nice, the blog is really just a place for me to vent. My opinions and sense of humor are not for everyone but it is fun to “put stuff out there”

    Anyway, can’t wait too see what happens.

    1. Welcome to blogging! It takes a while to get readers, and the best way is to be a reader yourself. 🙂 If you comment on others’ blogs, most likely they will stop by yours and return the favor.

  64. Hi! Just as many have already commented, you’ve expressed so well how we all feel about blogging..and, I couldn’t agree more regarding the awesomeness of WordPress. It really truly is “elegant”, with a smart and savvy community. I’ve been blogging here for almost 5 years now. (Wow, time flies) and it just gets better and better. And I keep learning and improving my understanding of the world, and myself. Great job. Congrats on winning the coveted FP! It was well deserved. -MoSop

    1. Thank you very much! This line was great, “I keep learning and improving my understanding of the world, and myself.” 🙂 Five years, huh? So you were around when blogging was really just coming into the mainstream. My son is 5, and so I have a kind of built in marker for how things have changed in the world in the past 5 or so years. Before he was born, self-publishing was in its infancy, and it was an ugly, expensive process much denigrated by, well, just about everybody. Twitter was virtually unheard of, Facebook was about half as popular as it is now, in that most big businesses hadn’t joined, I could go on and on.

      I think the biggest and brightest change has been in the world of self-publishing. Now it is something to be proud of! And blogging is, I feel, the best first-step you can take in that direction. 🙂 And a great way to support fellow writers and their work.

  65. I enjoyed your post. Thank you for writing it. I liked the sentiment behind it and i really do like a fresh, new pencil. I tell people i have a blog, i don’t have a problem with that. I just don’t want to be identified as a ‘blogger’. I still haven’t figured out why. Your post has given me a new way of looking at it all though. Thanks 🙂

    1. Thank you! I bet your concern over the word, “blogger” is that it is so negatively portrayed in the media. And once Twitter arrived on the scene, blogging was shoved to the back corner. As in, all the cool people do Twitter. But I believe a change is coming. More and more people and corporations are learning how powerful and strong of a network exists in the blogosphere. In sporting, restaurant reviews and more, bloggers are being turned to, and supported for their thoughts, and recognized for their potential influence.

  66. Congratulations on ‘Freshly Pressed’ that is quite an achievement. I loved your post and like so many others have said it expresses what we all feel. I am a newbie blogger too and it has added a whole new dimension to my life. I love reading other people’s blogs and I love thinking up new topics to write about in mine. I am a follower of yours now and I look forward to your next post. cheers Judy

    1. Thank you! And yes, isn’t it fun to come up with new post ideas? So refreshing, so exciting — every time my husband says something funny I just know it’s going to make it onto the list. And I feel happy to have that post to look forward to. A great feeling.

  67. This is a beautiful post and very eloquently written. It’s nice to know how many of us there are out there. Thanks for sharing!

  68. It is much more comfortable to have readers in Australia (all the way around the world from me) than in my own backyard. And, when my mother actually started reading my blog….astonishingly uncomfortable at first. It is becoming easier as I become more confident in what I have to share and to say. But, I still don’t exactly talk about it.

    1. I hear you — it’s always a struggle, deciding just where to draw that line. A lot of it is just deciding how confident we are with our own thoughts. I think when you really know something, or believe in something, or enjoy something — the rest just falls into place. Blogging is so different than face-to-face conversations, because there are no interruptions! You can always get from one thought to the next. Because of that, you do learn a lot about a person, which hopefully is a good thing. 🙂

  69. hi,

    read your post. very nice linking of pencil and blogging. good post explaining the art of had created a new view . thanks

    1. Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it. At its heart, blogging is writing. Sometimes it takes a while to realize that (especially if you had difficult creative writing teachers in school!). But writing is FUN. Which is what makes blogging fun.

  70. Thank you for posting. I agree, especially with the fact it’s on the wide open net for others to see.Still learning how to use all the neat things wordpress has to offer, just barely started writing again here after 2 years. So my style and I have changed a bit. If anyone has any thing they can offer for help, please feel free to let me know. I know I will get better with time. I’m hungry for experience, I guess the best way is just practice.

    1. I agree! The best way to get better at anything is to practice. I think as adults we lose track of that sometimes, as we’ve already mastered so much in our lives. But looking at my children, they have to practice EVERYTHING. And it’s hard! But so worth it, to see their pride in learning something new.

  71. I love this entry, very well written and I love your lines about blogging – “Blogging is a very private endeavor, by virtue of it being a written expression of your soul.” Well, congrats on making this post at the top of freshly pressed. 🙂

    1. Thank you! It’s been a lot of fun to be Freshly Pressed, and see my thoughts echoed in so many other bloggers. I feel so lucky when I get to read new blogs and visit new places and learn new things. Sharing is good. 🙂

  72. Every time I go to get coffee at my bookstore/coffee shop, I walk past a recent release that is apparently all about how to sharpen one’s pencil, and I wonder how the author managed to find enough material to fill 300 pages on pencil sharpening. I love pencils so much I’ve been tempted by this strange find on more than one occasion. Oh, all right, I love all writing and art supplies (and the people who love them, too) with a passionate, jealously possessive streak that is usually best kept clutched to my chest lest other people shun my company once they know my deep, dark secret of pencil obsession. You’re right, they represent something deep and personal, and indeed, hope. Perhaps that’s why, even though it rambles and lurches, and it scares me to pore myself out into the world, I love my blog and keep it despite how much the thought that I have one intimidates me.

    1. I am so happy to hear your reasons for blogging and for continuing to blog — they’re great! And I am right there with you on the office supplies. It’s a running joke between my husband and me. Especially since when I was pregnant with our first child, I had my first Braxton-Hicks contraction in an Office Depot store! 🙂 (Very exciting, those multi-colored post-its.)

  73. There are so many reasons that I love this post (and am going to favourite it, of course!), the main one being that you hit the nail right on the head when you talk about the fact that most people would rather not tell people they know in person that they have a blog. I am one of those people. With the exception of my twitter followers, a few of whom are acquaintances I’ve met in person (mostly fellow writers), no one in my personal life knows that I have a blog. And I’d prefer that it remains that way. I’m not quite sure why keeping the two worlds separate is so important to me, but it just is. Maybe it’s the excitement of harbouring a secret life on WordPress that the outside world just won’t understand. Blogging, to me, conjures a feeling of solidarity with like-minded people. And even though I’ve never met a single one of the people I’ve encountered on WordPress, I feel a connection with them and an inclination to share things with them that I wouldn’t tell anyone in my everyday life. It’s a strange, but beautiful phenomenon. Thank you for putting into words exactly what blogging means to me. ‘Blog’ may just be a four letter word, but it means so much more than those four letters could ever represent.

    1. Thank you for your sweet and thoughtful comment! I enjoyed this line very much, “It’s a strange, but beautiful phenomenon.” It sure is. There have been times in my tenure here on WordPress that I have stopped blogging (once for three months) and it’s always such fun to come back. Like seeing old friends at a summer BBQ. A welcome feeling. May you have many more happy times blogging. 🙂

    1. Thank you! And welcome to blogging. When I first started, I had to read so many “help” topics in the forums that I thought I’d never get the hang of the technical details! And I e-mailed the Happiness Engineers (how cool is that?) a lot. They were great. There are so many ways to get help learning how to blog that though it was difficult, it really didn’t take that long before it all made sense. Which is good, or I bet a lot of us would have quit a long time ago!

  74. This is simply beautiful. Since I’m just starting out, I feel so strange coming into the world of blogging and not knowing exactly what to write about. But as your post put so perfectly, it’s not about what you post; it’s just important you do it. Any type of post is you, and each post is a new experience. Eventually, one person will relate and be affected by your post. We share. We write. We create. Together.

  75. I LOVE that you have so clearly defined my own feelings and experiences here on WordPress…..I feel like I could claim this post as my own as I have had so many very similar thoughts. I love pencils too and know full well the feeling of that advance towards that pencil sharpener on the counter. Thanks so much for sharing.
    You Matter! Smiles, Nancy

    1. I was just about to log out for the night, as it’s way past my bedtime! (I try to do all my writing when the kids are asleep.) But I had to answer just one more comment as I saw your last line, “You Matter!” How sweet is that? Thank you very much. What a nice thing to say. You matter, too! And I’m glad you could relate to the post.

  76. Well put. My first blog was on blogspot. I still have it there for when I want to write personal stuff as I know no-one reads that, and I want to scream and rant with no-one saying “It’ll be alright” when I know it won’t. When I am in so much pain that I can’t move, but don’t want to put it on this blog as I don’t want the “aww poor you”. I know people care, but being disabled it would be an almost constant thing.

    This blog I have is the one I have for my photo a day, for the good side of my life. The side I enjoy. It also has links to so many other people, it’s like going into a huge common room with hundreds of people, picking one at random and saying “tell me about yourself” and they will, with pleasure. There’s no “why should I do that, I don’t even know you” It’s a friendly place

    And I like your blog.

    1. Thank you. It sounds like you have two great reasons for blogging, and for having two blogs. 🙂 And I like your interpretation of what it’s like to blog, comparing it to going into a common room and learning about anyone you’d like in there. Sorry to hear about your pain — I hope you can find some healing power in just letting it out in your blog.

  77. I have been blogging for a week. I have been studying Media and Communications alongside a course in social media for 2 months. I have been writing all my life. This last week has been…well how can I put it? inspirational, exciting, creative and eye-opening. I never knew this big blog world was here! I truly didn’t. I have just peeped into a world of people who express themselves with words…just like me. Kindred spirits! Thanks for this post 🙂

    1. Welcome to blogging! Sounds like you have a lot going on right now, and it all sounds like great fun. 🙂 It’s a neat place, this blogosphere, and really helps me feel connected to what’s going on in the world around me. Happy writing!

  78. Very well written 🙂 Blogging is indeed a kind of a let out . It serves as a virtual friend in a way when I don’t have anyone to talk to . Oh and it is always great to see what others think about it. Through WordPress I got to know about so many different things around the world .

    Congrats on freshly pressed 🙂

  79. Wonderful post – I enjoyed reading it immensely. I’m sorry about the surgeries your son has undergone. I understand how difficult it must be to watch someone so young go through so much pain.

    Blogging is a great way to express emotion and reaching out to the blogging community can be great therapy. Thanks for reaching out. I look forward to reading more of your writing.

    All the best:)

  80. you write with such a fresh and honest ‘conversational’ voice, i love it! As a new Blogger (as of yesterday) you put me at ease with your talk of pencils. When i was studying I would always do a draft in pencil of everything before committing to hard copy and typing things up on the ‘puter.

    I have now traded my trusty pencil in for a word doc in a ‘blog folder’ in ‘my documents’ where I sit my blog drafts prior to pasting them into WP and staring at the scary publicise button that dares me to release my thoughts to the world.

    Perhaps i should rename that folder ‘pencil’

    1. Sounds like a good idea, about re-naming the folder. And thank you very much for your comment on the writing — conversational is just what I aim for, so I appreciate that you noticed! Also, welcome to blogging. May you and your pencils and your keyboard share many amazing stories. Or silly ones. Or whatever you’re feeling that day. 🙂

  81. Great post. I used to blog on windows live for years before they pulled the plug and redirected everyone here (so glad they did). Only a few people know I have a blog. I did once make the mistake of telling my monster-in-law my web address and soon after regretted it. Thankfully I have been wise and learnt my lesson (she doesn’t have this one PHEW!!!)

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed :D.

    1. Thank you! I’m pretty lucky in that I have a great mother-in-law, who enjoys my posts. But there are definitely people out there who I’d rather not share with. Fortunately, just about everyone I’ve come across here on WordPress is super supportive, creative, and even inspirational.

  82. Nice post. It actually gave me a reason to look at my own blogs. I moved to a new blog last year with a new avatar when I realized that I was getting too open for a public view. I changed its visibility and maintained a new one with a new myself, or probably a veiled one. In the end it is obviously not about a perfect fit in a group but walking on a path of self-discovery in a changing yet your own world.

    1. So true! The great thing about blogging is that you always have the chance to start fresh. You are right when you say it’s a learning process — I’m learning all the time. But that helps with the creative process. 🙂

  83. I am an italian blogger and I have read your post with much pleasure. Even if the google’ s automatic translation is not perfect, the things you have said are understandable and agreeable.

    1. Thank you, Nicola. That’s so amazing that you read my post through a translating program — I never thought about that! 🙂 Well, welcome, and thank you for your kind words. “Buona giornata!”

  84. I loved your post. It’s all true. There is a bit of exhibitionist/voyeur in the best of us! I’ve just dipped my toe back in the wide world of blogging after a break for a few years. Because I missed it! After just three posts, I feel invigorated again and love this outlet for my thoughts and creativity.

  85. What’s with pencil and copy rights? As if feelings are not the same. As if you cannot leave a draft copy on wordpress to edit ad nauseum…Good that you are making good use of the multitude of facilities and bells and whistles…All that I know to do is write my post directly on wordpress, edit it and publish it…

    1. Thank you! That’s just what I feel. And I like the name of your blog — are you an editor by trade? Or just part of your personality? 🙂 My dad can spot a typo from fifty yards away, but he’s never worked in the writing business.

  86. I know you have received lots of comments, especially since you are Freshly Pressed! Congratulations by the way 🙂 I just wanted to say how much I loved your blog. It’s so honest and I think it sums up exactly how new bloggers feel. Love your writing style.

  87. Yes, I agree that one of the main reason for blogging is the comments. I like to spew out half-baked ideas and hope that the comments of others will help me to bake them fully. So I find it rather sad when there are few or no comments. Of course sometimes I toss out a rather silly or throw-away thought, and find it sad that that gets more comments or more reads than one’s I’ve put more thought into. So thanks for sharing your thoughts on blogging, and I’m glad to see you’ve got lots of comments on it.

    1. Thank you — it is definitely fun to get comments. But even one comment on a post is something to be happy for. It means someone out there took the time to read what you wrote, and that’s pretty cool.

  88. Like the dependable, versatile, reliable, ever loyal pencils, as you said, “Blogs offer nothing but hope. The chance to express yourself, any way you see fit.” Indeed it is. It is an avenue for sharing our minds , hearts and visions for a better world. It is a place were friends offer only encouragement, not judgment. A place we can express without fear . Ain’t that amazing? Terrific post!!!

  89. Blogging means many different things to many different people and that’s what makes this eclectic experience such an eye opener. For me personally it’s an opportunity to let my imagination soar without taking myself too seriously.

    1. That sounds like a great reason for blogging. Always good to let that imagination soar. Not an easy thing to do, depending on the needs/chores/bills with which you need to fill your days — but always worth it. 🙂

  90. Great Blog. D’you know what though… as much as I like my Blog and others Blogs, there’s nothing in the world to compare with my note pad – you know, those things made of real paper and stuff. I can sit in a cafe or in the garden (or wherever really) with my note pad, and I just write. I don’t have an audience to entertain and I can challenge myself, pour out my heart about stuff, and jot down any great ideas I’ve had.
    I’ve been an inveterate Note Pad scribbler since I had a very bad depression 20 or so years ago. It kept me sane and helped me make sense of my life.

    Perhaps I should just publish the contents of my note pad scribbles (or not!)

    1. I agree completely, and do a good amount of “old-fashioned” scribbling on notebooks as well. Large yellow pads, college-ruled, they’re the best. 🙂 I feel it’s so important to write like that, as it makes you slow down and really think about what you’re scratching into the pad. Plus just the tactile feeling of paper and pen or pencil — there’s nothing like it.

  91.     I enjoyed your raison d’être. I don’t know how many letters there are in a nested blog. Y’see there’s the posting of poems(not exciting chic). But then there’s “The Fog of the Caveman’s Blog”, my diary which has 123 entries so far which I wrote partly from the secret caves. But it’s gotten harder ever since I was chased out by the High Priestess who wants to end the world. I copied most of that blog into book form, but I have a copy of it on my poetry blog. So there’s a blog in a blog. I haven’t worked on the sub-blog in a while.
        I’ve lived most of my life in a cave, except for a brief period of time in the 1960’s when my spiritual leader and guru, Utcoozhoo, made me join the Xyiwa Poets to provide them with disinformation because they were in danger of finding one of the secret entrances to the sacred ancient caves. The Xyiwa Poets were a naïve bunch of hippies led by Ziohat who drilled into a rock formation just above the holy chambers so they could have a cave to party in. Ironically, though not in the original founding group, I’ve become the last of the Xyiwa poets. Most of my poems have been preserved, but just a few of the others’ poems remain.

  92. am new to blogging and actually, none of my friends i know, know what blog is,. i am glad to be at wordpress too and meet new people like you. blogging is awesome, you just pour your heart out.

  93. Damn right! –> “Blogging is a very private endeavor, by virtue of it being a written expression of your soul.” I enjoyed reading your post! Graci.

  94. Until I read your post this morning, and the comments, I had no idea that I was in such good company. I don’t tell people that I blog either. I write things there that I don’t tell anyone at all – how is it easier to tell (potentially) thousands of complete strangers than the friends closest to me? I guess, when you’re writing about the things that make you feel vulnerable and exposed, it’s easier to do it anonymously. I don’t have to pass any of you in the hallway at work, wondering what you thought of my latest confession.

    1. Oh I’m so glad you’ve found some happy company here on WordPress among whom you can enjoy your time blogging! 🙂 That’s what makes blogging so great — the connections, and the encouragement.

  95. I hope my experience is as good as yours has been.

    I am hearing horror stories about WordPress, so it was refreshing to read your great experience.

    PS, stop by and write a comment, I would appreciate that.

  96. This is the best Freshly Pressed post I have read in a long time. I have the same kind of relationship with my blog. Whenever people find out about my blogs, I get quite bashful and apologetic. However, I also secretly hope that they read it, love it, and share it with the world!

    1. Wow — thank you for your kind words! And I’m happy to hear you can relate to what I wrote. I don’t know why it seems to work that way, sharing our writing, but it just does. Yet even with the fear that comes to many when they reach for that “publish” button, they still push it. And that’s pretty cool. Gives us a chance to share and connect — and get really nice comments like yours. 🙂

  97. Thanks for å great meta blog post! I love the enormous set of possibilities in a blank sheet (screen) and a pencil.
    I get lost in reading inspiring blogs, as ashamed as telling people that I blog myself.
    I write in Norwegian, but feel free to watch my photos 🙂

  98. Hi Melissa – I really enjoy your blog. This post is great and got me thinking. I see myself opening up a little more each day on my blog with my writing. The really raw posts are the ones that make me the most proud.

    1. Thank you! And yes, I feel the same way. It’s the ones that really challenge me to write and to post that make me the most proud, too. It’s not easy, to share our thoughts and feelings, but it sounds like you feel as I do — so worth it!

  99. Interesting that you’ve also worked for many years in traditional “push” media, as have I…I still write for magazines and newspapers, but then I miss the dialogue that blogging offers. It feels like shouting into an empty room after the intimacy (at best) of your own community responding.

    1. Yes, I agree. Writing can be a hollow and solitary profession, and so getting feedback and exchanging ideas — that’s what provides so much energy for so many to keep on keeping on. 🙂 I used to belong to a “real life” writer’s group, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done for my writing. Right now, with two little kids, I don’t have time. But WordPress has filled that void for me in a very nice way.

  100. What a great month you’re having, my fellow pencil-loving friend. You continue to amaze me with the way you write, the way you see the world, and the way you treat others. You’re one of the reasons I love blogging. (Although I just watched that video, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have nightmares.)

    1. Oh yes — don’t get me started on pretty stationary! I don’t much care for wrapping paper, or other things that “pretty” things up, but a beautiful piece of paper? Maybe some little flowers or scallops — whoo boy! 🙂

  101. Actually I just started blogging like literally 3 days ago, and yeah I have to agree, it’s kinda scary. It makes you feel really exposed. But I guess it’s also like an outlet right. I mean you go through life with so much stuff bottled up and writing is a pretty good way to take it all off your chest and share experiences and anecdotes and laugh and cry and express yourself. I’m still getting the hang of it, but so far I like blogging.

    1. Three days ago, huh? 🙂 Well, welcome to blogging! I have different feelings about my blog all the time. Which is why I’m so glad I can change and evolve it however I see fit, whenever I see fit. Hope you have lots of fun checking things out!

  102. Hello and thank you for this. I made the mistake of mentioning to my manager that I have a blog. Her response was “So you tell the world each time you defecate?!”*
    Sorry, what?! I was so wrong footed that the only response I gave was “No” and I’ve spent the days afterwards wondering why I have a blog and how I should have defended it. I really needed to read “Blog is not a four word”, because I felt like maybe it was and no one told me. You’ve reminded me why I blog and how much there is in the blogging community to aspire to. We’re all here because we have a desire to write and, on whatever modest or grand scale, a desire to be read.

    *(I’ve changed one word in that sentence for politeness’ sake.)

    1. Wow, what a thoughtless comment from your manager. Sounds like she really has no clue what blogging is. The beauty I’ve found just a click away, over and over, it’s just astounding. Like going to a museum in so many ways. And if you like that sort of thing, you’ll like blogging. If you tend toward a negative view of life, unfortunately, that’s all you see. I’d put her comment out of your mind and listen to some of the great things other bloggers have said, view some of their amazing artwork, and let yourself be inspired by so much raw creativity.

  103. As I sit in my office sipping coffee reading Freshly Pressed, I often wonder if I should be reading the local newspaper or the New York Times instead. Like you said, there’s just something special about blogging, something you can’t find anywhere else. Couldn’t agree more. Nice post, thanks for sharing! (Did you write this with the intention of getting Freshly Pressed? Clever, you dog you! LOL.)

    1. I think reading the papers has its time and place — but it just can’t compare to blogging. Sounds like you’re finding the same sorts of great posts here that I am. Always something new. And as for writing this with the intention of being Freshly Pressed — I don’t like to hit “publish” until I’ve got a nice little story together. Something I’m proud of. To further your newspaper analogy, I used to be a reporter, and so I’m used to writing things start-to-finish pretty quickly. Writing a newspaper or magazine article or a TV news story is very much the same as blogging. Probably why reading the WordPress home page feels a lot like reading the front page of a paper! 🙂

  104. Thank you! I have just started my blog and I must admit I was selective about who I told about it! But an online writing group? That seems acceptable! I’m loving this whole new world that me and my thoughts have entered!

  105. The best post I’ve read since I started blogging! As a newby blogger it gives me hope, it took me three months to even make my blog public 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Thank you! I have friends who have public blogs and friends who have private blogs. I think depending on what you have to say, who you have to say it to — even just your mood — there’s no right or wrong way to blog. 🙂

  106. This morning I ventured hesitantly back into blogging after a twelve month break. I’m so glad I did, because I stumble across posts like these. Thank you for the insights — it’s good to be reminded of the benefits of self expression.

    1. Why, thank you. 🙂 As I’ve mentioned to a few other commenters, I think breaks every now and then are a good thing. As you said, there are so many benefits to self-expression. That’s one of the things I like best about WordPress, is there are so many ready-made themes and options and widgets that it makes it really easy for my blog to “fit” whatever I’m feeling.

  107. So well written, thank you!! Love it. Funny, I HATE to journal, but LOVE to blog. Irony, I know. LOL!! And yes we bloggers do walk a fine line between “read my blog” and “no don’t feel obligated” – but I must admit my heart swells with joy when I see my blog view count go up on my site stats. Some days I feel like a stalker checking out my stats every 15 minutes. Haaaa!! I’m sure there is some kind of special therapy devoted to bloggers. Looking forward to your next post 🙂

    1. Special therapy for bloggers — that’s funny. 🙂 And thank you very much for the kind words about my writing. It means a lot when someone notices that part of the story-as-a-whole. I wonder if you hate journaling because it kind of feels like homework? And because of that, comes with a built-in pressure?

      1. Hmmm, you bring up a good question. It may be exactly that… I guess journaling seems like a “I did this today, my feelings today were xyz, I went to such-and-such a place today” kinda- thing, but with blogging when something strikes me I write out of inspiration rather than obligation. So yeah, “homework” is probably a good reason why I dislike it so much!!

        Keep up the good work!! Can’t wait to read your next post(s). Enjoy your day 🙂

  108. One of the best things about being within this blogging community is you never know what you’ll stumble across or find from one day to the next. Take this post, for example. A wonderful summary of emotions and feelings about what it means to be a blogger. I tell friends I have blogs and they don’t care to follow them…they indeed think of “blog” as a four-letter word. Fortunately, there are a whole bunch of folks in the WP universe who “can’t count!” Congrats on being FP’d!

  109. I am new to this whole blogging thing. Still working out where my blog will go or if it will just be my random ramblings… My problem is I keep getting sidetracked reading all the other awesome blogs! Now I am off to read the rest of yours! (I got here through Freshly Pressed)

    1. Thank you, and welcome! I wonder if any of us ever really feels like an “old pro” at blogging. I’m not new anymore, but I still feel as if I’m learning all the time. “Random ramblings,” as you said, sounds nice. I have a few blogs that I follow with the word ramblings in their title — there’s just such a draw to getting out there what you need to get out there!

  110. Well I have not been in the blogging block for more than 5 minutes and I already am starting to feel welcome, when you have something great like a revelation or dream, or deep like a loss, or your just simply a hurt you feel, pulling out the good ole pencil and etching the aches and screams of your soul unto paper, is often the best release, and then posting it in a community of wonderful people as here on WordPress. that is the greatest boost.

  111. You hit the nail on the head. My blog started out as something really personal as I was going through (and still kind of am) a really rough time. I didn’t want people to read it, but I did. I cleaned up my blog so I didn’t seem like such a sad sack and have decided to make it my happy place on the internet. If people read it, fantastic, if they don’t, then I don’t care either. I will keep writing because I enjoy it. I have unfinished books (to write) on my computer and blogging helps get me inspired to write. On another note, we share the same WordPress theme, which WordPress claims is a wedding website theme. I think it is beautiful and works perfectly for my purposes and yours!

    1. That’s neat that we share the same theme! 🙂 And yes, I did see it listed as a wedding theme — but I just liked how bright and clear it was. Though I have changed the font, as the included font was just too tiny to read. Glad you are working your way through those difficult times — I hope much happiness is on your way very soon!

  112. You said it all so well, about blogging. I so enjoy the sense of community here at WP, and that’s one of the main reasons I’ll stay here.

    1. Thank you! And I agree — it’s a great sense of community, which honestly is something I never expected when I first began blogging. I looked at it more as a journal, or reporting, but it’s more than that. It’s connecting.

  113. It’s so true that we express ourselves publicly and want to do so, yet never tell people we know that we blog. I also apologize to people for saying I have a blog they can read. (In fact, I just deleted those very comments on my FB page where I had publicized my blog). So thank you for the the support from afar and for sharing your pencils. Happy blogging.
    Congrats on the FP!

    1. Thank you! And glad to offer a bit of support! Bloggers, I’ve found, are so much more than writers. They are readers, too. They really pay attention to what’s going on, what has already gone on, and look forward to what awaits in the future. Makes it so worth it and rewarding to share. And be proud!

  114. There is much I can say about my blog in this comment. I feel the contents would be lost with so many postings. I have been blogging with WordPress for about five years now. I am on my second poetry blog. The count as of last weekend is now above 25,000. Considering that WordPress is “Free” to me… awesome is that?

    1. You know, I think about that all time time. That WordPress provides these amazing services for free. I didn’t go into that in my post, but it is a HUGE benefit. There are pay-for upgrades, of course, but they are so seamless and well-designed that I’ve found the ones I’ve tried worth the cost. Best of luck with your new poetry blog!

  115. Great post! I, too, feel silly telling people I have a blog. I usually post a link to my posts on facebook and still manage to feel almost guilty or apologetic about that…but it is how a lot of family and friends keep up with it! I always think “Are people going to think I’m dorky for posting my blog or judge me for how frequently I post?” If I DO ever tell someone I have a blog I end up adding sheepishly “It’s a good creative outlet for me.” But I DO love blogging! I love writing, sharing, and reading others, and getting comments or “likes.” I love the camaraderie among writers even if you write about very different things! Thanks for your post! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! 🙂

    1. Thank you! And whether you say it “sheepishly” or not, blogging IS a good creative outlet. I think if you have it in you, naturally, to be creative, then blogging can really fulfill a lot of that need. To express yourself. I see in your Gravatar that you have two little girls — I have two kids as well. And frankly, there is never enough time in the day! But blogging is something I can enjoy, creatively, any darn time I want. I call it my midnight mother’s hours — this writing time. Works for me. 🙂

  116. Private, public — chance . What a beautiful way of putting the art of what we do on here into words. I’ve been talking a lot about technology recently with people and the gates it has opened–and closed for certain people. I haven’t yet decided, if for people like me–comedians–the internet has made it ultimately more difficult for me to stand out–or given me more of a chance, but when it comes to blogging I am positive that it has given me more of a chance. How else would I be getting word of my current quest out there. People talk about hits on blogs all the time–but my question is how many hits would I have had if this didn’t exist–a lot yes–and maybe, I wouldn’t have had the content at all. This was a pleasant reminder that what I am doing is 100 percent worth it. Thank you . Here’s to blogging. Cheers -Libs

    1. Thank you! And yes, it is an art, what we do with our blogs. As for your question about whether it helps or hurts — all I know is that if you feel happy blogging, then it must be helping in some respect. It most likely won’t make you famous — but if you feel better, you act better, and that’s got to come full circle, right? 🙂 A chance, as you caught onto already.

  117. Love your description of pencils – the simile works brilliantly. My favourite ever quote is “Like a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils…” Meg Ryan’s character in You’ve Got Mail. I think she was describing New York in the Spring or something… but that line stays with me to this day. Nice to have found your blog and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed,

    1. That does sound like a great-smelling bouquet! 🙂 I don’t remember the movie that vividly, but I can imagine Meg Ryan’s character saying that. And it fits perfectly with what I feel as well!

  118. Saw you on Freshly Pressed.
    This post pretty much took the words out of my mouth. I’ve been blogging for years on other blog sites, but just decided to start a wordpress one. I’ve told half the people I know that I blog, and even have tired blogging anonymously.
    It’s a bit of a mixed bag.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you can relate. And happy to hear you’ve started a blog on WordPress. I hope you find many fellow bloggers to connect with, to welcome you in. 🙂 Then maybe it won’t be such a mixed-bag.

    1. Thank you! I feel that you get out of something what you put in. So if your posts are childish and without content, well, then I guess you would think blogging is too, as a whole. But as you said, for those of us to whom blogging is “close to our hearts,” it’s much more like a film festival, or a museum, or art show — an amazing showcase of talent and glimpses into the world around us.

  119. This made me sit up straighter..and reach for those pencils..I had sort of lost the interest in writing..pushed it aside..Yet you have renewed my belief in the written word. Thank you..and by the way..Damn good blog.

    1. Okay, wow. Thank you for such a tremendous comment. “Renewed your belief in the written word?” I don’t even know what to say. Except — yes! Reach for those pencils! Sounds like they really mean something special to you.

      1. It did indeed. Thank you for the reminder of our connection with each other and the privilege of sharing with each other.

  120. I absolutely love this post. It describes perfectly my experience so far with WP 🙂
    I think I’ll became a stalker of yours now, another WP advantage.


    1. Thank you! I do try to put “good thoughts” out there. 🙂 Can’t take credit for the BBF term, though. But I can’t remember where I first heard it either! Maybe someday I’ll figure that out.

  121. I was really hoping to make the four letter word joke and then you addressed it right away. Sad really; and so obvious…the world is a cruel place to those who want to make obvious and inane commentary.

    1. Thank you. A baseball blog sounds cool. 🙂 But I would be careful about revealing your age on the internet. Just a little note of caution from a mom. I look forward to viewing your blog.

  122. I love pencils too and as a writer, they are important to me. Let’s remember the pen is mightier than the sword. What you write has an effect on the lives of other people, which is why we need to be careful what we write. It is wise to be cautious when writing a Blog. Lots of people have found that out the hard way. I am new to WordPress, having been a blogger on for a few years. However, I ran out of space on there and didn’t like their new interface so I thought I’d try this blogging space for a change. I’m looking for friends and followers so feel free to come on over you’all.
    Congratulations on being on the front page. Looks like you deserve it from what I’ve seen.

    1. Thank you, and welcome to WordPress! I hope you like it here. And yes, I completely agree — the pen is mightier than the sword. Something good to keep in mind when leaving comments. 🙂 Yours, and most that I receive are super nice, thank you.

  123. This was so well said. Blogging has really changed my daily life, both writing and reading. Yet, the only person IRL I’ve told about it is my therapist. huh. It’s not that it’s a dirty bad habit, it’s just well, to me, new and different. Plus, I need a degree of anonymity to feel comfortable. And as for the four-letter-word? I think blogging should get the two syllable Dayum!!!

    1. Oooh — the two-syllable “Dayum!” 🙂 Sounds good to me. And if you need your blog to be private, then that’s what it should be. The thing about blogging is that it should be FUN. And pressure-free. Otherwise, what’s the point?

  124. I loved reading this post and surprise! now learned after reading it that it was Freshly Pressed. (Lots of WP love, they are smart!) From the ode to pencils – don’t get me started – to the word ‘roiling’ to your quality wits (and I think you’ve got more quantity than you let on) this is a super write up of our community’s common experience. 🙂

    Thank you!

    And you know what I only lately figured out with my small brain, when I ‘like’ a post WordPress saves it in a special place. So liking is akin to clipping it. I catch on eventually.

    1. Wow, Janice! Thank you so much for your amazing comment. Really brightened my day! 🙂 You are the only one to note that word, “roiling,” and yes, in that short sentence I tried to express as best I could the lay of the land, as I see it. Thanks for noticing!

      Also — I had no idea that “liking” a post would clip it. Ha! Told you I have limited brain cells. (But always room for more banana bread. Mmm.)

  125. I wholeheartedly agree with the way we talk about our blogs. Often times media portrays blogging as a narcissistic avenue of self publishing. That makes us want to mumble something about our blogs or apologize before we give the web address. Yet, everyone has a story and the right to say it. Granted some better than others but that’s not to be discouraging. We all have the same goal in the end. We ship our words out to sea like boats. Even if it only reaches one person, that’s worth it all.

  126. I love your post. I’ve been blogging for almost 10 years, been conflicted on and off about the privacy and publicity of my blog, gone through blog identity crises… the works. My blog has grown and changed as I’ve aged from 22 to 31 (with it’s most recent rename/redesign last night), and you hit the nail right on the head with this post. =)


  127. I love blogging, and I love posts about blogging. I’m glad it’s been such a positive experience for you. Happy 1 year anniversary, congrats on getting the highly coveted Freshly Pressed, and I hope your son is doing good. x x

    1. Thank you very much for the well-wishes for my son! 🙂 He had his follow-up this morning, and is now CLEARED TO PLAY. Yippee! He and his sister are bouncing all around at this very moment. Good news for the whole family.

  128. “Who hasn’t tasted the metallic triumph of chewing on an eraser’s casing at the end of a pencil.” Read as i nibble away at whats left of what might have been recognizable as a pencil just over an hour ago. Finding this on my first day of blogging might just be the best thing to happen this week. 🙂

  129. The weird thing is when people blog about personal topics or pretend to be someone they’re not, then when someone who knows them personally finds their blog, they feel embarrassed.

    Blogging can be personal, yes, but trying to be someone you’re not isn’t the smartest idea. Neither is complaining about people you know openly when they might read your blog. That’s what locked posts on Live Journal are for. ^^;

  130. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! You’ve admitted to all of us our greatest fear and wildest dream. We wish to be web popular and have BBFs but yet we hold back so much of our personality. Why? The globber monster that is the internet, the one that never forgets and if you do, Google is a click away.

    Congrats again!

    1. Thank you. 🙂 If it was clear where to draw that line, between personal and public, a lot of the mystery and mistakes would go away — but perhaps some of the risk as well? As I mentioned to another commenter, my golden rule is, “When in doubt, dont.” 🙂 It’s served me well so far.

  131. You really had me at “I don’t tell people I have a blog.” I just started blogging after realizing that I email myself a lot, because it’s safe. Now I just want to write for myself and share my thoughts, but after my second blog on WP I felt like I expressed myself a lot more than anyone would care about, like “TMI” status. My point is, I’m glad I read your blog! You made me feel a little bit more confident, especially when you said, “…it’s really never something to be ashamed of.” I wasn’t going to read this blog, or anyone’s, on the freshly pressed site because there are so many to choose from. But I kept seeing it and was very curious- if “blog” isn’t a four-letter word then what is it?! Thanks 🙂

    1. Ha! 🙂 Glad you decided to stop by. And that’s a fun idea — to e-mail yourself. But for me, my e-mail inbox is a disaster. So full of things wanting my attention that my writing is much happier and organized here on my blog.

  132. “Blogging is a very private endeavor, by virtue of it being a written expression of your soul.”

    This is very true. “out of the heart the mouth speaks” and so our blogs do the ‘speaking’ for us. Louie Giglio on his Hope Passion Talk says, “Everyone is broadcasting something. What are you broadcasting with your life?”—a good reminder for all of us.

    Thanks for posting and keep the pencils handy.

  133. You are indeed on stage. You might consider the words diary, journal and weblog. None have 4 letters. 🙂 I started blogging about blogs on WordPress – but ran into a still not understood problem – and don’t need a rematch.
    Community is a different matter. I found Opera, Care2 and Current TV interesting. You might notice I don’t have commentary on my site. That I am convinced is because of lack of personal content.

  134. Thank you! I have just started my blog and I must admit I was selective about who I told about it! But an online writing group? That seems acceptable! I’m loving this whole new world that me and my thoughts have entered!

  135. This is so fantastically true 🙂 And beautifully written! I’ve told all kinds of people about my blog, and gotten all kinds of responses, some curled noses, some encouraging curiosity, and even people who didn’t know say “You should write a blog!”

    And it’s so true, I do squeal when I see little orange notifications 🙂

  136. I just entered the world of the blog today. I haven’t even posted anything. I was just looking around and trying to get a feel for things. Everything you wrote, from the hope concealed in a pencil, to the thrill I get at the sound of an electric pencil sharpner . . . to the support you have received from the members of WordPress, touched me deeply. My feeling of being foolish and silly for wanting to blog vanished with reading your post and the comments. Thank you! Somedays, something happens and one knows “it was meant to be.” Again, thank you and your followers for that moment.

  137. I clicked, I viewed, I got a little nauseous – the horror! The horror! (But strangely fascinating.) And, had I not been blogging, chances are I would never have learned about geoducks. Yup, your post is spot on! And a BIG CONGRATS for being Freshly Pressed! Well-deserved! I hope your son is doing well!

  138. I’m a very new newbie… of today in fact but the fear of pressing the publish button is still immense.As far as telling people goes: I won’t but mostly because I intend for my blog to house my creative writing which I know most of my family wouldn’t agree with. some close friends know though, in fact it was friends who put me up to this 😀 i love pencils so much more than pens – the only problem is i love them too much to sharpen them ’cause i don’t want them to disappear o.O haha thank you for the post it made so much sense to me 🙂

  139. Sometimes I feel as if what I write needs to be read, and at other times, I feel so ashamed of my stories I’m tempted to just abandon blogging altogether. It’s a blessing of our generation, to have a platform so personal, yet so vulnerable.

    Thank you for sharing, it definitely made me feel like there are awkward (or shy, humble) bloggers all over too 🙂 Great work

  140. Oh my goodness! Look what happens when I stay off WordPress just for a day – one of my favorite blogging buddies gets freshly pressed! So well-deserved, my friend. If you remember, I have this “thing” for office products, so of course, you grabbed me with the pencil talk. And mine must always be sharp. You’ve grasped the essence of why many of us blog — it’s about putting ourselves out there and finding our own little community. I also don’t tell a lot of people that I blog and even if I do, they often look bewildered by my admission…like “huh, why?” That’s why my circle of favorite bloggers is so special to me, and you are most definitely in my chain of friendship! ♥

  141. I loved this post on so many levels. So much of what you said struck such a chord and expressed how I feel about blogging in a way I never could have said it. This was such a delight to read and I found myself nodding and agreeing with so many things you wrote. This post is so deserving of being freshly pressed, so I pass you a HUGE congratulations for that! 🙂

  142. Great post. Glad you were FP’ed – or I would not have found you! My blog is nearly a year old, and sometimes I feel like mentioning it is like the fabled 4 letter word – it’s just not on! But here, I can read to my hearts content, frolic the travel section (this is where I spend most of my time!!!) and be inspired by the amazing photos out there! I love the blogosphere! Happy blogging!

  143. The pencil metaphor may be pursued a little further in that this sort of writing may be ephemeral through the mere action of entropy (page against page slowly effaces the powdery writing vs. quantum-induced dissolution of storage media), through the willful actions of the writer (or, yike, the hosting service) taking a decision that erasing is in order, or through mischance (fire!). Perhaps we who offer small glimpse to our interior lives take as much comfort in the thought of “it won’t last” as in the notion that, barring a Freshly Pressed endorsement, there’s so much other stuff happening on the internet there’s plenty of metaphoric fig leaves about.

    On the four-letter front, I could wish it weren’t “blog”. The onomatopœia is too suggestive of an ill-considered meal the night before. That’s just me, though.

  144. Writing a blog is like maintaining a diary. If you are honest while writing a blog, it will point out your weaknesses and also your strengths. If you are not honest, it points out what you want to be known as/for and thus shows you the right path. I somehow don’t excel in the art. A great one by you though. Keep the good work going. 😀

  145. So TRUE. What made me hesitate in starting blogging was I wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper one day, nothing too controversial, and the week after, this guy replied to my letter TOTALLY ripping me to shreds. Man alive I was so scarred I couldn’t even write a response- I simply emailed the Editor and said “That was really mean to publish that.” But blogging is nicer I have discovered. Plus being older and wiser now…the care factor is zero.

  146. I agree completely. Such a great blog post and so eloquently put. It’s funny how you mentioned that telling people about your blog includes a “pre-apology.” I feel the same way too, like I don’t want people to think I’m some kind of narcissist navel-gazer or attention-seeker, but all bloggers produce and we are proud of our work. Our blogs are like our children.

    It’s kind of funny: today I had lunch with a London blogger who came into town briefly. Even though it was the first time that we met, I felt like I knew her really well because I got to know her through her writing. Kind of amazing.

  147. Love it. Well-written. Gripping from the first sentence. Why have I not been here before? I’ll be back for sure. And congrats on the FP. You and Angie in the same week!

  148. What a great post! I loved every word of it and you can see how much it resonates through the Word Press community. Congrats for being freshly pressed and I will be looking forward to read your future posts! Renny

  149. I loved this post. Congratulations on freshly pressed! I’ve subscribed and can’t wait to read more. I adore blogs and have learned so much from other bloggers that it’s the main reason why I decided to start one of my own. I’m still finding it challenging to know how to go about telling others that I have a blog without making it (and me) seem like a big deal. I’ve been more actively posting in the past few months and am hopeful that the more comfortable I get with writing and sharing the easier it will be.

  150. I started blogging for an internship but practiced on my own personal blog then realized that i had half as much few in 2 month than the company had in one year, Blogging can be used for self-improvement as when you get your thoughts out in writing it brings idead in perspective. Very therapeautic and a marvelous self-marketing tool.

  151. Came here from the freshly pressed page and I agree with you on blogging. WordPress is really a beautiful platform though I don’t know why it took me so long to get here. I guess as time passed, I realised though blogging is so openly naked it is also extremely fun! Looking forward to more posts!

  152. …I knew there was something about the blog! Something about the vibe, hook, color and details. Then I continue to read and find out you worked in television. Me too! I love it! We have to connect!

  153. This post is great! I so agree with everything you say, especially the ‘wordpress family’ and how widgets and themes were like the carnival prizes! This is a great post, not surprised that it made FP (congrats 🙂 ) Definitely following now

  154. Love to see the hope and inspiration you’re giving to all these folks out here! That IS indeed the beautiful thing about blogging – that we can touch others’ lives, regardless of where we are. Then again, we can do that every time we step out our door. It’s all good, as long as we choose to go that path!

  155. You are so right, I sometimes have a lazy brain, and recently got a second wind with writing my blog. But I totally agree that its just writing, and we all have something valuable to share. Good ,luck with your blog, thanks for the encouragement.

  156. I loved reading this post. I can only hope one day I will be at this level of blogging. Thanks for the inspiration. And I hope your son is doing alright.

  157. One couldn’t put it better than you did when you wrote that- blogging is a very personal experience as we express our soul in writing and yet we do at a public stage. Thanks for this nice blog. Its DAMN good 🙂

  158. Everything you wrote on here is soo true. I’ve only been blogging for umm, maybe 4 weeks now and your description is spot on. Including the fact that one is a bit hesitant about sharing their blogs with others. Specially in my case, the whole reason I started blogging was to share my travel adventures from my very first “big” solo motorcycle tour in years. Kinda weird telling people what you write about, specially when you already have a niche market. Anyway, thanks for bringing back childhood memories with the pencil stories.

  159. Thanks for the great post! I’m newbie when it comes to blogging and am discovering much of what you say. I completely agree with the community here. I have been embraced and am always eager to hear my BBFs comments. I am also finding that my best posts are my most personal and honest. In fact, my last two regarding my 21 month old’s need for surgery and my grappling with that reality have been received the best reception from my BBF and my FB friends who I share posts with from time to time. Thank you for the encouragement to keep blogging my journey!

  160. Thank you for this. I just started blogging and am inspired by your candor and confidence. I’ve worn a whole tree of hats and am finally trying to do what I love, writing, just as we’ve moved to a new city with a new baby. Thank you again!

  161. I can honestly say that blogging has opened up a world to me that I never knew existed. I’ve learned that I’m not alone with the struggles I face in my life, and that by sharing these struggles through my blog I can actually help others. What a wonderful gift that is. I really enjoy your blog, Melissa. You are a terrific writer.

  162. All very true and a lovely read. You have a wonderful way with words. I look forward to reading more.

    I hope you don’t mind I’ve shared your post on twitter.

  163. This is a really great post, and congratulations on being Freshly Squeezed. Blogging is a very personal thing though so public at the same time. You said it better than I ever could have.

    May I ask, and don’t feel inclined to answer, how you come up with so many brilliant topics to write about? My inspiration seems to be running dry and I’m not quite sure how to give my creative spark a boost.
    Thank you, and again, amazing post.

  164. Yes, the tightwire of balancing between public and private. It seems that the more open you are the more you learn about yourself. Oh, I can just smell the fragrance of a freshly sharpened pencil…congratulations on being freshly pressed.

  165. I have recently (three minutes ago) realized that I have been with WordPress for six months now, and my relationship with it is still mostly hidden. Thank you for the inspiration — and humor! — on this; I might someday be able to be more forthwith to the public about sharing my thoughts. haha

  166. I’m still easing my way into telling people I have a blog. It’s a strange course of action – the unwillingness to tell your closest friends you have a blog that tells other bloggers things about yourself you perhaps hide from those closest to you!! But I suppose that depends on the content of the blog!!

  167. Although I’m new to the blogging world, I already feel more comfortable sharing more with fellow bloggers than most people I know personally. Maybe it’s because I don’t fear stranger’s opinions as much as I do those I know?
    And I agree with lifeofawannabeenvironmentalist that blogging is like keeping a diary (now lets hope I can committ myself to blogging better than I ever did writing a diary)
    Great post, really enjoyable read, thank you.

  168. Blogging is awesome, I agree. I love the way you compared it with a pencil… 🙂 There’s something so special about blogging, the opportunity to connect to so many others, the thrill of knowing someone from across the globe liked what you just wrote… Blogging has been a journey for me… 🙂 Loved your post – very insightful and a great read! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  169. Hi Mother of two beautiful preschoolers,

    Great work on the blog. As a newbie, I’m still very much in the process of exploring the rights and wrongs of the blogosphere but one thing is for certain – I find writing on this virtual landscape an exciting prospect since its gives my thoughts some clarity and weight rather than just appearing as electrical signals that fire and disappear in an instant.

    I’ll be on the lookout so more of the same, please.

    Best wishes.

  170. Great post! A few days back, I was thinking of giving up blogging for good, not because I’ve lost interest in it but due to circumstances affecting the role I have in the family. But today, after fighting all temptations to relive my blog, I did one thing which I am proud I’ve chosen–to go back to where my heart is. I’ve realized that blogging is not just a hobby I can use to ease out my loads, it means way deeper than that. Blogging is Life…

  171. my God.. i just find this blog over the wordpress. and i was ashamed, why didn’t i read this before? you write very well… and blogging is not just about writing, but it’s sharing, and caring. nice shot! 🙂

  172. “We write to taste life twice – in the moment, and in retrospection.” – Anias Nin

    WordPress (the community of wonderful people from all walks of life) has taken me to places I hadn’t known existed, experiences I hadn’t the initiative to imagine, and imagery that reminds one just how marvelously awesome the world around us really is.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this. Thank you!

  173. Your mind works in a weirdly wonderful way that ust put a massive smile on my face. I agree with much of what you say about blogging, but would probably not have had these thoughts without your prompting… and that’s what I love about the blogging community: being inspired by others to dig around inside my own brain 🙂

  174. Love your blog! It’s inspired me to start blogging again. Glad your son made it through his surgery, it’s no fun when our kids have medical issues, no matter what age. My 22 year old son was diagnosed 2 years ago with Test. Cancer, he’s doing great, but still, as Moms we worry, right? Very uplifting blog, and I’ll be sure to visit often!

  175. Good morning. I’ve just opened a blog here on WordPress. I’m planning to post on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I know, I’m one writer among millions, all blogging. May your day be full of obvious joys to remember.

  176. I love this post so much. I don’t share my blog with anyone I know in real life…I guess I just feel weird about it. But I do enjoy sharing my thoughts and life with my fellow WordPress bloggers. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  177. My friend (Cristy) and I started our blog at the beginning of this year and so far it has been alright, but reading your post really inspires me (Cat) to continue with it and I am looking forward to looking back at our progress. Thank you for your inspiration or as we (Cristy and I) call it: Friendspiration.

  178. Great entry and it hit home, I’m excited now to continue my blog, tweaking it and developing it as I work toward a one year mark. Although I don’t keep from telling people I have a blog, I truly don’t think about it. I am only about 6 months into blogging, the idea to begin a blog was nurtured by family and friends who love my
    e-mails and suggested I find a way to branch out….blogging seemed like a good outlet. My little blog has about 120 followers. 120 followers may not be a lot to many but for me it’s equal to thousands since I thought only my immediate family would follow. It’s exciting that others check in to see what we are up to in our “kitchen” and from time to time they leave a nice comment. So thanks for sharing…your words have inspired.

  179. I have been blogging since 2007 and my blog has gone through so.many.changes. At one point I took down all my posts! I’m so fickle and constantly unhappy with the older stuff because the newer stuff is better. Perpetually unsatisfied. Great blog, thanks for sharing!

  180. My blog was put up in the interest of it being “public” – I made myself a promise that if i stick to it for a year and have 365 posts at the end it, I will enroll myself in nursing. However, my other blog is told to no one, as it’s somewhere that I can vent and pour out my fears and frustrations. Great post!

  181. Yes i agree that Blogs are true platform to showcase our soul. It can also be bridge with poeople around you! I am trying my best to share something i know !!!

  182. an amazing post! I couldn’t agree with you more Ma’am. Indeed blogging is a chance for a better life, and it mirrors our thoughts and who we really are. 🙂

  183. It took me a while to test drive other spaces but wordpress is definitely Home. 🙂 My online friends all know about my blog but why is it so hard to invite my “real life” friends to it? It’s easier to be yourself around people who don’t know what to expect from you but put me in the middle of a family reunion and I quietly quiet down. Haha! I’m learning to be me no matter who’s around 🙂 My blog here at wordpress has most definitely helped me do this. Now, where’s my pencil?

  184. I LOVE your blog!!! So from the heart and I love it!! I’m so thankful that your son’s surgeries are a thing of the past. Well, to help celebrate a new path, I wanted to let you know that I have NOMINATED YOU for the VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD!!! CONGRATULATIONS, my dear!!!!!! Your writing is so from the heart, so genuine and for those of us who have been there, you spoke for us all!! Thank you!!!! Anyway, there are a few rules which I posted on my site,, that you can copy and paste for easier access. Oh, and don’t forget to copy and paste the green award itself to display on your site!!!! You DESERVE IT!!!! Display it proudly. Well congratulations again!!!! Keep those wonderful posts coming!!

  185. Very inspiring and relatable. Can’t imagine a better reason to write. My thing isn’t pencils, though. It’s paper. Can’t go into a store without walking down the stationary isle.


  186. Hi Melissa, it feels great to see you on WordPress home page again. Although you must be quite habituated to it now. But your own pic is there for the first time. SO it must be a great feeling. 🙂 Again I am late to wish you congrats on getting freshly pressed again.
    Now back to the post, This post is all about, “why do I blog” and “how did life change once I started blogging”. And let me tell you, you have spoken for all of us. Who thinks our blog is more that just a collection of few thoughts which roam across our minds. I mean, not only posts we write or picture we capture; the people who visit us and the thoughts they share with us through their comments and posts is equally important to us. To be honest, now I am emotionally connected to few people who visit my blog. I know it’s not a good thing to hold emotion with people whom we have not met yet. But more than the mind, heart takes the decision here.
    Thanks a lot for sharing such wonderful and touching words. This post is one among those very few posts, which deserve to be in that freshly pressed list. As always wonderful piece of writing. 🙂

  187. This is so true and heartfelt ! I love this post. Thanks! This is exactly why I write and I love reading the brilliant posts!

  188. This is great! I’m new at blogging just started my blog recently here at WordPress because I believe that blogging is a tool to “speak out one’s mind”. Blogging has enabled each individual to have his or her own publication. Good luck and may you have more years to blog! 🙂

  189. Hi nice to meet you.I’m new to the blogging world so i’m still feeling my way around.Having been a contractor for years and now trying to break into the online world,it is a bit intimidating.I have only posted one VERY small post,but plan to post more once my creative juice’s start flowing,but the fact that I was never really good at writing and punctuation keeps me a little in the shadows so to speak.I do enjoy reading some of the blogs here tho.You have a very nice blog and it is quite enjoyable,I look forward to reading more of them in the future.

  190. I truly love this post so very much. As a noobie blogger I am totally wrapped up in all things blog at the moment and am trying to learn the ropes as much as possible. You post really hit home why I love this sharing and caring community so much and it makes me happy that I chose WordPress to host my blog. I am absolutely thrilled when people tell me that they like my blog, I am pretty ok with telling people about it!

    1. Thank you very much! I can definitely relate to loving blogging. As you know, to a writer, it’s just a natural extension of the pull we feel to put down words. I hope you are still enjoying things, and I look forward to visiting your blog when I come back from my blogging break. 🙂

  191. Reblogged this on closetoeighty and commented:
    It’s difficult to add anything about blogging on WordPress here. But it is still possible. I started blogging about a month ago.
    I am 79 years old and some of my dearest relatives and friends passed away recently. I felt that to be happier I need to find young and talented people, to communicate with them, to learn from them.
    Thank you, friends, for being here, for joy, thoughts and feelings you bring to blogosphere.

  192. I am late here, but I just wanted to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed read this post – wherever you are – out of the blog sphere somewhere. But we are indeed a community even when you a temporarily out. 🙂

  193. Pingback: Spring Break

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