Sunday, July 25, 2010

Shy Bloggers

DL Hammons posted the other day about Recycled Blog Posts & he got me thinking. He asked people to pop up a link from their deep, dark, scary blog history that they liked. I popped up one of mine from early on.


When DL replied to my comment he said he remembered reading the post but had been too shy to actually comment on it at the time. I remember being in exactly the same position!

I jumped into blogging with barely a glance at other blogs. I had 2 buddies I knew from AQ who had blogs and who encouraged me to start one, so I looked at one or two posts of theirs and created my own. Those were the only 2 blogs I had ever seen. I didn't tell a soul.

I didn't know anything. Check that. I didn't know ANYTHING!!!!

I didn't know what Followers meant, or what would happen when I clicked that scary little button. I didn't know if complete strangers would be offended if I commented on their blog without 'knowing' them from elsewhere first. Obviously I didn't understand the thrill that runs through a blogger when a brand new face comes to visit & joins that followers list!

I didn't know that many, many writers had blogs. I eventually got brave and clicked through the followers lists on my friends' blogs and found more sites. I loved reading their blogs, but it took me a long time to move from lurker to commenter.

It took me even longer to post a link to my blog on Twitter. Scary stuff! I hadn't even visited the Twitter-verse before signing up for it and creating a blog all in the same afternoon.

Debra L Schubert was the very first 'stranger' who followed my blog. She is SUCH a sweetie! She even posted a link on Twitter saying she'd found a 'great blog by a new writer'. My eyes actually filled up with tears when I saw that.

I still find myself holding back on Twitter - I sometimes feel awkward about jumping into other people's conversations - but I'm getting better. That shy, awkward girl stage runs deep!

So, tell me, how much did you know when you started blogging? Had you been visiting other blogs? Did you feel shy or was it easy and natural for you?

156 comments:

  1. I started blogging because I wanted to put onto paper my poetry.

    I was already reading a blog which was written by Clare Staples called Mr. Bigs Blog......her dog.
    Clare is the manager of Paul McKenna the person responsible fro writing his self help books which so greatly helped me.
    I sarted my own blog no-one made a comment for a whole year then suddenly someone named Judy commented and from there I have never looked back.
    Clare has just recent ended her blog and on the farewell blog it ended with one of my poems which made me extremely proud.

    Yvonne.

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  2. Yvonne - What a lovely story! I actually didn't know what a blog was when my 2 buddies talked about them. :)

    It's interesting that you know the name of your first commenter as well. They sure do mean a lot. :)

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  3. I know the feeling. I had a few friends who already were blogging when I started, so I got a bit of a head start because of that, but it blew my mind when strangers started visiting my blog.

    I still sometimes feel awkward when leaving a comment on a blog whose writer I don't relly know, but then I try to remember how I'd feel in the same situation. Bloggers WANT comments and visitors. It's pretty much why we blog, otherwise we could just write without posting it...

    At this point I have become almost used to having strangers comment my blog (but it still is a thrill everytime someone new - or of course anyone of the not-so-new-ones - leave a comment). What makes me more uneasy these days are when people who aren't strangers do. Like when I recently discovered that a coworker of mine had been visiting my blog. That really made me want to go back and edit! (But I have made up my mind to never post anything that I can't stand for, so I won't actually edit)

    Good luck in overcoming your inner shy, awkward girl stage on Twitter! ;)

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  4. Cruella - it is SUCH a thrill to see a new face, to meet another blogger!

    I don't know anyone in my 'real' world who reads my blog - that would be a bizarre experience! I'll have to start preparing myself for that :)

    Thanks - I hope to overcome it as well!

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  5. I was like that with a couple of former attempts at blogging, but none really had the connectivity that I found with Blogger. I've had a LJ for years, but rarely use it, and have just a handful of friends. Like you, I was shy about commenting on a complete strangers journal. I still am over there. Not sure why.

    When I made my current blog, I had learned enough to know that I needed to read and follow others, so I jumped in with both feet. That was as a reader/follower. As an actual blogger, I was much more hesitant. Who the heck would want to read my disjointed ramblings? I still wonder that after reading some of the really witty blogs I find, but try to not to dwell on it. I will never be the witty blogger. lol.

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  6. Mary - I've heard of Live Journal, but don't actually know anything about it.

    I felt the same about starting the blog - probably why I didn't tell anyone I'd started it!

    I'm with you - some of these bloggers are so quick, so fun. They're a joy to follow. And I think you're doing so much more than fine with yours!!! :)

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  7. I totally understand what you're talking about. I'm reluctant to comment on some blogs where I feel I don't fit in as well.

    And Twitter? I never jump into conversations. I answer any @ replies with DMs. :)

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  8. Oh yes, it took me while to get into the social aspects of blogging. I don't think anyone read my first few blog posts. I had zero followers for a while.

    But I'm so glad I took the first step in and started commenting and following other blogs.

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  9. Me too - it took me forever to really get into blogging. I was like you, I lurked for almost a year, not following anyone or commenting, before I finally decided to take the plunge.

    I definitely felt shy - this was unchartered territory. Over the past couple months though, it has become much more natural. I'm so glad I finally decided to put my fears aside :)

    I still haven't made the Twitter leap yet though! ;)

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  10. I had been on twitter for about six months and had loads of regulars I chatted with so that wasn't a prob, but I had only one friend on there who blogged. His was the only one I had read. He recommended a blog to me one day and it bored me so much *yawn*, and made me think "I could do better than that."
    So with his encouragement and help, I tried. I knew next-to-nothing about the mechanics (I'm a bit techno challenged) but my mate helped and still supports me.
    So glad I did it.

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  11. Isn't it something that we feel we are the only ones who are shy about blogging?
    I lurked for over a year before taking the plunge and told NO ONE when I did it. When I got my first comment I was afraid to read it. The first follower was cause for celebration and the first award left me breathless.
    I still haven't figured it all out but at least I don't get sweaty palms any more when I comment.
    till no Twitter though.

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  12. Wow, it's nice to know other people feel this way! When Martina and I started blogging, I was unsure of where I was "worthy" of leaving comments, or what type of comments to leave. I think once you become familiar with everyone and see how friendly bloggers are, it's a wonderful world of opportunity! We love commenting, and it's always great to receive comments on our own blog, too. Meeting other writers and contributing to discussion is enjoyable :)

    Marissa

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  13. Elizabeth - it can be very hard at the beginning - I find it so much easier now. But I still battle that shy girl aspect. :)

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  14. Aubrie - that's the whole key - or at least it was for me. Once I started reading and commenting, it all made so much more sense. And it was so much easier to put myself out there.

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  15. Writing Nut - I wish I'd read more blogs before I'd started. That way I might have actually felt a teeny bit like I knew what I was doing! :)

    Twitter's great for the chats - I lurk there a lot. I do comment once in a while, but I definitely lurk more than I chat.

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  16. Cate - now that progression makes sense. I just jumped in to both the same afternoon without really knowing anything. But it's all worked out I guess :)

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  17. My publisher prompt me to begin blogging, so I set one up and began exploring. I am naturally shy, but I guess because I didn't know any different, I just started commenting. Eight months later, here I am, still doing it.

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  18. Mary - that describes me exactly! :)

    The first blog award caused actual tears! I'm such a sap!!!

    I do more lurking on Twitter during the chats, but I have learned a lot from doing it!

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  19. Marissa - exactly! The blogging community of people interested in writing is AMAZING! I'm constantly floored by the kindness & generosity! It doesn't take long to feel like you belong. :)

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  20. Alex - love it. Sometimes not knowing the best thing. I think I worried WAY too much at the beginning. But that doesn't surprise anyone who knows me! :)

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  21. I had no idea what blogging was when I first started to blog. And I mean NO idea :) I didn’t even have any blogger friends. Thankfully I’m not a very shy person so I poked my nose everywhere and got the hang of it without any major embarrassments (I wish this was always the case!) :)

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  22. Lua - love it - that's exactly where I was too - no clue at all.

    Wouldn't it be great if it was always that easy? :)

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  23. Oh, gosh, typing that first comment on a blog was HARD! You are right, that shy, awkward stage runs deep.

    Still not in the twitter-verse yet....

    Shelley

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  24. Shelley - exactly! I'm much more comfortable now, although I do have some moments! :)

    The twitter-verse isn't as scary as I thought, but I do more lurking than commenting a lot of days.

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  25. Apparently a lot of people are reluctant to comment because I only have 1/4 or less commenting compared with my traffic.

    I've always had a big mouth when it comes to commenting. If I read the post, I write something most of the time.

    I have not set up a Twitter account.

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  26. Theresa - Now when I read a post I always comment. I don't see the point of reading it, if I'm not going to make that connection with the author of it.

    But, that's because I now understand how the whole thing works. It's much more like a conversation than I expected - and that's my favourite thing!

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  27. Ah, the small beginnings of blogging... I've only been blogging since February, but I'd been reading industry blogs since last summer. I found and read a few personal blogs through agents/editors', so I knew what was expected in a blog post and everything. But I did feel strange commenting and following people I didn't know.

    It's funny, now I'm so comfortable with it. Blogging is one of the only communities where people who really don't know each other can chat right away and not feel like stalkers.

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  28. Jemi, this is a great post. When I started blogging all I knew was that I HAD to start blogging and had wanted to for some time. I knew nothing. Much of what you said also applies to me in that regard.

    I didn't discover the blogverse for a good six-seven months after I had begun. At that time the only people reading my blog were friends and family and mostly through Facebook. Hardly any of them were officially 'following'.

    Then I read an article on how to get more followers. And it said the way to find readers/followers was to BE a reader/follower. I thought, "Geez, I have no time to read other people's stuff AND do everything else I'm supposed to do in a day."

    But I did it. And WOW. Who knew. Now I'm addicted. And make new writer friends almost every day. What a thrill!

    I know the 'name' of my first follower who WASN'T someone I already knew. Well, kind of. It was FAR from Tales from FAR Manor. I told everyone and did a happy dance for days!

    Thank you for the memories.

    ~that rebel, Olivia

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  29. :) All true!

    I've been blogging for just over a year now, but for the first four months I was pretty much howling at the moon... my only followers being close friends and family. I still remember the thrill it was when I received my first comment from a complete stranger (Shelli @ Market My Words). Slowly but surely I came out of my shell...but not entirely. There are still blogs that I'm hesitant to comment on.

    I've matured from an insecure blogger wannabe who couldn't bring himself to comment on your blog...to actually being mentioned as part of your post. It was such a short walk through a marathon of emotions. Thank you for being one of my guides! :0

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  30. Shelley - lol - exactly!

    We can stalk people and have fun doing it! I'd been a member of Agent Query Connect, but that was my only frame of reference at all. I can't believe how little I knew :)

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  31. Olivia - thanks :)

    It does bring back memories! It's fun how so many people have similar experiences, but everyone's journey takes their own twists and turns.

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  32. DL - aww - thanks :)

    Shelli's so great too! It's almost been a year for me as well. So much mileage since then!

    It's sure been fun getting to know you and everyone else - I'm looking forward to the next stretch as well!

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  33. ...great subject, Jemi:)
    I can remember the first comment left on a writer's blog...geez, I must've spent twenty minutes editing two lines of jargon, trying to make it all proper like. It's nice to read that I wasn't the only one.

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  34. Hey! I had NOOOO idea what I was doing when I started blogging. I had read a few agent blogs, and thought, hmmm, I can do that! So I just jumped right in. Mind you I had no idea about the commenting following 'rues' until I came across Elana Johnson's blog by accident, and read a post about how to gain followers etc. "light bulb moment!"

    hehe, ps, I'm not back, I'm just pretending to be :o)

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  35. Elliot - YES! - I did the exact same thing for weeks - more likely months! I was absolutely paranoid about every single word. Glad I'm past the terror of that!

    Thanks!

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  36. Jessica - lol :) (I won't tell!)

    Elana's blog is one of the BEST things around - and not only for new bloggers. She's got tons of tips and advice. Both are so helpful. I'm so glad I 'met' her early on too!

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  37. I knew nothing. I'd been putting out a newsletter for years, but a blog was my first venture onto comething "live." I'm still learning things.

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  38. I was a shy blogger, too. I'm shy in real life so it's not unusual I would be scared on the internet too. I jumped in with a blog on Vox, which many probably haven't heard of. I still maintain my blog there, but when I came to blogger, the world opened up because there are so many writers on blogger and I found that this satisfied my desire to be part of a writing community after "toiling in obscurity" LOL for so long! I had to force myself to make comments at first, and set a goal of 3 comments a week on blogs. Haha, now I force myself NOT to comment or I'd be doing it all day and nothing else. I think the best way is to just jump into it and learn as we go, like kindergarten.

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  39. Helen - me too! My next steps are to find out what RSS is and make all the links on the blog actually work :)

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  40. Karen - so true - if we could do everything the way we do in kindergarten the world would be a lot more fun!

    I'm one of the ones who's never heard of Vox. I remember how my heart would pound before I'd click the post comment box. Terror :)

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  41. I've learned a lot in the last month. I started blogging 5 days week and I've created a plan for my blog. I'm been commenting on other blogs and searching around for new blogs. I'm shameslessly trying to get more followers to my blog and it sort of drives me nuts when I follow and comment on other people's blogs and they don't follow mine blog, come on people, help a sista out.

    Mostly I've found that writing and blogging aren't as lonely as I thought it was. It feels like EVERYONE is writing and blogging.

    Although way back when I wasn't blogging everyday and I feel like those entries were by far much funnier. The writing was stronger because I wasn't doing it all the time and I was able to think about it more.

    Great question.

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  42. Thanks Erinn!

    It is hard to build up that follower list at times. Summer can be kinda slow for people as well. Keep commenting, people will make it there!

    I generally blog 2 or 3 times a week - depneding on the real life things :) I think everyone has to find the balance that works for them. It took me a while before it all felt natural.

    I think you're on the right track :)

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  43. I'd heard of the blogosphere before I started blogging, but I really didn't know anything about it: how to follow, comment, or anything else.

    But I must say, I love it. I've met some wonderful people, such as you, that I never would have met if it weren't for blogging.

    You're a great teacher on how to blog. :) Thanks for all the inspiration!

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  44. I found you blog from a list on the side of another blog. I found that blog from a link on Twitter. I wish I had time to explore all the great blogs listed on the side bars of the wonderful places I visit. So much creativity and information can be found in the blog universe.

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  45. Awww - thanks Kathi! You're such a sweetie!

    It's funny how many of us didn't know a lot when we started. Were we brave or just unaware? :)

    You're so right - I've met so many people I consider friends here in the bloggy-verse. I'm glad I took the plunge :)

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  46. Susan - that's neat! It's so true. There are so many great people with great blogs. I'd like to know them all, but that's kind of unrealistic... and maybe just a little crazy :)

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  47. That is so true - we were all shy, wallflowers hiding out and reading but never commenting. I remember the Tuesday evening when I decided to learn how to uncloak!
    Then my first ever Blog entry which had the label "Not exactly sure I know what I'm doing!" I lost my Blog for a day after I set it up too - Bless!

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  48. Elaine - exactly - wallflowers are us! Or ... were us I guess seeing as we're coping pretty well now :)

    I think my first title was something like that too! And Blogger still does some things I don't understand, but I'm getting better!

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  49. It took me forever to actually get into blogging, though I'd been aware of it for a while. Commenting is my next challenge, one that I'm still working on. Don't want to sound like a jerk or stupid or something and I really hate ticking people off...but I'm trying! One hurdle at a time, right? :)

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  50. I knew very little at the beginning, but once I made a friend and folks responded to comments it got easier. Blogging is one of the best things I've ever done. It keeps me writing and I've made some great friends.

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  51. Mary - so right - one hurdle at a time is more than enough for me!

    My sense of humour doesn't always translate well onto paper - so I try hard to avoid trying to be funny - it never works out well :)

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  52. Buttercup - I agree! It's a lot of fun. I've met a ton of great people and I've learned a lot about the writing and publishing processes! :)

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  53. I was blogging for a month or two when someone from Twitter tweeted that she couldn't comment on one of my posts. My comments were disabled, because I was afraid of spam and trolls. But once I enabled comments, I've been getting the most awesome feedback, so I worried for nothing. After that, I've been gaining steady followers and commenting back.

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  54. Medeia - it's amazing how many people have helped newbie bloggers out!

    I agree - the feedback and support is absolutely amazing in the bloggy-verse.

    Commenting back is such an important part of blogging! And much easier than I thought at the beginning :)

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  55. I knew almost nothing but gave myself a crash course by checking out as many blogs as I could and reading other people's blog tips (which helped enormously). And yes, I'm super shy in person.

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  56. Lynda - I wish I'd been that smart! I really didn't even know what the purpose of a blog was :)

    I think a lot of writers are shy in the real world - but we're pretty good with words, so blogging is fun!

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  57. You're not alone in how you felt! I was the same way about commenting, but now it's so fun.

    I actually attended a mini conference about social media. It was so helpful, but also intimidating. I'm still a little nervous about Twitter too, and stay out of the chats for that reason. But I'm getting there!

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  58. Julie - I agree - commenting and getting to know other writers is a ton of fun!

    I do enjoy several of the Twitter chats, but definitely do more lurking than participating! :)

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  59. I just started leaving something that sounded semi-intelligent and hoped they'd respond in kind. I don't find that Twitter has been very helpful. I think Facebook is a better venue to promote a blog.

    Stephen Tremp

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  60. Stephen - I still haven't joined Facebook. One of these days... :)

    I think commenting on other blogs is the best way to grow your own. Good advice.

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  61. I lurked for a long time. I read agent blogs, editor blogs, and writer blogs. I was nervous to comment at first, too, and I didn't know if it was okay to just jump in. Of course now I know we love it when people jump in! I still haven't joined Facebook or Twitter (though I've saved my name on Twitter), but I will. Someday. ;)

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  62. Oh my goodness, I LOVE this post! I relate. But it was less about shy for me, and more about my stupidity.

    My story is goes like this:

    I didn't even know what a blog was. Zero idea. I'd never seen one, spoke of one...zip. I had heard the word on the news a couple of times, but didn't know what it meant. (I read. I rarely watch TV, and when I do, it's movie channels. True Blood.)

    Yeah, so, two writer friends, that I'd met at a conference last year, emailed me asking if I wanted to do Nano '09 with them. I said sure. They said, "Why don't we all start a blog, just for NaNo, to keep each other posted on how we're doing, motivate each other." I thought that sounded interesting.

    I had Husband help me set mine up. A few other writers my friends knew joined us, and we all posted our progress on our own blogs and we visited each others blogs. It was just a few of us. We mostly emailed each other our comments, instead of putting them in the blog comments. I intended to shut my blog down when Nano was over.
    But, the strangest thing happened: other writers found my blog and left nice comments.
    I was too dumb to know how to follow their trail back to their blogs, not too shy.
    But, they kept coming, and finally I figured out how to visit their blogs...and OMG, I fell in love with their brilliant blogs!
    By Feb. I decided I really enjoyed blogging and had made some wonderful writer friends. I decided I was sticking around the bloggy world.

    I am still friends with all my early visitors and love them dearly.

    Oh, and my first award? From the sweet Shelley Sly (above) and I will always remember how moved I was/am by that award and every kind word and award since. This writing community we have here is truly special. I am grateful every day for every comment, follower, friend, post I read, blog friend I visit. I adore you 'guys'.

    I'm so glad fate led me to you.

    Love,
    Lola

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  63. Dawn - the online writing community is so amazing and friendly. It's easy to jump in once you have the confidence to do so.

    I haven't done the Facebook thing either yet. Maybe one of these days. :)

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  64. Lola - you could never be stupid! :)

    I love your story! I didn't have a clue how to follow anyone for ages either - and then I was too scared to do it for a bit :)

    I completely agree. I've never met another group of people like the online writing community. Generous, kind, helpful, supportive! Absolutely incredible. Thanks so much for sharing your story - I love it!! :)

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  65. My current writing blog is new but I'm not a new blogger- I had a blog years back that focused on a lot of the non-profit stuff I was doing at the time but there was, now that I look back on it- a lot of creative writing about life on it. I had at my peak probably double the readership my new blog has at the moment- tiny by any stretch but still, it was great experience and I think it helped me find my voice as a writer.

    Now my trouble is finding time to blog. I dove in to establish this one but now I know I can't post every day because of the limits on my eyes or I won't get anything else written. I guess the biggest thing I've learned this time around is that I have to respect my body's new limits.

    I hate that.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post!
    bru

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  66. February - so true - writing a blog definitely helps with finding a voice and with combatting any kind of blocks.

    Finding time to blog is tough - especially with so many great blogs out there.

    I think blogging a couple of times a week is lots - you don't need to do it everyday especially if it's hard on your eyes.

    Thanks so much for dropping by. :)

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  67. Ha, I feel you. I didn't know too much either especially the Follower thing.

    But you will always be a blogger close to my heart because you were one of my first commenters and then you listed me on your blogroll -- I felt so honored! :) I was like, "Oooh, Just Jemi likes me!" LOL.

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  68. Blogging wasn't scary to me because it reminded me of a collaborate writing site I used to be active at.

    Twitter, on the other hand, still intimidates me. I just don't have time for it!

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  69. My first blog was one I set up, purely because the facility was offered as an extra with a mobile phone I purchased. I set up my profile information, then it sat there unused and unread for nearly two years. At the time I just didn't see the point in it.

    I started twitter and my first proper blog at around the same time. Most of my original twitter friends had blogs and I'd visit them and enjoy reading what they'd posted. I decided that I had a few amusing anecdotes to share so I set up my own blog.

    But we all run out of anecdotes sooner or later, so after a while I added observational and opinion pieces too.

    Then I started blogging about my efforts as a writer, and the difficulties I was facing, but still I was too reserved to actually include samples of what I wrote in my blog posts.

    Then one day, I threw caution to the wind and posted samples of my writing, short stories, etc.

    I knew I'd get comments and though it was the thought of that, that had held me back for so long, it was also the potential for getting comments that finally made me do it.

    And it was comments on my other posts that led me to that: Comments that weren't always complimentary; comments that were sometimes openly critical; but comments that were always honest and constructive.

    Now I look forward to receiving comments; I crave comments; I yearn for comments.

    There are a select few people who I know visit my blog regularly, and an elite amongst those, who I know will always try to comment whenever they can.

    You Jemi, are within the inner circle of that special few. I appreciate your comments. I look forward to your comments. I always feel as though my posts have been worthwhile because I know that 'at least Jemi is reading them'

    Thanks Jemi. You've been instrumental in keeping me blogging.

    Now if only some other people would browse back over my old posts and comment on them - That would really boost my confidence! ;D

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  70. I didn't know anything when I started, I'd barely looked at a blog.
    I am always shy as a first reaction. I have to work hard to not be shy.

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  71. Karen - love it! You've got a terrific blog - I'm so glad I found it. I didn't realize I was one of your first commenters - I'm honoured :)

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  72. Stephanie - that would have helped for sure! I was a member of AQ, but still didn't know much. I thought blogs were just online diaries and I couldn't figure out why anyone would want one or read one :)

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  73. Thanks Dave - I'm blushing :)

    Thanks for sharing your progression as a blogger - it's so interesting to see how we all arrived and developed.

    I don't know if most people go back and read older posts. There's only so much time and it's hard enough keeping up with the new posts.

    Don't lose confidence - you've got great stuff on your blog - real 'thinkers' & fun twists! :)

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  74. Al - I know the feeling! If you're naturally shy, it's always hard to work past it. I'm getting better with blogging - Twitter can still be tough :)

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  75. I had two friends who blogged before me so it was a pretty easy transition. I had also commented and read other's "blogs" via facebook or myspace (back in the day).

    I'm not generally a shy person but I'm horrible at small talk so commenting on a random post comes pretty natural to me. :)

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  76. Hannah - you were lucky and smart! I wish I'd looked into it more - or at least read more than 3 or 4 posts :)

    Small talk can be so hard. But with the posts having a specific focus, it's so much easier. :)

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  77. Isn't DL wonderful!

    Jemi--You won a random daily prize in my T-800 blog party! Please email me your address so I can post your prize...
    skmayh at q dot com

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  78. Sharon - he is great!

    Thanks so much! I'll pop on over and send you that email :)

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  79. I was very, very shy when I first started my blog. Heck, even being on FB filled me with terror and awkwardness I had only before experienced during my entire adolescence. I've been thinking about posting a link on that same thread of DL's but can't think of one (i.e. scared of looking back over old posts). Will certainly go through that thread today and check out yours, Jemi. :)

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  80. Thinkin of the lyrics to "War"

    absolutely nuttin...sing it again, y'all...

    Great bloggites have taken my hand and helped me negotiate this wild and crazy activity that can
    sometimes seem like a struggle!!!

    Love this site, gir.
    Patti
    www.pattilacy.com/blog

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  81. Thanks Kimberly! DL is great :)

    I was SO shy - still a bit, but I'm getting better. :)

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  82. Patti - lol :)

    Getting to know a few bloggers who were willing to help and hint was such a blessing!

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  83. I started blogging the same way! I had two friends that blogged, so I went off their example too! Same cluelessness about followers and commenting. I didn't figure it out for almost two years!!! But I still had fun. And actually, sometimes I kind of miss those carefree blogging days - less pressure to post, if you know what i mean!

    Your previous post - yup, it's worth it to print on paper. Another really good trick is to mix up your printed pages! There's nothing like reading out of order to catch typos, but it gives me a headache!

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  84. Margo - that's awesome - bloggy-twins :)

    I actually don't feel pressure to blog - I didn't give myself a schedule so I just post when something crosses my mind.

    Yikes - I think the out of order is a great idea - but you're right - that would be headache inducing!!

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  85. That is ironic! That you are nervous about Twitter. I love seeing you there and smile when I see you tweet. So please don't be shy!

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  86. Great conversation you have going here! When I launched my blog at the end of December, I had the advantage of a seasoned blogger living right next door. I'd known about her blog for over a year, but since hers is a family/baby blog, I didn't know anything about the writer's community here. She was a great resource when I was setting things up and asking all the typical questions we seek answers to as newbie bloggers.

    But the writers I've met are definitely the most exciting and unexpected pleasure I've gotten from my blog experience!

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  87. Thanks Lisa Gail! That's so nice to say :)

    I'm trying to get braver - I'll keep working on it.

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  88. Nicole - I agree - the writing bloggers are the best people in the world! I can't believe how helpful and generous everyone is. I've gotten so many hints from so many people!

    You were smart to have checked it all out before you took the plunge :)

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  89. I knew so little when I started. Like diving into a pool and not realizing it was one foot deep. Or twenty.
    I've learned a lot by doing, and actually, I think it was fun that way!

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  90. I knew nothing either. I knew a few people with blogs on QT so I started from there. It took me a while to feel confident commenting though. I was shy too. :)

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  91. I had five friends who already had blogs when I started mine, and theirs were the only ones I visited for many months. Not until Jackee from Winded Words dropped by and followed my blog was I inspired to actually reach out to people I didn't already know. Luckily by then I was pretty comfortable commenting on my friends' blogs, so I knew the ropes for the most part.

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  92. Great post, Jemi. I knew nothing when I started blogging and was absolutely astounded when I discovered I had two followers. Me! Followers!? I didn't even have a followers widget, I saw it on my Blogger dashboard.

    The first comment I received was from the amazing Megan Rebekah at The Write Stuff. It was such a thrill to realize someone was actually reading!

    Twitter is very difficult for me. It's like there's a game of double dutch going and I'm jumping in the middle without knowing how fast the ropes are turning or whether I belong in the game.

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  93. Lydia - you're right - the blogging journey is fun! I wish I'd known a little more, but I have enjoyed learning as I go :)

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  94. Lindsay - it seemed to take me forever to get up the courage to comment. I didn't find QT right away, but I was thrilled when I did.

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  95. Susan - Jackee is so terrific! :)

    It did take me a long time to visit others - I was just too shy and of course not having a clue helped too!

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  96. VR - Megan is great too! It's interesting how many people remember the first 'stranger' to comment or follow. It's a really big moment :)

    I'm okay with parts of Twitter, not so good with other parts. I think it takes getting used to.

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  97. I certainly had no idea what I was doing (I still don't, honestly), but I had been stalking agent/editor/writer blogs for about a month before I started my own. I commented—mainly because I can't keep my cyber mouth shut—but went by the terribly unprofessional "squirlgirl".

    As time went on, I changed back to my Clark Kent identity and decided to put myself out there. I did it because so many people talk about marketing themselves, and how agents like to see writers have already taken steps in that direction before querying.

    As for followers, my numbers are still pretty low, but growing at a steady rate. I had a little dance party this afternoon when I discovered three more had popped up while I was in class :)

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  98. It took me a long time to make the lurker-commentor leap too!

    But if nothing else, that shy girl stage makes great fodder for writing! (Or at least it does for me.)

    Have a great week, Jemi!

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  99. Rosie - I know how you feel - I'm always learning something new!

    It is so exciting to see new followers - I always get a thrill too! :)

    Marketing is such a part of the business these days - I guess it's good to get a head start.

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  100. I'd tried to set up a WordPress blog earlier and was lost, and my web designer son didn't have time to help me. So I'm glad KarenG convinced me to change to Blogger. I got into it pretty quickly after tearing my hair out trying to figure out WordPress. I knew Karen, BTW, because WiDo had signed a contract with me for my novel and she's published by WiDo too. She said when I switched to Blogger she'd send followers my way. Yes, followers are very important, and very wonderful!!!!!

    And thank you for coming in and commenting on my High-Five post. I love to see your lovely icon.

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  101. Jackee - you're so right! Shy folks tend to notice a lot of interesting stuff - and I think we can empathize really well too. All good for the writing :)

    Thanks! Hope your week is awesome as well!

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  102. p.s. And just look at all the followers you have now!! You certainly aren't shy anymore. I'm basically a shy person myself, but it didn't take too long to stop feeling self-consciously about posting and responding, probably because this is such a supportive community!!

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  103. Thanks Ann! You've got a lovely site to visit!

    I guess I lucked out then. I just googled 'free blog' and Blogger came up. It's pretty user friendly, at least when it likes me!

    Karen is another great blogger - she really does a great job!

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  104. Ann - we cross commented!

    I feel so much more comfortable now - but I'm still a little nervous in some situations. Getting better every day though! :)

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  105. Aw, Debra, she's the best! When I started blogging I was the same exact way. And now I know so much more and have met so many great people through blogging. I'm truly thankful for it. :)

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  106. Kimberly - yes she is!! :)

    I agree - I've got a ton of online friends now & I've met almost all of them through blogging. I love it!

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  107. I was a reluctant blogger. I set one up and let it languish for months.

    I followed other writers' blogs and some of them coaxed me, even teased me, so I started posting. I enjoy it much more than I thought I would.

    Fun post idea! Enjoyed your story:)

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  108. Terry - Thanks so much :)

    It's so interesting to see how everyone started. I enjoy blogging a lot more than I expected to. The best part is meeting all of the people :)

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  109. I usually comment if I read a post. I don't comment if it's someone like Nathan Bransford's blog...But my blog friends...I try and say something if I stop in. Even if it's just to say have a nice weekend. :)

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  110. Sharon - you're right - I don't comment on all the agent blogs either - I've done it a few times, but it's more intimidating.

    My bloggy friends however, every time I read, I comment :)

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  111. I knew virually nothing about blogging when I started. My first couple months of blogs have very few comments. I gradually discovered about commenting and following and things took off from there. I was never really shy, it just took me a little while to discover what kind of blogs to comment on.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  112. Arlee - a lot of us just jumped right in without knowing a lot - we're a pretty brave bunch! :)

    I liked the gradual discovery aspect of blogging - so much fun to have those light bulb moments. I'm still having them :)

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  113. I did a tonne of lurking and reading of every blog I could find on writing before I even considered starting my own. Even then, I was never really satisfied with my first blog as I felt it didn't really know what it wanted to be at times. Having started over at the end of last year I now feel that my blog is comfortable and has at least found an identity.
    Still, it is scary putting your thoughts out there. The first couple of blogs, you kind of worry what the reaction will be, or if anyone will even read it.

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  114. I was a deer in headlights but my first follower Kimberly Franklin wasn't shy to comment on my things and ever since we've created one close bond for when I need help.

    I would check out blogs and move along just trying to figure out how to look through things. I didn't even know how to follow someone or find someone, later I found that selecting the follow bottom of my friends helped me network and meet other cool writerly friends. I'm glad I'm no longer nervous to comment, it's nice to remember what it was like 6months ago and how far I've come!

    I don't know if you stopped by my blog yesterday but if you did the reveal of Stella is up :)

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  115. Cassandra - exactly! I wondered if anyone would ever read it :)

    I wish I'd been that smart. I really didn't know what a blog was - but I'm happy with the way it has developed so I guess it all worked out :)

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  116. Jen - Kimberly is great!

    It was such a thrill to figure out the followers button and realize it wasn't scary.

    I remember realizing how excited others were when I followed them - and that it wasn't just me :) Lots of fun!

    Stella is awesome - love it!

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  117. been doing it so long i can't recall early days

    boards i joined back in the mists of time were encouraging, some remain, many have since folded

    best thing is 'meeting' wonderful folks from around the world, not necessarily only writers

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  118. Laughing Wolf - lol :) I love your description!

    I totally agree - the people are the best part! It's amazing how many people from around the world I've met - I love it :)

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  119. I'm not as shy about commenting on blog posts as I am about things like offering advice on AQ or something along those lines. Then I get very shy, feeling that I don't know much ;) and there are better people to advise. However, I've found that I do have bits of good advice and try to share what knowledge I do have when I have a moment or two. Sheesh, I really rambled here didn't I. :) Great post Jemi.

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  120. Lisa - I know how that is!! It took me a long time to offer any comments at all. I'm better in the locked crit group with people I know well, but I do worry about giving good advice - styles are so different.

    You do have great advice to give! And you never ramble :) Thanks!

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  121. It definitely took me a while to really understand how fun having comments really was! And that it really was okay to follow someone I didn't know and to comment on their posts! Now I'm a total addict!

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  122. Kristi - I know the feeling! It took me far too long to realize people got as excited as I did about getting comments from new folks. Silly but true :)

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  123. I felt the same as you! In fact, I think you might have been the first person to follow my blog!

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  124. Talli - I didn't know that! I do know I enjoy visiting you :)

    So many of us were shy at the beginning - but we're better now!

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  125. MAN! This is an AWESOME post. Short but sweet, and very very poignant. I've only been blogging for 4 or 5 months but I started out just like you. I felt scared and ignorant.

    I've grown a lot since then but the very best part has always been all of you. People, but especially writers, RULE!

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  126. Aww - thanks Matt!

    It was terrified to start, but felt like I should. And now I love it!

    And I agree - it's because the people are the best! Absolute best :)

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  127. Debbie's gentle encouragement led me to start my blog in the first place, and I'm so glad I did. I hadn't networked with a single writer before I met Debbie through her comment on an agent blog and then in real life at a conference. I'd never been to a writer's blog. It's weird to think where I would be if she hadn't guided me into having an online presence. Before her, I couldn't even be googled!

    It's exciting, this online world, and I've just scratched the surface. I have tried Twitter, but I can't ever think of anything to say and am too shy to jump in there... but maybe I'll get active there some time.

    Wonderful post, and thanks so much for regularly commenting on my blog... it does make me feel warm to be connected with a lovely person like you. :)

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  128. Girl, I know exactly what you mean. I had no idea what blogging was like when I started. I heard it was a good idea if you were a writer, so I signed up. My first few posts are embarrassing. It took me a while to figure out the followers thing. I was even worse with Twitter. I'm still trying to figure that one out. lol

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  129. Thanks Julie - you're such a sweetie!

    Deb is fabulous - she encouraged me and gave me the confidence to try new blogs.

    Twitter can be fun - and I've learned a lot - but it is sometimes hard to 'get out there'.

    I love visiting your blog - your posts are always so thoughtful :)

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  130. KM - lol :)

    I think a lot of aspiring writers are told to blog, and don't realize what all is involved! It's fun, but a lot of work.

    Twitter can be fun - especially if you're outgoing. I'm getting better!

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  131. I didn't know much but thank goodness blogger was super easy to navigate.
    And the follower thing I was clueless on until last year. Everyday it seems I pick up something. :)

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  132. Jemi--random.org is your friend this week! You just won another random prize at my blog. :) I still have your address, so no worries...

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  133. Jennifer - yes - Blogger was easy - and mostly helpful... although some days it doesn't like me very much :)

    And I'm right there with you - everyday there's something new!

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  134. Sharon - wow! Thanks so much! :) I can't believe how lucky I am this week!

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  135. I started as a very shy blogger. I had no idea there were so many other writers out there!! I love what you said about the shy, awkward girl stage running deep.It is so true!!

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  136. Saumya - me too! I didn't have a clue so many writers existed, never mind blogged. It's been so much fun to meet so many people! :)

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  137. PS--If you have a chance, stop by my blog to pick up an award :)

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  138. Oh man, I didn't know much when I started. I used it as a journal, and then had to delete a couple posts... woops. Live and learn.

    Now, I comment when I can, post when I can, it works. I love it! Life sometimes gets in the way, but I've never been a wallflower. *shocking I know* LOL... Jump on the twitter train, it's not so bad. The convo's are there for you to jump in! I love that part ;o)

    Hope you are well. I know it's been a while since I've visted ;o)

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  139. Rosie - awww! Thanks so much :) I'll pop on over!

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  140. Thanks Erica :)

    I'm getting braver on Twitter - but it'll take me a while to get really comfortable there.

    It's hard to do everything - we all need to find that balance! :)

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  141. I knew nothing. I did read several posts before I started commenting. I didn’t comment at first more because I just didn't know it could be done. Ah, the old days.

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  142. Holly - exactly!! I didn't have a clue about anything at all! Funny to look back :)

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  143. When I began, I knew nothing! So I spent the first three years posting once or twice a week but I never visited other blogs. It wasn't until I started treating it like a social site that my readership grew. And I am not shy!

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  144. Diane - it's a real learning curve this whole blogging world. I can't believe how much I've learned in less than a year!

    I love your expression of treating it as a social site - that's perfect :)

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  145. I knew next to nothing. I didn't tell anyone about my blog. I didn't follow other blogs. This continued for about 6 months. Then I joined a blog chain, mostly to get me out there.

    If I'd known what an addict I'd become, I probably wouldn't have started. But I love it.

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  146. Elana - I know - it's crazy what an addiction it can become! I love blogging - and I certainly didn't expect to :)

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  147. I originally started one forever ago as a way to keep in touch with family and friends...it was not until I completed my first novel that I decided to be more regular in my posts and I started looking at other blogs.
    It's way fun and I enjoy the interaction as well as the outlet.

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  148. Jo - keeping in touch with family and friends is a great idea! I'm lucky in that most of mine are in town, but I think that's brilliant!

    I enjoy blogging too - it's fun & you meet such super people. :)

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  149. Hi, Jemi. The blogging universe may be the only place on earth where I have never been shy. Maybe because it's faceless. I'm not sure. Go figure! ;D

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  150. Victoria - love it!

    I wish I was less shy - although I'm proud of how far I've come - that faceless aspect does help!

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  151. The whole blogging and networking process is an adventure with neverending change -- I was also nervous at first, but it sure has been fun learning all this new stuff (and meeting so many wonderful people around the world).

    Your signature link worked just fine, Jemi. Thanks for helping demo the result.

    Patricia

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  152. Pat - so glad to hear it worked - I've always wondered how to do that :) I'll have to remember to use it now...

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  153. Hi, Jemi! Just letting you know you won something. Come on over to my blog! :o)

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  154. Wow! Thanks Jackee - I'll pop on over :)

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  155. I had been on usenet for YEARS before I started blogging. I'd also been part of any number of online forums.

    So commenting didn't bother me at all. I jumped right into blogging and badabing, got a few followers, found a few friends that I like hanging out with and reading and following, and went from there.

    I've really never been that shy about speaking up.

    I get in trouble for that sometimes.

    Actually, I get in trouble for that quite a bit more than a lot.

    - Eric

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  156. Eric - lol :) I can't even imagine!

    I wish I'd been that comfortable. I just didn't have that much experience online. :)

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