Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Five: The Way We Blogged

Kathryn asks us about blogging today:

A friend and I were lamenting recently about the good ol' days of blogging and memes. Certainly there are still some very active blogs around our web ring, but the days of the Friday Five getting 50-70+ responses are in the past. We lamented that the Friday Five is the equivalent of the women's guild of RevGalBlogPals.

I am one of those who went from blogging just about daily to periodically at best. Unfortunately, the number I routinely read has gone down as well. What about you?

1) Have your blogging (writing/reading) habits shifted since the days of yore?

I still blog about as frequently as I did when I got started seven years ago, but I don't read nearly as many blogs as I once did.  In the old days, a real community of miscellaneous-topic bloggers developed on the AOL Journals site; these days, it seems that most of us stick to groups of common interest.  I got started hoping that by writing about my efforts to eat less and exercise more, I would be publicly accountable for the results.  No results.  But I did make friends and discover that writing is the major way in which I process just about everything.  So my blogs have accompanied me into and out of seminary, through the college years and  young adulthoods of my children, into the darkness of Josh's death, and now into this murky in-between period.

2) Do you have some favorites that you miss?  

There is a guy (who shall remain nameless) whose humor and good will in the face of some big disappointments made his writing zing.  He's all but vanished.

3) Are there some blogs you still put in the 'must read' category?

A couple of women with whom I became friends in the beginnings of AOL journaling are still friends, still wonderful writers, and still must-reads.  I have made some good friends among the RevGals, developed some very close relationships with other moms who have lost older children, and discovered some excellent blogs about Ignatian spirituality, so I read all of them every day.  Or whenever they appear.  Michelle of Quantum Theology is hands down the best blogger on spirituality of whom I know.

4) If we gathered at your knee, what would you tell us about those early days of blogging?

Seven years ago, almost everyone used screen names that provided anonymity.  I remember that even though I wrote under the guises of Ocean and Gannet Girl and for what? ~ maybe 50 people? ~ I was startled to see my thoughts appear in print, and not a little apprehensive about the consequences.  Now I find that that seems a bit quaint. 

5) Do you have a clip or a remembrance of a previous post of yours or someone else's that you remember, you know an oldie but goodie?

Oh, too many for the short time span available to me this morning!  But with the new Marty Laird book on contemplative prayer finally out, I wish that folks would read the dialogue that Michelle and I shared over the first, Into the Silent Land (tab at the top of the page).


  1. Thanks for keeping up with your blogging... I need to do the same!!!

  2. Gannet Girl,
    Thank you for this walk down memory lane and for sharing how blogging has been important to you.
    - will smama :)

  3. Robin, I've kind of re-discovered you lately. It's nice to have a connection with you from so long ago. Your sharing about Josh will always be in my heart, and I loved your reflections on "Into the Silent Land." I look forward to finding out what you think of Laird's newest book, which isn't appealing as much to me as the first one.

  4. Well your blog is one that I have been reading since I started blogging in 2006. I don't always leave a comment but I read and think about what you write...

  5. I love your writing, Robin. I'm such a blog virgin compared to so many. I'm absolutely in the "murky in-between period" you mention above too. I never wrote when Erin was sick, so a lot of that built up anxiety is coming out now in huge, exhaled bursts of relief... and then I step forward until something triggers another build up. Then I burst again.

    I didn't go into a deep "darkness" per se after Erin died, due I guess to the fact that I knew the cancer would eventually steal her for about 1 1/2 years before it actually did. You experienced a horrific shock in Josh's traumatic and sudden death. I'm sure I would have been in darkness too.
    Thank you for sharing so much with all of us.

    Per my recent blog entry, check back to my comments about Chrissy if you haven't already done so. Yes, she is a gem. And I sincerely hope there are SEVERAL people in your life who "love you both ways" too.

  6. I read a few blogs that still use the cloaking/anonymity names...and it takes me a while each time to feel comfortable, even after i know the blog for a while. Glad you're out of that. Always more intrigues me than I have time to explore...

  7. I miss the "old days" of blogging. I don't read as well as I once did, either. And there's still some awfully good writing out there.

    You are a gem.