There is a secret underside to blogging, one that our readers never see. A secret virtual room where we all meet and sit around the water cooler and chat.
From the outside, there’s a lot going on that you as a reader may not notice. We make blogging friends and connections. We meet in person at conferences. We email each other back and forth. We have private Facebook groups where we chat about everything from advertising rates to how to get your spouse on board with your blogging. We talk coding tips and photography tips, ask for advice, from the technical (How the heck do I fix this thing that just went wrong with my blog?) to the personal (Is anyone else’s kids ALREADY driving them mad this summer?) This is the part of being a blogger that has surprised and delighted me the most — the comradery, the sense of community, the way Canadian bloggers work together and help each other out.
We collaborate. We work together. We celebrate each other’s successes and commiserate over the failures. It’s like a secret sisterhood of blogging (though that’s not entirely accurate because there are a few rocking guy bloggers too). I work from home, and I sit here in my front room typing away while the kids are playing down the hall. Sometimes I feel isolated, but I’m never truly alone. My blogging comrades are always just one private message away.
It’s like we all work together in this giant virtual office, complete with water cooler chats and staff room baby showers. When someone has a baby we pool together to send them a gift. When one blogger’s mum passed away we all chipped in to help purchase a memorial. When one woman’s husband ended up in the hospital we pooled our money to pay for a meal delivery service to help out with dinners. But it’s more than just flowers and baby gifts, the biggest thing we give each other is support.
When my Dad died my fellow bloggers stepped in to help. When I became ill last fall with anaemia and uterine fibroids my friends were there. And this past month when I had to take time away from the computer to deal with a family emergency, again they were there. Filling in. Making sure my scheduled stuff got posted. Sending me guest posts to publish. Sharing my content online. Just basically making sure that I still had traffic and readers when I was ready to come back.
It’s the difference between my blog going totally silent and dead, and it still rumbling along while I am away. It’s the difference between me sitting in a hospital at my mother-in-laws’ bedside worrying about deadlines and obligations and plummeting pageviews, and being able to forget about all of that and just focus on the issues at hand, like trying to explain to a nurse for the umpteenth time that since her stroke back in 2011 her vision is impaired and her memory is shot, and she has no idea if her toes look more purple than yesterday because she can’t see them, and even if she COULD see them she probably wouldn’t remember what they looked like yesterday, so could you talk to me please and yes, I have medical power of attorney and, by the way, when is the doctor coming by to discuss the results of those tests? (Yeah, it’s been a fun couple of weeks, let me tell you.)
It is the best feeling in the world to know that you have friends who have your back. I seriously can’t think of anything kinder or more reassuring than knowing you have friends who are taking care of your work when an emergency forces you to step away. Not only did it allow me to forget about my blog and just focus on my family and what needed to get done, it gave me a warm fuzzy “I am loved” type feeling. Peace of mind, but also fullness of heart.
So this is me saying THANK YOU to all of the bloggers I network with. To those who always pop in with just the right info I need to get my camera to do what I want it to do, to those who always know which widget I should install to do whatever the heck, and to those that always lend a willing ear when I need to rant. To those who cheer me on when things are rocking, to those who pick me up when I get knocked down, and to those who give me the occasional kick in the pants.
I debated listing here everyone who helped me out this past month, but then I thought — wouldn’t it be awful if I forgot someone? And then again, what about the people that helped me last time? Or the time before that? And what if someone didn’t WANT to have their name listed here? I don’t want to offend those who have done me, time and again, so much good. So I will leave it at this — You guys rock. Thank you so, so, much. This is to you and you, and most especially you. You know who you are. And I sincerely hope you know that if you ever need anything at all you just have to ask.