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.
I love this post, Deanna! You hit the nail on the head with all of it. This blogging community you speak of is like my second family, and I bet you (and everyone else) feels the same way. No matter how nasty, how negative, how awful the internet can be at times, I always stop to remember that, without the internet, none of us would have each other. I can no longer imagine what my world was like before all my “internet” friends. I have seen certain bloggers step up in a big way during your time of need, and that truly warms my heart. A whole group of you stepped up for me during a particularly difficult time, and I will never forget that. I hope you are well on your way of coming out the other side of all the issues you (and your family) have faced over the last few months. It’s good to see you here my friend. xo
Jessica T says
I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m thankful for my community of bloggers who are more like family than just friends. I can’t thank everyone enough for all the times they have stepped in for me and I know that I have a great community I can count on, you most definitely included. Without this group or community we have things would be much different. If you need anything just shout ❤️?
Deanna, you are a fabulous person and blogger. This post was an amazing read, and it is really great to be a part of a group of people who look out for each other to be successful and who look out for each other. Thnks for sharing this part of our world.
Julia Chiarella-Genoni says
Of course, this is awesome. It’s so amazing how you put to words what we experience ‘behind the scenes’. You have been a friend of mine for years, and even though I only get to see you in person every now and then at conferences, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you really are a message away from a great chat. For everything that you have gone through, I’m sorry. I know how hard these things are…and we’re all still ‘here’ for you. 😉
Beautiful post. You are so right about the comradery and friendship that goes on behind the scenes. I am often quiet and don’t go to many in person events so I sometimes feel a bit invisible but you were the first blogger I met a few years ago at the train station and I will always remember how friendly you were. It was much appreciated.
Matthew Tully says
I love my blogging family. I have to call it this because there is so much negativity in this industry alone, before taking in all of our own personal lives. I’ve seen and been part of bloggers helping other bloggers, and even helping other bloggers readers that are known to many of us. Help – it’s a four letter word that in most cases has no cost to it but it’s value can be immense. Happy that this was shared by another blogger I know and even happier to know you and read.