Monday, January 19, 2009

Blogging Reality

Last Spring I created my blog. Looking back, I remember that I wanted it to be a place to share my (very serious) thoughts with family and friends. It would be my online journal. It would be a place where I could practice my writing.

Since that time it's evolved into many things--some serious and others not so serious. Some important and others are just trivia. Some jewels and others a bit of junk. But one thing I've learned through it all is not to take myself, my writing, my content, my advice too seriously.

Readers come from various backgrounds and experiences and I've found that it's important to offer a wide spectrum of blog content. Now I offer a little of almost everything, but still most of it deals with finding peace and joy with a dash of comedy thrown in.

Today I want to share my first blog entry with you. It begins......


Hello Friends....

Well, I've decided to enter the world of "blogs" and would like to invite you into my "Serenity Room." I want to share with you the joy I've found there. It will be a journey we take together and I hope you fine a sense of peace here as we explore the beauty of life and living.

Last year as I created my summer garden I found a way to unwind and listen to the world in a new way. I found peace among the plants, birds and wildlife. Each day as I sat in the shade of the afternoon, I began to enjoy my own company. At the age of sixty-three I had come to a place in my life where quiet surroundings were important. I needed a place to relax and to think my own thoughts. I needed a place to find creativity and spiritually...to find myself. I had taken vacations and even though I visited many lovely spots none seemed as precious and special as my little backyard garden.

All summer I added beautiful items to the garden and only those things that gave me peace and inspiration. I even added "soft" music through a CD player that I hid among the plants. Music played continually throughout the day, so that whenever I entered the garden I would instantly hear it.Summer ended too soon and my little garden faded away as the weather changed and the leaves fell from the trees. It was a sad time for me as my sanctuary gradually disappeared. I would have to wait another eight months before it could be restored.

Several months passed before I realized that I had another potential sanctuary within my own home. Our guest room was the perfect place to create a sacred space where I (or anyone) could enter and find solitude and peace; a quiet place.

(That's how my "Serenity Room" was created.....
I eventually changed the name of my blog to The Serenity Gate. )

***Why did you start your blog? Was it for writing practice? A way to keep in touch with your family? Find new friends? Market and showcase your writing skill? Or something else?

36 comments:

Sassy Granny ... said...

Good question! When I began blogging, it was a clandestine and unheralded undertaking to see if it was anything I would stick with, or even enjoy. I'm delighted to say it has been both!

The motivation behind my blogging came/comes in the form of six grandchildren. I longed to leave for them a legacy of thought, praying it would be the place they discovered the depths of their grandmother's soul - - and in discovering those depths, discovering the great Lord residing there.

My blog is the outcome of my life's mission: to leave a trail I'd be proud to have my children follow. It's my Hansel & Gretyl legacy, though the Bread I leave for them is not snatched away (or, so I pray).

Kathleen

Janna Qualman said...

Love reading the full story of your journey thus far. Thanks for sharing it!

I think I began blogging for all those reasons you mentioned, but mainly to "build a platform," so to speak, and get may name and some of my work out there. What I didn't know, was that I'd get far more out of the networking aspect. The friends and support I've found along the way far outweigh any other benefit.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Your blog is one of the most enjoyable one's that I visit!

I started my blog for many reasons: to practice my writing, to connect with other writers, to get my name and writing "out there" and to find new friends. It's sort of like having pen pals, but better!

Not only have these goals been met, but I've been blessed with so much more: encouragement, laughter, tears, enjoyment and great writing advice.

I have withdrawal symptoms when I can't get on my blog and my friends' blogs every day!

Ms. Marcia said...

Good Morning, Barbara!! First I started the blog for my Church. Then I decided I'd try one of my own. My best friend was in the process of moving from CO to MO and I had to hold off writing to her until she got connected to the Internet again ... so I set up It's Me and the Cat and, I find, it is easier for some people to see and read what I want people to see in a blogspot rather then in an email! Then, after cruising through sooooo many blogspots and seeing so many quilters, crafters, stampers, scrapbookers, etc., etc., I decided to create another blogspot, Different Stitches, for the few quilts I've attempted, and some of the knitted and crocheted pieces I've done. In a sense, blogging is my scrapbooking project ... scraps of this and that strewn across the Internet! Thanks for being a follower of It's Me and the Cat! Hugs!!

Joanne said...

My blog is really an extension of my writing, another avenue to travel down and explore. Like others here, I'm surprised at the sense of community and connecting among the bloggers, and find it encouraging in so many ways.

In your post when you say your intent is for others to find a sense of peace as we explore the beauty of life and living, I must say Barbara, you've succeeded. That is exactly the essence I get when I stop here.

JOY said...

I'm a 2009 newbie. I took the step to help me blossom more in my writing, to share what I see, experience and have to say. It has inspired me, especially the warm exchange of this community, finding people with similar interests, enjoying the laughter, recipes, beautiful images,ideas, spiritual joy and poetry. I need all of you and hope I give something back that will spread joy too! Serenity accepted. Thank you!

Angel Helen said...

It's totally capitalist motivated I'm afraid. I read somewhere that having a blog was good for your website. Well I wanted more visitors to my website so I started a blog. I have no idea whether it has worked or not. I wanted to help send people to my website where they can find information about my practice.

What I can say is that blogging has crystallised my thoughts about many subjects. It has given m an optimistic outlook as I try to present that for my readers. I try to showcase what I am about, what my beliefs a and give pople a taste of what they might find if they come to me for therapy.

This is a sweet blog. I am going to follow it and see what I find.

Vikki G said...

I began my blog to journal the many changes that our family is going through. A way to process my thoughts and now it is evolving into many different things~ My thoughts on a little bit of everything...a way to communicate who I am and where I stand~ A way to encourage those around me as well as myself. I must say I always enjoyed writing as a child, teenager, young adult and yet I put this to the side as I started to raise my family....Why? Do we as women so easily set aside pieces of who we are ..this is what makes of who we are as wives, mothers, daughters, friends~ So I have once again picked up my pen so to speak....And am so very glad I did.
Blessings,
Vikki

Angie Ledbetter said...

Your blog is a little dis, a little day, like a very mellow gumbo. :)

I started blogging with a few others last year on our Year of Gratitude blog, and my own place grew out of that. I like sharing, making friends in the cyber world, so writing in blog format does that. It also keeps me writing daily and building bonds with others. The writing bloggy friends made so far has been great & fulfilling. Glad you're part of the circle. :)

Angie Ledbetter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angie Ledbetter said...

Barbara, I deleted a duplicate comment when my connection hiccuped.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I kept hearing this "blog" thing - and one day checked it out -- I started it thinking it'd be a way to write about the writing life or whatever - but in the process I have met and come in contact with such wonderful people (like you!) and it grew into a social and friendship thing - especially since I tend to stay on my mountain without seeing anyone other than GMR and my fat dog and the critters here!

ChristaCarol said...

Initially, to gain an net audience. Networking, I suppose. Regardless of how well I do in that area, I love it and enjoy keeping in touch with people who have the same aspirations as myself or are in the same league as myself in terms of trying to become a published writer. And, I must say, it IS good practice for my field. :P

heather said...

I'm going to garden for the first time ever this spring/ summer. I'm kind of looking forward to it.

I have three blogs. One to keep in touch with family and friends. One to write and only write -work on my craft if you will. The last one is my public journal.

Barbara said...

Sassy Granny- Blogging is such a good way of leaving a legacy for future generations. I hope my blog journal will someday be appreciated by my family as well.
I wish I had more words from past generations of women in my family.

Barbara said...

Janna- I hope you are enjoying your "down-time" and will come back inspired and burden-free.

Barbara said...

Donna- I'm so glad to like my little blog and also keeping watching for the post of bikes.

Barbara said...

Ms. Marcia- I like the thought "scraps of this and that"..which I think is the fun kind of blog.

Barbara said...

Joanne- Thank you!

Barbara said...

Joy- A very special welcome to you, into our community of bloggers!

Barbara said...

Angel Helen- Welcome! So glad to have you joining us!

Barbara said...

Vikki G- It never fails to amaze me how very much we women are alike. Yes, we do tend to put ourselves aside so that others are nurtured, nourished and supported. Later we may find that we are the one who is empty. I'm a great believer in women supporting other women and blogging is a wonderful way to make that happen.

Barbara said...

Angie- "a mellow gumbo"..I like that.

Barbara said...

Kathryn- I would love to hear more stories of life on your mountain. You're living a piece of my fantasy.

Barbara said...

ChristaCarol- Ditto.

Barbara said...

Heather- A garden is a little piece of Heaven on earth. Enjoy!

Small Footprints said...

I love how your blog has evolved!

I started blogging because my family kept telling me to write a book but ... it seemed like such a long process and I get bored easily. Then, one day, a neighbor was asking me about green living and ... Reduce Footprints was born.

Glad that you started blogging ... I've enjoyed visiting your site ... and hope to for a long time!

Small Footprints
http://reducefootprints.blogspot.com

Barbara said...

Footprints- Blogging is a wonderful way to write short, fulfilling snippets from our lives. I enjoy that part of blogging, too.

KKJD1 said...

I started my blog to share my thoughts and ideas with my farmgirl friends over at Mj's forum but since then I have come to discover many more friends along my way. I would not trade this experience for anything. Have a great afternoon. Blessings, Karen

Barbara said...

Karen- I completely agree about not missing this experience for anything.

Terri Tiffany said...

I have loved reading the comments about why everyone started blogging! I did it cause I had heard about it and it was cheaper than a website to practice on--I remember being nervous putting those first words out there in cyberspace and wondering if anyone even cared-- but I did and that's why. TOday, as many of you mentioned, I am so blessed by the friendships I have formed through the blogs:))

Barbara said...

Terri- Sometimes it's difficult to put our private thoughts out there for everyone to see and critique. But I've found it well worth the risk.

Lea and her Mustangs said...

I started blogging to encourage people who were doing an Extreme Mustang Makeover and to keep an update on how Sierra was doing. Then it was over and I had made some blogger friends and just kept at it. I have written a journal every day since I was in high school but this is different. I miss it if I have to miss a day. Love yours Barbara. It always makes me feel better. Even if I didn't

Barbara said...

Lea- I'm afraid once we start blogging, we can't stop. There's too many friends we would miss.

Linda said...

I'm like Lea--I started to share insight about Mustangs so that other people adopting would have a place to start. I searched the internet day after day looking for solid information when I began--it was hard to find. And now, I've made friends and keep at it because 1.) I still have a ways to go before I'm doing with Beautiful, and 2.) I enjoy reading other people's blogs.

Mrs. Mac said...

I started blogging several years ago. Being home bound AND the mother of a special needs child, I find it difficult to stay connected with family and friends. Blogging has afforded me the opportunity to meet some great people with similar struggles.

I moved 1400 miles from family three years ago while my husband finished up his job before retiring ... so I started another blog posting pictures as I oversaw the building of our new home while we were apart. Once this was finished, it became a gardening blog. Here I find great ideas for garden design by visiting other gardening blogs for my climate zone.