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August 30, 2016 / Retirementallychallenged.com

GratiTuesday: The blogging community

When I first started my blog almost three years ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect beyond having an excuse to write now and then. At the time, I was approaching my retirement and I thought blogging would be a good way to work through the uncertainties I was feeling.

What I didn’t expect was that my blog would become an entrée into a community of interesting, generous, and inspiring fellow bloggers. As I got more and more comfortable with the care and feeding of my blog, I started to meet other bloggers who were on similar journeys. That led me to find still others who, although they might have been on different paths, had interesting stories to tell.

In many ways, I feel as if I can call many of the bloggers I follow – and who follow me – friends. Through our posts and our comments, we celebrate positive events, support each other through challenges, and share simple bits and pieces of our lives. If a blogger I’ve been following stops posting – either unexpectedly or with prior notice – I often feel as if I’ve lost a friend.

I’ve been lucky enough to meet face-to-face with several bloggers I follow. Each time, the transition from blog persona to actual person was easy and the conversation comfortable. The get-togethers have felt like meet ups with friends… because that’s what they were.

My most recent face-to-face meeting was with Joanne of My Life Lived Full. Several months ago, when my husband and I started to plan our road trip back east, I reached out to her to see if she’d be interested in getting together while we were in Toronto. Fortunately, she was and she generously arranged her day so we could meet for lunch.

Joanne meetup

Just as I expected, Joanne was as nice (she is Canadian, after all) and interesting in person as she is on her blog. We talked about her family (which I already felt like I had met), our travels, and a whole host of other topics. After a couple of hours of easy conversation, I was sorry when it was time to go.

I am so grateful for the community of bloggers that I have become a part of. I had no idea when I started my blog that it would provide me not only an opportunity to write, but also the chance to meet new friends from all over the world.

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45 Comments

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  1. Kate Crimmins / Aug 30 2016 4:41 pm

    My post today touched on this a little. I know many bloggers a lot better than I know my neighbors. You are lucky. So far I have only met one blogger in person and she was just like I thought. The blogging world has a lot to offer.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Aug 30 2016 4:54 pm

      Yes, I thought the same when I read your post (I was in the middle of writing mine). Funny, my husband came along the first time I met a blogger to make sure that everything was on the up-and-up and that I was safe. He enjoyed himself so much that he happily goes along now.

  2. Joanne Sisco / Aug 30 2016 5:08 pm

    Thanks Janis for the kind words. Meeting the two of you was an absolute treat!
    The one truth I’ve come to learn is that if you like someone in the virtual world, you’re going to like them in the real world. Our blogs are just extensions of who we are 🙂

    There are a couple of bloggers I continue to mourn that have disappeared from social media … two of whom I had met of a few occasions. “Losing” a friend – whether in the virtual world or the real one – is painful.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Aug 30 2016 5:40 pm

      It’s hard to hide your authentic self in an on-going blog. And, I think readers can tell if a blogger tries to be someone they aren’t.

      There are two bloggers in particular – one gone for awhile and one absent just a few months – that I’d love to reach out to to see how they are. But, it could be an unwanted invasion into their lives. Oh well, I can just hope they’ll return some day.

      • Joanne Sisco / Aug 30 2016 6:24 pm

        I suspect that for some people, blogging fills a hole at a particular point in their life. When that need passes, they lose interest in the blog.
        I wonder if it’s an affliction that eventually we all will get.

  3. Terri Webster Schrandt / Aug 30 2016 5:15 pm

    I, too, was honored to meet you and your hubby last year in person! Blogging has created world of friendships I never imagined! A lot to be grateful for indeed!

  4. dconnollyislandgmailcom / Aug 30 2016 7:32 pm

    Hi, Janis – Thank you for a super inspiring post. I have only been blogging for seven months so far, but I totally agree with you that the blogging world provides great support and incredible generosity. I look forward to meeting you this October. I will email you my details.
    Donna
    PS – I began to follow Joanne after this year’s Cherished Blogfest. I just began following Kate today!

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Aug 31 2016 8:13 am

      I love to introduce others to bloggers I follow, and to discover new ones through others. Kate and Joanne are two favorites and I’m sure you will enjoy them also.

  5. Liesbet / Aug 31 2016 4:40 am

    I agree! Especially when you start to know your fellow bloggers a bit better, it creates connections to cherish. I can’t wait to meet you one day, Janis! 🙂

  6. Denise / Aug 31 2016 7:02 am

    There are several bloggers I have followed for many years and though I’ve never met them, I consider them friends. So nice that you have actually met some.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Aug 31 2016 8:17 am

      I feel very lucky that I’ve had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with several blogger friends, and I look forward to future meetings.

  7. susan@onesmallwalk / Aug 31 2016 8:09 am

    Meet-ups are such fun. Glad to hear of another gathering of blogging friends.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Aug 31 2016 8:23 am

      I feel very lucky to have had the opportunities that I’ve had to meet several bloggers and I hope to meet more as we travel around.

  8. Carol Ferenc / Aug 31 2016 12:12 pm

    How wonderful that you were able to connect with a fellow blogger! Blogging really is all about the cherished connections we make.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Aug 31 2016 2:53 pm

      It’s always a treat to meet bloggers face-to-face. I used to think it was about the writing but I think you are right: it’s about the connections.

  9. rporter610 / Aug 31 2016 4:18 pm

    You’re right – we need to be thankful for the community of bloggers. It’s important to many of us to have online friends that we can interact with through the internet. How nice that you got to meet one of your fellow writers. I hope to arrange to do that myself in the next couple of years.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Aug 31 2016 5:06 pm

      Through the blogs of others, I have traveled to places I had never been, sailed the seas, and enjoyed experiences outside of my personal sphere. It’s truly an amazing community! I hope you can meet some of your blogging buddies too!

  10. snakesinthegrass2014 / Aug 31 2016 5:51 pm

    How great that you’ve met up with a few bloggers. I had to turn one down for a meet-up because it wasn’t going to work with our traveling schedule earlier this summer, but I’m going to try and correct that next year somehow. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a big (or small) convention sometime?

  11. beeorganizedwithpamela / Aug 31 2016 8:05 pm

    I agree with you there are some amazing bloggers out there and it is wonderful meeting them. Even if it is just on paper. We are like pen pals. LOL

  12. betsysbeat / Aug 31 2016 9:13 pm

    I hope we get to meet in person someday! I too feel like nice friendships are made through interacting with other bloggers, and I appreciate the nice comments you always make on my posts!

  13. laura bruno lilly / Sep 2 2016 12:40 pm

    “I’ve been lucky enough to meet face-to-face with several bloggers I follow.”

    Really neat for you and them I’m sure.

    Congrats on 3 yrs!

  14. writerinsoul / Sep 2 2016 1:55 pm

    I feel the same. When I started blogging, I had no idea how much blogging is about interacting with other bloggers. I think about bloggers like I think about people I know, things they’ve said and so on. When they disappear I wonder about that too. Blogging is a rich experience in ways I just didn’t expect.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Sep 4 2016 12:26 pm

      I had no idea that the community (and maybe especially those of us of a “certain age”) was so engaging and engaged with each other. As busy as I am as a retired person, I do miss the social network the work provided… maybe blogging helps put that back in our lives.

  15. thebloggingleprechaun / Sep 2 2016 3:55 pm

    Agree completely! Any tips for a blogger such as myself? https://wordpress.com/posts/thebloggingleprechaun.wordpress.com

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Sep 4 2016 12:31 pm

      I’m certainly no expert, but the more you engage with others (comment, etc.) that more they will engage with you. Be authentic and write about what you are passionate about (which it appears you do). Good luck, you seem to be well on your way!

      • TheBloggingLeprechaun / Sep 4 2016 12:50 pm

        Thank you so much! Means a lot to me!

  16. Anabel Marsh / Sep 3 2016 6:06 pm

    Endorse all that! I’ve met three fellow bloggers in real life so far and about to add a fourth. It’s a great community.

  17. lisadorenfest / Sep 4 2016 5:56 am

    I love when I get to meet my blog buddies in person. I share your gratitude for this community. I tend to feel a bit isolated sometimes when sailing. The friendships that I’ve made here lessen that isolation significantly. Hoping to meet you someday in person 🤗

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Sep 4 2016 12:18 pm

      And, we your blogging community appreciate coming along on your amazing journey! I’d love to meet up at some future time… preferably in one of your exotic locals!

  18. Joe / Sep 5 2016 9:41 am

    Even though I started blogging as a creative outlet for myself, I too have been pleasantly surprised by the side benefit of getting to know other interesting, generous and inspiring bloggers, like you.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Sep 5 2016 3:21 pm

      I have really learned a lot from the blogging community, including new ways to approach travel – like your one new town a month idea. Although we enjoyed visiting a lot of places on our last trip, it would have been nice to spend much more time getting to know each area.

  19. Shelley / Sep 7 2016 11:18 am

    You are so right! My on-line friends (and I include you as one of them)motivate me to keep blogging.

    Like you, I am disappointed when one vanishes from the blogosphere.

    And I too have been lucky enough to meet blog buddies in person. In fact, one will be traveling with us us this May when we tour Sicily. She is an amazing photographer, so I’ll probably just direct family and friends to HER blog!

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Sep 7 2016 1:51 pm

      I look forward to the pictures! Yours too – I love the way you capture your travels in words and pictures.

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