16 September 2011

Wait, Don’t Leave…Come back! I Wasn’t Ready For You To Go!

It’s so funny how quickly things can change. While this may be the first blog I have ever had, I can’t say that this is the first time I have had an online community that I have gotten involved in. Just a couple of weeks ago, I went to the website About.com and I went to their creative writing forums.

I couldn’t believe what I saw…

I saw…nothing. Okay, maybe not nothing. But I saw very little.  I couldn’t believe how inactive it was in comparison to years before. I loved using that site to develop characters, provide feedback…you name it. After my initial shock wore off, I went to my profile and found the profile of someone 17, still reading CosmoGirl and Mercedes Lackey, and in regards to political stance said, “You know what? I”m not even gonna start.”

It’s amazing how things have changed. While I updated my age to 24 (sigh), and took off CosmoGirl as one of my favorite magazines, I couldn’t help but recognize how empty the site was in comparison to when I used to be on it.

Inspired, and definitely distracted from writing, I went to my other favorite writing site of the past (you will laugh)…Craigslist. Okay, now before you go berserk, let me tell you this…before the whole serial killer thing, Craigslist used to be a lot less creepy. They had writing forums, and I used to be just as active on those and even took some chances to post my work (I will tell you this…you need nerves of steel to post work on that site). Like any online community, I got used to the people, the conversation, and theofficial (and unofficial) online rules.

And like everything…

Things changed. For one reason or another, I stopped going to these sites. Maybe my schedule changed. Maybe my energy level for the site shifted. Maybe it was me that changed. Or maybe it was the site itself.
And initially, I wondered whether this had an impact on anyone online. I wondered whether it really mattered…because you know how it is…you’re online. These aren’t people who are close family and friends. What would they care?

And then I started thinking about my fellow bloggers. The people that read my blog, the ones that I read, the online communities I’m on…and I realized something.

Yes, it did have an impact.

So, on a nostalgic kick…I went on sort of a “blog hunt.” Here’s what I did. I went to the very top of my blog and I hit “next.” When you do that, it doesn’t take you to the next blog on your blog feed (that’s what I thought at first), it took me instead to the next blog similar to mine. Fascinating, isn’t it?
And I found some blogs. Really pretty ones too. And some funny ones. And others that were just downright clever.

Some are recent bloggers that I am starting to follow that are blogging and posting and being their usual entertaining selves.

And others…others just haven’t blogged in a very long time. So, I followed because I have some secret hope that they will come back and reclaim what is theirs.

We all go through difficult times. Times that cause us to stop, reprioritize, and put different things first. I’ve been through them, too. But…with that said…I just want to let all of you know that the impact of you is felt throughout. Whether it is your readership, your blog site, your creativity, your writing, your involvement in the online community, your comments. Even if you don’t feel like you are getting enough comments…or enough followers…trust me, you will look back on this period of time when you were doing this, when you were blogging, and you will realize the impact it had, even if you realize the impact it had on yourself.

And I just can’t help but wonder if these bloggers ever think about their last post. Their last comment. Did it resonate like they wanted? Was it thought out? Or was it a quick remark in an attempt to stick with something?

Anyways…I just hope this never happens to me with my writing. I don't want to look back on the stories I have written and realize how creative I really was, even during my really awful first drafts. I know I ay now with plenty of self-assurance that my writing will never drift away like the ever-evolving internet communities do. But like I said…Things change, right?  Life happens.

Well, today I’m inspired to write because I realize that the energy and life that I put into my writing and my creativity does make a difference. Even if those stories I write are just for myself. I’m inspired to write because I want to stick with it and look back and know that no matter what, my writing stayed a consistent in my life.

Because that’s the thing about dreams…dreams are living, breathing creatures. They grow, they move with you, but you know what they never do? They never stay silent. Dreams are like the little child that keeps poking your arm until you give them attention. It’s the mosquito in the room that you can’t find, but damn it, you can hear it. It’s the missing card in a deck of 52. You recognize it’s presence. You know when it’s there.  Because we don't find our dreams, our dreams find us. And they just never know when to quit.

And isn't that an encouraging thought?


  1. I used to use About.com as a knowledge base (in addition to Wikipedia), but you're right about the site really having died off in the past year or so. It's pretty sad, because the user contributed answers were usually more reliable and better thought out than those on Yahoo! Answers.

  2. @inurbase - Yup! It was! I remember feeling much more help from there and got much more feedback than ever before. I don't know what happened to that site! I do hope it comes back though!

  3. Hi Nicole! I think this is your most inspiring post since I started following you. I agree with everything you said. There's definitely a creativity inside very bloggers. We sure do love writing and if we continue this passion, it can take us somewhere. We just have to always believe that we can!=)
    Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts!


  4. I'll be honest. I know nothing about About.com. I did not realize they had writing forums. I did know there was a section of craigslist--but I really thought that was where people posted all their email forwards.

    That said, I've always written--before computers...I was writing long hand....when I finally moved it online--I joined myspace just to blog--and I met some wonderful bloggers out of the experience.

    At some point I started a blogger--and well I joined a few FB writing groups, created my own...on and on and on. I love writing. I think it will always be a part of who I am.

    Continue your passion for writing--it will lead you many interesting places :) Cheers, Jenn.

  5. Great post! I loved your ending. Great anologies.

  6. I love this post! SO Much! I have used the "NEXT BLOG" link before, but now you have inspired me to do it more often!

  7. I've been a member of the old compuserve writer's forum for pretty close to twenty years. While Compuserve is no more (it is now AOL Books & Writers) the forum still exists with a name change. People I've chatted with for all these years still pop in. There always seems to be something new going on.

    I guess I'm lucky.

  8. @Macy - Thank you!! Very true - you must believe that your work towards something or your practice will take you somewhere!! Thank you for reading!

    @Jenn - It definitely will - we are always evolving and I guess it's just as important to move along with that!

    @shelly - thank you shelly!

    @Vicki - Yay! Thank you!!

    @JoAnn Murphey - You are!! that's so awesome that everyone has stayed involved like that! I think that is awesome and also a very good sign!!

  9. I've been writing a long time too. It's only been in the last year and a half that I have made my work public. I hope to someday do this full-time as it is where my heart truly lies.

    Thank you for your inspiration thoughts. I am looking for new sites to post my work in. If you come across a site that is looking for new writers, please let me know.

    Thanks so much!

  10. I am not familiar with about.com either.
    I know that I have joined forums that inspired me in some kind of way and then quietly make an exit. I made some real connections, some that I reflect back on. It is just the purpose has been fulfilled. I think with bloggers that take a break or leave, the same thing happens. That specific need/want has been filled. When the void appears again, we may find them online again.
    Very thought provoking post, thanks for sharing!

  11. Yup, I've been in chatrooms, ICQ'd, Myspaced and Facebooked. I don't' mind platforms changing, it's the people I like so I just go where they are. The most popular platform I've found for writers at the moment is Google +
    Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

  12. Whoah, I just learned about about.com after reading your post. Right now, I am being persistent in looking for communities to share my writing.

    Glad I found your blog. Hope you'll include me in that community you were able to form through blogging! :-)

  13. @Susan Dusterhoft - I feel the same way!! Good luck to both of us and achieving our dreams! :) Thank you for reading. I have been using Writer's Digest Community (writersdigest.community.com). Although not perfect, it's the most active (and most mature writers) i have seen so far! Let me know if you find others, also!

    @optimistic mom -very true! It's all about fulfilling a need at a particular time! We all drift in and out of our various internet locations. Thank you for reading!

    @Charmaine Clancy - True! Me too! I go where the people go! I'm on GOogle Plus too! Look for me there!

    @Irene - Good luck with finding your community! I sometimes use "Writer's DIgest Community" (writersdigest.com/community or something like ... community.writersdigest.com) And you are involved in my blogging community! :) just by commenting! I'll be sure to follow your blog!

  14. Hey Nicole,

    I just came back and read this - I have only been following you for a little while, but I had to read this post after you commented on the one I wrote yesterday.

    The internet is a strange thing, isn't it? It's like we can be here and involved and we're wrapped up in our online world and then we turn off the computer and it can just disappear.

    I also used Craigs List and I found the guy who illustrated two of my children's books there. He turned out to have a lot of personal problems and we didn't collaborate as well on the second book as we did on the first book, but I was very happy, for the most part, with his work.

    Thanks for being so inspiring and for caring about other bloggers. Sometimes I feel as if I am just sending my thoughts out into space and I don't get a lot of comments, although I have gotten more lately because of some new followers. It's nice to know that people are reading what you write and it makes a lot of difference when you KNOW people hear you.



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