7/29/09

All the fishy business

Wednesday~July 29, 2009

I felt like a fish out of water at first. A guppy on the shore flopping around in the sand watching the sharks and dolphins rub fins, sometimes spraying water at each other over something called swag.

I have fins too, they just suddenly seemed very small. Itty bitty writing fins. I had been taken from a tiny little lake and thrown into the ocean. I was hearing all of this about selling out...What is this all about? To what end? What are we trying to do here? Where is the writing?

BlogHer's ocean.

Yes, that's how I felt at first. And then I listened to the community keynotes, and I was sitting and crying as fellow bloggers read their absolutely brilliant posts, standing up there in front of all the fish. I realized something that night. Those writers submitted what they had to say and wanted to be heard because we all have a voice worth hearing. We all have something to say. They stood there because they care about writing and know how to share from their hearts.

So whether we hold hands with corporate giants or have 80 gazillion readers isn't even really an issue. We can make it one, if we should choose to focus on that, but we really only need to look at our own fishy selves. Are we blogging to share our stories? Do we love to write? Would we continue on if only our dearest of friends were listening?

I know the answer for myself, and need to choose to turn away from those who don't. If my blog is part business, it's a total aside for me. I would be here, pounding fingertips to keyboard either way. I love this.

Yesterday, a real life friend said, "I'm so proud of what your blog has become. It's so professional, it's like you've got your own small business." And then there was a knot in my stomach. It was a kind thing to say, but I hope with all of me that there's more to be seen here than some ads on the side and an occasional review or give-away. I love to write. I love the connections here. I hope that's clear.

I want to share my stories because I hope they will rub shoulders with yours. I too want to be heard, and it means so much when someone takes the time to say that I validated or inspired them in some small way.

I love meeting this way and shouting, "KINDRED SPIRIT!" I've experienced that in this space a number of times. People come here and they get me, and I them. That's what it's about for me.

It's so good to be gotten.

There is no other place where I could share my heart in a way that spreads. There is no other place where I can be known even before I'm known. No other place where I could get off a plane, see someone for the first time, and feel as if there's never been a time that I didn't know them. All that other business that people seem to be all upset about? It's just business.

Aside from that, what I've found here, is the very best kind of deal...



Laura, Lisa, April, Christy, Kim and Libby, Deb and Lee

(And my dear friends from the internet who weren't at BlogHer?
I sure wish you were. Just sayin')

49 clicked right here to comment:

Amber@theRunaMuck said...

It's just good to have girlfriends - plain and simple. If you're a blogger, then having bloggy girlfriends are so so nice to find.

I love the collage - and your heart.

Pam at beyondjustmom said...

I just happened to go to Chicago this weekend with friends to take our daughters to American Girl. . . and realized it was BlogHer weekend! I couldn't help wondering if I might bump into you or some of my other new bloggy friends in the street. My traveling friend had no idea why I was so excited to see the throngs of ladies with BlogHer nametags. It's a weird world, but very fun!
Maybe next year in NY. . .

Willow Tree said...

Loved the ocean analogy, and I'm with you... I would write no matter what.

Blessings,
Carolynn

*Lissa* said...

That's totally what it is about... sharing stories and the wonderful, amazing people.

AWESOME photos!

Erin said...

I hope you don't take this the wrong way, and I don't think you will: I don't think of your blog as a business at all. Yes, it is professional looking, as in it's not just flopped together and slopped on the screen. But what you write reaches people. It touches their hearts and makes them think about their own lives and how to better them. That is the best kind of blogger. YOU are the best kind of blogger. Thank you.

Annie said...

A good blog is a good blog- professional, or not, looking! Keep up the good work!

Jen C said...

Beautifully written post.

Heather of the EO said...

Erin,
No, I don't take that the wrong way. It's what I needed to hear. Thank you!

Mommy Instincts said...

i SO get it.

Read my post, you'll see why.

http://www.mommyinstincts.com/2009/07/love-that-blogher-09-built.html

Great post here, your site is lovely.

Jen

Manic Mother said...

I miss you! I feel like I haven't seen you on my blog, or in Twitterville in awhile. Let me know if you still want to meet up, I will try to coordinate a date.

Tooj said...

I've begun to understand just how "on the cusp" we are with blogging. I know some have been at it for years, but people had also "been at the internet" for years before the general public understood email. There is a large group of people who simply "don't get" the internet wave, blogging for strangers/with strangers, or meeting people through the 'net at all. I find this new social mechanism fascinating, personally, and the BlogHer meet ups would have been exciting. To me. Not at all to my husband. We straddle different sides of this fence. :) He might change his mind, he might not. That goes for some of my friends and family too. But in the meantime? I'll continue meeting bloggers online, and hopefully one day be able to say "let's get together for some chit chat". I don't drink coffee. ;)

Tooj said...

That period should be on the other side of the quotation. Just sayin'.

Jen said...

I loved this. You said everything that is in my heart about blogging. Thank you.

Laurie said...

I really, really like your blog. I truly enjoy reading what is going on in your heart and mind and many times I find myself feeling the same way that you are at that moment. Keep up the good work!

Melissa Stover said...

i wasn't at blogher but i feel the same way. that i'd be writing whether anyone was reading or not. i love it too.

Keyona said...

Aww...wish I could have been there. I missed all the fun!

Growin' with it! said...

wow heather...i can surely say this about other areas in my life now a days! great post. and what a treat to hug on those sweet friends you've come to know in bloggyland!

blueviolet said...

You are one of the best writers blogging. I have never left your site without feeling lifted, enlightened, or touched in a special way. It's truly the extraordinary ordinary here and I love this place.

Aunt LoLo said...

I was thinking about this a little yesterday. I mean, if only my dearest friends were reading...I would still write. However, if I thought NOBODY was reading (like my food blog, where I never ever get a comment), then my writing style will CHANGE. I'll simply list recipes, instead of adding stories and pictures. The quality will go down without some public feedback. Nobody likes to talk to themselves!

MommyJ said...

"It's good to be gotten."

Yep. It sure is. That's been the best thing about blogging for me. When people say, "thank you for writing that. I needed to read it."

It's easy to get caught up in all the other stuff. But if you know what it's about for YOU, then all that other stuff doesn't matter. I think there are blogs out there that are all about the sitemeter numbers, the page views, the ad revenue... sadly, I don't think those blogs will last very long. There has to be a bigger reason for doing this.

Kimberly said...

I love how clearly you see through all the murk and confusion to what really matters. THAT, I get. Beautiful post.

Em said...

I love your bloggy home - you're a thoughtful writer, and I appreciate that. Truly. Thank you.

(Love that picture of Libby grabbing Lee's necklace - so sweet. You guys look great. The boas. Whoa the boas!)

Em said...

P.S. thanks for the keynote link. I'll grab a hanky...

Sabrina said...

I'm so glad you had a good time, being with friends and sharing your blog! You are the best!

Angie said...

Looks like a fabulous time. I'm so glad you were there. And yes, you're so right, the bloggy connection is unlike others... being known before you're known.

Angie said...

Looks like a fabulous time. I'm so glad you were there. And yes, you're so right, the bloggy connection is unlike others... being known before you're known.

L.T. Elliot said...

Maybe I'm naive or something but I had no idea your blog brought in $ for you. I just read and follow it because I love you and I love your voice. Your posts mean so much to me. I literally can't define it but what I do know is that I'm so grateful to have found you, Heather. You're the best sort of woman and I always leave your blog believing the best of others, hoping for the best in my own life, and wanting to be the best kind of person (just like you).

Heather of the EO said...

L.T. - Thank you!

And about the money...the ads do bring in some money. Focus on the word SOME there. VERY little SOME. :) And my point was that it isn't about that SOME (trying to make it bigger) for me.

Roban said...

Even though I'm all for making money through blogging, I'm glad that you choose to write and share because you want to. It's the sharing and the friendships made that make it all worthwhile.

MidnightCafe said...

Heather, I love it that you just are who you are and you so eloquently share that with the rest of us. Your writing is a gift, and I'm so glad you're willing to share it through blogging.

Scary Mommy said...

I loved this! So true. And I loved meeting you for, like, three seconds. :)

Deb said...

your desire to connect and to write and to think and to feel IS clear. to tell you the truth, i never noticed the ads until you pointed them out... so you now know, without any uncertainty, what brings me to your blog. other than the fact that i like looking at photos of myself.

Reluctant Housewife said...

'Are we blogging to share our stories? Do we love to write? Would we continue on if only our dearest of friends were listening?'

Yes, yes and yes. Though I'm such a small fish that I'm actually an invertebrate pre-fish type creature, possibly even as primitive as blue green algae or something, I can relate to what you're saying here. Blogging is really about the creative outlet and the personal connections for me.

Great post!

Cheryl Lage said...

Yes. 100% yes.
Didn't go to BlogHer this year, but am already signed up for next... and you're just the kind of kindred spirit I hope to meet.

Peace & Posts-

♥georgie♥ said...

I so love coming here and reading what you have to say...even though my childrens arent as young as yours every.single.time.you.tell.a.story.about.them....it takes me back to another time...you are like an escape for me...I♥U

I so wish i could have been at BlogHer this yr

Elaine A. said...

I'm a little sad that I just found you. You are an amazing writer.

I'm so happy I was able to meet you last weekend and I only wish we'd had more time to chat.

I really enjoyed this post...

Megan @ Hold it Up to the Light said...

I don't think I could have said it any better. I'm probably one of the tiniest fish in the sea, yet I know why I do this. That is what's important.

Looking forward to getting to know you more.

I sorta think I could call you a kindred already :)

IzzyLizzy said...

Lovely post. Very elegantly put!

Carrie said...

I like your perspective on BlogHer after all the negative things I've heard about it from others. I wish I could've gone to meet you, too! :)

april said...

I totally 1000% love this post. (And not just because my picture is in it!) You ARE a kindred spirit, and I'm so glad to call you friend now!!! Love!

MoJo said...

Aww I love this!

It IS good to be gotten! Few of my real life friends blog...in fact they barely facebook, so it is nice to connect to fellow bloggers!

You have a beautiful writing style, and if it makes you feel any better, I never look at the ads on your (or anyone else's for that matter) blog. I come JUST to "hear" you talk!

J

--It's Your Movie-- said...

Oh Heather I am so glad we met in real life, and you stole the words from my heart! It's all about those kindred spirit moments, isn't it? One of my favorite memories from this past weekend is arriving at dinner that first night (crazy nervous and out of sorts) and looking up to see you giving me the nicest look EVER. A look like, "THERE you ARE!" A look that gave me the nicest coziest feeling of being known and not a stranger. You are lovely.

Lee of MWOB said...

KINDRED SPIRIT.

I think that says it all.

For me.

Cynthia said...

Amen! Keep doing exactly what you do. We come here to hear your 'voice' and enjoy your insights. I love how blogging makes that possible. I think the name of your blog sums it up perfectly- the Extraordinary Ordinary. Every ordinary person has moments when they are extraordinary or ideas or insights that help someone else in just the right way and just the right time.

deb said...

When the little pieces of you land in my head and heart, they soften me and sparkle.
That's priceless .

Rachel said...

Great post! And so true...I totally get that. It's about being who we are and not being who will make us famous or rich...

It was so awesome meeting you in person!! You are just as charming in real life as you are on your blog!

Lisa said...

I would echo Erin's sentiments exactly.

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