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Blog Suicide

Don’t stop me if I’ve told you this because I’m going somewhere different with it today. A thoughtful and somewhat sad place but I can’t stop thinking about it.

I started blogging with truly no clue about blogging. I did it because someone I knew said I should. I’d never really even read a blog. And I just began. What’s followed is a lot of blood, sweat , and tantrums.

I have stayed the course though and am glad I did because of the growth I have experienced both as a writer and as a human being who needed to prove my worth and the value of human connection. But you don’t get to enjoy the lessons unless you go the distance.

This can be a very solitary practice. So many sources of input vying for your attention that I feel lucky if anyone reads my blog. Please don’t feel bad that you don’t comment either. Those that can do. Purposes of entertainment are personal to everyone. And I can remember being reluctant to comment once too.

I have been online now long enough to see some of my fellow bloggers discontinue their blogging. One gal got a full-time job. Two just sort of stopped publishing posts and show up to “like” something every once in a while. But the one that upset me the most was a gal who I almost met this past Summer at the Blog U conference. She committed blog suicide.

I was just about to write a piece on how upset I was about her abrupt disappearance when Robin Williams took his life. And the death of this wonderful and beloved man seemed too tragic to even use the word suicide in any other context. But I do feel a kind of concern for this gal’s welfare and here’s why.

There’s a community here online and when you connect with people, they’re just like the people you know from your everyday life. Like your mail carrier or your bus driver. They make you happy when they chat with you. But then what if you heard them start to say that you were so pretty and that they could never consider themselves pretty. Or that you were smart and they just knew they were dumb. And then one day they were missing from their job permanently.

This gal praised me and I was so flattered but I felt that shift into implosion. Suggestions of unhappiness and unworthiness and anxiety. And then wham, she was missing. She had deleted her blog address and all of her social media outlets. I wanted to scream out, why? One of ours was gone. Many of us new bloggers have felt that wavering doubt of that first year of blogging. I understand low self-esteem so well. I comprehend comparing myself to other bloggers and writers (and designers) and feeling crappy about me. And I guess I am reminded again of how I love doing this and how tenuous our bonds with others really are.

So Jean, if you are still reading my blog, know that I heard your distress and felt absolutely powerless to help you. I did notice you go missing. I am not a more talented a blogger or writer or mother than you are. I hope that you and your children are well and looking forward to a happy holiday season. And that if you ever needed an ear or anything I have to give you, I am still here. Imprisoned in this box but also out in the world contributing my soul and gathering happiness anyway I can.

Sincerely,

Shalagh

Bloggers Meet-Up

I got this idea into my head that my geographical area here on the Delmarva peninsula, with its multitude of writers, needed an opportunity to network and connect on the subject of blogging. That the people who are timid to start need support. And the people who have started need camaraderie, commentators, and technical reference resources. I had the idea to create a bloggers’ meet-up. I think it’s a really good idea. Really.

So my friend Christina created a graphic for me and helped disperse the event information. I was excited to be available to help all the people that I just knew needed a network or support or a new direction. And when the day finally came last Sunday, I took my cookies over to the Rural Life Museum here in downtown Denton to meet and greet whomever would show up.

Rural Life museum in Denton for the Blogger's Meet-up on Shalavee.com

 

Thankfully, the someones who showed up for this maiden Meet-up were near and dear to me and they came armed with a mission. And I can say that I helped them to move from a concept to some action steps for their blog that make sense of what they’ve considered. In other words, I helped them. And that made my ever-loving day. We answered their “Why” for blogging and that freed them to move onto the how.

Rural Life museum in Denton for the Blogger's Meet-up on Shalavee.com

If you live here on the Delmarva peninsula, are considering starting, or have a blog and need support, and you missed the bloggers meet-up event this weekend, I am planning to have an encore meet-up in maybe February of 2015 when we all have really nothing better to do but get out and on with our lives. Looking forward to that and please, if there are questions or discussions that need to happen earlier, please don’t hesitate to ask and talk to me here or at any other communication platform you and I share. There are links on the sidebar and in the paragraph below.

Sincerely,

Shalagh

 

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Muchier and Truthier

In the beginning of the year, I felt stronger. I might have had some goals and some purpose. My fellow bloggers did too. They were all picking out their words for the year and saying how they missed themselves. How they wanted to feel muchier and more truthful. Truthier. I can totally get with that as I don’t even remember the path that I may have strayed from. I have blogging amnesia. So without further adieu, I give you myself and my blog’s purpose and progress as I see it.

My name is Shalagh and I have written this blog for three years. I began this because I needed to practice my writing. It was lonely and full of doubts at first. Then I found my voice. And I kept using it. I am not as published as I’d like in alternates spaces but I have found people online and made connections I never knew were possible. And if I asked them, they’d help me. I just tend to ask the wrong things of the wrong people and see the imminent demise of my effort as a character flaw in myself.

muchier and truthier me from shalavee.com

I discovered I am both verbal and visual and in need of expressing and balancing both. Where I began here with all words, I then included pictures more and more. Now I am focusing on a balance of the two. A reformatting of the site has been long overdue but I am still looking for definition and branding for what my “thing” is.It may be apparent to everyone but me I fear.

I used to be funny and then I got serious and now I like to be both. My need to always be different makes it difficult for me to do what everyone else is doing and just fit in. I used to love to cuss, at least in person and I find its gratuitous usage in print annoying, but I am finding it hard to contain myself recently with the chaos that’s the onset of toddlerhood. I am a personal essayist who need to get myself published.

I keep looking for that grand master plan that will allow me to see the purpose of my life and direction I need to be headed. But I can tell you that may be a ruse. That I tend to make it harder than it should be is something I’m meditating on now. That I am very much who I am and still have yet to meet her, that is the muchier and truthier part of the story.

If you didn’t get a chance to play with/fill out my fun Questionnaire, you can do so here.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

 

 

The Producers

I had a freakout yesterday. A “their oranges and my apples” kind of moment not dissimilar to the one I had the day I went to the library looking for permission to become a writer. Then, overwhelmed by the walls surrounding me filled with books and magazines written by a multitude of published people, I wanted to give up. Stop and not try. But I stood there and said,”You’re going to write something too.” And I still am years later.

Yesterday, I opened an email from an organization that is the penultimate of bloggers training and incubation. Alt Summit was looking for guest posters. And the list of subject topics proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am a certified know nothing when it comes to the actual practice of blogging. I deemed myself inadequate and that was that. breaking bread on shalavee.com

I’ve been blogging for just about three years. In fact today is that anniversary. And still, I am more than clueless about this process. Like learning a foreign language and simultaneously cruising around in a wheelchair for the first time, I’m dangerously listing to one side about to topple over because my brain can’t handle all the input.

My learning curve keeps expanding out in front of me. Like that pull focus Hitchcock trick in the movies where the hall suddenly gets 30 feet longer and you feel like you’ve been running in place, I’m not getting anywhere and the end of the hall is further than when I started.watching the bird butts on the roof from shalavee.com

I have thought of the bloggers who started ahead of me as the Producers. They’ve been given the magic spells to unlock the secret blog success formula. They progress with capabilities and rate sheets. They have sponsors, followers, methods, platforms. And they’re super nice which makes it better and worse.

As I move from my closet woodwork and befriend my big sisters, I can not help but still feel that my trick bag is empty. The only certainty I have is that I write compelling well written content. This I know. Which is a big something. The rest, the deserving and the wherefores of branding, I’m working on these as I speak. There’s no tidy little package to offer or pill to take to suddenly know it all. Sorry, Charlie.Seagull butt on the roof on shalavee.com

I’m messy and long winded. But I’m inspired every day to share what interests me with a faceless audience. Weird, huh? I may have to act like a buffoon but move on I must. So I puzzle out my place, my worth, my path one day, one post, and one communication at a time.

I am nothing if not ever hopeful. Do I wish my learning curve was less steep? Yes. Do I believe I have less to bring than everyone else? Nope. I just need to do a lot of hard work, see me for me, and ask to receive a little help from the producers.

Facebook Shennanigans : Address Change

As with all computer activities, Facebook has become annoying and necessary. A really good read was my piece called My Face about my initiation by fire into the realms of Facebook. I am more in touch with so many people and find many read my work there. My Shalavee FB address was a really long string of letters and numbers. Once you have 25 followers, you are allowed to change the address to actual words. Except Shalavee or Shalavee.com wasn’t available. Seems there’s someone else on Facebook with this name? Slalavee Oneofakind Smith lives in Florida. The only reason my blog is even called Shalavee is because a French restaurant in some vacation spot in Harrogate, England had grabbed Chez La Vie. So in the end, I chose my Facebook page address as Shalagh blogs at Shalavee or ShalaghblogsatShalavee. So anyway.

Flowers in the kitchen from Shalavee.com

While I don’t seem to have come face to face with as many of the problems as my friend Jane has using Facebook, I remained perplexed about how I could see my liked pages in my feed. I feel lame if I forget to check in on other bloggers’ pages. I recently read something that suggested making your own lists of the pages you like on the left column of your home page. Do unto others. But this technological stuff will be the death of me. I can see why you don’t want to even muddle your brain with this stuff dear reader. I know who you are.

Kitchen attack from Shalavee.com

If you haven’t liked me on the Shalavee Facebook page, would you please do so? I am publishing 3 times weekly, Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Guarantee you’ll not miss my posts by subscribing and have them sent to your mailbox. I adore watching the subscriber number go up.  When I first drafted this post in March, it was only 58. After a recent beg-athon, it rose to 79 ! Would that it would just go to 80.

Again, thanks to all y’all that made that number climb. And as always, I am eternally grateful for you being here.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thank you for your visit. My wee fairy friends that live in the hollow tree in my back yard told me to tell you they will move to your house and keep an eye on you.

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