It felt like a miraculous happenstance the day a fellow writer answered me. This was on a writing site a couple of years ago and I’d risked reaching out to say something, anything. I was exuberant. I had been worthy of a response. She said she thought I was a good writer.

That was the first time I’d really felt the rush of befriending anyone online. The back and forth made me feel important, like the high you experience when you begin dating someone. She even asked me to contribute a piece of writing to a workshop she was running. It was fabulous and you can read it here. And then the workshop didn’t work out and she fell off the radar and was gone. Sad but life’s like that I’ve eventually discovered.

I have always easily made friends everywhere I worked, went, and lived. But I hadn’t had a lot of luck online. Mostly because I hadn’t tried yet. I suspect I was afraid no one would write back. And you know, since then, that too has happened to me a lot. C’est la vie. (Not to be confused with Chez La Vie which is how you pronounce my blog site title if you were wondering.)

In the past year, I’ve adjusted my expectations of people’s behaviors in general. We can only give as much as we have the energy to give. So all communication efforts are not based on what I want to get but what I’m honestly willing to give. And what others have to give back. No hard feelings because it’s not always about me.

My recent e-course homework was to reach out and network with ten fellow bloggers. In the first year of blogging, I wasn’t doing so much “networking”. My confidence was hovering around my ankles. Just before the class, I had started to come out of my shell. In fact I heard about the class from one gal I’d connected with. I’d even made notes on people in class and the blogs I wanted to reach out to before I got the homework assignment.

Until recently, I was probably suspicious of people’s motivations for communicating online. Were they all self-promoting egomaniacs? But in this safe happy forum of the Blog Your Way workshop network, I didn’t suspect anyone of anything other than trying to create and improve their blogs and I can relate to that. We were compatriots.

I am glad to be free of the shy shell that once held me. And I am in a place where I truly want to connect with the world and myself via those interactions. In fact, I’m looking forward to the process. If you hear me knocking, please answer the door. I’m funny and I don’t bite.

If you have any thoughts, please drop a word below in the comments. Or

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  1. Great pictures. I love all those pumpkins. Is this where you live…not a pumpkin patch but on this farm. I so need a new camera. What are you using? Keep writing 🙂

    1. No, we don’t live in a pumpkin patch. But you can see all the swell pictures I took when we visited a local orchard on this post. I’ve decided that, although I love my little Sony Cyber-shot that turned a year old yesterday, it’s time to graduate. I used to always shoot 35mm and then the camera had to be buried. Thanks Sheryl.

  2. Thank you Shalagh (Shala-ha!) that was a pleasant, funny read. Your photos as well? Very nice, I look forward to your winter shots and prose too! Keep up the good labor of love!

  3. Did I make the list??? Great post Shalagh, I still feel quite lost about the whole online networking side of things and what we are supposed to be doing in that regard! I want my blog to be successful but most of all I want to hone my writing skills and when you add children, home etc well there just aren’t enough hours in the day! I feel my ‘networking’ will be fairly haphazard but meeting people like your lovely self has been an unexpected bonus of blogging : )

    1. Of course you made my list. I thought I was doing good with this assignment and then I’m putting 4 people on my list in the homework forum who may or may not get back to me. To which I want to add, if it’s a crap shoot, then you’ve got to cover the odds. I was intrigued by your cat post. So I said something(I hope she is well). I have also reached out and commented and had no response. But I do find it’s a good exercise for the writing. So see if you can schedule 15 minutes of “networking” before you sit to write a post.
      Thanks so much and Love to you and yours,

  4. Shalagh,

    I am so glad for you that the blogging class
    is working out for you. I have to admit that
    I don’t read your blog everyday, but when I do
    I usually get a good laugh or a quizical feeling
    of huh! Yeah, I get that.

    Keep going!


  5. It’s funny, before I actually started to blog I never even thought about the making friends aspect. I was an avid blog reader but spent hours reading huge readership blogs so I didn’t see as much of the back and forth going on as the bloggers with 20K readers still engage but it is not as personal. I’m also somewhat of a loner in real life, I have a few close friends but I’m not much for drinking, going out at night and my thoughts are often elsewhere, in the clouds, beyond Hawaii. I’m usually different and quiet so I’ve gotten used to people not gravitating toward me at work or in social situations. So…making friends is never the first thing I think about. Twitter and blogging really shocked me. I’ve made some new friendships. My blog friends are elsewhere but my new twitter friends are right here on island and we do get together IRL now. The nice thing about online is we can figure out much quicker where our “tribe” is. It is odd someone could just disappear though and you don’t know what happened, right? I hope she’s ok.

    I agree, social media is much satisfying if we focus more on the giving than the getting. Thankfully that is more of my personality to begin with. I’m kind because I feel it, not because I expect something back. If I comment it’s because I liked it, not because I’m hoping someone will reciprocate. I do see way too much self promotion gone wrong with social media and some “fake” networking going on but it’s too be expected, right? I think the really successful ones have more sincerity going on because at the end of the day, content is king.

    Btw, I’m kind of disappointed you don’t live in a pumpkin patch.

    1. Me and the Great Pumpkin are like this.
      She is semi-famous so that’s where she went.
      And yup with the “fake” networking.
      So awesome that you’ve got a Twitter group on your island. I too live on an island of sort. I call it the “Rock” but it’s a peninsula. I do have a blog group with some of the swellest ladies ever. I created that and I am proud of all of us.
      Funny how we think no one will be interested in us but we’re driven to babble publicly anyway.
      Thank Friend.

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