April 4, 2011

permission to sit on the patio (or my thoughts on A-Z)

i know my blog header says, this is "a place where this indie author can write, rant, and encourage," but if you've come here much, you know i hardly ever rant. and it's not that i really want to rant now, especially when i'm worried about offending some of my dear blogging friends with what i might say. but taking up some courage (thank you, Bru), i'm going to say what i think and let it be what it is.

it's only April 4th, and i'm ready to take a break from the party. if you're doing A-Z, you know what i'm talking about and if you're not, part of me wants to say, "good for you for not attending the party." not that attending the party is a bad thing. there were so many good reasons to go, but the one that enticed me to go was the chance to meet new bloggers and make new connections.

i still want to do that, and i know i said in a previous post that if i don't attend the party, i'll never meet anyone, but just like this introvert has trouble at large gatherings because they can be so overwhelming, i'm feeling overwhelmed by A-Z. there are so many blogs on the list and i know they have good reasons to be there, and i'm not criticizing either the hosts or the attendees. (the fact that they can manage it at all is astounding. i applaud them for trying to bring together bloggers who might never have met otherwise.)

i never intended to visit every blog on the list (i'd be here till summer if i did that), but even trying to pick out a few to visit in a day is getting to be too much. i'm starting to feel like i *should* visit so i can support other blogging writers--especially those who have few followers. (i wrote a post once on shoulds and on being true to myself. you can read it here if you want.)

the other problem is that i'm watching my follower widget and it never really mattered to me before. i don't want it to matter now. i'm checking my email for comments even more than i used to. not good. i'm wasting more time on the internet than usual. not good either.

so i realized today, i can give myself permission to sit on the edges of the party and watch while i sip my lemonade. or go to the library of the host and peruse the books. or step outside and get a breath of fresh air because the room is a little too stuffy. or go back to working on my sequel. yeah. that sequel i need to finish.

thankfully, i did all my posts ahead of time, so i won't stop them, and they were easy posts (collecting quotes is fun for me). but i have to stop going to the list and trying to make it to so many blogs because i might possibly meet someone who could encourage me or be part of my writing journey or life journey. just as i did before this, i have to trust that i'll find the people i need to find and they'll find me. if they visit and leave a comment, i'll visit back. if they follow me and i think i have good reason to follow them, i will.

for now, though, this girl's sitting it out. it could last a day or a week, or the rest of the month. i don't know. but while i sit out on the quiet patio, you're welcome to join me.


mooderino said...

I know what you mean, it is quite intense. But i think you can take it at your own speed, no one is going to get upset (at least i don't think so) if you only manage to comment on a few or visit a fraction of the 1200 (probably even more by now).

Just dip in and out as you feel, that's what I say.

Ann Best said...

It does seem crazy at times. How many people will remember if we've commented? (Perhaps some of my loyal followers.) How many people's comments do we remember at the end of the day? (I remember a few, but this is all happening so fast.) Like you I feel like I'm getting "addicted" again to the Internet and to garnering Followers. I guess we have to decide, like you have, what this means to us personally. And if we decide to "rest" for a day or a week or the rest of the month, I don't think the world will stop turning. I, for one, appreciate your thoughts on the subject.
Ann Best, Long Journey Home

kelworthfiles said...

Blogspot ate my old comment. :(

This patio does seem like a cool place to hang out and enjoy a relaxing beverage. Mingling at parties is hard for me too, but this challenge is really my kinda party. There's so many interesting people on my blogger.com reader now, and email posts coming in from wordpress.com every day.

I don't think I'll be able to meet everybody on the challenge, and I'm not really trying. But I'll mingle as much as I have time for!

Michelle Gregory said...

Ann, somehow it helps to not be the only one.

mooderino, with my personality, i need to give myself permission out loud, so to speak, to do or not do things. helps me remember, i guess. i'm hoping this also helps someone who feels this way but isn't sure that not commenting is ok. maybe this will help them realize they can sit it out too.

Michelle Gregory said...

kelworth files, i'm glad you're finding a balance. i can make myself mingle but only for so long and then i just have to sit down and let people come to me.

Heather M. Gardner said...

I can see how it seems overwhelming but I don't know if you should look at it like a party. No matter how much of a community this may be we are still all individual and basically anonymous until we choose to comment or follow. It's awesome to watch from the porch but maybe every now and then hit that surprise button and let it do its job.

February Grace said...

You don't need to take up anybody else's courage, Michelle, you have all you need right there in that warm and kind heart of yours. <3

I'd love to sit on the porch and drink lemonade with you, any day.


Sand Castles and Snow Forts said...

The beauty in the A-Z is that others do find you. As a fellow introvert let me encourage you to take a breather as often as you like then look at the titles of blogs that seem to say something to you. There's always a heart out there needing a friend.

Dawn Embers said...

I know what you mean. I completely didn't think about the comment on others factor when I first signed up and I was number 305. Now, it's scary overwhelming how many blogs are taking part and there just is no way I can get to them all even once.

I am getting new followers but I think that has to do more with the giveaway than the a to z part, since I said I'd give away more prizes if I reached 200 by May 1st (I reached it today). After 200, the number won't matter again for awhile.

Enjoy your rest. I'll still check out any blog post you do in the future. :-)

Francine Howarth said...


You're not alone in this - I'm pulling out as of today! My latest WIP has had no attention, I have revisions in need of clearing up, and basically I'm a novelist: my blog for funtime! The A-Z is becoming a daily chore and I hate chores.

The A-Z is a great idea and all credit to the organisers, but it's like a blogfest that gets out of hand with too many participants - one simply cannot get around to all the blogs. Also I'm missing out on my regular blogging buddies who are sensibly not in this challenge. Fair enough, a lot of blogger mates are in the fray, and good luck to them, though I think a lot more will drop out very soon.

Bring back blogfests I say, and keep thos limited to numbers of 30 at most! ;)


Sarah McCabe said...

I think the one upside of the huge amounts of participants is that no one actually expects you to go through and read and comment on them all. I look at this as an opportunity. There's this huge list of active bloggers, most of them it seems are writers and bloggers. So my goal is to go through the whole list and take a look at all the blogs. If I like what I see and want to read and connect further then I'll follow. I'll comment where I feel I have something to say but I don't feel pressured to do more than that.

Plus I'm just having fun with the challenge its self. Writing these posts is fun.

Tracy Jo said...

Hi Michelle, enjoy the edge and lemonade. It is so easy to get caught up in things and so important to remind ourselves that we have the choice to participate or not. You are wise. Glad that I found your blog.