Wednesday, August 17, 2011

a thank you

photo by Christina Heaston

I wanted to take a quick moment and say thank you to all of you for all of your sweet comments on my last post. Recently I've had a bit of a hard time blogging in this space. My readership has a grown a lot from the five readers I started with, and at times I struggle with not wanting to post personal things here due to thinking about so many people reading what I have to say. There will always be a line for me as far as over-sharing or taking away a special moment's "special-ness" by putting them here, but when it comes down to it, I love blogging and I love writing, and being able to share my thoughts and words with all of you is such an amazing gift. Recently though I've thought a lot about what this blog and what it means to me - why I continue to do it, why I have sponsors/if accepting money is discounting the value of what I produce here, if this is something that could endanger my family in any way, and often those thoughts can become quite discouraging. While on my extended vacation I didn't blog for an entire three weeks. I honestly enjoyed it, but also missed it. I thought about all the reasons I love blogging, and the reasons I don't. I thought about how, no matter how long I do this, on some days I enjoy sharing, and other days I feel like I'm making a mistake putting myself out there in such an extended way. Back and forth. It's weird. But the interesting thing about blogging to an audience of this size is that all of you are along for the ride. I have gotten such support for each of you in the different stages of my life, from being a newlywed to teaching to pregnancy to motherhood...and I appreciate all of that more than you could know.

When I started writing this post, I was just writing to write, and writing to express my gratitude. Somehow I ended up discussing something that's been on my mind for awhile, and it feels good to start to make some sense of it. I'm such a thinker by nature and writing is the best thing for me because it allows me to organize all of this, even a little. My main point (it's somewhere in here, I promise!) is still a huge thank you to all of you for reading. I'm definitely not going anywhere. If anything, this weird little bump in my blogging road has really refocused me and reminded me why I do this and what I should be getting out of it.

Sometimes I think as a blog gets bigger we allow the audience to take on the role of navigator- giving us directions, telling us where to go, all while keeping ourselves under the guise of driver and being in charge. Something is lost there. Continuing this space for me, and for Henry and Hank is the most important thing to me. Being able to write and feel as if I am contributing something here gives me a greater sense of identity, outside of a wife and mother. It's truly my outlet.

So moving forward, I'm going to cut myself some slack. This is my reminder to myself to have fun with it, stop anything on this blog that causes me stress, and just get back to the basics. Write. Share things and people and businesses I love, and create a warm space that encourages discussion and creativity.

So yes, my point: thank you. You are all a part of my life through this little corner of the internet, and I just want you to know how much I appreciate you, your comments, and your emails. I feel truly lucky to be able to reach out to so many of you via this site, and above all else I treasure that the most. I hope you have the best day. :)

35 comments:

  1. Awww! This is so so sweet :)

    http://thecharleygirl.blogspot.com

    xxoo

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  2. I've gone through this so much. I'm always asking myself whether I really want to blog or not and I agree that sometimes we tend to slide out of what we really want to do because we're being somewhat influenced by our readers. I hope this is making sense if not I blame it on the sleeping pill haha. Anyhow yeah whatever you decide to write about is completely up to you, at the end of the day this is YOUR blog!

    Oh Jazmyn

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  3. Hello! I have just recently come across you blog and I love it! I am looking forward to read much more. :)

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  4. Thank you so much for this beautiful heartfelt post. I love reading your thoughts, and I love your sweet openness about your life and feelings.
    Your writing is very inspirational and lovely to read.
    Jess
    xx

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  5. You have grown into such a beautiful woman! It is nice to "share" this journey with you. Blogging will always be taboo to some, but as long as you are enjoying what you are doing, that is all that matters!

    :)

    http://katiediditt.blogspot.com/

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  6. I love reading whatever you write Danielle. Be it light and fluffy, or your more moving posts.
    I love that you write for you, I think that is the very essence of Sometimes Sweet.
    As a new blogger (I've only been serious about this for the past 5 months - blogs been running for 12)I truly do look up to you and your writing, and how you write for you is one of the biggest reasons I follow you.
    You are fab.
    xxx

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  7. dear danielle,
    i totally understand you and what you feel about blogging - and i like what you do and love to read your blog! but there is one point i don´t get: how can you document the life of your son here in public; don´t you think he might be annoyed by this one day??
    to share your life with the whole wide world is your decision, but all these little ones whos lifes are documented so well in this blogging-world didn´t had the choice. i find that creepy sometimes... i mean, i wouldn´t wanna let strange people see all my naked babyphotos.
    that´s just... what i think :)
    love,
    anna

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  8. you're so sweeet and i love your blog!!
    xoxo

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  9. I've been reading your blog for a couple months or so but never really commented much. As a new teacher, I think you are a fantastic role model...your family stories are moving, your posts are so unique (like you!), and I love that you are so willing to share such great moments in your life with your readers...you're a fantastic writer and someone I look up to with great respect!

    ....Not to mention your son is the most adorable child I have ever seen :)

    Looking forward to more posts, as always! (I read you on HelloGiggles, too, love that site!!)

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  10. Thank you for your little corner of the internet. Your honesty is inspiring and wonderful. You are a great influence, more than you might know. Definitely my #1 read.

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  11. Sometimes sweet is my happy place. I look forward to your posts, and I really hope you won't stop blogging. I understand that sharing with such a big audience can be scary, but you can share and still protect your privacy. My favorite blogs are the ones that inspire me, and Sometimes Sweet is definitely one of the top blogs I read.

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  12. As a former high school English teacher, tattoo lover, momma, and blogger myself I was drawn to your blog when it was linked on another (can't recall which) and while I have not been reading for long I have appreciated the graciousness of your tone and the subject matter of your content. It is wonderful to see a writer be able to encompass both of those qualities.
    I look forward to reading more.

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  13. Love your honesty, once again, and it's always interesting for me to hear that "big" bloggers worry about coming off as ridiculous as well. In my head I think you guys are all super confident (as you should be) because your blogs are so awesome :)

    I don't have half the readership you do but I know what you mean about letting the audience guide what you write - I often find myself perusing my stats to see which posts get higher traffic/more comments. It's always interesting but also time-consuming and demeaning to what I write. I love your blog because I feel like we see the real you (and Hank, and Henry) on a daily basis and I think that's awesome. My favorite blogs are always the personal ones and yours always delivers :)

    So, the point of this rant is that I really hope you keep on blogging, but only as long as it is something that fulfills YOU and makes you happy. <3

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  14. On accepting money for your blog....If money truly demeaned the art form: we would have volunteer actors in little to no budget films, truly starving artists with empty galleries and museums, no real good and engaging books published, no crisp, artful photographs in magazines and papers. The way I see it is that people get paid for what they're good at and have a passion for, Doctors, Engineers, Therapists, Teachers, Zoo Keepers, Baristas, and yes, even artists. There's no shame in that.
    And, on that note, art is about making yourself vulnerable and sharing yourself and your point of view with the world, right? Without art (blogs included) this world would be a little dull. (:
    Thanks for your faithful blogs, I always look forward to reading them.
    Emily

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  15. Thank you for thanking your readers. Thank you also for writing for us to read it :)

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  16. I Love hearing your honesty. I have the same struggles with blogging and it's nice to know others share those feelings as well.

    Thanks for sharing Danielle <3

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  17. What a lovely post. :)
    Blogging really is special, isn't it?

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  18. Thanks for the reminder, sweet lady. Happy Blogging!

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  19. It's a very special thing blogging, I've noticed it many times before. It's like a little family who accepts you for who you are. A little family that consists of thousands of people, but that's just a little detail. ;-) As long as you love what you write and do, your blog will be great. And it is! I really love reading your words and thoughts. Keep up the good work! Much love from Belgium :-)

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  20. You make such a good point about, as your blog grows, allowing the audience to dictate your direction. That's something I think we all need to be conscious of.

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  21. I NEEDED to read this today. Thanks Danielle :)

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  22. you are the sweetest! love reading your writing! it always lifts up my day :)

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  23. That's what I love about you. You're so honest and real. It's inspiring. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  24. I hear ya Danielle! I do not have anywhere near the following that you have, but sometimes I really need to remind myself of why I started blogging in the first place-to document my life, and as an outlet for me to express myself through words, photos, etc. I wanted to have a place that I could look back on years from now and be transported back, to remember this special time in my life.

    I believe that the reason your blog is so successful is because you do have such a special talent when it comes to writing, and being so raw and honest. But now, like you said, you are pouring your heart out to 5,000 (?) or so strangers, and I can totally see how that would make you maybe not want to put so much of yourself out there. It really is such a back and forth feeling...almost a double edged sword...

    I can't remember which musician said it, but they said that the first album you release is you at your purest. You are putting yourself out there, not thinking about anything but yourself. But after that album comes out, and there a fan base, as much as you try and avoid it, your next album will be shaped by your fans. Shaped by responding to them, what they like, the feedback you get, as well as your own personal growth. This post just reminded me of that. I guess your really can think of blogging as a form of art...

    wow that was long sorry!

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  25. Love this. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and life with us. You have inspired countless women all over the world with what you write. I completely understand the bump in the road with blogging. Write what you know & what you want to write... Everything else will come together.

    Love you, friend!
    -Mandy

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  26. I read your blog every every day. Every.
    Thank you.

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  27. This is the best ever! You are such a great person and writer. Every time you write something like this I get so inspired and I THANK YOU for all of the inspiration and for taking the time to write what's on your mind so that WE can benefit! xo

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  28. I just wanted to say that I absolutely enjoy reading your blog and i'm so happy to hear that you'll be continuing to write!

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  29. I didn't know what to say to yesterday's post because it seemed too personal for a stranger to comment on; that said, it moved me and I loved that you had shared it. For me, one of the lovely things about blogging is that people do share very personal thoughts and it makes others feel less alone or strange or scared when facing similar tough times.

    Thanks for keeping writing. You would be missed.

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  30. I still consider myself very new to the blog world as I am definitely growing my readership now... I struggle with the same fears of "am I putting my family or myself in danger by sharing too much?"... I'm glad you are going to continue to post Danielle. It's amazing the network of friends you can have through blogging. Your blog is one of my favorites!

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  31. I was so touched by your post the other day and for your honesty about something that I'm sure is not easy to write about. I'm so grateful for your journal prompts. I'm also a thinker by nature and couldn't agree with you more that writing helps me organize my thoughts.

    I appreciate the realness of your blog and love stopping by to be inspired.

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  32. i love that picture of you two! the sun is just gorgeous!

    i've seen so many posts like this floating around the past few days. i know it's hard to not overshare because it's not like you can delete it once 50 people have read it and they all forget. i understand where you're coming from...that balance between writing what you want, what people want to see, but still having your space, but not sharing your entire life, but sharing some parts of it...and...it's hard sometimes. i love your blog and how upbeat and optimistic you are. how friendly you seen and the love that you and hank share is SO apparent through your writing. you do inspire people, and i think your corner of the internet is making this world a better place.

    much love,
    larissa <3

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  33. i love your heart!
    i needed to read this in the worst way. i feel like i'm reaching a transition point in my writing and blogging. thank you so much for sharing, lovely.

    xoxo

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  34. i have a big thank you to you, your blog is one of the reasons that i finally started my own. i have always read blogs and have always wanted to create one. yours has given me much delight and inspiration to finally follow my own dream of being a blogger. thank you!

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