Monday, November 7, 2011

Best of 100: Some quick thoughts about blogging.

Halloween Festival 2011

Earlier today I was going through some of our photos, trying to decide which ones I wanted to print, when I stopped on this one. Everything in this picture makes me laugh. Henry's frustration in the monster costume's head piece is obvious, but beyond the cute "he's going to just looove this photo when he's older," there's a bit more here that got my wheels turning.

I started thinking about blogging. And how I might take 100 photos, but I'll post 20 here. And guess what? Those 20 photos are the best of the bunch. If we're talking about this past Halloween we probably tried for a good 10 minutes to get Henry to keep his hat on long enough so we could capture the image of him dressed up for his first trick-or-treat. If I wanted to I could have posted 20 photos of our squirmy little costume-hating boy, arching his back and just not having it, but that wouldn't be pretty to look at would it? So I put up the good ones, where we got a slight smile and we're all looking at the camera.

And isn't that kind of blogging in a nutshell for most people?  Putting your best self forward. And adding to the idea of taking 100 photos and choosing the best, there might be 100 moments in a day that I could blog about. I'm going to choose just a few and leave the rest. In my world, on my blog, I choose the positive. I choose to share the happy moments, and although I try to touch on random things here or there, even if I was in the worst mood, was a total brat to my husband, or just felt totally sad all day, I won't usually get into it. But it still exists. And I think as a reader (and writer) of blogs it's important to remember this. It's so easy to get caught up in the very attractive world that's put out there. Many years ago when I was just starting out in the whole online thing I can remember feeling those very unwelcome pangs of not measuring up when I'd take a peek at so many other sites or blogs that portrayed a "perfect" life. Although I was so happy in what I was doing, there always seemed to be someone else doing something so much cooler. As I got older and wiser though I realized that yes, of course there is. There always will be. The key to happiness to be happy with you. And if you're not, be inspired and change it. Getting lost in wishing your life was like someone else's is the biggest waste of time there is, and just feeds into that negative mindset. Blogs have the potential to play a huge role in that because essentially these sites are just little windows into other peoples' lives. You just need to choose with what perspective you're viewing from.

I think at times that because I am a happy person that really, really thrives on positivity, this blog often reflects only that. I try and be 110% me at all times here, as authentic as I can get (without throwing in some curse words), but still, this space is only a small part of me and my days. I try and remember that same thing when I am reading other blogs too, and I think it's an important thing to keep in in the back of your mind as you both read and write. 

That's all. I wasn't even going to blog again tonight but I was working on a project for another site and got sidetracked looking at photos, then started thinking, and now, here we are. :)

xoxo

43 comments:

  1. I don't have a blog but I love and follow quite a few everyday. Why? because they inspire me and bring positivity in my life.

    The funny thing is, I often wonder if or why other peoples life are so "perfect" and so much more interesting than mine. Mine looks so boring compared to theirs! But as you say, people only show the goods.

    I even ask my husband about it. "Honey, why does this woman in bed who just woke up, holding a new born can look that good?" He simply responded to me : "if you had a blog, would you put picture of yourself looking your worst?" After all, he is right. You are right. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

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  2. I'm so glad you wrote this. I agree with you and people often get caught up with what they read and might become jealous or try to prove themselves on their own blog or even in their own life. But in the end, no one's life is perfect, everyone's life is different but we all have good days and bad days and that's very much okay.

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  3. I like your thoughts and perspectives on blogging, very helpful and encouraging :) I also love your new blog design, super cute!

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  4. Ive never understood why its so hard for people to just be REAL. Well i mean i guess i see WHY they only publicly talk about the good, but just am the polar opposite. Dont get me wrong, i am very positive, even when im talking about the bad stuff on my blog, i try to put it in a positive way.
    Thats the biggest feedback i get about my blog is how REAL i am.
    But regardless i think we all need reminders that we all are not perfect and that its ok to let others see our "imperfect" side :)

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  5. @christa

    Thank you for your comment! :) I don't feel like it's difficult to be real, I just don't like to put negativity out there. But I feel like I'm the same as you as far as how I put it- I feel like I do share the bad too, but I always put it in a positive way. Regardless though, it's still just a small, small piece of my whole world.

    Thanks for reading <3.

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  6. this is such a real and great post!! thank you :)

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  7. Hi Danielle,
    I think people have to remember that in the land of blogs and internet that we are conscious of what information we put out there! In some ways you have to be careful. It's like sharing with work collegues, you don't tell them everything and the same goes with blogs.
    It's easy for others to think we are 'perfect' due to the impression we give on our blog etc but as with you, I think it's great to show positive, inspiring stories rather than negative ones. I think that's what your husband/family/best friend is for... they get your problems and are there to help!

    Great post! :-)

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  8. I love this! It's so true and honest. I'm sure we all have different intentions with our blogs and certain limitations. Some of us may be fine with opening up about the harder moments while some of us just want to write about the positive, etc. I think the important part, though, is just to stay true to ourselves :)

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  9. I'm really glad you wrote this. I don't have your type of blog, we all have our 'catagories' and I suppose mine is a 'tell all'- raw and personal, but I admire and enjoy blogs like yours, which keep life upbeat and shiny, and inspire me to create beauty when beauty is hard to see or find. But sometimes I do worry that women I know are getting lost in comparing themselves to the online world, because I've had a few bloggers tell me so, that they wish they could be like 'so and so'. I'm so glad you are taking time out to say, hey, this is real, but it's only PART of reality. Even my 'tell all' blog is only part of my life. It's more like 'tell some' ;)

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  10. A wonderful post and I completely agree with you. I sometimes feel that my Blog is too nice, too upbeat and positive, but you've elegantly put in this post exactly what I was feeling. I read some blogs where the writer is clearly depressed or exhausted, and yes I feel sorry for them, but could never do that myself as I want people (and my son) to look back and see an overall happy blog. For C-bear to read about the memories he's too little to remember and see that we did loads of great, happy stuff!

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  11. Yes, yes, and yes.

    I have to say, I AM well aware of the fact that you have bad days too. BUT, sometimes when I'm just being a total you-know-what or life seems like it can't turn around I think, "how would Dani Hampton approach this?" and I feel like I can face life a little better. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your positivity. It's a good reminder for me. <3

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  12. i'm glad that your blog focuses on the positive, and yes, that's what we should be showing to most people! makes everyone happier :)
    Smoking Crayolas Blogspot

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  13. I love this post! This is something I think/worry about a lot. We purposely make our blog a happy place where we can focus on the positives and celebrate the good stuff, but sometimes I worry that we are giving a false impression of a perfect life. I would HATE for anyone to compare their world to the world represented on our blog and feel like they did't measure up. It is SO important to remember nobodies life is perfect and for every beautiful moment captured in blogland there are hundreds more ordinary ones, not mentioned.

    Katie x

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  14. Great post, as always!

    I actually started blogging because of this positivity - I knew that the girls whose blogs I was reading (yours being one of them) couldn't possibly have these sugar coated lives which are somehow devoid of pain/frustration/regular problems, but somehow everyday they found something good to mention.

    I love blogging pretty much for that reason! If something really bad is going on, I'd blog about it (I have a lot of respect for people who are open and honest about bereavment, depression etc), but when it's just day-to-day annoyances, it's best to focus on the "best 20" - makes me ten times happier! Also reminds me that my life is really pretty awesome!

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  15. You wrote this at just the right time! I sat down to blog today and wanted to write an entry about my day to day frustrations (the fact that there were 100,000 people lining the streets today, no transportation, a total shut down of the city and I had to walk to work against all of it may have sparked it.) I got no further than two words before I stopped myself.

    That whole entry would have put nothing positive into the blog-o-verse. There is a time and a place to use frustrations or more negative topics to help people learn or inspire change. But, on the whole I totally agree with you, I like the blog world because I find it very inspiring when reading about the good in people's lives. I know for a fact that me sitting down and bitching about day to day frustrations would have inspired nothing (besides maybe clicking the "unfollow" button.)

    :) Keep up with your positive self, it is greatly appreciated!!

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  16. Hi Danielle, fantastic post!

    I try to keep my blog positive too. Too many people focus on the negatives and its toxic and life draining. I could easily use my blog to moan and bitch about people, most people could, everyone has their problems, but it's just putting out negativy and bad feeling and I haven't got time for it personally. Life is too short to not enjoy and be happy! I would much rather focus on the good, and live a positive happy life as much as possible. It makes me feel better, and hopefully other people reading feel better.

    I also don't want to look back in a couple of years and see negativity. I want to use my blog to see myself and our family grow in a positive happy way :-)

    I think your blog rules! :-) x

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  17. i think this was a great post. a few months back a fellow blog friend of mine wrote about how after she reads her favorite blogs, she is left feeling like she is the only person who doesn't have a perfect relationship with her husband.

    someone commented saying that blogs are like scrapbooks, and that we are only going to show the best of the best. i thought that was a wonderful analogy.

    i do occasionally write about a bad day that i've had, but i generally add a humorous twist to it. i can sit down to blog and be so angry/sad/depressed/whatever, but then when i take a step back, i realize that it's just silly.

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  18. What a great post! I completely agree with you. We put our best self forward in our blogs and we can often times forget that when looking at others.

    Your boy is cute even with his frustration. :)

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  19. I really love this post. I find that moms (not just blogging moms, but moms in general) get sooo caught up in what everyone else is doing (and thinking everyone is doing it better) that we forget to cherish moments and just live and let be!

    We all have lives filled with struggles, hard ships, bad days, cranky days. Focusing on the positive is not always easy, but def makes it a lot easier to get up in the morning ;).

    I think that photo is adorable and perfect example of what motherhood is really like behind closed doors haha.

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  20. This is a great post and full of sentiments shared by many bloggers out there I bet.

    One of the reasons I love your blog and have for a very long time is that you are such an optimist. Even in this post about letting your bloggers know that sometimes you're in a bad mood or have tiffs with your husband like the rest of us, you show us a very positive outlook on it. So thank you for that, and thanks for your blog.

    Heidi
    (Check out my giveaway if you're interested: http://oliveobserver.blogspot.com/2011/11/triviatuesday-giveaway-edition.html)

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  21. I totally agree with everything. No blogger lives the perfect life. Most of us just choose to make our blogs our "happy place." Although I have blogged when I've been struggling with life, I do try to keep things positive, you know?

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  22. I LOVE this post. It is exactly right. As a blogger, we are all trying to portray our lives in the best light...but no one wants to come off as Mrs. Perfect. Sometimes I like to show a few outtakes...be it pictures or life on my blog, but all in all I like to focus on the positive as well and I think that is what makes the blog world such a happy place.

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  23. Very well said, Danielle. I love what Deanna said about blogs being like scrapbooks - you can't really judge someone's life based solely on what they write on a blog. It's so easy to compare our lives to others', whether you're reading their blog or meeting them for the first time.

    I tend to write some "negative" things on my blog but try to include a positive twist or how I'm using the negativity to help me grow, if that makes sense.

    I think I told you this but I felt like I already knew you before I read your blog, and when I actually met you I think you were more or less exactly as I pictured :) I'm sure you have your bad times or frustrated times, but the core of who you are is a lovely, positive woman and that comes through loud and clear.

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  24. I intentionally keep my blog my "happy place". I may touch on troubles, but ultimately, all I want to remember is the positive things, the fun things ~ the happy things!

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  25. I love it when you said, "The key to happiness to be happy with you. And if you're not, be inspired and change it." It is true. If we can't be happy with what we have now and with ourselves, how can we reflect positivity and happiness? We should also look at the bright side.

    xoxo
    ida

    http://asplashofida.blogspot.com

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  26. As a blogger I get to be the editor of my own story. Without a doubt I want to put my best self out there. I've realized over the past few years of blogging that it's ridiculous to assume that because I don't see something on someone's blog that they don't go through it. If I'm keeping the lovers spats and moments where I think I've been a crappy mom to myself, why wouldn't I think that others do the same?

    We're all human, we're all flawed but for the most part I don't see a lot of reason to dwell on that. Seeing the goodness in other people when I read their blogs regularly motivates me to live a happy and fulfilled life. :)

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  27. I think you make a good point here. I am a reader but don't often comment. I just wanted to add my perspective.

    I've been blogging for 5 years. The past two years I have been brutally honest about the harsh realities of what mental illness has done to me. I'm not the most positive person. My blog is a mommy blog in the sense that I do write about my children. Those are probably the happiest posts I write. But I made a choice to be honest with my readers, even though it may be misconstrued as bitching ;)

    I like to read your blog and others similar to it because you have what I never do - a positive attitude. I guess I'm hoping it will rub off on me. Because of what depression does to my brain I have to work REALLY hard in order to be and stay happy. And that's what I put out there on my blog. I've even written about suicide, which is a VERY taboo subject for most people.

    I'm kind of like the opposite of you. I blog about all the shitty stuff just to get it out!

    But we all have our "thing" right? And we should never assume that a blog is the end all be all for that person :)

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  28. Really great post.

    I really enjoy reading blogs that are positive and inspirational but also it is good from time to time to read that everyone goes through the same things in some way or another.

    It's nice to feel like your not always on your own with how you feel and that others understand too. :)

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  29. Love this...we must be on the same page today because I typed out something eerily similar this morning.

    Guess great minds think alike. :)

    http://shoni-walkwithme.blogspot.com/2011/11/real-life.html

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  30. I'm so glad you wrote this. I'm a blogger and avid reader of other blogs (like this one) and I do often foolishly compare my life to that of my favorite bloggers, thinking, "Why can't my life be that fun and happy." I do share the bad times of life on my blog, but I make it a point to end even those posts on a positive note. The few times I didn't I always looked back and regretted writing those posts because I felt as if I wasn't adding anything to the lives of my readers with those posts. I was just being a cry baby.

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  31. well said. i'm with you. at this point in my life my blog IS my positive space. it's where i can go to write and reflect. it's a creative outlet. sometimes i touch on the bad days but i like to focus on the postive and the good days.

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  32. great post! I know alot of people, including myself, forget that a lot of the time and might even feel discouraged by that. but blogging is not about being perfect after all, it's about being yourself, and sharing what you love!

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  33. you have officially inspired me. after a long hiatus, i wanted to blog again and it's been a week or so since i posted because of the exact feeling you described - seeing how beautiful everybody else's life seems to be! but you're right! by golly you are right! :D i will continue to be inspired by all the folks who put themselves out there and still be happy with me and be as true as i can be! thank you!! glad you had the random thought and shared.

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  34. LOVE this. Thank you for writing it. I fall into the trap all the time of comparing myself to others and their blogs. It's no good! I also like to focus on the positive, and I've caught some flack for not being "genuine." But the truth is (like you) my blog is as genuine as it gets. I just choose to focus on the positive and put those thoughts (and images) out into the universe.

    So glad to have discovered your site!

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  35. you are so right Danielle.

    I try to always remind myself of that when I am looking at someone elses blog, thinking 'wow they ALWAYS look so put together, or seem to be on top of EVERYTHING!" I know that's not true. We put our best foot forward... and that's fine for the most part, as long as we all remember, we are all real.

    I try my hardest to be transparent on my blog. My life is not perfect, far from it, BUT, it's MY life and I love documenting it :)

    Thanks for the random words of wisdom! <3

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  36. This post is great because I always find myself looking at other blogs (such as yours) and thinking how mine doesn't measure up. I have to remind myself that the reason I have my blog is not to compete with the people behind the blogs I love but to have space to express my true self.. This post was honestly just what I needed to read to keep my motivation. Thanks!

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  37. i definitely feel what you are saying here dani. i really feel like i can't even, or shouldn't even blog about things that aren't positive, but i also feel that sometimes, i need to vent so it's good to do it and get support from my blogger friends.

    i do sometimes still look at other bloggers and think wow, they have it all.... but then quickly remind myself that plenty of bloggers probably assume i have it all too.... when i don't haha.

    xo. i love that you are so honest.

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  38. Man, thanks so much for this Danielle. This is totally how I feel lately. I appreciate your honesty. Makes me feel NORMAL!!

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  39. You are so absolutely right and couldn't have put my feelings into words more perfectly! I think everyone needs to be reminded of this every now and again. I adore your attitude and your blog!

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  40. hi! i got here from Little Chief Honeybee's blog (oh how i love when my favorite bloggers link other awesome blogs, after this comment, i will take a better look on your awesome looking blog!) and i really agree with you. but that's definitely the magic of blogs too (at least the ones i read), the positivity. on a bad day, they make me feel better, happier, and on a good day, they inspire me, make me feel even better.

    Stu of Sometimes my life is like Bob Dylan's 115th Dream

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