Monday, July 25, 2016

Why You Should Follow Blogs

Bloggers are useful people, aren’t they? They post things on the internet for you and I to read, things that can be helpful, funny, inspiring, enlightening, informational, and even things that make you sad (mostly in a good way).

It can be a hassle, sometimes, to actually do anything about their posts. Right? I mean, you can read it and enjoy it, sure, but it takes too much effort to comment or follow their blog or anything like that. I know the feeling, and I’m right with you.
And I’m a blogger… whoops.

Motivation is a powerful thing. If we feel motivated to do something, we’re far more likely to do it than not. Especially when it comes to food. But I digress.
What can possibly motivate you to read a blog? And what about commenting? Following? Starting your own?

The Power of a Post

A few weeks ago, I was feeling rather down. I had little motivation to write, to read, to really do anything. I was just going to work every day, putting in my hours, coming home and surfing the internet. I felt… useless.
Then I stumbled across an email from a blog I’d been following for about a year, an email that contained a link to a blog post.
I read the post begrudgingly; more because I’d followed than because I actually wanted to read a post. What good was the post going to do me, if my life wasn’t going anywhere?
Turns out, the post gave me a swift kick in the shin. It woke me up to what I was doing, and why my life wasn’t really going… anywhere. Why I felt sluggish and didn’t really get anything done. That simple little blog post inspired me. It didn’t change my life, necessarily (I mean, a week of feeling down happens to all of us, on occasion), but it certainly got me out of my slump.
It got me writing again, it got me moving again. I was motivated and inspired.
That’s what blog posts are good for.

Stuck with your writing? Blogs about writing often provide thoughts and tips on the thing your having problems (and if they don’t have a specific post, most bloggers are waiting for a comment containing a question so they can communicate with you).

Unmotivated or uninspired? Feeling down? There are dozens and dozens of inspirational and motivational blogs out there, all of which are doing their best to make sure you know that you can do this.

Blogs are much like books: they’re tools for the reader to engage with, to use, to be inspired by.

The Simple Box at the End

So. Now you’re reading a blog. You’ve become inspired by this post to be go and be inspired by some other post.

Now what?
You can read the post, feel the energy coursing through you and you feel ready to get up and run or at least flop onto the nearest couch. But if you don’t do anything… that feeling drains, eventually. Even if you do something, that energy won’t last forever. Motivation is a fickle thing: here one moment, gone the next.

Well, maybe we can read another post. That sounds like a nice idea. Scroll through the blog, find another post that sounds interesting, and read it.
Great, we’re inspired again!
For a little while.

Then we read another post. But instead of feeling inspired, we feel curious. The post – whatever kind of post it may be – has us asking questions. “What about [this]?” “How do I do [this]?”
Wait a minute! This isn’t what we came here for. We weren’t expecting to be asking questions, we were looking for that rush of inspiration. Boo on you, blogger, your post didn’t work.

Or did it?
One of the greatest things about blogs is that they aren’t just monologues. They don’t have to be. I – the blogger – don’t have to be the only one talking. I – the reader – can also get to talking. After all, most blogs have one of those comment boxes at the bottom. It’s called a comment box, but you don’t have to just put “comments” in it. You can put in questions, thoughts, wonderings, and even opinions in them.

If a blog post makes you question something, where better to ask the question that right there? Most bloggers are more than ready to jump on a comment, bless the commenter up and down for commenting, and then provide a lengthy answer to the question, a lengthy response to the opinion (and most of them are nice), or a supportive addition to your thought.
We don’t bite.

A Simple Reminder

It’s easy to forget about blogs. We’re just tiny little websites (and some of us look like we’re just getting started on the whole “format the blog” deal, even after a year and a half… oops) in the great big world wide web.

I know that for me, personally, I’d forget about every blog I’ve ever read if I didn’t follow them. Maybe you have a better memory than that, but those handy little emails they send out when they post something new are a life saver.

One of the dangers, however, of following blogs, is the possibility of being overwhelmed. If you follow two dozen blogs, you’ll suddenly be pelted with a barrage of emails about blog posts. No one has time to read twenty-four blog posts in a week, or more if some of those bloggers are overachievers and post more than once a week (you know who you are).

So… don’t.
Myself, I follow six blogs that I read on a regular basis, and then I have a slightly longer list of blogs that I check on occasion just to see that those humans are still alive. I approve those humans.
These are the six I follow, if you were curious:

Living Aesthetically, by Sarah Elizabeth [Writing and Inspiration, mostly]  
Shadows in the Corner, by Vera Aisling [Writing, mostly]
Woodland Quill, by Brandon [Writing]
Faerytales and Fantasy, by Dee Dee Aethelwyne [it’s like… her Art blog or something, I forget what she calls it]
This Incandescent Life, by Emily Tjaden [Inspirational, some Writing]

These are, for the most part, blogs of friends/friends of friends. They’re blogs I’ve found through writers forums, through other blogs, and from other people.

I read most of their posts, and I try to comment when I have time. I invest myself in them, in support of them, because the golden rule is always a good rule to follow, right?

What about you? What blogs do you follow? Do you have a blog? What’s it about? I’d love to sit and chat.


  1. Thank you for this post. I'm an avid you probably guessed, and I really enjoyed reading your opinion on the matter!
    Speaking of which, I know you're very busy, and obviously this is not a must...but I tagged you with a writer tag that I thought you might enjoy doing, and this is a very long sentence. I make a short one next to make up for that long one. Hmmm...that didn't end up being as short as I thought it was going to be. *shrugs* Oh well. THERE'S a short sentence for you. :)
    Here's the link to that tag I mentioned above:

    1. Hey, well, I'll keep this in mind, I think I've got an opening in a week or two for this. ^-^