People often ask why I blog. Is it for the money? Fame? Some personal feeling of gratification from having DOZENS of people pay attention to me? No. If I wanted all that, I could've fast-tracked it by becoming a porn star or something. I could be the first naked video-blogger! Damn my mom and her relentless moral brainwashing, limiting my career prospects. The reason I got into blogging was to give myself a creative outlet. A diary of sorts, but one with a bit more accountability and purpose. One where I can't get annoyed at my personal ramblings about some toolbag of an ex-boyfriend and end up hosting an impromptu diary bonfire at the beach. (I'm pretty sure I can't burn down the internet). Ultimately, I started a blog because I'm a writer. And writers write. It's what we do, regardless of whether or not anyone is reading.
What I found after starting this site is that blogging is really a community. A club of sorts. It has big personalities, activities, and – yes – the occasional clique. There are tech bloggers, mom bloggers, fashionistas, political debaters and travelers. People want to segway every blog into a comfortable little niche. The technology driving these blogs is yet another arena where debate can divide and categorize bloggers. “Do you use Blogger or Typepad? Posterous or WordPress? Self-hosted or not?” Once you overcome the confusing technology hurdles, there's a whole host of promotional strategies: guest posts, sponsored posts, optimization, lists, widgets and social media.
Twitter, of course, is the heavyweight in blog promotion. Twitter is like the hall where the blogger club meets. It's essentially Facebook feed on steroids, where people can post what they're thinking at any point and others can respond. It starts an ongoing dialogue with people around the world who have similar interests. Like a chat room on a global scale. And yet it does, occasionally, come back to the community. Local venues and companies host events called “Tweet-ups” where they reach out to local people on Twitter (“Tweeps” … tweeple? … twitterers?) to meet up in real life. This is where I've turned my online blogger aquaintances (most of whom I initially met on Twitter) into real-life bonafide human friends. It sounds creepy, but it's always in a public place with lots of people and usually the sponsoring company gives us free stuff. Bonus!
Does your brain hurt yet? Imagine when I ramble to Nate about having to wrap up a guest post and optimize something on my site before I head on over to meet at a sponsored venue with my tweeps. The mind boggles. And yes, I know I'm a huge nerd. My “non-Twitter” friends make fun of me ALL the time. Anyway, I thought I had a handle on all this stuff until the other day a fellow blogger “tagged” me in a meme. What the hell is a MEME?!? Perhaps some sort of disease? It certainly didn't sound like something I wanted. Google to the rescue: “For bloggers, memes have become synonymous with internet quizzes, surveys, and novelties that people link to and pass around on their blogs, forums and via email” (thanks for clearing that up, Chris Garrett).
So I was tagged in a meme called “10 Thing That Make me Happy” by my friend Christina over at Mommy Loves Coffee (from the title of her blog, you can see we have at least one thing in common!). Okay, now that I have your attention…I give you my very first meme:
10 Things That Make Me Happy
Pedicures: Happy feet, happy Chelsea
When Harry Met Sally: When I'm feeling sad, this is my cheer-up movie. During a rough patch in high school, I watched it every single day for a month straight. Parents thought I'd lost it.
Fresh-Squeezed Orange Juice: We have orange trees and Nate sometimes makes it for me in the morning. It's nice to know he's thinking of me and went to all that effort to make my day a little sweeter.
Money: It's not so much the money itself that makes me happy, but not stressing over how to pay bills makes life way easier! Plus, with money comes shoes, clothes, and handbags…and a lot more crafts.
Photo Albums: Looking at the great times I've had in the past reminds me what it's all about.
Ajax and Ulysses: My cats are so very different and both have funny little quirks that make me laugh. Ajax is scared to death of her own shadow, but she'll occasionally come lay next to me when I'm reading and pur like everything in the world is right. Ulysses destroys just about anything he comes into contact with, but he's so loving and playful it's easy to forgive him.
A Good Book: Time to myself to sit and read is cherished. I love getting lost in a great story.
A Clean House: It's just so much easier to think clearly when everything is dusted off and put away.
Plants: We have a garden (admittedly, most of the work is NOT done by me), but I love seeing the life that's grown from just a little seed.
Farmer's Markets: I've mentioned on occasion that I feel passionately about small businesses. Seeing the quality that can come from people working on something they really care about is incredible.
Now if I remember how this whole “tag” thing is the same as when I played it back in elementary school, I'm supposed to pick some other bloggers to participate in this meme. You're it (now go write about 10 things that make YOU happy):
26 Promo– Shay is a great friend who runs an awesome business, If you need business cards, flyers, or any sort of promotional project…this is the place to go.
Just a California Girl– Kesleigh lays it all out there. In person, she can be quiet (at first!) but her blog is where her thoughts, feelings, and heart come out. I adore her.
Thrifty Little Blog – While Kasey and I haven't met in real life (I think she's in Texas or something…??), she is definitely an inspiration. I love everything in her house!