Tuesday, February 24, 2009

MY 500th POST!!!!!!!

Wow. I've been blogging for just over three years and I've come up on 500 posts. Seems like a good time to sing the praises of blogging :-)

Well, before I started blogging, I didn't *get it* -- the first time I heard of it, I even thought it sounded *lame* -- like, people posting their diaries for the world to see? A little self-indulgent, don't you think?

But then I started reading a blog -- it was Christine Mason Miller's (aka "Swirly Girl") -- and from there I discovered a few others, and I began to realize what blogging IS. It's a way of finding your "tribe" -- and I began to find mine. Some of us are lucky to find our tribes in our daily lives, in our home towns. Some of us are not. I have moved many many times in my life, and I have had to start from scratch over and over, making new friends, so I learned how to do it early on. And I've always been lucky to meet fantastic friends wherever I've lived. But. That doesn't mean I always had "a tribe," not the way I do now -- a big, vital group of kindred spirits who explore and create and read and write and raise cool kids and knit and decorate houses and SHARE IT ALL. It's phenomenal.

Those who don't blog can't understand; they doubt these are real friendships, but *we* know better. What begins just in the comments section flows over into email and phone calls and to meeting in person, sometimes for lunch downtown, sometimes halfway around the world. And if you've met a blog friend in person you know this to be true: the first time you meet face to face, there's no awkwardness; you already know each other. It's easy. You hug and fall effortlessly into conversation; you already know so much about each other. You know what questions to ask.

This space here has been incredibly important to me over the past three years -- for building a tribe and for spurring my writing in new directions, for talking books and art, getting inspired by other people's travels and cooking and parenting and life adventures large and small. And then, this being an offshoot of life, you will also inevitably come upon the suffering of others, as life unfurls its tragedies and reveals all its textures and colors -- and there is much to be learned. I've long believed that readers of fiction are more empathetic people than non-readers, because in devouring stories, we learn that all lives are not like our own; we see the way paths can lead people in directions we ourselves could never have imagined. We learn how complex it all is, how magical and terrible, and how we can't use our own lives as a standard for judging all other lives. Reading blogs isn't reading fiction -- it's something more immediate, much more real, and it's fraught with things like jealousy over the *better* lives of others and their successes, and also empathy for their tragedies, and a context check for the things we need to remember to be grateful for: our health, the health of our loved ones, and what a matter of LUCK our happiness can be.

So, to my tribe: thank you for everything you've taught me, and thank you for participating in my life, for your support of my successes and your sympathy for my sorrows.

Blessings.

39 comments:

Sarah said...

Love you, Laini! I've been a faithful reader and sometimes-commenter on your blog for quite a while now, and am very thankful for your thoughtful insights, writer's tips, and sense of fun. Here's to 500 more posts! :)

Liana said...

"how we can't use our own lives as a standard for judging all other lives." AMEN to that! And I think you're right- the more we read of both fiction AND others' real lives, the more we learn about LIFE and how varied reality truly is.

I love your blog. LOVE IT. I found you through bluepoppy about a year and a half ago and am SO SO glad I did! You are probably THE most inspiring person I get to read online. Thank you!!!! :)

Senfaye said...

Your blog is amazing and I am glad I found it! I love your art and everything you post on your blog.


-Senfaye :)

tinker said...

Congrats on 500 posts, Laini!
The blogworld is an amazing place, isn't it? I'm so glad to have met you through it. Wishing you many more happy posts!

p.s. I had just thought of your ideas about storytelling, when I read this post http://thepioneerwoman.com/2009/02/billy_bob.html about bedtime storytelling, over at Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, and wanted to share that with you.

Amber Lough said...

Awwww. ;-)

I agree with Liana about you being the most inspiring person in the blogosphere.

And you're right: when you meet in person, it's as comfortable as anything could be.

myrna said...

I agree with Liana and Amber Lough. I'm so glad I found your blog through Shannon Hale's when she interviewed you. Your willingness to share has been a blessing in my life.

Thanks!

Shelli said...

heres to 500 more :)

lizardek said...

Hit the nail on the head, as always. You're awesome, Laini.

K. M. Walton said...

I really enjoy reading your blog posts - keep the honesty and sincerity coming...

giftsofthejourney said...

Congrats on your 500th post !

Your blog is one of my long time reads and one of the very first that I found during my early days of blog reading. I read for a about a year and a half before beginning my own at the end of June 2008. A move to England inspired me and I have loved the evolution both internally in my thought process and externally in my writing.

Thanks for being an inspiration.

Q said...

Ditto on the non-blogging doubters. I love my blogging friends, and they are just as real as people I see every day.

If I didn't blog, I honestly wonder what I would do with my free time. This is so much more rewarding (and stimulating) than, say, watching TV.

Deirdre said...

Your blog was the first I ever read and it opened a whole new world to me. What a magical, delicious way to connect with people who inspire us to be more, to try new things, and to write about it all ourselves.

Happy 500th post to you!

Lexi said...

<3

Charlotte said...

Happy 500th!

I dunno, though, about the actually meeting people part being easy--I am already starting to feel shy about the October kidlitosphere conference, which will be my first...

Granny Smith said...

Yours is one of the first blogs I turn to, and I couldn't express as eloquently as you do here the feeling of shared friendships.

Your new heading is delightful and a tease, as we await the new book.

lkmadigan said...

Oh Laini.

You set the blogging bar high for the rest of us. It is overflowing with treasures of all shapes and colors.

Thank you.

violetismycolor said...

wonderful words on blogging, and I so agree. of course, you live in the greatest city around...

Jenny said...

Well put!Congrats on the 500 milestone.:)

Teri said...

Wow! 500 blogs and I've just made it thru my first month. My husband, children, friends don't get it. I have tried to explain the freedom of saying anything you want to any one who wants to read it. It is a blessing and you do it well. Thanks for being an inspiration. Live Well, Teri

Jay Asher said...

Happy Half-Grand!!!

It's been a pleasure following your career over these 500 posts. As well, I've picked up many wonderful insights into creativity and useful writing tips.

You're a true BlogStar!

jone said...

Congrats on 500! It has been so fun to read your posts. It is so true that blogging has made the world smaller and so glad to have met you.

Katie said...

Yay 500! What a beautiful post! And I must say that YOU have taught ME so much about writing. So thank you :-)

Stephanie Perkins said...

Happy 500 to my favorite blog :)

Another beautiful, insightful post. I'm so grateful for blogging and for the Internet in general. Not only have I met the most important person in my life online, Jarrod, but I have met such life-changing friends as yourself. Thank you for your wonderful stories and advice.

Peaceole said...

What a fabulous Blog!!! New Reader here. Look forward to more inspiration.

Shari said...

Thank you. This is perfect for today. I stumbled onto your blog a while ago, and it changed my path. I became a member of SCBWI which has been such a helpful step on the way to my dreams coming true. You are an inspiration.

Laini Taylor said...

Wow, everyone, thanks for all the beautiful comments. See what I mean about the blogging community?

:-) :-) :-)

Lisa Schroeder said...

I love how you describe what blogging means. What a perfect explanation.

Happy 500th post!! Like everyone else, I love your blog and am so glad you're here.

xo

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Congrats Baby! I'm so proud of you for so many reasons!

Mwah!
xoxo
Husbles

Cuppa Jolie said...

Congrats, Laini! I aspire...so glad I can call you friend. Hugs!

P.S. Dying to see Lips Touch!

Blue said...

oh Laini!!!

I am so glad to be a part of your tribe! It makes the world such a better place---

bisous, bluepoppy

Suzanne Young said...

I love how you explained to non-bloggers that these friendships are as real as any.

You're brilliant, beautiful and a true treasure to the writing community.

Thank you for your blogs!

Swirly said...

I'm honored my blog inspired you to share such magnificent beauty!! xoxo

Kiersten said...

Hi ; ) Just getting to know you (via Stephanie), but this is so very, very true.

Heather said...

Happy 500th post! I'm so glad I found you here. I tried to remember how I came across your blog and it was in a roundabout way. I was reading a France blog which led me to Sunday Scribblings, which led me to you. In reading that you were preparing to publish Blackbringer I became very interested in the procedure and of course fell in love with your writing style. So natural and honest!

I hope to keep reading you for many years to come!

Amber said...

Man, what a GREAT post!!! You really said it. You did.

I am super happy I can count you as one of "my tribe". I feel blessed to know you. Just so YOU know.

;)

Marianne said...

Yay! Yours was one of the very first blogs I ever found and I would never have imagined that I would get to meet you, not once but twice, and to know a little more of the amazing goodness that is Laini-land. Sending you all my best thoughts every day as your wee bean grows. x

Michelle said...

Happy 500th post! I completely agree with you about tribes and blogging. It's a great feeling.

Em said...

Thank YOU, Laini! I'm just a recent follower (Thanks you, Cybils!) and I love reading your blog. I love the mix of writing, daily musings, and creativity.

And congrats on your 500th post!

And, I love the new header! :)

Lee Wind said...

Laini,
I'm honored to be part of your tribe!
YOU ROCK!
Congratulations on 500 posts!
Namaste,
Lee