Before Morning Breaks: The Guilt of Blogging

Recently, I was beknighted with several honors

Has Too Much Blogging Made the World Fat??

Thank you for your kindnesses. I’m humbled. I tend to feel guilty about accepting awards, for two reasons.

1) Honest-to-Mergatroid, the best part of my blog are the sassy, bold, creative folks who are kind enough to jump into the discussion fray and create wildly interesting reading threads. The stories you share with me are so good, I’ve started weaving some of YOU into the town of Two Pan. (Thanks for being good sports).

2) I’ve been pondering the amount of time blogging uses. Sure, writing 400 spiffy words isn’t brain surgery, but I stay to read other great blogs, and visit with unique folks. When I look back at the end of a week of writing about change….I wonder how much more I could have changed if I would’ve spent that time in the real world…making change happen?

WordPress has about 400,000 bloggers.  What would happen if each of us cut our blogging time in half and used the extra hours to visit a nursing home, teach a kid to read, deliver meals, docent at a museum, hold preemies, repair a trail, fund raise for the library…the list goes on.

On the plus side of Blogging: I’ve learned many things.  I’ve met unfathomably wonderful people.

On the guilt side of Blogging: Perhaps if I hadn’t spent so much time blogging, I’d have written a Pulitzer, taken food to folks—without the Kentucky Fried Chicken’s help, or gotten libraries  funded for perpetuity.

You know I’m intermittent about rules, so to pay-it-forward, instead of listing highly hilarious readings, I want to tell you about some blogs that are special because of the people who write them….

They’ve somehow figured out how knock out a blog and save the world (with their own flair)

(I’m sorry I don’t know all of you who’ve also figured this out.  I’d love to hear how you do it).

Hope Unites Globally Nominees:

Roxie: (Sanna’s Bag)I’ve never seen this woman without crochet, knitting, quilting, or a teapot in her hand.  Every spare minute is spent hosting and creating…and she gives it all away to burn victims and homeless.

Pat: (Pat Lichen) She’s saving the planet one outdoorsy moment at a time. A former crew member of Green Peace’s Rainbow Warrior, she’s now landlocked and helping Girl Scouts save our world.

Lisa: (The Tao of Webfoot) She nudges those who wannabe to become writers. Her workshops, advice, and support keep pushing us toward our dreams of one day seeing our name on the spine of a book.

Thanks to ALL of you for reading and commenting. My hope is that in the upcoming year, all of us somehow learn to be more efficient so we spend less time in the virtual world and CHANGE the world where our feet actually wander.

I’m open to suggestions.

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About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Before Morning Breaks: The Guilt of Blogging

  1. Pingback: Blog Diet for Wordiness | Before Morning Breaks

  2. I hear your continued struggle with blogging. I agree that is can consume us. I’ve done the community thing,the church thing, the free speeches thing, the helping raise grandkids thing. Now, I want to write and I don’t feel an ounce of guilt. I’ll continue trying to manage the blogging because it takes away from writing.

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  3. Lisa Nowak says:

    Thank you for the nomination, Barb. I’m not as great at the blogging thing as one might think, since I’m far behind on my blog reading, and have only come up with a few original posts lately, mostly showcasing other people’s books to fill in the gaps. I do appreciate that you think I’m making a difference. You are a far better blogger than I, cranking out those highly amusing and creative posts several times a week. My hat is off to you.

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  4. Oh Barb I hope you don’t mind..I have tagged you for Mrs. Sparkly! Just posted!

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    • Barb says:

      Mrs. Sparkly is a nosy ol’ Victorian biddy who asks questions of a personal nature.
      Sounds right up my alley.
      Your blog indicated you were interested in my answers to Mrs. Sparkly. I’m simply a historical researcher who believes the information I find would be better known if it were dressed up a bit. Therefore I fell on the ink pen (or keyboard), and volunteered.
      Thanks for the tag. I’ll see what hooligan facts I can use to reply to Mrs. Sparkly’s curiosity.

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  5. Congratulations for trying to make a difference in others. I agree with your point on view about doing more time in the outside world. After all, in real life we deal with real people who need our help. As for me, blogging is like an escape, a venue to share share my thoughts and expriences. Pretty much I spend 42 hours per week tending the seek…the rest to my family, what’s left, I spend for myself…and my blog is an extension of that “myself.” Have a blessed day my friend. Happy Valentine’s Day….may love and joy be with you and your family always.

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  6. Jon says:

    That picture reminds me of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator”. You have the world in the palm of your hand.

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  7. Sandi Ormsby says:

    Yes, there are times I think how much time is wasted. Then, I think it takes time to build a community of blogger friends. Friends, people I’m actually getting to know their name, and likes/dislikes and family life. That’s what makes it all worth while.

    sandi
    http://www.ahhsome.wordpress.com
    Lake Forest, CA

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  8. Elyse says:

    First, Barb, Congrats. As others said, well done.

    But you’re right about the time-sucking element of blogging and the need to DO more than grouse to the same handful of folks. I’m grappling with this too. Maybe Snagglepus can help!

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  9. Red says:

    You deserve this award for the Hanna-Barbera (Snagglepuss) quote! Love the blogs, as I am always on the hunt for more to read.

    Pssssst. You are changing the world. Plus, now you are even changing the past. That, my dear, is talent!

    Red.

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    • Barb says:

      Thanks. I didn’t want to say anything about my time machine. I’m like those folks who rewrite history books, if I can swing it, the Titanic will never sink.

      Like

  10. Hi Sweets! Here are the links you wanted to both my question about the time spent blogging and the day after post. I will be back to see what your readers have to say when I have a bit more time. Margie

    http://latebloomerbuds.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/just-wondering/
    http://latebloomerbuds.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/alrighty-then-2/

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  11. millodello says:

    Perhaps writing 400 meaningful words is not rocket science. Granted begrudgingly. Quoting ‘Snaggelpuss” is quite another matter in this modern era. Well done.

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    • Barb says:

      “Heavens to Mergatroid!!!!” Your brain is a steel trap if you can remember the Snagglepuss quote. And that’s why we blog…to encounter the shining stars who remember and know other arcane pieces of life. (thanks).

      Like

  12. Arindam says:

    I could not disagree with you on this. You are right. WordPress has about 400,000 bloggers. What would happen if each of us cut our blogging time in half and used the extra hours to do something really good for the real world; rather than spending our time in this virtual world. We all need to think about his one. A really great post.
    A big congrats to you on getting so many awards. 🙂

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  13. Congratulations on your awards. So well deserved. I’ll heed your words wise lady.

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  14. Thank you for a gentle reminder of what’s important in life, and the heads up on some great bloggers to check out.

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  15. souldipper says:

    My mantra is “balance”. Blogging can take over life – it’s a matter of making sure I am fulfilling the other purposes in my life! 😀

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  16. Congratulations on the awards–and the thought-provoking post. I especially like philosophermouse’s take that many bloggers are also do-ers, and I agree with those pointing out the worldwide connections as well.

    Thanks for the nomination, Barb!

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  17. Blogging has been so important to me. I have met people who educate me, people who amuse me, people who show me beauty I had not dreamt about. Sometimes the same blogger does all three. And my time in the blogosphere sustains me for my volunteering work which can be gruelling.
    Your awards are deserved, and you belong in the final blogging category. Don’t stop. Please.

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    • Barb says:

      You make a great point. I wonder if we had a week in which all of us talked about our volunteering, it would inspire us to chuck the keyboard more often, or blog more because we’re talking about what we’re doing. Thanks for your kind words.

      Like

  18. Run for public office. I’m not kidding. Most every county in the U.S. has a Soil & Water Conservation District. The Districts were formed during the Dust Bowl Days as instruments to teach, and even force, farmers to adopt soil conservation practices. Today, some have reinvented themselves to tackle modern, urban conservation issues. Most have not.
    Conservation Districts are constitutionally authorized government entities that, in their ultimate, have the same powers as any other elected office, including the power of ad valorum taxation and eminent domain. I have twice served as an elected District Commissioner. It’s a non-paid, very part-time position. In my neck of the woods, the election fee to run for this office is $25 or free with 150 signatures on a petition. Check it out. These Districts badly need people who want to make a difference and not simply use them as stepping stones to higher office.

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  19. Wow, so glad I already carve out enough time (2 hours a week) from my “busy blog life” to volunteer at a local after-school program. I realized I was spending too much time online and was beginning to suffer bouts of cabin fever. LOL

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    • Barb says:

      Okay…you get extra points for after school work, when those kids are wilder than feral cats and ready to bust loose from a day of compulsory education. Thanks for the leadership, but I think I’ll work in the dog shelter with Dan below (the dogs can’t talk).

      Like

  20. Margie says:

    I think that many of us come to a crossroads where we have to choose which way we (and our blog) is going to go!
    Keeping up with other blogs is something I am having trouble doing. There are just so many good ones! But I have to cut back on reading them. and spend more time doing the things that make life worth living – and then blog about them!

    Like

  21. winsomebella says:

    Does the knighting now make you a Sir?? Good questions you ask and even better points made. Thanks for the intro to the fab blogs and congrats on the awards for your own fab blog 🙂

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    • Barb says:

      Some of our British friends can correct me, but I believe truly knighted women carries the title of Dame. (i.e. Dame Judy Dench). I think a different adjective using most of the same letters would be applied before my name.

      Like

  22. momaescriva says:

    i second the your nominations…they are great people!

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  23. dan says:

    I had this really funny comment about my ablomic tom but I didn’t want the FBI here again so I omitted it.

    I can’t even get myself to work at the library. I’m a horrible citizen.

    I did not know that about Roxie. Oh well I’ve saved tons of dogs. congratulations on your award.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Dan, I’m glad you got your computer back from the last government raid on your house. You’re not a horrible citizen, just misplaced. Sounds to me like you should volunteer at the dog shelter. Roxie’s probably there, knitting all the animals toys.

      Like

  24. Great post! Funny, what I’ve discovered is many bloggers lead very active lives and do a lot to make the world better. (So much energy!) Busy people are always busy. People who sit and do nothing/ watch TV all the time need some inspiration and motivation? Maybe some non-bloggers (and some hand wringing bloggers?) could read some blogs and get inspired? Might be nice, but probably won’t happen…the same people are the ones you see all the time when it’s school open houses or charity events or volunteer opportunities. It’s always the same ones.
    Anyway – loved the post, and congrats for the awards! ( well deserved)

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Thanks, but I think your words are smarter than anything I’ve written. The 20/80 rule seems to be prevalent everywhere. (20% of the people do 80% of the work). So what you’re saying is we need to choose: Do we want to be part of the 20 or the 80? Then follow up with whatever we’ve chosen. (It’s like putting on my big girl boots and walking the walk.)

      Like

  25. El Guapo says:

    Congratulations, and beautifully said.
    That’s how an award should be accepted!
    Rock on!

    Like

  26. You’ve raised some valid points. In a way, I used to be addicted to volunteering. You know, like the original “gal who cain’t say no.” Now that I don’t do all of those kazillion things anymore, I feel guilty at times, and worry that the time I spend on the computer is a self-indulgent waste of time. And in particular, the amount of time I spend doing research for my posts, writing them, and visiting and commenting on other blogs is time I should be spending on my WIP, as though the “real writing” has more merit than mere blogging. And maybe it does. But ya know what? I LIKE blogging and cherish the connections I’ve made with other bloggers. We have the ability to uplift, inspire, amuse, and inform other people in a format that’s open to almost immediate feedback. No wonder it’s so addictive!

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  27. Roxie Matthews says:

    Oh, and thank you. Thank you very much.

    Like

  28. Roxie Matthews says:

    But blogging, and reading other blogs, opens my eyes to a wider world. I see that people in Australia and New Jersey, people of every age, sex and preference have more in common than not. If we celebrate and practice what unites us, it makes us wiser and kinder. and stronger.

    Blogging is not a bad thing(.And fer cry sakes, Barb, you can read all those blogs while the insomnia fairies are clog-dancing on your sleep centers.) I think blogging ties the world more closely together. Yes, doing things to make a change in the virtual world is good, but blogging can inspire and motivate us to do that. Please, please, please don’t stop!

    I have two jobs in life. To rejoice, and to keep people warm. Blogging is a way to rejoice on a broader scale. And my blog buddies are sending in pounds and pounds of fabrics for my piece-a-palooza birthday party, so blogging augments real-world actions. Blogging and actual good works are not mutually exclusive.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      And that, my friend, is why you’re such an inspiration.

      Like

      • Nisha says:

        I totally agree with Roxie here. Even though Barb you made an excellent point – we should get off our butts and do something but at the same time for me personally, blogging has proved invaluable. Where I live, I’m surrounded by accountants, lawyers, teachers and medical people. I barely know any ‘creative types’ let alone other writers. Blogging has helped me connect with others like me in the world and I’ve actually grown a lot in terms of my writing. So its not all time-wasted.
        Besides when I’m rich and famous one day, and have taken over the world, I’ll cure poverty, open up orphanages and adopt children left, right and center. See, blogging is a means to an end… 😉

        Like

  29. Spectra says:

    High-Five on those awards!

    It’s so true about overblogging – quite like overeating. We had a spat of good days here and I didn’t/couldn’t think of a thing to write between getting yardwork and painting done…like a bloggy diet, if you will. When I did finally feel important again, I over-wrote; an almost 2000 word post 😦 like binge-blogging. Yep. It’s all addictive. And I have been toying with the idea lately of visiting hospitals or getting permission to start up a community garden in town.

    Important, thought-provoking post here.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Thanks S.
      I was inspired by your yard spree and ran outside, spraying, clipping, and tidying up winter rot. My question becomes…how to blog, contribute to a life away from the computer, and take care of friends blog/physical? Don’t tell me I have to give up watching Downton Abbey to get it all done.

      Like

  30. You know Barb, this same thought has been on the minds of so many other bloggers lately. Certainly not raised in the manner you raise it which is uniquely you, LOL, but… It’s a matter of balance which can be very difficult to achieve since blogging can be so dang addictive. If you don’t remember my post asking basically this same question not long ago, let me know and I will send you the link. There were quite a few thoughtful comments on the subject. You are so not alone in your thinking my friend. Margie

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I’m probably a day short and a dollar behind what’s circulating on the internet. I looked around for solutions to the time demands of blogging, but only found one at MJ Monahan’s blog.
      I love it if you’d please post your link. We’re all looking for ways to work in all the things we love doing. Thanks.

      Like

  31. 7theaven says:

    What a fine read. Nice nice, witty post with humor nicely blended in. Goood job mate!

    Like

  32. magsx2 says:

    Hi,
    Congrats on your awards, well done, your blog is always an interesting read. 🙂

    Like

  33. digipicsphotography says:

    I bet you recycle and don’t even know it. So you are saving the planet too.

    Like

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