Home > Blogging, Communication, Silly > What’s in a follow?

What’s in a follow?

pirate spideyNearly a thousand people have followed my blog the last two weeks.

Astonishingly, most are actually bloggers, not just folks marketing deals for “raulssupercheapcarpets” or “splendiferousbalicruises.”

Most have followed quietly. I’m not sure how they found my blog or what they liked enough to bother following it. I always yearn to know, but it never occurred to me to ask.

Is it my stick figure drawings? (Can’t imagine it.) My animated GIFs? (Likelier, but there aren’t too many of ’em.) My husband’s work? (But surely that couldn’t be the whole reason? I mean, look at me as a pirate! Compelling stuff!) My words on motherhood and my own mom? (Because who doesn’t like wallowing in melancholy?)

Wait, I have a novel idea! How about I ask you?!

Why did you follow this blog? Why haven’t you unfollowed it yet?
How might I entice you to talk?
Also, how you doin’?

Categories: Blogging, Communication, Silly Tags: ,
  1. November 19, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Agreed… I would love to know. I think you are a great writer – which is why I stick around.

    • November 19, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Thank you–both for answering and for your answer! I love it when folks comment around the same time they follow, so I know what connects us. Since I blog for both understanding and connection, I relish that. 🙂

  2. November 19, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Reblogged this on benbrilliant.com.

  3. nicciattfield
    November 19, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Openness, kindness, your love of family. The way you value people. A willingness to tackle awkward topics (like walking on ants or ‘race’). Humour. But mostly the kindness and reflexivity. Also, your posts are something I look forward to.

    • November 19, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      Thank you so much for commenting. I can’t quite get a lock on why, but I just felt a flood of … peace? gratitude? … wash over me reading this. I feel much the same about your posts, and your comments, too. I’m so grateful for the blogosphere enabling us to be–or perhaps see we’re?–connected.

  4. cardamone5
    November 19, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    I follow you because you are honest and hopeful.


    • November 19, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      I’m surprised to see the difference between my perception of myself/my blog (ever so serious! let us fix the entire world with words!) and answers so far. That itself is hopeful to me. Thank you. ♥

  5. November 19, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I followed you because you are real…..I mean your posts are genuine and although I have no idea what the card your husband holds in your last post, I was interested in how important your family obviously are to you. Ok so now it sounds like I judged you by family loyalties…….is that a bad thing?

    • November 19, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      Do you mind clarifying what you mean by “card your husband holds”? I first took this to mean one thing, but now think it might mean another. In neither case do I feel any sense of being judged harshly!

      Either way, I thank you so much for weighing in. I started this blog for such different reasons than those for which I keep it. I meant to write about writing, but it’s my family–by blood and choice–that I’ve found I most cherish and most want to write about.

      • November 19, 2014 at 1:01 pm

        In your post ‘congratulations husband’ I read it and had no idea what he was being congratulated for but I sensed how this card, whatever it is, was a genuine cause of happiness in your family. I have been stalked by ‘fake’ for a long time and so I found this post refreshing and decided to follow you

        • November 19, 2014 at 1:07 pm

          Oh, got it! Thank you for following up! My husband was recently promoted to assistant directing. Many more people read posts about my husband’s work than most my other posts, which leads me to the unsettling sense some might be more interested in his journey than mine.

          I write about it as it overlaps with my own experience, not because I think it’s more fascinating than anyone else’s … like, for example, mine (or yours)! For this reason I am so heartened to read comments so far and see his career is not necessarily The Big Reason anyone takes a peek and decides to stay. Thank you.

          • November 19, 2014 at 1:12 pm

            Well then congratulations really is in order 🙂 but yes my interest was not his work but, I guess, your commitment to him. And I am sure I will find more reasons with time

  6. November 19, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I follow because not only are you a fellow personal writer, but you regularly post. That’s a rare thing to find unless it’s someone telling me my pancakes suck and my house is dirty.

    • November 19, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      LOL! (Yes, really.) Recently I feel like I’ve been posting too much, but then I go ahead and post anyway … because writing it out helps me find my way to understanding. 🙂

  7. November 19, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Your posts are relevant, meaningful, from the heart of the authentic you, and often touching or at least entertaining. People find value for their time here, that’s why they follow. For me, I’d have to say you are gutsy and I admire that.

    • November 19, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      Thank you so much for this. I am really surprised by the divide between what I expected to read and what I’m actually reading. It’s a good reminder that a “realistic” view of oneself–and one’s writings–might sometimes be a little skewed. ♥

  8. November 19, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I wouldn’t mind a splediferousbalicruise. 🙂 I follow simply because I love your writing. ❤

    • November 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      I laugh when I see those follows … if I had the money, I’d go find the cruises without this strange advertisement! Someday I’ll go. Aaaah, someday! Thank you. ♥

  9. November 19, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I love a follow! Sometimes I click by accident or because I’m drunk and trying to order DVDs off WordPress in error. That said I love your posts, your writing is great and they are always well written!

    Keep it up!


    • November 19, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      LOL! I often like and unlike posts while idly scrolling on my iPad, then wonder whether the person seeing multiple activities on the same post thinks I’m drunk. Also? Thank you!

  10. November 19, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    I follow because, well, I like to have something to read other than my own babblings.

  11. November 19, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    You’re relatable. You could be my sister, my friend, me. Through your writing I see you have compassion and a heart and want people to be more loving and kind. You are real. Your trials, your wins, your hopes and fears, they make you human and better (at least in my opinion) than any reality TV show. I think most people follow a blog because they see something of themselves in it, or something they aspire to be. Thank you for sharing yourself. It’s a human connection in an artificially connected world. Just wish I had more time to read your blog (or even write on my own – which had to be pulled down since someone in my daughter’s school found it and started teasing her about it. Teens, sigh).

    • November 19, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      Thank you so, so much for this beautiful comment. This so perfectly reflects why I blog instead of writing in personal journals. I love the sense of connection fostered by this, all the more since I moved from only writing when I already had a clear conclusion ready to express. Not always having achieved clarity makes it easier for me to find it, thanks to getting to see through so many different eyes.

      I am so glad for blogging, but gah! Gah to the reason for yours going down! 😦 My ’95-’02 blogs actually went down because of family feedback on them. I enjoyed (most) feedback from strangers, but not so much–then–from extended family.

  12. Alicia
    November 19, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    I was directed to your blog by a tweet a while (not sure how long) ago. I don’t even remember what the content of the post was but remember connecting with what you had to say. I then liked your FB page and was content with that for a time. When you took your hiatus from FB, I actively sought out your blog posts without subscribing. Then, a “duh” moment happened and I subscribed. Why do I stay? I like your outlook on life. I like the fact that while you have faced adversity, it has not dimmed your outlook. I love the posts about your kids. I relate totally to the hesitation to marry (veteran of a 16 year relationship…married for 9 months). I love the care, compassion and forgiveness you express in your posts. You might not want to entice me to talk, I might never shut up, lol. Actually, I am a silent lurker on the interwebs, absorbing and contemplating but rarely weighing in. I am not sure why…it vacillates between “I am a private person” and “who would listen?”

    How am I doin’? Today, not so good, but tomorrow will be better. I buried my grandfather last week and the grief has rattled me more than expected (as if it is possible to gauge how one will react to grief)

    Thanks for asking 🙂

    • November 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      I am just about to step out but wanted to reply to this quickly before stepping out. First off, I’m so sorry about your grandfather. Second, thank you so much for your lovely comment. More later, with much love.

    • November 21, 2014 at 6:24 am

      OK, back again and wanted to say: Based on this comment, I definitely want to entice you to keep talking! I’m so glad you commented here and hope you’ll occasionally weigh in down the road. For my part, I used to comment on almost every single post I read. Now I tend to “Like” them to show I enjoyed and appreciated, but only comment when I really have something to add … which is a very small part of the time!

      Was tomorrow better? For me, grief has been rolling peaks and valleys, sometimes hourly or daily even years out. My “sorry” stands. ♥

      • Alicia
        November 21, 2014 at 1:53 pm

        Thank you for the condolences, and yes, tomorrow was better. Grief is a funny thing, definitely ebbing and flowing forever. New grief can be crippling, but old grief (20+ years) still has the power to come roaring out of the blue like a locomotive and squash me flat with no warning.

        Thank you for your response and for taking the time to come back and expand. Thank you for the love…it helps.

        I will try to come out of my “lurker mode” and weigh in occasionally. But even if I don’t, know that I am lurking in a supportive, loving, contemplative fashion very much enjoying the peek you allow us into your life. 🙂

  13. November 19, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Your post “Dear Mom” appeared in my Reader and I read it. It was amazing and really resonated with me. For that reason, I decided to read more of your posts, and fell in love with your writing and never wanted to miss another post, so I instantly followed you. I’m sorry if I do not comment more, I tend to read and like, but forget to connect through a comment. I know how much comments mean to me on my blog, so your post today is a good reminder to us all to communicate as well. I look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    • November 21, 2014 at 6:27 am

      I’m so glad for your commenting here! Thank you. I know I often don’t have anything to say after reading even posts from my favorite bloggers (often even when I actively search for something relevant to say), so I understand how that goes … and yet savor those moments when comments do come in. I’ve opened your blog in another tab and look forward to checking it out on the other/kids-are-asleep-again side of the day.

  14. November 19, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Just because you are awesome and I read them all, not just certain ones!

  15. November 19, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I don’t remember exactly how I found your blog, it could’ve been through a Freshly Pressed post or from the “You May Like” section of my reader. I stick around because I enjoy your writing, the style and content.

  16. November 19, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    I don’t remember how I first came about your blog, but I’m glad I did! Even if I am secretly jealous of your GIF skills… 😉

  17. November 19, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    You remind me there is hope, there is a widening of the terms of love, there are arms that reach beyond our yesterday’s into our tomorrows and are strong enough to tether us into today without weighing us down. You remind me there are thousands of reasons to write, to not give up, to live with gratitude, to keep my heart open, to shed bitterness.

    I read you, follow you, rejoice when I see your name because I love the pure place in my heart your reside and fill.

  18. November 19, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    As shallow as it sounds, I followed you because of the name of your blog. And the posts are what keep me coming back! 🙂

  19. November 19, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Can’t remember why I started reading you, but it was probably because of something you wrote about the direct impact of racism on your family. The subject grabbed my attention, and then I found I liked your style. I also love that you bother to respond meaningfully to comments – I love engaging in dialogue. And now … well, heck, I guess I just kinda like you!

    • November 19, 2014 at 6:47 pm

      Also, wow! Congratulations!

      • November 19, 2014 at 6:51 pm

        Oh, and as to how I’m doing – I’m doing NaNo. Argh! But thanks for asking.

  20. November 19, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    I follow you because it’s more than evident that you’re a genuinely sweet, good-hearted, grateful and gracious person. You were one of my first follows and followers. I’m in it for the long haul, so keep on writing, Pirate Lady! 🙂

  21. November 19, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    I started following your blog after I had my first son. I subbed upon one of your posts about being a mom (I forget which one exactly) and the challenges of the job… it really spoke to me 🙂 so here I am!

  22. November 20, 2014 at 7:09 am

    I’m a lurker who has been following you for a while! I used to blog about books sometimes and you gave me one of my nicest comments on a review I wrote. I follow a handful of blogs and I particularly enjoy reading about the writing life. Your blog is very relatable and I enjoy your writing!

  23. November 20, 2014 at 7:29 am

    I started following you after you followed me and tagged me as a new-to-you blogger that you enjoyed. I read several of your posts after that one and decided I liked what I saw (the follow and compliment wouldn’t have been enough for me to follow you – I don’t do that – I have to find value for me in what I see). I haven’t unfollowed because I still like what I see. Honesty and realism and a love for your husband and children.

    I, too, have often wondered about the followers I pick up along the way. I’m nowhere near a thousand (especially not over just the last two weeks!), but more than I ever thought I’d have. And most are silent. I’m too scared to ask why though. I’m afraid I’ll be met with silence by all but my “regulars”. Too worried the others just followed to try to gain me as a follower. 😉

  24. Jen
    November 20, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Yep. I agree. You are a fantastic writer and all the stories you tell, big or small, are compelling!

  25. November 20, 2014 at 8:10 am

    I’m hear for the free cake. Where is it?

    • November 20, 2014 at 8:11 am

      Here…..HERE!!!!! Can’t believe I messed that up (hangs head in shame and slinks off.)

  26. November 20, 2014 at 9:26 am

    I found you through Matticus, I believe. I follow because you write about topics which interest me, and I like your writing voice and style.

  27. November 20, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I, honestly, have no idea how I followed you, or when I started . . . I think it was a comment that I had seen you post on someone else’s blog, so I came here & thought “wow, she’s fun to read,” and that was it.

    But, I, truly, do not know…..

  28. November 20, 2014 at 10:39 am

    I have a blog myself and am always looking for inspiration, good writing, and ideas! I find all three here. I don’t have nearly that many followers but the number is slowly growing. People always ask what’s the best way to learn to blog and I think the best teachers are each other. I learn more from other bloggers than any other source.

  29. Kay
    November 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Hey 🙂 I follow you because, in not entirely the same way but in little ways I can relate to some of the things you write about your past, but it’s not only that, it probably was originally, in some ways you showed, and continue to show, that certain loathsome phrases aren’t the case, and those of us not blessed with wonderful childhoods, can still come out the other end in adulthood and be (fairly) well adjusted people, and parents (though this I haven’t got to quite yet). I also simply love to read your posts, your style and ‘voice’, your sense of humour is similar to mine too. And yeah, I love the stick men 😉

    PS: Pirates are awesome!! x

  30. November 20, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    I followed your blog because you posted a comment on MY blog! My blog is new(ish), and yours was one of the first comments from someone I don’t know in real life (i.e. a comment from someone other than my mom or my best friend). After reading your comment, I followed the link to your blog and LOVED what I found. Wonderfully written and honest. Plus, you write about topics that are on my mind. Many of your posts have resonated with me 🙂

  31. November 22, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    I have been following your blog for a while, and can’t remember how I found it.. I like reading your insightful posts and am always impressed by how well you are able to think through your thoughts and emotions and articulate them in writing. I also like your liberal and progressive mindset, and how hard you’re trying to raise your kids well..

  32. November 27, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Deborah, I know I’m a little behind in my reading, but I definitely wanted to chime in my answer to this question.

    I am very picky about the blogs I read … mainly because of the time constraints on my life, but other reasons too. The main reason I follow your blog (and get an email notification weekly of what you’ve been posting) is because you are real, you have a voice, and it’s a beautiful one. I like the way you think and the way you write. I am challenged at times by your perspective on things; at others, your words comfort me. Sometimes it’s just nice to read someone else’s version of my own thoughts – your words resonate with me.

    I learned a long time ago that words have power. I probably don’t think about (read: mediate on) that truth nearly often enough to make me as mindful of my own words as I should be, but, be that as it may, your words have the power to move me in ways that keep me coming back again and again.

    Today we celebrated Thanksgiving. I am thankful that you have the courage and persistence to blog – to put your thoughts and your ‘voice’ out here for us to read. Thank you so much.

    God bless,

  33. November 27, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    P.S. I think I found your blog through a comment you posted on another one, but truly can’t remember. I don’t really care how I found it, just happy that I did! 🙂

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