Monday, January 31, 2011

A little bit of love makes the world go 'round

Free printable gift tags--available HERE

I've had a rule for myself about comments for quite some time now.

This is the rule:
Don't talk about comments on the blog.

Simple enough, right?  And I've had the rule for multiple reasons, but mostly because I personally think it's not so tactful to talk about/beg for comments on your own blog.  Just my personal opinion.

But today I'm going to break that rule.  Not to beg for comments, but to just discuss them a little bit.  I hope you'll hear me out.

A couple of weeks ago I was in a funk.  About blogging.  It was right about the time I changed my layout (which helped) and revised my sponsorship contracts to be a whole lot better (which also helped).  And I've been feeling much better about it all since then, but for a little while I was just, well, in a funk.

I talked to Bryan about it.  He's both a good listener and a good helper/fixer at the same time.  I've always loved that about him.  And as he listened to me talk through some things on several occasions he said, "You've been really emotional about your blog lately.  I don't know why."

He was right.  I had been really emotional about my blog lately.  But I didn't know why either.

Although one lame excuse did keep coming to mind and it was this:

I wasn't getting as many comments.

Really?  A lack of comments was contributing that much to all the emotions over my blog?

I felt sheepish about it.  Well, let's be honest here, I felt outright dumb about it.  To get emotional about something that doesn't even really exist.  Or does it?

It's a funny thing we do--living in the future.  Leaving aside the aliens, time travel, and teleporting (which I will be ecstatic about when the time comes), the lives we live have already far surpassed the expectations of our ancestors.  And our lives have complexities they never dreamed of.

How to keep up a piece of real estate that you can't set foot on?  How to be tactful about things that come into (and go out of) existence with the click of a button?

It's tricky business sometimes.  And, like anything in life--whether it's tangible or not--it can have real impact on our lives, on our feelings.

Now, what this post is not is a mopey post about not having enough comments and boohoo to me.  Because I honestly don't feel that way.  I'm honored and delighted by the comments you leave.  You remind me each day how wonderful this big world is and just how many nice people there are in it.

What this post is is a reminder of all the good we can do in the lives of others, even in small and simple ways.

After my own little realization about how effective comments can be in lifting others up I decided to really take it full circle and put my thoughts into action.  And this, once again, was largely due to one of Bryan's thoughtful observations.

A very whiny Me: "Sometimes it just feel like nobody leaves comments on my blog anymore.  I put all this time and energy into the things I share and then it seems like nobody really appreciates it."

Bryan: "Well, do you leave comments on everything you see that you like?"

Bryan made a good point.  And it's that that I've been trying to put into action lately.

In other words, I've really been making a conscious effort lately to comment on the things I see on others' blogs that brighten my day.  Because they do put a lot of time and effort into the things they share.  And I do appreciate it.  The things I see on others blogs inspire me and challenge me and make me smile and laugh.  And it makes me sad to think of all the times I've just clicked away--closed the tab, shut the computer, moved on to something else--without so much as a "Thanks!  I like this!"

Sometimes it can be intimidating to leave comments.  To say something to somebody that you've never met.

Will they care what I have to say?  Will I be accepted here?

The more I've commented on others blogs, the more the answer rings out loud and clear--YES!  People love feedback, especially when it's positive.  I've loved all the fun little reply e-mails from other bloggers who's blogs I've commented on lately.  It's like making new friends.  And it's great to know that I could give back a little to all they've done to share their work with me.

So, my message today is this:

There are so many good people out there.  There are so many good ideas out there.  Perpetuate that good.  Leave good comments.

Online stuff doesn't always seem "real."  But the good that comes from it all most certainly is.  :)


Brittany said...

Katie, I read your blog often (it is on my favorites) but I have never left a comment. So here you go girl! I really enjoy your blog. Keep it up! You certainly have more followers and hits than I do. Keep up the good work!


Polly @ Pieces by Polly said...

You know it's funny...because I'll often come take a look at your blog and be totally impressed at how many people DO leave comments...and you don't even have to go through all the trouble to link up to the linky parties and things that I do. :)

Your blog is awesome though. :)

Bree said...

Thanks for the reminder. I used to be pretty good (or thought I was) about leaving comments on things I enjoyed. I fully respect the time people put into their blogs to share stuff, and I think a simple comment is a great way of thanking them for a small piece of their time. Lately though, I feel like I just haven't had the time, and so haven't been leaving as many comments. It's time to change that! :)

Liz said...

I love reading your blog and seeing the fab things you make and reading about you and O. I don't always comment because as you say, it can be intimidating with someone you don't know.

Plus I like so much of what you do, you might think I was a crazy internet stalker always commenting on everything you write ;)

Lckevan said...

I seriously love your blog...I am just too lazy to leave comments. Which is kinda silly because it takes all of two minutes. ha ha. I meant to comment on the post about your new purse. SO CUTE! I would love to see a tutorial on it someday! YOu are awesome!

Color Dynamic said...

I don't usually comment because I'm on my phone... but a good way to see more comments is to ask for them. Ask questions - ask your readers what they are doing, what they are eating, what they'd like to see. You'd be suprised what comes out of the woodwork.

Color Dynamic said...

I don't usually comment because I'm on my phone... but a good way to see more comments is to ask for them. Ask questions - ask your readers what they are doing, what they are eating, what they'd like to see. You'd be suprised what comes out of the woodwork.

Courtney said...

Ha this blog post is cute. You are adorable. I feel like you are my friend even though I don't really know you. I read your posts every day and try almost everything you show us how. When I got your comment the other day I was so happy I told my Husband about it and he said "I don't get it she's not famous" but to me really you are because I LOVE your stuff and you said you liked my stuff and it just made my day! I hope you keep blogging and creating and INSPIRING! Thank you thank you thank you! I will be sure to comment more to everyone because I really do understand where you are coming from.
Love, A huge fan in a tiny body

PS My hubs goes nuts over college football players and I don't think they are famous so I suppose we are even... just throwing that out there

Leah said...

I too read your blog almost everyday and do not leave a comment ever to thank you. So here goes: Thank you sooo much for every thing that you do! Thank you for just being you! Thank you for all your tutorials! Thank you for pointing out we never say thank you! Thank you for reminding me there Are people out there just like me! Thank You!

Julie Rosenhan said...

So I used you fabric gift wrapping tutorials over Christmas (as did my aunt, I had to share with her those adorable ideas) and totally forgot to leave a comment saying "thanks for posting these AWESOME ideas." Here it is, over a month late. Thanks for those ideas; I loved them! I'll try to get a picture of what I made into your Flickr group soon. Oh and thanks for this post and for Brian's wise words. I also feel under-appreciated when people don't comment (you're amazing, because you've commented on my blog twice, thanks!!!, so what Brian says is really good for me to here. So, thanks!

Emily said...

Oh, Katie. I love you! And I love your blog! I know I don't always comment but I always look at it! :) And I always love when you comment back on my comments that I do leave and I love when I get comments from you on my blog! Basically...I just love you and I love talking to you whether it's via blog, comments, email, etc. :)

I love your little message. And you. :)

Kathy Haynie said...

I LOVELOVELOVE comments on my blog, so I just sprinkle them around everywhere, all the time. I figure if someone gets tired of me commenting, if I'm cluttering up their blog, they'll let me know. I liked this thoughtful post.

SewLindaAnn said...

Hey Katie, just sending a little comment love! Thanks for sharing your feelings. That's always a good thing.

Anna said...

Yo Katie,

I check your blog everyday and I am a fan of your life. Also, did you read Papa-G's email about maybe getting re-baptized? HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Jess@craftiness is not optional said...

Katie-you know I love your blog and all your comments you leave me! They always make me smile and I'm always grateful. I totally know what you mean about clicking's so easy to do that, but almost as easy to say, Hey cool idea! I will try to be better at that too!

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

I love this post, Katie. It's so hard to put the time in to comment on other blogs, and lately I've been in a bit of a funk myself and my blog time has been cut way down due to other commitments right now. I really need to work on the whole balance thing. I've found that in the past when I spend an hour commenting on other blogs, I've gotten lots of comments in return. Good karma and all.

snugglebugs said...

Cheer up, Katie! You're too adorable not to have tons of followers! I'm terrible about posting, and almost as bad about commenting... so, I'm partially to blame, right? ;) (personally, I'm blaming Google's Reader for making me take an extra 3 seconds to click over for commenting :D )

New resolution: Leave at least one comment whilst reading my blogs. Thanks for the inspiration!

Mrs. Kelley Dibble said...

Great post.

I read sometime back the advice to leave comments on 10 blogs when you're out in the blogosphere. Indeed a great way to not only share a warm fuzzy, but also to reap what you sow (will you reap if you don't sow?) and make a new friend.

A blogger since September '09... I love learning new blogging info (You really helped!)