Mormon Moment Series on poetrysansonions.blogspot.com

Ahhhhh! The smell of fresh, juicy, slightly wrong Mormon blog posts. It must be Sunday!

I have been doing a series of posts related to Mormon and Post-Mormon issues that seem to be *hot* this year. With more and more people interested in Mormons, and now the change in rules for when male and female missionaries are allowed to serve, the Bloggernacle keep heating up! So, if you missed the first posts in the series (because I was a slacker and wasn’t cross posting) here is your chance to catch up. If you have been catching them on my blog, you will notice they are a little different. Thanks to Kevin who suggested that I should include the topic of the post in the title, and not jsut which post number it is. Ahhhhh, aren’t friends great for helping you see your blind spots? I am glad I have so many friends looking out for me.

I am using the same introduction for each post, both because I think that it helps keep them uniform, but also so I don’t have to try to come up with 20 ways to say the same thing!

What this series is about:

If you are Mormon, you are probably sick of hearing about the Mormon Moment. There are so many people who are suddenly interested in Mormon culture, and there are lots of Mormon bloggers that are cashing in and sharing their stories. Some of the stories end up being kind of silly, but if you are simply trying to get people to read about what is important to you, the Mormon Moment is one way to draw people in.

I do not want people to think that I don’t respect the bloggers whose posts I am sharing. All of them are good bloggers, and most of them write about Mormon topics all of the time. I have no doubt that they would have shared these thoughts and stories at some point, but as one friend told me the other day, “in the race to the election, bloggers are pushing hard to attract new readers before the Mormon Moment is gone.” So, to help you, I sifted through hundreds of posts to share the ones that I still remember. (This group of posts are nowhere near a complete view of Mormon bloggers. All of the bloggers are either Mormons, post-Mormons, or write about Mormon issues, even when it isn’t election time.)

So, what have you missed?

Mormon Moment Series – Part One – Mormon Mind Control?

Mormon Moment Series – Part Two – Ayn Rand and Quirks in Mormon Culture

Mormon Moment Series – Part Three – Modesty, Perfection and Secrets

Mormon Moment Series – Part Four –Why can’t we seem to say what we mean?

Mormon Moment Series – Part Five –Fasting For Followers!

Mormon Moment Series – Part Six – Who is a Mormon?

While it is not officially part ofmy Mormon Moment Series, please take a minutes and check out this post about Mormons, Masterbation, and the story of a teenager driven to attempt suicide, because of his wet dreams.

But for the Grace of God….

This post is about a teen suicide attempt and some of the actions that led to it. The language is not vulgar, but it is specific. Please read only if, it is emotionally safe for you. A few days ago, I sent an email out to several family members and friends about a post on the Mormon Therapistblog. It deals with a sensitive subject, so please understand that this particular linked post is not g-rated, although it will not include any explicit language either. If you are uncomfortable with discussions about sexuality, masturbation, how to teach adults and children healthy sexual attitudes, or the negative impacts of shame, I suggest you skip this post, and not click onto the linked article.”
You can go here to read the entire post, including the responses from TBMs who are supportive of Mormon Therapist’s view, who also explain how the email about this young man touched their lives, and the lives of their children. This is a bold stand from all sides, as Mormon Therapist boldly proclaims, “Masturbation is not sinful behavior in of itself nor is it a transgression.”
We live in a time of great turmoil, and out youth especially need to love and support to deal with a variety of challenges. From masturbation to Coke, homosexuality to the age of sister missionaries, the church is changing or softening on a number of important issues. I believe that we need to support those who are members of the church, who continually ask questions and look for answers. I also believe that current and former members need to find common ground, in as many areas as they can, and work together on those shared goals. Almost every post-Mormon still has family or friends who are members of the church. Almost every member of the church knows someone who has left, been kicked out, or is inactive. While there are very real hurts on all sides, I believe that coming together and being the chance we want to see in our own lives, the lives of our family members, and in the lives of all of the children we love, can make that change a reality.
Whether you are celebrating General Conference today, or are in mourning because of it, there are always ways to find a little common ground, a little place of friendship, a little piece of shared light. We do not have to change our minds about our belief or lack thereof. What we can do is put the first brick into creating a bridge, that will help span the gap between us, and the children and youth who need to know that it gets better, no matter what your sexual orientation or habits!

One last link. If you have a talent to share, leave a comment, and you could be the lucky winner of a pair of pearl stud earrings!

The Hammer of Judgment – What Would You Say?

My last post: Gay Trees and Gadianton Robbers gotseveral comments on my own blog. One, which I took from an email that was sent by a former classmate in high school, was pretty forceful. You can see the original post, and my response in the comments section here.

I am less interested in my personal response, but more about howyou would respond if someone left a comment like this on your blog. When there is a comment like this, does it matter whether you are a current or ex-member, or would your response be the same whatever your status with the church? If the person leaving it was a current or former member, would the difference change how you would address it?

So, how do you deal with people who are obvioiusly not in agreement with something you wrote?

I like you, but I REALLY hate it when you talk about politics. It was bad enough in high school when you read communist stuff and Godless philosophers. There is NO REASON for anyone to read things that go against the scriptures.
You always said the reason you read all the weird stuff was because you needed to understand it to be a good debater. You aren’t debating now, and still you make fun of people who are working for GOD. Romney was a BISHOP! Obama has never held a calling or made a lemonade stand. Romney was a STAKE PRESIDENT! Obama hasn’t ever been a good enough person for God to give him any responsibility.
Julia, it is time for you to stop being STUPID. You are too smart to let Satan tell you what to say and do. You should be telling everyone the Truth. God gave you your talents and the gospel and church gave you the Truth.
You need to do the RIGHT thing, instead of just trying to be popular to a bunch of apostates, liberals, and other people who offend God! I am calling you to repentance and I hope that you can still hear the Holy Ghost enough to go what YOU know is RIGHT!
I am emailing this to you because I KNOW you WON’T let anyone who agrees with you have a comment on your posts. You just want everyone to tell you that you are wonderful. You might think your post is funny, but really it is just a MOCKERY OF GOD!

So, what would you say, if this comment showed up on your blog? Would you delete, or let it stay?

Gay Trees and Gadianton Robbers

As I have been wandering around the internet, looking for something interesting, there is an election going on. Did you know that? Well most of what is out there is not very interesting, just a lot of people with opinion that they want someone else to have, with an occasional FU to go with it. You too? Wanna be naughty and take a break?

Idecided to sharesome of my finds around the bloggernacle (and post-bloggernacle) of things that might make you laugh. I am including one of the posts inmy ongoing Laugh With Me series, but I thought you deserved more. Especially with the political season ramping up, and many people are losing the ability to agree to disagree, I thought a little levity in the political arena might be in order. Although there are a few interestingposts that have less vitrol than others. I have included a few links that are at polite or funny. No promises on the commenters.

 

Sharing this story was prompted by a post on Mormon Iconoclast (You rock Eric!) and the story is true. I am not including names (except that I am me) because they really don’t matter.

So, you can go to:

How not to root for a Mormon, when you are one, To see how it all started out.

This was my first comment (and no I am not making it, I wish I was):

This is my first election cycle in this ward, and since I have been on bed rest since most of the primaries started, I haven’t interacted much with my ward. My husband has been a Republican since birth, but even he can’t see the Ryan/Romney ticket as a good idea. He really missed Reagan. A lot.

Given that I haven’t been at church, and I have never actually talked to her before, it was kind of weird to have a ward member call me and ask me which of several days I wanted to come make calls at their home. I was confused and asked her what activity she needed to have calls made for. She then went into a long speech about God, church, country, the terror of Socialists and how wonderful it was to help Sister Romney. I finally stopped her and asked what exactly she had called about.

Well it turns out she is the chair of a Republican subcommittee of something or other, and she was calling all the Republican women on “her list.”. (I knew as soon as she said it that she was talking about the ward list, but since we aren’t supposed to use the ward list for business or political reasons I decided to play dumb.) I asked her which committee list I was on, and she said she wasn’t sure, that she had just been appointed and given a list of women in our area. I asked if she was sure, since we had recently moved here (15 months ago) and I hadn’t voting in anything other than the primaries. (We vote by mail in Oregon.)

She then made some paper noises on the other end of the phone while she said she would check. She asked me what committee I had been on previously. I told her I had been PTA secretary, scout and cub committee chair and advancement chairmen. (She now seemed very confused.) She pulled herself together and told me that we could figure out what paperwork I needed when I came over, and then rattled off the names of several Oregon lawmakers who would be joining them on a few of the night’s if I wanted to pick one of those times. (At this point, I just wanted off the phone.)

I told her that I was pretty sure there was a mistake and that she must have the wrong list. She then read my address off to me and said she was pretty sure she had the right person. I then told her that I have never been registered as a member of a party, so I was positive the Republican party did not have my contact information. (Now she was mad, and probably feeling trapped.) she asked me is I was one of the gay tree huggers. (I am pretty sure she didn’t know how badly worded the question was.) I told her that like liked my husband and my trees. I giggled, she harrumphed and told me that if I was going to be that insulting I did not deserve to meet (Oregon Republican lawmaker) and then hung up on me.

I have to admit, I am kind of hoping that she remembers who I am when (Oregon republican lawmaker) tells her Hi from me next Thursday. She is right, I don’t deserve to meet him at her house, we both have much more fun playing Scrabble when we get the chance. (Although to be fair, his wife and I often play Scrabble without him.) 😉

Eric’s response:
Wow. This conversation is hilarious to read, though probably less so when it happened. Are you a gay tree hugger? I have no idea which of my trees is gay. . . .
My response to his comment:

Actually she called at the “magic time” when the pain pills were actually starting to work, and I wasn’t totally loopy. The fact that I thought I might know who she was, but we hadn’t even had a conversation, and I could tell she had no idea who I was, made it easier to be patient at the beginning. I also REALLY hate it when someone uses church lists for political purposes. I wish this had been a first time, or first ward. (Don’t get me started on the bishop who received a “revelation” about who the Lord wanted the entire ward to vote for, in a city council race. Really? No clue to the prophet for president, but yes to a city councilman? THAT is the race it is worth breaking the church’s stand of, issues. not individual politicians? Sheesh. Okay, deep breath, calming down.)

I hadn’t thought about the fact that I might have gay trees in my yard. (We have a lot of trees on our acreage, so as a percentage of the population, there have to be some. Since they haven’t been advocating for gay tree marriage, do I just love the tree since I can’t find a sin to hate? Wow, the theological possibilities are staggering. Now I just have to find the “tell” so I know which ones to make sure are dressed appropriately. Hmmmmmm………)

I have found that NOT belonging to any party makes me hard to quantify in wards were there are usually only Nephites (Republicans) and Lamanites (Democrats). It is really difficult for people when I say I am generally more conservative on social issues, and very liberal on economic issues. When I try to tell people that I am about the opposite of a Libertarian, they usually look at my like I am a slow witted child, and helpfully tell me that there is no such thing. I try not to get cranky as I explain that we don’t have a party with that mix of ideals, but that is not the same as saying someone can’t believe in them. Unless some time in their lives a PoliSci class or two were part of their education, they don’t really understand, but decide I am not like them and should be avoided when having future Nephite-Lamanites wars (sorry, political debates) in the church hallway.

Since I partially agree with parts of both “sides,” I am particularly dangerous (confusing) which makes their poor children (interesting and interested teenagers, who don’t necessarily *want* to join a political party they don’t understand) who could so easily be led astray (taught to think for themselves) so that they might have the curse of the Lamanites (Democratic Party Voting Cards) or even worse they might become something truly damaging like a Gadianton Robber (Green Party Member).

Okay, I am done riffing now. Giggle

This is a post on my blog, poetrysansonions

Better to laugh at yourself, or someone else?

I was talking to a friend, who stopped by to visit and see how I was doing. We got to talking about some of our favorite blog posts.

We came up with a list of things that we thought make for memorable posts. I will do posts over the next several weeks that look at the different elements that we came up with, but the first one seemed the easiest and best place to start.

Humor:

Generally we thought that a blogger finding humor intheir own life is, almost always, better than jokes at the expense of others. My recent post Laugh At Me was what started the conversation about what made a good post. I challenged her to find two other good links, and I would come up with at least one other, so we could share posts that we felt were funny, and that we thought were a good representation of humor that wasn’t disrespectful.

(We are both Cake Wrecks addicts, so we decided that for sharing ideas, we wouldn’t just go find our favorite posts there.If you have never been to Cake Wrecks, you really should check it out. http://www.cakewrecks.com/)

You can see my original “Laugh AtMe” postit here: http://poetrysansonions.blogspot.com/2012/07/laugh-at-me-special-texts-for-special.html

This post has it’s own humor, but combined with the comments, it made milk come out of my friend’s nose. I thought that it was funny, but not quite that funny. Thank you Paul, for bringing us a new quote to confuse people with! http://www.sunstonescafe.com/2012/07/snorkeling-for-god.html

Lori’s blog is full of highs and lows! She is a military wife, and her husband is deployed, again. They almost lost their house in the Colorado forest fires, and were evacuated from their house less than a week before they were supposed to be moving. Her husband did get to have a short leave, to come home and help the family with moving, before he went back to Afghanistan. This post was in the middle of all that stress, her husband had just gotten back for his short leave, and they were moving their family, although not all of their stuff yet, to their new home. For all the stress, Lori is often able to find humor in the middle of chaos. This is one of those posts! http://mycamokids.blogspot.com/2012/07/you-know-it-was-good-plane-ride-when.html

The last one is kind of cheating. EVERYTHING on this blog is funny. We are both active, believing, thinking and skepticalmembers of the LDS church. So we get the “inside jokes” and are open-minded enough tofind laughter instead of defense.offense. We couldn’t decide onsingle favorite post, so we agreed that we would simply let you read through the blog, and then you can leave a comment with your vote, for your favorite piece of advice, that you glean from http://stakepresident.blogspot.com/

What other blog posts or blogs make you laugh everytime?

Julia
http://poetrysansonions.blogspot.com/

 

 

Help? Do I belong here?

How do we help “new bloggers” find their voice?
Are we really a community that does?
I believe we are, or at least can be.

Main Street Plaza is an Internet home for people who care about their thoughts and ideas, eventhough weoften disagree. Wedon’t have the same world view,but it helpsus tobe able toarticulateour point of view, and listen to others asthey express theirs.Disagreements on doctrineor different life choices,does nothave to lead to animosity.I hope that we are making a space for people questioning their faith, lives and community, and to help them feel that they have a “voice” as they work throught those struggles.

An Example of doing it right!

I think that Post Mormon Girl does a great job giving voice to her experiences with the church, and how those experiences shaped her life. Her entire blog is great and some time. when you have the flu or something else, where you have an excuselay inbed,I highly recommendreading through her past posts. She is an awesome person, writer, friend and she has a great way of gently encouraging new readers and commenters to talk, even if they are VERY shy.

Part of what is remarkable about Post Mormon Girl, as a blogger and human being, is that she makes sure to thank each person who comments, or to engage them in some way. When she doesn’t know an answer, she will post that she doesn’t know, and ask her readers whether they know them. She also asks questions that she genuinely doesn’t know the answers to, and at the end of the OP asks her readers to share their experiences.

This is one of her recent posts, that especially hit home with me: (You really should take the time to read the OP and ALL ofthe comments)

http://postmormongirl.blogspot.com/2012/07/in-memory-of-friend.html

The post is touching and masterfully written.Thecomments, thoughts, ideas and personal experiences added to the OPmake it much morepowerful!. PMG is a great writer, who writes honestly and straight from the heart. There is no doubt that her writing stands on its own. While being a great writer is important, her original reasonfor starting A Post-Mormon Life, was to help others who had, were or were going to have some of the same experiences, when they decide that leaving the LDS church, She wanted other people toknow that it is possible to leave the LDS church, andthey can be happy. Mostly, she wants people to ask questions, or leave part of their own stories, so they can be part of the larger narrative of current Mormons, Ex-Mormons, and thosestraddling the fence.

What we are doing now, and howwe can bebetter!

Hopefully, Main Street Plazais creating a space for thestoriesof people who have had the LDS church touch their lives. As a place forexperiencesto beshared, a place of encouragement, and not a place of condescension or condemnation.This is a place that you can hear the words and voices of those whose lives have been different,while you still share some common threads.

Hopefully, you willfind acceptance, no matter where you fall on the living-believing-caring-hoping scale of personal growth.As you discuss, debate, and find common ground, hopefully you will see Main Street Plaza as a place to embraceideas and people who don’t agree with you (or do agree with you) that you respect because of the lives they live and their tollerance and support, no matter how different you may seem at first.

Oftentimes, connecting through blogs has less to do with marketing and more to do with making personal connections, but it is hard to make those first few connections, If someone has posted on a group blog, and they have a personal blog that is in their profile, check out their blog. If theirblog is interesting, and youare comfortable with the content, leave a comment about something you liked, and then ask them to check out your blog.It can be a great was tostart conversations that mightnot happen inlarger forums, with 20-50 comments. There are new and more experienced authors,who offer their advice, when you ask for it. 😉

There are times whenyouneed help now, and you aren’t sure who to ask. So, please, if you are new or have been lurking for a while,
please leave a comment with your question(s) and hopefully between the community members, we will be ableto answer all of them.

Julia 😉
poetrysansonions.blogspot.com

 

**Disagreeing is just as honorable as agreeing, as long as comes from a supportable idea or an experience based insight. Name calling is always an easily throw, like the balls from a Nerf gun. I am asking you to at least try meeting me half way, and stick to only calling me an idiot, AFTER you have shared your “supportable idea.” :-)

Do you believe in Priesthood Blessings?

In the July 2012 edition of the Ensign, there is an article by Elder Dallen H Oaks. http://www.lds.org/liahona/2012/07/the-importance-of-priesthood-blessings?lang=eng&query=blessings+comfort
In the article, he talks about the different kinds of priesthood blessings. For this post, I would like to focus on Blessings of Comfort or Counsel. The article describes them this way:

“Persons desiring guidance in an important decision can receive a priesthood blessing. Persons who need extra spiritual power to overcome a personal challenge can receive a blessing. Priesthood blessings are often requested from fathers before children leave home for various purposes, such as school, service in the military, or a long trip.

Blessings given in circumstances such as I have just described are sometimes called blessings of comfort or counsel. They are usually given by fathers or husbands or other elders in the family. They can be recorded and kept in family records for the personal spiritual guidance of the persons blessed.”

Part of the article is also very specific that blessings of comfort or counsel, should be requested by the individual receiving the blessing. So, I am curious about your experiences with blessings of this type. Since many people who were raised in the church are likely to have had a number of these blessings, I am curious which of these statements fit your experience:

I have never had a blessing of the kind described above.

I have received the kind of blessing described above, I found it helpful in making a decision.

I have received the kind of blessing described above, I found it brought me peace and acceptance of a situation.

I have received the kind of blessing described above, I found it brought me strength during a difficult trial.

I have received the kind of blessing described above, I found that there were specific things promised me that happened.

I have received the kind of blessing described above, I found the blessing to be non-specific but still helpful with a coming school year, decision, or endeavor in my life.

I have received the kind of blessing described above, I found that there were specific things promised to me that did not happen.

I have received the kind of blessing described above, I found that the contents of the blessing brought guilt or feelings of discomfort.

I have received the kind of blessing described above, I found the blessing to be non-specific and unhelpful with whatever I was struggling with.

Every (or almost every) blessing I received was at my request.

Some of the blessings I received were not at my request.

All of the blessings I received were not at my request.

All of the blessings I received were inspired, and I felt increased influence of the Lord as a result.

Some of the blessings I received were inspired, and most of them brought an increase in faith.

Some of the blessings I received were inspired, but most of them did not bring an increase in faith.

Most of the blessings I received were not inspired and did not have much impact on my testimony.

Most of the blessings I received were not inspired and negatively impacted my testimony.

Some or all of the blessings I received brought feelings of unrighteous dominion and decreased my faith.

Some or all of the blessings I received brought feelings of unrighteous dominion and led to me completely losing my faith.

I tried to include the variety of experiences I or friends have had, but I am sure I missed some questions. What would you have added to the list?

I realize that many people will have had a variety of experiences that fall into several categories, so I doubt that many people will have only one answer. I can say that I have both had blessings that brought feelings of unrighteous dominion and impacted my testimony in a negative way. I have also had profoundly strengthening blessings, that gave me hope in the middle of difficult trials, and the specific promises of the blessings which happened afterwards, to be an important part of my testimony as an adult.

I am curious about specific experiences that were definitive in your life. For me, during a particularly difficult period with a husband (who I am no longer married to), I requested a blessing from my step-father. The specific information about the needs of my children, and the supports that I should look for as I moved forward to protect myself, were extremely helpful. The fact that my mother took notes while the blessing was being given, and I had those notes to go back to, helped me to keep the promises of the blessing in the forefront of my mind. I have never had an actual recording of a blessing, but until I read this article, I hadn’t realized it was considered appropriate to do so. It is something that I will think about, and consider in the future when I am requesting a blessing.

So, what is your experience(s) with receiving blessings of comfort or counsel? Have they ever helped you, or did they feel like words that were just being said?

Have you ever recorded a blessing either with a recorder of with someone taking notes? If you did, were recorded blessings more helpful than blessings which you did not have recordings for?

Do you find blessings that are specific or more generalized more helpful?

If you have had a blessing that felt like it was simply a priesthood member exercising unrighteous dominion, did you request that/those blessing(s)?

While the main thrust of this post is to talk about experiences receiving blessings, but for those who have given them, at some point,is there anything that you do to prepare for giving this type of blessing, and if you have done specific preparation, do you find it makes a difference in the kind of blessings you give? Were there blessings you gave that you did not feel came from God?

Repentence – An Apology to My Home

Looking at the pile,
As it mocks me from across the room.
Tempting me to remove it –
Begging me to find the washing machine.

Ignoring the piled up dishes –
I avert my eyes, on my way to the bathroom.
I won’t let myself hear them
Crying out for mercy,
As they try to tempt me
To create a sink of soapy hot water.

A few more weeks (or months)my loves!
Then I *might* be able to serve you,
In the ways that you deserve,
Without crashing to the ground –
Potentially hurting me, and you, in the process.

You are wonderful “things;”
Surrounding my life with beauty and function.
But, you take time and energy,
And I just don’t have enough, for you, today!

 

The LDS church tells us that we can’t repent without apologizing. We must think about what we have done, admit that it was/is wrong, apologize and make amends for the sin we have committed, and never commit the sin again.

Since “Cleanliness is next to Godliness,” and myhome (and sometimes hair)is only partially clean, some (or most)of the time. I have obviously moved away from God during the last few months, and I must repent!

We all have things we need to apologize for, and peopleor things that weneed to make amends to as part of our repentance process.We will never complete the process of repentance, unless we first beg forgiveness for those we have sinned against.

In my case, after months of being on bed rest with an injury, and expecting another month or so of bed rest after my surgery, this is my sincere apology to my home. I am not sure I am truly repenting at this time, since for at least a few more weeks, and maybe longer, I will keep committing this particular sin.

Hopefully both my home, and God, will allow me a lengthy process of repentance, parallelling my recovery from surgery!

Please forgive me, for I know what I do, and I can’t change it (this week)! (I truly am a sinner of the worst kind!)

Julia – http://poetrysansonions.blogspot.com/

Here and Gone? A mother thinking ahead…..

I am having surgery tomorrow, on my spine.

Am I scared? Yes.

Do I have faith that it will be okay? Mostly.

Did the blessing I received yesterday help to calm me? Yes.

Does having someone touch, move and work around my spinal cord give me a panic attack if I think about it too deeply? Hell Yeah!

So, I am pretty sure that I will be fine, but there is a chance something could go horribly wrong. So, this is the short letter I wrote to my children. I hope that they won’t have to see it until they are older, as a historical document.

My wonderful children,

I love you so very much! You are what make me smile, even when my body hurts. Your laughs, giggles and happy yelling are the music that fills my soul with hope, love and happiness. From the first moment that I held you in my arms, and smiled at your perfect little body, my heart belonged to you. As more children were added toour family, my heart was not split, it simply grew to love all of you more. I never knew that my heart could be this big. You have made me a bigger and better person, as I love you more each day.

I know, that you know, how much I love you. You are all such special children, with bright and lovely spirits. Your love for me and each other will never stop, no matter what happens in our lives. If something happens when I have my surgery tomorrow, it will not change how I feel about you. I will always love you, need you, and will always be there from you, whenever I can. Heavenly Father loves all of us, and whatever happens, I know He will watch over me and all of you!

I hope you never have to see this until you are much older, because my surgery went well and was a simple matter of getting better quickly. Ifsomething elsehappens, I will never stop loving you. I know that you will all become adults and parents who will make me proud.

All my love,

Momma

Julia http://poetrysansonions.blogspot.com/

 

Why do you blog? How do you choose what to include, or focus on?

(This is part of a post that is on my personal blog. To see the entire post you can go to http://poetrysansonions.blogspot.com/2012/07/why-do-i-blog-why-do-you.html)

When I startedmy currentblog, there was a lot of”legal “crap” going on in my life, thatlasted over a year, beforea judge finally dismissed the case for lack of evidence. My lawyers didn’t want me to continue posting to my previous blog(s) since they were coming under a lot of scrutiny. However, since I didn’t have anything to hide, they didn’t want me to delete those blogs either.

For a while I didn’t blog at all. I read and commented on other people’s blogs, but didn’t post anything.

It drove me nuts.

I wanted to stop having my only real creative talent, writing, to be bottled up on my hard drive, with no way to share it. The compromise, with my lawyers, was to create a poetry blog that did not focus on specific aspects of my life. So, initially it was about finding a way to be me, but not the me that was being attacked.

As the legal stuff calmed down, and then was dismissed, I considered going back to my original blog. Emotionally I didn’t want to go backwards, and that desire to go forward, but cautiously, is what inspired the “My New Favorite Blogs” series.

The contests came from several conversations with several people, about how sad it is that personal blogs get so much less attention than group blogs. Lots of people know and read larger blogs like BCC, Cake Wrecks, or Wheat and Tares.

As I started looking around even more, I felt even more strongly that while there are blogging communities that are successful, there are very few personal blogs that have large followings. My goal was not to make a blog with a large following, but to have fewer bloggers who have very few or no comments left on their blog(s).

Pintrest seems to have made this even more common. Even personal blogs that have lots of followers are getting more hits from Pinterest, but fewer comments. While comments aren’t everything, they do help personal bloggers keep motivated to move forward when they are frustrated, or lonely.

While my contests don’t have huge prizes, and don’t always have a lot of entries, they all focus on expanding the number of blogs that readers are exposed to, and/or giving incentives to people sharing a little slice of who they have been, are, or want to be.

If nothing else, having that focus has pushed me to spend time finding new blogs and meeting new people. Almost all of my “guest bloggers” are people who have personal blogs that I have connected with. I wouldn’t have found them if I had spent a lot of time lurking before I jumped in and commented, which was what I used to do a lot of. I realized that if comments on MY blog meant a lot to me, that most people probably felt the same way!

Does that make sense?

Why did I choose to have guest bloggers write on my blog, instead of just letting everyone know
I was going to be gone having surgery, and I wouldn’t be blogging until I felt better?

I wanted to have guest bloggers while I am “taking a break” for two reasons. First, I am hoping that I will get some different perspectives,(which certainly is ending up being the case)since a lot of the blogs and bloggers I have found, and connected to, are very diverse. I want to have that diversity evident, because I think that it helps everyone, to hear new voices, that may be outside their immediate comfort zone.

The second reason is that I had time to plan ahead, and I don’t want my blog to go “dark” for a week or more. If I had an unexpected emergency, not having any posts would make sense. Several bloggers I know have left a post that essentially says, this is happening all of the sudden, so I won’t be able to blog for a while. While I won’t be able to blog, I do have the time to set up interesting things for me, and my readers to learn about.

I am not super smart about how blogs work, but recently I figured out how to find out, how many people have me on an RSS feed, who follow me privately, and who have my posts emailed to them when a new post goes up. Since I only have five official followers, I was really surprised that when you include those other forms of “following” the blog, I have almost 90 additional people who have signed up, in some way, to hear what I have to say. With each contest I hope to engage those readresa little more, and maybe they will take the challenge to find and listen to other view points. I also hope that new people will be interested in what I and my guest bloggers have to say! I guess I see guest posts as another way to do that.

If you are interested in seeing how the Guest Posting is going, feel free to check out my blog over the next two weeks. A fwe posts I wrote ahead of time, but most of them are posts with unique perspectives, and while you may know some of the authors, you may be surprised at some of the things they wrote for my blog, since it didn’t realy fit with the theme of their blog! So, stop on by http://poetrysansonions.blogspot.com/, and answer these questions here in the comments section!

Why do you blog?

Do you like finding new blogs, or do you find yourself staying to the same several blogs?

Do you add more bogs to your blog roll, if you have one? How often do you add new blogs?

What do you hope people learn about you when you blog or comment?

I know they are deep questions, but you guys are smart! So, let’s hear it!

Julia – poetrysansonions.blogspot.com