Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday, wee little blog

A year ago yesterday I read this meme over at Beck's (it was started, I believe, at blogrhet, which appears to no longer be in existence). I had been mostly lurking on Beck's blog for a few months or so, occasionally commenting. I liked her writing style, her insights, her parties for Pentecost and the like. Occasionally I'd peek at another blog, if something in the comments struck me. I had no intention to start blogging. I wondered about the ethics of blogging about your children, and how much they would hate you for it when they were older.

But something about the meme grabbed me. And I started poking around and reading other people's answers to the same meme. And this is what REALLY struck me: Community. And so, mainly in a longing for community, a year ago today I started this wee little blog. I tried several other names, all of which were taken. I landed on Painted Maypole, which wasn't. A blog, and a blogging personality, were born. And here I am, a year later. It amazes me, frankly, that anyone reads me at all. Why on earth do you keep coming back to read my random writings? Most of the bloggers I read and most of the bloggers who read me are Mommy Bloggers (not all, mind you, and I love you all!) And at blogher I'm considered a parent blogger. But I think that less than half my posts are about parenting. I don't know how to describe it, really, which is perhaps why I still have told very few friends and family about it. It's like my dirty little secret. A Blog! Shhh...

Anyhow, in honor of my wee blog's first birthday, I decided to take a stab at the meme that started it all...

1. Go back to first or early post. How would you describe your voice back in those early days?Who were you writing to? What was your sense of audience (if any) back then?

Well, because I started blogging BECAUSE of this meme, I was aware of my "audience," or at least my hoped for audience. I was writing for strangers. Or rather, I was writing for a handful of people whom I had gotten to know through reading their blogs, and wanted to be part of their community. However, as I read my early posts, I can see my sort of stretching and reaching, the hopefulness of finding that community, those links, while also trying to find a voice and a writing style that worked for me.

2. Do you remember when you received your first comment?

Both Beck and the blogger formerly known as BubandPie commented on my first post, which nearly sent me to the moon in a fit of ecstasy. I have tried to follow their example and check out new commenters on my blog quickly, and leave a reciprocal comment, but I'm not always as good about it as I'd like. I do usually manage to do it within a few days.

3. Can you point to a stage where you began to feel that your blog might be part of a conversation? Where you might be part of a larger community of interacting writers?

It's what I always wanted... and I would say I had a few moments of feeling part of the community early on, but for the first few months I felt quite a bit like the person pushing their way into the conversation- like I didn't quite belong, but darn it, I would keep talking and keep trying until I finally felt comfortable. I don't know when it was when I stopped feeling like I was intruding on the cool kids in the cafeteria, but I feel now like I've settled in to this little corner of the blogosphere that I call home, enjoying the company of so many wonderful people, interacting and reading and being together here in this virtual community.

It was interesting for me to go back and reread those first posts. I can see that I have become more comfortable. I would say that my voice changed a bit as I got to know my audience. Not that I changed what I wrote about due to a desire to fit in or get more comments or anything, but that as I got to know you, my readers and friends, that my voice relaxed a bit, and I started to write more like I was writing for friends, and less like I was writing magazine articles for strangers. And that's it, I suppose. I write for me, too, of course, but I write to you, my friends, my blogging community.

Thank you for being part of my blogging community. Thank you for making me glad, a year later, that I started this blog on a crazy whim. Thank you.

42 comments:

imbeingheldhostage said...

Wow, this was a terrific post/idea/story... and echos pretty much how I feel about the whole community thing. Happy One year and congrats!
Oh, and we read your randomness because it's interesting. :-)

thailandchani said...

Well, I'm glad you chose to start the blog. The first thing that struck me was the name which I found intriguing. I'll keep reading because I like your observations on things and appreciate your writing about wholesome values. :)

Amy Y said...

Happy Blog~i~versary!
I'm happy you are here and I got to "meet" you in this community that I have grown to love and appreciate as well.

heather said...

Happy bloggy birthday! I'm going to come back to this meme because my anniversary is in a month!

Kathryn said...

Happy Blogoversary!

I love reading your blog. I love hearing about your auditions, your roles, your directors. I love seeing pictures of the MQ and hearing about the sweet and funny things she does. And I love reading your opinions on "hot topic" issues. You are a very loving, kind and open person, and I think you rock!

MamaGeek said...

Only one year? I wouldn't have guessed! Happy Blogoversary!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Congrats, PM! I'm so glad you got this going.

Kate said...

Congratulations on your year! I had no idea how much this blog thing was going to mean to me when I started, but I sure do like it now.

carrie said...

Happy Birthday to your blog! I can't believe you've only been here a year . . . but I am so very glad that you are.

slouching mom said...

Yes, BlogRhet is dormant right now, isn't it... I think it may be resurrected, but HBM and Joy have been busy making babies and moving across the Atlantic, respectively.

Happy Blogiversary! I can't imagine the blogosphere without your strong and ethical voice.

xo

the dragonfly said...

Happy Bloggy Birthday to yoooooooooou!

(and I feel honored to be one of few "real life" friends who gets to read your blog!)

:)

Beck said...

I'm a little bit overwhelmed, dude. That's such a nice thing to know.
And I must tell you that I am always completely delighted when you comment over at my place. Keep up the good work.

niobe said...

You know how much I hate mushy stuff. But honestly? Your blog is one of my absolute favorites. (shhhhh...don't tell anyone)

Melissa said...

Happy Blog Day!

I started reading you because of the name, too. It was unique and I thought that someone who had such a unique name must be cool. And I was so right!

And Lutheran to boot! :)

Aliki2006 said...

Happy bloggy birthday!

E said...

You give us a peek into the theater world which I love. I am glad you are here. Happy B"day Maypole

Chantal said...

Happy Bloggy Day, one year, honestly I just started reading you a few months ago and I assumed you were a veteran blogger. I will take this opportunity to thank you for the Monday Mission. I LOVE it. Participating and reading. It is hard for me to describe what this mission means to me. Simply put it is allowing me to try something I always wanted to try but never thought I could. And it makes me feel good and I thank YOU! Happy B day PM!

Chantal said...

Happy Bloggy Day, one year, honestly I just started reading you a few months ago and I assumed you were a veteran blogger. I will take this opportunity to thank you for the Monday Mission. I LOVE it. Participating and reading. It is hard for me to describe what this mission means to me. Simply put it is allowing me to try something I always wanted to try but never thought I could. And it makes me feel good and I thank YOU! Happy B day PM!

womaninawindow said...

I find it a little funny that you - who seem so old to me (in the blogi-sense of old) are only one year old. I'm so new...you and the other wonderful bloggers I've met like you, seem like grand ole' sage-like bloggers. I'm just learning in your shadow.
Happy year!

Alpha DogMa said...

Happy paper anniversary, MQ.

I love how your blog is a daily celebration of life. It's positive and balanced and brilliant and amusing. All the things I look for in a blog, except for my own since I tend to vent via blog for the sake of my marriage.

Thanks for the promotional plug over at Mad's, that was a good joke. Good and ribald. Shakespeare would approve.

Chaotic Joy said...

Well I am FLOORED. You actually started blogging after I did (just barely) but I never remember blogging without you as part of it. I just assumed you had been doing it forever. You really did a wonderful job at becoming part of the community. I am kind of in awe actually.

Happy Blogiversary Maypole!

Laski said...

Happy bloggy birthday!!!

BTW, you were one of the very first blogs I read--before I ever started my own blog. I didn't get the whole commenting thing, so I read and read and read before ever commenting.

Once I started my own blog, I was through the moon (I so get that feeling) when you first started visiting and commenting.

Isn't it amazing to think of all those you have touched???

Laski said...

through the moon? how about OVER the mood . . . hmmm...my moon had a whole in it.

JCK said...

Happy Blogoversary, PM! I really enjoy your blog so much and wish I could get here even MORE.

I have a hard time describing my blog as well, for the same reasons you listed. Oh, and speaking of...your google adsense is now showing links to "pole dancing in LA." WHOOO HOOO! :)Now, THAT has everything to do with parenting, dontcha think???

karengberger said...

Happy Blog-i-versary to you! Thank you for readng mine. God bless you.

Family Adventure said...

Happy Birthday! And thank you to you, too :)

Heidi

Bon said...

happy blog birthday (belated!) i actually started reading you when you were very new, then, but didn't realize at all. and the BlogRhet meme - yes, i think we're defunct :) - it was fun to go back and read that.

Mary Beth said...

Happy 1st birthday. I should send a box of animal crackers which is the traditional first birthday cake in my family:) When I first started reading blogs, I thought it was a little intrusive, inserting myself into strangers' lives, but now, it is more of a community. I've gotten advice and support from people I never would have met otherwise. And besides, it's really nice to know that I'm not the only one with a messy yard:)

Mary Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jen said...

i am so glad you are here.

Rima said...

Happy Blogiversary! I'm glad you started the blog, too. You were one of my very first favorite reads when I started blogging myself :)

creative-type dad said...

Happy Blogoversary!!

Looking forward to many more....

Sarcasta-Mom said...

Happy, Happy Blogiversary!!!

I've enjoyed reading your blog and watching it evovle, especially the MOnday Missions. Keep up the goodness!!!

Magpie said...

Happy one year! I'm glad you're doing it.

Mary G said...

Huge congratulations! Happy blog birthday.
I think your posts are interesting because they are diverse and because your writing is unforced and natural.
running the Monday Missions is a huge job and many, many thanks for doing it.
Regarding BlogRhet, I hope it isn't gone for good. We need new leaders for it, that's for sure, as the wonderful pair who started it have run out of time and everything. We'll have to see, maybe in the fall.
Hugs!!!

Emily said...

Happy Blogiversary!

How fitting that I have hopped over here from Beck's.

She mentioned over at her place that history has given some things (in her case a song) a pass. I am hoping that history will give us blogging mothers a pass when we write about our children. The community we have discovered/created is priceless.

Don Mills Diva said...

Happy blogiversary!

So glad you're part of the community.

nomotherearth said...

Happy Blogiversary! It's so nice to find a kindred dramatic spirit out there..

thirtysomething said...

Hey Lady! You and I began blogging within a week or so of each other I think. You have definitely invested WAY more than I have into your blog and it totally shows.

Your blog is a deeply respected, frequently visited member of Blogworld. I am here often, though I rarely comment. Your energy is contagious, your humor has me LOL often and I truly enjoy your insight.
Happy Blogiversary Painted Maypole! Here is to another great and inspiring year!

wheelsonthebus said...

Happy blogiversary. For some reason, I thought you were blogging BEFORE me. I feel like we have been reading each other from the start, a gift for which I am deeply honored.

ewe are here said...

Happy Blogoversary!

It might have started out as a crazy whim, but I think your blog has been absolutely brilliant.

May your second year be even more brilliant.

Mad said...

I'm just doing a bit of back-reading now b/c I was out of commission for a wee bit there. It's funny but as I was reading this I thought, "it's almost a year to the day when I quit blogging...(for two and a half weeks)." I'm so glad I came back to it b/c, as I recall, we discovered each other quite early on last summer and I've certainly benefited immensely from your acquaintance.

Happy belated blogiversary.