Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.”
My blog turns five years old on New Year’s Eve. When I look back on that first post, Follow the Yellow Brick Road, I wonder: how on earth did I make it this far?
Before I started blogging, I wondered what the point would be in it. I used to liken it to shouting into a void, and where was the fun in that? And at first, that’s exactly what it was. With only a handful of followers, getting a like or two – or, wow, is that a comment??? – was all the encouragement I needed to post another photo, or a poem, or a thought about something.
Consistency is everything, as many of my blogger friends will tell you. Showing up and putting in the time and energy is what draws more followers, likes and comments. It is what brings the lovely reward of connection with other like-minded people, as well as with those who walk an entirely different path.
So much can happen in the span of five years. When I reflect on my life as shared through this blog, certain events stand out. I remember the highs – cherished moments with friends and loved ones (which strengthened those relationships), travel to new destinations near and far, and the fulfillment of two novels written; and the lows – first and foremost, the loss of my beloved mother to Alzheimer’s disease, as well as other sad good-byes, personal disappointments and health afflictions. For me, keeping a blog is also a form of testimonial to my ongoing gratitude, as a way to pay homage to the priceless gifts that life has granted me.
Today, I can’t picture my life without blogging. I know I’ve said this on earlier blog anniversaries, but it still holds true. When life gets hectic or throws me a curveball, I admit to moments that hint of burnout, but those times have thankfully been few.
I hope Jennifer’s Journal lives on for a few years yet. Why? Because, as an introvert, I have been enriched and inspired by all the incredible people I’ve met here. You’ve added another meaningful dimension to my days, and I want to keep you around, in 2017 and beyond!
How long have you been blogging?
Have you found the connections you’ve made rewarding?
What comes to your mind when you hear the word connected? For some, the word may conjure a mental image of all the gadgets we have, like our smart phones, computers, etc. that allow us to stay accessible and up-to-date in the digital world. Or it may make you think of being well-connected, in that you have successfully networked with the right people who can further your career or your mission in life.
The most meaningful connections for me, as they are for most, are the ones I make with people in person, especially one-on-one. These attachments are unique and irreplaceable. You know who you are<3. But as much as I treasure the relationships in my personal life, there is a lot to be said for the virtual connections I have made with other bloggers over the past three to four years.
Living in a remote or rural area can make it difficult to find like-minded souls, especially in the writing arena. The blogosphere has been instrumental in solving that dilemma for me. The advice and the inspiration I have received from other bloggers has been nothing short of extraordinary since I started Jennifer’s Journal. A huge thanks to every one of you that I follow. Whether your blog shares writing, art, or photography, I am grateful to have met you through the internet.
Kath Unsworth of Minuscule Moments of Inspirationis one such blogger. Not only does Kath pursue the craft of writing, she is also a gifted artist. Her creativity and dedication to her artistic endeavors have influenced my own aspirations much more than she probably realizes. And because of the internet, it is no matter that she lives on a farm in Australia. Well, actually it does matter; her location adds even more intrigue for me. 🙂
I was lucky enough to win a contest Kath held last year, where my name was drawn to receive a free pet portrait. Here is the result:
This summer, I was moved to acquire one of Kath’s original, highly affordable works of art from her newly opened Etsy shop, ScratchyBirdDesigns. Her love of birds speaks to me, so much so I had to have one of them adorning my wall. (Vivian is in my living-room, Willy Wagtail is in my kitchen-dining room.) Isn’t he beautiful?
I also purchased her delightful fridge magnet (its slogan fits me to a tee):
Like me, Kath understands the value of virtual connection. You can read about it in her blog post here: