The things I’ve thought and will now do

During my recent, longer-than-expected absence from the virtual world I’ve been keeping busy in an idle kind of way. For those who are curious, my time can be briefly summarised as being spent enjoying a mix of wandering and pondering, thinking and drinking, scheming and dreaming.
One thought that has occupied some of my attention is the way I interact with people online and how that differs from my real-life communications. I feel very, very fortunate to have met or spoken to the wonderful people that I’ve stumbled across or who have found me through this blog or through Twitter (and I’ve missed you all in recent weeks).
I know that online communications often encourage superficial, casual interactions and certainly the random, spontaneous engagements I’ve had with all manner of people I would not normally encounter has often been  interesting, and sometimes more than just a little inspirational. However, if I’m to be true to myself (and that’s probably a very good thing to be), I have to admit that developing casual relationships with an ever-growing number of acquaintances is not really my style. That is a philosophy which holds true to both my real life and on line self, but perhaps a philosophy that I have not been applying all that consistently.
I would much prefer to have a meaningful conversation with three people with whom I share common interests or a common footing, rather than a meaningless or frustrating conversation with two hundred people who I share little or nothing in common with. The rule of quality over quantity definitely applies, and perhaps becomes even more relevant as each year passes by.
I thoroughly enjoy the thoughts, laughter, feelings and words that I’ve shared over the years with readers of this blog both here and in your own virtual home – and this is something that I will continue to cherish in the years to come as something very special.
Twitter has also been a really fun and fascinating environment which has allowed me to meet another bunch of truly wonderful people. However, somewhere along the way a nagging thought has been slowly and steadily growing, a feeling that as I follow more and more people, and have more and more people follow me that I’m losing my ability to talk in a meaningful way with those people with whom I share a real connection. I feel that I’ve gradually been diluting myself and my attention – spreading myself too thin, until reaching a point where all my communications felt like they may have become meaningless. This is not who I am, and certainly not who I want to seem to be online.
So I’ve come to a Jerry Maguire moment (a film which for some reason resonates strongly and gives me much to reflect on). While the words of Jerry’s mission statement relate directly to the business of sports management, I have always felt there is a much wider relevance, particularly in light of my recent reflections…  ‘The answer is fewer clients. Less dancing. More truth. We must crack open the tightly clenched fist of commerce and give a little back for the greater good. Eventually revenues will be the same, and that goodness will be infectious. We will have taken our number oneness and turned it into something greater. And eventually smaller will become bigger, in every way, and especially in our hearts.
Let us be honest with ourselves.
Let us be honest with them.
Forget the dance. Focus’…
It would probably be much easier to just insert the entire mission statement here and have those words much more eloquently communicate exactly what it is that I am struggling to express. I suppose what I am really trying to say is that I want something more than just to collect more and more followers, friends or acquaintances. I want to have something deeper than simply having a huge number of people to virtually interact with or to feel validated about the person that I am by ‘talking at’ or being ‘listened’ to by a huge number of people. The reality of the situation is that the vast majority of these people are probably not listening to me and will probably never be interested in engaging with me in any personal way. I’m not wishing this to sound like a complaint or a whinge, simply to say that people develop online relationships in different ways and with different purposes. What works for one person will not necessarily work for me.
I also don’t want this to sound all serious, doom-and-gloom, and over-analytical. It’s not as if I want every conversation to be deep and meaningful, all I hope for is that the interactions I have with people online are able to be more personal than impersonal. Recently I’ve felt that I’ve muddied the waters of my followers with people that I follow simply for the sake of following rather than with the intent of pursuing interesting or meaningful conversation. This has meant that I’ve no doubt missed out on many opportunities to better engage with those people that I want to know more of or share more with. My Twitter feed had become too voluminous and too unmanageable, so I found that rather than catching up with what people were up to and what they were thinking I was having to just scroll over the surface and give their words nothing more than a cursory glance. And that brings me to the subject of another thought that I’ve been reflecting on – the expectation, or rather, the pressure to be predictable and one-dimensional in an online world.
This is something that I’ve particularly found true of myself on Twitter and to a lesser extent on my blog. I do not have a singular focus or interest in my life. In other words I am not particularly obsessed or focussed on any one aspect or any one thing, but I’ve felt a pressure to represent myself as a person who is always one way or another – never a combination of many things. Perhaps being a generalist rather than a specialist is not a good way to be, but it certainly is a reality for me. I used to worry about my lack of a consistent theme or subject on my blog, as everyone will tell you that it is important for readers to be able to ‘expect the expected’. Perhaps my absences from the blog from time to time can be blamed to some degree on this concern that my words are too random and the things I write about are too unrelated to any central idea. I have slowly come to realise though that I do have a theme on QuietPaws – a theme of whatever interests me at any given time. Sometimes I want to reflect on my place in the world, sometimes I want to talk about movies or books that I’ve enjoyed, other times it feels like enough to just share a photograph. I aim for consistency in my inconsistency.
However this tendency towards broad interests has caused me some regret. For instance, I met some fantastically talented writers and artists on Twitter who I really enjoyed talking to, but pretty soon I think they discovered that I do not (and cannot) just tweet beautiful words about the world around me. I indulge in all other kinds of other conversations with myself and with others about all manner of fripperies, trivialities and passing distractions. And so for this reason or perhaps for a whole host of reasons they chose to unfollow me. I was sad to lose these people as followers and subsequently became a little self-conscious about what I was tweeting about. I’ve since come to the realisation that much as I would like to be a certain kind of person with a certain kind of narrow focus, the reality is that I am not. There is too much in this world that holds my interest to limit my verbal and written communications to a select one or two topics of conversation.
Perhaps you’d like further examples, perhaps not. For those that are interested in what I mean or who I am, here is a brief introduction to my multi-dimensional self:
I like to write. I like to read. I like animals of all kinds. I don’t eat meat. I like shopping for pretty things. I like buying books. I like wearing dresses. I like the fashion of the 1920s, 1950s and 1960s. I like The Beatles. My favourite Beatles member alternates between John Lennon and George Harrison. I would like to know what the world would be like with John Lennon still in it. I like new music and old music. I like the charm of Robbie Williams. I like to have a clean home, but accept that my home may not always be tidy. I like plants. I like shoes. I’d like to own more pairs of high heels but worry that I can’t walk all that well in them. I like the sound that typewriters make, especially if each key requires a bit of pressure to reach the paper. I have started to buy less CDs and more digital music. I like rabbits and woodland creatures. I seem to be building a collection of white animals statues. I find wolves appealing in some way. I love the way that art challenges me, moves me, and connects with me. I would love to have a well-worn French accent by the time I’m fifty. The thought of getting older terrifies me. I’d like to be less materialistic and more minimalistic, but seem to be losing the battle at present. Medical problems related to the nose and teeth tend to freak me out. I cry when I laugh, which can be embarrassing and frustrating (especially if I’m wearing makeup). I don’t wear makeup all that often, but would like to wear it more often. I think that Anjelica Huston is incredibly beautiful. The first book I read cover-to-cover in one sitting was Pinquo by Colin Thiele (and I cried, a lot). I like to wave hello to horses. I would love someone to sponsor me to travel the world and be inspired. I like secondhand furniture with character. I can’t stand to see people litter or be cruel to other living things in any way. I have recycled for many years. I think if I was to be an alien, I would most likely be an empath. I struggle to contain my emotion if I can see someone else is upset – if they cry, I’ll probably cry too. I often feel that maybe I’m too emotional or too soft. Other times I feel I should share my emotions more. I like the sound of rain falling on corrugated rooves. I like being fit and love to run. I used to love getting home from school to a freshly baked chocolate cake. I like to change my hairstyles quite often. I never feel like I get enough sleep. I think Emma Thompson is amazingly talented. I like some tattoos, but not others. I would like to make a difference in the world. I think my husband is amazing but may not tell him that often enough. I love the writing of Paul Auster, Truman Capote, Joan Didion and the words of Carson McCullers in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. I can obsess over something for ages, and then when that particular opportunity presents itself I can lose interest. I find Nicolas Cage’s new teeth incredibly distracting. I haven’t quite made up my mind about how I feel about writer’s festivals. Sometimes I get really angry. I like the way that grass feels underfoot. If I don’t care about what I’m doing, I disengage completely. I would like to live somewhere cold, particularly if I could escape the 9 to 5 day job. I like to read philosophy, but feel like I need to dedicate more time to it to really think and understand it. When I was young I thought I might grow up to be either a ballerina or a veterinarian…and so on.
So where has all this thought taken me? Firstly, it has brought me back to the blog with a renewed level of commitment and enthusiasm. Secondly, it has made me aware that I need to change the way that I’ve been using Twitter and other online networks. Both of these directions forward leave me feeling liberated and refreshed. All that remains is for me to thank you dear reader, for indulging me as I’ve worked my way through this overly convoluted thought process. Hopefully I haven’t succeeded in boring you senseless, and if that’s the case I hope you shall return for another visit soon so that we can discuss something extremely important or something which may seem very insignificant in a meaningful way.

During my recent, longer-than-expected absence from the virtual world I’ve been keeping busy in an idle kind of way. For those who are curious, my time can be briefly summarised as being spent enjoying a mix of wandering and pondering, thinking and drinking, scheming and dreaming.

One thought that has occupied some of my attention is the way I interact with people online and how that differs from my real-life communications. I feel very, very fortunate to have met or spoken to the wonderful people that I’ve stumbled across or who have found me through this blog or through Twitter (and I’ve missed you all in recent weeks).

I know that online communications often encourage superficial, casual interactions and certainly the random, spontaneous engagements I’ve had with all manner of people I would not normally encounter has often been  interesting, and sometimes more than just a little inspirational. However, if I’m to be true to myself (and that’s probably a very good thing to be), I have to admit that developing casual relationships with an ever-growing number of acquaintances is not really my style. That is a philosophy which holds true to both my real life and online self, but perhaps a philosophy that I have not been applying all that consistently.

I would much prefer to have a meaningful conversation with three people with whom I share common interests or a common standing, rather than a meaningless or frustrating conversation with two hundred people who I share little or nothing in common with. The rule of quality over quantity definitely applies, and perhaps becomes even more relevant to me as each year passes by.

I thoroughly enjoy the thoughts, laughter, feelings and words that I’ve shared over the years with readers of this blog both here and in your own virtual homes – and this is something that I will continue to cherish in the years to come as something very special.

Twitter has also been a really fun and fascinating environment which has allowed me to meet another bunch of truly wonderful people. However, somewhere along the way a nagging thought has been slowly and steadily growing, a feeling that as I follow more and more people, and have more and more people follow me that I’m losing my ability to talk in a meaningful way with those people with whom I share a real connection. I feel that I’ve been gradually diluting myself and my attention – spreading myself too thin, until I reached a point where all my communications felt like they may have become meaningless. This is not who I am, and certainly not who I want to seem to be online.

So I’ve come to a Jerry Maguire moment (a film which for some reason resonates strongly and gives me much to reflect on). While the words of Jerry’s mission statement relate directly to the business of sports management, I have always felt there is a much wider relevance, particularly in light of my recent reflections…

‘The answer is fewer clients. Less dancing. More truth. We must crack open the tightly clenched fist of commerce and give a little back for the greater good. Eventually revenues will be the same, and that goodness will be infectious. We will have taken our number oneness and turned it into something greater. And eventually smaller will become bigger, in every way, and especially in our hearts.

Let us be honest with ourselves.

Let us be honest with them.

Forget the dance. Focus…’

It would probably be much easier to just insert the entire mission statement here and have those words much more eloquently communicate exactly what it is that I am struggling to express. I suppose what I am really trying to say is that I want something more than just to collect more and more followers, friends or acquaintances. I want to have something deeper than simply having a huge number of people to virtually interact with or to feel validated about the person that I am by ‘talking at’ or being ‘listened’ to by a huge number of people. The reality of the situation is that the vast majority of these people are probably not listening to me and will probably never be interested in engaging with me in any personal way. I’m not wishing this to sound like a complaint or a plea for attention, simply to say that people develop online relationships in different ways and with different purposes. What works for one person will not necessarily work for me.

I also don’t want this to sound all serious, doom-and-gloom, and overly-analytical. It’s not as if I want every conversation to be deep and meaningful, all I hope for is that the interactions I have with people online are able to be more personal than impersonal. Recently I’ve felt that I’ve muddied the waters of my followers with people that I follow simply for the sake of following rather than with the intent of pursuing interesting or meaningful conversation. This has meant that I’ve no doubt missed out on many opportunities to better engage with those people that I want to know more of or share more with. My Twitter feed had become too voluminous and too unmanageable, so I found that rather than catching up with what people were up to and what they were thinking I was having to just scroll over the surface and give their words nothing more than a cursory glance. And that brings me to the subject of another thought that I’ve been reflecting on – the expectation, or rather, the pressure to be predictable and one-dimensional in an online world.

This is something that I’ve particularly found true of myself on Twitter and to a lesser extent on my blog. I do not have a singular focus or interest in my life. In other words I am not particularly obsessed or focussed on any one aspect or any one thing, but I’ve felt a pressure to represent myself as a person who is always one way or another – never a combination of many things. Perhaps being a generalist rather than a specialist is not a good way to be, but it certainly is a reality for me.

I used to worry about my lack of a consistent theme or subject on my blog, as many people will tell you that it is important for readers to be able to ‘expect the expected’. Perhaps my absences from the blog from time to time can be blamed to some degree on this concern that my words are too random and the things I write about are too unrelated to any one central idea. I have slowly come to realise that I do in fact have a theme on QuietPaws – a theme of whatever interests me at any given time. Sometimes I want to reflect on my place in the world, sometimes I want to talk about movies or books that I’ve enjoyed, other times it feels like enough to just share a photograph. I aim for consistency in my inconsistency.

However this tendency towards broad interests has caused me some regret. For instance, I met some fantastically talented writers and artists on Twitter who I really enjoyed talking to, but pretty soon I think they discovered that I do not (and cannot) just tweet beautiful words about the world around me. I indulge in all other kinds of conversations with myself and with others about all manner of fripperies, trivialities and passing distractions. And so for this reason or perhaps for a whole host of reasons they chose to unfollow me. I was sad to lose these people as followers and subsequently became a little self-conscious about what I was tweeting about. I’ve since come to the realisation that much as I would like to be a certain kind of person with a certain kind of narrow focus, the reality is that I am not. There is too much in this world that holds my interest to limit my verbal and written communications to a select one or two topics of conversation.

Perhaps you’d like further examples, perhaps not. For those that are interested in what I mean or who I am, here is a brief introduction to my multi-dimensional self:

I like to write. I like to read. I like animals of all kinds. I don’t eat meat. I like shopping for pretty things. I like buying books. I like wearing dresses. I like the fashion of the 1920s, 1950s and 1960s. I like The Beatles. My favourite Beatles member alternates between John Lennon and George Harrison. I would like to know what the world would be like with John Lennon still in it. I like new music and old music. I like the charm of Robbie Williams. I like to have a clean home, but accept that my home may not always be tidy. I like plants. I like shoes. I’d like to own more pairs of high heels but worry that I can’t walk all that well in them. I like the sound that typewriters make, especially if each key requires a bit of pressure to reach the paper. I have started to buy fewer CDs and more digital music. I like rabbits and woodland creatures. I seem to be building a collection of small white animal statues. I find wolves appealing in some way (not in a tacky, mystical way). I love the way that art challenges me, moves me, and connects with me. I would love to have a well-worn French accent by the time I’m fifty. The thought of getting older terrifies me. I’d like to be less materialistic and more minimalistic, but seem to be losing the battle at present. Medical problems related to the nose and teeth tend to freak me out. I cry when I laugh, which can be embarrassing and frustrating (especially if I’m wearing makeup). I don’t wear makeup all that often, but would like to wear it more often. I think that Anjelica Huston is incredibly beautiful. The first book I read cover-to-cover in one sitting was Pinquo by Colin Thiele (and I cried, a lot). I like to wave hello to horses. I would love someone to sponsor me to travel the world and be inspired. I like secondhand furniture with character. I can’t stand to see people litter or be cruel to other living things in any way. I have recycled for many years. I think if I was to be an alien, I would most likely be an empath. I struggle to contain my emotion if I see someone else is upset – if they cry, I’ll probably cry too. I often feel that maybe I’m too emotional or too soft. Other times I feel I should share my emotions more. I like the sound of rain falling on a corrugated iron roof. I like being fit and love to run, but I really should run more often. I used to love getting home from school to a freshly baked chocolate cake. I like to change my hairstyles quite often. I never feel like I get enough sleep. I think Emma Thompson is amazingly talented. I like some tattoos, but not others. I would like to make a difference in the world. I think my husband is amazing but may not tell him that often enough. I love the writing of Paul Auster, Truman Capote, Joan Didion and the words of Carson McCullers in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. I can obsess over something for ages, and then when that particular opportunity presents itself I can lose interest. I find Nicolas Cage’s new teeth incredibly distracting. I haven’t quite made up my mind about how I feel about writer’s festivals. Sometimes I get really angry. I like the way that grass feels underfoot. If I don’t care about what I’m doing, I disengage completely. I would like to live somewhere cold, particularly if I could escape the 9 to 5 day job. I like to read philosophy, but feel like I need to dedicate more time to it to really think and understand it. When I was young I thought I might grow up to be either a ballerina or a veterinarian…and so on.

So where has all this thought taken me? Firstly, it has brought me back to the blog with a renewed level of commitment and enthusiasm. Secondly, it has made me aware that I need to change the way that I’ve been using Twitter and other online networks. Both of these directions forward leave me feeling liberated and refreshed.

All that remains is for me to thank you dear reader, for indulging me as I’ve worked my way through this overly convoluted thought process. Hopefully I haven’t succeeded in boring you senseless, and if that’s the case I hope you shall return for another visit soon so that we can discuss something extremely important or something which may seem very insignificant in a meaningful way.

9 Comments

  1. Kimberley

    I want to have something deeper than simply having a huge number of people to virtually interact with or to feel validated about the person that I am by ‘talking at’ or being ‘listened’ to by a huge number of people.

    This is what jumps out at me most right now, and what, emotionally offline – sometimes I react to most. I think I’ve become too attached to that feeling of being ‘listened to’ or ‘read’.. not generally by looking at the number of followers or anything but just by anything I wrote, if *nobody* responds, that silence feels as if its purposeful invisibility, or as if I’m being ignored, and I know.. rationally, logically, that’s not really it. But I tweet like I talk, I type like I talk, and thus I’m really me there, so.. sometimes it does feel like I’m not entertaining enough if I can’t even elicit (sp?) a response.

    I am not particularly obsessed or focussed on any one aspect or any one thing, but I’ve felt a pressure to represent myself as a person who is always one way or another – never a combination of many things.

    Also, this. Wow.. I wish I could write something this eloquent, really. But you’ve hit the nail on the head for so many aspects, and I’m understanding why you needed time away to reflect. Whilst attention is good, sometimes its hard to be judged when I tweet about boys, but then oh, wait, I can tweet about world affairs, or oh! I know about sports too. Sometimes it can be so limiting to try and think of entertaining 140 character things in order to be noticed, and to try to be TRUE, even though the dreaded ‘unfollowing’ can occur.

    Anyway, I’m not sure if my commenting will have an ‘end’ point or anything, I just want to say this post, well.. everything you’ve reflected on, I relate to immensely. Each time I try to take a couple of days away from Twitter, well its been good but at the same time, then I feel juvenile for thinking that anyone would even notice I’m not there. Or maybe its even more attention seeking to say, I’m taking time away. Can’t win!

    Thankyou for sharing, Tracey. 🙂
    .-= Kimberley´s last blog ..Mouth watering American icon coming to Australia.. =-.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Kimberley – I’m SO very glad that you were able to find some common connections within this very long reflection on virtual socialising etc, etc. When I began writing this piece I wasn’t exactly sure just where I’d actually end up. It felt like I had been reflecting on a lot of these thoughts for a very long time, and once I finally put pen to paper (or in this case, put fingers to keyboard), the words and feelings just flowed.

      I know *exactly* what you mean about applying your offline responses to how you react to different actions online – for instance, when someone doesn’t respond to something you write, or to a comment you direct towards someone in particular, it can feel like a personal insult… like people are purposely ignoring you… I’ve certainly found myself doing EXACTLY the same thing. I think all you can do is to just be happy in being yourself, and if someone wants to engage, then that’s awesome – if not, the reason they don’t respond can be for any number of reasons. I know I’ve loved some people’s tweets, but haven’t responded to them because I really had nothing to add. Well nothing to add apart from to say something like, ‘You’re awesome!’ … sometimes such a comment feels less insightful or appropriate than just saying nothing at all… So I can certainly relate to where you’re coming from…

      I think the ‘open’ nature of Twitter can be a strange thing to adjust to, particularly for people like us who are ‘into’ a WHOLE lot of different things. Sometimes I just want to talk about something stupid, or something ultimately meaningless – yet other times I want to reflect on something really important. I hate feeling like I can’t be a multi-faceted person, or feeling like I should try to censor what I say because ‘some people’ may not like it. I have to just ‘get over it’ and hope that people just accept rather than judge. I have certainly experienced such judgement first-hand on Twitter, and it has left me feeling a little hurt at first. I think though the time away to think and reflect has certainly helped me want to be just more like me, rather than who I think people want me to be. Let’s be multi-dimensional people together!! 8)

      I know I’ve already said it, but I really want to let you know how much it means for you to read through this (admittedly very long) post and then go to the trouble of leaving a very thoughtful comment – honestly it means A LOT!! 8)

      It’s such a modern day problem isn’t it? This struggling to find who you are within both an offline and an online world… but it’s nice to know that there are others who struggle with the same kinds of thoughts… perhaps there is comfort to be found from just knowing that we aren’t alone…

  2. Caf

    Hey Tracey,
    Nice to have you back! I relate enormously to what you’ve written here. When I first started networking online…back in the myspace days when facebook was emerging and Twitter was just a little horizon twinkle, it felt like the whole point was to gain as many friends as possible and that the more popular you were, the more validated as a person. Over time I’ve come to realise that it’s not worth putting effort into any relationships I don’t get anything out of. I would rather know a few people properly than a lot of people in just passing conversation. The way I’ve used Twitter has changed a few times…initially I was just connecting with actual friends, then came the locals, the live tv tweeting and the random influx of Tweeters as the site became popular. I ended up feeling spread a little too thin also. Now I’m much more particular about who I follow, I only follow those who keep me interested and are reciprocal or provide some sort of news/service that I’m interested in. I don’t follow people anymore because I am worried they will unfollow me, frankly, if they weren’t keeping me interested then I’m probably not going to notice their absence…who cares what the number under ‘Followers’ on my profile says? It’s hard not to care, there’s something powerful about that little number, but I’m mostly there and definitely enjoying the Tweeting experience more for it.

    As far as blogging, I wish more people would write personal blogs that change with their interests, I find them far more interesting than the predictable ones! WIth the addition of RSS readers to blogging, there’s less need to be regular as anyone who cares about updates will subscribe and receive them no matter when they come in. I tried a few angles with my blog at first, too, and ended up deciding the only way I could keep it going without it feeling like a job would be to keep it personal and not worry if one day I was blogging about painting, or crafting or whatever my latest fad has been. My blog is mostly for me, I’m more interested in communicating with those who actually know me, or are interested in getting to know me, than those just trying to get clicks back to their own work.

    So I’ll be looking forward to more posts, on whatever you care to write about, whenever you care to do it ;D

    Caf xx
    .-= Caf´s last blog ..Coping With Heartfelt Happiness That’s Laced With Envy =-.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Caf! It’s really nice to be back to the land of the blog and of course Twitter!! And it’s especially nice to be welcomed back with such lovely words as yours… 8)

      I was just the same as you when I first dipped my toe into the online networking world. It was ALL about the numbers – followers, friends, blog visitors… whatever it may be, all I wanted was MORE! It’s incredible how my attitude has pretty much done a complete turnabout. I guess that’s just due to getting a few years older, getting more comfortable in the online world, and just learning more about the different online networking opportunities that have evolved and been developed in recent years. Now I definitely am more focussed on real engagements, connections and conversations with people that are or at least seem to be on a similar wavelength.

      Meeting the many wonderful people (like yourself) through the blog and through places like Twitter had been absolutely incredible, and I wouldn’t change that for the world!! I think I just had to eventually come to a turning point about what I wanted to get out of such networking opportunities… and I suppose it seems that turning point came sooner rather than later.

      I agree with you about wanting to see more personal blogs, I also think they tend to be the most interesting blogs to visit. There’s always something different to see – it’s a lovely way to gradually learn all sorts of interesting (and sometimes unexpected) things about other people.

      That’s true about RSS feeds – it makes things much easier to just subscribe to people’s blogs that you enjoy and then know whenever they may update next. It’s nice to know that you do that as well – there’s always a core group of online people / blogs that I always catch up on regardless of what I’ve been up to, or how long I’ve been away.

      Your blog is wonderful! I love the layout, your words and in particular your honest, eloquent writing (I’ll come by and visit you there properly SOON). I think all that we can ever hope to achieve is to be true to ourselves and most of all ENJOY WHAT WE WRITE – (sometimes I forget to do that!).

      I like how you say that your blog is mostly for you… that’s so true – I think the same can be said of me. It’s almost like keeping a diary of sorts… and it can be really enjoyable to go back and look at older posts. I often learn more about myself when I do so.

      Once again, thanks so much for your visit and for your insightful and reflective words! 😀

  3. Ricardo

    Yeah these things like twitter and such always come with a catch 22. People forget the substance and think quantity prevails. Quantity in that people think real interaction is racking up 1000 followers. I’d rather have a handful that care than a bunch of people who come and go and stay on the level of superficial.

    I too have been hammered by so called blogging experts who claimed my blog would fail because I have no “theme.” Basically they said I have to focus on one topic and just hammer away on that but isn’t a blog a online diary of sorts? I am the theme of mine, you are the theme of yours and with that comes an array of topics and if there are those who don’t like it, they can leave. I would rather eat saw dust than write endlessly about one topic. Even if the topic was sex. Yes, hard to believe but true.

    All of the elements save for the love story in the film Jerry Maguire still hit home with me. It really had so many great aspects to it but I felt the love story was hackneyed. But a good film none the less.
    .-= Ricardo´s last blog ..Happy Halloween =-.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Ricardo – So glad you have a similar take on pursuing quality interactions rather than being concerned so much with the quantity of interactions we have with people (whether that is online or in real life). I think sometimes that while it can be very flattering to the ego to have lots and lots of followers / readers etc, in the end it isn’t very satisfying if those people don’t really care about us or what we have to say.

      It seems that a lot of bloggers seem to be given the same advice about needing to have a consistent theme or topic. I think if I even tried to do that, I’d bore myself silly. I love how you describe our blog themes as ‘you are the theme of yours’ … I’d much rather read about all sorts of different things than always know exactly what to expect from someone’s blog, and exactly the same thing is true about writing about one theme… I just couldn’t do it, even if that theme was something that normally would capture attention. As they say Ricardo, variety is the spice of life!!

      I agree with you about Jerry Maguire, there are some really important ideas / inspirations in the movie that have stayed with me over the years. The ‘mission statement’ from the film is definitely a great read!!
      8)

  4. Francesca

    Hey Tracey,

    It is lovely to have you back! For my part I’ve always thought of you as a bit of a kindred spirit blogger. I have a little list of people I consider my online friends and you are one of them. That is far more valuable than however many ‘followers’ on twitter I may never really connect with.
    I too worry frequently about whether or not I should pick a theme and stick to it but that just isn’t how I function, at least it isn’t how I function right now. And I love reading blogs (like yours) that explore the world in all its variety and beauty. Keep it up!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Francesca – Thank you so much for your lovely message (it’s nice to be back to the mysterious world of the online … but I think it’s even nicer to be honoured with a visit from you!). I consider you to also be a ‘kindred spirit blogger’, I think we definitely share a similar blogging frame-of-mind and no doubt share many, many things in common in ‘the real world’. I’m so glad you count me amongst your online friends – I feel just the same way about you! 8)

      Sometimes I think it’s easy to lose track of ‘good people’ in environments like twitter, when you can get inundated with lots of lots of updates from people who you don’t really know, don’t really share a connection with, or you suspect don’t particularly care about you. You for one, are someone who I always pay attention to and read with delight!!

      I know what you mean about thinking you should have a constant blog ‘theme’ to write on, but I honestly think that for me just writing about any old thing I think of or experience in my life is where the consistent theme comes in. The content is rarely the same, but I think a common voice can most often be heard beneath the surface.

      Thanks again for your lovely considerate words… they really mean a lot to me!! 😀

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