Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blessed* Blog

Congratulation, Karen G!

“Follow me, don’t follow me…

We are agents of the free

I’ve had my fun and now it’s time to…”

-Berry, William; Buck, Peter; Mills, Mike; Stipe, Michael. Song “Orange Crush” REM

I blog for two main reasons:

1) It gives me an outlet to vent about these subs jobs, which makes the work more fulfilling (Read: keeps me sane).

2) Reaching out to teachers and writers makes me part of a larger community

The blogging community has been more of an asset than I ever could’ve imagined. Family, friends, parents, teachers, writers, and a few others have become followers and commenters. When I started my blog, I was worried that it wouldn’t appeal to anyone. Would teachers want to read about writing days? Would writers want to read about teaching days? Would anyone besides my family want to read the “domestic” posts? Would anyone want to read any of it?

Before I began my blog, I thought each one was about a particular subject. What I’ve found is that most are a hybrid. There are some more businesslike blogs, which exclusively dish out advice. But many touch on family, friends, and life in general. So, I wasn’t being so radical after all.

I have, along with others, struggled with blog etiquette. It's too much to officially follow every follower I have. (And some of your blogs don’t show up on Blogger profile. You should fix that so readers can easily find you.) I have a bunch of terrific blogs listed on my blogroll and profile. If someone comments on my post, I make sure to comment on one of his or her posts. And if someone follows me, I try to check out and comment on his or her blog about once a week. Being a blogger is becoming a lot of work!

This time commitment is one of the reasons that I started my morning writing routine for the days that I don’t have a sub job**. It’s easy to make time to read a blog and comment; it’s more difficult to devote an hour or two to writing and editing a post (along with finding a fabulous comment to go with it), but it takes a block of uninterrupted time to write fiction. If I sacrifice my creativity, then it defeats part of the purpose of the blog.

I find myself relying more on my blogging community for advice, encouragement, and camaraderie. So, readers, and especially, commenters – THANK YOU! As my follower list grows, I want to give back. How about a contest?

I’m giving away a $25 gift certificate for, which should be good just about anywhere. If you win, but it’s not good where you live, we’ll work out something else. It also should be a good prize for just about anyone who follows my blog.

Now, I don’t want to make you jump through hoops to win this thing. It’s not like I’m offering an agent critique (If only I were BFF’s with any agents). But I do want my readers to meet one another. Here are my rules:

1) Become a follower (1 point) or already be a follower (2 points)

2) Make two comments on two followers’ and/or commenters' blogs (2 points)

3) Find one new blog from my followers’/commenters' list to follow (2 points)

4) Place a comment on this post to let me know which blogs you commented on and which one you decided to follow

That’s not too bad for a chance to get a gift certificate, is it? Contest ends 03/21.

I have a great idea for the next contest. I’ll post that information if and when my readership reaches 100 followers.

* Meaning bringing happiness or good luck. I haven’t received any blessing from God or The Pope (That I know about).

** Post about writing time:


  1. What a fun idea! It's like Nicola Morgan's birthday party, which is how I found you and a whole lot of other fantastic blogs! I will happily enter, even without the prize although that's pretty cool, too! I was actually thinking of doing something similar because I'm approaching 100 followers, but I hadn't figured anything out yet. Anyway, this is a great idea, and I will have fun discovering & following some of your blogging friends!

  2. Cool contest. I had one like this not too long ago to give back to my followers, too. :) I started following your blog because you are a sub (+2). I teach high school, so I was interested in what you had to say.

    I've started following Flutey Words, Susan Fields, and The Ethos. The Logos. The Pathos. on your list (+2) and have commented on each of them several times (+2).

  3. I worry about the same things on my blog: I have two subjects that I blog about and they are very different: flute and writing. But so far, the other writers don't seem to mind my flutey stories, and the flutists don't seem to mind reading about my writing journey.

    I love reading about your sub jobs because my husband is an elementary school teacher, so I can understand a lot of what you go through and it's great for me to see the other side of things.

  4. Back again! I'm now following Elana & Theressa (the waffle blog). And I made my comments. Yay!! I hope I win!

  5. What a nice gesture Theresa! You post on mine but my blog isn't on your list. I will have to check some of these others out.

  6. Karen G, I remember connecting with you and Old Kitty at that time. I loved Nicola Morgan's birthday party.

    Sarahjayne, I'm glad you're enjoying my blog and have found other that you like through mine.

    Aubrie, I like your blog because it's clear that you're a committed writer and flutist.

    VKT, you are on my blogroll under my profile, instead of on the right. I'm definitely one of your followers.

  7. Well I'm one of those strange WordPress people, so the following stuff doesn't really work out for me, but I do have you in my Google Reader! I wish I'd realised all the cool people were on BlogSpot :)

    I think a whole bunch of us must have found each other through Nicola's blog - that's definitely where most of my regular commenters and commentees have come from too :) It's such a good idea to do this sort of thing!

  8. Hampshireflyer, meanwhile I wish I had used Word Press because I could have a unique-looking blog with more features. At least you're in the comments section. I'll add that as an option for the contest.

    I remember checking your blog out from Nicola's blog too!

  9. Theresa - what a great idea! I'm so proud of you - I love your blog and reading everyone's comments; I look forward to checking out your follower's blogs :)

  10. What a great idea! And um... I found too many new blogs to follow, I'm embarrassed to say. But some we have the same, so our mutual friends all got comments. :)

  11. Kathleen, have fun checking out other blogs.

    Jackee, you've had a few good contests too. Those baskets were a great idea.

  12. Great idea, indeed.

    Will check out others you follow :)

  13. What a FANTASTIC competition - great stuff!

    GOOD LUCK EVERYBODY PARTICIPATING!!! *clapping madly and going Yay!*

    I'm too overwhelmed at the moment but I'll be cheering from the sidelines for all those participating and for the winner too!

    Yay again!

    Take care

  14. Thanks, Wendy.

    Old Kitty, I'm sorry you're overwhelmed. I hope you'll be up to the one I have planned at 100 followers. (Hint: you'll need to write something!)

  15. I just added A Newbies Guide to Publishing to my sidebar. I hadn't seen that one anywhere else but here. I was excited since it's all about epublishing and I'm wanting to understand that a lot better. So thanks again, Theresa!

  16. @ Theresa - yeah, that was why I chose WP - I like to micro manage that sort of thing :)

    I think you might actually be able to do even more customisation on BlogSpot, but you have to completely import your own HTML into the template and that feels too much like still being at work!

  17. Karen, I'm glad you found him helpful. I'm keeping his ideas in mind for someday when I begin publishing books. He's very blunt about what he does and how hard he's worked. It took him 500 rejections and 9 manuscripts before he published his first book.

    Hampshireflyer, I don't know how to create my own HTML, so that's the first problem right there!

  18. Oh this is a neat contest! Now I need to look at all your followers (you have so many!)
    This should be so much fun! Hopefully someone out there will offer me extra sanity with subbing :-)

  19. Jenn(ifer), we all need offers of sanity with subbing! There are several teachers and a few subs. Tiffany and Kauai Mark are subs. The Ashes is a student Teacher.

  20. I follow you!

    PS: It's a great contest!

    PPS: I have a contest going on over @ my blog, too. It's the Six Word Memoir Contest & ends tonight. Here's the link:

  21. I love the idea of this contest--you are creating an online community through your blog. Interesting idea...

  22. Blogging is such a thrilling and amazing ride, isn't it? Definitely more rewarding than I think any of us ever expected. The etiquette is tough though. I wish there was a handbook!

  23. Terresa, I wish I'd noticed your contest - I'm a big fan of the six word memoir. So many contests ended 03/14, which is why I waited to do mine.

    Jon, I got the idea from Nicola Morgan's blog, although she has a lot more followers than me.

    Rebecca, I hope they don't make a handbook because I'm probably breaking some rules!

  24. What a great idea Theresa. I to found most of the blogs I follow through Nicola Morgan's birthday party. I was just starting out in the blog world at the time. Time to get busy with the tasks!

  25. Commented on Stories in the Ordinary, hampshireflyer and Diary of a Virgin Novelist. Added hampshireflyer and Diary of a Virgin Novelist to my list. I hope I read the directions properly. I have a habit to get things like directions wrong. Still I enjoyed checking out the blogs you follow. Take care.

  26. Theresa, what a great idea for a contest! I forget how I stumbled upon your blog exactly, but because I'm also a sub and a writer, it appealed to me right away. I'll do my best to be back later when I have more time and pick out some new blogs, but I'm not commenting just to win. There are some lovely bloggers out there who deserve the prize. :)

  27. Ann, I must've found your blog or you found me from Nicola Morgan's birthday party too. I'll add you to the contest as well.

    Shelley, I'll keep an eye out for your return.

  28. I just found you on VKT's blog. I have read some of your stories about a subs day. Oh! I can totally relate. So interesting that you are a writer of children's books. It has been a dream of mine since childhood. I am going to follow you. I like this post.

  29. Choices, I'm glad you became a follower. I'll go check our your blog.

  30. My blog was supposed to be focused on my experiences as a community college teacher. Now I tend to write whatever I feel like: History, Politics, Current Events, whatever. This is partly through the inspiration of blogs like yours. When you write about whatever you care about, the passion shines through. Keep up the good work. P.S: I think that I just did some of the stuff in your contest, but I (like you) have been too busy figuring out how this whole blogosphere thing works, so I won't go for the very tempting gift certificate.

  31. Paul, I'm glad my blog in some way help you find your voice in your blog.

    If you remember which blogs you commented on and if you started following anyone, you have until Sunday. I'd love for you to enter the contest.

  32. So, I'm back. :) I'm already a follower (+2), commented on Sarahjayne's and Stephanie Cheryl's blogs (+2), and I'm following both (+2). Good luck to everyone in the contest!

  33. Hi Theresa, I guess I've been an unofficial follower of your blog, but now official! Commented on Talli Roland's blog and Diary of a Virgin Novelist.
    Great idea for a post!

  34. SF thanks for becoming an official follower!

    Thanks, Sheila.

  35. Hi Theresa, I'm already a follower and have joined Terresa, Nicole, Paul C, M Gray and Shelley, and have done my comments. :o)

  36. Great, NIki. I'm glad you found so many new blogs to follow!