born to blog

I recently tweeted the line below and it received a lot of reaction, making me realize that it was worth a blog post:

“I’ve figured out why I love #blogging more than #writing. Blogging is social. Writing is solitary and I’m definitely not a solitary spirit.”

 blogging is hosting like a virtual party

I absolutely love blogging. It is my connection to various worlds: the world of writing and life as a writer (as in this blog) and the love of travel, cultural enrichment, culinary adventures, meeting great people, and exploring the world of chocolate.

As I live in a fairly rural environment and we are in the dead of a Canadian winter, I am sticking closer to home and on the treacherous highways less.

As I am in the midst of writing my book about chocolate travel, I am chained to my desk until I get the job done.

Blogging has given me the opportunity to have amazing conversations with people all over the world. It’s like throwing a party and seeing who shows up. And people who know me well, know that I love to host parties and entertain. All are always welcomed with a smile.

blogging-is-equal-to-hosting

hosting a party always brings me pleasure

That’s the way I feel about blogging. We put a topic out there, and invite people to drop in and share a comment. Join the discussion, stay for awhile. Pour yourself a drink or a coffee (depending on your timezone) and feel welcome.

We’ll both we glad you did. 🙂

The only criticism I’ve received from blogging experts is that I don’t blog often enough. Each of my two blogs receives a post every two weeks. It seems that two weeks is an eternity in the blogosphere. But with writing my book and the volunteer responsibilities I have undertaken with groups like PWAC and Toastmasters, in addition to responsibilities on the homefront, I’m afraid that is all I can muster.

What is it you love (or hate) about blogging?

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

68 Responses

  1. Debra Marrs says:

    Doreen, I SO agree with the difference between writing and blogging. You nailed it when you said blogging is more social. I really like that analogy. It certainly takes the pressure off when a writer realizes blogging is much like having a conversation.

    As you probably know too, a tactic for speech preparation or writing a book is to imagine your audience of 1-3 people, not the masses and masses of prospects. That way, you maintain the connection and the intimacy of what you want to say: just to that small group of 1-3, which in fact may grow to 100+ as readers of the blog post. It sure makes writing more facile.

    I’m SO glad your cousin reconnected us. And I hope we find ways to continue to “be social” with one another too!

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Thanks for this great comment, Debra. Yes, I, too, am grateful that we have connected.

      I’ve made such wonderful friends and colleagues via social media. And I’ve found my blogs to be a wonderful place to encourage others, and receive encouragement myself. It’s a really wonderful place to be. Have you visited my chocolate travel blog? We’ve been having some fun over there, too! You’ll find it at https://chocolatour.net. I hope you’ll drop in and subscribe to one or both. Cheers!
      WizardOfWords recently posted…an ode to things gone byMy Profile

  2. Sarah Park says:

    I also find comfort and happiness in blogging. This is the time where I am able to express and share my personality, thoughts and ideas in a more artistic way.
    Sarah Park recently posted…5 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your MoneyMy Profile

  3. mamawolfe says:

    Hi Doreen,
    Blogging is ” like throwing a party and seeing who shows up” is such an excellent simile…sometimes we meet people we never invited, and it turns out great! So happy that we have made a virtual connection, and I look forward to reading more of your posts…and who can live without chocolate? Not I!
    mamawolfe recently posted…On Blogging, Friendships, and Seizing the OpportunityMy Profile

  4. Clara says:

    Hi Doreen, I can definitely relate to what you’ve written. I’m an amateur writer and I hope to be famous one day. I love sharing my thoughts and aspirations with other people, and I found out that blogging is an effective means to do so.

  5. Kelly says:

    Hi Doreen! You never failed to wow me. Awesome post! I think you’re right. Blogging is like hosting my very own party and it sounds so cool! 🙂
    Kelly recently posted…Architecture and nature co-existing happily together – is it possible?My Profile

  6. Stacey says:

    I must agree with you analogy, bloggers are definitely party hosts, wherever the party is at, that’s where the people are if you’re a sucky host then good luck to your party.
    Stacey recently posted…Kim Wilde Drunk Christmas Impromtu Performance on British RailMy Profile

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Thanks for your comments, Stacey and Joy. I’m glad you can relate to my analogy of a blogger being like the host of a social gathering. That’s the way I see blogging. I know others are more business-like, and others might be more one-sided, using their blogs as a soap box. But for me … it’s all about the conversation.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…time to check in on the gratitude meterMy Profile

  7. Joy says:

    You are absolutely right, Doreen! It does feel like having a party in my own house. Awesome post! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  8. Marijke says:

    ok, now I’m frustrated. I dug deeper and found that I do have the share thingie ticked off for every post and it has been for a while. But it’s not showing up. I put the one on the side for now, but it’s a general one, and I want it on every post, like it’s supposed to be. 🙁
    Marijke recently posted…Keeping Our Kids Safe, But Letting Them Grow TooMy Profile

  9. Marijke says:

    Good question. I’ve not looked at the comments yet but my first reaction to the question is – it depends.

    My blog is about health issues, so sometimes it’s hard to get started, to come up with issues that I think people will be interested in. There are times when I think I have a sure fire topic that will get people riled up – and crickets. I get very little interaction too, which is discouraging. I get a few comments now and then, but even when I ask questions outright, I don’t get them.

    The funny thing is, my blog is found regularly by new people every day and I get wonderful emails from people telling me about how they like what they read, but they don’t leave comments. Go figure.

    So, to make a long answer even longer, I do find it a drag many times, but I do feel so much better when I finally do sit down and do a post, as I did for today.
    Marijke recently posted…Keeping Our Kids Safe, But Letting Them Grow TooMy Profile

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Thx so muh for your comment, Marijke. It’s always great to hear from you.

      Well, I’m told that only 10% of visitors to a blog will take the time to comment. So it is indeed a challenge to create a community where interactions become more automatic for readers. I find that by approaching individuals who I know who may have a specific interest in the topic or knowledge of it and asking them to comment really enhances the conversation. You might want to try that to see if you can get some momentum going. Good luck!

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Marijke: Another tip for you would be to install the “Share” plug-in onto your blog. I went to your post and read it, but as I have no children or grandchildren I didn’t have a comment to make. However, had you had the “Share” bar, I would have tweeted your link. Sharing is just as good as commenting, and the goal of blogging is just to get your word out there, and to increase interest in it. Cheers!

  10. A.K.Andrew says:

    Great twitter quote Doreen. I’m def. going to RT that. I think you’re absolutely right about blogging being social. If you have found people to comment of course. It’s the most enjoyable part for me, I have to say. Being a novelist, the leap to blog writing is not always totally smooth, and I feel it’s a craft I’m still learning. But I’m charged up enough to want to improve. And that’s because peoples comment are often so interesting. Strangely enough, my recent short posts (in the Musemedium series), have really produced the most interesting comments. Perhaps having a broader topic like ‘the past’ or ‘change’ allows people to express themselves more easily, maybe touching on an issues we all have in common. Whatever the reason, I’ve been surprised and happy about it. Thanks for the post Doreen. Stay warm!
    A.K.Andrew recently posted…MuseMedium: The Future and Joyce Carol OatesMy Profile

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Thx for your comment, A.K. Always great to hear from you.

      Yes, it’s interesting how sometimes we really strike a nerve (in a positive or negative way) with our readers and they react willingly and with vigour. And other times, posts kind of fall flat and we move on.

      Glad to hear your new Muse series is doing well.

  11. Wendy Peck says:

    More posts might be better, but regular posting is better than daily for a week, then a month with nothing (that would be my pattern). It’s hard to build a following when nobody has a clue when the next post might appear.

    It also depends what you want to do with your blog. If you are connecting to a community, regular, posts every two weeks works. If you were trying to build a customer base with people who are less personally connected to you, weekly, or even bi-weekly would be a much better idea. Since the readers are only concerned with the content, not the connection to the person, the bar is higher.

    I think you are doing a great job, and are very thoughtful about who your readers are, and what they want. That really matters.

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Thanks for the comment, Wendy. Your support has been important to me, and your encouragement invaluable.

      Yes, I think that when the chocolate book comes out (or right before it launches) I’ll have to beef up posts on the chocolate travel blog to expand the network and build interest in the book. But I feel quite comfortable with the twice monthly posting to the writer’s blog as that gives us ample time to have a good discussion in between new posts. Cheers, and good luck with your projects in 2013.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…born to blogMy Profile

  12. Doreen — you may only blog twice a month but you get a huge number of comments so obviously that schedule is working for you. But it’s your content that is pulling in readers and comments. I enjoy your posts a lot. I, too, enjoy blogging but as blogging turned into a fun thing to do into an actual business I find that I’m not as free with what I write about any more. That’s good — I’m focusing content on more targeted readers — and a little sad because I’m not so inclined to sit down a post and let the words fly. Like Sherryl and others I’ve made good friends through blogging even though we’ve never met. I feel like I’m a member of an amazing community.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Does Your Personal Brand Reflect Who You Are and What You Do?My Profile

  13. Fatima says:

    Blogging is a way to interact socially and share your inner thoughts and experiences with others in an open forum. Great share.
    Fatima recently posted…Kim Wilde Drunk Christmas Impromtu Performance on British RailMy Profile

  14. Agree with you completely about how fantastic the social aspect of blogging is. People from all over the world express an opinon about what we have written.

    • WizardOfWords says:

      That’s definitely an interesting aspect of blogging, Catarina. Having input and reactions from virtually every part of the world can really make for an interesting community. Thx for being a part of ours.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…born to blogMy Profile

  15. Doreen, your blogs inspired me to start one of my own, and I don’t have a regular schedule of posting, which, I’m learning from you and others, I really must do. So that’s one of the goals for this month: make a schedule and then stick to it.
    I hadn’t thought of bloggging like inviting people to your party, but that’s a good way to put it. I’m happy to come to your parties, and I’m glad you come to mine.

    • WizardOfWords says:

      What worked for me, Christine, was to take my daytimer for the year and write at the top of the sheet for each week. Either “travel blog” or “writer’s blog.” That way, I know which blog I’m supposed to post to each week. I then start thinking about WHAT I want to write and the ideas begin to flow. Good luck with establishing a blogging schedule that will work for you. And thanks for coming to the party! 🙂 It’s great having you here if we can’t be together in person.

  16. Doreen,
    I enjoy connecting with people online too. One of the things that I enjoy the most about blogging is the interaction with other people. I have met so many people online through blogging and interacting with them on social media sites that I count many of them as my friends. Whenever I have an idea and want to bounce it off of someone, I can easily reach out to one of them and get the feedback and advice that I need. I think the only thing that I don’t like about blogging is that in some ways, I do become isolated. I need to get out more often and network face to face like you do!
    Sherryl Perry recently posted…Time to Tweak Your Twitter StrategyMy Profile

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Hi Sherryl and thanks for your comment: I have learned much from you in the world of blogging. You are an amazing connector, and I learned from you how important it is to acknowledge comments and respond to them. A lot of bloggers don’t bother to do that, and I think that prevents them establishing a true community.

      • Doreen,
        Building a community is so important and that is something that you quickly embraced. It definitely sets your blog apart from others. You’re an amazing connector too and I’m sure many of your readers are grateful to you for setting such a great example.

        Enjoy the rest of your weekend! I’m looking out the window watching as the melting snow is starting to form fog. Tomorrow, it’s supposed to be in the upper 50’s. Soon, that cold Canadian air will be upon us!
        Sherryl Perry recently posted…How To Set up Google Authorship & the Rel=Author TagMy Profile

  17. Aayna says:

    The reason why I love blogging is that through blogging I can share my ideas and thoughts with people I never knew before and might not even meet anytime in life, but get connected with them through thoughts. According to me, there is nothing more pious in this world than the thought. It is indeed a virtual party, like you have mentioned.
    Regarding what I hate is that sometimes, you don’t feel like writing or you lack thoughts, that time it becomes cumbersome. The time constraint indeed acts as a hindrance. Thanks for the share.

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Thx so much for your very thought comment, Aayna. Much appreciated!

      What I do is write down ideas I have for future posts so that when the time comes to write a new post, I have a few ideas to inspire me. Another good idea is just to write a short post or delay writing your post by a day or two when you’re not inspired to write that particular day. I’ve found thru experience that my writing is always better if done when I’m in the right frame of mind.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…born to blogMy Profile

  18. Susan Cooper says:

    I would love that. That would be AWESOME!!!!
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Crunchy Garbanzo Bean Appetizer/Snack: RecipeMy Profile

  19. I love blogging because you meet so many diverse people from all walks of life. When I’m writing my book it’s like disappearing into a world of words and characters, talking to yourself. When you blog it’s like leaving your imaginary world and entering into a virtual coffee shop filled with people and ideas!
    Or does that sound just pure crazy! 🙂

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Not crazy at all, Claire!

      I don’t write fiction, but can certainly relate to what you’re saying.

      I think blogging is a pleasant diversion for any of us who is working on a big, long-term writing project.

      Thanks for your comment, and for stopping by. Good luck with your novel!
      WizardOfWords recently posted…born to blogMy Profile

  20. KellyWade says:

    I too love the limitless conversations that blogging makes available. Not only can you be surprised about who is reading your content, you can engage in conversations that you otherwise never would have had if not for blogging. Also, you can be as creative and honest as you feel like being, and write about completely random things- whatever you’re feeling inspired by!
    KellyWade recently posted…Exercises to Perk up your BoobsMy Profile

  21. I get the metaphors, including the reference to live performance (an activity with which I have considerable experience). But I’m still trying to figure out what blogging is…wants to be…etc.

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Hi Sandy, and thx for stopping by.

      Blogging is simply a method (platform) that enables authors to reach out and connect with their readers. And for others to establish themselves as experts, make connections, and practice the craft of writing. I love it!

  22. Susan Cooper says:

    I love Blogging for the very same reason. It has given me so much more then I would have EVER expected. I now have new friendships that would have only happened through my blogging. 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted…A Language Lesson: StoryMy Profile

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Hi Susan and thanks for your comment.

      Although we haven’t met (yet), I’m getting the feeling that you are like me and are fuelled by interactions by others, as opposed to being drained by them. Therefore blogging fuels your creativity as opposed to draining it.

      I’m hoping we may have an opportunity to meet later this year as I have now sourced 3 excellent chocolate makers in the San Fran area. Stay tuned, as I definitely need to arrange a trip to come and meet them. And hopefully … you!

  23. satinka says:

    Yup, a social person through and through. That’s you, Doreen! You definitely have a social presence. When with a group, you thrive! You shine! You go, girl!
    Happy 2013! 🙂
    satinka recently posted…New Years ResolutionsMy Profile

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Thanks so much, Esther, and Happy New Year to you as well.

      Yes, well, I’m struggling in trying to get my book done, as blogging is way more fun! I’m fuelled by blogging and drained by writing my book as there’s SO much info I have to coordinate and include. It’s turned out to be WAAAAY bigger a project than initially planned. But I’ve got 1/2 of it done now and we’re into the home stretch. Cheers!

  24. Sharon M says:

    Hi Doreen,
    This is so true. Writing is such a lonely experience sometimes, but when you are blogging you feel a more immediate response from your audience. I guess it compares to Actors who act in film or tv it could take months before people see their work, in comparison to when they are in Theatre and they get the audience reaction daily.

    I’m so glad I found your blog, love reading your posts. Very helpful for a relatively new to the blog world writer!

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Thanks for your comment, Sharon, and for finding the blog! We have a great community here. I hope you’ll enjoy being a part of it.

      Interesting comparison to the acting world. I’ll see if I can get my friend who is a professional actor (and also a writer) to chime in.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…born to blogMy Profile

  25. Jeri says:

    The social aspect of blogging is definitely a plus. For me, it’s also very satisfactory to be able to put out fairly polished content on a regular basis. Blogging keeps me going when it seems like my novel will never be finished! I’ve also been surprised at how much I like to tinker with the visual aspects of design. In fact, if I were just starting out in college, I probably wouldn’t major in writing, but in visual design.
    Jeri recently posted…Writer’s Workout: Sentence SoundsMy Profile

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Yes, you definitely have a knack for design, Jeri. I was really impressed with the cover you designed for your collection of short stories. Well done!

  26. Jeannette says:

    I’m new to blogging and am managing two sites. I am learning from experienced bloggers like yourself on how to do it better. Hopefully, my sites will grow as time goes on with more subscribers. It’s nice to know that I don’t have to do weekly posts. My profession keeps me busy and a week or two will go by and I haven’t posted.

  27. Leora says:

    I love the social aspect of blogging as well! Great way to get feedback from valuable readers.
    Leora recently posted…Admin Information for a Facebook Business PageMy Profile

  28. Doreen,

    I love blogging, I only hate that sometimes I get tied up and don’t have the time to blog. I agree that it is social and gives you the opportunity to create dialog with people from all around the world.

    I wish that I could just think about what I want to write and it would write itself. Oh well.

    Great article,
    Jenn

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Happy New Year and great to hear from you, Jenn. It’s been awhile!

      I know what you mean about finding time to blog. It does indeed take time. But I find that having a schedule and sticking to it really helps. Give yourself a window to blog within a certain 3-day period, or as I do “the week of …” so that you have flexibility to still meet your schedule if something comes up. And know that you can always writer shorter posts when you don’t have a lot to say. I think the key is to be consistent and post when you say you will so that people will look forward to the posts.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…born to blogMy Profile

  29. Jon Jefferson says:

    I keep up a pace quite a bit faster than you where the blog is concerned. But this is also why I keep most of my posts fairly short. My objective is to connect with others on a frequent basis but not take all of their time in the process. When conversations grow from these connections it is so much the better.

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Hi Jon: Yes, we all have our styles. I prefer to have less frequent posts and encourage insightful dialogue from the readers in between posts. Others, do more frequent, shorter posts. The key is to find what works for you (and your readers) and stick to it.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…born to blogMy Profile

      • Jon Jefferson says:

        I very much appreciate our different styles. With your posting schedule (as well as others who post as you do) I find I can catch my breathe a bit while trying to keep up with everyones comings and goings.

  30. Linda says:

    I couldn’t articulate it one bit better than Christina Crowley did. An extrovert introvert…I’d never heard that one before, but her description matches me like a twin. And I too, find that a comment on my blog is like a stranger stepping up to speak with me. Thrilling and rewarding.

    BTW, I like your blogging pace. I find myself skipping the content of some of the more prolific bloggers. There are only so many hours in the day and I can’t spend them all reading blog posts.
    Linda recently posted…Gifts from the heartMy Profile

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Hi Linda: Happy New Year and thanks for your comment.

      It sure is great having conversations with you and others here on the blog. It helps me get thru the long hours of working on my book.

      Glad you’re enjoying the posting schedule. Works for me!

  31. You are definitely a people person. I never thought of blogging like this but now I think it’s actually pretty obvious. We blog to connect with others in the hope that we share similar feelings, evoke ideas, create conversations.

    For me it’s often a need to write something that won’t go away until I put the words out there; share my thoughts. Then it’s about seeing whether other people connect. My current blog is not written to promote my business so I don’t have a schedule. I plan to do that this year.

    I admire bloggers, like you, Doreen, who do have a schedule. People know when you’re blogging and can be certain that you will do it. But I think the expectation of blogging more often is difficult, if not impossible, for those of us who rely on our writing to pay the bills, because even the most focused blogs are just a long-time return on investment.

    Keep blogging on!
    Suzanne Boles recently posted…BlogMy Profile

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Hi Suzanne, and thanks for your encouragement.

      Yes, believe me. I fully understand how blogging takes away from our paid writing time. I’m hoping that in my case, building my platform and engaging with people will increase the level of interest in my book, and that readers will help spread the word about “Chocolatour.” Cheers!

  32. Doreen, I couldn’t agree more. It is so rewarding to interact with people who appreciate what you are trying to accomplish!
    Friends and family who are not in the business have limited interest whereas a built base of blogging friends = wow.
    It has slowed me on my book progress but as you point out writing can be such a lonely business. In blogging, I find the balance.

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Thanks so much for your comment, Lesley. We are definitely on the same wavelength. We’ll encourage one another in the progress of our books. 🙂

      And yes, balance … in every aspect of our work and lives is key.

  33. Geek Girl says:

    I find blogging the same as you, it’s a virtual party / conversation. I have made so many friends through blogging. I think that if people complain that you are not blogging often enough that is a huge compliment to you. 🙂
    Geek Girl recently posted…And The Gender Is…?My Profile

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Thanks, Cheryl.

      It was actually a company that was holding a blogging contest who told me I had great content, formatting and reader engagement. But I didn’t post often enough to hit high (or stay high) in the google rankings because of the infrequency of my postings. Cheers!

  34. Anyone who has met you knows immediately you are a social spirit Doreen–the sort of person who *makes* a party happen. So it`s no surprise that you love to blog. I, on the other hand, am an extroverted introvert, meaning I LOVE being tucked up inside with the fireplaces blazing, fingers on the keyboard or my nose buried in research. I have to push, push, push myself to have contact with the outside world, but once out there, no one would suspect I want to fade into the woodwork. And this is what blogging is starting to do for me–the thrill of a comment on my blog is like someone at a party wanting to talk to me. Wow, I think, I`ve made a new friend!
    Christine Cowley recently posted…How to Write Your Best Bio Ever – Part 1My Profile

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Happy New Year, Christine! It’s always great to hear from you.

      I never would have known you are an introvert. You hide it well! But it sounds like you’re “on the cusp” so to speak. It’s like going for a swim. You’re fine once you’re in, but getting into the water can be the challenge!

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