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How to Build a Huge Blog Following (or How I Came to Write Life from Scratch)

I was asked to write about how I came to write Life from Scratch for the blog, Riding with the Top Down.  The title is a little facetious, but I think the advice is still good, if I do say so myself.  And I do say so myself, because this is my blog.

The idea for Life from Scratch came to me while I was crossing a library parking lot, holding a stack of cook books I had checked out. What if a woman used the year post-divorce to teach herself how to cook? A half hour later, during my next errand to the food store, I wondered what if that woman became a blogger and that’s how she found the voice she lost during the marriage. Over the next few days, I tugged and twisted the skeleton of the story out on paper, throwing in a best friend and some siblings, an ex-husband and a new lover. And voila — I had a book.

Okay, it took more like six months or so to write it, but I had the bare bones of a book.

You’re supposed to write about what you know, but I think people take that idea in such a literal sense that it limits them creatively.  I’ve always believed that if you are willing to listen — willing to do the research — that you can build off of your own experiences and slide sideways to something unrelated (please note that key point about listening to others who have lived it).

I’ve never been divorced from a marriage, but I have been divorced from a job, and that first year away from work was scary and life-changing and regretful and joyous. It wasn’t the same thing in the least, but it was a window into understanding what friends spoke about when they talked about their divorce, when I did the work and asked people about divorce. The job I left had started out as a wonderful connection and had turned into a soul-draining relationship over the years. In my case, it bordered on abusive. I completely lost my voice and was too terrified to express what I needed. Leaving was the right step, but it meant relearning a lot of things. We financially had to learn a new existence. The daily rhythm of my life changed.

I have never left a marriage, but I have left a life behind and asked myself, “what now?”

Without my career, I was free-floating for a few weeks. The excitement of the first few days (“no work today, yay!”) turned into anxiety (“holy shit, no work today… what am I going to do with myself?”). A random trip to a bookstore changed everything when I saw a cooking school textbook on sale. I couldn’t afford the thousands of dollars it would cost to go to cooking school, but I could afford $49.95 for the textbook. So I started at the beginning and taught myself how to cook.

Which is not to say that like Rachel, I considered toasting an English muffin as close as I would get to baking my own bread. I was a decent cook before I started my cooking school for one. I became someone who understood how to write her own recipe, who understood how to deconstruct someone else’s food and rebuild it again. It really wasn’t about cooking at all. It was about finding my passion.

I did start a short-lived blog about my personal cooking school where I posted some recipes. My husband helped me set it up because he was in that first wave of bloggers on the Internet, and I thought that it was amazingly cool that strangers read his posts and followed our lives. He linked to my blog and some of his readers came over. It was intoxicating to get those first comments.

I stopped posting in that space because I didn’t need it. I think for a blog to be successful, you need to need it. If you don’t need it, you won’t take the time to write there regularly and then it ceases to capture your life if you are swinging by every few weeks to jot down a random idea. I needed to cook, but I didn’t need to write about cooking.

I found the space I needed a year or so later when my husband and I were trying to conceive again. We had gone through fertility treatments to conceive our twins (again, if you’ve read Life from Scratch, it connects to writing what you know… sort of), and I had become massively depressed during those years. My husband suggested that I start a blog as an outlet as we got back into trying to conceive, and I also wanted to connect with other infertile men and women for a book idea I had jumping off of an Ask Amy column. So Stirrup Queens was born.

I needed to write Stirrup Queens, and I needed to read other bloggers and talk with them via the comment section on their blog. While I loved Stirrup Queens from the beginning, it took a little time to find my rhythm and make it feel like an electronic version of myself on the Web. A written extension of myself. It was Melissa Ford, in word form. I think my voice has changed over the years. Like Rachel, I am a general diarist who happens to concentrate on a certain facet of her life. Where Rachel writes about cooking, I write about my uterus.

My blog has gotten a large following. I’ve won awards, gotten work based on my blog success, published two books due to that space, and have gotten amazing opportunities, such as going to the White House. All because I started a blog. So I am continuously asked how one goes about building a large following online. What is the secret?

Here, come close to the screen and I’ll whisper it…

Need your space.

Okay, it’s not as simple as that, but that’s where you have to start. Need your space. If you need it for yourself (not to build a platform or get a huge audience) and need to write there regardless of whether or not anyone reads it, you will build the foundation for a great blog. At first, don’t worry about what anyone else is writing or whether they’ll even want to read what you have to say. Just enjoy your space on the Web. And when you find that your mind goes to your blog when you’re away from the computer; when you jump there mentally because it’s your happy space — a comforting space — you are ready for the next step: connecting with others.

Read other blogs. Comment on them (that’s the important part — people will find you when you comment). Not just once or twice, but go back over and over again, reading every post and commenting when you can. Expand that reading circle to new blogs, and comment on those blogs. And at the same time, keep writing your content. Don’t compare yourself or feel self-conscious. Just write what you need to write; write the type of stuff that you would want to read. Get involved with online projects such as IComLeavWe or NaBloPoMo. And most of all, don’t quit. Don’t get frustrated that your audience isn’t finding you quickly enough for your taste and walk away. Finding your tribe takes time.

I write often about how to build your blog traffic or how to leave a good comment, and while there are general guidelines you can follow (and certainly things you should never do), like marriage, there is no one, clear line that leads to happiness. Though, just like novel writing, you need to start with what you know.

Which is how I came to write about someone so unlike myself (okay, so maybe I’m a bit neurotic like Rachel) — a divorcee who can’t cook and is dating a Spanish photographer — who is based so deeply in what I do know — that it is scary to leave your old life behind even if that life doesn’t work anymore; that sometimes when we can’t find our voice orally, we can find it via a written medium; and that we all need those human connections, to not feel as if we are a tiny voice shouting into the ether, but to know that we have something to say and people are hearing it.

So, now answer this: do you need your space?

Photo Credit: Mary Gardella

56 comments

1 serenity { 02.22.11 at 7:30 am }

Yes. I need my space. I might not be able to write about everything nowadays, because there are too many people whom I care that read my blog, but I need my space.

And I am looking forward to the day where I have some more flexibility, career-wise, to spend more time nurturing that space. I am hoping it’s sooner rather than later.

xoxo

2 Heather { 02.22.11 at 8:13 am }

I desperately cling to my space. Right now, I cannot talk about some things that are happening in my own real world, so I’m writing about other things. And not often, because I suck. But, anyway, I NEED to know my space is waiting for me…needing me back. Does that make sense?
I don’t ever care if I get followers. I took the stupid followers thing off my blog because I don’t care. It’s not about how many people read, it’s truly a place for me to write the story of us. Our history. That’s all.

Smooches.

3 loribeth { 02.22.11 at 8:24 am }

Yes, I need my space. Childless/free living is one of the smaller segments of the ALI population, & while I was fortunate to find a few message boards with a few hardy souls in similar positions to connect to, I wanted more. I enjoy having a place to ramble on, journal or essay style, about my thoughts, experiences & memories. It’s cathartic, in a way that message boards sometimes are & sometimes aren’t. The fact that people read & respond is a bonus, but my blog is first & foremost for me.

4 Christina { 02.22.11 at 8:26 am }

When I 1st started in Jan, I didnt need it per-say, but I wanted it. After a few posts though, I found how desperately I need to get things out and connect with others. The more connections I form, the more I feel an intense desire to share. I wish I could access it and the blogs I read directly while at work. I have started using my google reader during work hours (sssshhh don’t tell!) to keep up with others, but I really wish I could continuously access my own.

I do agree that the comments are fantastic and addicting, but not the main reason I write.

5 Gail { 02.22.11 at 8:53 am }

Even though I’m not a blogger, I definitely feel like I need my space. I am one of those people who doesn’t keep a journal or diary and doesn’t write any feelings down. I’ve tried many times throughout my life, but I’ve never enjoyed the act of putting the words in writing. Usually, my brain is going a mile a minute and my fingers/hand can’t keep up which leads to frustration. But, I do compose entries in my head all the time even if they never see the light of day.
It is validating to read other people’s blogs and see that they are thinking and feeling the same things as me. When I see a post that really resonates with me, I try to leave a comment letting them know. I’ve connected with so many people in the blogging world and am in constant awe of their ability to put their feelings into words and then putting those words out there for others to read.

6 tash { 02.22.11 at 9:14 am }

I’ve been wondering about this a lot lately. Because I’m not sure I do — certainly not in the same way I did. Food for thought, as it were.

7 Kristin { 02.22.11 at 9:26 am }

I for one am glad you needed your space here because finding your blog and the community here is what renewed my interest and need for blogging.

8 Barb { 02.22.11 at 10:03 am }

Yes I do. And I love that you say these things because that’s how I’ve always felt about my blog. I write it primarily for me. I write what I need to write, and I write when I need to write. I write it out of love and out of comfort for me. SECONDARY is if others like it, then fabulous. :) Which is good b/c I don’t have a huge following. haha

9 Kelly { 02.22.11 at 10:18 am }

My space is where I express things that I think, and not necessarily what I say-to my partner, to my friends, to my doctor even. There are times where I go extremely negative in my writing, and I know that the people that do read will relate. I think about my space as a twenty first century version of the diaries I kept in my twenties and thirties, only available for others to read. Having worked in obstetrics, as well as research, I do from time to time write up my opinions, based on medical research, of important topics to infertility-I hope this is of benefit to my readers, because the internet quite frankly has a lot of inaccurate and contradictory information.

10 April { 02.22.11 at 10:35 am }

My space is where I vent about what’s rattling around in my brain that I can’t yet talk to my husband about. Sometimes it’s what I need to clear my head or wrap my mind around something. Sometimes it’s because the world seems like it’s conspiring against me and it’s all I can do to keep from screaming. If it weren’t for my little blog space, I”d of lost what remains of my mind a while ago.

11 mrs. r { 02.22.11 at 10:39 am }

Blogging is my therapy and my drug–I totally understand the “NEED Your Space” sentiment. Totally.

Reminded of that Hill/McGraw song, “Like a needle needs a vein.”

12 Tara (TIMO) { 02.22.11 at 12:30 pm }

I’ve never thought of blogging like that; the “need for space”. That really explains why other blogs I’ve started, I’ve never stuck with and continued writing. I do need the space in the only blog I’ve kept going for over 3.5 years and over 300 posts.

13 Kir { 02.22.11 at 1:00 pm }

I’ve come to find that I relish my space, which is why I’m redecorating it and connecting with twitter, FB etc. I like having this tribe, like talking about things over the internet, when the only people I can really talk to IRL are 2 3 yr olds and a husband who loves hockey more than my blog (TOTALLY UNDERSTANDABLE) but yes, I am forever wrtiting in my head anymore. I love it. I really do, I find that once I started mining what I had inside and got it out, I was lighter. Even if no one reads it, I feel good about writing it. That’s the point right?

xo

14 Jen { 02.22.11 at 1:24 pm }

I’ve barely been at this for two months, and I absolutely need this space. I’m completely addicted (as I type this while I shove down a sandwich at my desk at work…), which could be come a problem. But, for now, I will take it! Aside from needing to work through my feelings about IF, I’ve been lacking in meaningful female friendships for quite sometime. Getting to know others, even if anonymously, who share some of the same experiences as me is something I’m incredibly grateful for. So, not only do I need my space, I need to be in THIS space.

15 HereWeGoAJen { 02.22.11 at 1:32 pm }

Remember that one where you asked if we’d rather lose our blog completely or have our car stolen? Yeah, I’d still have my car stolen. I don’t know if I’d still be sane without my blog. It’s the best thing ever. And I know I wouldn’t have any friends in this new state.

16 Lacie { 02.22.11 at 1:50 pm }

Yes. My space is helping me through the most difficult time in my life right now.

17 Esperanza { 02.22.11 at 1:53 pm }

Oh Melissa, when I saw the title of your blog today I literally gasped I was so excited. I kept reading other posts, keeping your safe until I had the time to really sit down and read it. Finally my daughter went to sleep and I pulled it up.

First of all, it’s fascinating to know that you started writing Stirrup Queens after you had had your twins. I didn’t realize that at all. I also didn’t realize your new book was (partially) based on a blog you wrote before SQ or Navigating the Land of IF. I find that intriguing.

Second of all, I loved what you wrote. I can say, absolutely that I NEED my space. I really do.I’m constantly thinking about what I will blog about. I’m constantly mulling over how to better express myself there. I’m almost always deciding if something I’m going through is blog fodder or not.

I don’t think I realized how important it was to me until recently when a friend went through something that affected me deeply and I couldn’t write about it on my blog because it wasn’t my story to tell. I finally had to write a “post” and send it to a few close blogging friends for them to “comment” because I just couldn’t see past it to write anything else. That is how much this space means to me.

And I love the community my blog provides. This long weekend I was thinking a lot about another blogger that was going away with a friend she met via her blog. All weekend I was hoping they were getting good weather and having a great time. I was so excited when she finally posted pictures. When another blogger friend went in for her c-section I was counting the hours until it started and was sending loving thoughts her way all that day. These women truly are my friends and hold a very special place in my heart.

And while I hope I can build my blog following more over the years, I recognize that what I have now, the relatively small community of bloggers who I read and who read me, is an amazing gift in and of itself.

18 Victoria { 02.22.11 at 2:06 pm }

Thanks for your post. I know I need my space because I’ve tried over and over to quit and can’t or could not. I even started other blogs to escape but find myself right there again. It was not about building a huge following but about being able to express what I am/was feeling. It’s a big emotional outlet for me in the world of infertlity. However, if I can connect to as many people as people, that’s even better.

For all your successes, congratulations.
http://over40forivf.blogspot.com/

19 Tamara { 02.22.11 at 2:56 pm }

I will begin my reading other blogs and commenting on them with YOUR blog. It touched me deeply. I need my blog badly and I miss it when I’m away on long weekends or vacations. I write it mostly for my own emotional sanity and a lot also for my daughter to read someday. Fame and fortune are nice and all…but I will always think back on this infancy of my blog and just how it feels to watch it grow.

20 Jill { 02.22.11 at 3:11 pm }

When I first found StirrupQueens not quite a year ago, and began looking back through the archives, it just seemed to exist, without beginning, as if the blog had evolved in momentum as a avalanche, came spilling into this site. So it was a treat to read a small glimmer of origin.

I am a semi-anonymous blogger so building a following makes me a little nervous. I do need my blog, though, maybe not as much as I needed to read the IF blogs a year ago. It seemed that starting my own blog was the best way to join the amazing community of people sharing knowledge and support through blogging, communing.

Thanks Mel. ICLW

21 Justine { 02.22.11 at 4:10 pm }

yes, yes, yes! I need my space … and I can, unfortunately, identify with what you say about divorce from a job … I think mine is coming, and I’m petrified.

22 Blanche { 02.22.11 at 4:13 pm }

I don’t need to wallow in my space as much as I used to, but I’d be very unhappy if it went away. While not a physical thing, it holds the key to some memories I don’t want to lose. I suppose at some point I’ll need to go back and either print out or transfer the most significant posts and comments into Word. (And yes, IRL I have trouble discarding “things” which have memories attached.)

23 AFM { 02.22.11 at 4:21 pm }

I totally understand the need you space concept, I need my blog somedays as much as i need air. this community is fantastic. without it, I would have ended up feeling a lot more isolated.
Thanks Melissa.

24 RenovationGirl { 02.22.11 at 5:21 pm }

I’ve found that off and on I have “needed” my space. Right now, I need it more than ever…ending our fertility journey. Not exactly the way I wanted to “need” that space, but nonetheless…When I’ve felt like I didn’t need the space as much, I didn’t write as much, and then it made me sad when I would write, I wouldn’t get comments. Argh. And look at you pulling me out…I don’t think I’ve commented on your site in a long time. Sneaky you! ;)

25 Christa { 02.22.11 at 5:41 pm }

I definitely need my space! Even when it’s sometimes painful to look back on the past and see how hopeful I was and also how miserable I was (especially during my miscarriage). It reminds me at one point I had hope, and that’s something I often forget.

26 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 02.22.11 at 8:24 pm }

I do, though I needed it more before my babies were born, when I was in years 6 and 7 of TTC and then carrying a risky pregnancy.

It is so special to have a place where I can be totally honest, even when I’m obfuscating details to keep my identity hidden.

27 Lucie { 02.22.11 at 9:24 pm }

Hell, yes, I need my space. Blogging started as an outlet, a way to purge intense emotions seething inside me, a way to work out the “why me?”, and create space in my mind, my life, my marriage. It was and is a sanity-saver, tethering me to a world that sometimes I feel is drifting out of my reach, after over 3 years of trying to get pregnant. It’s linked me to a community that has become a lifeline, created another dimension to my life, and sparked a long buried creative urge in me. So, yes, yes, yes – I need my space.

28 Anon { 02.22.11 at 11:05 pm }

What about when your need becomes too much? Like an addiction, maybe? And what if it begins costing you things in real life?

29 Chris { 02.22.11 at 11:34 pm }

Wow, as always you’ve posed quite the provocative question. First of all, I’m so glad that you needed this space, ‘cuz like I’ve told you before, you are single-handedly responsible for me not completely going over the deep end. But, you asked about me. When I started my blog I didn’t need it. It was before infertility and miscarriage became a way of life, and it was just a way to keep in touch with people I’d moved away from. However, after my dad’s accident, and our infertility diagnosis, and especially after my first miscarriage, I NEEDED my space. My space has literally saved my life and made me a much better person to be around. I’ll also cherish the relationships on and offline that have come my way as a result of my blog. Lately I’ve wondered what to do with my blog, with my space. I still need it, but I have trouble finding the time to properly care for it. This is some very interesting food for thought you’ve given me. Thank you.

30 Missy { 02.23.11 at 1:22 am }

Hells yes I do! Mostly because I feel like I have a lot of crackpot thoughts and it helps to put them out there; regardless of whether or not someone reads them. I am so happy you do what you do and are so great at it!

31 Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 { 02.23.11 at 7:43 am }

Yes…I need my space…I call my blog my free therapy and have discussed things on there from infertility to pregnancy to birth to babies to twins to boobies to tantrums…and everything in between. I love writing about my experiences and sharing with others. I also love documenting life with the Crazies b/c I’ll never remember all of this. Plus, it’s saving us a fortune on therapy!!!

32 Emby { 02.23.11 at 12:18 pm }

This was a very interesting post. I feel that others blogs help me much more than my blog helps me. That being said, I still need my blog so that I can reach out to people. I would like to think that sharing my story will help someone else like all the blogs I read help me. Your blog is wonderful and has helped connect so many people who needed a connection. Thank you!

33 JJ { 02.23.11 at 1:41 pm }

Definitely wouldnt know what to do without my space…it is such a warm, welcoming feeling every time I log in to write..

34 Michelle { 02.23.11 at 3:52 pm }

Oh I soooooooooooo need my space. I love it. I love to be real on my space and not have to explain myself to people. My biggest regret is sharing the address with certain people in my family….that has not turned out well. Generations before are VERY uncomfortable with ‘airing your dirty laundry’. I love to sing it, shout it from the roof tops. Maybe it’s the teacher in me; needing to educate. Starting my blog helped me find others and connect with a world that I only thought I belonged in. I like to post, I like to share, I like to cry and I like to swear. Through 5 losses, blogging has saved me. The best therapy ever. I only wish that I had started it earlier. But alas…now I can shout!

35 jana { 02.23.11 at 5:32 pm }

interesting and thought provoking post. hmm, not sure how much i need my blog space anymore. i will have to give that some thought. i do enjoy keeping in contact with the friends i have made out here though. i will need to see what i need in terms of cyberspace right now. this helps hone my thoughts on this topic

36 TasIVFer { 02.23.11 at 8:25 pm }

I need my space. I need my space more than I need others to visit my space. My unpublished posts are ones I’m mulling over because I’m getting my thoughts together and trying to understand myself, not because I care whether they’re good enough for publication. I have posts I’m not happy with but I’ve published because I can’t have them sitting there with my mind mulling over them; I need them out of my head.

37 JesT { 02.23.11 at 10:35 pm }

I really needed to read a post like this. I wrote a post about how I feel like I get less comments when I post “happy posts.” I started to compare myself to other bloggers who get floods of comments and followers – I started to feel like I did when I was in high school, left out. But when I took a step back, I realized that the reason why I started this blog, or rather took my journal to the w.w.w. was because writing is and always has been my way to process life. Of course I like to hear/read that I my sharing has resonated with someone, touched someone, but at the end of the day, I write for me, I share myself, but the words, once written, are free to go where they may. I love blogging and yes, I need my space!

38 magpie { 02.24.11 at 11:23 am }

I do. I love my space.

BTW, I’m loving your book. And even though I know you aren’t Rachel, I hear you in Rachel’s voice.

39 Articia { 02.24.11 at 4:30 pm }

I’m so glad you wrote about blogging b/c it fascinates me! I am new to blogging but I LOVE to write. I always have. I started my blog for myself and for my close friends and family so they could keep up w/ what was going on w/ our IF stuff. This is my first ICLW and I had no idea it would be so awesome! I LOVE reading comments ppl leave for me and it makes me feel good to leave them for others. Even though I don’t always have something really insightful to say, I know how much it makes me soar to read those that I receive, so the least I can do is return the favor. I’m really glad I found your blog b/c it inspired me to jump into the world of blogging, and I have to say, it’s a part of me now.

40 Lisa @All That and a Box of Rocks { 02.25.11 at 10:48 am }

Hi!
I just finished reading “Life from Scratch and saw the reference to this blog, so…..here I am! :o)
Love, love, love the book and can’t wait for the sequel.
Re: needing my space. Well, I’ve been blogging for several years, but I struggle with getting real. I don’t think I put enough of ‘me’ out there. It seems odd, since you have to open up to be a good blogger, don’t you think? I guess my need for space intrudes into my ability to get real. :o/ Frustrating.
So nice to come here and meet you. I have never had fertility issues, I’m happy to say. However, I have lost a child during infancy, so I know the pain of empty arms.

41 Lawyer Mama { 02.28.11 at 11:46 pm }

I do. I’ve made so many friends, real friends who will be with me for the rest of my life, because of blogging. I have a new career that I love and a life filled with meaning all because I started a blog.
Unfortunately, I don’t always post in my very needed space because I have to choose between sleeping, blogging/commenting and my life in the corporeal world. It’s all about balance, I just wish I could find it again.
Great post, Mel, and so very true.

42 Peg { 03.01.11 at 1:43 pm }

I desperately do need this space. With therapy only once a week, I’ve found that writing about what’s going on (sister and brother-in-law died, adopted two of their kids, along with my three) has helped incredibly. Our situation is so complicated that even just taking part of it and writing it up in a blog post helps with the stress. I’m going to take your advice and keep writing and using the space for me. I’ve only had one comment so far, but the timing of it was so perfect, it could have been 100 comments.

Thanks!

43 Emily { 03.01.11 at 6:25 pm }

What an accurate description of the artist’s need and compulsion to write, tell stories, and to share our stories with others. Our infant son was recently diagnosed with Tay-Sachs, a terminal, incurable genetic disease that leads to death before the age of 3. I have been a “professional” writer for nearly 10 years, but never have I felt this overwhelming desire to write — it’s weirdly euphoric, and it’s made me believe in the power of our stories, on blogs, in person, on twitter, whatever, to help us understand the human condition.

44 Kristen { 03.02.11 at 1:15 pm }

Thank you for your advice. I do need my space. It is a space where I can write my raw real feelings and just leave it out there to hang. I am able to share feelings and experiences that I don’t even tell family or some friends about. I need the support and relief from the process.

45 Ann marie Houghtailing { 07.21.11 at 3:03 pm }

I love good, quality, practical advice that helps us to advance. I believe that story telling is the thing that binds us from one generation to the next, and allows us to better understand one another; we need the time and space to shape and share our own stories as well as to read others.

46 Andrea { 08.07.11 at 3:52 pm }

Love wat you had to say. I agree, my blog really is my outlet to feel creative and share with whomever cares. Thanks!

47 Kendra { 08.15.11 at 7:34 pm }

You have such a strong voice, and a clear desire to help others while making space for your own creativity. I don’t think anyone even reads my blog, but it has been a powerful outlet for me, and I feel like if even one person is helped by my own struggles, it will have served its purpose.

48 Anon { 04.24.12 at 10:25 am }

its all about WANTING people to hear you and soliciting their interest and their feedback. so often blogs just pitch content in heaps out into the blogosphere and it’s never seen. gotta take the extra steps!

49 postmormongirl { 08.28.12 at 4:56 pm }

I started my blog because I had to write. My topic centers around leaving the Mormon Church and forging my own religious identity, which was a very isolating experience. I am so grateful when I hear from readers who have gone through the same process – I don’t want others in my position to feel as alone as I did. So for me, writing a blog is very personal and meaningful.

50 Deanna Whitten { 12.09.12 at 12:15 pm }

I have to say, I love this blog!! I have my blog because I love to write.. So many times, I get to be the sounding board for my friends that I dont get my time to talk. So on my blog, I get to put my thoughts and ideas.. Keep up the great work!! :)

51 Amy { 01.13.13 at 3:11 pm }

I love this! I am currently reading Life from Scratch. I really relate to her “finding her voice.” That’s how I feel. I started blogging a little less than 2 years ago. I don’t know where my voice was before. I do NEED my space but I feel that I am still finding my way and designing it. I started blogging about my Son (who has autism) but did not mention that fact and just wrote Erma Bombeck type blurbs about the crazy things he says and does. He is HILARIOUS! But I started right after our Baby Girl, Madeline, died suddenly at 16 months from Medical complications of Down Syndrome. It soon became apparent that I couldn’t NOT write about her. My whole body was in pain from the grief and I was trying to be funny and escape. Gradually I started writing about her and my experience and grief. I think that is how I started to NEED my space.
I have a few loyal followers but thank you for the encouraging words. We all need to be reminded not to give up. This weekend I tracked down the address of a woman that started following me from the beginning and thanked her for staying with me. She said she was touched I went to the trouble to find her e-mail. So I like that advice to be true to your loyal readers.
I am rambling but wanted to thank you. I like the idea of NEEDING the space. Guess the rest is a marathon, not a sprint.

52 Heather Buckman { 05.14.13 at 8:53 pm }

Blogging is a space for me to have fun and experience joy. Like most of us – I lead and extraordinarily full life. I have 2 grown children, 8-month-old twin boys, I have a big full-time job, a household to run. And yet I still am finding time to blog because it’s fun and allows me to experience a natural pause in life. To me, life is sweeter when I can reflect on my experiences, interpret them, and put them down in the written word. Much love to you for starting this blog and for doing these projects that hopefully give you much joy and also provide support for lots of others! xoxoxo Heather

53 Rachel Lewis { 05.23.13 at 5:18 am }

The day after we lost our Olivia Joy (she had implanted in my left tube), I took a 3-hour-long shower sobbing and grieving for the baby I loved and never got to meet. And one thought kept coming over and over… “I need to tell her story.” and I knew if I felt so strongly sbout sharing her short little life, other moms might need the same outlet. And so the lewisnote was born. And now, 3 pregnancy losses and one failed foster placement in… It is my safe place. It’s where I find myself. My place to vent, share my grief, and connect to my littles who I’ll never know on Earth. Do I need my blog? Do I need oxygen to live? :)

54 Lisa K. { 08.06.13 at 1:28 pm }

I love this. I needed my space for my first blog. I needed it to vent, for journaling and for social justice. I don’t need it anymore. I’m finished with that chapter of my life and it’s closed (or closing). Now I find myself daydreaming about a new blog and although I haven’t officially started one, I have lots of new ideas. I’m excited about getting a new space and making it my own. Like you, Melissa, my voice has changed and what I needed to say also changed.

55 Luna { 05.31.14 at 11:59 am }

My blog was finally born out of my “rock bottom ” moment. I really, really need the space right now. This is a great post and great advice. Thank you for all you provide.
http://www.hopeful-luna.com

56 Vera Lynn { 09.12.14 at 11:08 pm }

I feel that you can I could sit down like old friends and have a wonderful conversation. Though we’ve never met, this post has affirmed all I came to realize a month ago. I’ve needed my space for years and I’ve finally found it.

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