The Best Reason to Blog – Part 4

by Jami Gold on November 28, 2013

in Random Musings

Basket of harvested apples with text: Blogging: Harvesting Benefits

Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S. The day we eat too much food, roll our eyes at the antics of our extended family, and think about all the things we’re grateful for. Or in my case, see if I can resist seconds of mashed potatoes so I can justify another dessert.

This Thanksgiving post is now an annual tradition on my blog. Three years ago, I revealed that the best reason for me to blog is all of you. The post two years ago reiterated that point with my gratitude for all the friends I’ve made via blogging and social media. Last year, I confessed my love of the blogging format because of the connections possible. And gee, what a surprise! All of you are still the best reason to blog! *smile*

There have been plenty of times over the last 3 1/2 years when I didn’t feel like blogging. When I’d rather be relaxing. When I’d rather be writing fiction. But I push myself to blog anyway because of you.

Okay, that’s enough to make it seem like I’m a glutton for punishment or blogging out a sense of obligation. Or maybe that’s enough to make you feel guilty for those expectations. Where’s the inspirational message there? *grin*

In every case (and I do mean every case), after I blogged and posted, I’ve been grateful for that push of knowing you were there and happy I spent the time writing for the blog. I’m excited to share the post with you. I’m eager to hear your insights on the issue. I’m energized by the conversations triggered in the comments.

In short, while words like “obligation” can have a negative connotation, I don’t see it that way, at least not in this case. The obligation I might feel to live up to expectations here have pushed me to do better, do more, do things even when I don’t feel like it. And all those qualities are good for me to develop.

We might not feel like querying or marketing or doing taxes, but we need to do those too (unless we don’t want to be successful and stay out of prison *smile*). So we all have to find the motivation for things we don’t want to do.

I’m lucky to have you because you make me glad I’ve stuck with this blog. I haven’t gotten nearly that same amount of positive reinforcement for my queries. *sigh* So yes, I’m grateful for you. *smile*

Is there anything special you’re grateful for this year? Are there people who push you to a higher level by having high expectations of you? Do expectations stress you out or energize you? (Or does it depend?) Do you ever dread activities and then are glad you pushed through the dread to have the experience?

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13 Comments below - Time to Add your own.

Tamara LeBlanc November 28, 2013 at 9:10 am

I’m so glad you blog.
I’ve been overwhelmed with work, caring for my husband and kids and taking care of the house. I haven’t visited you very much lately at all.
I hope that soon I’ll have a little less stress and more time to log on and read your wise words.
Thank you, jami, for all you do for us. You’re a marvel!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Tamara

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Jami Gold November 28, 2013 at 9:15 am

Hi Tamara!

No joke–I was just thinking about you yesterday and sending up prayers and good wishes for you and your family. I’m so glad you were able to stop by. I wish I was able to do more for you. *hugs*

Yes, this goes for all my dear readers, I miss you when I don’t see you for a while. :) Thanks for the comment and Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

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Sara Litchfield November 28, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Wow I’m so glad you blog!! Without all the unbelievable help and info you share, I would have been a bit lost attacking NaNo for the first time… Instead I’m about to win in the next 2 days!! So, I’m thankful for *you*!!!

Even when I don’t feel like it, and even when I find excuses to put it off, I never put my blog off for more than a day or two at the most. It’s an obligation to myself to prove that I can commit to something. And once it’s out there, especially when there’s positive feedback, but even when there’s none, I don’t regret it.

There’s nothing wrong with fulfilling obligations when those obligations are fulfilling :)

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Jami Gold November 28, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Hi Sara,

Woo hoo! Congratulations on your NaNo win!

And I love your final quote–yes, obligations can be fulfilling. :) Thanks for the comment!

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Serena Yung November 28, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Aw! This is such a sweet post. ^^ I keep commenting on this blog BECAUSE you care so much about us and always reply too. ^^ I always look forward to see what you have to say.

Something special that I’m grateful for this year? Yes! I made two really awesome close friends, and you know how hard to come by close friends are! :D. It’s remarkable how my friendships with these two wonderful people have developed and deepened so quickly too! Something in our personalities made us so compatible with each other that we find each other so easy and pleasant to talk to. :D. Plus, our closeness is such that we can talk about basically anything with each other, and we’ve told one another many of our secrets already… It’s not easy to find friends you feel comfortable enough with to confide in! Making these two new close friends is additionally great because almost all of my close friends have graduated and have gone back home, whilst I still have one more year in university (I switched my major from biochem to psych); so without these two new friends, I would be virtually left all alone! (I’d still have my casual friends, but casual friends are casual, so they’re not the type you hang out with all the time and share secrets with, you know?)

High expectations…my parents have very low expectations for me. XD. They keep worrying that I’m getting too obsessed with getting As that I’m paying less attention to my health, lol. I’m not that bad, really. Apart from a few days during this semester, I’ve been sleeping eight hours everyday, and I eat well and almost never skip meals. True that I don’t exercise much but…you can’t be perfect, can you? XD. However, my PROF has very high expectations for me. I was so stressed when he felt CERTAIN that I would get into a research course that only accepts 20 students. Thank goodness I indeed got in. I wouldn’t know what to do if I didn’t! And my prof just expects me to get As and A-s in everything–just because I got the highest mark in his class, he thinks I must be a good student overall. OTL. My fingers are crossed for my psych course this semester that I’ll get at least an A-! Eek.

Apart from academics, though my writer friends don’t say so out loud, they expect me to finish writing a lot of things I said I was going to do. They expect me to actually realize ALL my plans. XD. So this also motivates me to keep my writing promises, lol.

So people having high (but realistic) expectations for me is generally very helpful and motivating to me. I posted my daily wordcount on Nanowrimo on Facebook so my friends would expect me to finish it, and as a result I really did finish it, on the 24th. :) I’m one of those people who are very driven by social forces, you could say. There’s something in me that is so mortified by the thought of disappointing others, that it makes me work extra hard to not let them down. I will show them that their faith in me is not misplaced. :D

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Jami Gold November 28, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Hi Serena,

Oh yes, close friends are invaluable. I’m so glad you have that. :)

LOL! at others expecting us to complete our plans and reach our goals. That’s the psychology behind the advice to voice our goals aloud though, isn’t it? :) I can’t definitely relate to feeling mortified by disappointing others and/or wanting to prove that their faith wasn’t misplaced. You’re not alone there. Thanks for the comment!

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Tamara LeBlanc November 30, 2013 at 8:07 am

Jami, thank you for the prayers. We appreciate them more than you know. Hope you had a great thanksgiving!
Hugs and love,
Tamara :)

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Jami Gold November 30, 2013 at 9:03 am

Hi Tamara,

Yes, we did have a great Thanksgiving–thanks! I’ll definitely keep up the prayers for you and your family. *hugs*

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Carradee December 3, 2013 at 10:47 am

Your blog is actually remarkably useful for me, for helping me keep track of what day of the week it is. Since I just moved into an apartment on my own, I’ll probably be setting up more such Oh, that’s what day it is! safeguards.

*clears throat* I work from home, okay? You try performing a heavy edit on a 100k-word novel in 3 days and then telling me what day it is without looking it up. :-)

But as for special things I’m grateful for the year…the apartment. It’s an added stressor, but I think it’ll be better for me overall. *deep breath* Suffice to say that my family is fantastic at assigning meaning and motive that completely differ from what you actually said, insisting it’s what you meant…among other things that are only made worse by my mother’s probable depression and possible PTSD and OCD. She’s even upset that, after she demanded my new apartment’s spare key, I asked “Why?” instead of handing it over.

*wry smile* When the family’s making me start to question my sanity, this is one of the places I can poke in and remind myself that I’m not crazy or unreasonable (or angry, spiteful, hateful, etc.)—no matter how much my family tries to tell me I am.

I also like how you often ask questions that lead to me talking through story things in ways that often lead to “Eureka!” moments.

Thanks, Jami. :-)

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Jami Gold December 3, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Hi Carradee,

LOL! Too funny. Yes, I have reminders on my desktop and my phone to remind me to write the posts, because I’m often not much better about remember which day it is. :)

Aww, thank you so much! You’re just as crazy as the rest of us, right? ;) And I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it already, but congratulations on your new apartment. *sends cheerful, happy thoughts as a housewarming gift* Thanks for sharing and thanks for the comment!

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Carradee December 4, 2013 at 4:33 am

I’m certainly no crazier than everyone else. :) (I believe everyone’s some form of crazy; some of us just hide it better than others.)

Thanks for the congrats and well wishes, Jami. :)

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Jami Gold December 4, 2013 at 8:05 am

Hi Carradee,

Exactly. Normalacy is an illusion. :)

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