When I first started this blog, I figured it would be a solitary endeavor—just little ol’ me, typing away behind a computer screen, hoping that some reader in cyberland might happen across my site. I was blogging to chronicle my search for a new BFF, but I never dreamed it would be a means of actually finding her. You see where this is going. If this were a movie the scene now cuts to Rachel, surrounded by blog buddies, laughing over drinks while we balance laptops in our, well, laps.
Turns out blogging is a surefire way to meet friends. They may not live locally, but it’s a pretty crazy cybercommunity. I’m still kind of flabbergasted by its inclusiveness. “Sure! I’ll take you under my wing little baby blog. Stick with me, and you can’t go wrong.” I comment on your blog, you comment on mine, and suddenly we’re email pals. In fact, just this weekend I had a pseudo-study date with Lauren of Embrace the Detour (pseudo as in, we gchatted then both went about our writing, then gchatted again. But knowing I’d have to report my progress held me accountable and actually spurred productivity) and connected Julie of Fox and Bird with a brilliant designer friend in children’s publishing, Julie’s dream job (or so she wrote in this awesome post).
My very first blog friends were the ladies of Big Girls, Small Kitchen. They’re also the only blog friends I know in real life. Their site is a self-described guide for quarter-life cooks, and I absolutely adore it because it combines my two favorite things: food and friendship (the cooks have been BFFs since high school, and they write about keeping the bond strong over their love of all things culinary). Cara, one half of the Big Girls, is my friend Jill’s little sister, and, dare I say, now a friend of mine in her own right. She was instrumental in helping me launch this project. And what do we do when we make new friends? Support them, of course. And when supporting them means supporting a good cause, even better.
The quarter-life cooks are currently collaborating with Baking For Good, a gifting site for sweet treats that donates 15% of every purchase to a cause of the customer’s choosing. Cara and Phoebe baked in support of The Valerie Fund, an organization in the tri-state area that provides comprehensive health care for children with cancer and blood disorders. BGSK Peanut M&M Blondies are available on the site, now through Mother’s Day, as part of a blog-wide Virtual Bake Sale. You should probably go and buy a package now. Why? Because 1) blondie’s make a delish Mom’s Day gift, 2) you’re helping kids with cancer, and 3) I’ve been eating Cara’s treats since she was a wee lass (or a middle-schooler) and she’s a damn good baker.
But back to me. (Kidding! Sort of!) Blogging’s not the only supposedly solitary endeavor that has led me to unexpected buddies. Reading, certainly an activity for one, has been the catalyst for many a close friendship. I’ve always considered cooking a me-time activity, but for Cara and Phoebe it’s a great way to connect.
Have you forged friendships over solitary endeavors? Which ones? How did the friendships come about? And is there a way I can turn TV-watching into a friend-making activity? Because then life would be complete.
Oh, and don’t forget to buy some blondies!
24 responses to “A Blog Eat Blog World? Not Really”
I love this post. Because it’s true. This cybercommunity is incomparable. Coleridge said, “Friendship is a sheltering tree.” And in this bizarre bloggy forest, there is indeed an abundance of shelter and shade.
Thank you for the reminder that this blogging gig is about far more than traffic and comments and exposure. It is about relationships – and friendship.
Have made this great post an ILI Charm today as I am confident that my readers will love to pay you a visit 🙂 – http://www.ivyleagueinsecurities.com/2010/04/going-breadless/
Thanks Aidan! I really appreciate it. Especially since you were my second official blog friend… What a crazy world….
If only Mariska Hargitay would jump out of the screen and stay for peanut-butter blondies and tea when I watch SVU! => Speaking of peanut-butter blondies, yum. Off to check out the bake sale …
(Nice to “meet” you … Visiting from ILI.)
I was also surprised how bloggers are so interconnected. The blogs you have mentioned in your post I’ve visited. On another note, sometimes I feel like your “bloggy” friends understand you better that your real ones. It’s nice to know that friendships can come in different ways. I am glad to make your acquaintance in this blogging community. I’ve also added you to my blogroll. Thanks for your posts.
I know what you mean about blog friends understanding you better, or at least differently. It’s hard to explain blogginess and how it becomes an extension of yourself to people not involved in that world. I was certainly suprised be it myself!
Isn’t blogging great?
And I am so pleased that you and Lauren cyber study dated. Let’s start a trend!
Rachel, you are definitely using the powers of the internet for good. Not only are you a terrific writer, you’re also a generous heart, and the combination is killer.
Aww, thanks Julie. Seee.. blog friends! Love it.
To some extent, running has helped me to forge friendships. Even though I do all of my running alone, it makes me part of the ‘running community’. I haven’t made any local running friends, but have met fantastic fellow runnes online, and will be meeting up with 2 bloggers to run a marathon in October! So that is pretty cool.
I am also looking into trying out a local running club… I am a bit nervous about it as I am afraid I’ll be slow or everyone will be BFF and I will just end up feeling awkward and out of place. I tried joining a different running club last summer and oh my, it was awkward. One guy was wearing a kilt. No joke. I don’t think he was even Scottish. Weird. Anyways, after that I swore off running clubs but am giving it another shot. I think.
I have a friend who met one of her BFFs through her running club, so don’t give up hope! Though I can see why the kilt thing would throw you off. I am thinking of joining one myself, so I’ll keep you posted!
I got into blogging over 3 years ago as an outlet for writing. I didn’t even realize people who didn’t know me, people whom I hadn’t shared my URL address with might actually find me. Over time, I have met probably two dozen bloggers. I consider myself good friends with maybe a handful of those I’ve met. And then there’s probably another dozen I haven’t yet met, but consider friends.
Coming from the girl who met her husband online, it comes as no surprise I’d meet friends here, too. So long as you have an open mind, you really can make friends anywhere!
I completely agree with your observations on blogging. I started my blog partially to give my columns a home outside the newspaper and as a place to post other types of writing that might be not be a good fit for my regular column but that I still wanted (or needed) to say. What I found went far beyond my initial expectations and it became a real sense of community.
To be honest, I lurked in the background of many blogs for a long time before ever daring to leave a comment. And it seemed a lot like dating when I would because I spent a lot of time thinking “I hope I don’t sound stupid, wonder if they’ll like me.” (thankfully, I have never thought “does this blog make my butt look big.”) But what I did find after timidly entering the blogosphere was an amazing community of creative and supportive people. It’s been a fun and energizing way to connect for this at-home writer.
Thank you so much for being a wonderful Blog BFF and supporting our cause! Such a wonderful, sweet post, and we are so so grateful!
“And is there a way I can turn TV-watching into a friend-making activity? Because then life would be complete.”
Please, PLEASE let me know if you figure this one out. I’d have more besties than I knew what to do with. 😉
Blogging really is about connection. I too was so surprised to find real and actual and honest and true friendships here. But I did and I’m so grateful. Such a great additive to life.
Came by via Ivy League Insecurities. Gotta love that woman.
Ohh yesss, if my blogging buddies were my real-life friends that I sipped (read: chugged) wine with and went shopping with, and brunching and all that fun stuff, I’d feel like the most popular girl in the WORLD! 🙂
I am a new blogger, too, and actually got started for a completely solitary reason – to force myself to practice writing. But as I snoop around the world of bloggers I am continually surprised at the support and friendship I find. It’s astounding, really. And so encouraging!
I love the concept of your blog. I’ve found making friends in my grown-up, kid-taking-care-of life to be kind of difficult. It was easy to make friends in college and even in those early, post-college, pre-kid days. But now life can be strangely isolating, and I never imagined I’d feel lonely living in a house full of people. Granted, two of those people are under 4 feet tall and although one of them talks ALL THE TIME, it’s not the same as talking with a girlfriend!
Happy to have found you (via ILI!) and will be back to read more.
Hi Rachel! This is my first visit to your blog. Your favorite quilter is a quilting buddy of mine. Your post made me think about how solitary quilting has become. It used to be a social activity with many hand quilting around a quilt frame. Now, we tend to do things by machine in our own private sewing spaces. But, our love of all things quilty brings us together and can create almost instant friendships when we meet others who share the same passion. If I ever move away from my current support system, I will look for quilting groups immediately in hopes of making new BFF’s.
Well, thanks to Aidan for sending me over. More than once I cracked a smile while reading this. I’ve built better connections through blogging over the last year than I have in living in this town for four years. Sad but true. Then again, I’m not sad about it at all.
I wince at self-promotion–even though it’s really about connections–but you seem like you’d enjoy participating in Five for Ten. If you are interested, pop over to Momalom. It’s alllllll about building up the connections that we make online.
I totally agree: the biggest surprise for me about blogging has been how many friends I’ve made. I never imagined it.
Before that, I was surprised by how many friends I made when I learned to knit. That’s another very inclusive, mostly female endeavor.
Both blogging and knitting have added so much to my life.
I wish I lived in Chicago so I could be your REAL BFF. But then, there I go, acting like friendships that happen via tech devices are something less than real, which I absolutely don’t believe. I had so much fun being study buddies and would love to do it again soon!!!!! This bloggy world is so fun, and so expansive, I’m learning. Expansive in size but also in scope – we can be so much for each other: friends, sounding boards, editors, critics, cheerleaders, readers. It’s awesome.
I have actually made quite a few really good friends from a blog site called pnn.com. I’m convinced if we lived closer, I’d have at least two real BFF’s (a problem when meeting new pals online). We do speak on the phone often but meeting in person is just too difficult when we’re at opposite ends of the country. I like that site because the camaraderie and support cannot be beat. It’s also great for professional connections.
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This is a lovely post! Though I love teaching college writing, I haven’t given up on children’s book publishing, either…and your connecting me with Jennifer without even knowing me, technically, is one of the most encouraging acts of kindness I’ve ever experienced! The internet can be a beautiful place indeed.