Because It's Still Cool To Blog

Read. Engage. Repeat.

Clearly, there must be something in the air. Just the other week I was rambling (seemingly incoherently) to my friend Paige about how mostly I feel spectacular taking work down a notch and enjoying these early months with Violet, but sometimes have twinges wondering whether I should be doing more. And that I tend to feel that way when I hop on Twitter and see other people pounding the pavement hard (even though I’ve never been a pavement pounder -- partly because I haven’t needed to...a blessing, I know...and partly because when I see someone pounding the pavement really aggressively I get squeamish and embarrassed for the person). And then this week, Jennifer and Amy both posted on the topic of mom blogger comparison-making and competition. (And my re-tweeting of Jennifer's post led to a healthy Twitter dialog between me, Jennifer, @neilochka, and @phdinparenting yesterday.) I agree 100% with Jennifer that it’s detrimental to compare yourself to other bloggers and that if you do find yourself in that hole, the best thing to do is move forward and think positively. But it also occurred to me that in addition to being positive and forward thinking about your own goals, getting back to the basics of what makes this space awesome and not competitive and anxiety provoking would also probably help negate competitive, sour feelings. Two immediate actions come to mind:

1. Find new tweeps. I was just talking to Christina the other night about how the self-promotional/sponsored nature of Twitter sometimes depresses me. I mean, I share my own links, but I also engage with others. And it’s the days when my stream is all promotional links and sponsored hashtags and requests for votes (I was guilty of vote asking a couple of years ago and will never, ever go there again) and I just feel bummed out. So go find people who are conversational, make you laugh, and offer inspiration. A few recommendations: @LOD pretty much makes me snort milk out my nose every other tweet. @Busymom has a real way with funny social media commentary. @lemead is conversational and tweets lovely quotes that make me pause and reflect. @mrlady, @busydadblog, and @HeatherBarmore are super conversational and pretty much make me laugh my ass off on a regular basis. And @babysteph is simply one of my favorite nuggets on the internet -- she's got an overall positive vibe but is down to earth.

2. Read blogs. And comment on them. Whoa, how crazy is that? It’s the thing we all want other people to do for our blogs but sometimes forget to do for others. Truly, I'm so happy when I not only take the time to read blogs (which I’m actually very good at thanks to my feed reader and the fact that Violet really enjoys having me stand in one place and bounce up and down for long stretches of time…) but when I also comment on them. Even better is when I take the time to link up my favorite posts in a roundup to share with others.

Read. Engage. Repeat. Easy, no? And it fosters community building and good karma. Which envy and jealousy and blog voodoo dolls do not.

{Man, I really hope that I just made up the concept of blog voodoo dolls and that no one actually makes them.}

And with that, I’d love for you to comment below and recommend some of your favorite blogs and people to follow. I want to discover some awesome writers today. And I’m even getting good at commenting with one hand while standing in one spot bouncing up and down with Violet so I’ll try to comment when I visit. Not every time, but as much as I am able.