Friends and communities

I’m hosting a crafternoon today and am looking forward to a fun day of socializing. I think it was my friend Chris who first used the word “crafternoon” around me; we’ve been doing this for years, but didn’t have a word for it until clever Chris coined one.

What is a crafternoon? Well, it’s a gathering — usually in a private home — where friends get together to work on crafts. Pretty much all of my women friends knit, and many are good at other crafts, too. During crafternoons we’ve had people working simultaneously on knitting, crochet, hand-stitching, and machine sewing projects.

We’ll see what people bring today. I plan on knitting (and maybe finishing my Featherweight cardigan!) and possibly doing a bit of sewing. Sewing isn’t one of my favorite things to do, but I have some major mending to do on a down comforter and duvet cover that Hannah dog chewed a hole in last year. I really need a better duvet cover than the worn out one currently on my bed, and rather than buy a new one I’m going to try to patch up one I already have on hand.

Over the past few months, I’ve started reading a few new blogs and expanding the online community to which I relate. Online community gets built the same way real-time community gets built: common interests. Reading one blog often leads to reading another blog that’s been linked to in one way or another (comments count here!), and if that blog remains interesting before you know it you’re regularly reading that blog, too. Reading blogs often reads to commenting on blogs (at least for me), which then leads the blogger to look at your blog, and so on and so on.

In this way I’ve added a few new blogs my reading/commenting list:

Everyday Tips and Thoughts

First Gen American

Grumpy rumblings of the untenured

I am the working poor

Invest it Wisely

Since My Divorce

Single Mom, Rich Mom

I first read these blogs because they were linked in some way from a personal finance blog that I started reading when I was getting divorced (Get Rich Slowly). I continue to go back to them because they are about more than just personal finance and the personality of the bloggers shines through their writings. They seem like people with whom I’d like to be social.

Since I started writing my blog years ago with no set goal in mind, it’s also refreshing to read blogs from others who have very definite objectives. Most of these bloggers want to build a second income from their writing and/or are using blogging to launch a writing career. Building their online communities is key to reaching their objectives, so these bloggers are very good about linking to each other and responding to comments. I am not so good at that, but I’m going to try to be better.

Perhaps I do need to establish some goals for my blogging. (Yeah, not too long ago I said I was going to write every Sunday, which I think counts as a goal. I haven’t done so well with that, though.) I think I’ve resisted setting blogging goals for so long because I seem prone to over-committing and then getting overwhelmed and not carrying through. That leads to me feeling guilty and withdrawing, and so on and so on.

When I first started this post I was enthusing about my imminent gathering with my friends. As I’ve been writing it I’ve been struck by another commonality between real-time community/friendships and online community/friendships: they help you be accountable, even if that  accountability is only to yourself.

So excuse as a I get back to prepping my crafternoon today. I have to get the soup on!