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!

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10 thoughts on “Friends and communities

  1. I started reading your blog, I believe, because you raise chickens. I agree that connecting online through blogging is rewarding in and of itself, besides getting your writing noticed.

    My daughter even started blogging, having been inspired by mine, which we originally started together, but being the independent “little chick” that she is, she now has her own site.

    That being said, “crafternoons” sound like a wonderful idea, and I am inspired to knit the afternoon away, having finished my Sunday ritual of writing my weekly blog.

    Keep blogging… I am always entertained. 🙂

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  2. I, too, started reading because of your chickens. I long to have some hens, but my city’s code says no to this idea. Perhaps one day I’ll get up the nerve to address the city council about this. I keep reading your blog as I find your posts interesting. While I’m not a knitter/crafter, I appreciate the skill that goes into these endeavors. I agree with you: having a community of some kind does help us be accountable. I may not always like the “pressure” associated with this, but those guilty feelings don’t last long, and I always enjoy the communication that is created because of these communities.

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  3. I personally believe that blogging should always be enjoyable and should never seem like work (one job is enough! :P), so what I do now is I set aside some time to write, but if I can’t for some reason I won’t punish myself too much. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have ideas; in that case I’ll do some reading until I’m inspired again and can share something (hopefully) interesting with others.

    Thanks for being part of the community at Invest It Wisely and for the mention!

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  4. My daughter and I would love to attend a Crafternoon. (She is only 14, but much more talented than I am. Must be the left-handedness.)

    Thank you so much for mentioning my site. I have been enjoying yours too!

    I have a hard time balancing my blogging time, that is for sure.

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    • I think the crafternoons are mostly about just getting together and being social. During this last one we enjoyed some soup (and two friends desperately wanted the recipe), enjoyed the modeling of a wedding dress (one of my friends is getting married and I offered to give her my old wedding dress), and just generally had a blast. Crafts are fun, but we enjoy the social bits the most, I think.

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  5. What a lovely post and I’m honored that you thought of me as a community member (as I’m only a 6 month old blogger) I actually have no set financial agenda for my blog, but I do LOVE the feeling of kinship that blogging has created for me.

    I’m a very social person but because of my young kids and transient friends, I haven’t been getting out as much as I used to. Blogging certainly has filled that void for me.

    My version of the crafternoon is Coffee Talk where a bunch of us all write about the same topic on the same day. It’s so fun and I hope you’ll participate in the next one. This year, I’d like to explore how to do more of this. In real life there is always a person who organizes fun events and then other fun people show up and participate in the activity du jour. I think I want to be one of those people in the virtual world but I haven’t quite figured out how to do it yet.

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    • I saw your last Coffee Talk and was thinking about trying to do it, but was still a bit intimidated. Considering that Molly on Money got away with breaking the rules, though, I may just give it try next time. 🙂

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      • Invest it broke the rules the time before. THe topic was to do a parody on 12 days of Xmas and he picked a whole other song altogether…but as long as the topic is inspiring, it doesn’t matter where the story goes. THat’s what makes it interesting is no 2 articles are ever the same.

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  6. Pingback: Weekend Reading: Moving Edition | Invest It Wisely

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