24 May 2011

Finding Your Writing Voice and Blog Love


Hand stitched by Marie @ Ancient Cloth

I am always touched by the kind words and generosity in the blogging world.  
I ventured into it to fill a place in my heart. Prior to blogging, I was involved 
in a full time commitment in New Zealand which I loved.  When it came time for us 
to pack our bags and move on I had to let go and it was harder than I thought it would be.  
I needed to talk about it and blogging seemed as good a place as any.

There were times when I wondered if I was talking to myself...if anybody 
could relate to what I was saying. Why would anyone want to listen to a woman 
talking about her life? I considered stopping, but then that first follower came along 
and then a comment and I then I knew I had found my voice. Someone had thought 
enough of what I said to lend encouragement, they understood. I was just as delighted 
to receive that comment then as I am today. 

Can I say, that if you are new to blogging and wondering if it is worth the effort 
( as I did many a time) I encourage you to stay with it. I am sure many readers 
who have been at it for a while would say the same. It takes time to connect. 
Our writing voices are unique to us and I believe we should stay true to it. I once thought 
of changing to be more like another and felt like I stepped into another skin...it wasn't me. 
That is when I decided that numbers don't really matter..I just had to write and photograph 
what I felt and hope that others would connect.  I soon realised that like minds 
have a way of finding each other. 

Why am I writing about this today? It all came home to me these past few weeks, literally. 
On my door step, I have found the most wonderful messages and packages from readers.
Each unique to the sender, each greatly appreciated by the receiver (me). 



With this post I am sending my sincerest thanks to Lisa in Vermont who sent me a wonderful 
collection of her favourite things..which interestingly are mine too. Lisa and I connected several 
months ago. We have been writing back and forth and discovered that we have much in common. 
I have written about Lisa with A Dream House in Vermont, here and the Dance of the Virgins here. Today, after a good dig in the garden, I went off to read one of the books she sent me, 
Two Gardeners.. A Friendship in Letters, more here
I know someday, Lisa and I will meet, it is just meant to be :)





I am sending thanks also to Ilse of Insha'llah in Bahrain, another expat, who is currently 
in transit to a destination unknown. She is a kindred spirit in that she
 loves photography and travel. It has been a pleasure getting to know her and I hope
she comes back to the blogging world when she finally settles down again.




I send thanks to the very talented Marie of Ancient Cloth who responded
 to my postcard request. I sent her one and she sent me three including
this beautiful hand made postcard that she made from vintage cloth. 
She is a sweetheart! Please stop in and tell her I said so :)





I have Lisa to thank for introducing me to Joe at Notes from Juniper Hill Farm. If you are a keen gardener or even if you just like to play in the garden, like me, you should stop in 
and say hello to Joe. I promise you will be glad you did. Joe has a fantastic blog which 
he recently created over a long and cold winter.  Joe sent me an issue of New Hampshire Home magazine with a feature article on his wonderful farm. I was delighted to receive it and have since
scrutinized properties around New Hampshire to see if a gem like it exists elsewhere. 
Mr. H has been hearing about nothing else since :)




Beate @ Sunday in Bed is another talented craftswoman and a cherished blogging friend. 
I have admired her knitted creations for sometime and purchased a blanket from her 
DaWanda shop which I adore. We are now talking about creating a 'summer wrap' and 
I have no doubt that I will be selecting another of her items in the future.
 My pick.... in the center 'A'. I can't wait!




I would be remiss in not mentioning those times, when you least expect it,
 you receive a message asking if you would like to meet. It has happened twice to me 
and in both cases there was not the least amount of hesitation. I had the great pleasure 
in the past months to meet Pamela @ From The House of Edward who I wrote about here
I feel very fortunate to count her amongst my blogging friends. Not only is she a fabulously 
talented woman, she is also sweet and kind and generous and she has Edward, 
the greatest friend one could have.



Lastly, my blogging story came full circle when I recently met Vicki @ French Essence. For those of you who know Vicki's books and blog, can I just say that she is an absolute delight in person. Smart, gorgeous, stylish, friendly and warm hearted are just a few of the words to describe her. She is a treasure!


If it were not for Vicki, I would not be blogging today. I happened upon her book, My French Life
in our local library in Auckland, New Zealand around the time we were ready to move in 2009. 
I read the first page, first sentence and was delighted to see that someone else felt the way that I did. 
I was not alone. I looked up her blog on the internet, followed along for a while and when the time 
was right, I created Collage of Life. I wrote about her here. Vicky wrote to lend encouragement 
and that made all the difference to me. I have been following her blog ever since.... to have met 
her was truly the icing on the cake ;)



More on Vicki and her books, here.

If you are new to blogging, take heart, stay with it,
go around and find others whose writing voice calls out to you. 
Talk to them, leave a comment and persevere.
When you do, it will come back to you :)
xxx

and one last time
Thank you to one and all !!

Images as mentioned above

32 comments:

  1. You are such a dear!
    Meeting you was an incredible treat and I know Vicki felt the same.
    And now the three of us must get together, don't you think?!

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  2. What a beautiful way to encourage others not to give you. Thank you for sharing.

    I'm going to order New Hampshire Home for my hub, a NH native, and me to enjoy. We've visited friends who have beautiful homes there.

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  3. Pamela...I think it is a great idea!

    Kittie... I am sure your hub will enjoy the magazine, I was thinking of doing the same...perhaps I will have it mailed directly to my hub too :)

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  4. Jeanne,

    I read your post today and I felt as though you were speaking directly to me! I have been reading blogs since 2007 then signed up on blogger in 2008 but I never wrote anything. I thought the same things you mentioned, what would I say, who would read it, what would my focus be? Then I discovered your blog, and noticed that you had several blogs, and you had many things to say.

    You and your blogs are what gave me the courage to start writing mine.

    You also wrote my first comment! I cannot even explain what that felt like to see it in my in box, but I am sure that anyone who has a blog knows the feeling.

    Thank you for writing a blog that spoke and speaks to me on a daily basis and thank you for the encouragement.


    Sincerely, Elizabeth

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  5. Oh, but you must have a brunette along! I must meet with you, Vicki, and Pamela as well! I adore all three of you.

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  6. Elizabeth...that is so very very kind of you to say. I could not think of a better way to greet a Monday morning. I am so glad you joined us and thrilled that I was the first comment. You have lots of great things happening at your place. Renovations and thoughts around it can fill many posts...we all love house talk.
    I am keen to know what you ended up doing with your entrance too. Keep at it, you are doing a great job!

    Angie..we must!! ( from one brunette to another...shhh)

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  7. Well done Jeanne, a great post. You are always so encouraging, and I love your outlook on life and your writing.

    I am excited and looking forward to meeting some blogging friends this year when I visit my family in Salt Lake City.

    Have a great week xx

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  8. Hi Jeanne (big sis), agree wholeheartedly to stick with blogging. I find there are times when I can't function without it and others where I can let it go quiet. But what is wonderful is that friends are always there to return to. I even had a comment from a younger 'girl' who said she was looking up to me as a role model for when she is older. Kinda how I feel about you... funny eh? Life goes in full circle. Lou x

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  9. Thank you (little sis)...right back at you! You are so right, it does go in full circle.. I think patience and perseverance are the key but more importantly it has to be fun. It is a nice feeling when you can find the balance. I think in the beginning it is easy to let it control you. Eventually, there comes a time when you lead and that is when it all feels worthwhile. I think we are two kindred spirits at work...so glad we are keeping the connection :) xx

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  10. This . . . these lovely relationships . . . is exactly why I blog. Thanks for the reminder, dear Jeanne.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  11. Thank you Glenda...I have so enjoyed our comments back and forth. Funny you should write, as I am just making myself a bowl of museli with blueberries and thinking of your Sunday post :)

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  12. Dear Jeanne, you are so sweet. I needed this post right now. I'm frustrated that I don't have the time to blog at the moment. I catch myself thinking that I might as well give it up. Work is overwhelming, but I can't wait to get back to it when the exams are over.

    I can't wait to send you something once I get your postcard. Oh wait. There's no return address on postcards? Hmm,I'll figure out something:-D

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  13. Carina...you can't give it up!! I am having to much fun following you. You mentioned Karen Blixen's flower arrangements and now you have thinking...I need to know more. See, if you left, we would not have all these little curiosities from you :) Very sad indeed.

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  14. Wonderful thoughts on blogging, and I'm sure many others can relate to that feeling when you first start blogging. It can take a while - and some reminders along the way - to find your true voice and stick to it, regardless of the number of readers or commenters you attract. I'm glad you found your voice, and I'm glad I found your blog!

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  15. Thank you Mary...it is very kind of you to say :)
    Loved your Summer Fun List...it made wish I was coming back to New England for the summer. xx

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  16. It was such a huge pleasure sending you something small from this side Jeanne!

    I've been tempted at times to close my blog, but as it happens it became my diary of time spent in such a diverse country. Something I will always treasure.
    But I will start another blog once I arrive at (my still unknown) next destination.

    Isn't life exciting and unpredictable.

    xxIlse

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  17. Thank you for that. Sometimes I do get tempted to 'copy' the style os some other blogger, but, as you said, it feels like I am in someone else's skin. I love blogging and connecting. It is a wonderful thing.

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  18. Jeanne, thank you for the sweet comment. I will put Blixen's flowers on the 'future posts' list:-)

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  19. What a lovely heartfelt post. I can only share your sentiments. Blogging has opened up to me a whole world of opportunity and friendship. It is so wonderful to actually meet those bloggers whose words and pictures we devour. I have been lucky enough to meet a few in person too, as well as connect with others by telephone. I hope it's the beginning of some wonderful friendships.
    It's always a pleasure to read of others on the same journey.

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  20. Ilse...without a doubt, very exciting and yes, very unpredictable. So glad you will be back!

    Loree...you do it all so well and have a wonderful platform to tell your story from :)

    Carina...Yes, please :)

    Lisa (Wrightstuff)...I hope it is the beginning of great friendships for you too. I remember your post...when you met up with fellow bloggers, I could tell in your writing that you had a great time :)

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  21. I recently discovered your blogs (two of them actually, including "Finding my Way") and I just love them. Everything you write about and picture with your gorgeous!!! photos seem to resonate with me. Your optimistic attitude and joy in life and every little treasure you discover throughout your day always brings some happiness my way. And I understand your feelings about blogging. I started about 7 months ago and I truly love writing about the many things that inspire me in life. I also said it doesn't matter how many readers I have, it just matters that I am doing it. It has brought me so much personal satisfaction. I am putting you on my blogger favorites sidebar!

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  22. Sunday...you are so very kind and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kinds words. I have since been over to your blog to see what a busy woman you are...house tours, garden tours, decorating...all the things I love. So glad you are blogging about all the things that inspire you. :)

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  23. Jeanne, you are surely the most interesting and interested blogger that I follow! I truly enjoy this new found sisterhood even if only virtual for the time being! I may never blog, but you intuitively inspire and nurture my creativity and for that alone, I am most grateful! Thank you for your "thank you". Big hugs to you and all...Lisa

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  24. Jeanne - so happy I found your blog. Thank you kindly for leaving a comment yesterday, it made my day.
    I am looking forward to reading your past blogs too.
    Thank you for encouraging us to continue blogging
    Sincerely
    Helen Tilston

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  25. Lisa.. You are most welcome and thank you! May the sisterhood continue forever more! xx

    Helen... Best wishes to you and thank you :) xx

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  26. Hello! And a (belated) "thank you" for your visit to, and comments on my blog. 'Tis a great world, this blogging world, don't you think? I can't think how I entered into it originally, but have been VERY glad that I did. I see you have several blogs, but this is the one I shall follow.....

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  27. Jeanne thank you so much for including me in this lovely post. I feel honored to be included with such lovely people I admire. Pamela/from the House of Edward always brings a smile to my face and Edward warms my heart. I have some new people to follow now from gardening, knitting to The French Life. Fabulous! Your blog and photos are an inspiration to me. Thank you from the heart <3

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  28. MM..many thanks for following :)

    Marie...you are most welcome and I am sure you will enjoy getting to know the many others...xx

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  29. Oh, Jeanne, my Fairy Blogmother - need I say more? You have been my shining light of encouragement since I started blogging. I am just so blessed to have found you in the vastness of Blogland. J x

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  30. I'm not surprised to find you in such lovely company - the nicest people have the nicest friends. Your post was a real day brightener. Take heart, Jeanne - we're listening and we love you!

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  31. Jane and Stephanie...you are both so very kind...the oldest and best friends usually are :)

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  32. As you might imagine, this post rings true and touches my heart in so many ways.

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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