Do You Read The Blogs You Follow?

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There is so much to see and so much to read.

In the days of yore during the grand period people refer to as the Golden Age of Blogging we had amazing tools called Blog Rolls that we used to keep track of blogs we liked to read.

Sometimes I think about blog rolls and how they touched the Sneetches with stars side of people because we kept track of who was on ours and whether that other blogger reciprocated.

I remember getting emails from bloggers asking to exchange links as well as those who wrote to tell me that it wasn’t fair for them to provide me with a link unless I did the same.

Boy, I miss moments like that, good times.

Do You Read The Blogs You Follow?

Remember when I asked Do You Miss Old Fashioned Blogging?

I asked because I have had this ongoing push-pull thing going on inside my head where I have been trying to figure out how to balance becoming a better writer, growing this blog and maintaining time for my offline life.

Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying I don’t like the online world any more because I still do but our time is so limited and I am in the midst of this crazy time in my life where everything is changing.

It is an evolution and I welcome it but it means I have to make more significant choices about how and where to spend my time.

It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”― Oscar Wilde

I don’t use RSS to read blogs or use an organized list to read blogs. It is not because am unorganized or uninterested either.

It is because when I make those lists I follow through. If I decide I am going to follow a blog I read it. I may not always comment but I show up.

A list is a commitment. That might sound silly to you, but it is how I operate.

Ask the Shmata Queen about how hard it is to pin me down and she’ll tell you that I am slow moving about some things but once I say I’ll do it I make it happen.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

Until Saturday I had 47 boxes of books in my garage.

Forty-seven boxes of dictionaries, biographies, autobiographies, history books, works of fiction and all sorts of other books that I gathered throughout my life.

That doesn’t include the books inside my home either because this place is filled with them.

But that evolution I mentioned earlier has me going through all of my stuff and evaluating whether I need it or not. I have more stuff than I need, time to let go of some of it.

I spent a chunk of Saturday morning going through boxes and thinned the herd down by about 12 boxes or so.

Later today I’ll go through the boxes again and try to winnow through more because sooner or later it will be time to move again and I don’t want to drag all of it with me.

And because when I get situated I’ll want to move many of those books from boxes into the house library. Books in boxes are good for exercising the body (those boxes are heavy) but do little for the mind.

Ask me why I have so many books and I’ll tell you the same thing I tell my kids, because books are a part of how we can learn to do and become anyone and anything.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

Blogging, Writing and Reading

Blogging, writing and reading are all intertwined for me.

You can’t become a better writer without doing a lot of reading and writing and part of how you find more material to write about is by getting off of your computer and living.

If you don’t spend time in the offline world you miss things. You miss moments, some important, some less so but you can’t see which is what without being there.

And that my friends is why I keep a very short list of blogs to follow. There just isn’t enough time.

I have places to go visit, people to see and books about so many different topics to read.

What about you? Do you read the blogs you follow or is there a large cyber pile of posts waiting vying for your attention?

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13 Comments

  1. Kaarina Dillabough January 12, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    I read posts based on title/topic/writer-author/my time that day/priorities. I will say that I share only those posts I read and decide to share, and my commenting is WAY down. The posts that I want to ensure get at least a fly-by look come into my inbox and, depending upon the above (and the day I’m having) will determine whether or not I choose to get over to read. Lately, with my focus on my writing and re-direction of my blog, I read less of the posts I used to, but I continue to read voraciously. And we’re kindred spirits on the books. I have tons and tons of them. Yes, real paper:) Cheers! Kaarina

    • The JackB January 12, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      @kaarinadillabough:disqus I have always pegged you for someone who is very clear on her time and how to use it so I am not surprised to read/hear any of this.
      Voracious reading is a must for so many reasons.

  2. James Delles January 5, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Cyber pile. I have The Old Reader full of RSS feeds that accumulate, but are never read. You just inspired me to clean it out. Some of them are from another life on topics I’m no longer interested in following. Goodbye and good riddance!

    • The JackB January 6, 2015 at 12:36 am

      @jamesdelles:disqus That reader fills far too quickly. Even when I had more time I never made it to all the blogs I wanted to read and now when I have less time, well…

      Every day I unsubscribe from something else and try to narrow my focus. It is freeing isn’t it.

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  4. Damien Riley December 31, 2014 at 11:27 am

    The best networking in any field will always be through real people. If you don’t reach out you are bound to be writing a blog for yourself and occasional Google visitors, I’m finding there are lots of blogs out there still, even though we’ve been relegated to the “Bronze Age of Blogging” once again. Looking at comments and blogrolls is a good way to branch out but you have to truly sort through a lot of junk. I don’t mean any offense to the “Dad Blog” genre but those seem to be the most prevalent and easily accessible. Too bad their quality varies so greatly. I’m a fan of this blog Jack, keep up the good work.

    • The JackB December 31, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      @rileycentral:disqus There are a million mom and dad blogs. You are spot on regarding the quality some of them are simply awful and then there is everything in between with of course the really good ones at the top, wherever that is.

      Anyway, while I definitely call myself a dad blogger I like writing about a much broader set of topics. I think it is useful as a writer to not pigeonhole ourselves.

      I appreciate your support and hope you have a great NYE and an even better 2015.

  5. Julie December 30, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    There are fewer than 10 that I read religiously. If Feedly weren’t so difficult to remove items from, that’s probably all I’d have on my list.

  6. Larry December 30, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    To answer the question you asked to start the blog, some of them. I am definitely loyal to those whom I see reciprocate. To those who don’t, I am not consistent.

  7. Ryan Biddulph December 30, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Jack, you mind reader you 😉

    Until today, I read like a few percent of the blogs that I followed, regularly.

    I publish one 7,000 word post weekly. That takes a little bit of time to create, edit, format and publish. If I also have multiple online businesses to run and, I also have to do all that fun stuff offline in the tropics – or here in NJ – I can read a bit, but not a ton.

    BUT….today I dedicated myself to reading each post I shared, fully – instead of scanning – as well as leaving comments.

    This will help me prune my list, to rocking blogs worth reading.

    Then I can comment mindfully while learning, to embody the fab reading quotes you shared above.

    Fun share and great points!

    Ryan

    • The JackB December 31, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      @ryanbiddulph:disqus Hi Ryan, how is paradise treating you? Seven thousand words is a healthy post, there is room for so much substance. It is very cool, so much opportunity there. I don’t know if I have ever written a 7,000 word post, stories for certain but post never.

      I might have to try it.

      Commenting mindfully is a good thing. It is a real gift for the writer. I an not always as good about it as I could or should be.

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