Thank You For Writing

Tonight, I am sad. This is not my typical Sunday night emotion. But I have come to love Blogland, seeing it as a kind of magical kingdom for storytellers. I have dreamed about a place like this since I was in first grade and published my writing by laminating Crayola-ed construction paper and binding the sheets with metal rings.

Tonight, my chest is tight because I keep finding that more friends have been hurt by the fallout from a battle they never wanted to take part in. But this morning, there was a bright light, and it warmed me a bit. The glow was cast by Rara, she of the dinosaur-sized heart, and she reminded me of what eventually soothes the wounds of all conflicts: community, and the love held therein. Rara, thank you so much. This is what we all need, after last week and every week.

On Friday, I received a phone call. Someone I had never met reached out to thank me for writing. Those simple words touched the core of me, and following in Rara’s immense footsteps, I want to pass on the hope and wonder of those words to you, my friends. You have inspired me, uplifted me, and made me laugh and think. You have given me your most precious gifts of stories and thoughts. Because of you, I believe that friendships made online can be every inch as real as the ones forged face to face, because in many cases, blog friendships are forged soul to soul.

I originally wanted to share links here, with sentences telling each of you exactly what you mean to me. I wanted to thank you all individually for your particular voice. I imagined that my admiration for some of you would catch you off-guard, and I thought what a happy surprise that would be. But then I realized, long and warming as the list was, its very nature invited exclusion to this community celebration. So instead of tagging specific bloggers, I will simply say this:

Thank you for writing. Thank you for making my world bigger and brighter, tale by tale. Thank you for persevering, for being brave, for being honest. Your humor and perspectives are lusciously beautiful, and I am better for reading your words.

If you can find a small way to share some love this week, please use your words to that best possible end. And always know someone is very glad you are writing.

With my love,
Jennie

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98 responses to “Thank You For Writing

    • I was thinking of ways to respond to these awesome comments without just saying thank you over and over again. Here it is: I’m going to tell everyone who comments what I would have written about them in my post, had I gone with my original plan. So to you, Trent, I say: Thank you for writing because, while I’m very new to your fiction, I think your comments on other people’s blogs are works of art. Reaching beyond your own corner of the internet to create community and share beautiful words is the best of what WordPress is about. Dream hard, rage hard, indeed.

      • Wow Jennie. You know, I keep trying to convince myself that blogging is just a diversion, and that there’s not really a real community here (call me cynical), but of late I realize that’s not true. There is one here, and I think it’s mirrored perfectly in your lovely comment, one which I truly appreciate. Really thank you for this, on a cold cold night it brought real warmth. Thank you Jennie.

    • Terri! I thank you and James for writing because you let me see the world exactly the way I would want to take it in were I traveling myself. I frequently get wanderlust, and you provide such a charming, heartfelt, humorous look at so many places, with your special ability to get at why each location feels different and wonderful in its own right.

    • Helena! Thank you for writing because you were one of the first ten people I found on WordPress. I was so new, and you were so cool, and you decided to be nice to me. Thank you for your simply delectable memoirs and dark-edged fiction, but also for your personal friendship and your support in matters that go far beyond writing. I always like to imagine you by the lake, relaxed and happy, as you told me you were during Canadian Thanksgiving.

  1. So beautiful and so needed. You’re right. We need to spread love. It’s the only way to conquer anger, hatred and pain. Thank you for writing.

    • Thank you for writing because you gave me the quote, “Our mistakes are beautiful because they take us where we are meant to be.” I think you exemplify that in your writing, and sharing your life with that much honesty and passion is a wonderful thing to see.

    • Emily, thank you for writing because they way you talk about life as a mother encompasses so much more than caring for a child. You give me hope and excitement for what’s to come down my personal road, and I’m so glad to have gotten to experience your easy friendship in person.

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more. Thank you for writing this. This is exactly what I needed to read right now. Peace and love be with you. 🙂

    • Jolie, thank you for writing because I giggled hysterically the first time I saw your book Easter Candy and The Special Bunny. It reminded me so much of The Monster’s Ball, which is the construction paper book I referenced in this post! These little stories have so much power to connect us, 🙂

    • Thank you for writing, Julie, because every time I see an “Oh Emma, Oh Kate” post in my Reader, I get excited! You write about family, and the fact that you have such poignant and hilarious things to share lets me know you are as good at living and parenting as you are at writing.

    • Aussa-AUSSA! < That just felt right. I dunno why.

      Thank YOU for writing because, beyond all your wild and wonderful stories, I love your monthly feature pulling together all your favorite comments. I know that must take a lot of work, and the fact that you do it so gleefully shows me what blog community is all about. Thanks for making a home for cool people on the internet!

      • Just go with what feels right!

        And thank you! That makes me happy. Because it really is a lot of fun. I keep jotting down additional notes in my phone of things I need to do for the next one… we all just keep getting weirder and weirder, it’s remarkable.

  3. It’s always hard when something like what you described happens. I saw something that seemed to indicate a rift. I am sorry that it happened, but I’m glad that you are blogging.

    • Susan, thank you for writing because your blog gives me a window on the food, language, and views of a culture I would otherwise know nothing about. That is a valuable thing to add to the world!

  4. Clearly you’re in good company. I am working on a similar post, fueled by similar emotions, regarding the same issues. I could not agree more with you and Rara… there is so much good here, and it is sad to let some ugliness ruin it for everyone else. Thanks for sparkling. xo

  5. PS) And I’m glad you didn’t add links, etc… I love Rara’s beautiful post; it was a much needed shot of goodness this week. And it’s always nice to see your name included in a tribute… Just the same, it’s equally a bummer when you’re not included. There have been a lot of folks sharing how excluded they’ve felt, and I’m glad you wrote this post to Me… and You… and all the Yous and Mes who love YOU.

    • Dawn, I thank you for writing because you do it for all the right reasons. I remember when I first found you, and you very politely but firmly told me you don’t follow any blogger unless you first form a relationship with them. I respected that – I’d never heard it before – and now look where we are. 🙂

  6. I don’t know anything about a conflict because I prefer to remain ignorantly oblivious – but I can tell you that you and a couple of others are the only reason I kept blogging a while back. Your comments mean something to a lot of people, and so do your blogs. So keep ‘me coming and join my merry band of know-nothing’s.

    • The expression “ignorance is bliss” totally applies here. Meanwhile, thank you for sharing what you did about the people who kept you blogging – that means a lot to me. And thank you for writing because, despite our vehement disagreement about sandals, you just make me laugh. It’s that simple, friend.

    • Thank you for writing because you are an enchantress with words. Your talent is so very great – I truly wish you’d compile a book of short stories – and beyond the language, the stories show your soul. The way you see people, and dive into their lives… it restores my faith.

  7. Thank YOU for writing, Jennie. I feel like I’ve gotten to know you and your blog better this past year, and I am so very glad I have. I agree wholly with what you’ve said here, and it’s amazing how much of an impact the blogging community has had on me and I’m sure it does on others. Much love to you ❤

    • Samantha, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you, too! Thank you for being instrumental in our week on body image, and thank you for writing in general because I love that you do it, in your words, because, “This blog is one of my joys in life.” Just perfect.

    • Sarah, thank you for writing because your posts are so easy. That is a huge compliment – they are easy to read, easy to laugh at, easy to enjoy. When I need a break in my day, I don’t go searching for a treatise on something – I look for you in the Reader, and you make me smile, every time.

    • Noelle! Thank you for those super kind words, and thank you for writing. I love that I can get my runner’s fix from your blog – the techie stuff, your training, etc. – but there’s also so much more to enjoy. And it makes me smile every time you write “Farmer Ben.” 🙂

    • Amy, We have just found each other, but I can already say thank you for writing because I have always enjoyed your comments on The Outlier Collective. Also, I’ve just seen the page on your blog entirely devoted to sharing your favorite stories from other bloggers, and I think that gesture is beautiful.

    • John, what can I even say? When I see you comment on a post of mine, I feel certain it was a good piece of writing. Thank you for writing, too, because I value and enjoy your always-fresh perspective and the contributions you make to a “reality-based community.” Most of all, I admire your generosity of spirit.

  8. Niiiice. I’ve been so up and down about blogging lately, wondering whether this is a safe place to share my secrets and bare my soul, and it’s posts like this that make me thing there’s hope in blogland.

    • Janie-not-Janie: stay in Blogland with me, and don’t ever stop being brave! I saw what you did today, and commend you for it. And thank you for writing, because I have so much to learn from your complete honesty that unites instead of divides, and tells the blatant truth without taking any of the joy out of the world. Just because something is very realistic instead of all shiny doesn’t mean that it’s bad or unlovable, and you frequently remind me of that.

    • I have $1 I can give you – I got it off some Graham Greene-loving bum a while back.

      But seriously… (How many times have I said that since I met you?) …thank you for writing, because your voice rings true. I love that you give your readers little slices of life all jumbled together in each post, almost like an awesome restaurant that lets you pick multiple small servings from a delectable dessert tray. And I thank you for writing your comments here, because I enjoy them so. Damn. Much.

      I’ll give you $2 if you can find the typo in this comment.

      • How incredibly generous of you to take the time to say something nice about each of us. Mother Theresa of the web! Thank you for your kind words and your consistently entertaining posts.

        Yes, each of my posts is a venerable bouillabaisse of subjects and opinions. A dim sum cart being wheeled through the blogosphere. If what you’re reading doesn’t interest you, hang in there because the subject will change in a few paragraphs.

        (But seriously…[ha] that what I love about short story collections. If the story your reading lays there like a dead fish, no worries. An entirely new story is just a few pages away. I took a tip from that. The last refuge of the attention-challenged.)

        • Oh, no, I will have no Mother Theresa comparisons made here! If I’m like any Saint Teresa, I’ll aim for the one immortalized “in ecstasy.” 😉

          I will never think of you now without craving dim sum. Damn you, Mark — I’m HUNGRY!

  9. I believe that friendships made online can be every inch as real as the ones forged face to face, because in many cases, blog friendships are forged soul to soul. (quote)

    I often meditate on that thought . . . and there IS something deep and myserioue about all this, but I haven’t come to a conclusion as to what it actually is . . . yet.

    In the everyday world we would be two ships passing in the night, but in this cyber forum? I say things here that I would never say . . . perhaps we really are all drops out of the same river, and maybe it’s just easier to swim in oneness here . . . .

    • I think it’s precisely that unnamed quality I love so much, and I like that none of us writers has quite managed to describe it yet! And thank you for writing, J.J., because as you say, in another venue we would have never met. And yet now I have a wise but humble friend, who has been around longer and seen more than I have, but is still willing to throw some thoughts on all of it my way. Plus, I will never forget you being around when I was really sad, and reminding me of the girl with flowers in her hair. 🙂

  10. Thank you for writing, and know that I find it a blessing and a pleasure to have met you and with the same joy I call you a friend wherever I go.

    • Oloriel, thank you for your wonderful words! I am so thankful you write, and that you create in general. I am, frankly, amazed by you – from your singing, slicing poetry to your vivid, passionate artwork, to the fact that your heart was big enough to find a way to save thirteen puppies at once. You are magnificent.

  11. You have made my day and my week. I’m so sorry for the sad week you have had but glad that this community exists for you. I firmly believe that we never know when some small thing we do, or word we write may help or otherwise inspire someone. I have no way to show the appreciation I feel for those who have taken the time to share their stories or to comment on mine. I feel honored to be included in hearing the stories of others, and feel just very darned important and taken seriously when someone comments on something I wrote. You are sincerely welcome!

    • Your friendship makes me grin. I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve said here. And I am glad you write because, besides giving me images that stay with me (like the holiday pavilions), and making my eyes widen with beautiful photos of the adventures you’ve had, I love that the world feels smaller since I learned your daughter is friends with Emily, who I recently met offline! It’s a beautiful thing, this interlinked community. It’s why (in my opinion at least) people call the internet “the web.”

  12. I love you, my sweet Jennie, my sister wife, from the minute my blog laid eyes on yours and our hearts connected – and there it is. All mushy and stuff. But Truth.

    • Sister wife, life has more color since you came into it. I love you in the most mushy way possible way for someone who – truthfully – barely knows you. But I think there are friendships where everything just fits from the very beginning, and so we trust that what we learn down the line will also delight us. This is one such case for me, and I thank you for writing because your stories hold a powerful kind of joy. When you share things you’ve been through, point out the places to find laughter in a hard-edged world, stand up for what you believe, and write about finding your bliss, I’m just so glad you exist.

    • Merlin! I only found your blog yesterday, but it was the highlight of my weekend. Thank you for writing because, in what I’ve read so far, you are a poet who is utterly unafraid to find meaning in unconventional places, and to value beauty even when it isn’t pure. Those are powerful magicks, wizard-man.

      • You are much too kind! Please do continue 🙂
        My life has been about make sense out of nonsense. Finding sanity within insanity. I write as a form of personal healing and discovery.
        I am glad you enjoyed exploring my writing – it is good to know that my words are moving/interesting for other to read! I find most of what I write is banal and insipid. Occasionally I write something that surprises myself – heck sometimes I read my old post and wonder who hacked my site and posted this!?
        Sincerely Thank You.

        • You asked me to continue, and so I will oblige! I think your version of banal/insipid leaves other people’s banal/insipid in the dust, so there’s always that. 😉

          • Thank you. Truly. I appreciate the reminder.
            I do recognize I write well. I just think that I can write even better. It is one of the problems of self-measurement and self-assessment. Perspective is such a devilish thing 🙂
            I just need to make the time to take myself to the next level. I am a unreformed and unrepentant procrastinator. Oh well I’ll do something about that tomorrow…

  13. Thank you for writing this Jennie. I’ve been a bit reluctant to read blogs lately, I don’t deal with hatred very well, but when I saw Rara’s post this morning it put a smile to my face and a warm, fuzzy feeling in my stomach. It put me in a cheerful mood throughout the day. Now I’m in bed for the night reading your post, I feel that I will fall asleep with a light heart. Thank you for that.

    • Sophy, your comment is the one that really made me feel this post accomplished what I hoped it would. I’m glad the love that’s starting to spring up around the community is making your mornings and evenings a little brighter this week. And thank you for writing here, because some of your artwork literally makes me catch my breath, or giggle out loud. And I have read many pieces by other bloggers that are so much greater than the sum of their words because your images breathed extra life into them. I love the way you share your gifts.

    • Kim! I am grateful for you, too. Thank you for your friendship, and for being so willing to contribute your thoughts to body image week – your post spurred so many people to love themselves a little more. Finally, thank you for writing, because every time I visit your blog I feel you’ve re-created yourself anew, and that is brilliantly inspirational!

  14. Rara always knows what to say, doesn’t she? 🙂 I had a bit of a jolt as well but I do know that many were much more affected than I. Do feel better soon and keep posting. Love, L. 🙂

  15. This is beautiful, Jennie. I love how personally uplifting it was to me– and it seems to many. *hugs* Thanks for illuminating us in your moonlight! 🙂

    • I’m glad it touched you, special lady. Your post was a soothing balm to me. And of course, ALWAYS, thank you for writing. You are a fierce power for good in the world, and I learn from you all the time: how to be a better wordsmith, how to understand which stories matter deeply, and how to make people feel – no, KNOW – that they are loved and included.

  16. Rara’s post was amazing, but this is so wonderful as well, Jennie! I’ve always tried to thank my readers with a little note or a giveaway, but I always feel that I fall short by doing so. I don’t think I could ever repay what the blogworld, the people, gave me and what I discovered about myself through blogging. That’s why I just want to keep on sharing my art. I hope it can make people smile and feel happy. 🙂 We just met, bu I’m so glad that we did. Thank you for writing this. Thank you for being such a fun dance buddy and thank you for being such a lovely lady!

    • TJ, I don’t think you giving your joyful artwork away could ever be considered “falling short!” In my opinion, Blogland is one of those win-win situations where what touches us the most is someone making use of what we have to give. We all just want our words to mean something! In that vein, thank you for writing. I love waving at you on Twitter and I especially enjoy the spunk, imagination, and endless sense of whimsy you’ve created a home for on your blog!

  17. Thank you for having the courage and conviction to write openly without apology. Your willingness to expose your vulnerabilities, triumphs, and experiences allows us the ability to say: “I feel less alone in this world.”

    • Oh, Katie. You’ve utterly nailed why I write, in better words that I would have used to say it. Thank you! And thank you for writing as well, because you are one of the only places where my online and offline lives meet up, and I really enjoy the confluence! Plus you manage to turn a piece about a morning run into a meditation on feeling helpless, and questions about wedding planning into something that makes me smile and remember that part of my life. Awesome!

  18. You are such a good soul. Blogging does mean something….we are pushing a new frontier, and I think this collaboration is overall doing some pretty amazing things for a lot of people. Of course it can’t all be rainbows, I guess. Anyway, know that I am one more person that truly appreciates your genuine writing/thoughts!!

    • Thanks, Jami! I started this blog because I needed a writing outlet so badly… but I imagine I’ll still be right here once I’m through grad school and writing professionally, because this is a different arena all together. You’d know a little something about that. 🙂

      And thank you for writing here, because from your love of dancing and swarms of birds to what is clearly an excellent “back-rack,” you remind me of myself, except different… and I love seeing the world through eyes that I recognize, but don’t know by heart.

  19. The Great Blogosphere are my people. It was awesome, after so many years of struggling to fit in, to come here and feel like my people actually do exist. I care about some of my blog friends as much or more than people I can see every day in real life, and I’ve met several of the far-flung ones in person. It’s always perfect, because the people are just the same as they are on their blogs. I’m so glad so many people choose to connect here, and I’m grateful to you for being one of them, Jennie.

    • We are your people, indeed! I also have some blog-loves who I turn to when things are the hardest, or the happiest, before I tell people in my “real” life. As for you, I remember finding you back in May. My first read was about your Mamaw, in the series of posts titled with lyrics from “Hallelujah.” Thank you for writing, Andra, because no one sounds like you. No one else makes a home for such wonderfully far-flung kinds of stories to band together in one place, and NO ONE writes a provocative title like you do. 🙂

    • I know. 🙂 You are literally steps away. I tend to hibernate when things get tricky, but I love you for the offer. Tea and cookies and talking about good T.V. make a powerful restorative.

  20. I am often surprised by the people who read my posts, and then comment days/weeks/months later to let me know what impact my writing had on their life. It’s a true gift for me to be a part of. This post is a great reminder to “always know someone is very glad you are writing”. Sometimes it can feel like I’m publishing into an empty void; but I need only remember that the words will touch the right person at the right time. Thank you for sharing your words with the world. 🙂

    • Yes. Writing is the gift that keeps giving, to readers who love it, most even more to the authors who can feel they have created something that goes beyond themselves. And it will never be an empty void as long as I’m here! I love your adventures.

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