Ode to Blog Friends*

*This is going to be a little corny, so I’ll apologize in advance!

In lieu of a Valentine’s Day post, I’ve decided to write a little something for the bloggers in my life! It seems so long ago that I started this blog—yet so recently since I feel like I’ve really started.

Ode to Blog Friends When I first started blogging, I wasn’t very good at it. If you don’t believe me, look through blog posts from 2 years ago (please don’t because no one should have to read crap like that). Back then, I had only one goal and that was to rise to the top, doing so by leaving comments of no substance, tagging it with a link to my site. Single liners that no one really enjoys reading because we all know those took no thought or real effort to write. Things like “Haha, that made me laugh!” or “I love this!”  Heck, I put more effort into looking up the HTML to insert a link and disguise it as a word than the comments I left on some blogs.

I was trying so hard to build the relationships that the blogging community was touting, yet I didn’t know how. Maybe it was punishment from the social gods because I so wasn’t in high school. Maybe it was just a lack of experience or belief that relationships through the internet could ever come close to one made in real life. What was I lacking?

Years later, I haven’t risen to the top—I haven’t even really risen to the middle—but I’ve come to realize what had been missing. Rising to the top wasn’t my goal; that was the problem. It created a sense of inauthenticity in my writing that was evident to everyone but me. Without even gaining an authority over my nonexistent audience, I was trying to give sage advice garnered from 20 years of living, which takes a certain kind of exceptional to pull off.

Instead, I’ve been gifted so many friendships, blossoming and long-standing, that make my day each time I log in to Disqus and find all these lovely comments. (Am I being meta right now by referencing Disqus?) Not too long ago, 3 or more days would pass before I would receive another comment, and I keep moments like those in my mind.

Before, my mindset had been not to form relationships, but it should have been. I’ve missed out on so many opportunities to connect with people! All of last year, when I was traveling, I could’ve been meeting other bloggers left and right. While in Heidelberg, I missed a chance to meet up with Melanie and Jordan (though I’m not sure if she was there yet); while in Madrid, I missed Courtney; I think Marianne and I weren’t in France at the same time?; Marcella in London (multiple meet-ups in London, actually); if I ever find my way to Thailand, I wouldn’t hesitate to hit up Lani … and those are just a few of them!

Ironically, it’s only now, while writing about last year’s travel experiences, that I’m meeting the people I glossed over unintentionally. But then again, would I have come into contact with this group of travelers if I hadn’t had anything to travel-write about? All I know is that I’m grateful for the patiences this community and I have both had to wait for me to mature so I could fully enjoy it.

I’ve found the community and I am forever grateful to know all of you. I’ve yet to meet anyone in real life, but just knowing that my people are out there is a good feeling indeed. That being said, if any of you are anywhere near the Austin area, I’d love to meet up and organize something with all/any of you!

Have you ever met a blog friend in real life or gone to blogger meet-ups? Who are you thankful for? I love discovering new faces.

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  • http://www.melaniefontaine.com/ Melanie Fontaine

    You’re too sweet, Mish! :D And I definitely hope our chance to meet up will come eventually! ;) I think finding a community – or feeling like you’re part of the community – is one of the hardest things when you first start out blogging. It seems like everyone has formed their cliques already and how are you ever going to break into that? But in the end, it really only takes time and maybe some effort to be a part of the community (you know, engaging on Twitter, joining link ups and so on). And I’m glad that blogging has lead to some real-life friendships – that may just be the best part about it! :) Besides, they listen to you ramble about blogging and social media which nobody else gets! ;) And of course, I’m glad I met you! Feels like we’ve been blogging friends forever! :)

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Haha we’ve been saying this foreverrrr! It does feel like we’ve been blogging friends forever :) Agreed, it’s like jumping into a new city. Every face you see is a completely different face—even if you’ve already talked before. I almost want to spontaneously break out onto the road again just to see how many of these online people I can meet in real life. It’ll be like that Catfish documentary, but without the trickery and with all of the cool people :)

      • http://www.melaniefontaine.com/ Melanie Fontaine

        That seems like a pretty awesome trip! Would also make for a great story! ;)

  • http://lanivcox.wordpress.com/ Lani

    Oh thank god, you didn’t do a VD post. I’m VD-ed out.

    And yes, to answer your question, I have met many bloggers. It’s kind of funny/crazy I guess, but I think this is what happens when you live in a tourist destination. I’ve even been given gifts. (No pressure – hahhahhahaa) Even crazier is because you’ve read their blogs, you know them fairly well, so I’ve always gotten along with the other bloggers I’ve met up with!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      LOL I haven’t had time to read this week’s feed yet so… I’m a little nervous how many of them did a VD post! Yeah, I bet that would increase the blogger traffic in your area. But I’ll take your not at all subtle hint and drop by with a gift, you user. I do think that the blog side of people is often a pretty unseen side of them in-person, which is exactly the side that you don’t see while reading their blog!

  • Lucy

    Your post was really honest and probably hard to admit! I have not been doing hardly any blogging for almost a year and only read other peoples… different problem but still hard to come to terms with. I feel like I know you wayyy more than you could know me…. seeing as I haven’t been blogging there is no way for you to! If you are interested, I am about to launch a new blog http://www.justourpassports.com within the next week about our backpacking/roadtripping SE Asia adventure. I feel weird adding my blog in this comment, but it is from the genuine place of “if you want to get to know the stalker who has been reading your blog for over a year”! Too bad i am not in Austin or we could meet up!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Haha, yeah, I kinda cringed when I hit publish! But it’s my blog and I do what I wannnnt. Why haven’t you commented before?! haha :p Ooh, I’ll definitely check it out! Good luck on the launch :)

      • Lucy

        Thanks a million! Ill comment more, pinky promise :)

  • http://www.clemandmarcella.wordpress.com/ Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld

    Such a sweet post :) Happy V day ;) When I move to Chile (again) later this year, we can meet there! Happy Fridaaay

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Ah! You’re heading back to Chile? What are you up to now! And I would LOVE that haha… all I have to do now is get my shit together so I can take a long SA backpacking trip.

      • http://www.clemandmarcella.wordpress.com/ Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld

        That’d be cool, eh?! We’ll be there for a few years so you’ll have time! I’ll be teaching there again and planning to move in approx August :D

  • http://www.californienne.com/ Marianne

    Oh man I love this, I feel so complimented because I don’t feel like we’ve been reading each others blogs for all that long but I definitely feel like you’re up there in the ranks of “blogger friends,” “blends” or “froggers” if you will (can’t believe I just did that, I made myself laugh). Sometimes I feel like I know other bloggers better than I know some of my real life friends. And then I realize I don’t even know what their voices sound like, which is super bizarre to think about. I’m meeting up with my first blogger friend in real life on Monday in Cologne which I’m very excited about. Hopefully someday we can meet as well… Austin has always intrigued me, so perhaps I’ll pay it a visit when I’m back in the US… although not in the summer because it just seems way too hot and I hate the heat. And yes I don’t think we were in France at the same time :(

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Hahaha I think we blog-clicked. Blicked. Clogged? Definitely clogged. We’re the best at blending words. I know what you mean about knowing bloggers better than real life friends! Almost to an extent where when they stumble onto my blog or when they admit to reading it, I feel a little violated (my fault, really because I’m just posting all this shit onto this never-forgetting system)! Yeah! Kerri told me that you guys were going to get together. And then I told her not to put out on the first date. Careful, you guys. This might be true love. But also tell me all the deets. YES! I would absolutely love for you to visit Austin, but I will not host in the summertime. Nobody needs to see me that sweaty and miserable.

  • http://adventitiousviolet.com/ Camila @ AdventitiousViolet

    blogger friends are the best!! I haven’t met a fellow blogger yet – but planning to and hope it happens all over the world! :)

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Agreed to that!! The best thing about this is making international friends without the traveling! :)

  • Arman @ thebigmansworld

    We need to meet up!! Cross your fingers I get a 1 year working visa in ‘Merica.

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Yes!! I KNOW you came to the US earlier… #neverforget. But that would be so exciting! Where are you thinking of posting up?

  • http://beertimewithwagner.com/ Jordan Beck Wagner

    Don’t worry!!! I’m sure we will meet up one day :) It was been great getting to know you this year xoxoxo

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Definitely! As long as we’re both still bloggers haha :)

  • http://www.crumbsinthebed.com/ Kerri

    haha that made me laugh!!

    {insert blog link here}

  • http://www.crumbsinthebed.com/ Kerri

    I kid, I genuinely really enjoyed your post and I always feel so lucky to have ‘met’ such great people over the internet and also in person! I’ve met two bloggers in person and I’m off to meet Marianne (the same person you mention) next Saturday! Excited is an understatement!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      I can see right through your act, miss! Haha, thanks—er, that’s cool (I feel like I’ve been thanking you so much lately that you’ll begin to think I’m a little snivelly). How did the first blate go?! Walk me through the anatomy of a blate.

      You girls have fun!! Don’t put out on the first date ;)

      • http://www.crumbsinthebed.com/ Kerri

        Haha ‘blate’ that’s a great word. The first wen’t well, it was in the summer in London. The second, I met both Sarah (from Daydreams of Summertime) and Cecilia (from Cecilia in the Rain), we met up in Bruges during their long weekend! That was nice, to be invited along on a little of their holiday.

  • http://www.fullofbeansandsausages.com/ Holly Hollyson

    Hi Michelle, I just found your blog through Kerri’s! I have been to a couple of blogger meet ups. We bloggers tend to be so like minded that they are always a huge success! Your blog is lovely, I was glad to have found it!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Hi Holly!! I love new faces! Thanks for dropping by and leaving some of yourself behind (your soul). That’s great to hear and really reassuring, actually, because I tend to get way too worked up over simple things like meeting people I’ve talked to online, if my online dating stint told me anything ;)

  • http://www.slightlyastray.com/ Anna | slightly astray

    When I started my blog, I wanted to get big too. But I think I’m too lazy to do all that social media, and I have no idea how to. So now, I mainly blog for myself and to make friends. :) It’s really encouraging to have blogging friends from all over the world who understand you and have similar thoughts/goals! The bf always says that my readers know more about me than he does! Having friends is definitely the BEST part about blogging for me and I probably would have given up if not for the wonderful girls I connected with. I’m glad to have “met” you recently!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Haha same! I COULD read up on how to beef things up around here, but also I love the smaller audiences so I can get to know the people more :) Hahah poor bf :p I agree… each time I find (or they find me) a new blogger I connect with, I want to write more and more! Same to you, Anna! :)

  • http://www.mirandasnotebook.com Miranda | Miranda’s Notebook

    I have just found your blog through Kerri’s as well! It’s great to read such a refreshingly honest post. I really love meeting up with other bloggers. I only recently started my blog, but have met some people through it (and instagram) already, and they are just lovely! I had a blog I wrote about 6 years ago, but closed down when I became too busy, and I met fellow bloggers through it back then too. They’re still friends of mine to this day! Blogging can be such a great community- one I’m just discovering again, and it’s definitely a big part of making writing a blog such a joyful process for me. Very happy to have discovered yours :) xxxx

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Hi Miranda! Thanks for taking the time to comment :) PS I love the header to your blog. Was the blog you closed down a while ago in the same niche as the one you have now? Yeah, I’ve been through periods of EXTREME inactivity on here, but I’ve never had to close it down! But it’s awesome that you still kept in touch with the friends you made there! Power of blogging, rawr! Thanks :)

  • http://www.adventurings.com Cynthia

    I love the community too :) Definitely didn’t expect that would happen by starting a blog, but then again, I don’t think anyone really does! On my first ‘blate’ I was kinda nervous in the way that I knew alllll about their life even before I had ever met them! But I really don’t have any troubles with relationships in my normal, every-day life so I think I was just thinking too much about it.

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Yeah, exactly! I mean, I knew it happened but I didn’t expect it to happen with ME haha. I think we’re on the same wavelength. I usually do well with people I meet in real life, but it’s just that added weirdness that I knew about them before even knowing what they sound like haha.

  • http://www.adifferentpieceofsky.com Sara

    Hey Michelle! I just came across your blog through Kerri’s and I have to say I’ve been doing some major creeping! In the least creepy way possible, I swear. Love your writing. I’ve been sitting here laughing by myself, so thanks for that. ;) Haha but seriously, looking forward to following along :)

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Hi Sara!! From a fellow not-so-subtle creeper to another, creep away and thanks for dropping by… and for the lovely comments! If creepy is the type of people I’m attracting, I have no complaints ;) Just so you know, I will creep back!

  • http://www.tothedayslikethis.com/ Sammy @ Days Like This

    I had not idea this world existed until I started to get more into blogging. I met up with one of my blogging friends in Iceland. It was so surreal! I have been to a meet up in London and everyone was so friendly.

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      I keep missing those London blogger meet ups! But then again, while I was abroad, I don’t think I really prioritized them. To me, it was intimidating going to something where everyone else was more established a blogger than I was!

  • http://www.laurenonlocation.com laurenonlocation

    I just started making ‘blog friends’ as well. I didn’t come into blogging thinking that I would make friends at all! Not sure why, but I just didn’t know that that was part of it! The best part of it! So far loving your blog! Excited to keep reading :D

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Thanks, Lauren! I’m glad that your blog is in the same stage as mine is—we’re getting to the good part, haha!