Encouragement is an odd old duck. If you need it, you're pretty much by definition not where you want to be -which is, if you think about it, kind of discouraging. On the flip side, it's nice to be recognized as doing something not entirely inimical to the betterment of humankind. Not too many people are out there exhorting bloody dictators, after all.
A handful more are out there exhorting fellow bloggers, and Marci, over at The Midlife Second Wife, is one of them. Marci writes cleanly and feelingly about new beginnings and old recipes, and she believes, without reservation, in encouragement. Recently, she bestowed on me the Liebster Award, a badge of the keep-on-trucking variety for blogs with fewer than 250 followers. It even comes with a badge:
The award, on the other hand, pleased me. Often, blogging feels like tossing birdseed into the grand canyon. There aren't any birds in there, so what's the point? Occasionally you get a comment or two, but in the main just you're out there throwing handfuls of yourself into the void. You keep going, because there's a whole lot more to blogging than having an audience, but every so often it's nice to be told you're feeding someone or something.
The Liebster, like a zombie bite, is self-replicating: you're supposed to pass it along. I find, though, that I don't wish to encourage. Encouragement is not minimal. It's ornamental, a commentary on an existing arc, a rah-rah from the sidelines of a game that's already underway.
No, what I want to do is jump start. Take something dead or dying and give it some juice. I've bemoaned before in this space how few of my friends blog. I want to know your business, folks!
But I have not yet begun to bemoan my assorted friends who used to blog and, sometime between 2009 and the present, have fallen off the wagon. Back in the saddle(s), people! Or I'll launch more mixed metaphors at you.
1. In Time of Daffodils. Janey is wry and sharp and red-headed and insufficiently prolific! I always look forward to setting my eye to her telescope.
2. Belle Melange. Noa is a close observer of beauty. She's both analytical and lyrical, which is my preferred combination!
3. The Intrepid Soprano. Jaya gives us well-chosen snippets of...just about everything.
4. Delicious Bytes. Tess is a world-touring concert soprano who has been neglecting her fun food blog!
5. Je ne sais pas. I don't know why Molly's not posting more, either! I love a multi-career girl in Paris.