In college, I belonged to zero clubs, joined zero sororities and never did any extra curricular student anything unless it was required for a class.
In high school I was an athlete simply because I wanted to be. I was a varsity swimmer because swimming was something I learned to do before I could remember and always loved to do. I joined the ski club before it was cool and I can remember vividly sitting in the bus on the way to Alpine Valley with my walkman on, loud in my ears, listening to U2's Joshua Tree album on cassette, trying NOT to appear scared shitless to be the only female on board. I was 14.
Now, I'm not saying I'm anti-social. Far from it. In fact, after those first few bus rides alone, I convinced several friends to join the ski club, had them skip the introductory class on the bunny hill and freakin' taught them to ski myself. (Steph, Hubs, if you're reading this - FREAKIN' COMMENT already so people know I'm not exaggerating!)
I am the "party planner". I plan the girls nights out, the cook-outs and bonfires in the yard and the family outings. I plan tailgate parties and holiday gatherings and host more dinners at my house than most other folks would be comfortable with.
Maybe it was teenage angst. I don't know. I did join VICA in 12th grade and serve as its vice president. But that was merely so I could get out of school in the afternoons. (In our school district, so long as you don't blow some class completely, kids have enough credits to graduate halfway through their senior year. Instead of sitting around all day for months taking blow off English classes on Comedy or Science Fiction, the kids who were smart enough to do the math early could finagle themselves into a co-op of some sort or another and get out of school early in 12th grade to work instead. Liking graphic design, I began taking what our school called Graphics classes in 10th grade. The course comprised of laying something out on a computer, printing it out in color separation, making negatives, etc etc and eventually printing the piece on old AB Dick 360 offset presses. I LOVED Graphics class. I was really good at it -- my senior year, on my 18th birthday, I went to a city-wide competition and took FIRST PLACE in Graphics, beating nearly 100 other people (mostly guys) for the title.) Wait - where the hell was I going with that ramble? Oh yeah -- I wasn't really a joiner. But joined VICA (vocational industrial clubs of America) out of necessity.
I guess I'm just not a big "do it cuz everyone else is doing it" kinda girl.
If you've ever blogged, even for a day, you probably know what carnivals are...bloggers will host weekly themed posting events. They'll put up a Mr. Linky thing, and anyone who writes about the same topic that day puts in a link to their post.
Now, going back to my "I'm not a joiner" roots, I'm sure you can imagine I was a little hesitant to just jump in on the party.
But I'm also a writer. I gots a jernalism degree to prove it. Back in the days of my many many college writing courses, we'd be given writing suggestions. The assignment might be to write an editorial, for example, and just so we weren't left dangling out in the wind, the professor would list a few topics we could write about. Those were writing prompts.
So thinking of them that way, I periodically would join in on some of these weekly carnivals. But only, you know, if I totally felt like it. Cuz, um, I'm totally too cool to just jump in and play along cuz someone said so. (Steph, you just keep quiet about my propensity to be just a teensie bit stubborn, 'kay? ZIPIT.)
Recently, I've gone outside my little bloggy comfort circle and started to find new blogs - ones I've never heard of or seen of before. And with that comes new carnivals. I've used these bloggers' "writing prompts" to inspire posts lately (or, who am I kidding? stretched their definition a teensie bit to make my post fit what their carnival was about).
And with that? Comes new traffic -- new readers.
And isn't that what we're all after anyway? I mean, its one thing to have your little niche on the Web, be able to share what you want and have friends that "get" you, and blah-diddy-blah, but there are very few of us who could honestly say we aren't interested in finding new readers. Cuz why say something if no one is going to read it?
(I will spare you the "blogging is narcissistic" speech.)
So...I've decided...I'm putting on my big girl panties...and I am going to join in.
Whew. That feels good to "say" out loud.
Maybe one day I'll be important enough to get 50 comments on a post about whatever the hell mundane thing my kids did lately (or my long rambling thoughts on playing along in blog carnivals) but today I'm not there. And because I often find these carnivals by the links to them in other's posts (and appreciate them when I see them), I'll start doing that in my posts, too. (Unless I forget, make an error or otherwise don't want to.)
Cuz you know what? Bloggy carnivals work for me.
Here are just a few I've found recently. Know of one I missed? Leave it in the comments and I'll update my list. Thanks!
Your Life, Your Blog (Mondays)
The married sex challenge (Mondays)
I am Blissfully Domestic (up Monday nights)
Promote your Post (up Monday nights)
Random Tuesday Thoughts
Tackle it Tuesday
Tempt your tummy Tuesdays
Take me back Tuesday
What I learned this week
Works for Me Wednesday
Real Food Wednesday
'Fro me to you Thursday
Thousand Words Thursday
Show & Tell Fridays
Photo Story Friday
Finer Things Friday
A Beautiful Life (Fridays)
Hooked on Fridays
Sky Watch Fridays
Photo Hunt (Saturdays)
Weekly Winners (Sundays)