Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Joining the "in" crowd

I have never been much of a joiner.

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!

Macro Monday

Not me Monday

Mouthwatering Mondays

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

Tuesday Tributes

Take me back Tuesday

What I learned this week

Wordful Wednesday

Works for Me Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

Real Food Wednesday

'Fro me to you Thursday

Thousand Words Thursday

Thursday Thirteen

Show & Tell Fridays

Photo Story Friday

Finer Things Friday

A Beautiful Life (Fridays)

Hooked on Fridays

Blitz-it Fridays
(Organizing blitz)

Sky Watch Fridays

Photo Hunt (Saturdays)

Weekly Winners (Sundays)


Sarah said...

I have a new one at my blog, Real Life. It's called "You Life, Your Blog," and you can link up any post you want people to read! It's Mondays.

Anonymous said...

i may have to follow you. and i'm NOT a follower either. but i'd like to be important enough to get a few more comments on my posts...not just when i'm having a giveaway. i'll have to go and find my big girl panties too!
i don't have a journalism degree but...
i sure as heck LOVE to write!!

Melissa said...

Love Skywatch Friday. I participated for a couple of months too.

And I just checked out Take Me Back Tuesdays. That looks fun!

Kim said...

I had no idea there were so many weekly meme's out there.. thanks for sharing these.

And woo hoo for the big panties.. :)

April said...

Thanks for the laugh this morning. I enjoyed your post. And the links are great, some of those I didn't know about. :)

It Feels Like Chaos said...

I love blog carnivals! Thanks for sharing this list; I learned of some new ones to try!

lisaschaos said...

Wow what a great, full list of memes! Thank you for including mine on your list too. :) I've never been much of a joiner either, always want to do my own thing, be different yada yada but I do enjoy participating in a few weekly carnivals. :)

Now I have to go read about poop since I can see the title of a post I missed down there.

Amy said...

I think someone should make a "bloggers are narcissists" shirt. I'd buy one!

As for carnivals, I had a list going, but my 2 yr old restarted the computer and Microsoft Word saw fit NOT to recover it.

Here's what I've re-found, but I know there were loads more:

Not Me Mondays mycharmingkids


Talk About Tuesday
the lazy organizer

Tackle It Tuesday

Works for Me Wednesday wearethatfamily

Foto Friday

Found It Friday

Frugal Friday Life As Mom

Friday Show & Tell

Weekly Winners
Sarcastic Mom

Sorry if some are repeats.

(Also, I'd love it if there was a way to find all you Win of the Week posts together. Do you have a search function on your blog? I couldn't find it. Just a thought.)

Kim H. said...

Hi there! I loved this post... and I think I know of a few more carnivals that you might want to check out...

Go check out this blog - they have several carnivals throughout the week...

Marni's Organized Mess said...

What a great idea. Can I be like you? Man, you're so awesome. hehe.

shopannies said...


Burgh Baby said...

Dude, that's a helluva list. I had no idea there were that many!

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Better watch out - you're gonna be one of the cool kids before you know it! ;)

Carnivals are great for traffic, not to mention ideas. I did a week of carnivals back in February, and it was fun. Stressful, too, but still fun.

LceeL said...

The only problem with getting 50 comments on a post - is answering 50 comments on a post. Unless, of course, you don't respond. Or maybe you 'follow'. Reading the posts of 50 people who have commented on your post, and commenting, is VERY labor intensive. Unless you just lurk. In which case, they don't know you've been there, and in all likelihood, they won't be back. So - I guess the message is - be careful what you wish for.

Vodka Mom said...

I love carnivals!!! Just don't make me ride the damn ferris wheel!!!

Coco said...

I am also not a joiner. My nickname while in school was "lone wolf." - I simply refused to join any one particular group @ school (or am I a huge joiner? because I kind of belonged to all of the groups indiscriminately? Now, I'm confused..)

Anyway, carnivals have been great to me, too. Without them, I would be a really lonely wolf. Thanks for your great list - I just bookmarked it :)

flowerpot said...

Wow, what a list. I find the carnivals fun, but eat up a lot of time. And unlike the spring carnival in town, I can visit any of the blog carnivals in my jammies. Way too fun!

Welcome to WFMW!

Megan said...

Thanks for this post. I had no idea there were so many carnivals!

Abbi said...

I also like "Thrifty Green Thursday" at .

Also Frugal Friday at . That is the first one I ever participated in.

They are lots of fun but as someone else pointed out, they can take a lot of time.

Denise said...

I LOVE the daily blog carnivals. I've got a few that I participate in that aren't on your list. I found a couple new ones from your list that interest me too. Thanks!!!

NicEmMOM said...

Who said you weren't part of the "in" crowd!? Huh! You are in my "in" crowd! Thanks for the list, now just to find time to get to them!

Amy Platon said...

Thanks for the list. Loooove the carnivals too! has First Fridays it's a monthly editorial on great blog posts. You should submit your fav post from your blog!

Wanda said...

Darn you're cute! That was a very helpful WFMW post! I love this whole blogging world and would love to check these other's out!


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Kim H. said...

You're pretty much amazing. Thanks for doing all that homework for us slackers! :)

luv ya!

Colleen said...

Oh my... that's a lot of bloggy carnivals. I do some of them already... but I'm going to run away from that list for now. I barely have time to keep up as it is!!!

Roger said...

I've been feeling bad and stale, which is bad, because I like to feel fresh, smelling fresh is also a plus but not always a necessity. EWWW.

Anyway, I love this post with all these cool little linky carnival thingy's, I've actually participated in Sky Watch Fridays, but I made myself too busy, I guess.

Am I making sense? Not sure, myself, but for some reason I cannot stop myself and go back to work. I will be bookmarkiing this post for sure, at least until I have outstayed my welcome. I promise that I am not on any pharmaceuticals.

Amy @ Finer Things said... has a meme (carnival) page with a list of about 80 blog carnivals. You might want to check that out. ;-)

Excited to see my Finer Things Friday on your list! Thank you

Mama Smurf said...

I think I am one of the very few that is truly not in the search of new readers. The novelty has worn off and now I'm trying to re-evaluate and remember the reason I started my blog in the first was to record memories for my children and family. The comments and online friends came as an unexpected bonus.

Stephanie said...

You? Stubborn??? NEVER!!!