If You Aren’t Reading, You Aren’t Living

Way back in 2002, my friend Stephanie gifted me a t-shirt exactly like this

(Image from specsappeal.com)

I wore it to concerts, and strangers would ask me what it meant. In other words, I’ve been blogging since before blogging was cool.

I’ve had a few sites over the years, chronicling my life’s adventures. It kept my writing muscles flexed and it was fun, but it wasn’t exactly fulfilling. Sometimes blogging feels like I’m throwing my content into a Black Hole that is The Internet.

A year ago, I actively made the decision to stop blogging. In a memoir writing workshop taught by a published author, I was warned that blogging often distracts a writer from her writing goals (for example, writing my memoir.) Initially I balked, (surely I could do both?) but then I realized she was right. I already knew my blog was using up my creative energy with little to no reward.

By reward, I don’t mean fame. What I seek by sharing my musings with the world is connection. My previous blog had hits, but rarely any comments. People would reach out to me privately to give me feedback, which I truly appreciate. You may think a writer’s goal is only to have readers, and I am thrilled to have some, but that’s not my priority. I want to engage with my readers and motivate them to have discussions with each other.

So I stopped blogging. At first it was a relief. The obligation to post regularly can become a burden at times. Work was using up my creative juices and maxing me out on daily screen time, so for a while it felt like the right choice. Then a funny thing happened, my readers began to notice and ask when I planned to post again. It turns out I missed blogging.

Every time I hang out with my friend Candice, something like this comes up:

Her:  Are you planning to start blogging again soon?

Me: Not really…

Her: So have you written anything lately?

Me: No…

Her: Do you ever think about starting a new blog?

Me: Not really…

To be honest, it was Candice’s persistent encouragement that led to my idea for this new site.

In my social circle, I have become a go-to for book recommendations. It is not a role I take lightly. Not only does it mean the person obviously trusts my judgement and taste in books, but he/she is opening up and sharing a part of his/her self with me. When I recommend a book to a friend and she loves it, we bond. If she hates it, we have a deep discussion and bond over that.

By the time my friend Jess met up with me at the last library book sale, I already had a bag for her of titles I thought she would like. I expected she’d sort through and choose a couple but she went ahead and bought the whole bag. Now that’s trust!

My life experiences shape my reading experiences and vice versa. This is true for everyone. When we bond over books, we are bonding over life.

With this site, I hope to spark discussion on topics the average reader may not consider. I want to ask not only “Is this a good book?” but “Why is this a good book?” One of my favorite novels of all time is

My best bookish friend hates that book. Why? Because she’s a mom, it’s about a murdered child, and it hits a little too close to home. That makes sense. If we had ended our conversation after “I love that book,” and “Well I hate it,” we would have missed out an opportunity to get to know each other and launch a thoughtful conversation about motherhood.

Welcome to my site, and I hope you are inspired to not only read more, but to think about and discuss what you’re reading in a new way!

 

10 Comments

  1. Doree

    April 27, 2017 at 1:12 am

    Yay! I’m super excited for the new blog and to have good bookish discussions!

    1. Ramona Mead

      April 27, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks for all your support. I value our bookish friendship so much!

  2. Shelly

    April 27, 2017 at 2:02 am

    Welcome back to blogging, friend!
    I am happy to say that YOU have been the MAIN inspiration/motivator behind my interest in books.
    Hell, I try to write down every book you recommend! I think I have several lists floating around my house. Haha! #oops
    You also make me want to blog. You and I have had some brief discussions about it and so I have been brainstorming some things.
    I’m looking forward to more of your posts/articles (what are these called? What’s the proper term?…I never know!)

    1. Ramona Mead

      April 27, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      Thank you for saying all that. I would LOVE to provide you with some guidance/help to get you blogging, if you’d like it. I am thinking of having friends who I recommended books to write a short “guest post” about one of the books, maybe once a month. Interested?

  3. Lea Christensen

    April 27, 2017 at 3:25 am

    So glad to be reading your musings again! We share so many interests in reading but we also differ and it’s refreshing and comfortable discussing books and life with you.

    1. Ramona Mead

      April 27, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      I am so grateful for our bookish friendship. Thank you for your support in my writing!

  4. kim davis

    April 27, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    I am so glad you are blogging! that is wonderful! Do what you love! Now, about this book. I am a mother of 3 and I consider this book a favorite. I could not put it down. I found it very emotional. Another book that I like is “Room”. I don’t care for the movies to the books however.

  5. Candice

    April 27, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    OH.EMM.GEE. love love love this!!! i am excited about this new chapter (see what did there?), and honored to be a part of it.. i admire that you and your friend bonded though your opinions differed!

  6. Stephanie

    May 1, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I love that you are blogging again, and I just read all of your new entries! I haven’t blogged in forever and don’t plan to start up again although I’ve thought about figuring out a way to express my intense and insane struggles with the scale. But it’s so OVERDONE…. And I just have no time or energy at the end of the day. I love reading your writing, and I’ve picked lots of my books based on things you’ve posted – so I’m excited to get new book ideas.

    1. Ramona Mead

      May 1, 2017 at 7:06 pm

      Thank you friend, that means a great deal to me. If you’d ever like me to help you brainstorm for your own blogging project, I’d be happy to. Have you read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert? There really is no such thing as a new idea, but putting your own personal spin on something makes it one of a kind. Also, I’d love to start posting a short blurb from friends who have read something I recommended. Would you be interested?

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