Another Minnesota blogger, ArtsyMama, is hosting a blogging party today in honor of Tara Frey’s new book, Blogging For Bliss.  I found ArtsyMama, in fact, by reading through this great new book the other day at Barnes and Noble.  I’ve never been part of a blog party before this, but I decided to join in the fun today!  Since I’ve been so busy (who hasn’t, right?) and really neglecting my blog this summer, I thought I’d use the party as a way to “jump-start” a new chapter of blogging–one in which I’ll hopefully post more regularly again.  Life around our house is starting to calm down a bit so I have no excuses anymore!

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So let’s join the party in progress…Here’s what Kari over at ArtsyMama has to say about Tara’s book Blogging for Bliss:

“In the book, Tara brings together “creative bloggers” of all types- art blogs, quilting blogs, sewing blogs, vintage ephemera blogs, and more. She empowers the newbie to give it a try and dig deep where “you’ll find your voice, and learn how to connect with others around the world.” Tara also goes through the nuts and bolts of how to create a blog, how to make it beautiful, how to get traffic to your little corner of the blog-o-sphere, and even the ever-important etiquette. The book also features over 50 inspiring blogs in a “Meet the Blogger” section at the end of each chapter.”

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She’s also giving away a free copy of the book so be sure and stop over at her blog today (just click on the title, ArtsyMama), leave a comment, and maybe you will win it!  I really enjoyed browsing through it the other day at the bookstore and hope to buy it at some point soon.  As ArtsyMama stated, all kinds of creative bloggers are featured in the book and I got the most out of reading about them, their stories and reasons for blogging.

Besides finding Kari at ArtsyMama, which I was excited about because she lives kinda near me, it’s been fun to find new blogs like Tongue In Cheek, over at which an American in France, Corey Amara, is right now taking us on her motorcycle journey through the mountains of France, on to Prague–my favorite city in the whole world–and today she’s in Budapest.  What a treat to see her photos and hear the stories of her trip!

The blog world is fun, in general.  It’s addicting.  It’s enlightening.  Sometimes it can be comforting, or challenging, and it’s never dull.  I started blogging just as a personal journal, then opened it up to friends and family, and then over at my original blogs, The Zahn Zone and Herbalist Lisa Zahn, I found I was getting a lot of readers and had conflicting emotions about it.  Mostly, I was delighted that people were actually reading what I had to say.  I’ve made so many friends this way, and so many connections around the world.  I think about my readers all the time, and love to follow them on their blogs.  Some of them I worry about, or rejoice with, or am marveled by.

I love all the people I’ve met through blogging.  Yet at times having readers can feel overwhelming, too.  And sometimes I get embarrassed over revealing “too much” of myself.  On The Zahn Zone I sometimes got political, and/or afraid, and in hindsight I didn’t really feel good about that.  It’s out there, it’s okay, but I started Lisa Zahn Writes in order to get away from some of that.  My favorite blogs are ones that might challenge me, but more so they inspire me.  I’m not sure that Lisa Zahn Writes is or will be an inspirational or challenging place, but I wanted to start over and think harder before I “put pen to paper”–which seems like an old-fashioned euphimism now–and publish it for all the world to see.

Because if you do blog, the world can and will find you!  Especially if you “blog network”, reading and commenting on other blogs and linking back to yours.  It’s considered good manners–something Tara Frey talks about in Blogging For Bliss–to visit the blogs of those who visit you.  So that’s where this whole amazing network gets going, and it can be so much fun!

I blog for the fun of it, for the networking–generally with other women, moms, like me–and also for the practice of it.  I have discovered a love of taking pictures, trying to find the right angle and lighting and making something that others will look at and think is lovely.  (Because I love to look at the lovely photos on other blogs.)  I love the practice of writing each day, and thinking up things to share.  I love noticing my daily life more in order to blog about it.  I also like to put up recipes and ideas that worked out for me in case they help others.

Basically, I like to share with others what I have found interesting and inspiring myself.  I also, simply, blog to let far-away family and friends know what we’re up to.  We’ve had an interesting couple of years, expanding the garden and the pantry, acquiring hens to raise in our urban backyard, working on the house, homeschooling and sending one child back to school and you know, life is never dull when you have kids around and projects to do.

I also blog because I’m starting to write more as a freelancer and this is a place people can see how and what I write about.  It clarifies for me what I’m interested in writing about.  And it gets me writing most days.  That is good practice.

I’m not sure how many readers I have out there yet, since I’ve been away.  But for those who’ve stopped by as part of the party, welcome!  And for my long-time loyal readers, thanks!  It’s been part of my bliss, blogging.

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