February 19, 2009

My First Year of Blogging

I was a reluctant blogger. I didn't want to share my thoughts with the whole world. But one day I was bored. I was sitting at my computer, done looking at my usual news and knitting sites, wondering what to do with myself. A friend had encouraged me to try blogging, so that day I decided to explore. I went to blogger.com and just started pushing buttons. Before I knew it, I had a blog called "Close Your Eyes and Hang on Tight." That's how I characterized my life at the moment. And one of my first posts was School, An Endless Summer. I really liked that post and started to think maybe I had something to say to a wider audience. But for many months, my blog was all about knitting. That was a harmless, nonpersonal topic that got me going.

According to feedburner.com, I started blogging on February 19, 2008, or at least that's when I was savvy enough to burn a feed. And that was one year ago today.

As I learned more about blogging, I wanted to see if a bigger blog would be interested in publishing one of my posts. So I sent Life Without School my Endless Summer post and now I'm a regular contributor. That really encouraged me to write more about homeschooling and to move my knitting stuff to another blog. I also decided to change the name to something shorter and more descriptive--Yarns of the Heart.

During this first year of blogging, I've learned that trial and error can be quite effective, and what I can't figure out, I google to see what comes up. I've also learned that there are a lot of really nice people out there that I would have never met if it were not for my blog. I've also learned that it's fun helping people see they can homeschool and enjoy their kids at the same time, and there's hope at the end of the tunnel. It's hard being a parent and a teacher in a world that thinks you're crazy for trying, so I like being here with some encouragement and practical advice. It helps you, and it helps me because I'm not so bored anymore and I get to chronicle all this stuff I don't want to forget.

Thanks for making my first year of blogging so enjoyable.


Unknown said...

Re: my blog was all about knitting. That was a harmless, nonpersonal topic that got me going.

The personal is also the political--most (all?) knitters today knit because they have chosen to knit.

Knitting says something about you too..(i think it says good things--but then, i knit, too.)

Unknown said...

What a blessing your blog has been for so many of us. I remember when my kids were younger, it was very important for me to read about families that had unschooled from the beginning and had kids that turned out well and I imagine you are encouraging many young moms on a daily basis. As my 10 and 12 year olds continue unschooling and being wonderful people that love to learn, I find it exciting to connect with like minded people who see their children as something special and feel they have been given a gift to be a part of their lives. I have been very encouraged by your blogs, emails and comments on my own blog. You have a special way of connecting to people and we are so lucky you were bored one day. (Kind of reminds me of how great ideas happen with my children - they have to have the time to be bored.) Happy Blogiversary!

Jena said...

Hi OfTroy! Great to hear from you again. :) Yes, we knitters are a special breed. Cathy, you're a knitter too, I think, right? And thanks for the well-wishes. I love what you said about having time to be bored so that great things can happen. That's so true! I've seen it time and again with my kids too. And I'm glad we found each other through blogging.

Todd Taylor said...

wow... happy birthday! or anniversary! or new day!

i can't believe you almost didn't do this. i think of thoughts and smiles i would have missed out on. woulda snagged them from somewhere else, but not THOSE that YOU've blessed me with. you're a good sister. and MY kids are a little better off because of your YARNS... thank you!

G.Dowell said...

Ohhhh! I love birthday celebrations. Happy birthday to your blog! I'm so glad that you were bored one day and decided to blog. I've learned so much from you that has made me a better, more relaxed homeschool mom. And you've encouraged me to blog which has opened up new friendships to me from other like-minded artists. Thanks...

Duska said...

Happy Anniversary, Jena! It has been one year since I started sharing my best friend with the rest of the world. :o) It's good to know my unselfishness has been a blessing to others. ha! I'm so proud of you, dear friend.

Unknown said...

Jena, you have done a great job sharing and communicating your thoughts about homeschooling and children and other related topics. I am glad you are using the writing gift the Lord has given you to bless others. THANK you.
Love always,


My Journey so Far... said...

Happy one year anniversary!
So glad you decided to start blogging...what a blessing you have been to me.
Looking forward to another year with you.
Amy :)

23 degrees said...

First of all...whohoo! I am glad you share your life and secrets with all of us. I love how you think and have always been amazed at how big your heart is, my friend. Happy anniversary!

I came across this quote on another friend's blog http://seedlingsinstone.blogspot.com/ and thought I would share it with you. It has me really thinking:

"It strikes me that whenever we find the bravery to tell a story true and whole, to say 'Once upon a time, I...', we do something extremely powerful. We take the mute fear of darkness and give it voice; we form the void, make possible a clean and unexpected comfort, maybe even joy."

When is your book coming out?

Anonymous said...

Wow. I would have thought you'd been doing this a lot longer!

Happy Anniversary! I love your blog and am so grateful for your wisdom and encouragement. I'm just starting on the homeschool journey and I have much more confidence because of you!


Jena said...

Mister Dad, Christy, Duska, Gayle, Amy, 23 (not your real age), Heidi,

All of you are so sweet and encouraging. I should have a blog-iversary once a week! I'm glad I'm helping others as I learn this new way to communicate. Technology can be fun! Thanks again, you've all been part of my growing process. I'm looking forward to what this next year brings.

Karen said...

Happy One-Year! I can't even imagine the blogosphere without Yarns of the Heart, I am so glad that you started pressing buttons a year ago.

Poonamallee said...

I am so glad that you blog and even more glad that I stumbled into it a few weeks ago. I am grateful for the generosity with which you share. You are a role model and I take joy in sending your link to friends and family. I am not a knitter though:)

Rachel said...

Happy Blogversary!


(is that a REAL word???)

Knitting and schooling, two things that go together like peanut butter and chocolate! YAY!

Jena said...

Karen, thanks so much. You've been a big part of my year, interviewing me and encouraging me so much.

Scholarmoma, thank you for linking me around! I really appreciate that and I'm glad to have met you.

Twisted Stitches, love your profile pic! And love your analogy. Nice to meet another knitter!

Jena said...

February 19, 2009 I got 110 different visitors (according to Google Analytics). That's a record!! Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by.

Anonymous said...

Happy Belated Blogiversary!!

I too am glad you started pushing buttons. I love to hear what you have to say.

Love you

Anonymous said...

Another great unschooling lesson...just look where a little boredom can lead!

Traci said...

I'm so glad you are blogging! A calm voice in the mix of my sometimes chaotic mind!

At A Hen's Pace said...

Just want to join in and wish you a belated blogiversary!!! I too, am glad you started blogging! You were a great encouragement to me when I needed it, at the beginning of this year, to give interest-led learning a try.

Here's to another year!



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