Blogging is a funny thing. On the surface, it could appear like this totally self-indulgent and highly individual thing to do. Blogs can seem like a form of public journal-keeping, and at their worst, they are. But over the years that I have been keeping this little 'self-indulgent, public journal' operating, I have found blogs to be so very much more than that. I have, in fact, found that they are all about relationships and community.
You could flick though this blog and see me writing about women and surfing, which I do. But from my perspective, writing the blog, it is all about who is reading it, how they comment, the ways my interests connect with other bloggers, and seeing your ideas and experiences turning up in the most unlikely places from around the world. Although companies have jumped on blogging to promote their brands, products and surfers in seemingly unobtrusive ways, my experience of blogging has been that of engaging with other bloggers by sharing ideas, interests and support. Starting this blog was supposed to be about creating a repository for links and resources as I tracked through my PhD, but over time it shifted and became a space of its own. When I started this blog, I never thought anyone would actually read it, but people have. And they've commented and sent me emails and offered me writing opportunities and posted me photographs and shared stories and given support. Far from an individualised journal-keeping, resource-collecting activity, writing this blog has become about collaboration and connecting with other folk across the world, through the fun of surfing. And it has been an unexpected joy. And recently, I got to meet one of my favourite blogging friends in person.
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to visit San Francisco, and while I was there I took the time to go and stay a night with the wonderful Jamie Watson and her family. Perhaps you know Jamie better as the author of PineappleLuv?
Jamie and I have known each other for a few years now. We met through our blogs and have sent comments, emails and messages, and even found out that we share the same birthday! I've always loved Jamie's blog for its clever-ness, its sense of fun, and for the pure stoke she always shows for surfing, art and people. Her blog was always somewhere I could look when I was feeling uninspired or bummed, and it would brighten my day with sweet stories, colourful artwork, or a cool photo she had taken herself or found somewhere online. So I was so excited to be able to meet her and to hang out with her, her (equally talented) husband Jay, and their gorgeous son, Duke. They took me to Santa Cruz, to check out Steamer Lane, and to eat enormous burritos! It was so cool to bring a blogging relationship into the 'real world' and I'm stoked I had the chance to do that while I was in the States.
Thanks so much Jamie, Jay and Duke - it was awesome to meet you. I can't wait til you get the chance to visit here in Australia!