Monday, July 09, 2012

Blogging in the real world

        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!



6 comments:

  1. Glad you got to meet Jamie! I have yet to IRL. But sorry it didn't work out for us to get together when you were in the Bay Area. Next time :)

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  2. I was bummed to miss you too, Cynthia. But I'll be back, so next time for sure!

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  3. This brings a couple of tears to my eyes! I feel so lucky that I got to meet you in person. Thank you for spending time with me and my family, and thank you for all that you do for the surfing community around the world! Love to you...xoxo

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  4. p.s. Cynthia - if we don't get to meet in the water this year, let's at least meet at a surf film or something fun like that!

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  5. Alicia9:58 PM

    Wow...that's really inspiring! The internet can be a wonderful thing :)
    I sometimes lament a certain loss of innocence with the technological surge of the internet age (despite my spending copious amounts of time online.) There was a certain freedom in growing up without the internet and constant connectivity and the negatives associated with excessive screen time e.g. childhood obesity, online bullying etc.
    However, it's really beautiful to hear stories like this, where the internet is the link which connects two like-minded souls, and it wouldn't have happened without it.
    Being a female surfer who started surfing in her mid 20's I haven't grown up in surfing circles and only have one friend that surfs. I really enjoy following your blog Rebecca, and Jamie's also. Maybe one day I'll have to start my own :)
    Alicia

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  6. Hey Alicia,

    Thanks so much for your comments. It's so nice to know that there are folk who do enjoy this blog - I really do enjoy writing it! I get so stoked on other people's blogs and sites, and to think that my own site might do that for someone else is a pretty cool idea.

    I also hope you do start your own blog. It's a lot of fun and very rewarding, so I'd offer you nothing but encouragement to do so. Please let me know if you do as I'll make sure to check it out.

    By the way, although I grew up by the beach in Byron Bay, I only started surfing in my mid-late 20s. I was luck yo to know lots of folk who surfed, and I very quickly met a lot more people in the water.

    Bec

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