3 Lessons My Mom Taught Me That I Apply To My Blogging Experience

I used to roll my eyes at the things my mom would say and think I was above the lessons she was trying to teach me. But boy am I glad she did because these lessons are things that I’ve applied to all sorts of avenues of my life — especially blogging! But seriously, sometimes your mom is JUST RIGHT. Even when she told me that “cupcakes are not a healthy breakfast” or that “that boy is not going to be your world for forever”…her advice was usually pretty solid.

“The world just doesn’t revolve around you” 

I would get this one a lot when I was stamping my feet about something not going my way or somebody not catering to my needs. When I got older, I would hear this a lot because I was becoming so absorbed in my daily life that I wasn’t paying a lick of attention to anybody else’s needs or feelings. I feel like that happens so often in blogging. It’s easy to get absorbed in your own blog and your posts and your reading list and who is commenting on YOUR posts, sharing YOUR stuff (I’ve struggled with bouts of this from time to time). It’s easy to hop on Twitter or Facebook and promote your own post and not even care about what your timeline is doing. The fact of the matter is that the best part of blogging (for me) IS the community. Pay attention to what they are doing or you’ll miss out on some truly great posts and ideas from other bloggers and from building amazing relationships. Stay away from the ME ME ME attitude. Trust me, it shows. I can pick those kinds of people out a mile away.

How I apply it: I make commenting and sharing what others are doing an integral part of my blogging routine. I try to schedule even just 5 or 10 minutes ( or more when I can — that’s my minimum) a day to comment on posts and share the ones I love. I read through my timeline to see what awesome things people are sharing. I’ve also been trying to set a balance between promoting myself and promoting others. For every time I promote myself or my blog, I make sure I genuinely find something worth promoting of somebody elses.

“If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?”
When I first started blogging I tried so hard to do all the things that everyone else did. I would think – “I must do these memes, I must review this many books per week, I must read what others are reading, I must try to emulate these successful bloggers in every way I can!” I realized after a while that I was just blending in and I wasn’t feel very inspired. It was when I started doing the things I wanted to do with my blog and being more of myself that I felt like, “hey, this feels right!” and it’s been key for me to feel like I’m doing things right. I still get the urge sometimes to do things that I see people doing that MIGHT be working for them but then I realize that, at the end of the day, it might not be right for me. 
 
How I apply it: I started taking inventory of all the things that I didn’t feel really added to what I wanted my blog to be. What did I dread doing? What was more pain than it was worth? I decided whether to get rid of those elements or not and then moved on to how I could infuse more of myself into my blog. What could I bring to the table? What other interests do I have? I then began to build new features and ideas that I fell in love with and ENJOY doing. This lesson also applies to times when I so badly want to get in the middle of drama, because I see others talking about it and posting about it, but then I sit there and determine whether or not it would feel right for ME to weigh in. Sometimes I decide I need to say something and sometimes I decide I don’t.
 
“Say please and thank you”
 
I remember when we were younger my mom would ALWAYS say the dreaded words, “Now what do you say to Miss so and so who gave you the nice present?” WHY saying please and thank you seemed like such a horrible thing to me as a child but it did. I have to say I’m glad this lesson was harped on because I have encountered children (AND adults!) who I’m pretty sure don’t even KNOW these words exist. A genuine please and thank you goes a LONG way. What I love about this lesson was that my mom instilled this lesson through the years by not just making us say “thank you and please” robotically but showing us how to mean it and be truly thankful and grateful for things. I’ve seen a lot of “gimme” attitudes and people thinking they are entitled in life and there are few things that are that more off putting than when people don’t take the time to say please and thank you.
How I apply it: Now I’m not perfect with this but I always try to make an effort to thank people when they comment whether or not it’s on their blog or in reply to a comment they made on my blog. I always try to personally say thank you when someone retweets something of mine or promotes a post out of the blue! I am genuinely thankful that people think what I shared is worthwhile to share with their followers or that they took the time to comment on something I spent time on. ALSO..when dealing with publicists, authors or anyone who I’m collaborating with…I genuinely ask politely and say thank you…even if I don’t get the answer I want. I’ve always been told I’m too polite but sometimes when I’m at places like BEA, I feel like I need to overcompensate for the rudeness of others (NOT just bloggers). I remember their names and say thank you so and so for speaking with me about this book before I leave a booth after TALKING to them….because my momma wouldn’t approve of me running up to a table and filling a bag of  books without so much as even a genuine thank you.

 
 
What lessons did YOUR mom teach you that you apply to blogging?
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About Jamie

Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Comments

  1. Sash and Em says:

    You da bomb dot com. Wonderful post! :)

  2. Great lessons and great post!

  3. I am having a serious love affair with this post. If I could, I would hold it in my arms and squeeze it tight. Your mom's advice is practical, as well as being applicable to many different situations in life – blogging included!

  4. Megan Monell says:

    Great post. That is great advice. The first one definitely hits the nail on the head. When I first started blogging, I honestly didn't know what to write about because I kept thinking, "does anyone else actually care?" I have always loved answering questions, so I started with 30 day blog challenges. Those are pretty self centered, but when one of my friends started the challenge, I caught myself checking her blog for new posts so I could see what kind of things she was saying. It really gave me some perspective.
    I have as much fun posting my thoughts as I do seeing what other bloggers have to say about the same subject.

    I can't wait to see more of your mom's lessons!

  5. Sara Kovach says:

    Wonderful post – Thank you so much for sharing. As a new blogger, this is some very helpful advice. I am saving this information & taking it to heart – as well as apply it to my blogging life!

    Thank you again!!! I cannot wait to read next week!

  6. Kelsey@TheLostBookReports says:

    Love this so much!!!

    I struggle with the 1st one.. not that i think it is all about me, but to remember to comment other people's stuff, I try but I don't always succeed.

    Number 2 is also something when I first started blogging that I worried about.. I think most 1st timers do.

  7. andreamantis says:

    Ah! Your mom gave you the "that boy is not going to be in your world forever" line?!?!? Mine too! I remember being so in lurve and being so mad when she said that! But it's totally true and a line that I've used (sort of) with friends. I'm assuming that it'll be coming out of my mouth when my kids reach that age.

    This is a really clever post and so true! It reminds me of this old sign that my grandmother had in her house – Everything I Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten – or something like that. All of these lessons that you've included can be used in everyday life and totally for blogging! And really try to make reading other bloggers' posts and commenting on them a part of my routine – it's actually become a LOT of what I do as a blogger, maybe too much! But I really enjoy it, and I love how you try to promote others every time you promote yourself! And yes, pleases and thank yous TOTALLY go a long way.

    (Sorry about the long comment! I just can't help it!) Great advice for life and for blogging!

  8. Brilliant advice, I especially love the first one. Although I do read a lot of other blogs I don't always comment as much as I could, and I definitely don't share the awesome like I could! I will be attempting this much more from now on :-)

  9. These are really great lessons for blogging as well as life in general! Isn't it amazing how much wiser our parents appear in hindsight? :)

  10. Jenni Elyse says:

    Fantastic post, Jamie! I didn't even think of applying life's lessons to blogging. But, you're so right. It's important to remember these things in the blogging world. So many people forget because of anonymity. It's the one thing I don't like about online life. But, if we all took a page out of your book, online life would be much better.

  11. This is priceless. Keep them coming.

  12. Oh, my mom is always saying "The World Doesn't Revolve Around You." Another one that I'm glad my mom is ALWAYS telling me, "Life isn't Fair." Thanks so much for this post! " :)

  13. AH Meredith…that's one of my "lessons" for next week! Our mom's must have been reading from the same handbook :P

  14. I love this post! So much! You are so right about applying these things to blogging, and it's something I don't do enough of. Note taken! Thanks for doing this… can't wait until the next one!

  15. All very good bits of advice. Thanks, I needed to hear some of this.

  16. Chrystal @ Snowdrop Dreams of Books says:

    What a wonderful post! Such great advice.

  17. Ummm I LOVE this post. You know what, no. That doesn't even tell you how much I enjoyed every minute of this post! You took things I think about all the time, put them into not-just coherent statements, but into eloquently scripted paragraphs to explain exactly what we need to remember when blogging.

    Thank you SO much for this wonderful post. I will be sharing it with others!

  18. lisa [the nerd] says:

    The 'bridge' one really hit me. It's such a balance between doing what you want and what your readers want to read…but ultimately it has to be what YOU enjoy. And still be respectful. :)

    Thanks for sharing, Jamie!

  19. great post!Thanks for sharing

  20. NTM (Books, Money and Mayhem) says:

    Love this post and agree with all the points made in it!

  21. Thanks lady! And I totes love that you said "da bomb dot com"…WOOOOT.

  22. Thank you!! And thanks again for RTing about it!

  23. Ooh la la. A love affair, Alexa! Glad you enjoyed it! Make sure you take it out on a nice date but have it home by 12! :P

  24. I'm glad you feel the same way! It really IS easy to get so caught up in your own blog! I mean, yeah, I want to put a lot of work into it but I don't want to forget about what makes blogging so great…all the interaction. I mean, if everyone who blogs just paid attention to their blogs and ONLY their blogs…blogging would pretty much suck! lol

    Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

  25. Glad you found this helpful, Sara! And thanks for the comment! And welcome to the blogosphere! :)

  26. I'm right there with you. It's SO hard when I'm busy to do that. I can't do it as much as I'd like right now with planning the wedding, always going to spend time with the sister's baby and working full time. But I do try to set aside some time and think that maybe giving up 10 minutes of my lunch break to do it or 10 minutes of talking on Twitter will just keep me in the habit of doing it. But it IS really hard. I'm definitely not perfect by any means with it…these lessons are things I'm stillll learning. haha.

    Thanks for your comment!

  27. Haha I totally got that speech!! lol That sign is SO true! It's funny how all those lessons really are "forever" type lessons that I feel like a lot of adults forget!

    thanks for your thoughtful comment on my post! Loved reading your thoughts!! <3

  28. Thanks Bex! The first one is definitely the one I struggle with when I'm busy. And sometimes I just read something and MEAN to comment when I have time and just forget! Hopefully writing these lessons down will help me to keep applying them!

    Thanks for the comment!

  29. Thanks Lisa! It really is funny…I used to think my parents were ridiculous and too strict and awful but a lot of the things they said were SO TRUE.

    Thanks for the comment!

  30. Thanks Jenni Elyse! I started thinking about it when I was telling Will about all the blogger drama and how sometimes I think people lose their manners that they were (hopefully) taught as children…it kind of went from there! And I sooo agree..I think the anonymity factor totally makes people act like it doesn't matter what they say.

    Thanks for your thoughtful post!

  31. Thanks Annette!!

  32. Thanks! I really appreciate it! :)

  33. Glad the post was something useful to you! :)

  34. Thanks Chrystal! I really appreciate it!

  35. Thank you, Kelly!! This means so much to me. <33

  36. Agreed Lisa! I remember thinking about turning my blog into a strictly YA blog because I felt like that was how people would like my blog…but it didn't feel right because I DON'T solely read YA. It's hard to find that balance between what readers want vs. what you want! But once I found that balance…it was GREAT.

    Thanks for the comment. As always…I love your thoughts :)

  37. Thanks roro!!

  38. Thank you! :)

  39. crazylady says:

    This is definitely true! I just got back into blogging – haven't had the opportunity to do it in a while, but I love posting new illustrations and checking out what others are in to.

  40. Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) says:

    Oh sweet sweet Jamie. "that boy is not going to be your world for forever" — aaahhh. You just say the things that are the good things at the good times. I'm reading this at 1:40 am. FYI.

    Anyway, the commenting thing. So, so important to me. Sometimes I wonder if it really should be. But I always come back to the conclusion that it IS. It IS important to me to be interactive. I TRY really hard to go visit blogs and comment. Now, I fail at times. But I do try and comment when I can and make them meaningful. And I *notice* when I get interaction back. Sometimes it takes a while, sometimes it is everytime, and sometimes it never ever happens. So, so important. I am ALWAYS a work in progress at this, and I ALWAYS can improve, but I give it my best and hopefully it shows to at least some people, ya know?

    Oh the drama. So much lately. I posted a very positive review maybe two weeks ago about a book that was involved heavily in the drama and was really nervous about how it would be received. By not participating in the drama and presenting my very own opinions and not going with the flow, I think I represented myself well – and the book, which was amazing despite the drama – and in the end, I'm proud of my choice.

    And OH one of my favorite things about you is that you DO take the time to RT when you find something worthwhile on someone else's blog or twitterstream. That means so much to me when it is mine or when I find something someone else posted via your RT. That is really just so, so kind and such a positive influence on your followers and I love that about you.

    You really have made a great post here. I do hope you will follow suit soon and do a few more.

    Also, I owe you an email. It will come soon. I'm working my way there. xoxo

  41. I love this. so so much. You rock for posting this :)

  42. I love this post. I hope that as my daughter grows up she will look back on the things I will teach her.

    These kinds of posts are always a little weird for me.. (getting personal here) My mother and I dont have a great relationship. I learned everything I dont want to be from watching her. I was taught the same things as you, but not from my parents. they taught me to….

    Only do coke when it's free.

    Make sure you trust your weed dealer, you dont want it to be laced.

    College is a waste of time, you'll just end up working in a factory like us anyway.

    You dont need to learn to drive as long as you find a husband who can, there is no need.

    ect… ect… I could go on and on… lol. The sad thing, I know I joke alot in my comments, but the words above.. no joke, direct quotes.. I think this is one of the reason I love YA so much, it's like learning how to parent from more reliable sources. I did have my grandmother though, and I wouldn't be who I am without her. I have taking much from what she has taught me, and I apply it to my life every day.

    I guess I kinda got off subject, as I often do in my commenting. I love that you don't post everything other bloggers do. There are only so many WOWs and IMMs I can comment on before losing interest. Original posts are the shit, and that's what keeps me coming back to your blog. :)

  43. Midnyte Reader says:

    This is like the best post ever. So clever to apply these simple rules to blogging (and everything else in life).

  44. Magan @ Rather Be Reading says:

    I <3 you, Jamie. I read this post last night, but didn't get to comment cause my stupid phone was messing up. It takes a lot of effort to comment on other people's posts and to network, but seriously…the friendships I've made because of that have been incredible. And the books I've read because of that has made me so much more well-rounded. It's really easy to get caught up in trying to figure out how to get ourselves out there. This post was a great reminder that we'll just keep doing what we're doing and things will happen as they're supposed to. xoxo

  45. Jacinda (The Reading Housewives) says:

    "For every time I promote myself or my blog, I make sure I genuinely find something worth promoting of somebody elses. "-very good advice! I'm going to try and do this more often! There are many bloggers who don't follow this…it's kind of said. I understand you can't reply back and visit everyone's blogs, but there are some who never seem to comment (or that I've seen). Who knows, maybe they do and I'm clueless.

    I longer do memes. They just aren't for me. They take up too much time. I can fill those days I have memes with reviews, interviews, and other better content. I enjoy blogging more for that. If other bloggers want to participate in memes, that's cool with me.

    Someone on Twitter awhile back mentioned someone didn't say thank you when they won a giveaway. They just replied back with their address. That's kind of rude.

    The only lessons I've learned from my mother are what NOT to do. Sorry, that sounds depressing.

  46. April (BooksandWine) says:

    <3

    Your mom is a class act. I'm sure she would be so proud of you and all that you do with blogging and literacy.

    I love this post more than words.

  47. Wisdom from Mom is always the best kind. The please and thank you and all around good manners was a big one in my household as well. Mom and Dad didn't play. And I love them to this day for bringing me up to respect people and have manners. I love that you can apply her wisdom to your blog!

  48. Great advice! Thanks :)

  49. Wow! Thanks so much for this post. It’s really helpful for someone like me who’s just starting to figure this blogging adventure out. And I’ve already discovered that the coolest thing about blogging is the community you get to be a part of; your tips are about being an awesome citizen of that community. :)

  50. Great post! I’ve shared it on my twitter account.
    @thebrokenshelf

  51. Hey Jamie, nice post! Made me laugh. :) Thanks for the great advice!

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  1. […] February I shared some lessons my mom taught me that I apply to blogging. I then posed the question of “what makes someone your  favorite author?” And, since I […]

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