Tuesday, November 10, 2009

there's no method to my madness

One of my favorite tangibles, is a beautiful vintage, wood and brass
level that WT gave me one Christmas. I keep it here on the old oak
high school drafting table, I use as a computer desk, in the little
sitting area off the manor kitchen. I didn't realize until today, it's
obviously my Libra sense of balance, that draws me to this mellow
level, with its air bubbles housed in cloudy green glass.

Speaking of a sense of balance, the only thing about blogging, that's
making me feel incredibly unbalanced lately, is the fact that I'm
having a bit of trouble making it through the bloggyhood to visit all
you special peeps on a daily basis. You are the nicest, most creative
and intelligent group of gentle readers in the whole blogosphere. I
am one lucky blog duck. You mean the world to me, and that's why
I am feeling frustration.

You know how it is. I'm going down the mile, the ubiquitous green
blogroll mile, and the phone rings. I chat. I laugh. I return to the
mile, and it has grown. Not only that, but I've lost my place. I skim
down and click on a blog with an intriguing post. I click on someone
new in the comment section, and I'm on a fresh and exciting street
in the bloggyhood. I pop here. I comment there. Before I know it,
an hour has passed and I'm still only a quarter of the way down the
green mile. And I'm a fast typer, too.

I know some of you like to send an email to everyone who leaves a
comment. I'm afraid this method would permanently attach my butt
to the chair, and I would soon collect dust and spider webs. Plus, I
think it's a bit redundant to reply by email, and also go leave a blog
comment. Not to mention, it chokes the old inbox. Some others of
you only comment to those who have left comments on your post.
I don't really care for that method either, because there are so many
interesting bloggers out there, that don't necessarily leave me a
comment on a daily basis.

So, what's a willow to do? I think my gentle readers will understand,
while I would love to comment on 200 blogs a day, it's just not
realistic. It's not healthy to sit here blogging 24 x 7; this willow might
just send down roots and sprout withy shoots. Got any suggestions?
Any methods to your bloggy madness? Blogging should be fun and I
should not be feeling this unbalanced sense of "oblogation", right?
willow with withies ready to harvest


  1. Oh, I dunno, I think you owe all 1080 plus of your followers a tiny note daily, if not every other day on their own blogs. That's why it's called 'social networking'. On the level.

  2. Re: the oblogation: I feel it too, often and lately because my work life has been busy. But none of us should.

    While the building of community through reading each other and communicating with each other is what makes us all grow - I think the number one priority should be to create our art - write quality content, present interesting food for thought, create beautiful pictures, or whatever. I think that's why we all show up in the first place - because it's worthwhile reading/viewing.

    I try not to place too much pressure on myself - I do feel bad when I haven't commented on a favourite blogger in awhile. But I think my favourite bloggers know I am showing up. Sometimes I don't have time to comment. Sometimes I just don't feel I have anything insightful to say on the matter. It doesn't mean I didn't engage with the post. I just want my comments to be meaningful. If I don't have anything meaningful to say, I won't say it. I'm sure that's what you do too.

    Don't be frustrated or oblogated Willow. I think any one of your bloggy friends knows you enough to know you're a kind soul. You don't have to quantify that with a certain number of comments.

  3. I don't write to everyone either
    nor do I comment on every single post though
    I read quite a few.
    If I haven't touched base for ages , I try to comment.
    I hope people don't think I'm rude
    well, maybe I am......

  4. Just be yourself, Willow. I have wondered about the the expanding list o followers and your dedication to your blog art....but truly...I don't require a response...it is just a joy to find your blog each day! That alone can suffice!

  5. "On the level." Good one, Bill. You're a nut.

  6. Love the close up photo of the old level. there is a big spot in my heart for old world and vintage things.
    You cannot possibly comment on everone who follows your blog. One should follow and comment on anothers blog simply because it moves them enough to do so, not to expect anything in return.
    I am always amazed that you had any time to comment on mine and so it was very much appreciated. however, if i had not heard a comment from you in a long time, it would make no difference to me. your blog is enjoyable and i will visit and comment when i am moved to.

  7. My list of followers is a drop in the bucket to yours - & I follow around 80 blogs (some of those overlap with my followers thankfully). I have a really slow job so I have time to read most of the posts every day - but definitely don't have time to comment! So I just comment on the things that draw something from me - where I'll burst if I don't add something to the discussion.

  8. I can't imagine how you would be able to. It is just not possible. Like you I think it should be fun, not an obligation. I think you said it well. And, I do enjoy when you visit.

  9. It's like this WIllow...I like to think that fellow bloggers and readers know that I am there in spirit if not in word.
    I would love to comment on all blogs - new and old and reply to all emails with the utmost brilliance and speed...but it is just not possible.
    We do what we can, when we can and we all understand because we are all sitting in the same place with the same time constraints. A wise gal I once read said no oblogation.... ?? xv

  10. Heh-heh, Vicki, yeah, I think I did say that once, didn't I?

  11. That is why I went on hibernation. I am like a bear in the den. I don't go out much to comment but welcome those who comment. There are way too many people for me to comment or to visit and trying to keep up seems to lead to the looney bin. I am thinking about taking comments off all blogs but one. And my wife thinks I should just move to Facebook and forget blogger. Will have to see what works for me.

  12. Oh Willow! I know how you feel. But let me let you in on a little secret. Some of us simply LOVE to read YOUR blog! It doesn't matter if you never comment of come by our own. I for one, love it when you do, but just like a terrific pear tart, if you have it everyday, it become ordinary. And you... are extraordinary. XOXOXOXO

  13. Just those changing photos of a most beautiful woman are enough for me. Love the new one in the fur hat.

    As for commenting on each and every other blog you read . . it truly is impossible. So don't let it get you . . . . unbalanced.

  14. Mr. Catalyst, you're making me blush.

  15. I'm the same way. I want to comment on everyone, but there's just not enough time in the day! I do jump on google reader every once in a while when I need a break throughout the day and comment on something that catches my eye.
    I'm not going to feel guilty anymore about it. Neither should you! Your blog posts are inspiring. Let that be your communication with the readers!

  16. this has struck me lately as my comment load has increased...i tried the email thing and came up with the same result...i usually try to pop back and leave a comment...i dont know if there is an easy answer, other than knowing your own limits and setting priortites...

  17. I feel a tiny bit of your pain - blogger guilt is the latest rage in therapy circles...

    But all you can do is the best you can - give a nod and thank you en masse, and try not to feel that you owe everyone a reply every time.

    Perhaps if you think of your blog as a gift (as I do!) and those of us who respond are thanking you for taking such time and effort to entertain, enlighten and share.

  18. Wow did you ever put the words on the page for me. I go half way down in the mornings and from the bottom in the afternoon. And a giveaway, man followers are coming out of the woodwork. I agree they are all so great I don't want to miss anything. I don't like the comments coming through the e-mail. I did it because some one asked me and now I don't know how to undo it. I know you are there after a couple of days, I'll come looking for you.

  19. I don't think anyone would expect you to keep up with all the commenters on your blog Willow. The fact that you have attempted to do so speaks volumes about your big heart and generosity. You just relax and keep writing those wonderful posts.I admire anybody who takes the time to reply to each individual comment or email.I don't do that. I just write something at the end when it seems everyone has had their say. The sky has not fallen down, I'm still here to tell the tale,and the world spins on regardless.Thank-you for visiting my blog - it must have taken you ages to catch up with everyone!!xx

  20. Nope, no suggestions at all...I was wondering how you make it around to all of your admirers. I've had a hard time recently with not wanting to tether myself to the computer once I get home at night. I feel as though I've lost my spark...I just don't have much to say. Nothing of interest anyway.

  21. I'm glad you posted about this because it's a dilemma I have as well.
    I want to extend the courtesy of returning the visit to those to who come to see me, but I don't have enough hours in the day to do this. I've added several blogs to my blogroll and that's basically what I stick with.
    I try to get out sometimes, once every couple of weeks and just show up on people's blogs that have visited me lately.
    But I don't do it as much as I probably should. And I don't want it to start to feel like an obligation.
    Also, I'd rather someone not leave a comment if they're only doing it because I visit their blog.

  22. Oh how sad if blogging should become a chore and a source of guilt and obligation. I'm sure all of us in the blogosphere understand it is not possible to comment daily chez every bloggy-friend!

    I tend to comment 'organically' - as and when and led by the flow! And some days I do not comment at all, I have to resolutely not even look, because of other aspects of life.

    You're always welcome over at Necky Knoll House, Willow, and I so love your comments, but never feel it is a nexpectation!

  23. Spooky, I too have a thing for spirit levels, and I am also a Libran. Have never thought of the connection of balance, rather thought it was my fondness for spirits.
    And its okay, you don't have to reply or comment on everything you see, the person who manages that would have no life to blog about.

  24. Just visit the blogs of the people who leave you a comment. With so many followers, that is about the best that you can do.

  25. i agree that none of this should be obligatory - i, for one, have my blogs because they make me happy - they are a creative outlet - fun - and hopefully, they also make others happy and others hopefully will also be inspired by something i have posted - and i confess that i do love hearing from others but never ever want it to be obligatory in any way - and i visit other blogs for the same reasons - they are creative informative fun and they make me happy[ier] - they move me in some way - gary heller says it well - one should follow and comment on another's blog because it moves them to do so - that's how i feel about anyone commenting on mine and that's the level i use for commenting on others -

    but in the whole process, each of us must do what is in our own heart to do - and when -

    you'll find your own way, ladywillow!!!

  26. There are a few folks that I never miss a post, but those are either family or people I have actually met or otherwise had some kind of "outside the blog" contact. Otherwise I'd never survive. There's just too much good stuff out there!

    In fact, it's been a while since I've been here, must catch up!

    I guess what I'm saying is, you can't let it bother you. We know you're here. Look at it this way - you wouldn't keep your blog public if you didn't like each and every one of us!

  27. Listen Ms.Libra, it is impossible for you to visit everyone that posts here. You have a large readership. So please don't get your balances in an uproar. ;)

  28. I just can't do it anymore....sad really. I've lost a lot of readers, and I feel badly about not commenting, but the ol' blog butt is not a pretty sight.

    Have you ever seen Sherri Truitt's work? Check out her Etsy shop link...I think you'll like her level jewelry (as well as the map jewelry, and the magnets...)


  29. I am very low stress and low maintenance...I just inject my few raisins...I don't expect a cookie back :)

    Since I'm still a small fry in the bloggy world it's easy for me to get back to folks kind enough to comment but even with that...I find it difficult sometimes

    Every once in a while, though I'll put a post up,such as yours today, in appreciation...

    That's enough for me :)

    Peace ~ Rene

  30. I know what you mean -- I think that only commenting when you are actually moved to add something to the conversation may be the way to go.

    Just checking in is nice but really not necessary, as far as I'm concerned.

  31. For me, I don't always comment--sometimes tho I enjoy the post, I just don't feel I have much to add. Frankly, I also found at a certain point I had to cut down some on the blogs I visited. One thing's for sure: it's apparent you're very generous & supportive, & I think all of us know that for sure, even if you don't always drop by or comment--not to say we don't love it when you do!

  32. Wow! I know what you mean! I feel like I miss so much, from so many of my favorite bloggers, when I can't get around quick enough.

    Maybe it's like the song:

    Merrily merrily merrily merrily, blogging is but a dream!

  33. I completely understand. I don't get online on the weekends so I'm always missing something. I hate it, but it's necessary that I unplug for two days out of seven.

    I try to respond in my own comment's section to those who have commented on my posts. Not all the time, mind you. Just when I find something touching.

    If a comment is really profound, I will go to that person's blog and comment directly in their most recent post.

    I've been feeling a bit stressed keeping up with blogs lately. The best way to do it is to just take it slow and read as you can. No one will disown you. This I promise :)


  34. By the way, I love your new header photo and the fuzzy hat portrait!


  35. Blog without obligation, blog without guilt.

    Believe me, I love it when you comment on mine but there just are not enough hours in the day. I probably don't follow nearly as many as you and I cannot keep up with all mine. I gave trying to comment on everyone's every post.

  36. Ahhh, do not feel unbalanced by this potential "problem" I imagine most of your readers to be quite forgiving and understanding that you do not want your ARSE permanently attached to your computer chair!

  37. Just remind yourself that this is supposed to be fun. A word now and then to let people know you're still alive and kicking (and reading) is good, but really, it's not life or death. I do like the email back method, but I don't get as many comments as you do, and even at that I find I get behind. However, I don't usually comment on my blog. My feeling is that I only have time to read other peoples blogs once, I don't have time to go back and see if there's a comment on my comment. If I sat here that long not only would I be covered in dust and spider webs, but I'm afraid my butt would totally spread out and fill out the whole couch :P

  38. Great post! I totally agree with you, Willow, on all counts. I think it's redundant to to double comment. (both on the blog post and on email) I also think it's unrealistic and definitely not healthy to be consumed with blogging, 24/7. I love blogging, too, but it must be balanced with many other things in life. Like family, friends, fresh air, adventures, and fun!!

  39. I feel exactly how you feel! I don't reply on my blog to people who comment. I try to comment on their blogs because I have no time to go back to read if people reply to my comment on their blogs. Make sense?

    I also can't do the "follow-up" thing when I comment because it makes me crazy to have so many emails of people saying "great, lovely, wonderful..." LOL!

    I think we all know we all love each other! We are all busy and have lives outside of Bloggywood.

    I love your close up of the leveler.

    If you find the answer to this question? I'd love to know!

    much love

  40. When my time is expanded I go comment and see what folks are up to. When I'm short on time, I don't. If I have a feeling I have not connected with someone in a while, I try to reach out. I suggest that you simply do what you can....and give the guilt the boot!

  41. I agree with the sentiments expressed by many: if you as a writer have an obligation to your readers, it is to write, not to interact.

    I look at it like I look at the fans of a band: there are the vast majority of fans who follow the band wishing only that the band devote as much energy as possible into more music, albums, shows - their art, which serves the whole world!

    And then there is the tiny minority of fans who pursue the band wishing only that the band devote as much energy as possible towards personal interaction with specifically me, me, special me.

    Who is the true fan?

  42. Great photo, Willow! Not to worry--check in when you like, and yes, blogging should be fun.

  43. Funny you write this Willow because I was just thinking how often I see your name on other's blogs in their comments sections. Even so, you seem to get around the blogosphere quite well. But it did get me to thinking how impossible it would be to check on everyone who comments on your blog, let alone the hundreds of followers! I was thinking how I like it when you come by to my blog and wish you could more but then the enormity of your task hit me. so, quite funny to read this tonight. Of course, it makes total sense.

    "Oblogation"--what a fantastic word. Well, let me tell you only what I do, but obviously I don't have even a tenth of your followers and am not even sure I could handle that many as well as you anyhow. so, for what it's worth:

    There are some bloggers I just connect with and who seem to read and comment the most oftentimes too--those are the ones I first visit, every day if I can, and at least once a week, leaving comments on all the posts I've missed if I couldn't get there as often as I;d prefer. (Yours would be one of them, and obviously your sister too!)

    Then, I try to visit those who are so kind to enrich my blogging experience by more often than not leaving comments...some more than others, depending on the content or my mood.

    After that, depending on the time left, I have a list of blogs that I loosely follow. I will sometimes just go to the dashboard about once a week and scroll through my list of blogs and see who has recently posted that I have not visited in while or look for some compelling post title or associated picture, small as it is in that list.

    Finally, and this is something you could never do, I will do what I just did this weekend: go through my entire list of followers and check in on everyone. If there is something recent I can connect on that I suspect they will see then I will comment on at least one post. Oftentimes I end up commenting on a few. But I've only gone through my entire last about 3 times in the last year as even at my number, it takes time.

    Finally, another thing I like to do that I finds enriches my blogging experience too is checking out new blogs for inspiration and different angles. I usually get those by reading other's comments or being drawn by their clver blog name. Many of those I've foudn on my above favourite blogs, many of which first came form your list of comenters here. That can be fun and then one has an instant connection with another blogger whose site one may have nver been to before.

    Now, the biggest problem of all is that, unlike you, I am an atrocious typist so as you;ve foudn will make some silly typos but often don;t take the time to fix them as I want the time to not have to rush through blogs but enjoy each one, savoruing it adn reading that person's side bar items (love to do that), mulling over it to get the full impact, like some fine aged wine.


    Well, this comment took me about 10 minutes to type after fixing the typos so you better appreciate my efforts here, -you lucky "blog duck," you! :D

  44. ....yeah, and I STILL have a ton of typos up there! Ugh., What commitment, I tell you!

  45. One more thing then I'll leave you well enough alone. I just read through ALL the comments here (Phew! That alone took a while as I am a fairly slow reader to boot) but i do quite agree that I don't expect anyone to feel oblogated to comment either but anytime anyone does it is such a joy and likewise, I won't always comment on every blog I visit but if I go there enough, I do try to now and then so they know there are those of us out there checking in on their stuff.

    Keep up the good work, Willow. Quack! :) Well, thanks a lot, that took up the rest of my evening so I'm off to bed! Hee.

  46. OH!! One more thing.....just can't resist this: now that this is my FOURTH comment adn I think I left you the looooongest comment I;ve ever written (longer than many of my own posts) do you feel guilty yet for not visiting my blog the last two days or so? Geesh! QUACk, Quack, waddle waddle I go. Some duck!

  47. i was just going to ask you what your Dr. Zhivago hat looked like and...there you are donning it.

    Well, it looks bloggy fabulous on you! And I'm raising a toast from one snow-lover to another. I think we tend to be in the minority...

    and don't feel too oblogated, Willow. i've only just begun exploring other people's blogs, i'm so far behind and i've only one follower so tis easy for me to understand those of you with so many have little time to comment at all. thanks for taking the time to do so on mine!

  48. I love the word "oblogation," and I feel your pain. Not sure if I have any suggestions. I think I keep going back to those that call me and I'm never disappointed.

  49. I think we all love comments and I do try to respond as much as I can but I do hope folks understand when there isn't a response to everyone...after all, we're kindred spirits in the same boat! Thank heavens, I'm not retired. I don't know how I ever would have managed before!

  50. Wow...this is a good topic.

    I have thought of what it must be like to keep up with this, and honestly, I don't think one can, and still be balanced.

    I, for one, certainly do not take offense when someone doesn't respond to my comments...I think you just do what you can and know that your intention toward everyone is enough.

  51. Willow,I think you are perfectly right!

  52. Just go with the flow and do what you feel like doing ;)

  53. Willow,
    First; I love how the Doctor Zhivago hat looks on you!

    Obligations? No, blogging is a fun passtime not an obligation, that's why it's fun.

  54. I've had to content myself with doing the best that I can. I've given myself specific hours in the day for blogging, because unchecked, blogging can and will take over your entire life.

    Within my blogging hours (beyond the actual writing of the blog) I replied to comments that ask questions of me or who raise issues I want to address. Then I try to visit the blogs of everyone who left comments and, if there is time remaining, visit as many of my favourites as I can.

    Then go to sleep at night feeling I've been highly discourteous to a vast number of people whose blogs I love but missed this time around.

  55. my mile is much shorter than yours because in canada we use the metric system so it's more of a kilometre. between my full-time teaching position, being the caregiver dad, and everything else, blogging has to be more one dimensional some days than others. so i post a blog every day. reply as best i can to every post and visiti a few people every day. but some people i can't get to. they're (as you say) all lovely intellignet creative people but i don't phone all my friends every day or visit them either. so far i have heard no cries of indignation at the sudden drop in visits from my summertime extravaganza when everyone got visited every day!!! do whatcha do willow - drop in every so often and say hi!!! sweet day at the manor . . . keep movin' willow. steven

  56. I feel your pain.
    Well, a little bit, because I have only very few who commenters, compared to your blog.

    Honestly, often I feel almost like playing naughty and leaving a comment like "Merisi was here!" - just because I don't have the gift of the witty comment and there are such nice comments already there, what can I add? So, I say, just let here know, I am still here, only a little wortfaul ("word lazy").

    What you really speak about is the sheer impossibility to abide by the rules of "Social Networking" as Bill Stankus calls it (alas, a bit tongue in cheek, I suppose). I have observed that my number of visitors, small, when compared to yours, has gone down since I can't visit other blogs anymore as often as I would like to. I had to decide to either continue publishing my daily pictures or close my blog and "socialize" only (I admit, I have been contemplating the later more often than not, only yesterday did I have such a day, when my brain simply was refusing to present me an idea for a post - how much easier to spend the time commenting!).

    I agree with jenmorrison, the number one priority should be to create.

    So, dear Willow,
    I have been here,
    tomorrow maybe I leave only a rose, or a chestnut,
    or a :-). Little it may be, but it comes without obligation, I will still come around, even when all you manage to do is continue creating.

  57. P.S.:
    I agree with MEGAN, wholeheartedly, there is simply too much good stuff out there! Aren't we blessed?

  58. P.P.S.:
    I just opened my blog and guess what?
    My heart jumped a little reading the comments some truly generous souls have left there. Imagining that they would not be there anymore, it would truly be a sad day for me. I published for a year or two without any - I did not know about visiting other blogs, I put my pictures out there for friends whom I had given the link - and know the difference a comment can make.

    So, there you have it, it is a dilemma. Not a tragic one, but you put your thumb on a very delicate blogging spot. Thank you!

  59. " Though this be madness yet there is method in it"

  60. Hi dear willow, i know those feeling only too well, there are so many lovely places & folks out there! i would never get any work done if i didn't try & add some kind of method to the maddness. being a virgo , it is what i love to do anyway, i am afraid i have to admit to saving various sites in various folders in my faves ie : artists, creatives, writers etc and i then do a rota system of visits, sounds very methodical but its the only way i can be sure i dont miss my faves & get to visit them all in turn (eventually) as you can see i havent visited u & commented since forever, doesn't mean i dont pop in and out though x ruthie

  61. You have written exactly what many of us feel. I am presently at the stage where I don't even have the time to blog as I used to let alone visit and comment. I do sometimes visit without commenting but that doesn't mean that I haven't enjoyed the post.

    I don't think for one moment you can possibly follow, let alone comment, on every one of your followers. I have a difficult enough time of it and I have far few followers than you. Truth be known, we all like feedback but it's not realistic to expect it.

    Just keep posting your wonderful blogs which give others so much pleasure. Anyone who expects (and I don't see anyone here!) that you or any one of us for that matter, to drop by and comment on a daily basis, are expecting too much. There is no way any of us should be sent on guilt trips although I too have been on that one!!

    Your readers totally understand what you are saying and I think you are speaking for the majority of us who enjoy this form of creativity.

  62. I have been reading your blog for a few months almost daily. Your are so well written and breath kindness in every word. Just keep doing what you do best. I don't comment just because so many others do and express exactly what I feel. Enjoy your days.....thank you for making mine a little more pleasant....Judi

  63. I'm sure that besides the creative, well written content of your blog...you probably accumulated your readers by commenting on their blogs, and in return a visit to yours. That's sort of how it works. But I agree with Jen that once you reach the number of followers you have...I am reading for its excellent content and not necessarily for your visit to my struggling blog...although your visits are welcome. If those that stop only to have you as a commenter on their site than that would sort of stink wouldn't it? How nice to be so popular. I say just ignore the feeling of "oblogation" and keep writing and creating just as you do...for me it is inspirational and gives me something to aspire to. Thank you...no need for comment. hehe

  64. Interesting dilemma, this one is. I have it too. Although I've been out of the bloggy loop for a week or so, mostly, but have popped back in now, and find I've missed many new and interesting posts.

    I am rather all over the place when it comes to bloggy reading and commenting. There really is just so much lovely stuff being put out. I try to mix it up a bit, with some faithful favorites making up my regular rounds.

  65. First of all I love your Zhivago hat and I've got a similar one and I must dig it out and take a photo. Never mind the hat hair - I just adore hats.

    As for commenting on blogs - sometimes I do it with a heavy heart and a sense of duty hanging over me. Other times I just let it slide and hope people don't mind too much.

    Don't worry about my blog - just pop in when you fancy and I'll do the same - no guilt and no worries when we miss something

  66. Nice level...special gifts such as this level bring warm feelings regularly. Comments are special too but not an obligation...sometimes, I just don't have anything to add but most times I like to "check in" with a few words. So nice to receive comments as well...keep it easy is my advice!

  67. glad to see your comments now and then. Don't feel you have to comment or even stop by, but i'm glad for the company--from everyone. If you think you have to comment to keep your followers, then you are working way to hard for something fleeting: visit blogs because you like to read them,not because you have to. Have a happy!

  68. That last photograph - fantastic.
    I just answer as many as I can willow - sometimes I only have time to just put a thank you to everyone - let's face it sometimes there is little one can say individually anyway. I think we all know that you enjoy our blogs, that you like us to read yours - and that now and again we shall hear from you.

  69. I dont get an nth of the comments you do so I dont have this problem, if someone leaves a comment and their email is attached or I know the email I reply if not I dont. I had this discussion with Kate (Chronicles of a Country Girl) and she reassured me she does not reply to all her comments either ... so here's my advice .. do what feels right for you. People who enjoy your blog will still visit ... if its all about quid pro quo well, then its not all that important.

  70. Both shots are just fantastic! And don't worry for not visiting, I know you are 'there'! :-)

  71. "You are the nicest, most creative
    and intelligent group of gentle readers in the whole blogosphere."

    I agree!

    Hey, if you read something worth commenting on, comment on it. Otherwise, and occasional (once a year?) "I really like your blog" more than suffices.

  72. I am a believer in Blogging without Obligation and have seen these icons on various blogs. Esp for you as you get so many comments there is no way I for one could expect you to comment on my blog every time.

    For myself although at one time I dutifully responded to each comment on my post, within the post itself, and then trucked over to those folks' blogs to read and comment on their post, even with my short list i cannot do that anymore.

    Generally I read and don't comment sometimes, read and comment when I'm moved to and sometimes I even skip down the blogroll and just click on posts that sound intriguing.

    I too think blogging should be fun. In fact after the age of 50 why do any voluntary activity unless it's fun. That's what I try to do. When it becomes unfun, then its time to modify ones approach to make it fun again.

  73. Wow, thanks Gentle Readers, for all your excellent advice. Like I said, you really ARE the nicest, most creative, and intelligent group of gentle readers in the whole blogosphere!!!

    QUACK!!! ~x

  74. You get more comments than any other blogger in the blogosphere. I don't know how you keep up with it...! When I first started blogging, it wasn't necessarily a social networking forum, but it seems to have turned into one. Sometimes if I am not able to respond, or to go back to someone else's blog, I feel as if I am being rude, and it starts to become less than fun. You're amazing that you can keep up with it at all...!

  75. "Oblogation"
    Makes me smile.
    I may use it sometime.
    I find my blogging energy comes in waves.

  76. very pertinent subject!!

    the Blogging without Obligation seems the way to go.....

    and the composition of the Level Photo is fantastic...

  77. Such is the travails of success :-)
    with over a thousand followers and over 80 comments per post-- I think it is amazing you get to as many other blogs as you do... but I know what you mean about trying to get around to leave comments-- there are so many wonderful blogs out there-- so no suggestions here.

  78. ...I have often wondered just how you had the time to do what you do....researching and writing your posts must take quite a bit of time and I love them...I can't imagine how you would have time to read and comment on all your visitors and I for one would not expect it....altho enjoy it when you get a chance...No Guilt!...This should be Fun!

    I have trouble keeping up with the few blogs that I follow and enjoy...not enough time in the day:)

  79. I'm sure you've heard this before: in blogging (posting & emails included) don't feel obligated. Enjoy, meander, seek wisdom and share it, too. Sing and follow the song, blog by blog, post by post, until you are full.

  80. I totally sympathise with your sense of frustration, dear. And I have not even got a third of your following. But always remember, either today or tomorrow, or next year, you'll be welcome.

    By the way, I love that Zhivago hat.

    Greetings from London.

  81. I have always loved levels... and I am a triple Libra (sun, moon and rising) but I had never made that connection before! Thanks for the insight.

    I can see that hatted photo of you on a dust jacket someday soon...

  82. I would rather you have more time to create the marvelous posts that you do. So that's exactly what a Willow should do! Put another way, you do the voodoo that you do so well.
    I love your winter look btw.

  83. Oh sweet Willow - no oblogation from me here @ The Hedge either. Hope all the fab comments from your Band of Merry Followers has balanced your scales perfectly.
    Millie ^_^

  84. I've often wondered if it's better to keep up with a small crowd, or continue to add new friends. I try to do both, and fail miserably. I DO suffer from blog guilt at times, but it is a small price to pay. No good advice for you -- sorry!

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)