Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blogging Milestone: "First Contact" With a Reader

Thanks to reading advice from my favorite “big-girl bloggers,” the wise ones who have way more blogging experience than I do, I knew it was coming.

First contact. A reader. And me.

Yes. I met in person someone I knew who’d read my blog. Dun, dun, duuunnnn (scary organ music).

Of all places, I was at the pharmacy counter picking up perhaps two of the most potentially embarrassing prescriptions known to womankind. A former student now works there as a pharmacy tech.  She’s a charming young woman, was an excellent student, and is a talented writer. (If you’re reading this, hello dear one!)

A slightly terrifying fact is that she changed her major to English, partly at my encouragement. Although pleased when a student chooses English, I also panic, thinking that if they face a lifetime of starvation and deprivation due to the liberal arts degree, the guilt will be on my shoulders.

When I saw Alice (not her name) was going to wait on me, my mind started spinning. I wanted to ask how her studies at a major university were going, and was trying to remember other points of conversation. Slightly embarrassed at picking up major drugs, I knew I could unreservedly trust Alice with the personal nature of my “lady scrips.”

Sweet Alice rescued me from the somewhat awkward moment, asked me how I was, and said with a smile, “I read your blog!”

That was when I thought I’d faint.

Whoa, boy. The look on my face must have been priceless.

Alice said “I hope that was okay?”

“Oh, of course, that’s great!” I said, leaning on the counter nonchalantly to keep from falling down.

“I really liked it! It was the one about you dressing up?”

My brain was blanker than blank. I couldn’t think, in this month of NaBloPoMo, what post she may have meant. I mumbled something about writing posts every day for a month, the posts being a blur.

“Oh, you must be doing NaBloPoMo!” brainy Alice said. She knew about NaBloPoMo! I love that girl!

We chatted a moment more; she rang up my purchases. We wished each other well and I went on my way.

High-pitched voice inside my head: Someone I know in person read my blog! A former student read my blog! What does it MEAN?

Sweet Alice, thank you. Of all the people who could have been the first one to tell me they’ve read my blog, it was supportive, generous you.

I’m overwhelmed, scared, proud, humbled, and happy. Where blogging is leading me, I have no clue. But I’m one step further along the journey.

Has it happened to you? Tell the story, please. If it hasn’t happened yet, how do you imagine, or fear, it will go when it does happen? And the big-girl-bloggers were right—it will happen.


  1. This post made me smile (hint: I'm still smiling). It took me so much courage to post a link from my blog to Facebook. I was terrified to come out of the blogging closet to more than just a handful of people. But my mom asked me to do it as a way for her to know when I'd posted and she's the important one :). My readership went through the roof (comparatively speaking of course lol).

    I don't assume everyone I know reads my blog but now I know the possibility is very real and it's still scary and humbling and pleasing to find out that they do. I think, in some ways, knowing people I know and care for are reading makes me try just that much harder.

  2. Oh, my gosh yes about posting a blog link on Facebook. I have done that once, maybe twice. A couple of co-workers have read a post or two, a few friends, and a handful of family.
    Somehow I feel more comfortable posting a link on Twitter, but my Twitter people are almost all bloggers, writers, and people I don't see every day or at all.
    It really was strange and humbling that Alice remembered reading the post and took the trouble to mention it-- she has an extremely busy life. The experience does make me want to try harder, too. Thanks for coming over to comment, sweetie!

  3. So awesome! And also very terrifying! Some of my friends and family have been reading my blog since inception, and while it does remain a little weird (and DEFINITELY impacts what I share online), it's awkward but not twilight-zoney. I have run into a few strangers who recognized me from my blog photo, though, most recently in the Disney store. "You're the lady with the six-man crew! I LOVE your blog!" Ohmygod. Basically, what happens is I lose my ability to make word sounds and brush off any compliments. It's weird. I hope it's one of those things that get better with experience :P

  4. That must have been wild to have an encounter in the Disney store, and such a positive one, too! Ha-ha about not being able to form words-- words definitely deserted me in my hour of need as well.

  5. I post my link on Facebook now, but yowza it took courage and a lot of contemplation! Other than the interwebz and my local peeps, I don't believe anyone else reads my blog so running into someone isn't very likely for me. I do so enjoy reading YOU! :-)

  6. But hey, your local peeps are multiplying! My secret blogging girl crushes (and those girls are always right!)say we're bound to run into a reader sometime, so be working on your witty replies. My replies were witless :(
    Thanks for the kind words, A.B.