A thank you – and some thoughts on community

"Thank you for turning what started as a faintly absorbing writing exercise into an important part of my life." Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Thank you for turning a faintly absorbing writing exercise into an important part of my life.       Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

When I started blogging a couple of years ago, I wasn’t entirely convinced that anyone would ever want to read my musings – let alone engage with them by liking posts, subscribing and commenting.

I’m still slightly amazed – and completely humbled – that I now belong to a wonderful online community of talented, articulate, funny and compassionate people, from all over the world, who offer insightful, witty and often incredibly helpful comments on my posts, and engage in dialogue that I find both enjoyable and sometimes very comforting. You have become a virtual whanau – or family.

In the last week I’ve been nominated five times for a blogging award; three times for Shaking the Tree, and twice for ZimmerBitch. I really can’t quite describe how honoured I feel that five women whose work I admire and am inspired by feel similarly about my blogs. It’s particularly touching as I’ve been feeling lately that the pressure of work – namely my role in organising NZ Sculpture OnShore – has left me little time for blogging and I have abandoned quite a few posts because I didn’t have time to write and edit them to a standard that I felt made them worth sharing.

Time feels like my enemy at the moment. NZ Sculpture OnShore begins in just over a month, and my role as Marketing Manager seems ever-increasing. The event raises money for Women’s Refuge – over $1.34 million to date – and is the largest sculpture exhibition in the country. It’s run mainly by volunteers and people working pro bono (like me) so everything is done on a shoestring, and often late at night or first thing in the morning – squeezed between the everyday demands of “real life.”

So, to my wonderful blogging friends who have nominated me, I offer thanks and something of an apology for not participating in the awards you have offered to share with me. I can’t in good conscience accept an award if I’m not prepared to engage fully with the conditions, and I don’t feel I can spare the time to do that right now.

But you have got me thinking. It’s become increasingly clear that the principal pleasure I derive from blogging is being part of a community, and I haven’t been very good at looking outward and engaging with that community as much as I’d like. So I’ve decided that in lieu of participating in awards, I’m going to commit to better acknowledging the members of my whanau; sharing your posts and, I hope, introducing you to people you may not already know online.

In the meantime, I’d like to offer my heartfelt thanks to some very talented bloggers whose work – if you don’t already know it – you might like to check out.

Thank you Maryann of Genealogy Sisters; Lynne at Starryblackness; inesemjphotography; Cynthia at We’re All Relative and Leslie of The People of Pancho.

And thank you (again) to every member of this blogging whanua. You have turned what began as a faintly absorbing writing exercise into an important part of my life.

Ngā mihi nui (my best wishes)


22 thoughts on “A thank you – and some thoughts on community

  1. Hi Su, The awards thing is always tricky. I never have enough hours in the day to fit in everything I need and want to do and because of that haven’t participated in awards.These days I’m much more likely to check out recommendations by other bloggers when they’re part of a post such as this one than when I see them as part of an awards meme. Best wishes for the NZ Sculpture On Shore, too!


    • Thanks Jill. I’ll be glad when the exhibition actually begins. At the moment I’m running around headless. Once it’s open it will be too late to worry about anything but making each day as enjoyable as possible. 🙂


    • Thank you. Someone said to me recently we don’t choose a charity or cause, it chooses us. That happened to me with NZSoS. I got involved last time by chance and came to see how much good we can do. Getting more involved is my way of not only helping Women’s Refuge, but of honouring the women who first started the fundraising exercise that has become such a huge event.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I couldn’t agree more, Su. Writing and even photography can feel very isolating at times, wrapped in a focused bubble while we create. The world and people disappear … until it is time to share. Blogging has given me a community I would likely never have found and so that even when in those focused bubbles whilst I create, I know there are people out there who will take some joy or sometimes even knowledge from what I’ve laboured over … and in that instant the inert metal of my creative bell rings loud and bright.

    Liked by 1 person

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