you’ve got to have friends

Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops. – Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five 

I began blogging because I was repeatedly amazed by the connectivity of it all. What I began calling the Shrinky Dink Effect – the triumphs, the tragedies and the mundane that brought people together. It made the world seem that much smaller. I began to see the way friendships started with a tweet or a comment on a blog post. Photographing BlogHer, I watched as online friends gather offline with the annual excitement of kids off to sleep away camp.

It’s why I love social media. This cyber village is vital and inspiring, and I put it on the list of things that I adore about this tangled web. I have friends who blog and those I’ve made through the blogosphere. And I am equally bad at leaving comments for them all. No one should take it personally. I am an equal opportunity lousy no-commenter.

I hope I can make up for that in some way when I talk about the things friends are doing online that I find inspiring. Like when Morgan was spearheading the fight against SMA or Eden decided to lead a guerilla art campaign or Paul and Cariann launched cargoh.com. Or my friend Jules’ 31 Days of William Morris project, which she just finished. Today.

I met Jules a few years ago, and then I finally met Jules, as is the way in which bloggy friendships often evolve. Although many online friendships remain in the cloud, Jules and I have the good fortune of living just a few freeways apart, and it was during the most ridiculous heatwave in late August we gathered with a group of friends to celebrate Holly’s Los Angeles book launch. Evenings like that remind me why artists need a community. Why writers and painters and photographers and designers get so much from interaction, when so often daily work is done solo. (I don’t care whether or not Al Gore invented the internet, whoever it was, on behalf of freelancers and indie artists everywhere, I thank you.)

Jules posted every single day for the month of October, taking to heart William Morris’ words: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Anyone blogging for thirty-one days in a row deserves some sort of medal, and I found this project inspiring. I consider The Container Store one of the happiest places on earth, but it wasn’t just the organizational aspects of this blog series that were so great. It was the story she wove throughout. The idea of how we live, what we live with and how it defines us.

While my style inspiration is certainly more Diana Vreeland than Mr. Morris, I loved the whole journey. I may be a bit of a maximalist but, like Jules (and Vreeland and Morris), I believe in cultivating your style – be it fashion, design or the wisdom of Strunk and White.*

So, go read and enjoy and learn from Jules. And tell me, what and where do you find inspiration in this blogosphere? I’d love to find out what great treasures I’m missing! xo a.

*I think this is an apt moment to say that I believe in the oxford comma, but it has its place. Sadly, the internet isn’t it. Neither are magazines. Which is why I don’t recommend editing a book and a magazine at the same time. You’ll thank me when you’re proofreading.

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5 thoughts on “you’ve got to have friends

    1. alexandrawrote Post author

      I agree that the oxford comma SHOULD be here, but in terms of space, I’ve learned as an editor it’s really best left out of new media, magazines and newspapers. When I wrote the style guide for my old magazine it was a hard editorial decision to make. There isn’t a wrong way really as long as you’re consistent. That’s my philosophy.

      Reply
  1. Weekend Project Girl

    Great post! I love the image and some of the things you said really hit home! I’m kind of new to the blogging world and it hit me like a storm the amazing unending web that is the blogging world. It’s kind of overwhelming!

    Reply

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