It’s July, we’re in the new house, and yay!

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Writing every day for a month was fun, sorta. I was over it by the end, especially when the details of things took over my days. Like for moving – how often can you stand my saying, “packing in progress”? The only times packing is interesting are at the start, when you find something that triggers a memory, and when it’s finally over.

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It’s still not quite over for us, but we’re about 70% in the new place already, including cats and beds. :) Mona had a rough first night, Dora seems really pleased at having new things to explore – ah, she lives up to her name!

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#blogjune – June in gerenal – yielded good things for me. Thoughts, feelings, blogs to follow. I’d like to share them today because staying up til 2am to squeeze in the day’s entry was traumatic, and it would be nice to get some closure.

I have to admit, I was disappointed in the lack of cohesion in the #blogjune community. But perhaps it’s my perspective as an outsider to the librarian bloggers niche – they could be incredibly cohesive and I just don’t see it because I don’t know them well. And with our main contact point being a Twitter hashtag (the online equivalent to shouting across a crowded pub), it’s my own fault for expecting something more like fireside chats.

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It did make me think about the theory of communities. For instance, was I wishing to be included in a community that doesn’t actually exist? It’s not unheard of to feel paranoid that everyone’s in on something and leaving you out. That insecurity can linger from the playground.

Anyway, everyone’s definition of community spirit is different. For some, just acknowledging the existence of other people in common space is enough participation; other folk are right in there, organising, driving and providing the foundation for a community to exist. For me, it’s about appeasing an appetite for conversation and getting to share brain with others – so long as I don’t have to rejig my schedule to do it.

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In my opinion, a functional and healthy community comes from people being there because they want to be, and contributing what they feel they can without overextending. There’s no point forcing a set level of participation on a variety of individuals with busy lives and differing needs.

So once I got over myself, I decided to simply uphold my contribution, as I defined it – being an audience, commenting, chatting, supporting and reblogging the stuff I liked. This wasn’t a barter where I’d feel disappointed in getting nothing back for the effort I put in – I did it for me because that’s the kind of participant I wanted to be for the period.

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And I did get something back.

The last couple of years have been difficult, creatively. In the last decade, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with words – they’re either never enough or too much, elusive or completely in the way. Much of this stemmed from not having confidence in my ability to describe something accurately, so I’d end up saying nothing. Meetings would end, conversations would move on, and I’d remain frustrated and unheard.

Over time, if you don’t get to create memories that reinforce your ability to express yourself, you gradually forget what it’s like to be capable, and confidence erodes. Balls to that. One well-known suggestion for curing writers’ block is to force yourself to write every day – like exercising a muscle – so it becomes a reflex.

Within a week of June 1, words flowed more easily and I’m way less obsessed with saying something accurately the first time. That’s what editing and conversations (real conversation, not just one-way transactions) are for. I went back to work on my zines, I told people who made me unhappy that they made me unhappy, it’s been a good month.

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Finally, I got some new blogs for my Reader – either directly from #blogjune, from stuff linked off those blogs, or from this event getting me back into reading. Enjoy:

Fortnight Question
I don’t read many q&a blogs because every blog feels like a q&a, but Kathryn and Con have interesting perspectives and a nice way of writing.

The Foodie Librarian
I only skim the entries here, but Kate strikes me as a positive person with natural curiosity for interesting things – a good influence in my reading list.

Brain Pickings
This site is like a coolhunting blog, but for interesting ideas rather than crazy products. Lots of psychology and creativity learnings here. They promise to “separate the signal from the noise to bring you think you didn’t know you were interested in until you are.”

Cross-pollination
My favourite from the month. It’s run by a librarian named Sally, and full of thought-provoking snippets. This seems to be a blog just for June, but I hope she continues, even if it’s just to post a puzzle every now and then.

Hmmm…
At first, I struggled to relate to Ceridwyn’s entries, but they grew on me. Her son has autism; it’s fascinating to read about his development, her feelings about them and Autism theory when she shares bits of it.

imagination>knowledge
Good signal-to-noise ratio, even though I couldn’t get with much of it. But once in awhile, this blog would feature a gem that got me ruminating. I reblogged a few things from here. The Outside the Lines post prompted me to subscribe.

IMBASE Blog
The blog of an information management company. I haven’t looked around their site, not sure if I’m interested in their company or product, but they share many interesting links.

Hughrundle.net
This guy seems switched on and writes provocatively. Very library focused, but some of the cultural and information theory stuff makes for good reading.

snail
This blog grew on me too. Very humble and going about its business. A nice quiet read over a cup of tea.

Third Class Rooster
Another blog started just for the month, but I hope this person continues. The day’s post is a cute haiku.