Where's the Love

Depending on how frequently you visit my site, you may or may not have noticed I've been on a short hiatus from the blog. Unfortunately work, and life in general, has been a little crazy, and I started having a hard time balancing everything. I missed blogging, though, so I am planning on making more time for the blog in the future. I haven't even made a cake in a while, but thankfully I have quite a few cake projects coming up within the next month.

While catching up with blogging, I began looking through posts of other bloggers I follow. I started noticing again and again posts along the theme of "Dear Martha Stewart." Curious, I began reading them and eventually found an article detailing what was said. If this is old news to you, bear with me -this is about a lot more than just Martha Stewart. For those of you who didn't read about her now infamous interview (infamous at least in the crafting/food blogger world), she went on a little rant criticizing food and crafting bloggers. I'll just leave it at that, but it wasn't very sweet.

Unfortunately, criticism seems to be rampant online lately. Bullying, criticizing, belittling others - none of it is new. But, unfortunately, social media seems to make it more widespread. In some ways it is more hurtful, as well. I see a lot of Facebook posts, tweets, and other posts from people that would never actually say those things in person! People get so much braver, especially if they have an alias and aren't recognized. Whether it is with politics, religion, or even baking, it seems the lines are somehow more divided online. I'm not a mom, but I have been shocked by some of the posts I've seen written by mothers judging other mothers. It makes me sad to see such divides among people that could be supporting and building each other up.

Some bloggers do it just to get more page views. I don't know how many articles I read about blogging that encouraged others to write controversial posts in order to get page views. The more people that go and tell them off, the more views they are getting... Now that is fine if you want to write something edgy or speak your mind. I happen to enjoy our right to free speech. But unfortunately a lot of people can't seem to draw a line between speaking their mind and opinions, and belittling anyone who doesn't agree with them.

Ok, so now that I have you depressed (sorry), you are probably wondering what anyone can do. Well, I don't think bullying or discouraging others is going to disappear anytime soon. But you can make a pledge to keep your little part of the blogosphere and social media free from discouragement. It's too easy sometimes to write a negative comment or gripe about someone on Facebook or your blog. I have a new badge I'm sharing that shows I'm taking a stand to keep my blog and social media encouraging and positive. Keeping it positive is more than just not belittling others. It's so easy for us bloggers to get competitive or jealous of other bloggers. But, isn't it nice when you have a blogger go out of their way to write a kind comment, or share your post? I think we could all use a lot less discouragement, and a lot more encouragement! So I challenge you to share a similar post (or this one if you wish) and shout out to a couple bloggers who make you smile, and brighten your day.

Before I get to the bloggers I'd like to encourage, I wanted to share my new badge. Feel free to take and share on your blog as well, showing your stand for encouraging others online!

Sarah Lynn's Sweets
<a href="http://sarahlynnssweets.blogspot.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7377/10431434726_69067d2e39_o.jpg" alt="Sarah Lynn's Sweets" width="125" height="125" /></a>

I'm going to start by talking about two bloggers. One is Stefani Pollack, blogger at the popular Cupcake Project. I don't know Stefanie, but I know she has very successful blog. When I was first starting out with blogging and cupcake baking, though, I wrote her an email. I figured it was a long shot, but her blog had inspired me to become a blogger. Imagine my surprise when she actually answered my email! And this happened not once, but twice. So thanks to Stefani for being accessible even through her popularity and success. If you don't check out her weekly article in Parade, you should!!

Another blogger is Heather Carter, writer and creator of My Sweet Mission. If you haven't checked out her site, you should! Heather's posts combine her two passions - baking and helping others (hence the name). Among others, Heather is always great about commenting on my posts and always linked up to my blog link party (when I had it going). I have so many great readers, but I just wanted to give a shout out to Heather for encouraging me on so many of my projects!

I have a looooooong list of other bloggers who encourage and inspire me, so I don't want to leave anyone out. I plan on making this a recurring post, I think it is that important.

(Don't worry, I will get back to the food later this week!)

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