who writes the blog Jules Stones.
The first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?
I started blogging a little over a year ago when an old friend encouraged me to give it a try. Over the years I had attempted to journal here and there only to find that I would fill the pages of a book for a couple of weeks and then get sidetracked and give up. I quickly learned a quirk about myself in the blogging world. What was so hard to put down on paper was a breeze as my fingertips hit the keyboard. It took a bit for me to figure out my writing style.
Did I want to be funny or cute, serious or emotional, expose a part of me or all of me? Who was "me" anyway? That became my question and quest. Being a full-time mom to teenage girls, home schooling, and working in both children's ministry and youth ministry; I learned that I didn't allow myself time for me. I learned that there is nothing wrong with being committed to multiple things .... as long as I take time for myself as well. Blogging has helped me learn to do that. It has helped me to find the line between what I do and who I am.
I absolutely LOVE to write. You can point your finger at me and say that I am a bit nuts and that is okay. But here is the big thing that drives me .... to me writing is like creating music, choreographing a dance, or sculpting a masterpiece. (I cannot do any of those things) That doesn't mean that I think myself a fantastic writer. What I do mean to say is that I get such an amazing thrill in finding the flow of words that speak the heart of what I want to share in a post. Words have the ability to take the reader on a trip, a trip filled with experiences and emotion beyond their regular world. I get a rush in being able to concoct how that weave fits together to make a picture unlike any other.
What is the story behind your blog name?
My first name is Julie and it is what I answer to in almost any given situation. "Jules" is the name my brother has called me for as long as I can remember and then a couple of friends have picked it up over the years when silly situations arise. The "Stones" part was my own attempt at trying to find a purpose for my blog. A stone, a nugget, a learned revelation ... to me they all weighed together in a sort of unified idea.
My hope has been that by writing my thoughts down it would:
#1 be a way for me to remember and not lose sight of my personal growth.
#2 that my own revelations would in some way bless and impact the lives of others.
Then as I put the two together I found the play on words that held a third meaning for me. When Jules Stones is said quickly it sounds like "jewel stones". My life experiences are my treasures and I hope that other find them to be a treasure as well.
What is the best thing about being a blogger?
Without a doubt I say the friendships I have gained. Shamefully, I freely admit that I had huge reservations about meeting people online. How many stories had I heard about stalkers and scary people just waiting online for a naïve person to come along? Haven't we all raised our children to be careful of who they speak to on the web because you never know if that person is being truthful about themselves?
Okay. maybe for 21st century standards I was a bit behind the times, but I am being honest. I have learned that there are really amazing and wonderful people in this cyber world. I have learned things from them and been touched by their experiences and transparent sharing. I can't imagine any other way that I would have met these dear people that live in places like Hawaii, California, England, Australia, France, and so many other places where my feet may never tread.
What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?
I have seen this suggestion here on probably every "Sunday Roast" post but it is true and bears repeating. Remember the adage ... "to make a friend you have to be a friend"? Well, to have blogger comments you must visit other bloggers. If your purpose in blogging is to record your personal details and never think on sharing them with anyone, that is totally fine. But if you are looking for feedback, it is imperative that you mingle with others. And remember that the typed word, without the advantage of audible voice, can take on different meanings.
My other suggestion would be to take time to read over your posts and comments before you publish them. I say this carefully with tongue and cheek because it would be just like me to have a bunch of silly typos here. It is so easy to be typing along with a thought that is flowing and use "sea" instead of "see" or "cap" instead of "cape" and it can change the entire meaning of what you are trying to convey .... ultimately losing your reader.
Unless I am in a huge hurry, I read my posts and comments aloud to myself so that those typos stand out. Sure enough, there are always plenty to find.
What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?
There are so many posts that stir emotions and thoughts from me. When David first began this "Sunday Roast" concept I often found myself wondering, "Gosh, what would my answer be?" This afternoon it has finally hit me. I would have to say that the posts that impact me the most is when Joni at Morning Coffee shares in her loving and transparent way of her weekly visits to a group of homeless people in her city. You can read some of her experiences here and here.
What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?
This is another hard question to answer as my mind yells out, "how do I choose only one?" So I will choose a few ... because I can. Heart Journey was a hard, long, and cleansing post for me that detailed my week of going back to see my dad when my step-mom passed away. I'm Back was a day I had at the beach to be my own person. And I'd also like to share How Do We Let Them Go because it was a revelation time for me.
Today's Sunday Roast with Jules is the 45th in a weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world.