- September 2, 2019
- Posted by: Sharon Greenthal
- Category: empty nest
When I started blogging in 2011, I knew no one who blogged. I was naive, clueless, and completely unaware of the many skills and tools that I would need to learn to find any level of success or fulfillment in the blogosphere. One of the first things I did was join Facebook groups where I met others who blogged about a variety of topics, and we encouraged and supported each other with the scant knowledge and great enthusiasm we all had about blogging. Little by little, I began to learn, to grow, and to become knowledgable about the intricacies of blogging.
Still, I hadn’t connected with anyone who was blogging about what I was – empty nesting, parenting, and midlife. And then on Twitter, using the hashtag #emptynest, I found my first people. Their handle is @grownandflown, and they are two women – Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa Heffernan – writing about the questions and dilemmas and joys and sorrows of parenting teens and college students. We started to tweet each other, and then connected on Facebook, and finally met, in person, at the BlogHer conference in 2012, where we became great friends and encouragers of each other’s work.
Now, Lisa and Mary Dell’s website, Grown and Flown, and Facebook group, Grown and Flown Parents, has become the number one place for parents of those 15-25 to read, connect, learn and commiserate. Their huge popularity and success are well-deserved. They are two of the nicest, most generous people I’ve met through my writing career, and have brought me opportunities that have been very exciting, including an appearance on The Katie Couric Show and a mention in an article about Empty Nesting in the New York Times.
And now, I am thrilled to have one of my favorite essays included in their book, “Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults.” From starting high school to watching them leave home and start adult lives, this book answers questions parents have about everything from communicating with teachers to mental health in college. My essay is on page 159, and it’s called “Parenting an Average Student.” I have been fortunate to call Lisa and Mary Dell friends for seven years, and to be included in their book means so much to me, both personally and professionally.
Many in my blogging community have gone on to bigger, more lucrative, more exciting things since we all met early on. I have friends who are now successful freelance writers, friends who have turned their blogs into money-making enterprises, and friends who have written best-selling books. Mary Dell and Lisa have created something so special and so valued by the millions of readers and community members who have found their way to Grown and Flown, and it’s because of their hard work, dedication and most of all their kindness and compassion that Grown and Flown is such a huge success.
If you are the parent of teens or young adults, get a copy of “Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults.” And check out the acknowledgments, where you’ll find this: