My very first blog entry appeared online on March 12, 2005. In honor of that I’m posting a collection of excerpts on blogging from entries written over the past four years.
When something exciting happens and my husband Joe hears me say, “Now that’s something to write home about!” he knows it means I’m going to blog about it.
Blogging brings out my nutty professor side and appeals to the record keeper in me. I consider my blog to be my writer’s petrie dish, my lab where new work is developed and sometimes launched from.
My blog is the driving force behind my writing. It’s the place where everything starts, the day to day marriage between my love of the written word and my love of record keeping. If my published writing was a theatre film, my blog would be the DVD, with special features, links to follow, and posted outtakes.
Since blogs have become popular, there’s been an ongoing public dialogue about their purpose. For the most part, I see them as a modern twist in the ancient art of storytelling. Once an entirely oral tradition, storytelling today is done in a variety of ways. Storytelling venues keep changing, but the reasons for telling stories remain the same. They’re told to preserve culture, to instill knowledge and values, to inform, entertain and socialize. Human beings are a story telling species. We are known by our stories, and our stories are what remain once we are gone.
The hardest part of Guerilla Blogging is finding your cursor when the daylight casts a glare on your computer screen. You’ll need to learn how to balance your lap top while riding a bike, turn your laptop carrying case into a makeshift mouse pad, and be ready to pick up and move at a moment’s notice when the wireless signal gets low. There will likely be gnats and other bugs to contend with and discomfort from sitting on the ground. And don’t even try guerilla blogging if you can’t get used to being stared at by people walking or riding by. Some will stop and ask what you’re doing. Be prepared to explain what blogging is. Some people still don’t know.
A blog is to a writer is what a wood shop is to a woodworker or what a studio is to an artist.
I may speak English, but I think in Bloggish – that ongoing internal conversation that when put down on paper amounts to writing. My Bloggish comes in blocks of thought, too short to be a commentary or even an essay, but just the right size for …a post.
Blogging is an act of self-sufficiency that isn't dependent on editors and publishers. Not only is it an immediate forum where you can develop your writing skills, I also believe that when you share your creative output, creativity grows larger in you.
I consider my blog to be a time capsule of my recent life, which I will print out and bind in a collection for my descendants.
With blogging, the small press just got smaller. My own blog is a one-man-band writer’s reality show. Not only do I get to write what I want, but I have some diverse and witty readers (many of whom are also writers) that inspire me and sometimes leave comments!
Sometimes I wish the word “blog” didn’t sound so much like “blob” and remind me of the 1958 movie (The Blob) staring Steve McQueen where something falls from outer space and gets stuck on his arm and then grows and grows until it covers his body. It’s good for blogs to grow – more readers and posts everyday – right? It’s not going to take over my life – right?
As a writer, my blog gives me the opportunity to break down my body of work into digestible bite size pieces. About a week’s worth of posts will fit on one page at any given time. I think of them like a 7 course meal. I like to have a variety of short and long entries highlighted with a photo or two, a quote here, a link there, and a poem for those who have room for dessert. Sometimes a post is meant as an appetizer to whet one’s palette for a future main course, and often the entries (knowingly or not) are loosely related or compliment each other in some way. After preparing and serving up my own offerings, I frequently go to someone else’s site to see what they’ve been cooking up.
And lastly, my favorite: I can’t help wondering if I had been jogging instead of blogging these past four years how fit I might be now.
Post note: To read an essay I wrote on blogging that aired on WVTF a few years ago and was also published in the Hull Times, click HERE.