In commemoration of my upcoming one-year blogging anniversary, I’m referencing Why Blog? Why Now? using it as a foil for reviewing the year-to-date. As the introductory post written on 8/30/13, it serves as a starting point for re-assessing goals stated therein: whether they were met and/or if they’ve changed. I guess you could say this is a sort-of evaluation post, re-examining the purpose of the blog along with how to proceed into its second year.
Why Blog? Why Now?
The obvious answer to this is of course, ‘Why not?’
Comment: And thus began my official entry into the blogosphere…
I, however, could think of many reasons ‘why not’ whenever it was suggested to me to begin blogging. The biggest one being: anybody and their uncle can write anything and put it up into the nether-land of cyberspace for all to see regardless of quality.
Comment: This is still a major concern for me in the continuance of this website blog. I have no desire for it to be perceived as a form of ‘self-hosted WP Facebook Site.’ And yet, the need for an on-line internet presence caused me to create this website blog regardless and is fueling my determination to continue working on its evolving development.
…Hmmm, I like these guys: scientists, goat-lovers, gardeners, mathematicians, writers (of course), and a host of other diverse types; all connected by the need to share their passion with others.
Comment: I admire blogger Anna’s fluid approach to maintaining her website blog. She changes content within the static pages of her site to reflect current info as it evolves alongside her blog posts. Most advise against this type of change, but I think it adds another level of commitment to presenting a quality website blog to those who land on it. This has given me a practical template to follow for my own second year idea plans that can be done without the making of a clone site.
…I decided I wanted in on this community.
Comment: Another blogger Deborah Brasket writes beautifully crafted pieces on a variety of subjects including the tougher aspects of life. I look to her posts as examples of how my future harder-hitting articles will be fashioned. Expressing purpose for her blog ‘Living on the Edge of Wild’ she pens:
“It’s all about touching, isn’t it? Touching others with our lives, our insights and understanding, our memories and dreams, our poetry and art. Blogging meets this basic human need—to touch others and be touched in return.”
Armed with a copy of Sarah McHarry’s WordPress To Go…, and surrounded by my encouraging hubby, I boldly began this business of building my own website blog.
Comment: Oh Sarah, I wish you’d write a follow-up on the maintenance of such a website!
But why now?
My vignettes and little list pieces have been enthusiastically received by an assortment of followers, readers and critiquers these past few years, but have received little exposure beyond that limited audience. In a quest to put my “Swimming with Swans: vignettes of our journey between homes” in completed manuscript form to present to agents, I came to realize that even if a publisher picked it up, it’d be many years before more eyes and hearts would get to experience it.
Comment: This blog has enabled me to explore possible arrangements to some extent.
Presenting the Goat Suite Saga as a complete series within the totality of the Swimming with Swans project has allowed me to work with the previously written material and then revisit, revise, edit, refocus and even eliminate some of it to craft it into a cohesive read. In addition, I’ve used the blog platform to post a few vignettes based upon relevance to a particular current event regardless of when that vignette occurred within our journey. While working with the knowledge that some potential venues consider blog posts as previously ‘published’ material and thus ineligible to be published in a more traditional realm, I have found blogging to be a rewarding process nonetheless. It has allowed me to create completed pieces using different avenues of format and layout, thus giving me the ability to see my writings as a prototype of publishable material. While my stats show a small but dedicated readership of the blog, the content of my ‘Swimming with Swans’ and other social commentary still has more views than if it stayed on my hard drive awaiting non-existent publication…
…I needed someplace to showcase my writing, give voice to our between-homes journey and perhaps even enlighten others of the parallel communities filled with invisible ones living among us in 21st Century America. And blogging is yet one more tool to get what needs to be said out there.
Comment: While this has been accomplished on a small level, I realized that it’s not on the level I’d like. I’m not into stats, but for all the effort that goes into crafting relevant posts, there needs to be at least an evolving increase of exposure of content from this platform. I’ve had to factor in the viewership stats in relation to the effort expended in the preparation of the articles for a series I have in mind to publish as a second year venture on the blog. In reviewing ways to increase ‘traffic’ the one that would probably yield the best results, is the very one I strongly resist. That being: increased positioning on basic social media. This was precisely the reason why I was hesitant to pursue a blog in the first place…the absorption into a virtual reality that I’m not at all interested in…So, while always open to other ways of achieving that goal I am resolved to making this website blog the best it can be regardless. It remains one of many tools in the dissemination of 21st century enlightenment!
Do I feel vulnerable? Yes. But as an artist I know this deep drive to share, this burning compulsion, is not something to be ignored.
Comment: Deborah continues-
“But there’s a basic human need for another kind of touching—from the inside out. Touching others with what means the most to us, our deepest responses to the world around us. Keeping those unspoken, unexpressed, can be as withering as being untouched physically. Which is why, perhaps, so many writers and artists will give their work away for free if need be, just to allow what’s inside out into the world where it can touch others, and ‘evoke responses.’”
Ultimately, no matter how true I believe my writing and music, my art, to be, if those receiving it don’t feel engaged or touched or moved by it, then I have not created (he)art. And while the message is important, the (he)art created in the telling of it is what pulls readers into the realm of that very message.
Comment: For me, it’s not about the numbers. The handful of comments and occasional ‘likes’ left after posting articles are enough to re-affirm my hopes that I have indeed ‘touched others.’ Often, more detailed comments come to me in the form of a personal e-mail, allowing further engagement and dialogue to continue. Thank-you. Each comment is as unique as the one giving it.
…My writer’s/artist’s resolution: To tell stories/make art that’s important to me, writing and creating with more courage and determination than ever before, because I am in charge of my writing/art and this is what the Lord has for me for Now.
Comment: This has certainly resulted in a delightful creative dry spell buster of a year!
…Why is courage necessary for me to finish? I’m not certain, but I find it interesting that much of this relates to my current call to focus on the ‘now’ in order for the ‘next’ to occur.
Comment: Case in point, the sharing of my ‘Coffee Beans Means Love To Me’ piece of (he)art:
“Finishing Coffee Beans has been freeing. A sort-of final transition stage where our between homes past has been pieced together into something beautiful to be seen in the ‘now’ as a reminder while we proceed into the ‘next’…”
Viewed that way, I step back, take a deep breath and dive right in…come follow along with me if you wish.
Comment: Thank you for following along with me this first year; please stick around and enjoy what the second year has yet to offer. And, as always, please feel free to drop me a comment, e-mail or ‘like’.
Why Blog? Why Now?….Why Not?