Seven years come January. That’s how long I have been blogging. Hard to believe, isn’t it?
I saw some discourse on the web the other day where somebody was talking about blogging, about how they blog, about what blogging means to them. There’s even a meme about this going around. The interesting thing to me though is, well, I’ve been blogging for so long now, it’s almost hard to answer those kind of things. I mean, what am I supposed to say when somebody asks me something like, “How did you come up with the name for your blog?” (What? Like it’s not obvious that I live in my own little world?)
If I had any advice for beginners, it would be to have fun with it. Blogging is a fun medium-enjoy it. Learn to grow with it. Accept that it will change over time and just have fun with it. Too many people start out and expect great things. The great American novel wasn’t written overnight. Give your blog some growing room-let it take flight over time. Don’t stifle it. Don’t try to be something you are not. Don’t fight with templates or technology, just write from the heart and, eventually, maybe people will respond.
Blogging has introduced me to so many new friends. It’s allowed me to keep in contact with folks from all over-everybody from somebody I knew in high school to people I’ve never met. They all come through the blog. It can be a great communication tool. It allows me to document my travels as well as the more mundane aspects of my life. You all know all about my favorite TV shows, my favorite foods, how much I love green olives, the car I drive, and the people I see. You’ve lived through hurricane watches and TiVo mishaps. It’s all played out, here, in black and white (and, now, I guess, color photos too.)
If there’s anything negative about blogging, it can be unruly. Sometimes, at its worst, it feels like a monkey on your back. If it ever gets to the point where, each and every day, it feels like a chore to post, I’ll probably give it up. I don’t see that happening to me though-I’ve enjoyed my time at the “blank white ‘Compose Your Blog Entry’ box” as much as the next guy. For some folks though, it can turn into a chore pretty quickly. If that’s the case, give it up or change it. Make it into something that’s easier for you to handle. Don’t force yourself to write, just because your friends are doing it. If it feels like a chore, go do something that’s fun for you.
Starting a blog can be a blast if you approach it the right way. For me, it’s always been a journal of sorts. Even though I know some of my friends read it (*waves*) I kind of treat it as that. I post as if nobody is watching, and that makes it easier on me. I just assume that you are all too interested to really bother with the little tidbits of my life and so I plunk them down here, get them out of my system, and move onto the next thing. I don’t overanalyze my postings. They come out, as they come out, I put them down, and move onto the next. I’m not afraid to take tangents, nor am I afraid of slow growth over time. I like to think my writing has improved over all these years, but maybe it hasn’t. Either way, blogging has always been a sort of “daily exercise” for me. Just the way some people keep in shape by jogging every so often, so too do I blog. It keeps my wits sharp, my mind engaged, and it allows me to clear my thoughts. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy it so much.
I’ve never really wanted my blog to be anything more than a blog. I’ve no secret desire to rule the world. I don’t care if editors in New York are “impressed” with me, or if rock stars routinely check in here to see what I think of their latest albums. I’ve always run it the same way. It’s just my thoughts and musings, poured out, over time, as a sort of release. My blog has never been very diplomatic-it’s always been Carol’s Little World, because, well, that’s what it is. It’s my self-indulgence. Sure, you’re welcome to read along if you like but, at the end of the day, it’s all for me and all for fun. Self-expression is a big part of what I do, from painting to photography to, I guess, writing and even blog posting. If you like it, great, stop back in again. If not, well, that’s great too, thanks for stopping by.
I’ve always been the kind of writer who has a hard time pulling together a great big work. Sit me down and tell me to write 20 blog postings on the price of tea in China and, hey, no problem. Try to get me to come up with a novel that has a central theme and a protagonist everybody can relate to? There’s your trouble. I can’t do it. It’s just not my thing. I’m not as organized as some writers out there. The blog format actually kind of fits my writing style better than anything else (well, with the possible exception of the short fiction format, since I think in terms of five pages or less.) Blogging is easier because the characters are a bit more “real” to me (they aren’t always real, by the way. Some are made up completely and some are, shall we say, a bit “embellished” just for you.)
Since I started blogging, the “blogosphere” has changed dramatically. I tend to pay that no mind. I’m not in it for the fame, the fortune, the guys. I do it for the writing and the self-expression that it allows me. I’ve no desire to convert you to a particular political agenda or sell you any major appliances. It’s just me, talking to you, eight days a well (well, ok, maybe just five or, you know, whenever the mood strikes me.)
I’ve never made a wholehearted attempt at directing a significant amount of web traffic to this site. It’s not about the numbers, or the traffic, or the “hit count” though sometimes I do look at that. I’ve always maintained that my blog would be best served if it were less popular but more devoted. I’d rather have a bit of a deeper perspective then to try and drum up numbers (and “quick hits”) by using gimmicks. If I’m not the most popular blog out there, so be it. I enjoy what I do, post when I can, and make the most of the blog I have.
So, as I approach my seven year mark, I just have to stop and thing about these things. I mean, seven years is longer than most marriages last. There must be something drawing me back in, time and time again, right? Maybe it’s all just the thrill of clicking that little “Post Now” button. I don’t know. I can say that I’ve enjoyed my time behind the post and I’ve tried to have some fun with it. At the end of the day I think really that’s all that matters to me.
I really do hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy snarking it together for you.
Until next time…