Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More Blogging About Blogging

"Better to write for yourself and have no public,
than to write for the public and have no self."

— Cyril Connolly

I have been mulling over this post since Chelsi said a mouthful, and subsequently hosted an enjoyable mini forum in her comments section.

Last year, I sought the services of a career counselor (PA), and when he asked what my perfect job would look like, I said it would include writing more. My job at that time included some writing, but not much opportunity for more. PA suggested

Although I had heard of it, I didn't know what blogging was about. Frankly, I thought it was weird that people share online journals. I dragged my literary feet. Not only was I too lazy to figure out the mechanics of publishing a blog, but I had no idea what to write about. It was at this point on a Wednesday that PA gave me until the weekend to get a blog going, or he threatened to jam my email and VM until I did. I knew he wouldn't do that, but I figured since I was paying him for his advice, maybe I should take it.

There are two things that I can talk about all day long if you get me started: horses and 1:12 scale miniatures. Because any day with horses can turn into an adventure, the choice was made. At first, I was intimidated by the blogs of equine professionals and people who had been around horses all their lives. I had to be up front that I'm making this up as I go. I can't teach anybody anything other than possibly what not to do. I decided to blog under my real name, in case it ever became desirable to produce current writing samples. I also decided not to worry about whether anyone reads what I write, much less what they think, to keep it real and honest. Some days I feel like a writer on Seinfeld or The Office, which are basically shows about nothing, but I always keep in mind my reason for blogging in the first place: it's my impetus to write. That alone makes this blog a self-indulgent endeavor, but so what?

Blogging more than serves the purpose for which I began. For one thing, every day at least one of you makes me laugh out loud, something I truly value. I also learn something new every day, and much of the time, that "something new" is gleaned from the blogs I read. I pay more attention to what's going on around me, to the small details.
I take many more photos than I ever have, most of them for the purpose of posting here, though for every one I post, there are ten others on file.

BTW, in October of 2008, I was able to change jobs, accepting a writing position within my department.

"Thank your readers and the critics who praise you,
and then ignore them.
Write for the most intelligent,
wittiest, wisest audience in the universe:
Write to please yourself."

Harlan Ellison


Dusty Devoe said...

Great post Leah! Keep on posting so I can keep on reading!!!

Funder said...

The only way I can justify blogging is to do it only for myself. I write for me, so I'll have the memories of what happened on what day. I really enjoy comments, and I'm always pleasantly surprised when I get them - but I can't let myself write for an audience.

True story: I have no idea what my stats are. Number of subscribers, number of monthly hits, no idea.

Mrs. Mom said...

Great post Leah. I read Chelsi's, and was going to comment and join in there, but... well, Life happened here and in a big way.

I started the horse blog just to see if I could even still THINK. After two complicated pregnancies back to back, my brain felt like mush. A friend of mine suggested blogging... and HorseFeathers was born.

The Journal started for my Dad, so that he could read the goings on down here, and see what the kids are up to.

It worked- I know my brain still works (most of the time anyways,) and it seems like writing has helped me grow as a writer, a Mom, and it has helped clarify my thoughts. Thanks to blogging, my brain no longer feels like mush, and things are getting more coherent in there.

Not only that, but blogging has opened up a whole new world of fantastic people. Like you said- I too learn something every single day from the blogs. Even if I can't comment (and later forget what I wanted to say... which happens all too often,) there is still sooooo much knowledge out there! And some really amazing people too.

Thanks Leah, for a great post. I love reading here, and it has been a grand time getting to know you and your crew! Keep the writing coming!

ezra_pandora said...

Now you know....the REST of the story. lol! I think my blog is like Seinfeld and the Office too, how funny. Much ado about nothing. But it is fun to write, and sometimes if people DO read your blog, it can be a wealth of knowledge and the collective "people" give great advice on many issues. I think that's why I more or less started mine. I don't know a lot of people, and aside from endlessly searching yahoo answers (and get the dumbest responses ever from people trying to get points that amount to no reward), its nice to get real people's perspectives on my sometimes crazy thoughts. I always liked to write and do something to make people laugh too.

Anonymous said...

It's sad but true, I write for an audience, but it is mostly an imaginary one. When I get a comment, I am flattered someone is reading what I wrote and thought enough about me, a complete stranger, to give me some feedback. I like to see if people stopped by, but I don't really count on it, nor would it stop me from going on and on and on if no one read it...Plus, most of my friends these days aren't really instead of boring them with the details of horse ownership, I feel like I am having a conversation with friends about horses. I love other horse blogs, I find them touching, and fascinating. If I don't think I have something in common, I don't go back. For example, you have your horses dressed up with antlers...I have a similar photo of my horses wearing santa hats. So I will be back to see more of what is going on in your world even if you don't visit mine!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Interesting to hear how you got into blogging. My son knows that I used to be a writer, but lost my inspiration once I got into the software industry. He tries to encourage me to write from time to time, even trying to think up ideas that would inspire me. He was the one who helped me set up my first blog, and now it has completely consumed my life. I don't know if that's good or bad.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Unlike a lot of people who start blogging, I have never had aspirations of becoming a writer, but I do appreciate having a place to write about things in my everyday life.
Thanks to blogging, I feel like I can have adult conversations with other like-minded people. And I find that reading real-life perspectives from people who have different views or experiences really helps me from becoming very narrow minded...that is unfortunately one of the things that can happen to you when you live in a very rural area.

Anyhoooo....I think you do a great job and really enjoy reading your blog, even if I don't comment a lot.;)

Leah Fry said...

I appreciate all your kind words.

I know how many people follow this blog, only because it's right on the Dashboard, but I couldn't tell you about monthly hits or anything like that. I'd probably be embarrassed!

Paint Girl said...

I started blogging privately for over a year just for family and friends, to keep up on the going ons around here. With the help of my sister and YOU, made me decide that I could really do the public blogging thing! And I would like to give you a big THANK YOU for all the ideas/help on blogging!
I was very nervous to go public, but with the blogs I read before I came out of my shell, I knew there were so many wonderful people out there I couldn't wait to meet.
I am not a writer, I can't even make a proper sentence half the time, but I don't care, if someone doesn't like what I have to write about me, my family or my animals, than they don't have to come back.
I also like to comment on blogs and I like to receive comments on my blog. I think it is a great way to get to know the person besides just reading their blog.
Thanks for the great post!
Have a great week Leah!

AareneX said...

When I first started blogging, I was very focused on my perceived audience: my mom.

And then friends of my mom who knew me as a kid started reading it. And then my more distant relations started reading. And then a few of MY friends started reading (that was kind of a shock, actually).

Then (biggest shock of all) people I have only met through blogs started commenting. Wow. It's a bigger world than this small-town girl ever would have thunk.

It's a pretty nice world too, I think. I'm happy to see all your familiar "faces" as I travel the interweb and visit your blogs.

cowgirljlynn said...

What I like most about blogging is that I feel even though you haven't actually met the people, you feel that they are friends that you have had forever!

cdncowgirl said...

I'm sure glad you decided to blog, your's is definitely one I look forward to reading (and I love your pics)

For me blogging is a social thing. Around here the horse social circle is limited. Its nice to share experiences with people who have another perspective.

Leah Fry said...

I agree about the social thing. I do live in the middle of (mostly) QH country USA, but that doesn't mean I know anybody. Heather and Nita are the only non virtual horse friends I have.

I know! We can be VBBs — Virtual Barn Buddies!

Paint Girl, you're welcome. I'm glad you "came out" too ;-)

Chelsi said...

I think it is really neat the way that you found a forum for your writing and it payed off in your professional life... That is true of Mugwamp as well. I guess we all blog for different reasons and there is no "right" answer. I still find the concept a little odd sometimes, it is hard to get your mind around "knowing" people and feeling like friends but really not knowing them at all in a traditional sense.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Wow! That is really cool Leah!
You are doing what you love. Not everyone is so lucky.

I've been a rut on my blog for a while, not really motivated to blog. But the blog keeps me focused on something other than frustration or depression. And reading other's blogs is another great way to refocus myself.

The comments from my readers have really helped to lift me up, too. I never thought that would ever matter to me, but it's truly amazing to know that other folks from around the country...and world are thinking of me and like to stop by to visit. That is so mind-boggling and I really appreciate it.

I've not been by here for a while...just overwhelmed...with stuff. But yours is one of my favorite blogs, too, my friend.

Keep up the great job blogging, if only for yourself, because others enjoy it, too.


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