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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Blogger Humor

I love the self-deprecating humor of cartoons about blogging and am thinking that other bloggers might be amused by these. Let me know if you can’t read what they say.

After taking my cartoons off the fridge and photographing them, I got to wondering why people blog in the first place and decided to do a Google search on the phrase “why I blog.” Turns out, quite a few bloggers have posted on that very topic.

At Medium, Rybo Chen lists eight reasons for blogging: to build character and discipline, share thoughts and lessons learned, read more and learn more, have great conversations, become a better thinker, build healthy habits, and build a personal brand. Most of those sound reasonable to me — except that I have no interest in building my personal brand. What would I do with it once it got built?

Melissa at Patheos seems to be using her blog to help her work out the effects of an unusually restrictive childhood. Or, as she puts it, “This is my own little place to think and process stuff. I have found a voice through writing here.” She originally kept her writing from people she knew and considered shutting down when she was found out. I have noticed that the blogging motivations of several visitors to my site are similar to hers.

The blogs Pinch of Yum and Sally’s Baking Addiction have the same origins: the bloggers love sharing recipes. But it’s more than that. Sally says, “That isn’t the only reason why I blog. (It was certainly the reason why I started!) As the years pass and I learn more about blogging – and myself – I’ve grown to appreciate the many blessings that blogging brings to me both professionally and personally.” She lists eight things, including “healing,” which I found intriguing.

Lindsay at Pinch of Yum — a former 4th grade teacher and current full-time blogger who lives in Minnesota with husband Bjork — lists 10 reasons for loving what she does, including helping others start their own blog and sharing photography tips in a food photography eBook.

Lauren Hooker at Elle & Co. gives six reasons she blogs, including that it enables her to share her design work and attract clients.

My reasons for doing this blog have evolved — or perhaps I should say “have clarified” — over the 7-1/2 years I’ve been writing it. At first, the wish to help Suzanne sell jewelry was equal with the pleasure of blogging, which I had been doing at work already. Suzanne and Erik said that they knew I liked it and that having a blog tied to Luna & Stella‘s contemporary birthstone-jewelry business would be helpful.

I don’t think I’ve been all that helpful, but it’s true that one time a woman wrote Suzanne that she didn’t usually like to buy from online businesses that she didn’t know but was reassured after getting a sense of what Suzanne’s Mom was like.

What has been clarified is that I enjoy the routine of writing every day and I love not only reading the curious articles but editing them. After all, I worked for years as an editor because I liked editing. There’s real satisfaction in trying to find the points that are most likely to click with readers. I also like coming up with photos — my own or borrowed — and learning the technical stuff involved in placing them.

Getting to know my commenters is also a treat, but what’s surprising is that it is a pleasure that is somehow separate from the pleasure of writing the posts. I need to think more about how that works.

Since so many of you blog, too, I’d love to hear why you do it and under what circumstances you could see yourself giving it up. I myself expect to keep going as long as I have my wits about me.

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This is a sampling of the bloggers I follow.

First is Asakiyume, from whom I learned everything I know about blogging, including how to borrow a photo from another site in such a way that readers will go to that site. She is an editor and a novelist, and she blogs about a wide range of topics, from personal to global.

In this post she compares a chest of drawers in a local coffee shop to something she saw in the animated Japanese feature Spirited Away. She offers many inspiring social justice ruminations plus thoughtful literary criticism, especially of fantasy and science fiction: the interstitial world.

KerryCan is a retired English professor who is very serious about crafts, selling many of her own on Etsy. She is a chocolate maker, a weaver, a quilter — you name it. I like her description of studying and resurrecting a forgotten quilt art in a recent post on “redwork.”

“I have been using an inexpensive child’s lightbox to trace the redwork panels on to paper,” KerryCan writes, “so I can keep them. Then I trace from the paper version on to off-white cotton fabric. As I trace and then stitch, I enjoy the designs. There are flowers, lots and lots of flowers. And there are animals; some are the ones the maker would know from the farm and some are exotic, known only from books or dreams.

“My favorite blocks, though, are the ones with the people, and, especially, children. The children depicted are not the cute and pampered and romanticized children of modern America but are serious and, often, awkward-looking.” Check it out.

New England Nomad is a perfect blog for learning about hidden places that even natives don’t know. The Nomad takes lots of pictures and provides detailed information on directions, special features, parking and costs. You may have heard about the Newport Cliff Walk, and the Nomad covers it, but do you know the “gem of Rhode Island,” Colt State Park in Bristol? Read about it here.

A Musical Life on Planet Earth blogger doesn’t post often, but when he does, Wow. Not only is he a music teacher and singer, he is deeply knowledgeable about the American Songbook, Broadway in particular — Rodgers, Hart, Hammerstein, Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin … . He cleans out the local library when doing research for one of his featured-composer shows. Find everything you ever want to know about the great Jerome Kern at this post, and listen to Will sing.

I’ll be doing more of these blogger recognitions from time to time, but before I leave today, I have to say I’ve been riveted to relatives’ Burning Cloud Blog, detailing the ups and downs of five months in a sailboat. Most of the posts are written by the children in the family. Read the entry “I have operated a lock” here.

Photo: New England Nomad
Colt State Park, the “gem of Rhode Island.”

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Listening to the lone WICN radio host early Saturday morning reminded me of when I was a WGMC radio host in Greece, New York — until Suzanne was six months old and starting to reach over the baby seat to grab the turntable.

I was never sure if anyone was out there listening, but I liked doing it anyway.

Kind of like blogging.

At 5:30 a.m., the WICN host was playing a series of mellow tunes. He seemed to be enjoying the music, which means he didn’t talk much. I appreciate that kind of host so much more than the ones who love to hear themselves talk.

WICN, “Jazz Plus,  for New England,” is a rare boon to jazz lovers. Having been to the studio recently to donate school instruments, I couldn’t help thinking that the hours before dawn on a Saturday must be pretty bleak and lonely in that industrial part of Worcester.

The only thing I was able learn about the host after Googling around was that his last name is Chandler. It was nice to think of Mr. Chandler enjoying the music in that barren neighborhood before 6 a.m., and I wish I had told him that someone was listening and appreciated the way he rode the records, transitioning so smoothly.

You can listen to WICN online, here, if you don’t live near Worcester. Send the station an e-mail to tell a host you’re listening. It’s a small outfit. I’m still waiting to hear back from my own e-mail.

If you are free during a weekday, be sure to catch a live performance by Pamela Hines and Arnie Krakowsky (below) on January 29.

Update 1/27/14: WICN General Manager Gerry Weston e-mails that the early morning host was “Osay Chandler, he’s out of Pittsburgh.”

Photo: WICN
Join pianist Pamela Hines and her special guest on January 29 at 2 p.m. Arnie Krakowsky, a  professional tenor saxophone jazz musician, will perform live with Hines in the WICN studio.

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Among the many things that are a fun about a blog is checking out the likes to my entries and learning about common interests. I also love thinking about the people I know who may be reading. Then there are the thoughtful comments from strangers.

Cynthia, for example. She came to the blog after searching on the late, amazing ceramicist Anne Kraus and finding my post “The Mysterious Tea Cups of Anne Kraus.” She says she knew the family.

My entries on new farmers have a led to a nice exchange with an Ohio farmer, DrJeff7, who raises traditional livestock at Heritage Breeds Farm. Here is one of his comments:

“There is definitely a shift toward buying local and buying organic/ grassfed, and all natural. We are staring up with similar goals in mind. I am concerned about the fact that farms continue to ‘go out of business,’ yet the animals get absorbed by larger and larger farming conglomerates. (i.e. factory farms). Their argument is that it is a necessary evil if you want to feed the world. I think that the world needs to move away from supposed progress and head back to the days of traditional farming, where animals see the light of day and chemicals are nowhere to be found (or limited to the best extent).”

And there came a day when I really needed to see this title at 5kidswdisabilities, a WordPress blog: “Beyond One’s Own Problems.”

Listen to this mom. “I work with a social/educational/recreational group for teens with disabilities.  When first getting this group together at the beginning of the school year, I asked them what they wanted to do as part of our program.  Every single one of them said they wanted to ‘help other people.’  Here are students with a variety of disabilities and medical needs, and they wanted to help others! They were mature enough to look beyond their own problems to the problems of others.

“Various suggestions were tossed about … They chose making sandwiches for the homeless. …

“They worked as a team and made 165 sandwiches and twelve dozen cookies. As they worked, they talked about who might get to eat them, what kind of bad luck may have fallen upon that person and so forth.  They talked with much empathy, and not once during their conversation did they mention their own problems.  They were caring about the problems of others.

“After the sandwiches were made, I drove up to Traveler’s Aid, a local spot where the homeless hang out.  The kids … walked and wheeled to the front desk which, fortunately, was wheelchair accessible.  The crowd murmured appreciatively, politely, thankfully.  The kids faces beamed as they turned around and came back to the van.  They were no longer disabled, but capable of helping others.  Suddenly, their problems were not as bad as the people who thanked them; people without shelter and food.”

Read her whole lovely entry here.

Photograph: HeritageBreedsFarm.com

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