I want to talk about blogging. How unique! A blog post about blogging!
I miss my blogging community. I miss writing long form and actually maintaining a train of thought. I miss reading other peoples’ blogs from a diverse array of backgrounds and a diverse array of experiences. I miss sharing links and stories and tracking back and linking up and blogrolls and all of that stuff.
I know there are likely very lively blogging communities out there, but I feel like a large number of blogs I stumble upon are sponsored blogs, and I just really don’t want to be advertised to, no matter how earnestly one is doing the advertising.
And yet, while I’m complaining about that…I’m not really doing anything to improve the quality of blogging in the world. I’m just sort of…struggling…to come up with words. With the advent of Facebook and immediate feedback and access to an entire universe of captive audiences, it’s so easy to abandon the “work” of blogging for the ease of firing off a 10-word Facebook post – to satisfy that need for sharing.
But the other night I was on a walk, and it occurred to me that lately I’ve been doing walks wrong. I’ve been having to convince myself to walk because I need to get exercise. I’ve been setting goals for walking as a form of exercise. And I COMPLETELY forgot that walking is not JUST a form of exercise for me. It’s much more a form of meditation. A time for me to be fully present with myself, tuning out what I’m listening to in my headphones and listening to what I need to tell myself.
Since I started gardening – admittedly its own essential form of meditation – I walk less. And I miss the specific rhythms of walking like I miss the specific rhythms of blogging. Of feeling inspired by other people, and contributing to a conversation while also creating my own space for reflection, and having that space honored.
That said – there are only so many hours in the day. I can only fit in so much before something has to be sacrificed. However, one thing that can be done is at least an ATTEMPT to revive some sort of blogging community. Even if it’s only a community for retired bloggers who can only post once a week or month or so. There are a number of people I would just prefer to always keep track of, because they are witty, or goofy, or smart, or kind…or any combination.
So, I’m testing the waters and starting a new blog called LUB – the League of Unsponsored Bloggers. On that blog, I will post semi-occasional blog prompts, and unsponsored blogs will be invited to pingback on the topic. Pingbacks will be monitored to ensure only unsponsored blogs are being linked. Though, who knows – maybe only the 4 or 5 people I currently have in mind as participants as I write this will actually participate!
Because if I can inspire some of my favorite bloggers to start blogging again, that would make me VERY happy.
I’m trying to think of a good writing prompt to begin with. I’m also thinking about applying a different…intention?…format?…to this blog. I do well with templates. Sometimes when I sit down to write, the amount that I need to write to fill up the page overwhelms me. That’s why I’ve been breaking it up into chunks between pictures. Sometimes paragraphs, sometimes complete thoughts.
And also because, let’s face it, no one READS anymore. I don’t want to read an entire huge block of text either, so I’m no exception. However, I do feel like I write this blog mostly for myself, rather than any readers who may or may not be out there. And right now, for myself, it’s easier to break my writing down into small chunks. For now. And be inspired by pictures of my garden in between.
Anyway – I got sidetracked there. I’m trying to think of a good writing prompt as my first. And this Joy Division song came on (“New Dawn Fades”) – and that’s a pretty inspiring concept, as well as pseudo-seasonal if you are celebrating the solstice, and possibly even in terms of other myths and religions.
One particular refrain of the song seems good to reflect on:
It was me, waiting for me,
Hoping for something more,
Me, seeing me this time,
Hoping for something else.
But – perhaps a bit heavy for a first writing prompt for folks who have not been able to find the time/gumption to blog.
So, instead, I might start with this – what sorts of rituals have you developed to reward yourself? And if you haven’t developed any rituals – how do you reward yourself?
But that seems a little selfish in this season of giving, so maybe not.
Perhaps – in the spirit of setting intentions (which is my seasonal holiday celebration) I will make this the question…
What is your intention for this blog in the coming year, and how will you achieve that intention?
It’s a pretty straightforward question that can be interpreted specifically or broadly. As one who blogs about her life, the intentions for my blog might also reflect the intentions for my life. Others might have a less personal, more practical response.
My intentions are many. I hope I can articulate a few here.
- I intend to hold space for myself to show progress on the garden and other endeavors (mostly the garden, because it’s the easiest endeavor to photograph.)
2. I intend to reflect on what has brought me to this point – including writings, images, and recordings that flesh out my journey.
3. I intend to cultivate community here in this medium, and find my place in that community so I am able to contribute as well as benefit from it.
4. I fully intend (and hope I can live up to this intention) to spend less time posting on facebook and more time reading independent news and analysis and long-form blogs both personal and political.
5. I intend to also participate more in the things I consume. I notice I read books lately as a goal to have read them, rather than have actively gleaned something from them. Same with endlessly binge-watching television or movies. I intend to spend more time reflecting on the media I consume, both in this space and in my private journals – perhaps to be shared later.
6. Going along with my own personal goals for this new year, I am also in a mode of gathering “The Best of” things into organized units. I’m creating a recipe book of my favorite recipes, and making lists of all of my favorite books and music. Keeping track of the nuggets of gold I’ve found in the sifted sands of my life.
Along those lines – I’m delighted that the Tao of Bird and I can have conversations about good 80’s music. Particularly New Order. I have a son who has Opinions about which New Order song is their best. My other son has Opinions about which Pixies album is the best. I don’t quite agree with them on their particular picks (I’m “Temptation” and “Surfer Rosa” all the way, But TOB leans toward “Blue Monday” and Buddha the Grouch is a “Doolittle” kind of guy.)
It’s just nice to not be COMPLETELY irrelevant.
I’ve been watching Bates Motel on Netflix. I’m in the middle of Season Two, and I’m completely confused and unsure of who to trust and who to fear, which I suppose is the point.
However, the very absurdity of some of the situations they put Ma Bates and her doting son Norman in has me cracking up. Norman learns to drive with the help of his control-freak mother. Norman and his mother audition for Community Theater. It’s pretty hilarious stuff.
I’m avoiding reading any analysis of it. I’m kind of enjoying not quite knowing what to expect or think of it. There are a lot of loose ends, and I’m certain every one of them in intentional. I’ll be very disappointed if they are not. At any rate – Netflix only has the first 2 seasons, and there are at least 4 that have been produced. I’ll likely watch all of the episodes again once the whole series is over. I have a feeling I’m going to be left hanging at the end of season 2.
One thing about that series, though…the lead actress – the one who plays Norma Bates, Vera Farmiga, looks SO MUCH like Felicity Huffman to me that it’s disconcerting. And the character oddly reminds me a lot of Lynette Scavo from Desperate Housewives. I’ve spent a lot of time while watching wondering where Norma has time to cook all of these elaborate meals and make all of the beds up just. so. Which might point to my feelings of failure at keeping house more than anything else.
I am, however, pretty damn proud of the gardens of late. Early on, before the gardening bug hit me, one of my friends who was already a gardener told me I’d really start to feel it when things I grew from seed started growing. And I’ve had small successes at that – but nothing major. A basil plant and some beans here and there. I’ve failed at radishes because I hate the thought of thinning, and I wasn’t watering nearly enough when I started everything initially.
But these fence gardens are growing a LOT of really amazing things, most of them from seed. Lettuces and spinach and beans and radishes. All abundant and poking up and filling in and delicious.