Why in the world would I start this? It’s been done. By zillions of others whose blogs are far better than mine will be. By people who can write better than me. But it isn’t about the better. It’s about the doing. And getting this out of my head and my heart. This need to write is in my core.
And I hate it. Well…maybe hate is a strong word. Writing is hard for me. I’m compelled to do it though for some unknown reason. It’s never been easy. But I am good at it. . . . . . or at least people have told me I’ve been good at it in the past. I’ve written things for others. I’ve won awards for my writing. Yet when I left college I stopped. Completely. So, now I’m out of practice and need to limber up. I’ve got to get back in the saddle. Get these words out of my head. I’m quite a grammar freak but you’ll need to excuse me while I roll out The AP Stylebook, polish the tarnish off my brain, and get a map to get me out of the cobwebs.
I’m gonna write hard stuff here. Topics and opinions that may not sit well with others and that you may not always agree with. That’s ok. I love healthy debate. Write back to me. Comment on posts. Even if you disagree. All comments are posted after moderation by me. But that isn’t so I don’t have to post the people that disagree with me but so I won’t post the internet trolls that are just being asses. By the way, there might be cussing. So, this is PG-13 for now………until I get fired up about something. I’ll try to reign it in.
I’m gonna write about silly, trivial, lighthearted stuff too. I have a wide range of interests and it’s my blog so I can write about anything I want to write about.
I’ve discussed the blog for years with friends and family. But I have grand dreams and visions for things I want to start but I’m a little slow on the follow through. I’m more of a thinker, planner, and designer. I like others to implement. When my husband asked what the blog was going to be about I told him everything. Fashion (why can’t everything I wear be pink?), books (look the word bibliophile up in a dictionary and there is a photo of me), movies (isn’t Bull Durham on YOUR Top 10 list?), music (more people really need to listen to Conway Twitty), current events (should I care about ISIS?), archaeology (you did notice my tag line above didn’t you?), history (it doesn’t have to be dull), historic preservation (people can we just stop tearing everything down and reuse what we’ve got? There is so much beauty in it.), genealogy (I want to take a DNA test really badly), Winnie the Pooh (because who DOESN’T like the silly old bear), food and recipes (we all gotta eat), restaurants (I find that my tastes don’t always equate with great reviews), you name it and I’ll probably talk about it. So, it’s like that episode of Seinfeld where George wants to pitch a TV show to execs and Jerry asks him what his show is about and he says it’s a show about nothing.
I’m also a graphic design nut. I’m not good at it but I’m getting better and I love the whole process of it. You will probably see the blog constantly change design as I decide what I want my “brand” to be. Colors, logo, etc. If I don’t start blogging until I have that perfected then I’ll never start a blog…..which is why it has taken me this long. By the way, this post took DAYS! I’m trying to change. See next paragraph.
I can also tend to over analyze. So, I’ll sit on a post forever probably until it’s perfect. There is no perfect. I’ll try and stop that. Didn’t some blonde gal in a Disney movie recently say “Let It Go” after all?
Lastly, one of the most impactful readings I think of about when beginning my blog is the final blog post by Andrew Sullivan of The Dish. I’ve excerpted the words that impacted me the most here:
[T]he speed with which an idea in your head reaches thousands of other people’s eyes has another deflating effect, this time in reverse: It ensures that you will occasionally blurt out things that are offensive, dumb, brilliant, or in tune with the way people actually think and speak in private. That means bloggers put themselves out there in far more ballsy fashion than many officially sanctioned pundits do, and they make fools of themselves more often, too. The only way to correct your mistakes or foolishness is in public, on the blog, in front of your readers. You are far more naked than when clothed in the protective garments of a media entity.
But, somehow, you’re liberated as well as nude: blogging as a media form of streaking. I notice this when I write my blog, as opposed to when I write for the old media. I take less time, worry less about polish, and care less about the consequences on my blog. That makes for more honest writing. It may not be “serious” in the way, say, a 12-page review of 14th-century Bulgarian poetry in the New Republic is serious. But it’s serious inasmuch as it conveys real ideas and feelings in as unvarnished and honest a form as possible. I think journalism could do with more of that kind of seriousness. It’s democratic in the best sense of the word. It helps expose the wizard behind the media curtain.
I stand by all those words. There are times when people take this or that post or sentence out of a blog and make it seem as if it is the definitive, fully considered position of the blogger. Or they take two sentences from different moments in time and insist that they are a contradiction. That, it seems to me, misses the essential part of blogging as a genuinely new mode of writing: its provisionality, its conversational essence, its essential errors, its ephemeral core, its nature as the mode in which writing comes as close as it can to speaking extemporaneously.
Everything is true, so long as it is not taken to be anything more than it is. And I just want to ask that future readers understand this – so they do not mistake one form of writing for another, so they do not engage in an ignoratio elenchi. What I have written here should not be regarded as interchangeable with more considered columns or essays or reviews. Blogging is a different animal. It requires letting go; it demands writing something that you may soon revise or regret or be proud of. It’s more like a performance in a broadcast than a writer in a book or newspaper or magazine (which is why, of course, it can also be so exhausting). I have therefore made mistakes along the way that I may not have made in other, more considered forms of writing; I have hurt the feelings of some people I deeply care about; I have said some things I should never have said, as well as things that gain extra force because they were true in the very moment that they happened. All this is part of life – and blogging comes as close to simply living, with all its errors and joys, misunderstandings and emotions, as writing ever will.
I tried, above all, to be honest. And you helped me. Being honest means writing things that will make you look foolish tomorrow; it means revealing yourself in ways that are not always flattering; it means occasionally saying things that prompt mass acclamation but in retrospect look like grandstanding. It means losing friends because you have a duty to criticize what they write. It means not pretending you believe something you don’t – like a tall story from a vice-presidential candidate or a war narrative that was increasingly obsolete. It means writing dangerously with the only assurance – without an editor – that readers will correct you when you’re wrong and encourage you when you are right. It is a terrifying and exhilarating way to write – and also an emotionally, psychologically depleting one. But I loved it nonetheless. I relished it every day. I wouldn’t trade these years for any others.
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