Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

sticking to it

In In Other Words, On My Mind on February 24, 2011 at 8:58 am

My 8yo, Madeleine, is wicked smart. And just in case her smarts are not enough to guarantee her spot in the geek squad down the road, Richard likes to sit down with her after dinner and talk about algebra and infinity and such. So when she came home today with a “Continental Math League” paper on which she had answered only one out of six problems correctly, then immediately ripped said paper from my hands and tried to crumple it up, little red flags went up.

I chatted with her a bit, and figured from the little she was telling me that this was a timed competitive enrichment activity that she’d been a little nervous about because, you know, “I’m bad at math.”

Slap to the forehead.

I heard myself telling her “Don’t be afraid of doing something just because it’s hard, sweetie.”

There’s one of those lessons I need to learn too. See, I am taking a good hard look at this here bloggity blog and trying to figure out how to make it work for me.

And besides all the questions of how to get a Facebook “Like” button on the page, or how to find advertisers, or what exactly do I care enough to write about for 3 or 4 times a week for an indefinite period of time, there’s the ever-haunting doubts. What if nobody reads it? What if everyone hates it? What if I look like a foolish sham of a writer? There’s a growing list of things to do or learn about blogging, and I’m wondering if this will turn into one of my unfinished projects.

For now I’m sticking to my list, one item at a time (or maybe 4 or 5, for the ADDer in me). Right now I’m trying to figure out a new name, because Write On the Bay just isn’t quite right. And choosing a name means defining what it is I really want to blog about.

I think I have a pretty good idea, but I’m wondering what you, my treasured readers, what do you think? What speaks to you here? Where do you think my voice is clearest and most compelling? Do you think it’s all a pile of rubbish?

Let me know. Maybe I’ll even come up with a prize (think baked goods — I am known to have Obsessive Compulsive Baking Disorder) for a randomly selected commenter. That’s something bloggers do, isn’t it? Comments must be entered by midnight on Thursday, February 24. A winner will be selected by a cute child of mine from a hat and announced on Friday, February 25.


Happy Anniversary!

In In Other Words, Writing on June 13, 2008 at 9:27 am

To recognize the one-month anniversary of writeonthebay, I present Five Things I’ve Learned About Blogging

1. The blogosphere is ridiculously insular.

This was one of my initial concerns about blogging. I remember reading an article (probably in the Atlantic) about a party the author attended where most of the attendees were bloggers, all talking about blogs and eventually leaving the party prematurely to go home and blog about it. Ick. What about real interaction, people? I appreciate blogrolls that send me to cool places, but virtual society just ain’t no substitute for a phone call or plain old together time. To me, a good blog will appeal to any readers, not just those who Twitter one another all the live long day.

2. There’s a lot of damn good writing out there.

It is simultaneously satisfying and intimidating to read the work of strong writers who can take the minutiae of their personal lives and craft them into insightful and universal posts. I hold up finslippy, breedemandweep, and flotsam as shining beacons in the murky waters of the blogosphere.

3. There’s a lot of crappy writing out there.

You know who you are. Or maybe you don’t, and that’s the problem. You are all over my tag surfer. And mostly, you tell me why you haven’t been writing. Quit your whining. We’re all busy.

4. The stats page has an unhealthy hold on my psyche.

My real world friends are not bloggers. So besides a couple of busy days when I first told my peeps that I started a blog, I’ve had only a handful of hits per day, if that many. With every new day and every new post, I think, how could I get more hits? Write about the latest celebrity tragedy? Be shamelessly controversial? Use the word “blog” in the tag list? There are good reasons for me to be concerned with these questions, like the fact that my freelance work may soon include blogging on particular subjects. But the visceral need to check my hits several times a day? That’s just the part of me that needs the validation of others…”You’re fascinating…a brilliant writer! When can we expect the next precious missive?” Dare to dream of multiple comments on every post!

5. My camera stinks.

I love, love, love fine food photography. Smittenkitchen does a lovely job with well composed (and focused! why won’t my #$%^&ing camera just focus for pete’s sake!?). Try as I might, I can’t get my point and shoot digitial to focus on anything remotely closeup. This is probably just as well though, as the closeups I’d like to take are of food, and I am horrible at presentation and plating.

I suppose all this might sound like I’m complaining, but I have faith that this little blog of mine has more to teach me. So for now I’ll stay tuned.