The Koi and goldfish are active and ravenous, and, I heard a bullfrog practicing his vocals tonight!
Some have asked me, “What’s a blog?”, or, “Why are you a blogger?” The latter is a good question and one I’ve been pondering lately. Here are a few reasons I’ve given to those who asked and reasons I've analyzed.
1. I’m an empty nester, have moved to a new state twice in less than five years and I haven’t made good old friends who will listen to me ramble. My own husband, the engineer type, doesn’t listen to me, either. He sees right or wrong, black or white, and no gray area between. I often hear from him, “Just give me the facts. Just the facts.” When I attempt to expound on the beauty of it all or give mention to the why, how, or maybe in a situation, my ramble falls on deaf ears.
2. I like to write. My writing is more like “spitting it out and never looking back”, unlike most of the talented writers I have recently met in cyberspace. I’ll bet if I saw a paragraph describing a snowfall from someone in my blogging community, I’d be able to identify the writer without seeing the author’s name. The first blog I ever read was Julie’s, back in September 2006. I read her short stories, dipped into her archives, and savored every word she wrote. It took me a few weeks to get the courage to post a comment on her blog. Yes, I was very intimidated but she and Jane, Chet’s breeder, gave me a verbal kick in the butt to do it.
In the beginning…what you do
You start out by setting up your blog and putting a lot of thought into it because you want your template to reflect your personal tastes and individuality. You post your first blog entry and from then on, you continue to tweak your website until you’re satisfied with its appearance. The formidable Blogger gods beat you up with technical errors and scare you until you might reach the point of either putting your fist through the monitor or giving up on the whole damned idea.
You post nearly every day and no one comments – for a long time. Timidly, you post a comment on someone’s blog (previewing it first) and even check out their blogroll and post a comment or two for complete strangers to view. Before you know it, you are getting comments. One today, two tomorrow… It’s a surprise for you and a pleasant one, too.
Now you have people checking in to see what you are up to and you find yourself on their blogroll. For me, it’s an honor. Your own blogroll starts to lengthen and you’re happy to add new friends to it and develop good relationships with people that you have never laid eyes on. These new friends have distinct personalities and interests but all of them share a common bond with you…the desire to share parts of their lives, internal feelings, and daily activities through words and sometimes pictures.
The comments you send and receive are usually affirming and/or witty. Do you enjoy comments? Is this what keeps you blogging? My answer is a definite yes - it is a good incentive for me; however, the attraction to the commenting chatter is far from what my original plan included, though. When I decided to start this journal, I remember feeling this way,
Who cares about comments? I wouldn’t care if no one read my blog because it’s my own business, anyway. I’ll just enjoy the writing, picture-taking, and receiving the instant gratification of publishing something I made with my own pea-brain and little nimble fingers.
Sometimes, I think comments are even as entertaining as the post itself. I get a kick out of reading comments from people like Swami at Yak Herder Central. Correction: there are no others like Swami. Comments sometimes reveal the real person behind the blog and can be quite inspiring and amusing!
Giving them what they want…
For the past five months, I’ve knocked myself out, driving and running around like a crazed woman chasing hawks and standing motionless in my backyard for hours and hours, waiting for a lifer to visit my feeder. A daily dose of joy. My sometimes wacky behavior feeds my blog but it doesn’t drive it. I’ve been asked by those very close to me, “Why do you have to always post about birds? People get tired of that.” “Can’t you post about dogs more often?” “Don’t you care about your pond anymore?” “You need to start ranting more often, people like to laugh.” A very dear friend in Maryland wrote to me and said she was disappointed that I’m not reviewing American Idol shows on my blog. Well, what can I do?! That would be three posts a week about AI and no one would like that. Last year I wrote hilarious AI reviews to a lengthy list of e-mail recipients. I just can’t do that anymore because there are not enough hours in my day.
You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Sure, I want to give them what they want, but isn’t that like letting the “Tail Wag the Dog”? There is pressure to continually deliver but if I can come up with five fresh, new ideas that inspire me every week, I’ll be a happy blogger, with or without the comments. But, honestly, I’d miss my friends and their comments. I won’t lie about it.
Is this the Spring molt beginning on this little Goldfinch?