Life As a First Draft

Work: AM heat & short walk/PM groom
Evaluation: Easy day. Although I was proud of him for holding it together yesterday until we finished, his fit means that he found the work taxing. It is beyond me why he finds wandering around his own pasture to be difficult, but that’s not my call to make. I groomed until he dropped his head and yawned.
In addition to heaps of money and the admiration of millions, one of my goals with Rodney’s Saga is to understand blogging. So, I thought I’d take a day away from the horses at the end of each month to reflect on writing daily, writing online, and writing about myself.

Not only do I remember the days when magazines used to pay folks to write articles, I remember when newspapers where laid out on light tables and photos were edged with line tape. Having thoroughly dated myself, I want to say that I am not anti-technology. I recall my wondrous glee the first time I watched a page emerge fully formed from a printer instead of being hunted and pecked out of a typewriter. I’d be happy if I never uncapped another bottle of Wite-Out. But your formative experiences stay with you, which means I still put two spaces after a period. It’s too ingrained to change. I have to global replace when I’m done. Outside of a few links, I still think of the screen as funky-looking sheet of paper instead of exploiting the medium from what it can do. (For a better stated version of this argument, Craig Mod on Books in the Age of iPad.) So, I blog in order to understand 21st C media.

When I was writing monthly posts, I would come up with an idea, draft it, polish it, ask my writing buddies to read it, and send it off to be illustrated. Entire weeks would go by when I would not think of the blog. Life online wasn’t much different from life in the dead-tree world. That has changed with a daily blog. Now every event is a potential blog post. For example, a friend sent me a gift and I thought, Oh goody, I can get a blog post out of this. She’s a blogger also, so she understood.

I have become obsessed. If I am not fiddling with the day’s post or taking notes for future ones, I’m checking the site stats or wondering if I should add video. I have no idea where this is coming from. Until now I have been a firm proponent of Johnson’s adage that “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” It remains to be see if this is enthusiasm for a new project or the start of a dangerous addiction.

To more experienced bloggers, how do you keep from disappearing into the vortex?

3 thoughts on “Life As a First Draft

  1. First and foremost, I blog for myself. My horse blog is really just a different form of my old training journal, which I keep to see where I’m going and where I’ve been. I decided to write my riding stuff in blog form because I thought maybe others would be inclined to offer suggestions or support. So far I haven’t gotten a whole lot of response, but that’s OK. Like I said, I’m doing this for me, not to please an audience.

    My photo blog started out that way too, but it eventually got enough of a following that for awhile I kind of stressed about posting. I blogged a photo a day for 6 months and then backed off a little because it was getting to be too much pressure. (And yes, I’m a perfectionist.) This year the seasons didn’t cooperate and the light has been awful, so I’m not out shooting as much as I was the year prior. I do get a little bugged sometimes when I think too many days have passed between posts, but then I remind myself that I’m doing this for fun and experience, not to drum up business.

    From what I can tell, the best way to get (and keep) people’s interest is to be interested in what other bloggers (of similar interest) are doing. It’s kind of reciprocal thing. I also find that bloggers who make a genuine effort to respond to their reader’s comments keep their readers coming back. That doesn’t mean they have to reply to every single comment, but every now and then it’s nice to know they’re reading their comments and care about what’s being said to them. It is, after all, a written dialogue and if it becomes one sided, people will bail. I follow a couple of blogs (equine & photography) that are pretty informative, but the authors never respond to ANY comments. Unfortunately, I know I’ll probably just move on eventually. Authors that act like they’re unapproachable aren’t going to get much of my time or energy.

    1. What are your links? Apologies if we have met (live or virtual), but I can’t figure out who you are from your alias. Did you know that if you click on a gravatar, you go thru to the person’s page? Just when I think I’m getting ahead of this.

      1. Well, yes and no. If you click on a gravatar you get directed to the person’s gravatar link. Sometimes the person has edited their gravatar profile and included links to their web sites and blog (my equine blog link had a typo, which I’ve since corrected), but oftentimes not. However, if you hover over the name next to the gravatar it will turn into a link that goes to that person’s main blog if they have one here. Many people (myself included) have more than one blog. I have links to all my blogs on each individual blog. Confused yet? LOL!

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