Writing & Blogging
Welcome to Blog 2.0, or as I like to think of it The Saga of Milton and That Other Horse.
What’s New, What’s Not
New title for the blog.
Blog subtitle stays the same.
New post titles daily, as before.
New category subtitles for posts.
New theme, that’s WordPress-speak for a new visual arrangement.
Monday – Home Team
Tuesday – Home Team
Wednesday – Adventures in Saddle Seat
Thursday – Combined Driving. ASB Pleasure Driving
Friday – Photography on Manual, with my Nikon, in manual mode. Instagram archives.
Saturday – Writing & Blogging. Other Writing. Writing Exercises. State of the Blog.
Sunday – Graphic Design. AlphaBooks. Stamps.
Daily deadlines keep me motivated. A weekly schedule keeps me organized. Rotating through the various activities keeps one subject from taking over the blog, e.g. saddleseat [Whither Now], and gently forces me to keep up with others, e.g. photography.
I have created three non-time sensitive categories for days when I need to distance my life from the blog.
Horsekeeping – Details not tied to a particular horse or discipline.
Tack Box Tales – The stories told while sitting around the barn aisle.
Random Snaps – Amusing photographs, such as Spotted at or Horses Of.
Is all this categorization necessary? No. Could I put up a pretty photo on Monday, skip a day, talk about Milton for the rest of the week and then take a month off? Yes. Provided I was a totally different person. Even considering the idea makes my brain itch.
Upgrades That Didn’t Happen
Printing the blog. If it is not written down, it does not exist. Creating a permanent form for 6+ years of posts turned out to be more of a hairball than I anticipated. Two thousand posts (this is #2254) make an enormous book. My tech support suggested a PDF. More hairball.
Switching from WordPress.com to the self-hosted WordPress.org. Read the directions. Didn’t understand the first step. Since I am switching for giggles rather than for any compelling reason, I have tabled the idea for the moment.
Changing the name. Changing the title was the work of seconds. Changing the url, i.e. rodneyssaga.com, is more complicated. Particularly as I want to maintain continuity. Put on the same table as the WordPress changeover.
I’ve decide to turn a technical issue into a metaphysical sign. I can say what I want. I can fiddle as much as I want. Rodney will remain at the heart of all of this. It has always been the case that my feelings of success or failure with my horse color everything I do. Well, my feelings color riding other horses and writing about horses, which is pretty much everything I do. As goes my horse, so goes my life, so goes the blog. Therefore, new title; same url. New approach; same life.
The changes ended up being window dressing. I’m hoping they will be useful window dressing, reminding me to stay with a sustainable approach to the blog.
What to Expect
More labels. I want to be understandable to new readers without belaboring the point for returning readers. One way is to introduce people and horses by their roles in the narrative in addition to their names. I already do this for Previous Horse, Coach Courtney, Coach Kate. It feels awkward to type Husband Greg, but so did typing Coach Courtney & Coach Kate when I started. We’ll see.
More photos & graphics, as possible. Would love to have a visual each day. Even more so now that the theme uses a photo from the post as background on the landing page.
More commentary, for example, when posting the previous month’s Instagram [February 2018], I will try to annotate the entry rather than simply archiving the photos.
Overall, more entertainment. I promised myself not to restart the blog until I could be entertaining. I don’t want to simply disembowel myself. That is the writing equivalent of being on the forehand. I wanted to get my haunches underneath me and disembowel myself cleverly, or at least try. No reason I can’t tell my story and being amusing at the same time. I want to provide value in return for the courtesy of your attention.
I intend to think of this as more of a performance space (term from Scalzi, Notes For New (and Potential) Twitter Followers). I still plan to fret & whine, but in a fun way. No worries about me twisting the truth to match the tale. I am obsessed with accuracy, to a problematic degree. I’d be a better storyteller if I could loosen up.
Why I Left. Back in March, I thought I found the key to Rodney. I was wrong. He continued to be his gorgeous, useless, flaky self. I was DONE. I’d been doing this riding gig for too much time, for too little result. FINIT. I would ride Greg’s driving horse b/c I said I would. I would take saddle seat lessons b/c why not. I was done trying to climb the insurmountable riding mountain.
Of course it didn’t last. I knew it wouldn’t. Even before my departure post went live [Getting Off the Struggle Bus], I was planning the reboot. I knew the blog wasn’t going anywhere.
Why I Came Back. Short answer, I missed having someone to talk to. Basically, I returned to blogging b/c I need to get out of the house/off the farm more often.
Looking Forward. How will I keep myself from getting frustrated? Well, I will get frustrated. This is inevitable. More to the point, how will I keep the blog from exacerbating my frustration? My deal with myself is that I will write about Rodney & Milton when they do something interesting. Otherwise, I will write about something else. I spend enough time with horses, surely I can find something to talk about? I can, and don’t call me Shirley.
But seriously folks. I need to remember that all expectations are self-imposed. There is no call for any particular content. There is no call for comprehensive content. There is no earthly reason that I need to document each step of the process and my feelings on same. I’ll hit the high points. You’re smart, you’ll figure out the rest.
If I don’t want to write yet another post about my ongoing failure with a certain horse … Tailspin alert! Tailspin alert! Pull Up! Pull Up! … well then, I won’t. We’ll all take it as read and move on.
All of this has IRL implications. As I said in my interim post [I am not back.], Husband Greg thinks the blog was adding to my stress level with the horses. Having to write about my ongoing lack of progress was making me feel worse about my ongoing lack of progress. In future posts, I have no intention of avoiding bad news. Ups and downs are part of life. But I will try to stop perservating on things I cannot change, or can only change slowly.
So, that’s expanded goal for Blog 2.0. While the blog is keeping me from going batshit crazy [I’m Baaaaaack], make sure the blog itself is not adding to the crazy.
Thank you for reading,