It's a good thing.
This morning I pondered on my decision to give up eating meat, and wondered how long it had been.
Enter the blog search.
I typed in Skinny Bitch, the book I read that started my dietary change, and sure enough, it popped right up. It was in April, 2009. I challenged myself to not eat meat for a month, to see how I was affected by it. When the 30 days was up, I couldn't eat meat anymore. Yes, I said "couldn't".
I tried several times. I wanted to actually. I didn't want the inconvenience of separate meals, and having to think so hard about what to eat. But the feel of meat in my mouth was not acceptable.
In fact, it was so foreign and repulsive, I would have eaten peanut butter sandwiches daily if that was all that was available.
But my point is, whenever I want to identify a time frame in my life, I go to my blog. It's here, on my blog, my life.
That's how I blog. I talk about it all, mostly. I talk about what I do, where I go, how I feel. I have shared with you the hardest times in my life, my triumphs, my passion.
I guess if you categorized my blog, you would put it under the "all out there" column.
I am careful not to upset family or friends with information about their lives that would cross the line.
But otherwise, if you stopped by the studio one day, you would pretty much find the same person there, that you find here.
From the princess and the pea Miss Puss................
to the yummy French carrot soup I had for lunch.
To the shawl I have on my "to knit list".
Yup, it's all here.
Now everyone has a style in the blogosphere. Some blogs are specific about a particular element in the blogger's life, like cooking, or photography, or poetry, or travel. But I bet that everyone's blog is a unique reflection of the author. Which is why, when we regularly visit a blog, we feel like we know that person.
There are some bloggers that I follow religiously, that I am positive I could sit down over a cuppa tea, or a cold beer, and feel completely comfortable with.
So how do you blog?
Do you plan what you're going to talk about before you sit down to do it?
Do you write first, and then add photos? Or do you do like I do, put the photos you want on the page, and then write around them?
Do you just let the words and ideas flow, off the cuff so to speak? You start with the first sentence, and wait. And sometimes find that you had NO IDEA what you were going to say until you see it on the page?
When you hit "publish", what do you think? That you've just sent out another batch of drivel to bore the masses? Or do you feel a sense of calm, like you just had a great conversation with a good friend, and said what you wanted to?
I have become very fond of blogging. Oh, yeah, there are days when I wonder how long should I be doing this? Is it still worthwhile? Does anybody read it, or care? And I think that my blogging "schedule" has morphed into my own rhythm.
But overall, I find that it has made me a better person. You know that phrase "does this enlarge or diminish me?" Well, blogging has broadened who I am as a person. It has made me many, many friends. It has buoyed me up in tough times, and made me laugh at myself. Sometimes, it has made me kinder to myself, picking myself up off the ground, like a kid with a scraped knee.
I think with getting older, it is so easy to turn in to yourself, and shut the world out, and go to a place that is sad and dark and lonely.
I am pretty sure that is not in my future, as long as you are all out there.
Thank you, for sharing this journey with me.
Hilary there is no place I would rather be. Of course, that is within reason! My blogging is hit or miss, mostly drivel, some pictures, but no plan, and I think it shows.
I am always in awe of those who can put words to screen and make all kinds of sense.
Thank you for sharing those parts of your life with us. I for one want to be here for your triumphs, funny stuff, family "fun" and the low times as well.
When there are things going on, I think about you throughout my day and can't wait to see how you have done, always hoping for the best.
It is like having more friends!
Like you, I tend to blog in the morning. I am an early riser, and it's just me and my coffee cup, with Ruby and/or a cat close by as I sit with my laptop and type. Some mornings I'm posting, some mornings I'm reading and commenting, and some mornings I'm just reading. It all depends on my mood.
My blog started as a way to document my garden and promote old roses. It quickly morphed into more of a reflection of who I am, and I am a much happier blogger because of it. (Can't tie THIS girl to one thing or another.) I have always been one to take profuse numbers of photos and to write things down, and translating this tendency into a blog was a natural fit. I'm also not shy and I LOVE to meet new people, so the close-knit nature that can exist in the blog community suits me perfectly.
Blogging is a discipline, a way to put down whatever is happening in life (to an extent). I am richer for 'knowing' fellow bloggers like you.
We blog the same. I really have no schedule, and despite how often I TRY to have a cohesive blog rhythm, I just can't...lol. I'm all over the board, but you knew that. Even though my blog is Tales from the Coop Keeper, I don't think I have a chicken blog at all. I'm so glad I blog - like you - I like to go back and see what I was up to a couple of years ago, it's a life journal really.
Not a blogging question, but food related. I eat less and less meat and some weeks none at all.
Do you eat milk, cheese and eggs? Keeping the protein ratio right seems a huge hurdle.
Have several family members that have gone vegan - and that seems really hard. I know family dinners are insane.
I've done the same thing, searched my blog for information as to when something happened. It's a great reference for my poor memory!
The approach to my blog writing varies. Sometimes it's a quick something to share. Other times I'm feeling more creative and have time to create something more involved. Being a cat-themed blog, there's a lot of life that doesn't get revealed in that space. I try to keep it somehow related to the feline world.
Writing and picture taking is therapeutic for me for sure. It's fun when people comment (affirming) but even if no one commented or reads it, I still gain a lot from the experience of creating it.
I also have really enjoyed the blogging community. There are some great people out there and I love reading about their happenings. Creativity is a wonderful gift! I'm thankful when people decide to share that gift with the world.
I haven't found my blogging mojo yet. I sometimes feel I use it to whine, which isn't positive, and who wants to read that? Sometimes I feel like it should only be about what my craft of the moment is. So lately, because I really haven't figured it out yet, I've hardly blogged at all......and I miss it. I guess I just need to be me, something I've struggled with all my life.
I, too, would like to cut back (not necessarily out) on meat eating. I'm good with beans and seafood for protein. Not crazy about quinoa. So protein is an issue for me. I, too, would live on PB&J every day - did it as a kid. Wouldn't eat anything else for lunch. Went hungry if mother tried to give me anything else. At any rate, hubby isn't too keen on meatless substitutes He has a picky intestinal tract....(rolling eyes here). It's kinda like getting him not to eat bread with dinner - he grew up eating bread (Italian) with dinner, but no potatoes or rice. I make potatoes and rice, and he still wants bread. (rolling eyes again)
Thanks for the ideas about blogging. Think I'll get back to it with renewed energy and a new outlook. :-)
I tend to blog in the evenings. I will have an idea for a topic and take pictures based on that...then I just start writing. I have no idea of what is coming but simply let it flow.
I aim for once a week as that is all I got. I admire your almost daily blogging!
I try to keep it to weaving and related topics but Life does tend to creep in and add flavour to the narrative!
Like you, I feel like I have met and made new friends all over. I think you and I could sit down together over tea and have a grand chat.
Thanks for being you!
What a great post. I love you for putting into words what so many of us intuitively know about blogging.. how it reaches others... how they reach us. The connections are very real.
I blog around my photos. I used to have more to say and at that time, the included images were more random and less to do with the writing. I write much less, these days but allow the photos to guide my words. I select ones that I feel work well together and try to find a common theme. I see my blog much less as a diary and more of a series of mini projects. I plan to keep doing it until it's no longer fun. That's hard to imagine right now.
I so admire the way you blog, Hilary. Frankly, I think it takes a certain kind of bravery to be so [openly] truthful to *strangers.* I've come to understand that this is not my style at all ... not sure exactly how I'd describe "my style" but I am definitely more protective with my private/personal life ~ as I am in person, too, I suppose.
When I first began blogging, I had no idea if anyone else would be interested in what I had to say or show. As time passed, and like you, I started to form wonderful friendships through my blog, I was nothing short of amazed. To this day, it's still hard for me to believe that I have regular visitors coming by, interested in what they might find. My blog has always been a kind of visual journal for ME [I wanted a more lasting record than a handwritten journal] so to have others respond favorably has been a source of great joy.
I have no set blogging times or pattern. I do it whenever a bit of inspiration grabs me: this can be anything from a slice of poetry, to a silly antic by one of my dogs, to some beadwork on my work table, or a world event. If there is one, strong common thread running throughout my blog, I'd say it was photography-driven. No doubt about it ... I'm a picture hound [addict?].
Always a pleasure to stop by here! I appreciate you/your blog so much.
Blogging is an amazing medium, and i'm so glad for the people i've met, who have brought so much to my life.
And many times i'm just stumped and have no clue what i'm going to blog about ahead of time. It depends on what happened that day.
I turn to the photo files on my computer if I want to know when something happened. How weird. Never would I have thought ten years ago that my photos would be my journal. My blog also helps in remembering when specific events happened. How neat.
I'm a restless sleeper; my mind is always in overdrive of projects and ideas. Blogging, for me, comes from a memory and then, an idea of creating something with my baking to honor it. Of course, there's always holidays or special occasions that trigger it too.
Without blogging, I know I wouldn't have been able to get through the worse time of my life when I lost my daughter. It was something we shared and now I have countless friends who light up my heart. XOXO
My blogging comes and goes. I do enjoy writing...and I post the pictures first. But mostly because formatting can be tricky otherwise! I started around when I moved away and thought it would be good for my friends left behind. Now I am back so often let it slide...I mostly write about my pottery and weaving and spinning. But when you are moving (or renovating a house!) there is a lot of other things that creep in!
I have been vegetarian for over 25 years. Balancing proteins is not nearly as hard as it appears (you don't have to worry about it meal to meal...just day to day) But I too could live on PBJ on yummy bread. :)
AND what IS that shawl pattern?? I love it!
I blog in the evening, too clear my head before bedtime. Doesn't work that well, since I drop in to see what everyone else has been up too and usually that means new ideas...
Lately I have been thinking about trying to blog in two languages, English as nr2, since I have had some US visitors and I want them to feel welcome as well. But I'm not sure if my English i up to it... On the other hand - if I never start it will never get any better...
Love reading your blog thou!
We ARE out here. We may not comment on every post but we're out here. And we want to know what is going on in your life. I approach blogging as the modern day version of sitting down and sharing a cup of coffee with a friend or having a glass of tea on the porch. I think we all need that now more than ever in today's society.
I used to blog quite a bit until "life" got messy and I could not share the mess. I felt that since I was not the only one involved it would be a breach or something. Everyone has their own mess to deal with anyway.
But I find that those are the blogs I read most, the ones with messes. Passions, crafts, health, kids, accidents, life.
I do miss my blog though. I miss the company of blog friends. I might resurrect the thing and go on again. I was sporadic anyway. I kill myself with editing though. I should just let it flow, it would be easier.
Life is a fractal universe. I learned that from the mess.
i too stopped eating meat as a well as a way to drive my mother crazy or so she said ... and honestly its not possible to eat it at all now, my tummy rebels in a nasty way ... how do i blog .. well after a trip when sharing photos i find its easy to related stories surrounding those photos but when i am not back from somewhere and i have naught to share i sit and wait for the muse to wake or i look through my iPhone photos and hope for inspiration ... as i was vaccinated with a phonography needle (another of my mother's observations) i almost am never without something to say ...
As I was reading this I was so afraid that you were going to announce that you were ending your blog. I am so thankful for your blog, being able to pray for a stranger that feels like an old friend.
Well done on the POTW!
Interesting and congratulations on your POTW honor! My blogging style keeps changing. I no longer feel I must blog every 2 days, but I still enjoy it.
smiles...i blog to capture the stories of life for my boys...it is cool to be able to go back and look at the markers in our lives like your not eating meat...
i also blog because of the people i have met...it was them i came back to blogging for...
congrats on the POTW...smiles
You sound like an interesting woman with your feet firmly planted and your mind buzzing with ideas. I doubt you will ever be lonely as you age. You are way too interesting.
As for my blogging process, it is hit and miss. I blogged for almost six years on my first blog, then shut it down and began again a couple years ago with a new blog. I am more interested in reading other blogs than writing in my blog now, sometimes thinking it is time to stop blogging. But then I find fun blogs and decide to stay in the blogosphere awhile longer.
first, congrats on your POTW! and thank you for this beautifully written piece. i especially liked the part about turning in on yourself as you get older and trying to be kind to yourself. i am battling that right now (i just taped a sign to my computer desk this week saying 'be kind to yourself and to others').
i don't write a lot. i have not shared much personal journey stuff on my blog in the last couple of years. still, i think pieces of me slip into every post i do, even if it is just title and photos. and that bit of sharing is important.
I hope you never stop blogging.
How do I blog? Let me count the ways. :)
Remember that poem? I couldn't help but to use part of it here. :)
I'm a people watcher and get my ideas from "them." I'm always curious about why people are the way they are and why they do what they do. Given that, there should always be something to talk about, right?
Lately, I've been posting on Mondays and it's the scariest thing when I can't think of a THING to talk about! But then, my little blogging angel lands in my head and gives me something.
I enjoyed reading your views and methods. This is my first visit, via Hilary's POTW, however, I see your sincerity and appeal just by this one post. Congratulations!
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