Yesterday, Hubby and I were cross-country skiing. Probably my last ski before we leave for our trip. And as we shushed along a woodland trail, and exclaimed at the size of some of the old willow trees that grow out of the swampy area adjacent to the track, we talked. As we are wont to do. About lots of things. Like politics, here and south of the border. About stuff we’ve read recently. And on this particular day, about blogging. And how I wish everyone who blasts information and ideas across the internet, bloggers included, would just … be honest. And stop exaggerating, for pity’s sake. And just keep it real.
Okay. I’m calm now.
I’ve been in a bit of a blogging funk lately. Partly I’ve had a dearth of creative blogging ideas. And partly because I’ve been way too focused on what else there is out there in the blogosphere. This happens periodically, and when it does it drives me nutty. And makes me wonder why I’m even writing a blog. And forces me to question what I’m doing and why. Which… when I think about it… is not a bad thing.
The funk started because I began researching possible blog improvements, things I might do to improve the quality of, and the look of, my blog. I have a file of on-line articles and resources to help me do this. Once I’ve found an article I think is applicable to me, I save it and then try to implement what it suggests, and NOT screw it up. It took me one whole evening to correctly install social media links in my sidebar. Hubby was watching the hockey game, but he scurried into the den when he heard me yelp. I’d finally figured it out, and there they were… five lovely little icons, the right size, the right colour, and all linked miraculously to my social media accounts. Yah. “Those little things. That’s what you’re fussing about?” he queried. Huh. This from a man who can find his way through the wilderness of Algonquin Park without a compass, but who gets frustrated sending an e-mail. I ignored him.
So, some of my research has been very helpful. Some not so much. And some has made me wonder what the heck I’m even doing. Because reading about “how to have a successful blog,” how to “grow my following” and “maximize my traffic” makes me focus too much on the number of page views my blog gets each week. Or doesn’t get. And on the shiny, professional-looking blogs which have teams of writers and professional photographers, and not much content to speak of. And I know that I should grow up, and stop comparing my blog to other blogs. I know that I should focus on what counts. Like on the fact that I’m writing what I want to write, and learning a whole lot of other stuff along the way. And having fun. Which is the whole point of the endeavour, of course. I know all that. But still, it’s hard sometimes not to question all the work (or play) I put into this little “retirement project” of mine. And wonder why I’m doing it at all.
Don’t get me wrong. I love writing this blog. And I spend a fair amount of time doing it. I take all of my own photos, unless I use some of our travel shots that Hubby has taken. When I do use photos from the internet, I try hard to find and credit the original source. I research, provide links to my sources, and try to verify details. I’ve even been known to call my mum to check that what I’m saying about this family member or that one is correct. I admit to employing the techniques used by writers of fiction to make a personal story … well… better reading. But what I write is always the truth. I did go lumbering with my step-father… that one time. I do go canoeing with Hubby in Algonquin Park. I did catch that very big fish in the Yukon. I really do hate yoga… and housecleaning. And when it comes to fashion, I don’t pretend to be an expert. Just an expert on what I like or don’t like for myself. I edit like crazy. And even then I sometimes miss a typo… and have to go back a few days later and correct it. I try to practice what I taught for so many years. Because otherwise… what’s the point?
Thanks for listening, my friends. Or reading as the case may be. Now… anything you’d like to get off your chest? Fire away.