My Blogging Life
I’ve been doing this for some time. It all started about ten+ years ago when my brother and mother where in a tragic car accident during the Thanksgiving weekend. I spent three weeks in a hospital dorm room while my brother floated in a near-coma in intensive care. About ten days later, my grandfather passed on and I couldn’t attend the funeral. Someone had to stay nearby. During that time, I blogged outward to the world, updating family and friends on what was occurring and being the journalist at the scene of my family tragedy. At the time, the only blog platform I could think to use from my father’s laptop was a Geocities page. Do any of you even remember Geocities?
Every day I would plug my network cable into the wall and put out posts. Anyone here remember network cables? I would write about what was going on, what the doctors and nurses were telling me and then retire to my small room for the night. Writing that blog was a lifeline for me through a very rough storm. It was what kept me going. When it was all over and my brother and mother came home a few weeks after Christmas I went back to my job and my life. However, I never forgot what that blogging experience had been like.
From it, I found the power and inspiration which can come from sharing your story with the world around you. It’s not about the trolls, the hackers and the fears. It’s about the connections. It’s about the expression. I think that’s why all bloggers do what they do. Since then, I’ve started more than my fair share of blogs in the past. They were focused on a particular subject or a passion. They always felt limiting to me and I think it showed in my posting.
My one decent success was my blog Coyotewatches which was my step to arriving here. The problem with CW was that I never really KNEW what I wanted it to be. It fluctuated a lot and when I would have an idea about a topic other than nature awareness or survival, I didn’t know where to put it. Most of the time the idea sat in my “Drafts” box, went untouched and slowly faded away. Occasionally, a post really stood on it’s own merits. Yes, those will be transferred over to this blog. They’re just too important to let fade away.
Somewhere in there I got away from the joy of why I was blogging in the first place. Something else also began to raise it’s hoary head and it was based in that ever present demon, “what will people think?” I’m afraid it got the better of me for a couple of years. Then, I was laid off last year. It began a process for me that only now I’m really starting to understand. In a word, it’s about integration, about being willing to put yourself out there no matter how weird, quirky or fragmented you seem to be. It’s what caused me to look at Coyotewatches and to really understand that it’s time was over. It caused me to realize I needed to put the old away and start something new.
I no longer tell myself, “I shouldn’t write about that.” Instead, I ask myself, “Why shouldn’t I ?” It’s what led me to make this a catch-all sort of blog. Most of the times I write it out anyway and then I go back over things. I scan it and then ask another crucial question, “Do I care if people read this?” If it’s too sensitive or too personal then it gets transferred to a Word file and archived.
The world is different now than when I struggled with learning how to post to Geocities in a cramped intensive care waiting room. Search engines are becoming more and more powerful and I would be deluded to think these words are just being carelessly tossed out into the e-void. No matter how frivolous, speculative or comic they may appear, these words matter. They matter not only because they hold weight but because, no matter if we like it or not, Big Brother (and Sister) is here. Whether or not it’s a beneficial overlord or the Eye of Sauron remains to be seen.
This brings us to the present; this blog, this post. You now know where I’ve been and hopefully, with the first post, you know where we are going. While reminiscing I became aware of just how much has changed in the internet world. They say it’s been by leaps and bounds but I think it’s been a steady progression, a natural shifting from one thing to another. The problem is the speed in which it moves. It just APPEARS to be by large leaps because it’s approaching the edge of our natural ability to track change. When you look back and recollect, it’s pretty easy to see how one thing has easily led to another. It’s nerve-wracking trying to keep up with it but it’s also exciting. Who’s to say what will change next? All I know is that the way to get through it, like all change, is to be flexible.