Today I learned something new. A few things actually. Today was my day to learn more about blogging. I went down to my local library and talked to the Reference librarian who happily stacked a pile of books on my table.
I was surrounded with titles like the ubiquitous Blogging for Dummies…
and the violent sounding Smashing WordPress
I wondered for the hundredth time, what have I gotten myself into?
When I began my blog January first, it was a new year’s resolution. I just wanted a nice little corner to sharpen and prove my writing chops again before moving on to writing for magazines.
But…This blogging thing is way more than I bargained for. It’s way more than I realized it was. It’s bigger, farther reaching, broader, far more in depth, and a hell of a lot more work than what I thought I was going to do. For no pay.
Lots of work = no pay.
So why am I doing this? And what’s more, why are gazillions of others blogging doing this too?
I repeat, I repeat. It’s not for the money. Yes, there are get-richers, but like in most other sectors, they are the vast minority. This, from my short experience and from the blogging books today, I have learned.
My goal, my Mount Olympus on this quest, is Magazine writing. Yet I’m realizing that’s another fruit from blogging in almost every single way… if you are following an apples/oranges scenario.
When I used to write articles, I signed off, they went to press and voila, my writing was out there to be anonymously read by a whole bunch of subscribers and people who picked up the magazine from the rack. I didn’t have to talk to them or communicate. There was no back and forth. There was little or no commentary. Assignment done. Bang. Ka-ching$
What I learned today, the infant that I am, is that blogging is a form of social media. Well, that is a whopper to have gone over my head, I know.
I’ve been writing theblluroom for about two and a half months now, and I’ve learned a lot just by trial and error. I just learned what an RSS feed is last week. Not that I know how to use it yet.
Or, honestly, want to.
I’m sure as time passes I’ll want to and wish I had figured it out long ago. I do want people to read my writing, after all! But I’m not in this as a business venture. And yet… I’d love to be paid to write (as I’ve blogged about).
But the truth is that bloggers, the ones I have painstakingly found and love, the couple I add to my following list each week, these writers blog because they love to write.
The book said that too. Several tomes I scanned today underscored that there’s really no way to continue persistently without the passion. I’ve got the passion to write. But to blog? To persistently, consistently keep the creative spigot on? History will tell that one.
The last thing one of the blogging books said that got me was that I’m supposed to have shorter entries. I use my old format of longer articles, like I’d write for a magazine. But perhaps the long format keeps people from staying with my writing, and the last thing I want to inspire is snoring.
I know what I’ve liked in other’s writing, and the entries are usually shorter than mine. So, from now on I’ll give my entries a snip. I’m interested to see how that pans out.
Yet, the most important realization I had today about my blog adventure is that as time-consuming as the writing, commenting, finding and following process is, I’m surprised to say that I’m enjoying it.
It’s intriguing, this blog process. It’s honest and bare, funny and lame. It’s a lot of mommies. Who rock. And shared neighborhoods across the world. It’s a complex, strange habitat of partially known people sharing tidbits right alongside their deepest hearts. It’s structured by these white pixel-lit squares we stare into.
This is how I see bloggers.
We bloggers are often not friends, but we’re intimate. We support, but not in a chat-roomy dogmatic way. Even when we are using other’s thoughts and words, we are using our thoughts and words to do so. I’m learning that blogging’s not so much about my thoughts as our thoughts.
The passion derived from a book or article are both discrete delights that I love. But what I’ve found special about blogging, what I really dig, is that in this blogsphere passion is shared and followed, and when the writer gets it right, that passion blossoms into something loftier than the original post. The comment section can become a sort of jubilant town meeting.
Blogging, I’m finding, is a we, not a me.
And I like being part of this organic, electronic being.