2012 Wrap-Up for My Blog

I never intended to read or — heaven forfend — write a blog.  Ever.  In fact, about seven years ago, when people were still doing Live Journal and I found it to be — how shall I put this graciously? Not to my tastes in terms of etiquette or maturity — an acquaintance of mine who was sitting near me at a mutual friend’s memorial party asked me why I wasn’t writing a blog.

“I don’t really have the time,” I answered, “or anything worth saying.”

She replied, “The first is an excuse, the second isn’t.”

“My point exactly.”

The look on her face suggested she didn’t entirely understand what I meant, but she was fairly intelligent, and I’m pretty sure she did.

So much of what I had seen in the realm of “blogging” up to that point had mostly consisted not of actual blogs like what populate the blogosphere now, but rather public diaries in which people either rambled about their mundane daily minutiae or aired their dirty laundry in public.  I saw almost no value in either.

I now know better:  this isn’t what blogging, at least in my world, is about.  Rather, I have enjoyed the opportunity to connect with my fellow writers and readers and thinkers in ways and places I simply couldn’t have before.  I’m especially happy about the connections I’ve made with people like SJ and David Jon Fuller and Marie Marshall, and I’m just loving blogs by The Byronic Man and Heather over at Becoming Cliché.  (Check my blogroll off to the side for a bunch of other blogs I think are awesome and worthy of your attention.)

The reason I began this blog in the first place is because I’m a poet-recently-turned-novelist and apparently needed to “build a platform.”  A friend of mine who is an editor at one of the big publishing houses advised me to do it, and her advice is usually excellent, so in I plunged.  Building a platform is slower than Christmas, but it’s working.  I’m gaining a few new readers every week, and for as few times a month as I tend to post, I’m just thrilled about this.  I value all of my readers — who, incidentally, are reading my blog in SIXTY COUNTRIES.  This amazes me.

So 2012 was my first full year of blogging, and although this past year I didn’t precisely stick to the relatively strict schedule I’d set for myself when I began back in August 2011 — one post a week, roughly each weekend — I think I managed to do all right, anyway.  This past semester at school — I teach high school, for those of you who didn’t know that yet — was a bear.  And not the cute fuzzy kind who wear bowties and sit on your bed next to the dodisharkicorn and the sparkly fish dolls.  I mean it was a beast, dripping fangs and bloody claws and a really bad, low-blood-sugar-induced temper.  The reasons why are a subject for another post some time.

Because now, that chapter is over.  (Or will be, as soon as I finish grading the last eight poems for my Creative Writing students’ finals.)  And when school starts again next week, all I have ahead of me is a clean slate.  I can do it better this time.

I have a long list of things I want to blog about:  book reviews, stories from my childhood, stories about my children, stories about my grandmother, stories from crazy vacations I’ve suffered.  And many other things will pop up as we go along, too, I’m certain.

But for now, I just want to say an extraordinarily heartfelt thank you, to everyone who has been reading and commenting and liking and sharing my posts.  Keep going.  I love it.

May your 2013 be excellent in every way.

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32 thoughts on “2012 Wrap-Up for My Blog

  1. I’m really glad you started your blog (and posted about Barbie that one time so that I found you).

    Also, dodisharkicorn just told me he’s thrilled to be considered cute enough to sit next to a sparkly fish doll and a fuzzy bow tie wearing bear.

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      1. And, you know – I don’t even remember which tag I was surfing that night. I guess it doesn’t really matter. I’m happy to know you. 🙂

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      1. Chocolate chip cookies! Had to reverse-engineer them so I bake them without using a blender — and that’s still the way I make them.
        First thing I learned to make was Icelandic brown bread, which I did completely without asking for help, which is the stupidest way to learn to bake bread, ever. But I eventually did ask for help and got to be pretty good at it.

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      2. Seriously, though — it is a thick, dark, bread made with molasses (as well as cocoa and coffee). I think it was an approximation of actual Icelandic rugbrauð, which Icelandic immigrants to North America tried to make when they settled here, using what was available. I say that because you can’t actually make our family’s recipe for it in Iceland — they do not have molasses.

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      3. Very cool. I like brown bread, though I’ve never baked it myself. Most of the bread I’ve baked has been either pita bread (my grandmother’s recipe) or banana nut bread (my mother’s recipe which I’ve tweaked). I also made Amish Friendship Bread for a period of several months — you have to commit to doing it every couple of weeks — and that was yummy for me, my family, and my husband’s coworkers (who were the lucky recipients more often than not).

        Oh, bread, what a delight thou art! I’m not sure I could ever give it up willingly.

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  2. I wish I could exist as a writer without any on-line presence too. I’m uncomfortable on line, and have been for many years. But it does work. I am better known as a writer than I would otherwise have been. Of course it is a very big ocean in which to be a tiny drop, but better a drop than dry.

    I’m glad you’re out there too.

    M

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  3. I was reluctant to start one, as well. Largely because of the derision with which people would say “blog.” “Oh my God, now he’s asked me to read his blog.” The stereotype of the “Bought socks today. They don’t quite fit right. How come socks don’t come in more sizes?” blog entry.

    I started because I’m a perfectionist in all the worst, most annoying, cliche ways. Blogging was a way to make me produce and move on. Like a journal (but hopefully one that eventually leads to wealth and fame and prestige).

    And thanks for the mention. I really appreciate that.

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    1. Anytime, B-Man. Your blog is stupendous.

      And yes, I know what you mean about producing and moving on. I think having this blog has been really good for me for that same reason: I’m producing a lot more and, while I do go back and edit occasionally, I’m not obsessing over manuscripts the same way. I feel free to write and post things which are not literary masterpieces; there’s no real pressure in a blog, in part because of that stereotype. Despise it all we want, I think it does take some of the pressure off. How equalizing and freeing of it.

      And then I can still sometimes turn out things which I do feel really good about, really proud of, and then that’s just a lovely bonus. But I can save the pressure for my fiction and poetry and then not feel too paralyzed by it to churn out anything.

      Bah. Am I babbling at this point? Best to go work on something else for a while. My closet certainly needs a clean-out; maybe my cluttered brain will resolve itself then, too. 😉

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  4. Glad to have met you on the blogosphere as well, Angélique! My reasons for not blogging for years were the same as yours. I eventually came around due to a combination of writer-friend hectoring and the argument that as an author you need some kind of web presence whether you have a book out or not. It’s been great to connect with other bloggers and nerd out over writing, Tolkien and many other things! Also… blogging can be a lot of fun, something I didn’t realize before I jumped in 🙂

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