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.