Saturday, March 29, 2008

Blog-Happy

This is my 100th post.


At least once a month, I debate packing up this whole little experiment and closing the blog down. It is a strange phenomena. So much of it goes against my training in keeping one's life very private and not shining too much light on oneself. And yet, I am enjoying it. It motivates me to pick up the camera more often, during the daily moments that I want to capture. Already I've read things on previous posts that I had forgotten and am so grateful to have recorded here. I love the connections I've made and all the inspiration I've found on other sites.


Anne from Green Jello recently posted on this same idea and I'm stealing her questions to lead this post:


1. Why did you start your blog? I answered that in my first post, all of which still applies.


2. How did you come up with your blog name?


"I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." -Henry David Thoreau


Thoreau has always been a favorite. Walden was the first book I gave Brian when we were dating. When we returned from our Peace Corps adventure in Russia, I felt very unmoored (that is a word, right?). The closing of Walden became an anchor for me. I'd love to achieve great things in a career but what my heart most desires is success in the common hours. And those are the hours I try to capture a bit here.


3. Do your friends and family know about your blog? What do they think of it?


Immediate family and close friends. Most have been extremely supportive. I love having my family know our sons better, beyond holiday visits, etc.  I've heard Barbara Kingsolver say ,"Write with nobody looking over your shoulder" and that sometimes is a challenge. In the past two months or so, readers whom I don't know in person easily outnumber those I do. In some ways that's freeing---less editors in my head kind of thing.


It's more motivating to post if you know someone is reading, so I am grateful to everyone who checks in here.


4. How do you write posts?


Usually it's photo-driven. Even the words are trying to capture a snapshot of our day. Sometimes it's just a way to articulate for myself what's drumming around in my brain.


5. Have you ever had a troll or had to delete unkind comments?


No, because I don't have comments:-)  But I have received a lot of feedback about that itself. I don't want to be compulsively checking comments and I don't want to write with comments in mind. But I love getting emails in response to a post.


Our friend in London did email me that the baby toes shot looked "weird"--but I think I just got him back by sharing that here:-)


6. Do you check your stats? Do you care how many people read your blog? If you do care, how to you increase traffic?


Since I'm writing about my children and posting photos here, I don't want random visitors or to increase traffic that way. At the same time it is much more motivating to keep posting if you know it's being read, so of course I like to know people are reading it.


To keep myself from compulsively checking, I try to look at stats just once a week.


7. What kind of blogs/posts interest you?


Google Reader is a great tool, but I find it has become like my file cabinet when I was teaching---I would tuck things away in there to read another day "when I have time" and never look at them again. I end up just reading my favorites file every week---though "one of these days" I'm going to go back to all those great blogs I've saved under Photography, Cooking, etc.


I rarely watch any TV and I don't read magazines, but I do read blogs. Ali Edwards was the first blog I read, and led to several others about scrapbooking. I love posts that inspire me, motivate me, or make me laugh, or make me think, or just make me nod in recognition (I love the original article that last link refers to, but I also loved her post that helped me feel less guilty about my constant "Good Job" use!). I don't read blogs about politics, fashion, TV, or any specific topic, though the blogs I do read sometimes touch on all of those topics. I just read blogs by friends I know or other moms whom I don't know but wish I did.


I'm especially inspired by moms of boys: Kelli and Lisa each have 3 and make it look not only manageable but fun---I was grateful to have glimpses into their lives during this pregnancy. Stephanie has 5 sons and bakes her own bread. Some people have written about feeling worse when seeing others doing more than they are. I have just the opposite reaction. I can't sew, I'm not crafty at all, but I love learning and I am inspired by glimpses of other people attempting to live life intently, to live the life they have imagined (rather than the one society or our modern culture might imagine for them), and finding success in those common hours.


Those are the 10 blogs I read regularly. My friends here and far away who don't blog inspire me in the same way---they just aren't always available at 2 am to give me a quick update on their life  while I'm nursing Nolan (which is why you should all get a blog!).


8. What do you like and dislike about blogging?


That I come upstairs with the best of intentions to organize my space, and end up coming down an hour later without having touched a thing...





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