Sunday, June 24, 2007

blogging on

A distant friend apologized for not calling in a while, “…but I’ve been keeping up with you via your blog …” she said.

… what?!

I wondered how many other bloggers have heard statements like that. As though the daily ups and downs—all details of our lives—are routinely posted in cyber land!

I don’t know how it works for you, but I rarely know what I’m going to write about when I sit at my PC to post my blog.

A couple of weeks ago I sat down to write about the creative practice. But then my dog nibbled my toe, and I ended up blogging about him.

I once sat down to write about the unparalleled thrill of skydiving. But instead, I blogged about writing in the nude. Another time I planned to write about the rush of zip-wiring in the Sierra Madres ... or maybe unleashing one’s voice; but instead I wrote a letter to the VILE Rush Limbaugh.

Today was no exception. As I sat here running my fingers across the keyboard, eyes closed trance-like, much like a pianist running scales, I thought about those who say that, regardless of art-form, creatives must practice every day, no matter what … and I was about to very strongly disagree with them, when I realized (rather randomly) that another year had slipped silently by.

The one-year anniversary of Bibi’s Beat (
no longer a virgin). Another Father’s Day without dad (pop, where are you?).  And it’s almost a year since I moved house and was terrified by midnight prowlers.

That is the beauty of blogging!

One gets to play with their blog instead of constantly being on deadline, restricted by column count, by topic, by editorial approval, or client-facing audiences.

I can set myself little tests: Write 372 words exactly. Write only for 12 minutes. Pick a word and create a post around the word. Type a random question and take it from there.

I might think about someone who's missed, and a great day we once shared. Recall an unpleasant time of life and the lessons learned. Let rip on something I feel strongly about, or pick a stance on a topic and write the opposite viewpoint.

I might write about something that happened three years ago today. At 4 pm last Wednesday. Or maybe, never at all. And since I post only once a week, blogging provides a playful break in the routine of writing for money!

A pleasant, and unexpected, outcome of blogging, is the interaction between so many wonderful and talented creatives. I’ve learned, laughed, and cried along the way with all of you!

But I’m curious about you. Why do you blog? Does it sometimes become a chore? How much time do you spend blogging? Do you ever think of quitting (I know some of you do because I’ve read you say so!) And if so, what keeps you blogging on?

PS. Sorry ... there's an issue with the links to archive posts ... if you click on a link, that particular post will appear underneath today's post.


dinahmow said...

You always throw some tasty kernels into the mix,Vicki! I, too, wonder about bloggers'friends "keeping up via blogs." Not so in my case as few friends know about "Idle Thoughts." But perhaps there's an essay to be had on the subject
First, I must clear a backlog of other stuff as my pc has been down again.sigh...

andrea said...

You make your blog-writing experience sound like a writing class. I guess in some ways that's what it is for you: a way to keep it fresh when you otherwise do it for a living. Sort of a self-directed writer's version of Illustration Friday. I first visited out of a sense of curiosity or even obligation but it wasn't too long before it was the actual writing that had me coming back. Also, your voice has changed over the past year. The enjoyment is more obvious now and the tone more casual. I always enjoy my 'visits.'

Kiyotoe said...

blogging started out as a forum for me to test out my fiction writing until i realized it was much more suitable for putting my "voice" out into the cosmos.

And once I started receiving such positive feedback then it kind of took on a life of its own. But it did take over too much of my schedule once upon a time which is why i had to go on the sabbatical.

But now, I moderate it, and if I have something I just have to "say", I'll write it and post it sometime down the road. Which is why I now have a bit of an "archive" building up.

by the way, I would LOVE to be able to use blogging as an escape from "writing for money". Psshhh.... I wish.

Bibi said...

Dinahmow, Thank you and good luck on the pc! Hate when that happens ... you'll have a lot of catching up to do. ;-O.

Andrea, LOL, I guess I did make it sound like a class! Doesn't feel like it ... I never really had a specific goal when I started blogging; had never checked out any blogs and knew nothing about it.

I've never liked people reading my work at close quarters, which is why I use 4 pseudonyms as a writer depending on the market, and so it was another way for me to test myself and push past my own vulenerabilities.

As far as blogging, I admit at first my weekly posts felt like an obligation (to myself/my own commitment) because I wanted to make myself write at least one non-project-related piece a week. Now I do whatever feel likes fun, or write about whatever comes to mind, within certain non-invasional parameters. ;-D

Kiyotoe, now you don't want to be writing for lemons, do you! You have a very strong, grounded voice and I always look forward to hearing your POV. I'm sure you will get there with your other work.

Ian Lidster said...

This was fascinating reading for me, Vicki. Fascinating because your blogging process is identical to mine. It's the only way I can free-flow. Maybe this is because we're both working writers, I dunno.
A number of years ago I was intereviewed because I had won a national newspaper award for my weekly column. The (very young) reporter asked me if I 'made notes' abd napped out an outline beforehand. "Good God, No," I said. "I sit down at my typewriter (this was in the old days) and just write. There is no plan in mind and I have absolutely no idea how it will come out." My blog process is exactly the same, and the same as yours. Now, about blogging in the nude? No, better not.

Kiyotoe said...

see, now I'm blushing..... ;)

Anonymous said...

Well Vicki, I don't care WHY you blog. I'm just glad that you do and I always look forward to reading your posts. :D

I blog in secret - noone knows my name or identity hee hee. (Don't you tell anyone!)

Deirdre said...

I always look forward to your posts; I like the way you take any subject and make it something I can relate to so easily.

I blog to challenge myself, to fight my fear and find my voice. It's very difficult for me to allow anyone to read my work (some bad experiences there) and blogging makes me let go of that a bit. And the sense of community is a gift all by itself.

Bibi said...

Ian, YEAY, I'm in great company! Do you do the trance bit too? ;-) On formal/commercial projects I typically outline because it's usually easier for a client to understand the scope etc. But as far as my own writing, it HAS to free flow. Otherwise, it's not your voice. And I find it fascinating how the start of something new can twist and turn until it becomes something entirely different. It's great fun and I know when I've had a good day writing because the day flies by and I feel as though I've been hypnotized, LOL.

Kiyotoe, come on now oh great dragon! ;-O

Diedre, thank you! I totally empathize with not wanting to share your work. I never used to care ... and then I got involved in a terrbily toxic situation and lost my confidence to share if my own name was attached. I think a lot of creatives go through that ... sometimes it's a passing phase and sometimes it's a lifetime struggle. But you have a great voice and have brought me to tears more than once by sharing your journey.

Pete ... thank you. And since you were so nice, I won't disclose your secret ... not yet ...

Pamela said...

I started out to write family history for my grandchildren.

Then it just expanded into play time... story time.. what have you.

But I allow it to much of my free time. I need to cut back

Anonymous said...

I think it is an excellent way for friends to keep up with your news, especially if you download loads of flickr pics too.

Whenever I mention to my friends that they can keep track of my news via my blog, they never seem keen, say they dont' want to start blogging because they have heard how addictive it is. You are very sensible just writing posts at weekends.

Ant said...

Oh man, I'm all about this post (as I think you well know the stresses blogging has caused me in the past! :o) )

But I feel strangely barren right now - feel like I'm churning out the same old shite.

I don't know why I can't stop. It's like crack. In a bad way.

Ces Adorio said...

I have been away for a while and have not blogged or answered my emails. I did not feel pressured. I figured at this time, most of my blogger friends know that when time permits I am a regular visitor and I try to be thoughful with my comments. I have been behind my replies to comments left on my blog because I thought it was better to visit my blogger friends first.

I wonder how many people have blogged in the nude? I try not to give many personal details about me anymore since my sisters complained. Once I posted a photograph of our Mother and my sisters thought that was very personal. I finally gave in because I love them and did not want to worry them, thus I changed the theme of my blog.

Bibi said...

Pamela, I always love your family history stories!

Ellee, I've heard it's addictive so I'm keeping it at bay ha ha.

Ant, maybe they'll set up new 12-step treatement centres for bloggoholics.

Ces, well I haven't blogged in the nude; that would certainly not be attractive!

Becca said...

I started blogging as a creative exercise, a way to flex my writing muscles and see my words "in print." When I began, I had no idea that blogging could become a way to meet and be inspired by so many other "creatives," as you so nicely put it, as well as a great way to practice writing.

Occasionally, though, I feel as if I've lost my focus, and have to gather my thoughts together to remind myself exactly what I hoped to accomplish with this blogging learn more about writing, to make myself a better writer, and express my feelings about life in general.

I've learned so much from the ideas and thoughts of other writers and artists, such as yourself. Overall, it's been a superb experience!

ProducerClaire said...

I'm behind on my blog-reading, and therefore on my blog-responding, so forgive me that trangression.

Why do I blog? First and foremost, I blog because my handwriting sucks. Seriously! I started blogging because I would rather have been sitting by a lak or at a coffee shop or on my couch writing in a journal, but my handwriting can't keep up with my mind.

So I blog as a way to improve my writing skills. My conversational writing, that is. I write for a living and the more you write, no matter what the form or format, the easier words come to you and the easier the writing flows.

What do I blog about? Whatever is on my mind. If I'm reading an article and it piques my curiosity, I blog it. If I have a random thought that sticks with me, or when i'm near a computer, I blog it.

I started as a totally anonymous blog, but Farrago found me, and from there I've gathered a small but kind group of people who read and now I suppose I can say I blog to get feedback as well, and to let folks know I'm still here.

After all, it's nice to be missed at times.

Bibi said...

Becca, I think your focus is there and I've learned a lot from your reflections on life. ;-)

Claire, I saw a great blog yesterday that said "Not Obligated to Blog" or something like that ... will have to find it again. And yes, it is nice to be missed!

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

I have an ongoing project based on bloggers and blogging. But more on that when it comes around...

Keshi said...

My blog is my heart and my soul...I say anything n everything there...usually its like conversations with the walls...ppl comment too...but even if they dun, my mind n heart exist....


kj said...

bibi, i have been thinking about this post. i'm not ready to thoughtfully comment, but i surely am interested in the issues you've raised. more to come...


Cazzie!!! said...

I blog because I enjoy it, I love the interaction that comments create and I have met some great people through it too.
I learn something new everyday and I love that too.

Bibi said...

ultra toast, we wait with baited breath ... ;-)

keshi, that's lovely, that you share your heart and soul.

kj, ooooh, another, that we await with baited breath ;-O

cazzie, and with your wonderful descriptions of Australia and events around it, you're not the only one who learns something new!

Anonymous said...

I don't blog myself but am addicted to reading certain blogs! I do it at work all the time. :)

Chris Benjamin said...

i have on blog on travels that i keep with my wife, which is mostly read by friends and family and it is amazing how loyal our readers are. my own blog is mostly creative writing and a few pictures here and there. and i'm part of a collective of silly boys writing silly stories and that's lots of fun and sort of free flowing creative.

this was a great post and i love that you write with such joy about writing.

Bibi said...

lisage, ock, shame on you LOL!

benjibopper, thank you. Being silly is good for the spirit! You must be kept very busy with all those blogs. ;-)