OK, I fibbed a tad the other day. We won't be total empty-nesters, for real, 'til next week sometime, when Ella Numera Una heads back to her lawyering studies. Until then, I'm going to have a little bit of time to cogitate & contemplate, since my eldest chica has pledged to cook dinner all blessed week long.
I guess I don't have to clue y'all in on what a groundbreaking idea cooking for The Mom is. I'm headed back to the salt mines today & not at all looking forward to starting up the daily drill again. You know what I'm talking about: Get up, get all pretty, slog on down to Our Humble High School, shepherd the cherubs thru another day of deadlines, slog on back home, open the fridge door at about the same time I hear My Peeps holler, "What's for dinner, Mom?"
Ella Una says she's taking care of the cooking janx for me. This week, anyhow. Which means I can turn my attention to more important things. No, not grading the endless mountains of student papers (Note to self: If you're gonna be a teacher in the next life, be a math teacher. Not a lot of essay grading in that discipline), but, rather, thinking about my blog.
I've been hop, skip & jumping around the blogosphere the past few days and have noticed a recurring thought. Yes, resolutions are prevalent; but, more specifically, resolutions about blogging stand out.
A predominant theme: Why do I blog? How can I be a better blogger? How can I increase my numbers, get more clicks, maximize my analytics?
I decided to ask a few of my blog friends ~ from different ends of the cyber-spectrum ~ these self-same questions. And, truth be told, I wasn't exactly surprised by their answers.
Tammy, who started blogging the same month as moi (March 2008), says "I absolutely write for myself. I'm glad ~ ecstatic, even ~ when something I say strikes a chord and people relate to it. But I don't aim for that." She also admits to having fallen for some of the many distractions offered when one has a platform like a Weblog, where the sky's the limit.
"It's hard not to get caught up in the memes and the contests and the awards and the numbers in the follower column," Tammy says. "It's intoxicating. But for me, I had to go back to basics and remember why I started doing it in the first place."
Yaya, who just might dance herself onto The Ellen DeGeneres Show, has similar thoughts. This lively redhead entered the blogosphere in May of 2008, "As a way for our family and friends to keep up with our lives." She says she writes for herself, but "I love my readers!" And, she acknowledges, with about 60 percent of new bloggers exiting the craft shortly after they begin each year, she thinks she has the key to hanging around.
"Blogging can be overwhelming," Yaya admits, but "honestly, I probably 'survived' because of my OCD."
Mama Kat has been around the cyber-world the longest of those responding to my informal poll. She embarked on blogging in August 2007 and has seen her "mission" evolve over the past 2 years.
"I used to say I write for my kids," Mama Kat opines, "that they can grow up with a daily reflection of their lives...and a peek into who their mom is and what makes her tick."
Things evolved for MK, though, as they have for all of us. "Then I would say that I write for my blog friends, because they take time to stop by, are interested in what I have to say, and care about what's going on in my world," Mama Kat explains. "Ultimately though, I realize I write for myself. This is how I've always expressed myself. It's my therapy...the kid thing and the blog friend thing are just really nice bonuses."
I'd love to have a continuing conversation with those of you who blog, who visit this blog, who want to share what you think this blogging janx is all about. I'll be waiting for your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org ~ shoot me an e-mail, and let's have a convo, OK?
Remember, though, as you blog thru 2010, this parting shot from Tammy, providing the best of all advice:
"Have fun! Don't worry about the numbers. Be true to yourself."
Is it ironic that I posted this today while at the same time flakking my Target Gift Card Giveaway? Probably. But we need a place to get this party started, don't we?
And PS: The crab cakes whipped up by Ella Dos yesterday evening were to die for! She's got bbq-ed pork ribs on tap for tonite...