Friday, September 17, 2010

Some Self-Assessment

Ree, over at The Pioneer Woman (see link on right) blogged recently about "Ten Important Things I've Learned About Blogging". Since she is one of my favorite bloggers and since Rachel and Maggie (my top two favorite bloggers) haven't offered any blog advice lately, I thought that I'd use Ree's post as a jumping off point for a post. I've been at a loss lately on what to write about. Feeling tired and uninteresting and generally blah. I'm hoping that addressing some of her pointers will jump start me. So, here's hoping that this doesn't count as plagiarism.

Her first one is "Be Yourself" - to "Write in your own voice". Well, that's all fine and good if you are a hilariously funny and talented writer with the energy of that famous pink bunny. So, while I do use a casual tone, I try to be a tad more sparkling than my normal, sleepy self.

Number two is "Blog Often". I am very bad at this. I wait for some wonderful idea to inspire me. You may have noticed that sometimes the wait is interminable. She recommends "daily nurturing". I KNOW she is right. All of my favorite bloggers blog often - sometimes at length, sometimes just a pithy or funny sentence or two. I know what busy lives these (mostly) women live. So me whining about being 'tired' or 'busy' really doesn't cut it. If I have time to play 500 Solitaire games a day (which I wouldn't EVER do), I can write a sentence. It's good practice. So I'm going to persevere. Prepare to be bored.

Number three is "Be varied". Well, I don't think I've got any problem with that. This blog is basically an unfocused, schizoid, stream-of-conscious pile o' verbal regurgitation (ick - wish I had my old powers of wordsmithing - that would have been a much nicer sentence).

Number four is "Exercise More". Hmmmm. I mean, I get her point. Sitting in front of a computer gossiping with your imaginary friends, noshing on chips and dip is likely to result in Wide Bottom Syndrome. All that. But there are only so many hours in the day, REE!!! How am I supposed to fit in blogging AND exercise? I mean, be REAL!

Number five is "Allow your boundaries to set themselves naturally" - i.e. blog about what you are comfortable talking about. The corollary here is to blog about only what you are comfortable with the entire WORLD reading about. Now, I know that only an infinitesimal part (but an extremely smart and attractive part) of the world comes here and reads this blog. But anything could happen - when I look at my stats there are folks who hit this blog from all over the world (of course, to be honest, most stay an average of 0.5 seconds - the time it takes to hit 'BACK', I guess). Do I really want them to know all of the intimate details of my life and the depths of my grumpy-ness? Not really. So, while I might discuss all that stuff with each of you over tea and cookies, it won't happen here at Fresh Hell.

Number seven is "Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself". I've regularly exposed my ignorance, foolishness, general laziness, cluelessness, bad eating habits, slovenliness, insecurities, etc., etc. to all and sundry. I think I'm doing exceptionally well on this one.

Eight - "Try your best to spell words correctly and use proper grammar". All I can say is thank heavens for 'spell check'. And I sometimes use bad spelling or grammar to make a point. You noticed, right?

Nine says: " If you have writer’s block, push through and blog anyway." This is a corollary to #2 above. Ok, ok, Ree...I'll try. I will. I'll...try to try. Seriously.

Number 10 says: "Value every person who takes time out of their day to stop by your blog." This is not a hard one for me. I may not be a timely, eloquent (or even coherent), well-toned blogger, but I'm a grateful one. As in my everyday life, in blogging, I forget to tell you all how much I love you and how much I value you. My excitement when I get an email saying that I have a comment is HUGE. And I’m more touched by your attention and support than I can express. I even go back and re-read comments. I like the little love pats that they resemble. Yes, I am pathetic, I admit it.

So here goes. I am going to try to blog more often, even if I don’t feel like I have much to say. I may be awhile getting started on the big blogging projects that I have in mind (family history and stories, my Oz obsession, etc.), but I’ll try to be content to do what I have time for and what I’m capable of right now. Being content is one of my bugaboos. It is something that I’ve worked hard at (often without discernable results, I admit) for much of my life. Momma and I have talked a lot in the past of how contentment doesn’t seem to be a family trait in our ancestors and, really, without much cause. Huge tragedies just aren’t in our past. Most everyone was financially ok, at the least. No one was widowed young with 12 hungry children. But they all seemed incapable of being content with their lot. Dissatisfaction seems to be our legacy. We tend to be pessimists who look at others with the sense that they have things easier, somehow. When I’m thinking clearly, I can see that and fight it. It’s just easier to fight it when things are going well, that’s all! So my late in the year resolution is to blog more, be grateful and not whine nearly as much.

So thanks, Ree, even if you never see this!

Edited to add that I won't be showing much improvement THIS weekend as I will be away. But I'll be thinking about it!


  1. Blogging words to live by! My daughter, who has a super-successful blog repeats #2 to me time and again.

  2. I love your blog---it's a conduit to YOU, and that's a connection I'm very partial to.

    I have no wise words (says she of the gazillions of ordinary ones), but I'm just glad you ARE blogging. I'd hoped and hoped you WOULD, when we talked about it last year, and it's lovely to know it's there.

    I look every day for your name to flash to the top of the list, and hop right on it, content with whatever tale or topic is on your mind and on your pages. I DO look forward to any and all of either, and especially some tales of OZ.

    You know the subject better than anyone I know, and my own ken is merely of the one book, the one movie, and they're a very narrow (but wonderful) slice of such a rich, filling pie, so I'd love to learn more.

    And my humblest thanks for the mention---I SO appreciate your kind words. And your friendship is a treasure.

  3. PS I think I DO have some rules---nothing about discipline and exercise, and I don't think I know where the spell-check IS---but just the ordinary ones we learned when we learned the Golden Rule.

    Don't hurt anybody's feelings.

    Write what means something to you.

    Never name names without permission.

    None of that "Blog Anyway" stuff. This is not a looming deadline---GET YOUR NOVEL TO THE PUBLISHER thing. Nobody's pushing, and blog friends are the most patient, kindest folks you'll find---at least the ones I know are---they don't yell or pout when you skip a day---everybody has a LIFE and We're Not It. If there's something to say, say it. Otherwise, why blather on just to have a post-a-day. (Says Sister Logorrhea, Founder of the Church of the Blatherite Brethren).

    You know, I look all over BlogLand now and then, and it's an odd thing to me, to see a blog founded on "which shoes should I wear with this dress tonight?"---getting seventy-four replies, and then a wonderfully-crafted, beautifully photographed post with charming prose and ethereal pictures will have four.

    And that's the wonderful thing about blogging---you find your place, you have your voice, and you say your say. Followers and comments and folks who grow to LIKE you, to look forward to reading what you write---they are some of Life's loveliest lagniappe.

  4. You know what the problem is..there are just so many blogs to read and comment on. Another thing is that you just cannot be interesting to EVERYONE! At least that is how I see it.
    I did the writing thing..because it is what I love to do..and it fell rather flat. It seems the more writing you do, the less people read it. For the above reason...I would suppose.
    My blog has changed. I used to write a lot..but found ...that a picture is worth a thousand word!
    I am not a good photographer..and I do not have a good camera.
    So...right now I am where I just shrug my shoulders and do whatever. That deep caring has diminished...and me is freedom.

  5. I check almost every day to see if you've written something here, Kim.

    Through your writing, I find you bright, warm, thoughtful and humorously self-deprecating human being and that is a wonderful thing to be.

  6. I am blushing, y’all! Thank you all so much for the kind and loving words. I truly cannot express how much what you all said means to me.

    Maggie – I agree with your daughter – I don’t want to yammer on about NOTHING, but I certainly have much more to say than I blog about.

    Rachel – as usual, your words are gems. And I thank God every day for Sister Logorrhea – what in the world would I do without her!

    Mona – I liked what you said about not being able to be interesting to everyone. Special blogs are like special friends – if every single person loved every single blog no one would be special after all.

    Sir Anon – thank you so much! Just remember that you see the BEST of me ;^)