I began blogging last July. I know...congratulations to me. To celebrate the one year anniversary of this attention-seeking endeavor, I decided to re-view some of my previous posts, as well as some of the hard "data" from my site, and to evaluate why it is that I do this thing (when I do it, that is!).
If I've learned anything from the blogging experience, it's a lesson with which the media has long been familiar. People want sensational and controversial stories. Why do I say that? Because the 2 posts that have received BY FAR the greatest number of hits are the story of Harold Wayne Nichols, and my slightly sarcastic response to one Christian's objections to Harry Potter.
Both posts stirred up a least some measure of trouble. My first offense? The one about Nichols was percieved by Karen's sister as disrespectful to her family...certainly an unforeseen and unintended consequence, which I regretted. Then, my poor pastor was lambasted by the editor of Metro Voice for the indiscretion of his parishioner, who used her "aptly-named blog" to argue against one of their articles. The problem? I was not acquainted with the character and faithful service of the woman whose arguments I sought to demolish. All I can say is: "... remember that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass." (Wm. Shakespeare)
The post, other than those mentioned above, which received comments from the greatest number of people - which is actually a very small number of people - was this silly response to a couple surveys I had taken. Go figure...you never know what will draw people into conversation.
My favorite attempt at humor would be this post which reveals a side of me that many never see...and it's best that way, trust me! My best effort at seriousness (when I wasn't just quoting someone else!): this post written after we returned from our missions trip to New Orleans.
My top 3 referrers are Pastor Jeff Meyers, Annie Barlow, and Pastor Mark Horne, in that order. Whoa...I'm suddenly overcome with the feeling that I have just made myself "anathema!" That is an incriminating duo indeed. (Not you, Annie,...not you.) But the association is worth it, because anytime those two troublemakers link to my site, my readership climbs by about 70% for a week or so. I'll trade a good reputation for a little tiny bit of notoriety...sure.
This web-page has been hit nearly 8,000 times and from 2 dozen countries. My highest readership occurred in May 2008, with nearly 1,000 hits. How's that for good strategy...build it up then quit blogging...smart. Real smart. My average daily visits have declined from 28 in May to 15 in July! Fortunately, the desire for fame is not one of my reasons for blogging!
So why do I do this blogging thing anyway? After being ridiiculed for wasting my time at it, I asked myself this question until I contrived a satisfactory answer (satisfactory for myself, that is).
Back before I blogged, I had always engaged in either a creative or intellectual outlet (i.e. sewing/scrapbooking/cooking/home decor, teaching Sunday school/learning Latin/writing Literature guides, etc.). I have learned that participation in at least one of these two pursuits is absolutely necessary for retaining my mental health, and when I stumbled upon blogging, I found it the perfect venue for combining both, and I was ready for a break from my usual outlets.
Not only has it provided a creative/intellectual enterprise for me, it offers a release for the constant dialogue that plays in my head. No matter what I'm doing, my brain is constantly spinning...I may be formulating a literary review, debating some theological fine-point, creating a new Thai dish, designing a quilt pattern, lecturing my child, writing a letter, planning a fun girls' get-away, talking with an old friend, replaying and sometimes reformulating conversations that have already taken place, or several of these all at once. Yes, it's a virtual party inside this head...24/7. My husband once asked why I don't just talk about these things...why blog about it? The problem is that most of what plays in there are not topics I would approach in real life - I mean, who wants to strike up a conversation about figures of description, or my philosophy of teaching spelling, or the latest book I'm reading - but the blog provides a dumping ground for de-cluttering my brain without boring and alienating all my friends.
You see, it's a relatively risk-free place to front my ideas. I don't see your reactions, so I can sit and contentedly pretend that you find me amusing, highly entertaining and surprisingly intelligent for a woman. No matter if you find me ignorant, insane or surprisingly daft...I'll never know. And please, don't consider this an invitation to tell me. I'm quite happy in my sequestered utopia, thank you very much. You see, if you read 2 sentences and click over to another blog...I'll never know. But if we speak face-to-face and you walk away after 2 sentences, I have every reason to be crushed and am then compelled to psychoanalyze every detail of our brief conversation as well as our relationship.
Lastly, I've recently discovered that I really do love to write. Fine-tuning and organizing ideas...choosing the best word...carefully crafting a phrase. What better way to spend my time...other than cooking and cleaning and doing laundry and driving carpool and shopping and...well, you know...all those duties which I have successfully neglected during the 3 hours it took me to construct this self-absorbed, self-promoting, sorry-excuse-for-a-post!
He whittled and sanded until he achieved the desired shape and size.
Next, he stained it, then wrapped the handle in suede with leather strapping. Cool.
His motivation came from a Harry Potter catalog he received in the mail and which was selling replicas of each character's wand. Being the intelligent, frugal child of his mother, he wasn't about to pay $150 for one! Instead of regretting that he couldn't have it, he set out to create his own. That's my boy. I'm proud of him and I'm SO glad he was born!!Happy Birthday, Buddy.