Why Bother Blogging?

Why Bother Blogging?

Blogging was not my idea. Though I enjoy writing, when I thought about putting my writing out there for all to read, my stomach churned, my hands dampened with sweat and doubts swirled inside my head. Yet here I am writing another blog to post. How and why did I end up here?

How Blogging Began

The word blog is a shortened version of weblog, neither of which are found in My New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language, 1989 edition. In 1989, blogging did not yet exist. Not until 1994 did the first online diary or personal pages, as blog posts were first named, appeared on the internet.  A student by the name of Justin Hall wanted a place to publish his writing. He set up his own site on the internet and began posting his thoughts to the rest of the world. Ever since then, millions of people have created their own blogging sites and write about every imaginable topic. 

I began writing posts November 1, 2020. As of yet, I do not yet have a year behind me, but I am close. I post every other day or three times each week. I keep my words limited, 500-600. I aim to encourage, and inspire as well as stir up a new way of thinking about the common, ordinary things we think about. My ideas for topics usually hatch inside my brain the day I know I need to post a blog and never any sooner. It reminds me of how God provided manna for the Israelites while they were in the desert; one day at a time.  

My editor is the one who suggested that I blog. As an unknown writer writing a book, gaining an audience via the internet is paramount. She assured me that blogging builds an audience and when you put your book out there for sale, people will be more inclined to buy your book and publishers will be more inclined to publish your book because you are known. 

Though I do not aim to be as well known as the two authors who inspire me, I want to write as truthfully as Paul Harvey and as consistently as Erma Bombeck. 

I do not usually insert any links into my blogs, but I am inserting one today. If you choose to click this link, it will take you to an article I wrote for Epoch Times and reading it will only make you smile. https://www.theepochtimes.com/the-family-table-a-grandmothers-legacy-of-love-home-cooking-and-coffee-cake-mornings_3962926.html

Why bother blogging? As a writer, it is worth blogging to gain an audience who likes to read your writing. If you are a reader, I hope I make it worth your while to read my posts.

Why Bother Being Resilient?

Why Bother With Resilience?

I definitely prefer starting and finishing certain tasks while avoiding others. Yet, those projects I dodge, still need completing. So far, those tasks I avoid, never magically get done without me rolling up my sleeves and actually doing them. Yet, I know why I tend to procrastinate when it comes to getting them done. I already know that there will be no guaranteed success and success motivates me. I like to see triumph at the end of a job. Knowing a project lacks tangible evidence then the job is hard for me to even begin.

Resiliency 

A few character qualities that come naturally for me are persistence, tenacity and physical strength. These are good attributes for physical labor. Helping someone pack up their house and move, weeding a garden, or painting a bedroom are easy for me. Not only do I possess the stamina to haul boxes, use a paint roller or pull noxious plants out of the ground, the work is satisfying. I can see what I’ve accomplished. Moving boxes are full, a room is now a different color and a row of strawberries is cleaned of weeds. The visual results of my labor are more than satisfying.  

Not only that, but I enjoy this type of work more than any other kind because it calls for independence. I don’t mind working alone. I know how to rely on myself to get a job completed and I know I’m reliable enough to get it done. 

On the other hand, the types of jobs I avoid are the ones that do not require me to use my natural attribute of physical endurance. These are the chores that do not give me immediate satisfaction. There is no guarantee of success when I do them and no visible or tangible results. I cannot rely solely on myself. Instead, they take cooperation from others. They also take an endless stream of energy and there is no finish line in sight. These types of tasks take more than just persistence and tenacity. They require resiliency or the ability to bounce back from defeat. 

Since becoming an author of a completed manuscript, my present chore is to locate a publisher, a job I tend to resist. This task requires me to adapt myself to a whole new territory called social media, and marketing. Writing the book was easy compared to convincing an editor that it is worth their time, effort and money to print it. Yet,  I can’t take their rejections as a personal assault on my writing. Instead, their refusals challenge me to keep a buoyant and cheerful attitude. I cannot deem myself an unsuccessful writer, rather, I am a writer whose book has not been published, yet. 

And so, I will continue to press the submit button to send off my query letters. I will  stick to discovering marketing plans that will work for me. I will wade into the stream of social media to gain an audience. In other words, I will allow my mind to adapt to the ways in which a writer works toward getting their book into print. I will meet my resistance to this task with resiliency. 

Why bother being resilient? It is worth being resilient, adapting to tasks that force us to be malleable. Bouncing back and trying again is better than saying, “I should have…”

Why Bother Belonging?

Why Bother Belonging?

     I do not belong to any associations. I do not pay any dues to be a member of any particular club. I do, however, belong to a writer’s group. 

Similarities and Differences

     My writer’s group is small, six members total. We meet once a month. Our format, though flexible, includes critiquing each other’s work. Yet, even if someone doesn’t submit something to be edited, no one is criticized for it. Everyone has their “dog days” or even “dog months.” 

     Our group is all female. Though we’ve had a few males come and stay for a month or two, none of them made the commitment to stay for the long haul. Women can be competitive, yet we don’t compete against each other. None of us write the same genre. There are those in the group who are historical fiction writers while others write mystery, young adult fiction and steampunk. I am the only non-fiction writer of the group. We are not brutal with our reviews of each other’s writing. We are very honest, and kind. We do not not patronize. Since flattery has a tendency to falsify, and inflates someone only temporarily, we choose to encourage and inspire one another with truthful and constructive comments. 

     I am not sure how long I’ve belonged to this group of writers, but I remember how it all started. Knowing my interest in writing, a friend invited me to the group. I wasn’t sure if I could even associate with other writers. I wasn’t a published author, I just liked writing. Would I belong? The members, a larger group back then, welcomed me and explained the format. They all seemed much more knowledgeable and farther along than me in the journey of becoming authors. Yet, no one minded my questions or discouraged my curiosity. 

     I went back the next month with a piece of my own writing to share. I nervously waited my turn to read. My mouth went dry the moment I opened it. I felt naked, exposed and vulnerable to this new group of women I barely knew. They listened to me read and when I finished, they each took their turn to comment. They were kind with their remarks. Their statements did not demean me. Rather, they caused me to think about why I wrote what I wrote. Their views forced me to consider the words and phrases I’d chosen. In short, they made me take a closer look at what I’d only held at arm’s length. I went back the next month and the next. After a time, I was no longer the newbie in the group. Instead, I’d melded into becoming an “old” member, welcoming the newbies that came after me.  

     I’m not the same person who showed up that first time at the writer’s group. I’m no longer quite as naked and vulnerable as I was at the beginning. Instead, when I sit down at the table with this group of writers, I sense their rich knowledge, their willingness to be generous with it and the pleasure of our camaraderie. We are tromping together, along the writing trail. 

     Why bother to belong? It is worth knowing where and with whom you can affiliate. Becoming vested with a group ensures the help we need to steadily trudge in the direction we want to go. It only helps to belong.  

 

Why Bother To Journal?

Why Bother To Journal?

My first diary was small, pretty, and pink. It had a lock and key and I kept it in my dresser drawer. The one or two entries I made began with, “Dear Diary,” and ended a sentence or two later. As a youngster, I had no idea how to write my thoughts down nor did I know how important this habit would become for me later on in life. I no longer have that little book. Instead, I have filled several composition books as well as a few spiral notebooks with thoughts.  

Beginning  

After marriage, I started talking to myself, in the form of writing. I don’t know what prompted me to begin scribbling down my thinking other than I recognized the need to sort and organize my thoughts. Like unpacking boxes when moving into a new home, I needed to unpack the load I’d carried around with me, setting it in a space where I could open a door, so to speak, and take a look at what was there. Similar to deciding what to keep and what to discard when rearranging kitchen cupboards, dresser drawers, and closets, my thoughts required a thorough going through. Along the way of growing up, I’d wadded up a whole assortment of ideas and marriage was the time to keep or discard what I’d collected  over the twenty-two years I’d lived so far. 

I started out shy, not knowing what to say to myself. I coaxed myself out of this shell by saying that there were no rules, no expectations, no right or wrong way to do it. I could take as much time as I wanted or no time at all. I could write whatever I wanted because, I told myself, my journals would be for my eyes alone. These truths convinced me and my timidity toward writing down what rumbled inside of me wore off. Now, like any other healthy habit, committing thoughts from my head to paper is routine.

I date my entries, but my journals are not a record or filing system. Recently, though, I went back and put dates on the outside covers of my notebooks noting that some years warranted more writing than others. For example, in 2007, I wrote through four to composition books, while other years I filled only one or two. 

The drawings for my first garden and its crops are recorded in one of my earliest journals and one year I challenged myself to write down three things for which I was grateful for every day.  This venture helped me through a tough bout of ungratefulness. 

On the last few pages of most of my journals, there is a record of the titles and authors of the books I’ve  read. At the top of some of the pages in my notebooks I’ve written down quotes. Now though, I have little fat notebooks specifically for recording quotes. 

The year we lost our third born son I formed my raw grief into words.  When I set the goal to enter and complete my first triathlon, I kept a record of my progress. 

In essence, my journals carry the load of thoughts that I’d otherwise carry inside my head. Though I had no other goal than to give my thoughts  their own place to sit, they’ve become so grateful to me that they rarely turn against me. 

Why bother to journal? It is a worthy journey. Putting thoughts to paper may put some order to the wad of thinking that collects inside of us. But we won’t know until we’ve coaxed our hand to hold the pencil that will show us what we’ve been saying to ourselves anyway.