Random Thoughts

about reading, writing, and anything else that interests me

Archive for the category “blogging”

Thinking about blogging…

I was looking for some inspiration this morning and came across a post entitled On Book Blogging Expectations vs Reality.  The post was on a site called Drizzle & Hurricane Books.

One of her expectations and the reality she discovered is:

I thought I couldn’t “make it” as a book blogger.

“Making it” has so many different meanings, depending on how you see it. Can you really “make it” in the sense of being rich and famous, having books every day in your mailbox, billions of followers and talk-shows and such? No. Making money as a book blogger is hard, controversial at times, and not the question I want to tackle here.

Truth is, without talking about money here, you can totally make it. You can be the best book blogger you want to be without money or fame involved, just with you. By setting and meeting your own expectations, whether they are statistical (getting more visits, trying to get more followers) or bookish (reading more books, getting out of your comfort zone). You can make it by loving it every single day, despite the struggles. You can make it as a book blogger by being proud because it takes a whole lot of time and work and you are doing it anyway.

That has definitely been my experience with this blog. My expectations have changed over the 12 years or so I have been blogging.Originally, this had been a space to comment on blog posts I read and to interact with other educators. I was successful in that I enjoyed blogging about these topics and people on occasion responded to my posts. I learned a lot from the exchanges. I read a lot of blogs on a regular basis, and I felt like I was part of something much bigger than myself. That was all I needed to feel successful.

Then I went to work teaching in a prison. I couldn’t really blog about the work I did there, and I kind of lost my momentum.At the same time, there was a lot going on in my life, and I couldn’t focus much on blogging. So I didn’t post often, and I didn’t feel the least bit successful.

Once I quit working, I found I wasn’t as interested in the education/technology bent that had dominated this blog for 10 years. Reading and writing became more important to me in my life and in my blog. I have never recaptured the almost daily blogging I did in 2005, for example, but I have increased my posting again.

Marie’s last two sentences in the quote above describe where I am at. I don’t post every day, obviously, but I love it when I do. I love putting my thoughts out there for people to read. I know that there are not many people who follow this blog or stumble across it and read it from time to time, but the numbers aren’t really very important to me. It is the writing that matters. And it is difficult to be a blogger, to find something to say and then to strive to say it as well as possible. But it is worth the time and effort.

I plan to be blogging for a long time still.  More and more it will be about the books I read, I suppose. So I am thinking about what, if any, changes I want to make to this blog. Should I do a review of everything I read as I read it? More, shorter posts would be the result. I don’t know.  For the time being, though, just expect 2 or 3 posts about my reading each month and a few other posts as things come up.  I’m not ready to rush into anything new. Not yet, at least.

Another Blog

I am happy to be able to tell you about the new blog I have started, Nancy’s WebQuests.    I have had various homes for my webquests over the years, but it was finally time to move them here to WordPress.

This took quite a bit of work — moving the information, checking links and formatting everything.  I must have spent two hours deciding which template I wanted to use!  But it is up and fairly well ready to go.

I am especially happy because I think this has encouraged me to think about creating some math quests to use next year.

I love WebQuests, in case you didn’t pick up on that yet!

My Anniversary

Actually, it is this blog’s birthday  But WordPress just sent me a happy anniversary notice.

I started this blog in 2005 on Blogspot and moved it here about 18 months later.  In the beginning I used it a lot as part of trainings I took and continued in the excitement in the aftermath of those.  Since then, obviously, I have slowed down the pace of my posts.  But somehow or other I cannot give up this blog.  In part it is because I don’t like quitting anything.  But it is more than that.  I am not sure why but the blog is important to me.  Let’s see if I can do a better job of posting this year than I did last!

Reading

I am not sure how I am going to blog about my reading this year.  I am posting it here, of course, but I don’t know if I want to continue with monthly updates or do something different.  Since the only thing I seem to blog about any more is my reading, I feel a need to do something more than monthly updates.  And since I haven’t yet even posted about my December reading, I am all too well aware of how easy it would be to simply ignore the whole thing.  Let’s see how this goes.

Blogging – or the lack thereof

Since I started teaching writing full time, I don’t seem to write much myself.  I have not been working much on the novel, and I certainly haven’t been blogging much at all!  As I was posting my Thanksgiving break reading to my book list here, I noticed that the last post I made was discussing my October reading! Not good!

With the tremendous workload of my job, which takes most of my waking hours, I find that I don’t have energy for reading blogs or much of anything else.  If I am not reading, I don’t have much to talk about.  I have never thought that my own life was exciting enough to warrant a blog!

I am hoping that I will rejoin the human race again now that the semester is ending.  I hope so, at least!

Yet another blog

I have a new blog: Teaching to Learn.  This one is going to be restricted to the topic of my teaching this year — and maybe beyond, if there is a beyond.  I don’t expect anyone to go there, but feel free to stop by if you would like.

Changes

If you ever actually visit this blog rather than reading it in a feed somewhere (Assuming you read it anywhere at all, that is!), you will notice that I frequently change the theme. I have, as a matter of fact, changed it today.

Someone commented on changes I make on another blog I run saying, “It looks different every time I go there!”  It was NOT said as if that were a good things.

In a course I took about teaching online classes, they made the argument that students need the stability of a course that has a standard look to it.  Not that each one has to be identical, but that they should have the same overall feel.

And that made me think of the argument used where I work in explaining why we MUST use Blackboard for online classes: We want students to know that they are taking a class from this university.

And then I wonder… Am I doing my readers a disservice by changing the theme on a fairly regular basis?  Is it bad to change themes on a blog?

As I contemplate and begin to lay out the blog we will use as the home base for the novel my son and I are writing, I find that I don’t anticipate changing its look much once it is up and running.  Whatever theme I use in the beginning will probably be the theme I use as long as we keep the blog running.  Or if I change it, the new theme will be similar in look but have more features.  I am not sure, but I guess that is because I want to build brand recognition.

So would I be better off doing that with all the blogs I maintain?

A milestone? Maybe not. An achievement? Yes!

After my last post posted, I got a message that I had just posted the 868th post on this site.  I was amazed!  It doesn’t seem like I could have written that many — especially with as many dry spells as I have had. But WordPress wouldn’t lie, would it?

6/11/11: I altered the title because, as a commenter pointed out, 868 posts isn’t really a milestone of any kind.  It is an achievement, though!

6/12:  Changed the title yet again!

Looking at the stats

I have been trying to blog more regularly since the first of the year — a goal I have from time to time but not one that I seem to be terribly good at achieving.  I am going to try, though, to sustain this beyond these first few weeks.  Right now I think I can do it.

What I am finding so amazing is that people are actually reading my posts.  I am not sure who you are or how you stumble across my blog, but I do appreciate it!

 

Reflecting on last year’s blogging

Looking at the review of the blog that WordPress created and I posted here, I was struck by the face that of my top 5 posts last year, only two of them were written last year!  I am not surprised.  I have felt like this blog is wandering more aimlessly than usual this past year.  It was a bad year for me, and I had to force myself to write the few posts that I made.  I felt very unfocused and, not surprisingly, couldn’t seem to get a focus here.

This year is going to be one of change for me, and I don’t know how it is going to play out on the blog.  Will I write more or less?  Will I make this more personal or less?  Will I find a new focus, return to my old one or continue to wander aimlessly?  I don’t have a clue.  I will be interested to see what happens.

Post Navigation