We Bloggers are Such Odd Ducks

So today is the ninth day of my month-long blog writing challenge. I realized yesterday that I actually could use a blog post from my other blog, Ramona’s Voices, and didn’t have to write two posts in one day, so I went for it.  Talk about freeing!  WooHoo! (Am I taking this challenge way too seriously?  Apparently I am.)

One post a day is a lot for me, let alone two. But not for some bloggers, apparently. I ran across a blogger who posts four times a day, on a tight schedule–something like 8 AM, 12 Noon, 4 PM and 8 PM. She was lamenting on a bloggers forum that she was running out of things to post about and she was having a hard time keeping to her schedule. (I shouldn’t wonder!)  She wanted to know how other people managed to keep up their blogs.  I didn’t comment and I admit I didn’t go to her blog. I didn’t even stick around to see what other people had to say. There was just something creepy about posting four times a day at rigidly specific times. A little too no-nonsense and OCD for me.

“What I had for breakfast” hasn’t become the no-no warning to bloggers for nothing.  People do that. They write about unpleasant encounters in supermarket lines.  They write about text message and email battles with really awful people who go after them for no reason at all.  They talk to people we outside guests don’t even know about things they don’t care to explain.  (Hey, Joey!  Rough night, huh?  Send that crazy lobster over this way!) They write endlessly about their pets.  (Don’t hate me!  I love pets!  Honest!)  And that’s okay.  It’s perfectly legal.

A blog can be anything–words into sentences into paragraphs–voila!  A blog.  Not all blogs are created by writers who want to use them to showcase their work.  They can be diaries or travelogues or even therapeutic outlets, and the authors don’t really care about a following.  They just want a place to put down their thoughts.  it’s an easy way to communicate and be creative in the process.

But then there are the rest of us:  We take ourselves seriously, even when we’re having fun with our blogs.  We do want a following.  We even dream of being paid for our efforts.  We want to make a name for ourselves and some of the time we even seriously believe that blogging is going to do it for us.

Up until recently we’ve been drowning under that word “blogger”.  “Blogger” doesn’t have to mean “writer”, mainly because anyone can create a free blog that looks pretty good.  Bloggers don’t need to be writers, in the sense that writing well is their main concern.  Being understood is good enough.  They blog because they can.

But things are changing.  There are well-known writers who actually don’t care that their URLs contain the words “blogspot” or “wordpress”.  Their blogs can be as professionally put together as any company-built website.  Unless you happened to look at their URLs you wouldn’t know the difference.  That’s a good thing.

But there is still the problem with exposure.  How do we draw vast audiences if that’s what our goal is?  What if we have no real money and no professional contacts who will help to promote us?

If we’re issue-oriented bloggers wanting to draw a bigger audience in order to spread the news of our issues far and wide, we go around begging other bloggers, especially the high-profile ones, to put us on their blogrolls. I hate that part but I do it. (I promote my political blog much more than I do this one. This is my parlor; my office is over there.)

Once, I wrote to someone whose political blog I admired and he wrote back, telling me that if I wrote a blog a day for two weeks and sent him the links he might consider adding me to his blogroll. I pulled myself off the ceiling, scarfed down some soothing chocolate, and wrote him back. I said, “Sorry, I wouldn’t read anyone’s blog-a-day, let alone write one. I only write when I have something to say.” I didn’t get an answer but when I went back to his blog I noticed I was on his blogroll.

That’s the key to good blogging, I think.  Only write when you have something to say. And give it the respect it deserves by writing it well, by proofreading it more than once, and by asking yourself, if you weren’t you would you still be interested?

(She says while attempting to write a blog post a day just because. . .)

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About constantcommoner

Ramona Grigg. Freelancer, blogger, essayist, photographer, dreamer,
This entry was posted in NaBloPoMo, On Writing and Media, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to We Bloggers are Such Odd Ducks

  1. Di says:

    I do enjoy reading you. You made me laugh today, that last line … perfect.
    I write when the muse hits and sometimes, if I’m lucky, I know what I want to say. I’d love to have that happen every day … although not at rigidly set hours. Ohmy.
    And here I am, blogging daily, just because … too

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  2. Glad I made you laugh! I have to say, I’m enjoying this daily challenge, but I don’t think I could do it for much more than a month. (Not even sure I’ll make it that long!) I hope I know when to stop before I get desperate and stupid. (You’ll tell me, right? lol)

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    • Di says:

      Oh yes, I can see a polite New Zealander telling you ‘you’re getting desperate and stupid’ 🙂
      But seriously, I think this daily blogging thing might be working for me. I’ve been kind of lost without Facebook – that brilliant place to escape to when distraction is required but distraction stops me from writing. The daily post is a clear commitment and from there, I hope (any day now) to step into other writing, seriously, all winter. Let’s see how it goes.

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      • Oh, I was hoping you wouldn’t take me seriously. 😉 Writing begets writing and the more we write the better we get at it. That’s a given. When you can look back on something you wrote that you once loved and now cringe when you read it, you know you’re doing something right!
        I love your photographs and I love the accompanying writing. I’m an amateur photographer with much to learn, so I’m really glad I found you.

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        • Di says:

          🙂 As if … Sunday morning here, just after 11am and voila, I was ready to write early this morning. I think you’re right, writing begets writing. Thank you for your kind words about my photographs. Feel free to ask me anything about photography, just btw.
          Oh, and good morning!

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          • Getting ready to write, too. Thank you for offering to help me with my photos. I have two cameras, neither of which is expensive or pro quality, but they have numerous features I don’t really know how to use, anyway. I rarely venture into the innards to see what they can do. Maybe I’ll get brave one of these days!

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  3. Dakota says:

    *laugh * Oh my goodness I can’t imagine posting four times a day! I’m like you… I don’t want to post unless I have something to say, but took up the challenge of posting every day to push myself as a writer. I worry that I’m veering into “what I ate for breakfast territory.”

    I’m so glad I found you! I’ve added you to my reader (the wordpress reader, I’m not sure I care for the BlogHer interface) so I will see when you post new content. 🙂

    Lovely work space by the way… I love the butterfly.

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  4. Thank you, Dakota. Looks like you’ve been at this challenge for much longer. I love the winged creature on your page, too. Is it a moth? (I’m going to look into the vitamin D thing. It’s getting dark early up here in the north woods!)

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    • Dakota says:

      It’s a “Giant Owl Butterfly.” The photo is from a trip we took the Victoria Butterfly Gardens a few years a go. 😀 I’m a huge butterfly appreciator… Blue Morphos are my favorites. Vitamin D is the best… It has really helped me out in the grey winter months. 🙂

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      • Yes, butterflies and moths are amazing. We get Luna Moths once in a while and I love them. A few years ago a couple of unusual moths visited a mossy boulder near our patio. I took pictures but I didn’t write down the name–even after hours of searching for them and finally finding it! If I could put pictures in the comments I would show you. They were huge and beautiful. Sort of gray-green with pink edging on their back-swept wings. Sound familiar?

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        • I found it! It’s a Modest Sphinx. Do they have them where you are?

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          • Dakota says:

            Wow, I really thought I’d replied to your previous comment with “hmm, sounds like a sphinx moth!” Now I can’t find that comment. So weird. Anyway, YES! We do have the Modest Sphinxes. I don’t see them terribly often but I think they’re fairly commonish in Montana. They’re so pretty… mothes and butterflies just fascinate me. 😀

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