Tuesday, May 13, 2014

{about blogging}

I updated my About Me page yesterday--it still said that I was 25 and living in the Village and contained strange pictures of me eating myself. So I changed all the writing, and should probably take new pictures too. You know, so that people don't think I'm some kind of freak. Ah, blog maintenance...

Anyway, I was trying to write some sort of "introduction" to my space here, and got thinking about what this is and why I do it and what I like about it and all that. I've been at it for over six years now, and for the majority of that time (up until these past few months when life has been just a tad more hectic than usual), I've had something to say or post every single weekday. That's a ridiculous amount of words to be putting out there. A lot of work for no pay-off.

When I started out it was just for me, a place to get words out into cyberspace but a closely and fiercely guarded secret in real life--I remember the day Barclay was over at my house and opened my laptop to look something up on YouTube and found my blog opened to the drafts page. I was mortified. I had this idea in my head about people who blogged, and was downright ashamed that I was one of them. We'd only known each other a couple of months and I legitimately thought he was going to dump me if he found out. (He didn't.) I swore him to secrecy. With threats. But somehow my parents found out about it a little while later (I don't know how) and I received a phone call from Dad expressing concern over my going on adventures in back alleys with strange people in strange cities. (And so it was that I learned that you can't do anything online without expecting your offline people to find it. A crash course in smart Internetting!)

I wrote about my job, my friends, a move to a new city, a memory from a few years back, my boyfriend, the music I was listening to. Over time, complete strangers started stumbling across my blog, and I started reading theirs too and even making friends. (This was harder to admit to people than the fact that I had a blog in the first place.)

But that, admittedly, quickly became my favourite part of blogging. I saw these people taking amazing pictures of seemingly mundane things and suddenly I began seeing my own real-life surroundings in a different light. I read blogs by brilliant writers and crafty women and amazing cooks and they inspired me to try new stuff and work harder at the things I already loved. I read blogs by people who loved music as much as I did and introduced me to new favourite bands and musicians. The desire to have something to write about had me looking for abnormal things in normal days. I met people from Scotland, England, all over the States, all across Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, France...

And the thing about blogging that was different from, say, a magazine or television, was that it was so personal, and so interactive. I wasn't just passively taking in information; I was processing it and commenting on it and adding to it. Like the blog world was this big fat book of stories and pictures and ideas that a bunch of people from all over the real world were working on simultaneously. And somewhere in there was my story. I loved being part of something like that.

It's changing, though. I feel a little bit like I'm a wildlife preservation activist right now, about to talk about endangerment and extinction and how you need to do your part to save the blog as it is before it slowly goes the way of the buffalo. (I'm not going to say anything like that.) Things change and that's okay. People are turning their blogs into full-time jobs, businesses, making money off of sponsors and advertising, keeping a close eye on page views and comments and SEO and all that. That feels too much like work and pressure to me, so I probably won't jump on the bandwagon. But I don't begrudge those that do.

Maybe I'm less like a preservation activist and more like a bearded mountain man (picture it) in a little cabin in the woods. Feel free to live in the city with your billboards and flashy lights and TV commercials; I'll just be out here in my own cozy space, rambling to whoever wants to hear it about what I did today. I have some neighbours out here to visit with and tell stories to. We're content. 

Speaking of rambling, I don't even know where I'm going with this.

Blogging...What this is, why I do it, what I like about it...

Oh yeah. So this is where I ended up:

Hi, My name is Suzy. I've been blogging for a while now, and it's probably one of my favourite hobbies--I like writing and taking pictures and doodling, but I'll never be pro at any of it. This is a place to quietly do those things in a fun little community without taking myself too seriously.

So thanks for reading. Thanks for commenting. Thanks to those of you who have your own blogs and inspire me to be more creative and open and intentional. I love it.