Am I at a party that's turned into a wake?
Recently I've heard about blogging's demise ("Facebook and Twitter have taken over," they say. "Blog posts are too long to hold people's interest," they say.) So, I've been re-evaluating my blogging career. Are all the good blogging gigs being shipped overseas? Do I need to post in Mandarin?
I've come to a conclusion: Blogging as a fad is dead, blogging isn't. Here's why: A blog is a place to write, like a notebook or a billboard or a magazine or a postcard. It's also a virtual office, with file cabinets, display shelves, writing tools and folders for research. It's a creative space, like a photography workshop, a painting studio or a practice cubicle.
My mom had a big closet she turned into her sewing room. Pictures of the latest fashions hung on the walls, fabric was piled in colorful stacks, threads and bobbins perched on pegs. An ironing board leaned against a file cabinet stuffed with patterns and all sorts of sewing paraphernalia: measuring tapes, cutting wheels, rick-rack and bias tape. Mom was an organized and gifted seamstress, but this room would not have been featured in an issue of Where Women Create. Hers was a workshop. Pajama sleeves were in progress, along with mending projects and home-ec assignments. I'm sure Mom saw some spacious sewing rooms and compared them to hers. Maybe she envied new equipment, commissions for wedding gowns, time spent sitting at a Pfaff, accolades for talent. (I know for a fact her oldest daughter didn't give her the appreciation she deserved.) But shutting down her sewing room was not an option. It's where she did her sewing, where she stashed her sewing stuff. It was her creative space.
I visit other blogs, see how imaginative they are, how artistic and witty, count the advertisers who trust their skill, read comments by the dozen. What's the point of my daily meandering in this blogosphere of expertise? Who's reading it? Should readers even be the reason I write? I understand why bloggers are shutting down: their blog feels like a closet at the back of the house, and nobody cares what they're doing back there.
Thinking about blogs woke up my gratitude for this little place I've created. Stuffed in my blog are organized piles of my life's paraphernalia:
- Accounts of who I am, where I've been, where I'm going.
- Facts I'd tell a new friend.
- Facts old friends already know.
- How I've felt from day to day about my experiences.
- What I've learned from them.
- What I want to remember.
- Talents I'm discovering and plans for using them.
- Advice I can't share any other way.
- What I'd tell my psychiatrist.
- Hidden jewels from my childhood.
- A written record of our family.
- My knowledge of truths about God.
- A collection of my anecdotes.
- Stories about my ancestors.
- Trip diaries.
- Lists of goals.
I could go on and on, (and if you check my archives, you'll see I have.) These are the Brass Plates of Oma: my anthology is available to my posterity forevermore. It's already an organized resource for pioneer stories, family factoids, photos, vacation memories, tips, dates, names and lesson materials. Sure, it's rambling, boring, full of too much information, but so is every library. Workshops have dust and wood chips laying around, but does that make the furniture any less valuable? My blog—your blog—is a treasure house.
Oma's Blog Boosters
- Don't compare my blog to others. I'm unique and so are they.
- Don't judge the success of my blog by the numbers.
- Tour my blog occasionally to see what gems I've collected.
- Take a break from writing when I need to. (Who cares, really??) It'll still be there when I come back.
- When my blog feels like a nag, set it aside, but don't question it's value.
My blog is a place where I gather, assemble, evaluate, ponder, wonder, brag, whine, remember, worry, chat, work, organize, practice and learn. It's mine.
As a blogger, I boldly declare: Blogging is Not Dead. Blogging is a living, breathing, vital pursuit, dedicated to enlightening the past, energizing the present, and enriching the future.