Sunday, August 03, 2014

5 Reasons to Reconnect With Your Blog


I stopped blogging nearly a year ago. Not to be unoriginal, but let's just say I got busy. Or, we could say I started to explain blogging to other people, and social media, and integrated marketing, and the more I did this, the more I needed a break from my own online writing life -- kind of like being so full from tasting the dinner you're making that you just don't want any yourself.

All that was for the first six months or so. I was keenly aware that while I was reading The New Yorker, (an article ironically like this one, that highlights how powerful blogging can be), or the latest Ikea catalogue, or a women's magazine telling me to simplify my life, I could have been blogging. Or, while I was watching "Downton Abbey" and thinking social media (oh yes, I did write this), or shopping at Costco, or driving on 101 or 280 or 92, looking for oceans and farms and all those comforting greens and blues...I could have been blogging. While I was hanging upside down in yoga like a vaguely contented fruit bat in leggings, I could have been blogging. While I was emptying my inbox and reorganizing my closet and worrying about world events, I could have been chronicling all of it.

But I was secretly happy, because I had suddenly found more time, or given myself the gift of it. It felt a little illicit, like enjoying a snow day at home.

Then the next 6 months happened, and I no longer felt that I was gaining anything, but rather, I was losing something--something big. Life was happening all around me, and instead of recording my thoughts, and processing everything that way that writing invites you to, I let too many things slide, and I realized I'd let something important go. And I started to remember that saying: "If you don't take yourself seriously..." You know how it goes.

So for anyone who has momentarily or longer lost their blogging groove, here are 5 reasons to get it back:

1. As I just said, "if you don't take yourself seriously, no one else will," and that counts big time for writing. All the cliches kick in here. "Just Do It." "Writers Write."

2. Your blog should be your home. It may not always feel like it, but it is. It's where you find yourself and your people. It's where you hang your writing hat. It's where you get big integrity points for opening up and being yourself, even if it's not popular.

3. You have to "write" some wrongs. Like when you see the Next Food Network Star promote their online voting for the winner, with barely a social media connection on the landing page, you just have to say something. Or when you visit an awesome website, only to find that the testimonials are anonymous, leaving out the names of the people who've praised you. Wrong. Or, you see people tweeting and FB posting the same exact content at the same exact time....wrong again.

4. Your inner critic lives. You can't just let those book and film reviews swirl around in your head, when in your heart you've already written up 4 paragraphs of ingenious copy "Mad Men" style, just crying out to let your point of view known, even if only to yourself at first.

5. Because you're your own time capsule. You and what you write are a sign of the times, and the times will always change. You and what you link to are your keyword monoliths. A day after you publish a post, it may mean something different then what you intended. Fifty or 100 years later, your blog will be like a buried treasure.

And now, onward. I leave you with this, as it's time to organize more blogging ideas. I'm hungry, and it's time to get back into the kitchen, so to speak. Don't you think so?


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