I don’t remember when I started following Terri and James’ blog, Gallivance but I’m sure it was early on in my career and no doubt I found them through Laura’s TouringNH blog. Though my world travel days are behind me, I have lived vicariously through their adventures. Unlike other travel blogs, they bring personality to the cultures and places so beautifully depicted in their photos. I wish there was such a thing as the Internet when I was traveling, perhaps I would have started writing publicly much sooner and from a very different perspective. The art of taking your reader on an adventure with you without sounding like a Fodor’s guide-book is something I admire greatly as I never followed those road maps and found my best Therapeutic Misadventures off the usual paths.
Blogging is a lonely pursuit. I was thrilled with the early stats – to think someone beside friends and family would find my words and comment? It took time to build a following, and to date I doubt if half those who signed up actually take the time to read what I have to say every day. As a nonpaying job, it has its frustrations and times when I wonder why I put in the time. Every once in a while, though, the reward is finding like-minded folks who do care what is happening on my journey.
I took it very seriously when Terri and James honored me with a nomination to write this piece. – Behind The Scenes, Blog Hop. Their accolades of my writing style were embarrassing when positioned against my small contribution to the world. The purpose of the challenge is to answer four simple questions about my writing…not so simple.
WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?
Because I believe there are still those “Ah Shit” moments when we find ourselves staring life in the face and someone has to write them down.
Because I think we are never too old to learn from what every day life has to show us; we just need to be mindful and notice.
Because I have come too far not to have SOME wisdom in this silly game…
HOW DOES MY BLOG DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN IT’S GENRE
I’m not sure it is terribly different from others I follow though I’m not sure if I have a pure “Genre” that I attach myself to. I use the category Memoir for most posts. I don’t think I qualify for humor very often and certainly it isn’t as specific as cooking or travel. I set out to chronicle life after 50 because I couldn’t be the only one marking these years and maybe what I had to say would invoke a reaction from others and I would learn something.
Sort of makes me sound like a “comments whore” but from the beginning I promised I would respond to everyone who took the time to say something. I am miffed by people, perhaps more famous to some degree, who never respond to comments. A simple “Thank You” is the very least one should expect.
HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK?
I write something almost every day. I have long-range posts I work on sporadically and short bursts of “Ah Ha” moments when I just have to write an idea down. When I hit a dry spot I cull through all the drafts and see if there is anything to inspire me.
My goal every week is to have at least two posts I am passionate about; posts I really feel I’ve polished the thought to a shiny stone that warms in my hand. My personal rule is 5 posts a week and I know they can’t all be brilliant but they should at least be an exercise in creative thought and editing. Many times a photo is the start of the idea. I take a random shot and wrap my thoughts around it.
Other posts are about an actual event. Photo touring with Laura at TouringNH has provided opportunities to get out and see life through a different lens. I tend to follow folks with lots of photos in their posts so I guess it makes sense that I try to have at least on to inspire me.
The bottom line is my writing is like any other commitment. There are days when I’m beating myself up and days when I feel very proud. The commitment makes me march forward regardless. There’s not a lot of glory but the moments of happiness it brings me outweigh the rare tedium.
WHAT AM I WORKING ON/WRITING?
My Doppelganger would like to hear I’m working on a children’s story about the perfect pony. It’s there, it gets a dash of time every so often, but it is hardly a work in progress. Other friends who read “Therapeutic Misadventures” ask when the next installment will be done…I am lazy so that may come from my posts. The chunk of life in the middle, the years between the early memoir and today are buried in my journals. Perhaps I will have time to do them justice some day but for now, they are still too close to tackle objectively.
MY BLOG HOP NOMINATIONS
It’s always a gamble to nominate others. I wanted to choose writers whose work I admire and that my followers may not have found. The question remains, will those I nominate be irritated and not wish to participate or will they take up the challenge and tell us a bit about their life “behind the scenes?”
With this in mind, I have chosen two bloggers I admire for different reasons.
Phil – Philosopher Mouse Of The Hedge is my first nomination. “Phil is known for astute observations, insightful analysis, and common sense comments of city, field, and that odd species: humans.” But oh, there is so much more. Phil appears to reside outside Houston TX and though his voice is third person and we have only rare glimpses into who Phil really is, we are delighted by the voices of his housemates; Molly the dog, RC of the Realm – the all-seeing, all-knowing queen in the form of a cat, and Bob – the reptile I’m still not convinced is alive. From a pet’s-eye-view of silly human behavior to current events cleverly disguised in fun prose, Phil never disappoints.
HandmadebyJo – Fort Pelham Farm Her “About” page doesn’t begin to tell all the wondrous tales in her blog. She has gorgeous looms and weaves spectacular fabrics, she gardens, takes fabulous photos, and renovates her 200-year-old home in a small New England town. The other half of her life is working in an urban area running an automotive repair business for the past 30 years. In her own words; “Follow me and you will endure my ramblings about life in two worlds, crafts, nature’s beauty, life with dogs and an occasional smattering of politics. I also post a photograph a day – new or old.” I feel akin to Jo and always enjoy her thoughts.
Phil and Jo, please don’t feel obligated to respond. I wanted you to know just how much I appreciate your work and that every email notice of your posts brings a smile of anticipation.
As I said, it can be lonely out here. Sometimes it helps to read of others who sit down in solitude and journal their lives and the world around them.