Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dear Blog World

You are so distracting, but mostly in a good way. When I started a blog I just thought it would be a new, and perhaps inspiring, way to get me writing again. For many years I spent my breaks sending out unsolicited manuscripts. The main purpose for this activity was so that I could have a steaming pile of rejection letters for reading material on my next break. Fun as that was, after nearly ten years I weaned myself from this obsessive ritual, largely because I had no time. I had spread myself parchment paper thin professionally, taking on too many roles and responsibilities. And my children were growing up faster than the arrival of the holidays. Time with my husband (and by time I mean moments when we were not discussing children’s schedules, paying the bills, or work) was becoming so rare that I began to think we’d transacted a business venture instead of a soulful partnership. So when I actually had some time to spare why sit in a room in front of a computer when I could be out in the ocean surfing with my son? Or something EVEN BETTER.

So, except for Standards-Based curriculum and department-wide rubrics (YIPPEE – giddy up on this here pony ride because it is FUN), I stopped writing.
My first inkling back to written reflection started over two years ago when my sister started a blog and I would not only read hers, but scroll her blogroll and read some more. However, l still tended to partake only during my breaks and thought of the cyber world (outside of researching for lessons) as something like a summer beach book.

My first itch came during the year I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The epiphanies and snippets from my thoughts during the months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments are jotted down in notebooks in every room of the house. But, for the most part, I have not gotten back to them.

My first scratch seemed to prove that I had neither the time nor inclination to stick to it. I had 4 posts in the first five months.

But I find myself now looking forward to a full blown rash. Yes, there are several more than a dozen of unfinished pieces in my documents. But instead of making me feel like a total loser for what is not done, I am content. I am excited.

Except…

I am spending so much time READING blogs. It is so easy to get distracted for hours.

And to be honest. I’m really getting jealous of how pretty the rest of the blogs are. I spent an hour trying to figure out how to embed a sticker from the breast cancer site. Notice it is not here.

I now have to suck up to my nineteen year old daughter to give me a crash course in customizing my layout.

Thank-you to Laura and Kristan for being the first visitors to leave me a comment! If I knew how to link back to your blogs with a hotlink, I’d do it. But for the rest of the day I need to go grade student papers….

8 comments:

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

You really can lose a lot of precious time trying to make your blog look "pretty". But if you are a writer, then THAT will be the most important part of your blog. Spend time on that first, because that is what you have to offer the blogging world. Less is more anyway when it comes to all the crazy things people put on their blog's sidebars.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying hello! And thank you for the kind words.

Margaret

only a movie said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I am bookmarking you and will stop by again. I like your writing - and we have a lot of parallels. My blog was a summer experiment just to get me writing for fun (instead of ed plans etc). Not sure how much I'll keep up with it once school starts... but you never know. :-D

Always Home and Uncool said...

Blogging ... it's like too many G&Ts ... without the puking, just the headaches.

shaunna said...

you're on a roll... can be exhilarating as well as addictive.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Thank-you for the kind and encouraging words. Even though I spent the rest of the weekend grading, followed by a great Sunday afternoon at the beach with my daughter, I'd catch myself thinking of topics here and there. And yes, Always Home,it's like too many, only for me that would be either martinis or margaritas!

Kristan said...

LOL.

I agree with what Margaret said: if the content is good (and yours is!) then the look of the blog isn't as big a deal. (But teenage daughters ARE good for helping with that... :P)

Thanks for the shoutout! See ya around on the web. :)

ByJane said...

Yes, Margaret has it right. You're a teacher, so you know what we tell our students: you have to read to be able to write and you have to write a lot to get really good. That's what you--and all of us--are doing with this blogging thing. Come see us at http://midlifebloggers.com We're always looking for good writers!

Ocean Girl said...

Blogging I find is a place where you feel you can be heard but you must first learn how to listen.