Monday, May 5, 2008

Back to the blog

I don't think I've ever thought quite so hard about a blog post before.

I shelved my public blog over a year ago when life was full and other obligations clamoured for attention. I wondered if there was any real necessity for my small voice against the millions of blogs floating about in cyberspace.

Today, life is still full and those other obligations have blossomed rather than dwindled. There are millions more new blogs chiming in on the great chorus that is the blogosphere, and my small voice is in no way a powerful or an essential one. But the last few months have been an incessant, needling nudge to begin again and I find myself here, typing a first and not-so-first post.

I think it really began at my local writer's group where a handful of aspirants have gathered to work for the past year with a published fantasy author and skilled teacher. The subject of blogging came up several times in conversation. Always it was kind of spat from the mouth like a dirty word (practice it; you'll find it can sort of sound that way). I listened to my comrades' loud despisings of the blogging world and found myself wanting to jump to the defence of blogs. It isn't all sixteen-year-old girls offering minute-by-minute accounts of their trip to the mall, I thought to myself. But I smiled mildly and ignored their blog-rage.

Apparently my fellow writing groupers are not alone in their thinking. Robin Hobb compares blogging to the death-bite of the vampire, and perhaps rightly so if blogs take priority over other work in the way she suggests it will.

But over the last few months I've been able to see that there are others who respect blogging as a valuable, contemporary medium for rich communication. First, J. Mark Bertrand suggested that all hopeful writers need a website. 'Hopeful writer' is me to a T. And since I'm sadly devoid of valuable geek points, a blog seems the most apt synonym for website I can find (a blog, I can manage; a website, not so much). Then the recent issue of Writing Queensland arrived in the mail and, with it, the exhortation to build author platform, beginning with -- you guessed it -- the humble blog.

Finally I stumbled across a Desiring God blog post titled 6 Reasons Pastors Should Blog, and that clinched it for me. Obviously I'm not a pastor, but the spiritual benefits from regularly interacting through a blog, as outlined in the article, provided the last encouragement I needed to jump back into the blog world. Along with a few notes from friends ("Why aren't you blogging anymore?"), I was well and truly inspired.

So here I am (as in olden days / happy golden days of yore) with a first post that's been some months in the works. I've discovered that first posts are something of an art form. I've discovered that all the cool kids were blogging way back in 2002 or earlier (how does "fashionably late" sound to you?). And I've also discovered that I am dangerously prone to a temptation involving me wanting to compose the world's most awesome first blog post ever. Which is one of the problems with blogging, as Bob Kauflin deftly points out. So I've settled instead for a simple explanation of why I'm here.

What this blog ain't:
  • Danielle ruminating over which pearl to share from her great storehouse of wisdom. Because, if there is one lesson God has been driving home over the last twelve months, it's that I really know very little.
  • Danielle providing an example of scintillating wit and incredibly snappy writing. I like to hope that in about, oh, fifty years' time, I will be writing like that. But for now, it's the apprentice stuff.
  • Danielle offering those aforementioned moment-by-moment accounts of her exciting trips to the mall. I'm sure you can find that kind of material elsewhere. Then again, I am fond of bargains...

What I hope it will be:
  • The 'web presence' and 'author platform' that the writing gurus keep telling me I need to develop. Therefore do not be alarmed by frequent and seemingly mindless repetitions of my own name (Google, my name is Danielle Carey. Did you get that? Danielle Carey. Repeat after me: Danielle Carey).
  • You and me, sharing the good stuff that God brings our way, whether it be through a friend, a stranger, in the words of someone far smarter, or in the holy pages of Scripture.
  • And perhaps just a place to rejoice in the beauties of every day and life and love and people and God.

Come join me?

5 comments:

  1. This blog looks really lovely. I just love your writing and am such a fan. I am taking the unusual step of posting a comment just because this may well be the only opportunity I ever have to be first to post a comment in the whole gamma sphere of the mighty www. I look forward to reading more and can't wait for the novel. Can you guess who this is?

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  2. Hi Danielle,
    I'm really looking forward to reading more of your posts. I'm very glad that you have decided to have an open blog. I missed keeping up with your thoughts and news on your old blog "Omer of Manna". Hope you are all well.
    Sending lots of love,
    Tegan R.

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  3. The Queen is never late. Everyone else is simply early.

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  4. Happy to see you back. My thinkings were deeply provoked by your 'what this blog is/is not' section. Thank you! I know you say you don't intend to scatter pearls of wisdom, but I'll sit waiting for the unconscious ones which I know will fall fro m your pen (keyboard?) nevertheless. :)

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