Fire In The Hole

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Today I am confronting that blogger’s dilemma, to blog or not to blog; more precisely, whether to continue to blog. I should be doing the dishes or the laundry or my homework. Instead, I decided to light a fire and give some thought to my blogging activities.

This blog began as a way to help me process grief. You can read more about that here. I also wrote a book which helped me express my emotions during that painful time. You can read more about that here. While I was fumbling around learning how to blog, I began to discover that I enjoy writing. I also discovered that I needed to become better at it. That’s when I discovered Friday Fictioneers and my blogging world changed forever. Shortly after making all of these discoveries, I decided to go back to school.

Now I write ALL THE TIME.

Academic writing doesn’t seem much harder to me than blogging. Don’t get me wrong, it is challenging, but for the most part what I’ve been doing couldn’t really be considered that scholarly. Reflective essays are not the same as a dissertation. The closest I’ve come to that level of research was my grant proposal.

Now THAT was challenging.

From my novice perspective, creative writing here in the blogosphere does require a sense of purpose similar to academic composition. State your thesis (rant). Back it up with something more than, “because I say so” and throw in a few pictures here and there. Most of all, as my friend Rochelle has taught me, make every word count.

It seems simple enough. However, I often wonder if my regular readers are out there asking, “What have you done for us lately, HonieBriggs?” You know what I’m talking about. We question if our blog is fresh and relevant or if it is a bag of moldy bran muffins. Have I done a good job engaging readers? Should I take it in a new direction? I assure you this will not turn into a cooking blog. I don’t have the time to prepare and photograph beautiful food. Besides, I really don’t use recipes much. Yes, a pantster in the kitchen too.

I do think maybe I’m all over the place and perhaps I should pick a subject already. Nah!

Blogging has brought a great deal of joy into my life. I have shared photos, rants, personal challenges, poetry and prose, and made some new friends along the way. It is an affordable addiction, and one I’m not ready to give up on just yet. So, I am looking for ways to spruce up the joint. With any luck, this little blog of mine will get a new lease on life. Otherwise it will be blown to smithereens. Let me know if you have ever thought about making a run for it and how you managed to keep calm and blog on.

#ADSBELOWTHISPOSTARENOTENDORSEDBYTHISBLOGGER

41 thoughts on “Fire In The Hole

      1. I continue to have this same issue. When I realize A blog I enjoy is missing from my reader, I go in search of it and usually find I’ve missed quite a few posts. GAAAAAHH! Thanks for finding me floating around in the ether. 😉

    1. Thanks, Dawn. The thing is, my reasons for blogging have changed since I began. The interaction with so many talented, creative people has given me new reasons to keep blogging. I appreciate your encouragement.

  1. I think this question crosses all of our minds from time to time… blogging is such a unique form of writing, and it really does take a great deal of work to pull off those “simple” posts that are truly effective. It’s encouraging, however, to think of being able to touch the heart of someone on the other side of the globe… that just wasn’t possible for our grandparents! We live in an exciting time…

  2. I take breaks, there are times when life hammers me over the head and I shut down. I read other people, I comment sometimes late but mostly I shut down. I have done this lately. It isn’t because I am lazy, it isn’t because I have nothing to say. It is simply because I am soul weary and I need to break away. I think it is fine to do this, I think maybe we all need to break away sometimes.

    I love coming here and reading. I hope you will stay and continue to treat us to your unique voice.

  3. I have only one piece of advice to give – don’t stop! Just because your reason for blogging has changed doesn’t mean you should stop having an online presence.

    If real life is getting a bit much then only post when you need to get something off your chest. Or when you’re really happy, or when you just feel like it.

    The total number of your followers may decrease, but your friends will greet you with open arms whenever you do post. This blogging gig really doesn’t have to be all or nothing. 😀

  4. My philosophy is, just tell stories. Maybe they happened back in 1979. Maybe they happened this morning. Maybe they’re funny. Maybe they aren’t…but maybe they’re interesting, instead. Or thought provoking. Maybe they’re none of those things. In which case, yeah…time to hang up the blog.

    But don’t hang up yours. You may be all over the place, but so am I. And I like to think those are the most interesting blogs of all.

    1. I agree, Mr. Petruska. Gaahhh! The auto correct keeps wanting to call you Etruscan!
      Okay, got that out of my system. No hanging up is happening. At least not any time soon. I would just like, I can’t pinpoint it, less Picasso and more Monet.

  5. You are right where I was before I left. I wrote a few of these “what am I doing here” posts like this one, then one day just decided to stop. Then I spent 14 months constantly wondering if I should start again! I’m not sure you ever really can get away from it completely once you’ve blogged for awhile. A good long break isn’t all bad though to get the fire started again!

    1. I think many readers were wondering if you would start again. 😃 I for one am glad you did. I took a break over the summer last year and the holiday season too because of my surgery. I don’t think it is a break from blogging I need so much as a fresh approach. I’ll figure it out one of these days.

    1. I breathe, therefore I blog. Part of the cycle of life in the digital age. Yes, I remember that post. We discussed the waxing and waning of the joys of blogging. Your site inspires me. Your camera must have come back from the shop.
      Thanks for your kind remark, Lyle.

  6. “Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.” —Rumi

    I hope that you keep posting, in one form or another, as time permits. Reading your rants, flash fiction and personal insights inspires me to grow beyond my comfort zone. —Allan

    1. Allan, you flame fanner! Say that ten times fast. What an honor it is to receive such a compliment. Not to worry, I’m just having one of those moments we all have from time to time, needing inspiration…
      Or a flame thrower.

  7. Certainly I’ve thought about making a run for it and spending the time instead working on my novel. But a writer needs an online presence, and the interactions I’ve engaged in with people all over the world are wonderful. So I power on and take breaks when I need them, because I still really enjoy the process.

    I hear you about writing a grant proposal. Talk about the need for a lot of words to get a simple point across. Ugh.

    Good luck finding your groove again with your blog!

    1. Thanks, Carrie. Yes, the grant proposal was twenty-five pages to say, “Please give me some money. I’ll be responsible with it and I’ll give you a full accounting of how it was used to help the community.” Of course a logic model, budget, and all that jazz had to go in there too, but the part I found easiest to write was the narrative. Telling a story so the reader could make that all important personal connection with the people who would be served by their funding. I truly believe blogging has helped me hone that skill.

  8. It must be the grey weather causing so many to drizzle and wonder. I did academic/research writing for far too long – it is a different sort of writing. Blogging was a freewheeling mudding relief. As with anything, the more you practice/write the more you improve – and while cruising around blogland you find options and opportunities. Being around writers /creative people does get wheels spinning. There’s something to be said about being around creative communities encourage you to be creative and produce. Blogging seems to be something of a catalyst – something like a yeast starter for bread.
    If you feel like blogging, do it. If not, don’t make it a “job”. Wander off if you like. You can always post a pix or two saying in a note you’re fine and off to this venture or that. This is supposed to be fun. Wing it. And smile, always.

    1. Freewheeling mudding relief! That is terrific. The community of creative writers and photographers here does make it worth every minute I invest in blogging. Thanks for giving it to me straight, always. ~~still smiling~~

  9. I’ve come up against this wall several times over the past few years. The longer I’ve blogged, the more connections I make and they’re invaluable to me, especially being an at-home writer and wanting interaction. Blogging gets the cobwebs out for me – the novel is getting intense, so some posts serve as a relief valve to write other things.

    The other thing that I’ve realized is that it never has to be a stay-or-go decision. It can be a deliberate break. And usually, if you let the readers know, they’ll be there when you return.
    I’m always delighted when you pop up in the reader and have valued our connection over the last few years.

    1. Me too. I feel the same way about connections I’ve made here, and it’s true, some days blogging is that relief valve that makes it possible to get on with the business of living. You are right, as usual. 😉

  10. I’m not averse to change, but I like your blog just the way it is. I’ve always appreciated your perspectives (rants, if you must), your humor and the beautiful photos.
    I have wondered what I could do to snazz my blog up a bit but then I go back to why I blog in the first place: to improve my writing and share my love of books. I hope I’m not being lazy, but that’s enough for me. At any rate, I look forward to whatever you come up with.

    1. This means a great deal to me. Snazzing up the blog is really more for the blogger, isn’t it? Unless, of course it’s a commerce blog. Then I suppose a blog must have a pro look and feel. I’ve changed themes here only once, and that was just for me. It’s the writing that is for everyone else…and me too, but you get my meaning. I’m sure it matters not at all if I have bells and whistles as long as I don’t lose my voice. Thanks for the kind words.

    1. Well, thanks for that. Speaking of humor, do you think the fire picture looks like little flame people holding hands and dancing in a circle? I appreciate your comments and have enjoyed reading about your recent slice of Americana vacation to Disney World. Sorry about the inconsiderate people blocking your view at the show. They probably were Americans. We’re famous for thinking we are the only people on the planet.

      1. There’s that humour again! We had a great trip, can’t wait to come back again.
        Yes, I totally see the little flame people. There is a very cute one just to the left of centre at the bottom holding arm up and kicking his/her leg up in the air.

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