Beginning Blogging, revisited

Following on the heels of yesterday’s post, the editors of The Lamppost sent me a link to another blog posting about getting started, which draws its inspiration from the fable of the tortoise and the hare.

I like what Kaila Colbin has to say.  In some ways, I’m loathe to exercise the patience Kaila talks about, but the points in that post are very well taken.  After all, virtually everything that’s worth having in life comes as the result of considerable effort.  So if patience, time, commitment, and steady blogging are the hallmarks of a successful blog, I’m willing to puruse that.

I can certainly relate to the obsession over blog stats.  I, too, check my stats several times a day, and am delighted with each new (non-spam) comment.  After all, most of us write in order to be read.

There are still three things, in particular, that I struggle with as I work to build this blog.  One is finding my place in the blogosphere.  I’m writing this blog from the perspective of my experiences as a teleworker, though my thoughts and comments can wander far afield.  The question I keep asking myself is: am I adding any value?  Is this loosely focussed perspective on life something that people will enjoy returning to time and again?  The hare in me wants to know — now — what people will want to read.  The tortoise in me is trying to just focus on the pleasure of writing, and let things fall into place over time.

The second aspect of blogging that is a challenge for me is the linking aspect.  I like being able to link to other’s posts, to reflect on what people have said, to encourage my readers to explore the web and the blogging universe.  The challenge, for me, is finding blogs that I like to read.  Simply jumping to random blogs doesn’t seem the best approach, but how then do we discover new bloggers, with whom we can engage in discussion?  Certainly, there are a few that I visit regularly: Techdirt, engadget, Penny Arcade (warning – not suitable for young viewers), News.com, Tom’s Hardware, The Lamppost.  But you may have sensed a theme in most of those; they’re very tech-focussed, and while I’m deeply interested in tech, that’s not what this blog is all about, nor do I want all my comments to be in that paraticular area.  I’m curious to know, then, how other bloggers do it.

That, by the way, was a very thinly veiled request for comments.

The third challenge is time.  Blogging is a hobby for me.  It’s something I need to fit in at the end of my workday, in the midst of my responsibilities at work and my responsibilities at home.  Inspiration is sometimes at a minimum, but the real challenge to posting reguarly is time, I find.  The Gratitude Postings are a lifesaver, in one sense; they’re quick, they’re on a theme, and while they require some reflection, they save me from casting about for some topic on which to write.

I just try to keep in mind that I really started this blog to give myself a chance to write, and I need to make sure I don’t lose focus on that.  After all, if we’re doing what we enjoy, sooner or later that delight is going to show through, in one form or another.

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5 Responses to Beginning Blogging, revisited

  1. Lynnita W. says:

    I’ve been enjoying your thoughts on blogging.

    I, too, am new to all of this and am trying to find blogs to read in my area of interest (in my case, international development).

    I’ve found it helpful to do a search on Technorati using tags that relate to my area of interest. Usually a few blogs appear that I quickly check and subscribe to if they seem at all relevant. Then I wait and watch what they post; if they start to annoy me, I unsubscribe quickly; if they fail to impress after a month or so, I unsubscribe; if, however, they keep me entertained and informed (as Siege Curmudgeon does), then I keep my subscription alive.

    And then there’s the obvious, though time-consuming, act of checking the blogrolls of sites that one does like. I’ve stumbled across a number of gems that way.

  2. Helios Apollo says:

    Blog your passion. Blog for you. The gratitude posts great and will probably have a positive side effect for your soul.

  3. siegecurmudgeon says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and suggestions, Lynnita W and Helios Apollo. You’re providing great advice.

    My mantra at this point: dance as if no one is watching, write as if no one will read it, and blog what you want to.

  4. The Wife says:

    On the telecommuting note (if that’s one of the theme’s you want to go with), perhaps you should create a category for telecommuting posts (in addition to Happening and Gratitude, etc)? That way it would be a link on the main page and every time you open the blog you will look at it you will think of it. Then it will always be noodling in the back of your brain and soon enough you’ll have thought of lots of telecommuting things to post about. Perhaps I am not explaining it well so I refer you to our discussion we had about my pal Oprah and her show about the vision board. Let’s hope we’re so entwined that you can interpret what I am thinking of…

  5. siegecurmudgeon says:

    That’s a very good point. Given that the theme (or at least one of the themes) of the blog is supposed to be the adventures of a telecommuter, I should really have that as one of the categories.

    Believe it or not, I’ve been mulling the vision board over from time to time. Perhaps one of these days you’ll even see a post on it.

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