Friday, August 2, 2013

Defining Blogs

Two days ago ended my month-long blog challenge.  When I counted out how many days I had missed, I couldn't believe I had skipped 16 days out of the month.  It didn't seem like that much at all, probably because my blogs were longer than average, so I guess I can count some of them as two entries.

I also realize that I've been blogging for over a year, and I've really enjoyed it.  Not all blogs are created equal, but they are endowed by their creator with certain distinctive styles.   That among these are ordinary everyday events (which sometimes require seat-of-the-pants writing).  Also, reviews of shows or artwork, and with those, my writing often feels a bit more confined, mostly because I want to do justice to another person's art form.   I've also gotten rather technical on some of the dance reviews, which the average reader might find rather challenging.  Ah, yes, the technical writer in me still lives, even as I write about something creative and abstract!

There are also my travel log reports which often turn into lists of restaurants and tourist attractions. These require some research, but a lot of people have found them helpful, and I have referred new readers to those posts, especially if they're looking for gluten-free options or ideas for things to do in the area.

Photos are always nice with any blog. Sometimes there are blogs that I've wanted to write, but I know they'd be better if I had the proper pictures to go with them.

I think my nostalgia pieces have been the most popular, but of course, I have a large family, and they get a kick out of reading about those detailed memories. 

Recently I was watching some old lecture DVDs from my MFA writing program about layering and the "second thing" in your story. I think that's what I've tried to do in my blogs. I've tried to create different layers for my audience to dwell in as they read, and to establish the "second thing" in the post so it's not just a list or a report or an analytical review.

The blog challenge this year has been great. I like it because it gives me a chance to write new material. (Most of the time, I'm revising and rewriting.)  But this month life is getting busier and with physical complications (which I will cover in my next post), I'm thinking my entries are going to be shorter.  And hopefully more layered and pithy while still achieving that "second thing."

Then again, I could set out to write a few short paragraphs (my intention for today), and end up with a lot more than I expected.

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