Phannie

Phannie
Photo taken at Winchester Bay, Oregon

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Blogging, Unwrapped

I was sort of shamed into doing an update to this blog after reading Jay’s blog post from November 3rd. (http://jayandstellasadventures.blogspot.com.)  He was explaining that he hadn’t been posting daily because there wasn’t much going on but, to put things in perspective, he quickly mentioned other RV bloggers he reads who haven’t posted in a much longer period of time—one of them back to July! 

Now, I’m not sure I am the blogger to whom he referred, but that spitwad certainly found its target, since July 26 was my last post.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you may have noticed that I’ve been struggling with the posting frequency issue, although I’m fully aware of the reader psychology involved.  Reading a daily blog, if it’s written well enough to hold my interest, is much like reading a good book or watching a favorite TV series.  Each episode ties into the next and, after a while, I get to know the characters and get caught up in the story.

I know I enjoy reading a daily blog that’s interestingly written, even when not much is going on with the writer. Oddly enough though, I still find it excruciatingly difficult to write when my day is unremarkable, like those when I’m chained to my desk at work.  And yes, I’m sure that my disdain for the remaining 209 work days could have some bearing on my recalcitrance. This excuse is a little lame, however, as other bloggers mentioned below, like Dee and Jim, Boris and Natasha, John and Bridget, Randy and Pam—it didn’t deter them!  They blogged almost daily before they retired.  (I probably need a good therapist.)

Many of the blogs I read (like Jay’s) reveal the writers’ ability to overcome any pre-retirement writer’s block by, well, writing, I suppose.  Not only writing, mind you, but writing, as in Jay’s case, in a highly personal way.  For example, Jay was very candid about his last months as a police officer, compelling me to read his entire blog—something I do only when I find a favorite.  I found his story engaging and highly revealing of his personality and the way he and Stella handled the big changes for them and their family members as they transitioned into retirement and fulltime RVing.  

Jay, like others I follow, has a natural ability as a writer and knows instinctively that the essence of holding a reader’s interest is not to recount merely what he sees or where he goes or what he experiences, but how he and the other characters feel about those things. Nothing will make me click out of a blog faster than viewing a bunch of photos with the writing amounting to little more than photo captions.  If there is no story and no characters, I’m outta there.  Blogs that are interesting to read don’t require professional writing skills, either.  The ones I mention below show various levels of facility with language, but that doesn’t matter nearly as much as telling the story in a way that causes the reader to feel he or she is there, using all the senses—seeing, talking, hearing, touching, smelling—experiencing it in person.

Besides Jay’s, here are a few other favorite blogs by great storytellers:

There are others, of course, that are very good, but I think these are among the best.  I’m always on the lookout for interesting bloggers. 

So, what does all this analysis have to do with me and (the infrequent posts in) my blog?  Well, just bear with me; I’m working through my fear of being criminally boring, so I am going to start slowly—maybe posting once or twice a week when not traveling. We’ll see how it goes.

7 comments:

  1. I remember telling several folks who were snowbirds to keep on blogging, even when back home. You do form friendships online and it's nice to keep up with things. Sometimes I just skim the post, sometimes I read every word and sometimes I just mark it read (I use a reader). But I appreciate the posts regardless!

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  2. Thanks for the mention Mike & it's quite an honor to be rated up there with those other folks. Who would have ever thunk it huh. Some of the people on the list I read & two of them I've met. Someone recently commented about blogging being a great form of theraphy & I am inclined to agree with that. It gets a little frustrating sometimes, a little embarrassing at others, but overall it leaves me at the end of the day with a feeling of purpose. Not necessarily the feeling of a job well done all the time, but always with a feeling of accomplishment. Dust off that keyboard & get those fingers limbered up Mike, it's time for another writer to step out of the bloggers closet:))

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  3. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the mention in your blog. I think everyone goes through what you are discussing. I have/had the same fears at times.

    Sometimes I change the reason I write a particular blog ~ instead of trying to be interesting I write a blog to document what we've done that day or week because I don't want to forget.

    Sometimes I write a post because I find it interesting. I think once you develop a following, as you have done, your readers will get to know you and they will determine (as Froggi) indicated how often they will read your blog.

    For a while I was blogging daily because I was afraid of losing my touch and I wanted to challenge myself.
    I am sure you will do fine as you decide how often to blog when you travel and when you are home.

    Good post and thanks for the note.

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  4. Mike, thanks for the kind words. It means a lot to me to have others follow my blog. Keep yours going too.

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  5. Thanks for the mention Mike. I started writing a blog after chatting with the folks in the RV-Dreams chat room. Most all of them had a blog I was reading so I started one. Nowadays my wife writes most of them. We write daily just so our family and friends can see what we have been up to. Like Al, we have met some of the people on our blog and we would love to meet all of them. We usually read the blogs in the morning. Enjoy blogging as much as you like whether it be daily or monthly.

    Stay Safe

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  6. found your site through the Bayfield Bunch!..very good post today!..even though it has been a few months in the making..we all suffer from bloggers block at some point but the thoughts come back..not to worry...there are no rules ...you don't need to post everyday!!..

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  7. I found your blog today thanks to Al and the Bayfield Bunch. Cruising back through your blog makes me happy that you are going to start posting again. It's true, it's like a great tv series and I don't want to miss any episodes,

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