Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The evolution of my (our) blog

It all began simply enough. A father and son , bathing in their nerdiness, and glorifying the deity inside the computer decided to create a blog. (Kyle and his father if you hadn't guessed)

"What is a blog?" I naively asked said when they presented the idea to me. ( This was three years ago! How ignorant was I? When someone doesn't know what a blog is these days, my jaw falls from it's sockets onto the floor, similar to how a snake can unhinge his mouth to eat a hippo, yes a hippo. It is similar to how people stare at me open-mouthed when I admit that I don't know who Kylie Menogue is. Sorry people, that is why I keep Kyle around, I am completely useless when it comes to trivia. But I digress..)

"It's a public space for family and friends to read about our travels when we go to Italy." was Kyle's response to my silly question (We studied abroad there, and it was nothing short of amazing)

I have to admit, I was a bit put out when they created the site with kyle's name . It was our blog together, why did it only have Kyle's name with no mention of mine. No, I don't hold onto unnecessary and pointless grudges. Don't look at me like that. And no I don't have a list in my head to pull out anytime I get angry with Kyle for grievances from years past. Nope, that wouldn't be me. Still digressing....

And although it was our travel blog, with his name as the website name, I was the main blogger. As I continued to write and improve, I found that I enjoyed the art from of writing that I had always abhorred in the past. It was still a difficult task, but it was one that I found I had a talent for, unlike the paintings and drawings I was attempting in my art classes, which my friends were always kind enough to compliment, even when I knew my pieces were crap.

After Italy, we discontinued the blog, as it's main purpose was to inform family and friends of our where-abouts and happenings while in Europe.

The next year however, after hubby and I were hitched, my fingers craved the sweet feeling of the keys dipping into the secret world of the keyboard once again. I needed an outlet for creation and blogging seemed to be the perfect solution. So I created this blog, with the name to allow my creativity to thrive, grow and sprout through words into a beautiful flourishing vine, always reaching higher and further into the sky towards the delicious tentacles of the sun. (There was only a little spite involved when I created the name to the web page) I wrote sporadically, with my readers consisting of mostly family and very few friends . Our Italy blog had mostly been mine except of course for the name and a few scattered posts from Kyle, so I needed to create a space for me. A blank page to express my feelings, and test the watering holes of the writing world. Some of my favorite posts to date were from my early days, because each post seemed like such an accomplishment, something I could feel proud of. Something I created, words, sentences, and poetry that came from my brain.

When we left for Chile, however, the blog once again evolved into our blog to help keep family and friends informed and up to date with our lives while we were in a far far away land. I have always loved blogging while away from the things I know, because inspiration is given freely while away; traveling is my muse. Everything looks, smells and feels different. The low flying birds, the grey sand, and the chickens, something once considered ordinary becomes extraordinary and something worth writing about.

When we returned to the states from South America, a body suite of issues the weight of a grand piano fell from the heavens onto our shoulders. Smaller bricks continued to be loaded on as the months wore on and we continued hearing worse and worse news concerning Kyle and his degree from the University. My fingers rather than craving the familiar keyboard had developed a repulsion, a reaction that two of the same side magnets create when they are attempted to be placed together, a refusal to unite. I was stunned into silence by our continual failures to follow our dream. Only when the brick load began to feel the possibility of being shedded, did my fingers find their way back to their disinherited home.

But not only has the timing and reasons for my blogging changed, but so has my outlook on how and why a blog should be conducted. As it started as a travelers blog, my focus was on the unique experiences that we encountered, such as the strange exploding toilets or my new love of gelato. Once the new Vanessa blog with a freshly hospital white palette was created, so did my writing subject change. I began to write about the ordinary with a twist, as my life was anything but exciting. The true evolution however began this past summer, when I discovered the secret world of blogging. Underneath our noses, like the underground railroad, or the organized crime during prohibition, there has been a thriving community of bloggers sharing their life stories, spilling their blood, guts and pure emotions for all to read and share. Once I discovered this underground community, I realized that there was a specific style unique to blogging which was different to my own. They wrote witty, creative stories, shorter and less pristine, more accepting of errors. Reading their blogs were more like talking with a friend, personal yet light and almost always humorous. While with my writing style, I strove for perfection, an attempt to mold words into a statue of David. In this world, I also found that it was perfectly acceptable to follow a perfect strangers blog. Bloggers who knew nothing of each other besides what they read on blogs became friends, created communities and had an entirely secret underworld from the rest of humanity. I began to imitate other bloggers styles as I waded through this new world. Before I incorporated myself into this blogging world, my only readers were my friends and family, however I soon strove to gain more readers, and more blogging buddies. In reality my motivation for this was for self-actualization, to feel important, to feel like my writing was special, but outwardly my reason was that I had and still have a goal of writing and publishing a book one day. I needed to find out if perfect strangers would take to my writing or if it was something not worth pursuing. (I realize that those who write blogs might not necessarily be the same audience for the book I plan to write one day so I don't worry too much about that.)

As a writer it is important to write what we know, and write what inspires us, but it is also important to know your audience and what inspires them. Before writing a blog, I often find myself asking, "why do people read my blog and why do people not read it? What is it that they find intriguing, what do they find boring? Are the stories too detailed, does it not create enough conversation?" So, my readers it is your turn, what is your opinion. What do you enjoy reading about? In your opinion, what makes a good blog? When you come to my web page what is it that you seek? (And I promise, I will talk much more about Korean culture because I assume many people are interested in the cultural differences here)

As a side note, mostly for other bloggers: Recently I have come across a blog who is hosting an event called Blogapalooza: What I learned in 2008. He is trying to get at least 100 bloggers who would like to share a post from each month of 2008 that expresses their feelings for the past year. If you would like to participate you must enter before January 25th. Check it out. It is pretty cool.

Flashback of the evolution of the blog for those interested
If you want to read some of our old posts from Italy: click here
The start of this blog for Vanessa only: A bamboozeld mess: Trials of marriage , The Yellow brick road (how the blog got it's name)
South America adventures blogs: A post by Kyle

Thank for taking the time to share with us. We really appreciate your encouragement, support and even criticisms as long as they are constructive. Have a blessed day.


Mrs. S said...

That was so interesting! You write incredibly well! I really enjoy reading your thoughts and views and different things that go on!!

Star Forbis said...

Thanks so much for visiting my Blog out in Arizona today. Come back anytime.

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