The best blogs are those with a single focus, or so they say. At the beginning, I blogged about my efforts to get published. When my books were accepted for publishing and before they were released, I concentrated on having guest bloggers. After my books were published, I blogged about writing, promotion, and the progress of my current works (or rather the lack of progress). Then, about a year ago, my soul mate died, and this blog developed a dual personality — the almost dry articles about books and writing and the very wet and weepy articles about grief.
Now I need to decide where I want to go with this blog, to figure out what I want to say. Grief is still a part of my life and will be for some time to come, but I don’t want to be that woman — the one who hugs her sorrow and doesn’t seem to be able to move on. (To a great extent I have moved on. Only you and I know how much I still hurt.) Nor do I want to go back to focusing solely on writing and other literary matters. I’m not sure I have anything to say that hasn’t been said a thousand times before by people far more literate (and interesting) than I.
Even more than having a single focus, the best blogs are written by those who have a unique slant on a subject, who write what only they can write, who chronicle life’s journey in such a manner that the ordinary becomes extraordinary. But . . . it isn’t necessary to be a great blogger to get the benefits of keeping a web log.
In the past couple of years I’ve developed an interest in photography. I have a separate blog for photos — Wayword Wind — and I joined 365 Project, committing to taking a photo every day for a year. This project has helped to turn my focus outward. While walking, I tend to let my mind wander, and it generally wanders to what (or rather who) I have lost, so searching for that special image each day makes me more alert to my surroundings, to what is rather than what is not.
In the same way, blogging helps concentrate my thoughts, makes me more alert to my inner surroundings. Sometimes it seems as if I’m too full of myself, my posts a bit too pedantic, and yet it’s all part of my journey. Like this blog, I seem always to be in a state of flux, searching for some sort of identity . . . or at least a focus.
If I ever find where I’m going, either with my life or with this blog, I’ll let you know.
March 19, 2011 at 4:31 pm
Pat, I can relate to what you are experiencing. I lost my best friend, soulmate 10 years ago. It took some time to re-invent myself and become the me I was without my husband. Over all the journey has been hard, joyful and humorous! I wish you ease of spirit.
I enjoyed reading your blog today for the first time.
March 19, 2011 at 11:23 pm
Thank you for stopping by, Paula. It’s always good to hear from those who have made this journey before me. It’s especially helpful on nights like tonight when I don’t think I’ll make it. I’m glad you found joy and humor in your life, that it wasn’t all sadness.
March 19, 2011 at 9:38 pm
If I ever find where I’m going, either with my life or with this blog, I’ll let you know. I got to that sentence, Pat, and laughed out loud! I’ll bet the majority of us can identify with it.
Not long after I started blogging a web marketer evaluated my site. and one recommendation was to identify a unique focus for it. It sounded like a good goal but I never did accomplish it. I’m not an expert at any one thing that I want to market there. Even if I reach the point of having a book published I won’t be a writing guru. My blog continues to reflect my different interests as a person… the multitude of things that occur to me when I’m “musing”. Blogging is a personal thing. As far as I’m concerned what’s important about blogging is its opportunity for self-expression and communication with others. It works for me anyway.
March 19, 2011 at 11:27 pm
Carol, It does make sense to have a focus. A lot of people who are interested in my blogs about writing are not interested in the grief bits and vice versa, so no matter what I write about, I feel as if I am isolating half my readers. I keep having to remind myself that even if no one reads what I write, it’s still necessary to write for myself, so I have a hunch that, even though a focus makes sense, I will continue writing whatever I most need to write.
March 20, 2011 at 9:12 am
I knew right off that I wasn’t an expert on anything, so I just flew by the seat of my pants. I’m still amazed by the success of some blogs where the content is … I’m looking for a polite word… shallow. Then there are those blogs that you look forward to. Klahanie writes about fighting depression. His humour is what draws me back time and time again. Careann’s Musings touch my female side, my spirituality. Same with Katt’s Komments. Her relationship with God is all inspiring. But almost 3 years later, I’m still not sure where my blog theme should be. None of this answers your question, Pat. But regardless of whether you find your path or not, I’ll be following.
March 20, 2011 at 7:14 pm
Maybe I need to be less restrictive rather than more. Several people have suggested talking about the themes in my books. I haven’t wanted to follow through since so many of those themes are the sort that can draw unwanted attention, but there is no one else but me to be hurt by such attention anymore. I’m hoping to learn to be bolder in the coming years. This could be a good start: become a bolder blogger.
March 20, 2011 at 10:53 am
We naturally balk at change, but change is good. Without it we would become mentally and emotionally stagnant.
I can see this blog taking a new direction while following the inner path. Exploring who you are becoming even as you draw away from the pain of loss and into your future.
March 20, 2011 at 7:09 pm
I’ve had enough change in my life this past year to last me a lifetime, but I have a hunch the major changes haven’t yet begun. Shoudl be interesting to see what happens.
March 22, 2011 at 10:43 am
I wrestle with that single focus notion all the time. Yes, it makes for consistency, reader comfort, and maybe a following of people who like that focus. But it can also be restrictive, turning away the people who don’t like that focus. It’s hard to decide which way to go.
March 23, 2011 at 6:43 pm
Maybe that single focus is the reason so many people give up blogging. They get bored with that single topic.
March 25, 2011 at 8:29 am
Pat, people like you and I have multiple interests, and it’s inevitable that this plentitude will find it’s way into our blogs. I always like hearing your perspective and look forward to the new directions you will bring your readers in this blog journey.