My food blogging instructor (yes, such people exist) warned us about a few things during our semester-long course at a nearby community college.
- Blog at least once a week, or readers assume you’ve abandoned your blog.
- Keep posts short and sweet.
- Use lots of photos.
- Most bloggers stop after two years.
I’ve come back to the last one often because it’s tempting to ditch the whole thing and move onto other things. For the most part, bloggers don’t get paid, so our blogs are a labor of love stemming from a need to write and communicate with the outside world.
And though I’d be lying if I said I’ve never thought of packing it in, I love to write and am happiest when I’m using the creative part of my brain. I think most people are the same way, though sometimes we get sidetracked.
When I was in a creative funk, I used Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way,” which was given to me by my brother-in-law David, who’s an actor. Today, Cameron even has an online course to help people unblock their creative potential. If you’re feeling stuck, give it a try: https://juliacameronlive.com/the-artists-way/
This is my 200th post. I believe part of the reason I’ve stuck with it is my refusal to be a blogger who lasts only two years. I can be stubborn, enjoy a challenge and I don’t like quitters. And though it seems like I’ve been doing this forever, I’ve only been at it since May, 2017, meaning I’m only about six months past the quitter zone.
The focus of my blog has shifted somewhat. In the beginning, I wrote a lot about food because that was the focus of my coursework. But today, I write about whatever’s on my mind, and hope it resonates with at least one person. I love feedback, and am puzzled when people tell me that they read my blog but never like it or comment. Sometimes, I write a post in hopes of getting one of these holdouts out of the shadows (and I mean you, Greg M.).
I like to see the humor in life, but realize not everyone thinks I’m amusing. Some people think I’m an idiot. I know because a newspaper reader once said she thought I was a dipstick while I was standing in line at the fish store. My fish monger Dave was mortified, and so was I. People love to shoot the messenger, as any newspaper reporter will tell you.
My blog emerged from one of the worst periods of my life just after my son left for school. I struggled for months to figure out how to fill up the time that he once occupied. And believe me, that kid consumed a lot of my time, energy and focus.
One morning, I awakened with the idea for this blog and the title, which is based on my favorite childhood sandwich. I’ve never awakened with an idea like that before, so I guess there’s a first time for everything. All I know is that after months of floating, it was a relief to have my own little project.
I didn’t have a plan, just to write from the heart. Forty-seven drafts have never seen the light of day – probably a good thing. If I don’t have enough confidence to push the publish button, the blog probably won’t resonate with readers either.
Back in my newspaper days, editors always put an upbeat or light story on the front page to offset often tragic or disturbing stories. It was thought that these light or “fluff stories” – and by the way, I was once known as the “Queen of Fluff” – would provide relief to readers.
I’d like to think of this blog as a continuation of my fluff days. You all have enough on your plates – and believe me, that’s not lost on me – that you don’t need to read anything heavy here, or my philosophy on life. So I’ll continue to plug away, at least until I can put a little more distance between me and the quitting zone.
Thanks for reading, particularly my faithful followers and fellow bloggers who comment and let me know I’m not howling into the wind. You know who you are, and you’re a loyal crew.