I'm five hours away from home, groggy from a terrible cold and medicine I've taken to get me through. I have a cup of decaf for my throat which was so sore that swallowing woke me at four and wouldn't let me get back to sleep. I'm far from home, up early, and laid low by this cold, but have done my three Morning Pages and know the day will get better.
Yesterday, in Cait Flanders' newsletter, was this passage about blogs:
I've been craving stories. Journeys to follow. Even just the "boring" (NOT BORING) updates we used to share on blogs. Like what are you thinking about right now? What have you been curious enough to actually learn more about? And where are the BEGINNERS!? Where are the people who are raising their hands and saying "I have no idea what I'm doing, but here's what I'm attempting and my progress so far"? I miss those days. Blogging was actually fun, back then.
I get that. Almost all the blogs and newsletters I read are very focused and the writer is an expert (if not the expert) on that idea. This is how one builds a platform (ugh) and a following (ugh), through specific focus such as on living frugally, being much more Zen, or retiring early to name a few I have been reading. These are good for now, but I wonder if, like subscribing to Runners World, that focus wears thin. I could only subscribe to that rag for eight months before the same damn run your fastest 5K! article would make me puke.
My interests are general and so I enjoy Austin Kleon's and Alan Jacobs' writings which focus on the lives of their writers. Thoreau was focused on his living near Walden, but really it's a memoir of living. I like memoir. I like blogs that feel like listening to a friend. My friend is a photographer, but that's only a slice of what we discuss. Then there are Genesis, turntables, our shared history, the Thousand Islands, parents and wives, geology, writing, books, friends, and whatever else we think of.
Go back to the magazine comparison. I like The New Yorker and The New York Times, and I love The Sun because they talk about most everything. There are themes and a feel to each, but they range all over. That's what I like and so, this far anyway, that's what I write.
I have my own recurring themes: Morning Pages, reading, teaching, schools, running, and so on, but there isn't just one thing the blog is about.
I'm unlikely to build much of a following or platform that way, but then again, who's to say? I think of the blog like Morning Pages and I'm on the last few lines of page one of three, about to flip over to a clean, blank page two. It's early in the morning. I have only the slightest idea what I will say on pages two and no idea how the thing will end. It's a journey, an exploration, a way of learning. I'm a beginner. I'm by no means the expert, though I'm feeling more confident in my expertise about a few things and maybe they will become the focal points.
I should go. The coffee and medicine have eased some of the pain in my throat. I've done Morning Pages (about how to do Morning Pages away from home) and written this post. It's time to see what else the day has to offer and what I might want to think about next. This is just the beginning.