If you told me I’d still be blogging 17 years later, and daily at that, I would have thought you were daft. I’m not much for daily rituals. Yet here we are.
Let me tell you a reason I DON’T do this. I have no sense that I know all the answers. Sure, I might know a few things. And thanks to the collective wisdom of you all, I know more about topics I didn’t think about than I could have imagined.
Let’s talk about the blog itself. When I started blogging on Blogger/Blogspot, I didn’t use any pictures/graphics. It simply hadn’t occurred to me to do so. Then, when I tried, it just didn’t work. They recommended a product called Picasa which I NEVER got to work, ever. Finally, I trial and error-ed my way to posting pictures.
Then I moved my blog over to WordPress. I had my fits and starts, more than I care to remember, frankly. But when I moved to another host, it came with ideas about plugins I should use, such as Yoast. Yoast offers all sorts of suggestions about SEO such as internal links (I do when I can), sentence length, passive voice, et al. I DO add subheadings, as recommended because I figure it makes the content easier to read. But I’m not locked into taking in all of the ideas.
The blogger fail
Oh, I should tell you a dumb thing I did with my blog this year. WordPress periodically releases updates. On March 11, it released version 5.9.2. Somehow – don’t ask me how ’cause I dunno – instead of updating, I overrode my whole blog! My home page was a Welcome To Your New Blog message. Fortunately, my provider, DreamHost was able to reinstate the backup in a couple of hours.
The best thing I’ve learned to do on the blog is to write when the inspiration hits. If I know what I want to write about for Labor Day, and it’s the middle of June, I’ll write about it before the summer solstice. It’s better than ignoring it than struggling with coming up with something at the end of August.
There are certain things I know that I’ll write about: holidays, birthdays, anniversaries. Also, I created a list of people who turned 70 in 2022. Why 70? It’s the three score and ten in the Bible, I suppose. But it’s also at a point when their accomplishments are clear. And picking a standardized birthday is easier than trying to remember if/when I wrote about them. This is why it’s Joe Cocker on May 20, 2014, and Cher on May 20, 2016.
It doesn’t mean I HAVE to write about them. In April, Steven Seagal (actor, the 10th), EJ Dionne (I watched him on the McNeil/Lehrer Report, 23rd), Bill Belichick (New England Patriot coach, the 16th), and Larry Elder (ran for governor of California, the 27th) all turned 70. I realized I didn’t have 300 words to write about them, and I try to write 300 words every day except my birthday. Or I just didn’t feel like wasting my energy on them, such as Harvey Weinstein (March 19).
Ultimately, I blog because it’s useful for me. It’s a public forum to actually goad me to think about things that are confusing, irritating, uncomfortable. More often than not, I discover something new about a topic I thought I had mastered. If you like it, that’s a bonus.
Oh, yeah, the musical selections. Both involve a 17-y.o. male and 16 y.o female. I picked Sixteen Going On Seventeen from The Sound of Music, not for the song itself, but because, as the story progresses, the narrative becomes largely untrue. (He’s) Seventeen from the Meet The Supremes album is really corny, especially the bridge, but I enjoy early Motown.