I have a new resolution, even though we’re a quarter into the year: read more blogs. I don’t not read blogs… There are blogs that I follow, and I read them pretty regularly (once or twice per week), but the number of new blogs I’ve given a chance to, or the time I have spent searching out blogs that interest me… I could do better.
I have known for almost a year that I should be more active in the blogosphere – not as a writer, because at four blogs per week, I’m about as active as I (or anyone else) can stand, but as a reader, and participant, someone who leaves comments and adds to the discussion. There are so many wonderful blogs and wonderful voices out there – why haven’t I already done this?
Well, the answer is lame, because it feels like nothing more than a bunch of excuses. I’m busy. I read tons of books for work/research/book reviews, I can’t keep up with the two magazine subscriptions I already have (I’m always four months behind), I run a business, practically run a house, I have personal obligations, health issues, and I am working on two manuscripts, hoping to get one of them (or both!) ready to submit to potential agents and publishers. Basically, I really am busy, and that’s no joke. But the reason it feels like a weak excuse is that I can always find time for something that matters. So really, I just need to make it a priority.
I will read more blogs. I will find blogs that I want to follow and read regularly. I will contribute to the discussions. I will read a new blog at least every… what is a decent, but realistic goal? Once a week? Twice a week? As many times as I write posts for my own blog every week? I’m not sure of the particulars, but this is something that I need to commit to, if for no other reason than I feel strongly about it.
Blogging has been great for me. After only a year I feel great about my blog. Sometimes it can be stressful, writing something new and worthwhile to meet the expectation I have set for myself: posting four times per week. But it also almost guarantees daily quality writing, and I love that. And the more that I write for my blog, the easier it seems to write for other purposes, like my book or a meaningful letter or an informative review. And since I care about everything I blog about, it’s also therapeutic. If I ever feel like I’m not being heard, or I have these pressing thoughts about something whether it be politics, funny stories, opinions about books, current events or a medical ordeal or personal confession, I can put it out there, and just let it be. Getting it out of me and onto the page always helps, but putting it out there for anyone else to read seems to make me braver, each and every time.
And I need that if I really intend to make a career out of writing. I need to be able to put myself out there, I need that courage. And this is like my practice. I mean it’s more than that obviously, but it’s preparing me for that stage of my life and career, which will hopefully come to be in the next few years. And that’s an incredible bonus.
But then I think about all of the blogs I’m missing out on. I think about all of the other people who are being brave, and sharing their thoughts and feelings and view with the world. Some may be on passionate opinions about things or other people, and others may be deeply personal, whether it be confessional or sharing their unique experiences with others… I’m not the only one being brave. And I want to hear those voices, read their words, and their stories and be a part of some greater blogging community that doesn’t just consist of me and the few blogs I already follow.
I’m breaking out of my blog reading rut. I’m committed. I’m a committee. (That was a Buffy line! 🙂 ) I am going to read more blogs. I am going to find blogs that speak to me – ones that I connect with – that aren’t just one-time things, and I am going to follow these blogs. I am going to keep up with the blogs that I follow, and leave comments, and “like” the posts where I’m like, “Yeah! Right on!” And I am going to read at least two new blogs every week. I am going to read thirty minutes worth of blogs every day that I write my own blog post.
Before I could give them much thought, the goals flew out of my head and onto the page via my hands. There they are. I’ve got this. I am going to do this. I am going to read more blogs! (I hope I can hold myself accountable and follow through, because I want to, darn it.)