Last fall, when I moved to a suburban hilltop, I wondered if I should change my blog's name. Did Rattlebridge Farm fit? I no longer lived on a farm (though my new house has a creek that comes and goes, along with an infamous ditch -- and we actually need a little bridge. We also have a ramshackle barn). It wasn't long before I began to question the blog itself. Should I keep it? Put it on ice or hit the delete button? Wait, was I still having fun? Was I blogging from the heart? Or was I blogging when I didn't want to, but it was time for a post? Because if you don't post for weeks and months, people may wander away.
You'll be like a little bird on a branch.
Why do you blog? To connect with other like-minded folks? To share your talents? To develop talents? To learn, grow, land a book contract, connect with Brands, or write about your little corner of the world and your outlook on that corner?
There is no right or wrong reason, of course, just as long as your Life's Work makes your heart speed up (in a good way) and fills you with joy. Joy is a gift, something we all want in our lives. It can be the tiniest thing in the world, and it's still joy.
From a reading standpoint, why do you become emotionally attached to certain blogs? You know the ones, the blogs that you read every single day. And if you don't see a new post for a few days, you go into withdrawal. For me, a keeper blog needn't be filled with exotic travelogues, high fashion, an Elizabethan garden, the latest in home decor, or the tastiest recipe.
My favorite bloggers can show photos of their dogs, and I'm happy all day. Or they may write something that resonates to my bones, and I know I've found a soulmate. What works for you? What pulls you back to a blog? I know one writer who has an engaging writing style. Her words tug me through my laptop screen, and suddenly I'm in her kitchen. Well, not really, but it sure feels that way. I could swear that my friend is "talking" to me, that we're laughing over a cup of hot tea and polishing off a dozen fresh-baked chocolate peanut butter bars. No matter how often I visit, I can't wait to tell her what I'm thinking.
I know other writers who take amazing photographs, the kind that lift me out of my mundane life, into a fantasy world. I might not need those blogs as much as I need the ones that show everyday life, but I wouldn't like to think of a world without either one of them. (Some do both, an alchemy of words and imagery, and these blogs may never find huge audiences for inexplicable reasons, but they are a huge blessing to many people, even if they don't leave comments. Note: some blogs are so big or wonderful, I am just too scared to leave a comment; but that doesn't mean I don't adore their posts and/or style).
No matter if you are writing a novel or a poem or a blog post, you can't go wrong if you pretend that you are writing to one, special friend. You aren't writing to a group; just that one special person.
Each time a blogger writes a post, she puts a message in a bottle, along with a piece of her heart. She casts the bottle into the sea of Social Media, known for its ever-changing waves and busy shipping lanes. What will happen to her bottle? Will it sink? Wash up on an uninhabited island? Or keep floating, waiting for the next wave, hoping a like-minded soul will find the bottle. And if they find it, oh please, let them write back. And that's why we, as blog authors, cherish every comment. We aren't talking to ourselves anymore. The monologue has become a dialogue. We have found a kindred spirit.
This is all I know about writing and blogging:
If your heart is true, you will find the truest hearts.