Friday, December 24, 2010

Bloggy Musings

When I find a blog I like, I usually go back to the archives, to the very beginning, and make a point of reading several posts a day until I am caught up to the present.

Since moving to Oregon, I've found I have trouble making time for this. In my mind, Heather Armstrong's first child is still only one year old, and she only has one dog whose name is Chuck. Occasionally I click on her website and say, "Whoa! Leta aged! Who's that other kid? Who is Tyrant?"

Anyway, I sincerely hope that none of my readers, especially the new ones who started reading within the past six months (who are mostly relatives of mine and my boyfriend's), have done that.

This blog has gone through a lot of evolution since I started it in 2005. At that time, I was newly 21 and working as a document writer at a software company. I wanted to do something productive with my breaks and time waiting for someone to give me a new project. I think at this point, I'd already read the old documentation in its entirety and even corrected typos. I wanted to be a writer, had just changed my major to English (planning to take the seven classes I had left in one year, while writing my thesis, and then re-enroll in a different part of the school for a second undergraduate degree in Plant Science), and so I started the blog to "practice writing" for a novel I'd write "someday."

I was also most likely inspired by She Just Walks Around With It which I still read, and Crazy Aunt Purl which I still subscribe to, but I didn't read for about a month last winter and I got so overwhelmed trying to catch up that now I just read new posts and random old ones sporadically. This is a shame, because it's one of my favorite blogs. She's a talented writer, very easy to relate to, very funny, and from her writing, I just imagine her in real life to be really, really nice. If you've never heard of her before today, I encourage you to quit reading my blog right now and go read some of the archives of...well, either of the two I just linked to.

A little while ago, I was adding my blog to a list trying to get more readers who are strangers. I started to click on the "twenty-somethings" blogs listed, and some of them were just awful. And maybe they weren't trying to be that great. They consisted of either statements of emotion without any context, such as, "I am feeling so lonely today. I am sad. I want to be happy. I don't want to be lonely." and THAT'S IT! No story! No details of WHY the writer is lonely or sad! or they consisted of stories of events with so many specific identifying details left out that they were just boring. Such as, "This thing happened today, and it was near where I work, so I don't want to tell you exactly where cause I don't want to get fired, but this thing that happened was really awesome! There was this person, I can't tell you their name or even if it's a guy or a girl because I don't want them to read this and get mad, and he or she did a really awesome thing!"

This is what I imagine my older blog posts to be. Since last New Year's, I've had a plan, a project that's never been started, to go through and *edit* these posts, because some actually contain some interesting content. Some are fine the way they are, and all I want to do is add labels to them and maybe add them to the "My Favorite Posts" list. Some need to be edited, because in my early writing style (and who am I kidding? even now, when I don't go back and edit, this is what I do) I had a tendency toward lengthy aimless digression. Some need to just not exist in public anymore, and they will be unpublished.

For example, Big-Haired Jersey Girl did not get off to a very interesting or well-edited beginning:

Title:I really hope I can go back and change my blog title later [Why did I think self-deprecation was a good way to start!?]

Because I woke up in the middle of the night and for some reason can't focus on studying for finals, I decided to start a blog. I already have a live journal, which was started to practice my writing skills--I am "working" on a "novel" by writing out the interesting things that have happened in my own life and trying to make them funny. This post does not, I'm sure, do anything to convince you that I am funny. [Oh, the self-deprecation! The self-fulfilling prophecy! I cringe when I read this because LiveJournal is a proper noun and also there is no space! Aaah!!!! What kind of English major was I?]

Anyway, while packing to move home at the end of the semester, I came across a book: Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg. [OMG where are the italics!?] I decided I need to quit procrastinating and start working on my writing NOW! So this blog will be, at first, a place to post work on my writing, things that don't go in my Live Journal, and I figure I can start by doing exercises from the Natalie Goldberg book and just posting them here, hopefully getting some feedback and becoming a better writer and person :) [An emoticon? Seriously, Sarah?]

Also, I think it would be fun to have a place to post my ridiculous adventures and just the ridiculous outcomes of me pursuing hobbies that are strange for a 21-year-old, like knitting and cooking and sewing. (Note: I do things that are not domestic, too.) [Omg, NO ONE kits and cooks and sews!]

And of course, botany.

What, you may be asking yourself, is a botanylicious?
It is a joke. It is because I recognize that Plant Science is a weird major, that dedicating my life to the study of botany (fancy word for Plant Science) is weird.
[OMG, sooooooo weird!] It is the result of me trying to think of a funny new screen name like "Hot Scientist 69!" "Hot Bio Major!" "Sexy Science Girl!" but I would like to note that I still have not gotten the nerve to change my screen name to botanylicious because I'm afraid people won't get the joke, and think I am too crazy aout my plants. [A typo!? Aaahhh! Unless I really did mean "I am too crazy French-word-for-August my plants."]

It is also the product of me creating this thing at 5 AM, during final exams, on a night where I couldn't sleep. After a long whiney live journal post about how stressed out I am.

OK, the awkward first entry is over! Now that the sun is rising, maybe I can get some sleep.

Well! The first time is always awkward. Anyway, I'm not sure what I hoped to accomplish by writing, five years later, a self-deprecating late night post about my first self-deprecating late night post. It's either meta or stupid.

But expect some more blasts from the past, this time with editing.

1 comment:

kalin said...

I haven't tried to read any of my early entries because I'm terrified of how bad they'll be. My pictures were crap too.

I generally hate reading my writing. I was one of a dozen co-authors of a book in middle school. Never read it, cause I am scared it'll suck.

(My Livejournal on the other hand is AWESOME. Because it was all drug induced rambles in college.)