Friday, December 26, 2008

2008 Year End Review; pt 2: Writing and Blogging

clock on the squareThis is the second installment in my 2008 year end review and today is about writing and blogging.

This has been my second full year of blogging. I thought I would be past the steepest part of the learning curve but some days it seems like I’m just hitting the middle of it (the learning curve that is). A year ago I was looking forward to moving to my own domain and finding a niche to locate the core of my blogging however circumstances have stalled that endeavor for the moment.

In many ways, and for several personal reasons, blogging has been incredibly hard this year. Most of that can be umbrella’d under the concept of change. My personal circumstances have changed, and continue to change. My online connections have been changing. My perceptions about what role blogging plays, and could play, in my life/work/career paths are also changing.

Despite all the brick walls and detours though my commitment to blogging as a platform and a creative outlet is unchanged at the core. I love the freedom to express myself. I enjoy the online community and relationships I have found and with whom I have made connections. I do see myself taking smaller steps moving forward to create space for the continuing changes that are still underway and will be into most of the upcoming year.

In other writing pursuits I completed a full year of writing a community column for the local paper. This has been a wonderful experience in many respects. It is a regular commitment which means that I have a deadline every week, and it pays something; and I get experience in finding stories, doing interviews, and doing live-event photography to tell the story.

Do I see myself becoming a full-fledged journalist in the traditional sense; no, but partly because traditional journalism is dying a slow and painful death. I do see myself further developing as a teller of newsworthy stories in a style of journalism that is still evolving. I also see the lessons I learn through this serving other parts of my endeavor to become a legitimate writer as I experiment with storytelling, biography, and even forms of fiction.

That does not mean that occasionally the temptation to give up writing, and go find some predictable minimum wage job that has benefits like sick days and paid vacations, hasn’t reared its head from time to time. Sometimes I have even applied for said jobs only to get cut without so much as an interview or even having my references consulted. That isn’t fun because nobody wants to feel unwanted. However, have any of those positions been situated to move me closer to my personal career goals; and the answer to that question is no.

After last year’s experiment with NaNoWriMo I have been experimenting with fictional pieces and fictionalizing stories based on factual events. Crafting scenes and sequences of dialogue is a completely unfamiliar area of writing for me but I accept it as a challenge. Do I anticipate writing the great American novel some time in the future; not particularly but I hold it as an avenue to explore once I get better tools.

Last year I listed gobs of statistics about my blog because I was coming onto the first anniversary. This year I sense there are fewer reasons to do that but a few benchmarks are unavoidable in these situations.

So a few statistic for 2008:

Blogging -

- 105 blog posts published so far
- 3400 visitors and 4200 page loads
- I’m not a real writer was my most popular post
- “women – buzz cuts – crew cuts – change” was my top search phrase
- Abigail – a memoir was my personal favorite post

Other writing –

- 52 regular columns published
- 3 feature stories published
- 99 photos published
- wrote about 20,000 words on this year’s NaNovel

2008 Year End Review Series:

Part 1: Personal
Part 2: Writing and Blogging
Part 3: Work


chelle said...

Wow, what a year!
I am glad I have been along for the journey. I think your amazing to go after your goal. It takes great confidence to go forth as a writer.

Melissa Donovan said...

Deb, it sounds like this was a transformational year for you. It's hard to stick with the goals we set even when there aren't a lot of changes happening. I bet next year things will start to fall into place ;)

G's Cottage said...

@Chelle - Thanks for your vote of confidence; some have labeled it foolhardiness. I guess time will tell.

@Melissa - Changes, transformations, those have played out so differently than I envisioned a year ago. The thing that keeps coming up is the idea that the ground wasn't ready for the seeds I was trying to plant. I am so ready for things to fall into place.

Daisy said...

Very analytical and honest. Fascinating post! I wish you good luck in 2009, with many positive changes ahead.

Margaret Cloud said...

That is a fantastic post, shows an ambitious person that likes to be busy and I imagine it tires you a lot, you have a very nice blog site and I enjoy coming often. I would like to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year.