In the Yard

Rhonda Hayes is a garden writer, photographer and blogger. She also volunteers as a Hennepin County Master Gardener. Rhonda chronicles her gardening adventures and advice at her award-winning blog, The Garden Buzz. She is a frequent contributor to Northern Gardener magazine and the Star Tribune Home + Garden section. At Your Voices, she writes about life around the city lakes, occasionally veering off the garden path with essays on the silly and serious issues of the day.

My Life is an Open Blog

Posted by: Rhonda Hayes Updated: October 12, 2011 - 4:37 PM

 Blogging requires you make some immediate assumptions. Like that you have something interesting to say. Keep in mind there is a book about blogging titled something like "No One Cares What You Had For Lunch". So true, even if it was a really, really good sandwich. 

Once you start blogging you soon realize it's like having another child that needs feeding and nurturing. Many times over. On some kind of schedule. And to think I have two and then some blogs. Besides worrying that I'm getting blogger's butt and that I will misspell blogger into booger someday, I have copious amounts of blogger's guilt when I don't keep them all up-to-date and freshly turned out.

Many bloggers start out only to lose momentum in a few short months; finding that the well of their wit, wisdom and wonderfully entertaining stories wasn't very deep after all. Some just resent the routine.

Alas there are no blog rescue groups. The internet is littered with the flotsam of untended blogs that bob around like stale croutons in the soup of cyberspace. 

I recently was at a large gathering of people I only see from time to time. Several greeted me or introduced me with "I've seen you in the Star Trib" or "She's in the newspaper every week".  Although I'm proud to have established even a small presence among such talented people, I kind of cringe from the attention. It's so much easier to write when you think about your followers as a gentle but faceless assemblage. Nothing summons up writers block than the thought of a specific person sitting at their breakfast table reading your silly thoughts.

But if you blog along with the other estimated nine million bloggers and yours happens to get read on any kind of regular basis, be prepared for a new sort of awkward face time when friends and family are among your audience.

You'll find they fall into certain categories...

A. Your kids..

There's a fine line between storytelling and over-sharing. Your children will live in fear of this. The only thing they worry about more than embarrassing childhood incidents being broadcast is that they might be slighted in quantity of mentions. And if they're like mine they will examine the blog for instances of favoritism like the FCC enforcing the Equal Time Act.

B. The Non-Readers

There will be some who will apologize that they don't read you/haven't read you lately. I always find this so sweet and assure them that it's no big deal. It's not a required reading assignment.

C. Colleagues and casual friends...

With all the talk of Facebook-creeping and cyber stalking some people are afraid to let you know that they are reading your posts and therefore know pretty detailed accounts of what's happening in your life and what's on your mind. So they hesitate to let on that they know anything at all. They play dumb. And that's fine until they slip up. I just want them to know there's a vast chasm between their casual reading and being a real lurker. Believe me. I will only find it endearing that you've taken the time to read my ramblings. 

Meanwhile I may find I've already spent my store of funny tales and small talk when I meet up with friends in person. Then I'm on the awkward end, "oh, you read that?" So I find myself doing that old lady thing, "Stop me if I've told you this already", so we've all got a graceful out.

D. The fans and devotees...

Finally there will be a group within family, friends and people you may never meet that openly cheer on your efforts, mentioning your latest topic, and adding their own take in the comment box or whenever they see you. 

You'll find that your mom or in my case, mother-in-law might have been a marketing mogul such as she's spread the word about your work.

And they're a big part of why I keep making words on my Mac. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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