Friday, June 12, 2009

Thinking in Blog Posts

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There are times when writing blog posts is so easy.

And of course other times when it’s just about impossible: staring at the screen thinking it’s been too long since the last update, yet completely unable to string a coherent paragraph together.

But there’s no doubt I’ve been finding it more difficult as time goes on.

Sometime in the next month or 2, this blog will be 4 years old. I’m also getting close to my 500th blog post, so the obvious conclusion is I must be running out of ideas.

And yet, I know that’s not it. I never run out of things to talk about with my wife or friends: if we’re living, then things happen to us.

What it's all about is how we frame the world around us to make sense of it.

My early blog posts were much more written stories, which reflected my intention to become a writer. But quickly I discovered I could use the blog not just as a place to post wee tales, but try out different styles of writing. This blog was titled “Ramblings…” quite simply because there was no coherent focus; it could go in any direction at any time. Much like my mind, for that matter.

Then, after stumbling into a blogger sub-world of bizarre characters - talking apes, blue furry monsters, robots and evil geniuses, for a while I began to view the world through a filter of comic characters. A few months later I set up Blunt Cogs to reflect blogging life in 3 frame cartoons. Unfortunately it didn’t really survive much beyond its first year. Collaborative projects can only work if enough people are joining in.

But during this time I did realise I had begun experiencing life in terms of blog posts. I would notice little snippets of conversation and tuck them away for later. I would see events and wonder how I could explain them in a short, concise, preferably amusing or thoughtful ways. And it was an absolute lifesaver for those times which would normally be hideously embarrassing – simply put, the worse the situation, the better blog it would make.

Whenever something odd, humorous or unexpected happened even my friends and family would start saying, “you’ll be blogging about that then.”

I even found I could use it for a certain amount of disciplinary control over the children: “If you don’t apologise and clean up that mess right now, I’m going to put this incident up on the blog…” It worked wonders.

However, things have been changing over the past several months. The fact is I’ve stopped thinking in terms of blog posts and begun thinking in terms of photography.

Now I find I’m constantly looking at people’s faces and thinking how I would photograph them. I see textures and colours that need to be captured. I’m suddenly aware of how telephone lines would spoil a landscape if I were to point the camera from this angle.

My wandering mind is filtering the world through a camera lens rather than 200 word narratives.

This isn’t to say I plan on giving up blogging any time soon, only that I’m aware my posts are becoming less frequent.

Maybe the way round this is to start blogging a bit more about the photography.
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20 comments:

savannah said...

photos and words? you'll know what to do, sugar... xoxoxo

*waving*

(i was serious about 47.)


(ok, tongue-in-cheek serious.)

francis mahon said...

Hey Kim,

How about blogging the photographs themselves? An interesting picture is always worth a couple of hundred words at least.

Fran

Fat Lazy Guy said...

Ah yes, photo blogs can be cool.

But I totally get you on "thinking in blog posts". I was like that for a while, and now I'm in the struggling to think of what to write, questioning why I'm even blogging any more mode :D

Oh, by the way, I just finished The Raw Shark Texts. I don't even know what to say. Who knew a freaking book could make you think twice about thinking. I have no idea what to make of the ending, and I just discovered there are negative chapters? What did I get myself into? :D

Tom P. said...

The main reason I blog is so I remember things!

But yes, I agree that you should blog your pictures.

Charlie said...

I'll throw my hat in the ring with the 3 commenters above me. Photos and words . . .

Charlie said...

Uh, mak that the 4 commenters above me—anybody got a calculator they can loan me?

hope said...

How about your photos, your words...and on your "Day Off" you post a photo and invite the words from others?

Yes, you'd have to put a word limit to keep people like me in my place. Odd, I'm not as talkative in person as I am on paper. ;)

Gyrobo said...

I mostly blog so I can see the word verification boxes.

As someone who also has a blog approaching the 4-year mark, I've gotta wonder: will our children inherit our blogs one day?

PI said...

My heart started to sink as I read and I thought 'Oh no he's giving up.'
But you're not are you - never ever ever. Doesn't matter how spasmodic, brief or what form please just stay.
Phew!

Eryl Shields said...

I'm with everyone: blog your photographs or about photography: what you are thinking about it and why; why you took a particular shot; what is so interesting to you about a particular face; what you did with said face once you had it on the computer; anything you want to share or develop. Anything, just don't stop blogging, OK?

Kim Ayres said...

Savannah - I appreciate your confidence in me :)

Fran - I think I can confidently say that if I start blogging more about photography, pictures will be included :)

FLG - So glad you enjoyed the book - it's one of my all time favourites :)

Tom P - I write a daily diary to help me remember things, but the blog has always been about exploration and entertainment

Charlie - I could probably send you a photo of a calculator...

Hope - a lovely idea, although it implies a level of commitment from visitors to this blog, which is probably asking a bit too much

Gyrobo - what an amazing thought. Is it something we would have to leave instructions for in our wills, to make sure the right kid got access?

Pat - I get too much peer validation from the blog for me to drop it. I'm an attention seeker so it fulfills a need. It will take something pretty drastic for me to stop :)

Eryl - that was more or less what I had in mind, but thanks for writing it down as it does help clarify the ideas :)

hope said...

Too much commitment from your blogging friends? Are you kidding? I think half of us who have a blog do so to keep from BEING committed. :)

I promise to play nice, whatever you do. ;)

Jimmy Bastard said...

Expect to see me on your doorstep if you even so much as mention again the possibility of you not blogging as much.

Combine the two skills...

Just think what might have been if that foppish chap from Stratford-Upon-Avon had been able to paint as well as write.

Here's your chance.

starrlife said...

That seems like a lovely idea- can't wait to see more! I think the blogging comes in waves, 500 is alot!! Too bad they can't have pics in comments- sometimes I run out of clever there too!

Sandy said...

I've had a couple of long periods without blog entries and you begin to feel a bit guilty about it - usueally followed by something along the lines of "it's been a long time since I wrote anything here". Isn't it strange how you build up unnecessary and unreal comittments.
Snapping or blogging - as long as it suits you, is the main thing.

keep well
Sandy

Eryl Shields said...

Yikes, I appear to be taking dictation from you telepathically!

Mary Witzl said...

I'd suggest posting the photographs you take, too. If I could take photographs, I'd be posting them! And here's to using your kids as blog fodder: I am positive it's kept our lot better behaved too.

You can't stop. You got me into this in the first place! Remember that.

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - if you always play nice, you're probably a bit too much of a people pleaser - learn to say what you really think :)

Jimmy - you're welcome on my doorstep anytime. Do you take milk & sugar?

Starrlife - it's not been unknown for me to turn a long comment I've given on someone else's site into a blog post on my own :)

Sandy - I guess it all depends on who we feel we're blogging for - do we feel we're letting ourselves down, or other people of we don't blog? Should it matter?

Eryl - nah, we just both like Nietzsche...

Mary - all these fears I might stop blogging! As I replied to Pat above, at the moment I'm far too much the attention seeker to stop :)

i N a said...

have seen your blog on 'blogs of note' and happen to read some of your posts. i agree with you, it is sometimes hard to write. i am just starting my blog and was having a hard time at times. just wanna write coz it refresh my mind. i'm also thinking about photography.

please drop by on my blog..

inaramil.blogspot.com

Kim Ayres said...

i N a - welcome and thanks for taking the time to comment :)