March 14, 2009

What Do You Blog About?

I used to have a Tag Cloud on my blog when I was hacking blogger to create my own tags long before the newer version came out. Although it is gone and I don't use any longer (favoring Stumble instead), I sometimes wonder about the main ideas and topics that I'm blogging about... and whether they suit the purpose of my blog. Shoot. I even wonder sometimes if I have a purpose at all. There are many days I don't know what I'm going to post about until I open the blank box and begin to type.

I have spoken in an online conference and gave the advice that you SHOULD, indeed, have a purpose in your blogging. I firmly believe it... and yet sometimes with a personal-style blog, it is easy to drift off and lose track of that goal.

So today I looked back on the cloud list and here's what I came up with that had enough posts to qualify as a category - the ones at the top much more frequent than the ones at the bottom:

What Sprittibee Blogs About

Field Trips
Arts and Crafts
Lesson Plans

That's a pretty spread-out list. Not so easy to define. And yet totally 'me'. It would be hard to envision my blog without any of those topics because they interest me. It is the interest and passion that fuels better posting. I mean, I wouldn't blog about medical tools, beer flavors, dog breeds, or bikini contests because those things are better left to people who find them interesting.

One reason I started wondering about this is because I was asked to speak at BlogHer in July ~ about homeschooling and the homeschool community online. It's something I know, I do, I blog about. They say you should stick to writing about what you know - or what you are interested in learning about. Sadly, knowing, doing and blogging about something doesn't make me an expert, or a guru. Even so, I gave it some thought and have been really considering it. The only problem is that I'll have a 3.5 month old infant to tote with me (leaving me with a serious need for additional adult help), and I can't imagine where the funds would come from for air fare, hotel, and other related travel expenses. And I hate traveling without my kids (who would probably enjoy a few field trip opportunities in Chicago - somewhere we won't probably be visiting too many times in our lives since we live in TEXAS). Taking the kids along would give me a much larger monetary setback, even though I would have much less 'homeschool mom guilt'. I don't know if I'll be able to go... but if God ordains it - it will happen.

I sometimes marvel at the fact that blogs can take someone's random personality and thoughts... and turn them in to a tool that connects and inspires others. I don't consider myself that different from any other homeschool mom who's out there in the trenches. I read some of my favorite homeschool bloggers' blogs and sometimes feel like I'm just a small speck out here - typing out with a tiny voice to a blogosphere and community that is as vast as our country is large. It's a humbling experience. So I wanted to thank you for reading... and wanted you to know that I'm just like you. Just a small part of the bigger picture...

...and that picture keeps getting more and more interesting with each new homeschool blog - each new online connection - and each new day spent sharing myself in the online world. Whatever good my blogging is doing for others can't beat the good it does for me.

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l said...

I love your closing point, "Whatever good my blogging is doing for others can't beat the good it does for me."

I agree, and I often find myself thinking about WHO I am blogging for thus writing for them instead of really from me, if that makes any sense. I agree we should have a purpose, and while I think some blogs are more tailored to one area of interest, the most interesting are the ones that show a collection of humor, gained wisdom, inspiration, utter humiliation :), pictures that capture our attention, and really an outward expression of us and our influences. That seems to be how a lot of ours are, and it's suiting. If I had to decide on one single focus, I would never make it past naming my blog ;)

Traci Best said...

I started blogging last spring as a way to keep up with family and friends...but that quickly morphed into a passion for sharing information with other home schoolers. I have found such a wealth of informaiton on-line this year. I would have been lost with out it! So it was only natural that I wanted to use my blog as not only my creative writing outlet but also a way to give back to the home schooling community. I have grand plans to add to and grow my blog to include a lot more free I find them or write them. Now if I just had more time to do it! ;)

Elena LaVictoire said...

i love this post Heather. I am a homeschooler, but I am interested in so many other things as well. Right now the state of our country and the economy are in the forefront of my mind and my blog reflects that.

And then I have to remind myself that one of the reasons I blog is so that my children can look back and read about "what grandma thought about this." Because I wish I had the information about how my grandparents thought about the depression, or about any event!

Good post!

lori said...

I leave here each time with something more than I came with and THAT is what makes it all good!

I'm with you, "Whatever good my blogging is doing for others, (and I pray that someone, somewhere is blessed by it) can't beat the good it does for me." That's it SISTER in a nutshell!

love you!
WHEN is that baby coming???
I sense a mamma's boy:)

Tori said...

A wrap could help you keep your baby near and happy if you make the trip to BlogHer. I HIGHLY recommend the Moby Wrap. There are lots of opinions out there, of course, but I like that one best. I've tried an over the shoulder pouch style and the Moby is much easier to keep a baby in for any length of time!



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