Blogging

A couple of weeks ago Laura from Applewood Farm said some nice things about this blog.  She shared some interesting facts about herself, listed some of her favorite blogs, and invited me (and others) to do likewise.  So, for what it’s worth, here’s my response.

To begin, here are seven random possibly interesting things about me:

1. I was a disc jockey at a college radio station.  I was on the air the night John Lennon was murdered.  

2. I was a sports junkie for much of my life.  I spent countless hours in stadiums, arenas, at race tracks or sitting in front of a television watching other people play football, basketball, baseball or race cars.  I wish I could have those hours of my life back.

3. I was a music junkie for much of my life.  I spent countless hours in stadiums, arenas and clubs or sitting in front of my stereo listening to music played by other people.  Those were hours well-spent.  No regrets.

4. Famous people I’ve seen in airports:  Loren Green, Wolfman Jack, Waylon Jennings, Jennifer Knapp, Jesse Jackson, Johnnie Cochran.

5. I totalled two different 1972 Ford Mavericks when I was a teenager.  I flipped one and drove the other one into a light pole.  Fortunately I walked away nearly unscathed both times.

6. My father died of a heart attack when he was 49 years old.  His father died of a heart attack when he was 56.  His grandfather died of a heart attack when he was 53.  Until I met Cherie I had no expectation of living past middle age, and I lived like someone who didn’t expect to live long.  All of that stupid way of thinking is in my past now.  I’m 53 and in great health.

7. Although I loved this farm when I was growing up, I could never have imagined someday choosing to be a farmer.

Now I’m supposed to list up to 15 of my favorite blogs. That one is just too difficult for me.  I read lots of blogs (probably way too many), and it’s honestly just too hard for me to narrow my favorites down like that.  I can honestly say that Laura’s blog is what I’d like mine to be like. I envy her wit and her wordsmanship.  I also appreciate that her posts are always about farm life.  But I don’t expect I’ll ever be able to write with a sense of humor, nor do I expect to have the discipline to blog only about farm life.  So, alas, this blog will likely stay as it is, for better or worse.

Although I’m not going to make a list of favorites, I will mention a couple of blogs that helped me rethink blogging and caused me to change the direction of this blog.

I’ve been blogging for over five years, putting up a new post nearly every day.  For a time my posts were often angry rants.  I never commented on the blogs I read and I rarely responded to any comments on this blog.  My blog-reading was passive and my blog posts were monologues, not conversation starters.

Somehow years ago I discovered the excellent blogs of Teresa Evangeline and Shoreacres (The Task at Hand).  Teresa’s posts were beautiful combinations of art, music, poetry and thoughtful reflections.  Linda’s (Shoreacres) were finely crafted essays that never failed to fascinate and wow me.  As much as I enjoyed their posts (and still do of course) I didn’t try to imitate their blogging styles.  That would have been a ridiculous (albeit amusing) failure.  But from their blogs I learned that blog posts can be great conversation starters.  They always responded thoughtfully to comments and I found myself often enjoying the comments almost as much as the post itself. I still don’t comment as often as I should, but I did adopt their practice of responding to comments and that has added a new dimension to blogging that I’ve come to really enjoy.

There are lots of really great blogs out there, and I keep finding more.  Sometimes I resolve to just stick with the ones I’m already reading, then I think of the great reads I would have missed had I done that earlier.  So for now I’ll just keep reading my ever-growing list.  Feel free to pass along any recommendations.  :)

Happy Blogging in 2014!

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10 comments on “Blogging

  1. El Guapo says:

    Except for watching baseball as a kid, I was never a huge sports fan. As far as music, I couldn’t have said it better myself.
    Except for a Damian rice concert.
    But that’s another story.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      There are some concerts I’d like to do over again so I’d enjoy them more, but none I wish I’d skipped.

      By the way, you probably know this already but your name in Spanish means “The Guapo”

      Like

  2. Bill, I have just discovered your blog and think what it’s become is fascinating. It was interesting learning some facts about you personally. I am drawn to real life blogs. I don’t have a big list of blogs that I frequent but yours has become one that I like to read daily. My blogging started back in 2009 with mainly just a journal for my own use. The first comment I received was a shock. I didn’t think my ramblings would interest anyone else. As we roll over into the New Year, my blog has accumulated 23 followers and is approaching 30,000 visits. It’s a total surprise to me.

    Social media can be the best of worlds and the worst of worlds. It can, if you let it, usurp time away from real world activities. It also can connect people of like interests that never would have met each other. Family communications are much easier than the letter writing of the last century. I still have a foot in all forms of communication. I have a few penpals and write letters regularly, email friends communicate a little more often, and this last year social media came into my world.

    I’m looking forward to reading more about your gardening, view points about life, and other blog posts.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you in good health through out the next year.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Thanks Dave. I discovered your blog through Chiot’s Run (I think) and I think it was mentioned on a Cultivate Simple podcast. Glad you’re enjoying it here.

      You’re right about social media. It has plenty of positives, but can definitely become a distraction.

      Happy New Year!

      Like

  3. Eumaeus says:

    seven random things about you. definitely interesting and some (hours of my life back) funny too. thanks for leading the way to Applewood Farm for me.

    Like

  4. shoreacres says:

    My gosh, Bill. You’re too kind. If you’ve gained even half the value from my blog I’ve gained from yours, I’d be pleased.

    It’s interesting, your comment about not replicating blogging styles. When I began, I made a firm commitment to trust my instincts, and it’s working out fine. All that advice about how to have a “successful” blog had nothing to do with what I wanted to accomplish, and so I ignored it. Best thing I ever did.

    I’ve believed for some time that blogs are, in fact, a new form of literature, and that readers are crucial to their success. I understand each entry as a starting point for conversation. Beyond that, the history of individual posts-and-comments make the blog, through time, an entirely different sort of record. Dynamic. Historical. Thought-filled. Relational.

    And fun. Let’s not forget fun!

    Like

    • Bill says:

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You are a rockstar of the blogosphere!

      I like your thoughts about blogs as a form of literature. In my case the blog is more like a journal. Either way, the internet allows them to be interactive rather than static. I learned that from your blog and it has definitely enriched how I think about blogging.

      Happy New Year Linda!

      Like

  5. Thanks so much for mentioning my blog, Bill. I think we found each others blogs through one of my posts about Wendall Berry, or at least that was when you first commented. That’s not a bad way to begin … and I’m very grateful for it. I love reading about your life and all the ways you and Cherie are creating a truly sustainable one through the beautiful choices you’ve made. All the best to you in the New Year.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      That would make sense. Likely I was tracking down a poem and found it on your blog. I’m sure glad I did. I’ve greatly enjoyed your posts (and now your poetry) over the years. You inspired me to try to be less grumpy. Emphasis on “to try.”
      A super happy New Year to you! May your days be poetic.

      Like

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