Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Blogging and Me

Well, I've been doing a lot of thinking (a dangerous thing sometimes)! I've had several posts in mind and I was going to do a multi-topic thingy. Then, before I actually got around to posting, something happened. I had been reading some other bloggers and it came to me...how to write it all as a single topic...blogging. Why do I blog? How do I chose what to write? And more importantly, I suppose, how do I decide what not to write? How does blogging fit in to my time? So here goes.

A couple years ago, I think, I began reading an online friend's blog. Even though we emailed each other, it was intriguing reading about her life, thoughts, travels, ambitions, and *her* world. One of the best parts was that I could read back years (she had been blogging for some time). Sometimes I checked out the blogs of people that had left comments on her blog. Eventually, Jayne and I met in person. And eventually, I became a volunteer with her organization (WHOA). Mostly, though, it's friendship that is important.

I liked the idea of blogging and I liked the kinds of stuff that Jayne blogged. I spent about 6 months wanting to blog yet being very cautious about actually doing it.

Why not?

My ex, when unable to stalk me in person, took to harassing me online. With some creative research and the help of the police and Jayne's support and help, his harassment had pretty much been eliminated. Ultimately it took a Restraining Order (which took multiple court appearances - not easy getting a timely return of service response when dealing with overseas mailings), a Criminal Harassment charge filed against him, an arrest warrant issued for his failure to appear at arraignment, and several warrants for RO violations (he continued to email even after the RO). Anyway, I was concerned that blogging might give him another way to contact me. Mostly I was concerned that he would use the "contact-ability" of people making comments on my blog and begin harassment through that means.

So...although it *could* be possible to find me through this blog, it is unlikely that he would be searching in the appropriate manner to do it. I made the plunge. Initially, readers were by invitation only. I gave the address to about a dozen people that I know IRL. Everything has been okay and I expanded the reader base.

Oh yeah, just FYI, I hear less and less from the ex. He does not contact me directly any longer, per se. There was a call on my parent's answering machine asking for me. I traced the call to a "spoofed" number. Sounded like him. The recording was turned over to the police. Just the other day I received an email at an address that is not available to "spammers" (therefore I know it was not just random junk). It was from a UK company that *someone* had submitted my address to - guess who.....maybe. These things don't worry me in the least. I'm amazed that someone would waste so much of their time in such a negative way.

So, since it's pretty obvious by reading what I write about, here's what I *try* not to write.

First off, I don't mention anyone's full name unless it's already out there in conjunction with the topic. I *do* respect people's privacy so I use only first names or initials, etc. I try very hard not to gripe a lot. Sometimes I will spout off. I've found that I really don't like the posts when I read them later. In reality though, I do have those days when I need the chance to scream to whoever may be reading. There have been times when I have written a lengthy post, published it, then within a couple minutes gone back and deleted it. Odds are nobody read it. I also try to avoid making comments on local politics...I am running a business and in this small of a town I could lose a lot of customers! I may, in the future, make a few political statements. After all, I *am* entitled to my opinion. And....Spring town meeting is nearing! I guess there are many things I won't write about or mention. I'd rather err on the side of good, caution, and respect of others. Some of my opinions do not need to be recorded, in print, forever.

The pictures....there is no rhyme nor reason to them. Sometimes I find a neat pic that I'd like to share, so I write a post on it. Other times, they are to illustrate what I want to write about.

I like trying out some new ideas and seeing what happens. Blogger is easy to work with for pics and hyperlinks, fonts, color, etc. I've learned a lot. These five sentences have been written in WordPad and then cut/pasted to this post. Just to see how it works (for you, as promised, dickiebo). Then I decided to change the color after-the-fact :-D

Originally I thought I would post to my blog once a week, maybe twice. I aimed for Thursday and Sunday. Well, that didn't work too well. Now I post whenever I feel like it and HAVE THE TIME. I never knew how much work that I would have on any given day. I juggle a lot. There's the piano business, newspapers, helping my mom and dad, working on the house, volunteering with WHOA and WHOA-KTD, occasionally out to lunch or dinner, driving Amanda to and from work, and all the other ordinary day to day chores. Gee, I'm tired just writing it! I guess I'd better finish up.

I *do* enjoy the interaction blogging enables. I habitually read 4 other blogs. I check in on another 3 -4. Sometimes I check out what a commenter on someone else's blog is blogging. I've learned, laughed, cried, empathized, and cheered (oh yes, I comment some, too).

So, my blogging about blogging and bloggers is as complete as it will get. It's getting on to bed time after a long day. Next time more of the typical.


dickiebo said...

Thanks Deb. Now I'm definitely going to try and improve my blogs. (Shows how little I know. I couldn't even put 'try' in italics!!!!)
Never mind. Keep shovellin' gal!

deb said...

Yeah well, I think you are probably far more capable than you are letting on! Use WordPad, or whatever, to play and learn. That way no one will ever see your mistakes. BTW I am no computer wiz, it just took me a while to get the courage to experiment. And I can't figure out how to do italics in the comment field :-(

deb said...

To reiterate from a past post...
A Ronnism..."While being exposed as an idiot has gotten easier through the years by repetition, it's still nice to make the really moronic mistakes in private once in a while."

deb said...

trying to do italics

deb said...

YAY!!! It worked! I figured out how to do HTML tags! Okay, I'll quit bragging (and playing) and get back to work. Thanks, dickiebo, for the inspiration.

dickiebo said...

Don't go Deb! How did u do it?
Noddy commented on my blog as to how to use Wordpad, etc. He said something like, 'just use Control+C, and Control+V, etc, as usual'. Have to admit, I don't even know what he is referring to! Hopeless case, I'm afraid. Barbara keeps suggesting that I enrol for a Course somewhere, but I can't see that there would be a course similar to what I need.

deb said...

Many years ago I signed up for a weekend course in beginning computing. I didn't own a computer at the time. I "dropped out"! I knew I was in trouble when everyone else knew how to turn the computer on but I had to raise my hand and ask. Sometimes libraries offer free courses but usually they are too simple and generalized. Then there is getting a private "tutor" for a couple hours. I'll write a post later today(I hope) that explains how I used WordPad and also my latest discovery of HTML tags. See how it mentions using them above the comment field (block) in Blogger? Off for coffee.........