How did you start blogging?
I have actually started blogging twice. It all began once upon a time in May 2005 when I went to work as a camp counselor at a children’s home for the summer. It was a total God thing that I was even there, and it was a great and life-changing time in my life. My time there with those kids gave me truckloads full of memories and lessons, and He even threw in several very funny and inspiring co-counselors to help me keep my sanity. It was definitely not all rainbows and ice cream cones since we were working with children who had been dealt really hard hands and were dealing with a lot issues that really were unfathomable in the way that you try not to, you know, fathom. Plus the staff was CRAZY (and not in the, “oh they are so crazy, I just love ’em!” sort of way). But that is definitely a whole other post that probably will never be written because, seriously…CRAZY. Anyway, a couple of my new found friends kept talking about this weird blogging thing they did and kept encouraging me to start one. And by encouraging, I really mean bugging me about to no end.
So, my first attempt to blogging was underway. Surprisingly to me, I totally enjoyed it. It was such a great way to process and vent about all the goings-on of crazyland–and all that God was showing me in the midst of the chaos and in the eyes and hearts of those sweet babes. Yet, once I returned home and back to school for my senior year of college, the writing sort of gave way to all the happenings of Merrywood. I became busy with class and trying to plan my future. Not to mention all the TV we had to watch and roommate dinners we had to eat. My plate was sort of full (literally and figuratively).
Fast forward to that future I was planning, and there I was at The Gradschool in a whole new town with mostly all new people and a stack of books that needed to be read for class. So, I did what any great student would do, and I started playing on the computer. I somehow stumbled upon some blogs that were just so great, I was drawn back day after day. Blogs like In the Midst of It , Boomama, Big Mama and so many more that I found through clicking on all their links. I LOVED reading about their lives as mamas and all their funny accounts. I just related to so much that they said about life and God and laughed my way into wanting my own blog. So I thought about it…mulled it over in my mind as my daddy would say…and decided that I should give it a shot because I do love writing and making people laugh, why not give it a go?
It has been a slow process so far, but I really am enjoying the mess out of it.
Did you intend to be a blog w/a big following? If so, how did you go about it?
What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog? Have you been successful? If not, do you have a plan to achieve those goals?
I think my main goal at this point is just to write. I really love so much about my life and all the crazy and amazing people that give it color, and just want to talk about it. I have never really been short on words or laughs, so I want to try and spill some of that onto this blog. I anticipate, just like with my Summer Blog, that it will be a way of processing my experiences at this stage in the game.
Plus, now that it is summer, my calendar is cleared of all that school nonsense, not to mention that there is hardly anything good on TV besides Food Network Star, Top Chef, and The Real World: Vegas Reunited. So I am looking to fill up some hours of the day between babysitting and lolligagging.
Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?
Well, from the first attempt in 2005, the focus has changed only because I am no longer in the throws of the glamorous counselor life. But since the second attempt, my focus is holding steady at relaying all my deep experiences like keeping My Boys alive and planning to watch.
Not to mention, it really all started in like April and my first entry was just about 7 or 8 posts ago. Even a cameleon of a person would have a hard time changing that much since then, and I am more like a plant of a person who never really changes just keeps growing (again literally and figuratively).
What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started?
I wish I had just jumped in sooner. Daddy tells this story about me when I was 4 and took swimming lessons. I made this HUGE stand against jumping off the diving board. I wanted no part of hurling myself into the great unknown, aka the deep end. He promised me he would tell the teacher not to make me because I am his little girl and he loves his Jenna Babe and when the baby wasn’t happy, nobody was happy. Sometimes the hardest part is just doing it. I knew this at 4, but what I didn’t know that morning of the meltdown was that later that day, that teacher would tell Daddy to sit down and be quiet because she was going to teach me to swim if it was the last thing she ever did. She was a joy of a woman really…very sweet and complying. So I jumped. And I actually did not drown and it all worked out well.
So to make a long, slightly-related story longer…I wish I hadn’t worried so much about the unknown. What would I say? Would anyone read it or care? Could I actually keep it up and it be as funny and fresh as all those blogs I love to read?
I guess the vote is still out on most of those questions, but I am having fun jumping in and swimming around.
Do you make money with your blog?
I think technically in the end I will loose money, as I am sure I will blog when I should be studying for the master’s degree I am paying for.
Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why?
Actually, none of my real people are participating in the reading quite yet. I believe that this is mainly because no one knows about it. I am still waiting for the big reveal. I thought I would try it out, see how it went, and get a few posts under my belt. Then unleash the craziness and see how people like my parents who are just now coming alive in the world of email, yahoo.com, and ‘cut and paste’ will respond.
What two pieces of advice would you give to a new blogger?
I really have none at this point besides the very inspirational “jumping in” story above. But, personally, I will take any suggestions! 🙂
Well, that was very fun, I must say. Maybe in a few months, I will be a more experienced blogger of a girl a can revisit some of these questions. Until then, I hope you all have a great week!