Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016: A New Direction

The other day I was feeling a little hungry for some time on one of my favorite blogs. I cruised on over to her site, and realized the author hadn't posted since I'd last been there - in November. She had said that she expected her posts to be infrequent for a while, so I wasn't really surprised.

As an alternative, I thought, I wonder if she has an instagram account linked to this blog? Lo and behold, the answer was yes. So I crawled inside her instagram for a while and got what I was really craving: lovely glimpses of Northwest life, from one of our state's islands; a romantic picture of a life somewhat more agrarian than mine in the the 'burbs (though the author frequently points out that real agrarian life is not at all romantic - and as I grew up working around horses and volunteering on ranches, I understand that); some time spent with another person's aesthetic, one which I really enjoy; an escape.

Is Instagram the new blogging? You can post a small caption with your photo, so in a way it serves a dual purpose - people get the images they crave (haven't blogs steadily become more and more picture-based, with fewer and fewer words? And haven't contributions and comments from readers become shorter, more hurried/harried, fewer and farther between?) more frequently, with less effort and input overall from both content-creator and content-consumer?

It's enough to make me wish I had a smartphone, because I think I kind of like it.

I suppose I'm not supposed to say that, but it's true.

I had a wonderful time looking and reading; I think I spent a quiet hour cruising back through months of photos. It satisfied exactly what I'd wanted, the same kind of drive that also feeds my pinterest account (11,000 pins and counting), but at the same time, more satisfying, somehow - perhaps because all the images feed from a single life, and I know there is a single, living, breathing woman creating this content. Perhaps also because I read her blog and enjoy her point of view on life, eco-activism, hedge witching, etc.

Which brings me back here. When I created this blog in 2007 (wow, time flies), I was getting a Master's degree, on my way toward a Ph.D. This was a place to share creative pursuits, all the things I'd been making, with family and friends who were now very far away from me. It was like a joint phone call to everyone: here's what I've been up to.

But things are different now. I've finished my Ph.D.  I'm working full time as a grant writer and building a freelance business as a writer and editor on the side. My husband and I just bought our first home. Both the reality of a longer commute (since we couldn't afford to live close in to the city) and of owning one's home (so much to fix, change, personalize, do!!) mean that creative time was in short supply in 2015. Life moves and changes, and you must evolve with it.

This isn't a farewell; it's a makeover.

I've been thinking a lot about this other blog that I enjoy so much. And I've realized: I don't care if she has a recipe or a lesson or an article or a finished project to share; I just like seeing her life. And my enjoyment of it spurs a desire to join, to participate - that old drive toward community that was the hallmark of the blogging community back in the early 2000s, the DIY aesthetic applied to a virtual platform. And this also constitutes an aesthetic practice: learning to create content that hits just the right tone, that satisfies something I've been seeking out from others. I haven't spent a lot of time experimenting with form lately; mostly I've just been helping other people to hone theirs. This is a vital, energetic process - and I think it's an important practice for me to cultivate on a more regular basis.

So, while I don't really do New Year's resolutions, as such, I do think that in 2016, I want to be more active here, just in a different way. More regular glimpses, such as these snaps from a sunny winter's walk along (and on) some frozen wetlands ponds. Probably not so many posts as long (wordy) as this, but we'll see.


Angie said...

Yes, please :) You described exactly how I am about others' blogs, and I (daily) am always wanting to become more committed to blog posts on my blog. I simply do not seem to make a concerted effort to make it a part of my daily (or weekly or whatever) routine. So please blog more---I bet I frequent the same blogs that you are referencing here. :) I live in northeast Tennessee, but my heart is evidently int he Pacific Northwest. Never been there nor to Alaska but my soul must have spent lots of time in those places in past lives because I always head there in blog reading and television shows. :)

fleur_delicious said...

Angie, your comment has been in my head all week! "Don't forget to record something and post; Angie misses the Northwest!" Thank you for being my Jiminy Cricket; the extra motivation helped me to actually get some photos before daylight faded today. And now that my workday is done, I can edit them and get a post up again tonight.

I've lived my whole life on the Pacific Coast. My whole life! I've barely ever been anywhere but here - and that makes it sound rather like a small kind of existence. But I love it here: our young, sharp mountains, the forests, the sea; all the rain and clouds and grey days, too - I was in Southern California for two years and I couldn't handle the brightness of the sun. I'd rather wrap myself up in mist and grow moss in my hair.

All this to say - very glad you're here, and reading.