I haven’t posted in a while because I’m faced with the question: just what is this blog all about anyway? It started about six years ago as a way to remember the books I’ve read. I’ve always thought of myself as an avid reader, but I kept finding that I couldn’t remember the details of the books I had read. Also, there were some mean women at work (book snobs) who seemed to have read everything. I couldn’t stand for that!
But as the years went by, (yes years!) the blog became a rumination. I was searching for something, pouring my heart out to the blogosphere, basking in the anonymity and community it provides.
This blogging thing was kind of fun. But what was I doing here? Was I saying too much? Did I want to talk about books? Writing? Editing? Travel? Odd news items related to science? My own personal problems?
And—What was interesting to my readers?
That was perplexing too.
My most popular posts had to do with poetry, writing, the history Latin Alphabet, Lost in Shangra-La, passive voice (of all things), and the Soviet author Dovlatov. Where is the commonality in all that?
Also, a credit to my readers, it seemed that the posts that I worked on the hardest were appreciated and read, such as Crime and Punishment and Anna Karenina, Those Who Walk Away From Omelas, and The Treason of the Artist.
Writing on a regular basis also became great practice in simply finding words, in my head. It was a regular workout for my brain.
And me. I should write what I’m passionate about, right? A continued exploration of writing techniques and literature seems consistent with my interests and what my readers have come to expect.
And my life now? By some miracle, I have successfully escaped from Eastern Washington. Back in Portland, Oregon, I can’t imagine why I left. How could I have been so unappreciative? Yes, I originally left Portland for a job. No, a career. And that little part of my plan was a success, if nothing else was. But now, creativity is still lacking. And I nag myself: how is it that I’m making a difference? Wouldn’t helping people speak English bring a greater impact? Or is “saving the world from bad grammar” enough of a reward, and am I truly doing that? Am I capable of that? Is that something worth caring about? And why?
As a first step, I’m going to edit my blog. I’ll be tagging each book review to indicate whether or not I liked the book. I’ll also be revising my About page, once I figure out what I’m about. I still feel like I need to read more literature. There are still some very important books I’ve never laid eyes on. Still thoughts to think and things to ponder. And I need to fix up my travel posts. What really happened on my extraordinary 9-week vacation this summer? What did I learn?
As always and especially now, I welcome your feedback. What works and what doesn’t?
As I reflect on it, I realize that the most fun I’ve had writing this blog has been when I’ve wandered upon a book that made me think critically and deeply. And it’s been quite thrilling when others have clearly read my posts and gotten something out of them. I hope I can continue along that path. It isn’t the path to riches or popularity, but it is the path of integrity. My audience will surely shrink as I pursue my side interests of Latin American and Russian literature. I’ll sure bore some of you as I delve into lesson planning and proofreading tips. I’ll probably nerd out in a variety of directions. I only hope my passion will carry you along and somehow provide some entertainment.
This also isn’t all about me. There are several bloggers I have “met” over the years, who have inspired me and kept me thinking. People who are true to their pursuits and passionate about their interests and who think critically and independently. Fascinating people who have reminded remind me that I always need to read more.
Happy blogging to all of you and thanks for following!