Well today is the start of my second vacation of the summer. The first was during the last week of June/early July and was to Ocean City, MD. The second, this one, is to one of my favorite places on Earth, Mount Desert Island in Maine. To say that I am blessed to be able to take two vacations, with one of them being to Maine, is a severe understatement; in fact, I am the recipient of gobs of blessings, far more than I can count.
As I was driving today along I84, I95 and then the Massachusetts turnpike, I was pondering a few things, mostly about just this whole blogging thing. Side note: For me, Maine is to writing as fertilizer is to a lawn. Anyway, I do give myself lots of credit to sticking with this whole writing thing for years now. How many? Well October will be six on this URL, and I am not going to count the years on other platforms. That's nice, I suppose, but what's probably more interesting is the fact that so many start this kind of endeavor but yet peter out after only a few postings. Why? I think it comes down to one simple fact: you have to like it in order to stick with it. I, for one, really like doing this, and as a result, I don't see ever not doing it. This isn't to say that I'll always be writing with the same frequency (unlike the super disciplined Andy Palumbo from WNEP-TV), but after a few days I just seem to get the itch to write.
Speaking of writing, one of the thoughts that was going through my head while driving was that I actually am pretty disciplined about abiding by my own posting rules. Simply put, there are some things that I never write about, and will never write about. For the record, if I were to mention them now that would actually violate my own rule, so I'm going to do that, but I am going to give myself proper credit for consistency. What's more, I think everyone who does this kind of thing should have some basic rules that they should follow, from the simple (for example, I do not use swear words on my blog, ever...oops, I think I just violated my rule about not violating my rules; damn), to the complex (I will not ever speak poorly of people I think have wronged me in the past...regardless of what they've done...damn, I've violated my own rule again). I think I had better end this thought before I get into even deeper trouble.
So why are rules important? Well just by way of personal trait and upbringing, I am a rule follower by design. I recognize though that not everyone shares that trait with me, but I think that having basic rules for writing is still, never the less, essential. Again, why? I think that having some measure of discipline in the writing work aids the thinking process. Note that I didn't say "creative", as that might imply that these ramblings are more than, just, well ramblings. The thinking process is enhanced precisely because I make the affirmative decision not to be vulgar and therefore I have to find positive ways to express myself. The thinking process is also enhanced because I make the affirmative decision not to use this space to "get even" with others, as it forces me to never act out of quick (and negative) emotions. The very concept of "getting even" is absurd and counter-productive. Anyway, the common trait between the two comes back to discipline, which is also a good description for why I am still at this after nearly six years on this URL.
Here's one final thought about writing, consistency and discipline: you can't take this too seriously. It can't be about posting views, page hits or any of that other nonsense...at least not at this level. I think that the moment someone starts writing precisely for page hits is the moment that they being the process of ending their blog. Now I do know that there are some kinds of postings (NOT this kind, by the way) that generate far more page hits for me. In fact, just adding a select word or two to a title is guaranteed to get a posting more attention. The fact is though that I am able to stick with this in part because I get to truly decide what I write about at any given time. Me, just me. Whatever moves me, not whatever moves page hits. The down side to this? Well occasionally I do get suggestions to write about a particular topic, and quite honestly I am pretty bad at actually following through on what has been suggested. If that's the worst I am guilty of though, then I think I am doing okay.
Here's to more writing. And to Maine in the summer.
Thank you for the mention. My blog will be ten years old, God willing, in November. We live in interesting and frightening times. There is never a shortage of topics, and the blog gives me a place to stick my photos. I try to be fair, but as the late, great ABC News anchor Frank Reynolds once said "There are some people who ought to be bothered." Enjoy the vacation and be well. I'm also on vacation this weekend. Destination: KMart!
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