Tuesday, November 28, 2006

10 WAYS BLOGGING WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE and a quote about ice-cream

Flying letters, originally uploaded by magic fly paula.

1. You will know yourself more deeply than you ever did before. No matter how old you are, or how much time you spent on your analyst's couch, blogging will teach you something about yourself that you never knew. And it will do so on a daily basis.

2. You will meet amazing people who live in wonderful places; and you will grow hungry for travel. You will want to see faces, and hear voices,
and sit across tables. But even if you never do, you will see and hear and know these people in a particularly meaningful way anyway.

3. You will try new things. You may find yourself writing poetry in previously unknown forms, or make collages, entering contests, or hosting festivals. You may even go outside and conduct science experiments in your back yard.

4. You will be challenged by people who don't agree with you.

5. You will thank those who challenge you for making you think more deeply, and consider another point of view--even if you still don't agree with them.

6. Your friends and family may grow envious; the word "blog" may sound like an accusation in their mouths, ie, "What are you thinking about? Your BLOG?" "No, honestly I was thinking of you, dear," you'll reply. And you'll be lying.

7. You may experience a burst of "blog ambition," in which you grow greedy for hits, links, and other ephemeral data that indicate your worth in the world. The first sign you have a problem? Checking your site meter more than eleven times a day.

8. Eventually, you will realize that you're not getting paid by the head--or by any other measure, and you will return to your original reason for blogging: for the joy of it.

9. You will spend too much time at it; you will want to quit, or take a sabbatical. You may even do it. But if you're anything like my blog friends and me, you will be back sooner than you expected.

10. If you use photographs on your blog, you will start to see "pictures"
everywhere. Amazing pictures. Miraculous pictures. Pictures in startling colors, pictures in black and white with a splash of red (Thanks to Sara for noticing). And incredibly, the world will grow more alive to you. All because you have a blog.

T, L, & E. at Steve Herrell's

Now for the quote about ice-cream that I promised. I saw this advice from Thornton Wilder in the window of Steve Herrell's in Northampton this summer, and immediately, the notebook came out:

"My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just to enjoy your ice-cream while it's on your plate."

What's this got to do with blogging? I'm not sure, but something...definitely something.

As always, I love to hear your number elevens...


Reminder to all members of the Third Day Book Club: We will be meeting at Paris Parfait's blog on December 3rd to discuss Daniel Woodrell's taut little masterpiece, Winter's Bone. Tara posted links to an impressive list of new members today. If you're reading along this month, stop over and add your name to the list.

This month we will also be choosing January's book from three selections so make sure you're around to cast your vote.

And if you haven't started reading yet, the novel is short and compelling enough that it's not to late to jump in.

Third Day also earned a mention on Dan Wickett's Emerging Writer's Network this month. The idea is spreading...


Anonymous said...

Bingo! I checked every one of those. I've noticed that I pay more attention, take more pictures, ask more questions, just in case a post starts making itself known to me.

Get it before it melts.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love this and agree with each and everyone!

How about: "My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just to enjoy your blogging while it's in your live."

Mindy Tarquini said...

I'll be joining the book thingie this month, Patry. Finally got Winter Bone.

I hope I remember.

paris parfait said...

And number 11 - filing a post every day encourages one to keep writing (even when you don't feel like it). Great list - I recognise so much of what you've written from my own experiences. Blogging is a bit addictive, it seems. I think it's so wonderful to be able to read other writers' work and "talk" to them about it; exchange ideas and broaden our horizons. And I definitely notice more details in the world around me, as I'm always on the lookout for creative ideas for the blog; interesting photos. The tiniest thing can grab my attention and give me an idea for a piece.

And I think we have some late-comers joining in at Third Day!

rdl said...

Great post. I think yr. ice cream quote could be #11 - just replace ice cream with blog. :D

Sky said...

oh yes, i so agree.

i have become so weary with blogger's internal glitches i just gave up. when my life is not otherwise so stressful, i will fight through blogger issues again and try once more. :)

update: when is new england warmer and less white than seattle? NOW!! without watching television or reading the paper, you get to keep up with news around the whole country (and sometimes the world) by blogging! :)

Patry Francis said...

colleen: "Get it before it melts."--a great philosophy for blogging OR life!

marja-leena: So blogging = ice-cream. Yes! As Colleen said, "Get it before it melts!"

mindy: The book thingie is excited to have you! And don't worry about forgetting; I'll nag...

tara: Great #11. It really is a prescription for writer's block. LOve what you're doing with the book club!

r: Do we get to choose the flavor?

sky: You're so right about keeping up with the news in distant places; and what's more the news becomes personal. At the dinner table, I don't just report, "It's cold in Seattle;" I say, "My friend Sky from
Seattle says..."

Wishing you peaceful days ahead.

Patry Francis said...
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Left-handed Trees... said...

I am up and down in blogging cycles--but I can absolutely agree to what you've listed here! An eleven? Well...how about finding new poets, photographers, artists, books to read through blogging? I know this has happened for me...

Anonymous said...

Patry, this is a fabulous list...and you've inspired me. My #11 is on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Patry, I thought of you when I ran across this:

Overdue Books Reading Challenge

This particular item won't be changing my life, even though I really should think about doing it, because I can't commit to a strict five. I am overwhelmed by choice. Still, I thought it was another great book-clubbish idea, only for people with -ahem- preexisting conditions which should preclude their entrance into others. (blush)

The Curmudgeon said...

Add to no. 3: Learning HTML and other things necessary to make these collages and pictures go into the blog.

That would have been my 11, but on reflection, it belongs as part of 3.

Must dash now --

need to check Sitemeter....

Zhoen said...

I once checked my stat counter obsessively. Now, I remember to think about it once every few weeks. But then, when I get more than three comments on a post, I consider myself famous.

My writing, over the past four years, has improved so much I can't stand my earliest posts. This was the point, it worked.

Anonymous said...

7 and 8 caused a flash of recognition and a deep belly laugh! Great 10!

Anonymous said...

These are such good ways of looking at the impact blogging has on your life. I love how writing so often has taught me to look closely at small things, and to see the larger truths in them. And I'm also so happy to know I'm creating a record of this year -- and maybe many others -- in my life.

robin andrea said...

Yes, a perfect list of the things I have experienced since I took up blogging. Number 10 is my favorite.

Patry Francis said...

Delia: Oh, so true. I've found so many new poets and artists.

marilyn: I'll be there.

sara: Oh, you should see my bookshelves. Overwhelmed by choice is a good description...still, interesting concept.

curmudgeon: I'm SO proud of my rudimentary knowledge of HTML--though just about every blogger knows more than I do.

zhoen: Definitely the point.

Tammy: They caused a flash of recognition for my family, too!

bloglily: Creating a record...you know I hadn't thought of that. I wonder how our families and friends will view these records of thoughts, feelings, images in the future. Hmmm...maybe I better be careful what I write.

r.a.: #10 is something I experience whenever I visit your place. Seriously.

sage: I'd have to agree. So often when I begin to blog, I have no idea what I will write, but the muse never fails me.

Anonymous said...
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Lorna said...

Almost alll of those are true for me---I didn't put in a meter.

But my eleventh would be:

You stop lisstening halfway through a friend's wonderful story because you've just thought of a way to make it your own

My twelfth:

You have to keep telling people: no, it's not really true---a bit of artistic license...

Patry Francis said...

lorna: Yes to both. In fact, I was just on the phone with a blogging friend and she pulled a #11 on me!

JP (mom) said...

Number 11: You will encourage your loved one's to start their own blogs ... you will be a blog-fanatic, touting the merits, wonder, and healing powers of blogging! (some may actually listen to you!)

cheers & much peace, JP

Anonymous said...
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Gary Boyd said...

Patry, this post keeps pulling me back to re-read it. This is a least the fourth time I have visited to read both the post and the comments. You have to quit doing this to me...I can't get anything posted on my own sites...Just don't stop...

As for #11, mine is on my bloq -

"You are the storyteller of your own life, and you can create your own legend or not" -- Isabel Allende. To me that’s what a blog is all about, telling your story in your own voice. It’s nice when someone decides to make it a conversation, but it’s not required.

As for stats, I look at the counts in an email daily. If I see an unusual number of visits I'll look to see what or who brought them. I don't really worry when the numbers are up or down, I just enjoy the fact that someone finds what I am saying interesting some of the time.

Leah said...

what an awesome list!!

#11 You will challenge yourself and others to join in something different and find a beautiful community forms around it.

Patry Francis said...

gary: I'm glad I pulled you back to add the marvelous Allende quote. Now I'm off to check #11 on your blog.

kat: What an amazing month it's been--and one that's not over for me on December 1st. I'm so grateful for your #11.

melba: Glad you liked. And welcome!

Anonymous said...

This is a brilliant list! All 10 are so right-on.

Here's my #11 though I think it's already been touched on a bit:

You will find yourself writing more --- more in words and more often --- than you ever expected.

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

What are the flavors of those ten ways??? Strawberry Stats, Cotton Candy Pink Photos, Lemon shared laughter...

I came by your blog through California fever. Ten ways you nailed each one! Perfectly!

Patry Francis said...

kg: If it's been touched on, it's been expressed differently. I find that is true. It teaches you to look for stories everywhere.

antiques: I love your flavors--but you missed my favorite one, chocolate! Thanks for your comment and welcome!

Anonymous said...

I love the one about writing poetry in different forms. I did that last week... This week, I heard about the six-word memoir contest on smith and then got inspired to start my own "Best Little Christmas Story" flash fiction contest. Where does the madness end?! ;)


Alex S said...

This is a wonderful list and hopefully encourages others to begin. I never really understood blogging and all until my friend,Laini, encouraged me to start in the middle of last winter and I cherish the connections and friends and lessons and stories I have been exposed to that I never ever would have otherwise without this medium. Its special and extraordinary!

Unknown said...

Great list. I agree with all of them. I'm a newish blogger and got hooked.
Oh, and I joined the book club through Paris Parfait.

Patry Francis said...

jamie: the six word memoir contest sounds somewhat similar to the one line obituaries that so intrigue me. I'll have to check it out. Thank you!

alexandra: I love it when friends blog together. It combines the real and the virtual, and pulls all of us a little tighter into the magical circle you and laini have created.

sarala: So happy to see you here--and in the book club too!