In introducing myself, I should provide new readers with a context for my blog–what’s it about, why you should read it. The purpose is to focus my ideas about my blog and what I’d like to do with it. Suggestions for the intro include why I blog publicly rather than keep a personal journal; what topics I think I will write about; who would I love to connect with via this blog; and, assuming I’m blogging successfully a year from now, what would I hope to have accomplished?
I’ve been journaling for years, and have gathered together the journals I have with me here on the island. There’s one more upstairs, by my bedside, but I’m reluctant to get it because my husband is sleeping, and the pets will all follow me up thinking I’m going to bed. That inevitably disturbs him, and he wakens rather grumpily from a sound sleep. For whatever reason, the dog and two kittens don’t go to the bedroom until I’m up there for the night. The dog (my husband’s dog) falls asleep on the sofa instead of heading up to bed with him. The kittens spend most of their time sleeping not far from the dog, but they do get up and play with their toys and each other for a while as the dog sleeps and can’t play Fun-Buster. But that’s a bit off the point. I don’t just blog–I also keep personal journals that I try to add to whenever I can still see straight so that I have some sort of record of my day (cataracts that need removal desperately). The journals are also where I keep information that and thoughts that are extremely sensitive or private. Sometimes I think I the reason why I write so much–either in a blog or in a journal–is because very little conversation takes place in my home except between me and the pets. If they’re willing to pretend to understand, I’m willing to pretend they hang on my every word. Everything else goes in blogs or journals. That’s not to say I lack for friends or company–I just don’t talk all that much. When things are in writing, I have something to fall back on, whether I’m right about what came out of my head, or to show myself that I’m wrong about what I said. Either way, it settles a lot of arguments…
I’d like to say that I’m a new blogger and that I am clueless about blogging as a general activity. The truth is, I’ve been blogging on this site for years, and the title, “Eleanore’s Ramblings…” is pretty much how I felt about this blog when I first started it–just general thoughts on general comments… But, as a former regular education and special education teacher and professor, I started blogging about education, even though I have an official blog site loosely attached to my professional education (Teacher Talk) web site. The difference was that the “pro” site is on policy, research, technology in the classroom, and the politics of education; while this site became the “helpful hints for educators” site, including posts on dealing with special education students and inclusion issues. But I got away from that on this site, went through a “raging” stage somewhere in the middle, and just generally lost site of where I wanted to go. So now, this is a site I use to practice my writing skills and share my self-editing and general writing processes with anyone willing to read about them. It is also the site from which I post for Blogger U classes–except for the Photo 101 class, for which I’m using my Li’l Ole Lady Press site. I’ve even had a few sites on Blogger dealing with reviews and recommendations on children’s and young adult books, but I haven’t touched those in years and don’t even know if they still exist–even though I maintain links to them on Teacher Talk (above).
So for this blog site, I’m now including practical and usable education tips as well as modeling my writing, explaining what I do to edit, etc. The latter seems much more interesting to readers than any of the education stuff. That means I may need to change the site around a bit to that it is easy to identify teacher-related posts from “how I learned/am learning to write” posts. I have to state that, for the latter, I really need to learn how to write fiction and good non-fiction materials that read like a novel. While I’m practicing, there’s no reason to keep others from watching me grow and change as a blogger/writer. And since I’ve taken about a gajillion creative writing courses, I learned a lot of tricks over the years than can help me become a better general writer. And incidentally, I’ve always bombed on the expectations of the creative writing instructors. I seem to lack that combination of creativity, humor, nuance, and all the other “stuff” the instructors teach. But as I already said, at least they gave me a lot of good tips, even if I can’t turn them into anything worthwhile. My training in writing, from grammar school through college, was on the dull and boring research-oriented topics. These may have helped me write a dissertation, but they never helped with just plain old creativity. The question I have for this blog site is, “Is it possible to learn to be creative and gain a sense of humor in the process?”
Through this blog, I would really like to connect with people struggling with writing, especially those individuals whose first language is not English. In fact, with the help of WordPress’ happiness engineers, I was allowed to turn one of my sites into a small private group site (set up much like the Blogging U classes) for a few individuals who are willing to share their work for constructive criticism and English as a Second Language learners who want to improve their writing skills (leave a comment if you’d like genuine criticism–critique is not always pretty, but it’s honest and is helpful for creating a better piece of writing).
In a year, I’d like to see more people following and actively participating in this site–including giving constructive criticism–to help me improve my own writing and model good writing for others.
So that’s the Whys and Wherefores that have changed this blog into what it is today…my personal ramblings on writing and learning to write so that I can pass that information on to others.
Hope to see you join me in this effort, whether through following this blog, requesting an invitation to join “All Our Writing”, or both.
See you on WordPress!