Five Years of Blogging

It is now February 2022. Five years ago, in 2017, I began blogging. I don’t know what percentage of bloggers ever make it to five years of writing, but I have. If you scroll back through my writings, I hope you can see the writing has improved over the years. At least I believe it has.

The best part of blogging is starting out with a blank piece of (electronic) paper. Especially since the topic of my writing is often not apparent until after I begin writing. I let the words flow as they will. Now, I have dabbled in fiction, and got along just far enough for me to appreciate authors who say their characters take on a life of their own, they just give voice to these fully-alive entities who exist only in the imagination of the author. I’ve tried it, and discovered the voice I gave to my characters was wooden and stale. So I’ve no doubt that I’ve found the perfect medium for my writing, roughly 1000 words on a topic I choose only after I’ve begun filling the screen.

That’s not to say I’ve not used these pages to express satire, and even to come up with recurring characters. Slimey the D.C. swamp monster comes to mind every now and then, when satire seems the best way to comment on the events of the day. I’ve also had fun in exaggerating the characteristics of the Trump cult over the past few years.

A target-rich environment. That is what we had for several years. Actually, I started my blog just as the Trump administration came into being. I had to express my revulsion at the man and his entourage and am proud that I was able to identify trends in behavior well before I saw them discussed in the media. Like the attempted neutralization of certain governmental entities via the extremely effective technique of just not nominating people to fill legally-mandated positions. Fortunately, he was relatively ineffective at knee-capping the overall Federal government, mainly due to his own incompetence and due to his unfamiliarity with how things worked. My fear is that during the upcoming elections, he will be more equipped to effectively wield the power his position commands. Either that, or one of his underlings who gained office during his reign will use Trumpian techniques, but with someone whose mental capacity exceeds that of Wile E. Coyote. Many, many similarities between The Donald, and the cartoon image of a mangy mongrel who cannot help but extol his own intelligence.

Just as there’s much more to life than politics, I’ve used this forum to share slices of life as I observe the world, especially in summer from my front porch. I’ve reminisced about college days, as I realize that attending college in the early 70’s gave me a perspective folks today just cannot match. I mean, going with my sons to tour colleges, and seeing the make-to-order food expected by today’s students vs. the single-line, take it or leave it, offerings we had at our dorm. The contrast is incredible. At least both of my son’s had to share in the experience of not having air conditioning, although I doubt whether their heating system in winter was so effective one had to open the windows to let in some sub-zero air to temper the excessive steam heat.

For the first two years of writing, I participated in the WriterBeat community. This was a wonderful community sponsored by an individual where my writing was guaranteed readership and feedback. I would post in my blog, and immediately post the same piece in WriterBeat. This was an environment where wildly divergent points of view were all equal, and you were mandated to comment on other’s work in order to retain your privilege of posting. Alas, the owner of this community never found a way to monetize it, and so it died. I’ve considered going to Substack, but am still willing to keep this a totally free site, where once per year I have to pay to feed my vanity. I greatly miss the feedback I got from WriterBeat. If folks here would feel freer to comment on my pieces, I would appreciate it and will respond.

I started off by saying my writing often surprises me, since I had no idea I would end up discussing something not even in the front of my mind when I started. Sometimes it is the act of writing that unleashes the thoughts that must have been swimming in my cortex just below the surface. This piece is the exception. I looked back at my five years of writing, and realize I had to discuss just what I get out of keeping up a blog. I’ve worked it out so about a post a week is what I like to do. Just enough to keep my feet wet in the writing world. I hope you enjoy this.

3 thoughts on “Five Years of Blogging”

  1. Congratulations on your anniversary! Hopefully your satisfaction is substantial, and worth the cost. I can’t speak to how you’ve developed as a writer over the five years, but going back to your essays on WriterBeat I’ve always been struck by the quality of your writing in terms of clear expression, economy, pertinence and wit. The blogging is good practice..So I did enjoy your reflection on what the blogging has meant to you.
    Except for the part about WriterBeat! I understand that you valued the readership and the feedback, but much of the feedback was destructive, not constructive, as I remember it. I‘ve already decried the dynamic in my comment on your “Termite in Chief” blog from 2/2019. WB didn’t make it, for whatever reasons, and I don’t miss the aggravation myself. You noted that the owner of WB “never found a way to monetize it, so it died.” And thus was struck a blow for civility! I’ve found other outlets for my expressive urges, including Quora, Disqus, NextDoor, etc., that ARE moderated for civility, and still allow the opportunity to be persuasive on issues of importance to me while getting plenty of feedback.
    Your previous blog concerned the misfortune of your having to go into hospital in the age of Covid, and having your surgery postponed unexpectedly. Good luck with the procedure, and the scheduling. Let us know how it turns out, will ya?

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  2. Jay, I always appreciate your comments. I know we had differing experiences on Writerbeat. I enjoyed parrying with those I disagreed with, and for the most part was able to hold real meaningful exchanges with other authors. With those few who insisted upon using scripts and really did not want to visit reality, I learned to ignore them and did treat them disdainfully when they commented ignorantly on my pieces. I’m glad you are still finding ways to interact via other means.

    I am now scheduled for surgery on Tuesday. So far so good. I’m sure my experience will be worth a post or two.

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