Blogging: I came to blogging blindly. The University invited faculty to start a blog site to share with students, and the idea appealed to me. Honestly though, I wasn't reading many blogs at the time (besides The Huffington Post). Anyway, I signed up. A banner was designed for me and I was told to begin, so I did. I wanted to write about reflective writing because reflection is the foundation of all writing—from poetry to scientific reports to advertising. Reflection puts us in touch with our own thoughts. So, that’s where I began—reflecting on reflection. A couple of years later, I’m still blogging, still enjoying it. Today I’m reflecting on what I’ve learned about blogging over the past two years and also on what I am still learning.
What I’ve Learned: Well, one hard, quick lesson I learned is that images aren’t really free. You can go to Image Search on Google and discover the most wonderful gallery of perfect images you want to use, but unless you’re willing to track down the origin of each and secure copyright permission, you can get sued, and when I began blogging, I didn’t, and subsequently, I was, sued, that is. Lesson learned. By the way, you can find free images online but it does take careful reading to do all that the site involved asks. For example, a nice, free image from dreamstime.com appears to the right. Note the source credit below.
Another lesson I learned is that my posts are typically way too long. I’m an academic. It’s hard to shut up. This problem has frustrated me no end. I still struggle with it. Readers don’t stay on a blogging page long, so 350 words is probably a good limit, but I always have more to say than that. I’m already around 250 words in this post, and I still have more to say. Aargh!
What I Still Need to Work On: Well, obviously, I need to work on editing out anything that is superfluous, so I can solve that problem of my posts being too long. Subtitled sections help, I’ve noticed. They keep me more focused and less inclined to wander. Another issue I’m still working on is letting my own voice come through more. Out of habit, I tend to write in my academic voice, but my personal writing voice is much more casual and occasionally irreverent. Readers seem to respond to that voice more, so I think I need to let it out more.
Opps! I’m well over 350 words. Better stop.
Free Picture: Flower Art ID: 245507
©Jodielee | Dreamstime Stock Photos