August 8, 2011

370 days of savvy: what i learned in my first year of blogging

this post is, in and of itself, the perfect example of the state of my brain as of late. 
i wrote this post about two weeks ago when it occurred to me that it had almost been a year since i started blogging. 
and then i forgot i wrote it. 
and didn't post it on the 365th day. 
this should not surprise you at this point. 
so, for the sake of humoring me, let's pretend it's August 3rd, shall we?
end note.)

i've officially being writing mysavvyboys for 365 days. 
1. phew.
2. here are my two cents on the lessons and logistics of my first year...

if you're thinking about starting a blog, go for it. this whole thing started because i was just randomly posting some of the more wacky happenings in the savvy household on Facebook. a few folks in my life said, "you should totally start a blog." (okay, so a few of them are not people who would ever say the work 'totally'. but one did.) one of them also said "you should write a book." but, if i learned anything from Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, it's that it's really hard to get published. but, generally, i was nervous about the whole concept. this leads to the next lesson on blogging. 

you don't have to be tech savvy.  i promise. here are the three things i knew about blogging when i started. . .
1. blogs exist. 
2. people write them. 
3. other people read them. 
and that was literally it. i had previously read two blogs in my life, and they were those of two colleagues' adventures on Semester at Sea. 
and i had written a post or two for our national housing association, but that is a very different story. 
i literally had to email my colleagues and ask them where to start blogging. which was not necessary. mainly because. . .

google is amazing. as i am sure many other search engines are as well. i'm just lazy and i use the one built into my home page. but, seriously, it has referred me to everything i needed to know to build my site. like this.  (haha, i love that site and have been itching to use it somewhere.) i knew nothing about html and coding and widgets and any other number of things before last summer. a series of articles found on google, youtube clips, and wonderful sites like Kevin & Amanda have taught me everything i needed to know to get started and personalize my site a bit. 

figure out what site you want to use. i started in Tumblr. i thought that simple would probably be a good option for me. then, a month later, i decided i wanted more bells and whistles. and i moved everything over to Blogger. ick. please don't do that to yourself. 

don't keep count. for a little while there, i was self-conscious about the fact that i only have 25 "public" followers. i debated being one of those bloggers who cuts that part out and posts the follower free button. but then i had to ask myself why, and if, that mattered. i decided that, really, it didn't. i just like my 25 followers slightly more than the rest of you. 

so those are the techy things.
i also learned some things about myself along the way: 

reading and writing put me in a state of "flow." 
(ew. no, they don't make me need a restroom. head. gutter. out.)
i went to a session at our housing conference about infusing joy in your work. here they discussed the concept of flow. 
(Here's the Wikipedia definition: Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. here is the link if you want to read more.)
the presenter had us think about times when we were completely absorbed in what we were doing, and could lose track of time. as a kid, and now, i can easily get lost in a good book. but, i noted, that i can easily get lost in writing. these days, this is where i write. two points for positive psychology.

i have aesthetic indecision. i finally learned enough about how to use digital scrapbook kits to make mysavvyboys look like it does today, and now i want it to look clean and simple. oops. i can literally muck around for hours looking at sites for ideas if left unattended. 

i have no design skills. this was not so much a lesson as a fact i just have to accept. i am going to have to pay someone to make my site look clean and pretty like i want it to. which seems silly. which means i probably will do this. eventually.

you are more interesting than you think. well, in my case, i wasn't under the delusion that i was interesting. but i was pretty sure that my kids were. and, in fact, you seem to think so because you are here. chances are, other folks will find you equally interesting if you put yourself out there. i hear there are things called twitter and Facebook that are popular because of this same notion.

i am more in tune with my life. it's been almost ten years since i saw my friend Joy in person. this is ridiculous. but, when i saw her, i remember randomly saying something while driving and hearing her say in the backseat of the car, "i need to write that down. i could totally use that." (she is a writer. she also doesn't say totally. i seem to insert that one at will.) my point is, i think that a lot now, too. i pay attention to the details around me in a new way. 

paying attention in a new way makes me seem like i am not paying attention.
counterintuitive, right? but, when the kids say something funny, i have to jot it down. which usually means typing it into my phone. which means that, for a moment or two after something blog-worthy happens, i am focused on writing things down.
eventually, your family/friends will adjust to this.
likely, you already do way worse things anyway.
and they put up with those, right?

random people will read your blog.
yeah, that's right. i'm calling you random. 
overall, this is a good thing and totally the point. so thanks for reading. 
but, there are small instants in my life when i forget that i posted random tidbits for the world (ahem. 25 people) to see. 
and then i go and tell a story and they already know it. 
and for a minute my brain wonders why they were spying on me at Target. and then i remember. "oh, yeah. i blogged about that."
(okay. if i'm being really honest, sometimes i momentarily freak the heck out. because you are so in my brain. and then i realize that the post i thought was still in my queue of drafts was one i apparently published. phew.)
hopefully, you have a better memory than i do and this will not happen to you.

what is there to lose? (well, as we have learned from a variety of politicians and movie stars in relation to their use of the internet and social media, the answer is a whole bunch. but you'll be smarter than that, right? right.)


  1. I'm not sure if I'm one of the trendy 25, but count me among the faithful readers who are so happy you tool the leap. One day I will start my own and I will have you to thank for it!

  2. other thoughts?
    You will also make typos. Like being instead of been. And instants instead of instances.
    And then not have computer access for random circumstances.
    And thus, you will have to live with said typos.
    but only partially, because you can comment to acknowledge them.