Tuesday, April 17, 2012

500 Blogs

Incredibly, this entry marks my 500th blog. While French filmmaker François Truffaut settled for 400 Blogs as the title of his classic 1959 autobiographical movie, I've lapped him by a century and I'm still writing! Pretty good company, eh?

My greatest surprise as a blogger has been how much I enjoy my personal relationship with practicing my craft. Producing this blog has turned out to be valuable to me as a writer independently of whether anyone actually reads these journal entries. It has demanded that I be much more disciplined about what I'm feeling and thinking, and clearer in my articulation. Often enough, I'd start with what I considered a brilliancy, only to discover my gold transmuted into lead once I tried to illuminate it in prose.

While I had been easing into an increased level of writing for years, I crossed a line when I committed to posting a blog every three days. Now writing is part of my identity. Interestingly, it's also helped me be a better teacher (when I create handouts at workshops, I teach from them as a point of departure, not as something to hammer home) and a more effective public speaker (where there is a premium for concision).

I was worried when I first started—1,587 days ago—that I'd run out of things to say (no point in blogging a dead horse). Now I'm not. After embracing my entry into the blogosphere as part of my every-third-day reality, I've discovered that all I have to do is pay attention to what occurs around me and material maifests. In a stretch of three days there is always something happening that's interesting to reflect upon.

It turns out that being a columnist is not dissimilar to being a good facilitator—both require that you quieten [isn't that a lovely archaic verb?] the inner voices and take in as fully as possible what's going on around you. At this point any self-respecting Buddhist would gently insert the admonition that this is a spiritual practice, not just something you do in front of a keyboard or a meeting. In this sense, blogging has turned out to be an invitation to being more fully alive. Who knew?

The commitment to posting entries also forces me to set aside reflective time, which is something I am otherwise prone to giving away in a life that overfloweth with domestic chores, adminitsrative duties, and service opportunities. My In Box never really empties and it can be hard turning down a request or delaying a response to attend to self care. Blogging helps with that.

My original impetus to start this blog was to help drive online traffic to the FIC website. While I think some of that's been happening, it's hard to tell who reads my musings or what websites they're inspired to visit afterwards. As a promotional strategy, blogging is floating bread on the water (where you're hoping that some will be taken up before sinking, or at least not lead to the constipation of a blogjam—now there's a dreadful image).

One of the delightful things about blogging is the unexpected correspondence that it spawns.
Opening up a blog-generated email has turned out be like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates—you never know what you're gonna get. While sometimes it's a note from a person I've never met, other times it's a chance to connect with someone I don't hear from often—perhaps a client from years ago; perhaps an old college friend; perhaps a community member from decades past; perhaps a prior lover; perhaps my brother-in-law. Like a box of Cracker Jack, there's a surprise in every click.

I'll close this paean to online prose with a specially prepared lyrical adaptation, with apologies to Peter, Paul, and Mary:
If you miss the train of thought I'm on
You will know it by the time I'm gone,
You can hear my whistle blow 500 blogs.

1 comment:

MoonRaven said...


Just wanted you to know how useful I find your blog in thinking about community living, consensus, etc.

Thanks for all those posts.