Blogging, Like Music to my Ears
I spend a fair amount of time reading other people’s blogs. I have a nice little collection of blogs that I follow that interest me or make me laugh or encourage me to think. I enjoy reading and commenting on the posts. I feel a certain kinship with the writers.
Plus, it’s a lot easier than writing posts of my own.
Before I started blogging five or six years ago, I took a free on-line course through my library on creating a website. Then I took five additional writing courses which I thoroughly enjoyed and learned from and that complimented my short but illustrious career as a writing student at Blue Mountain Community College.
I also took a music reading course, which ruined me for trying to learn to play the mandolin I had recently acquired. I hated it. It was like high school and college algebra all over again. AGONY! I completed the course work, open book of course, but in the end I had not learned a thing about how to actually make music that floats through the ear and stimulates memory, passion, longing, booty shaking and all the other lovely things music stimulates in your every day run of the mill savage beast. It might have worked better if I had a keyboard to translate all of that book learning onto, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it on the mandolin.
It was demoralizing. It was like learning that before I could eat a piece of cake, I had to know how to convert the recipe into metric, understand the physics of combining liquids, carbohydrates and fats under the application of heat, and figure out how to grow, harvest and mill the wheat for the flour…before taking a bite.
It was a lot like watching Alton Brown cook just about anything.
I never picked up that mandolin again.
But I did start writing my blog.
I was pretty ignorant of what a blog’s purpose was or was not, or could or should be.
I was familiar with bloggers who wrote about specific activities or pursuits such as cooking, decorating, child rearing, fashion, and how to save enough money to buy a Maserati by clipping coupons.
I wasn’t as familiar with blogs that were not trying to advise or instruct or report but were mainly interested in communicating thoughts and experiences in a meaningful or artful manner.
I did know that I wanted to write essays and poems and memoir, the things I had enjoyed writing in my course work and that lent themselves to the kind of things I wanted to communicate. So that’s what I did.
And it’s been good. I’ve done alright. I’ve written a few posts that I’m proud of. I’ve communicated some thoughts on important and sometimes delicate issues that seemed to strike a chord with folks.
And I’ve found a community of other like minded writers.
A casual friend of mine who recently started reading the blog told me that she thought I was a good writer and that I wrote with conviction and she liked that. It felt really good to hear that from someone other than a relative or a loved one. I appreciated her praise more than she knows.
I don’t know what the purpose of my blog is. I know that it is a place to write, and that my writing is an exercise in trying to understand things, and that writing things down and putting thoughts into words and organizing them into cogent form helps me to work through the issues and emotions and experiences I describe.
I guess that’s enough.
I don’t have to make money–and I don’t. I’ve always sucked at that.
I don’t have to reach a huge audience–and I don’t. I know a few people who will remain unnamed with audiences in the millions whose words and ideas are completely incoherent to me.
I don’t have to have a degree to do this. I don’t have to write to a deadline. I don’t have to be an expert. I don’t have to follow the rules.
I don’t have to please anyone but myself.
Writing this has made me realize something about the music course that derailed my hopes of learning to play that mandolin.
I don’t have to strive to learn how to read music. I just have to enjoy making it.
It’s not like I’m planning on composing a symphony. I just want to jam along to my CD’s and with my brother.
I think I’m ready to pick it up again and do just that.
©2018 by Ilona Elliott