Monday, January 31, 2011

Five years of blogging!

I can't believe it all started five years ago with this sad little post. I've come a long way in five years with the blog and the farm. Having this blog has helped me both as a writer and as a homesteader.

2007: Princess, my bottle lamb who was later eaten by coyotes
Over the past five years, this blog has really helped me develop my voice -- that thing that writing instructors and publishers and critics talk about. It's the thing that makes my writing different from another writer. It is not something that can be taught. Your voice is what it is. Unfortunately, I think that finding a voice is sometimes harder for those of us who have studied writing too much. We get stuck on the rules, even when it means that our story might be richer if we broke a couple.

Fixing fencing after another flood
The blog has helped me as a homesteader -- as a gardener, a shepherd, a goat breeder, a cheesemaker, and everything else. I have always been terrible about keeping garden records, but if I blog about it, I have a record of when the raspberries ripened and when we made maple syrup last year. I never would have thought about documenting things like coyote losses or housebuilding progress if I didn't have the blog. If I have a major cheese failure, there is usually someone reading who knows what happened. It is so much fun to share exciting news of goat births. And it feels good to know that I'm not the only one who has questioned myself or felt rotten and irresponsible when an animal dies.

I really can't imagine not blogging, but I suppose that's because I am a writer at heart. A friend shared this article by Lee Martin, and although the article is about characters, this is what popped out and stuck in my head:

If you're really a writer, as opposed to just wanting to be one, you're dedicated to the work for the joy of it. You make it a part of the life you choose to live. Whatever happens from that point on happens. If you publish, fine. If you publish a few pieces and then stop, fine. If you never publish? Well, even then you still have this thing you love, this thing you do every day because it's so richly connected to your identity and the way you process the world.

Canning failure: Yes, the bottom blew off the jar,
and the jar somehow wound up upside down.
I suppose that is why there are so many deserted blogs out there. Most people are not writers. Who knows why they start a blog, but the bottom line is that blogging is writing, and if you don't like writing, you won't blog. But there is another key to keeping a blog for five years -- passion about the subject! I have started eight or nine blogs in the past five years, and all but this one are lying out there deserted in the Blogosphere. I thought I was passionate about the subjects of those blogs, but apparently not. Even when I'm not writing on this blog, I'm thinking about writing on it.

Some author once said that a bad day writing is better than a good day doing just about anything else. I suppose that's why I'm still blogging after five years and why I'm still homesteading after eight years -- it's what I love to do.


SkippyMom said...

Congratulations on 5 years. That is great. I am so glad to have found you because although I am never going to be a homesteader I do learn so much from you.

I really enjoy your blog - so when is the BOOK coming out. I will be first in line. :)

LindaG said...

Congratulations on 5 years! That's great! :)
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and pictures, too. :-)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I've been blogging for many years as well, and I feel as though it grounds and connects me. And of course, visiting other blogs educates me as well!

Michelle said...

Amen to all of this.

dogbait said...

Well done. We must have started about the same time.

Deborah @ Antiquity Oaks said...

Dogbait! Haven't seen you in ages! Thanks for stopping in and saying hi today!

Michelle, I think you're one of my oldest readers. I remember you first commented on the 9/11 flood in 2006 when my daughters swam across a flooded creek to rescue goats.

Michelle said...

Wow, your memory is impressive, Deborah! I appreciate your blog very much; you inspire me. :-)

Deborah @ Antiquity Oaks said...

Aw, thanks, Michelle! My memory is not that great, but I do tend to remember days when I almost lost one of my children -- or two, in this case! I wasn't home, and they took it upon themselves to save the bucks from drowning. I freaked out when I heard that Margaret had swam across the flooded creek, then she said that it was okay, because she had a rope tied around her waist, so I relaxed for a few hours until I learned that her LITTLE sister was holding the other end of the rope!

sunnycalgirl said...

Congratulations on five years..Just since last May I already have a few that have gone to the wayside..but I am determined to stay with this one. I don't think my brain gets a rest! Your lifestyle really looks appealing as I am a country girl at I am a new follower!

Joan said...

Congratulations on the 5 years! We look forward to the next 5 years, and the book. Thanks so much.

Junovic said...

Surely, these is a belated congratulation on your 5 years of blogging.
Surely, I can't wait to see you clock 50 years of blogging
We will continue to enjoy you posts.


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