My Blog’s 1-Year Anniversary: What I’ve Learned

I’ve been blogging for a year now.  It’s hard to believe.

Are Blogs Just “All About Me”?

I have to confess, sadly, that I sometimes suffer from condescension and hypocrisy, and it almost always comes back to bite me.  When blogs first emerged, I thought, “How self-absorbed bloggers are, with their ‘all about me’ posts.”

I wondered why anyone would want to read the musings of others and condemned blogging as self-important navel-gazing.  I was wrong.

Blogs Run the Gamut of Human Expression

shutterstock_350220227.jpgWhat I didn’t realize about blogs at first is that they are simply a channel for all types of writing and communications:  poetry, essays, travelogues, advice, memoirs, editorials, special interests and hobbies, and yes, “all about me” posts.  Topics covered by blogs run the gamut of human interests and passions, from religion and politics to cooking, photography, auto racing, parenting, travel, gardening, dance, sports, knitting, movies, green living, recovering from diseases like anorexia and alcoholism, humor, learning new languages, and everything in between.

The bottom line is that people blog to share what they know, express what they feel, and connect with others.  Here’s a nice quick summary of “why blog” by another blogger, and another that highlights the skills that blogging builds.

Blogging is Knowledge-Sharing

I also didn’t realize that blogging was similar to my day job in the field of knowledge management, which is all about “connecting and collecting”:  connecting people so they can share what they know, and collecting valuable knowledge and information in a reusable way.  My little Glover Gardens Cookbook blog is a way to share what I know – and am still learning – in the kitchen.  I’m documenting and sharing so that our family recipes can be repeated by our sons and future generations, and by my friends and colleagues and acquaintances and random people I meet who engage in food conversations with me and ask for recipes.

Rosalyn Scotch Eggs
My former colleague and friend made the Scotch Eggs and rekindled memories

It’s so cool!  The Grill-Meister wanted our grilled asparagus on Sandwich Wednesday (his night to cook) and was able to make it himself by looking up the recipe on his iPad.  A colleague at work has made the Sweet Potato Biscuits a couple of times from the recipe in the blog, and has her own variation to share (coming soon). A former colleague and friend was inspired to make the Scotch Eggs for her English mom, and rekindled a childhood memory.

This blogging thing is so much more fun than just handing over printed copies of a recipe or emailing them around – and it is a permanent and growing knowledge base and a basis for connecting with like-minded people, some who are already known to me, and some who are new cyber-friends.

If you’re interested in reading more about the original motivation for the blog, click here to read about the About page.

Branching Out to Poetry, Haiku and Memoirs Takes Connecting with People to Another Level

Words
Reading and writing are part of the pulse of life here at Glover Gardens

While it wasn’t part of my original motivation to blog, I’ve found the Glover Gardens Cookbook a place to publish my random and awkward little musings, from the haiku I write to keep from getting frustrated while waiting in lines or when I can’t sleep, to the poetry I only seem to write when loved ones die, to a few little memoir-like essays.  The inspiration for my “writing voice” comes from Rick Bragg (Southern Living editorialist and non-fiction author/storyteller), Christopher Kimball (Cook’s Illustrated founder and author/editor of multiple cookbooks) and all of the marvelous storytellers from both sides of my family and the crazy place where I grew up, the Bolivar Peninsula in Southeast Texas.  Storytellers, you know who you are!

Kim and Steve Christmas Card
My brother and I had a perfect childhood

It amazes me when someone likes or is moved by something I’ve written; the fulfillment and gratification are tremendous.  When I try to capture memories and the bittersweet ache of loss and hear that loved ones near and far who feel the same loss are touched (like in this post about my brother and me), my heart is bigger and fuller because of it.  I find myself capturing childhood memories to share with my father, because he and I are the only two left from our nuclear family, and the experience has been extremely poignant and cathartic, an important step in the grieving process.

Sometimes folks I haven’t even met are comforted about their own losses.  This not only makes me walk taller feeling like I’ve made a tiny difference in the world, but also makes me feel more connected to others and the goodness and love in the universe, in people, in God.

A lot of the blogs that I’ve found and now follow as a part of this experience are very motivational and educational.  Complete strangers have moved me to tears, entertained me, inspired me and provided useful tips and insights for use in the kitchen and in life.

Why Not Share Travel, Too?

Travel Suitcases
I love to travel, and to write about it

Most recently, I realized that it would be fun to document travel experiences, info and tips.

I’ve just gotten into the travel blogosphere and haven’t done much yet, but it has already helped when I’ve been trying to remember restaurants in a foreign land to recommend.  What was the name of that terrific restaurant in Glasgow?  Oh yeah, it’s in the blog!

 

My Blogging Year, by the Numbers

Here’s a look back:

  • Total posts: 85
  • Total views: 1,975
  • Total visitors: 1,071
  • Followers: 49
  • Most views in a day: November 29 (my brother’s birthday, click for the poem), 85 views
  • Most popular post: How Far is Heaven, Remembering Kim-n-Steve, 166 views
  • Most popular day for views: Sunday, 29%
  • Most popular hour for views: 11:00 a.m., 13%
  • The intrinsic value from this wonderful year of posting and learning and connecting, and what I’ve gained from the experience: immeasurable

Mea Culpa

So, as I said earlier, I was wrong about blogs. I would recommend sharing via a blog to anyone, and if you read this post and have your own blog, please add a link in the comments so that I can follow you.

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