“Of Woods and Words” was a thought long before it was a reality. In the summer of 2009, I decided saying I wanted to be a freelance writer was kind like saying I wanted to take up skydiving. It was a perfectly fine idea, but until I started to prove myself, until I started jumping out of planes, whenever I mentioned that “I’d like to write,” everyone was going to give me a slightly pained look that can allude to only two things: suspicion or bad gas.
I read everything I could about starting out as a freelance writer that summer and everything I read seemed to allude to something magical called “a platform.” Without a platform, we freelance writers were apparently heading up a certain creek with no paddle to be found. Not only were we writers supposed to be filling up our portfolios with clippings, we were also supposed to enter into a nearly endless barrage of promotion via Facebook, Twitter and, of course, our personal blogs.
I thought, “I’d better get on that train!” But it always seems like a poor idea to jump on a train before you now where it’s headed exactly . . .
I moved into the Shack (a poorly insulated 12x20 building that was once the laundry house for a resort) with Andy last fall to spend the winter separated from the nearest grocery store by 25 miles of often icy highway, while waiting tables at a nearby roadhouse-style restaurant. This wasn’t how I’d imagined my post-college life working out at all and I knew I might need an outlet just slightly larger than my living space as I balanced the economics of life with my dreams. With that “Of Woods and Words” was born and through it, I started to capture the ramblings of this rural writer.
Today’s Back to Blogging challenge asks, “why do you blog?” I don’t know that I could have told you exactly what prompted me to type out that first post last October. I knew I needed a place to ponder the perplexities of making a living writing while maintaining a rural outlook on life. Over the course of this past year, I’ve work to build a concrete answer to the “why do you blog?” question.
- I blog because if I didn’t, who knows when I’d actually get around to writing. I like to act all focused and with it, but in reality, I’m a big slug of a writer who has to deluded herself with real and often arbitrary deadlines to get anything on the page.
- I blog to better understand what’s eating at me. I’ve journaled since my tween years, but during college I’d moved away from keeping a handwritten diary. I found I missed the process of writing a rant (like in “You Know I Don’t Speak Spanish”) to sort through a particular issue. The blog offers a slightly more focused forum for problem solving.
- I blog to reason through my experiences as a person who writes, who tries to live locally, who lives in the woods.
- More than anything, I blog to keep connected blogging connects me with a larger world around me. I learn much from the experience of being a member of the blogging world: about myself, others, and technology.