This week my Blog Stats told me that people had logged into my site, not only from within Australia, but also from England, the USA, Canada, Brazil, Denmark, Italy, Malaysia, Spain, France, Germany, Ecuador and the Ukraine. While I realise that it is entirely possible that the majority of these people were actually looking for something, or someone, else and just happened to land on my blog by accident (although the log-in from Spain could well have been my sister as she was on holiday there last week) it still kind of blows my mind that any of these people in these far-flung countries could find me at all.
When I started writing this last year I barely knew what a blog was. (Seriously. I am computer literate in many aspects, but totally naive in others.) I had no expectations of what I was going to be doing with it. I really just thought of it as a fun idea that I could ‘play’ with for a while. It would, hopefully, provide some small amusement for my family and friends, and when I ran out of things to say (which, by the way, could be any day now) I could ‘shut up shop’ and no one would really care one way or the other. No harm, no foul. I don’t think I ever really considered that I might be getting visits from people I didn’t know and had never met, or that any of these people would be the slightest bit interested in anything I had to say. So, as lovely and surprising as it is to have these new friends, it’s also a little bit unnerving too . . . and it made me stop and think . . .
Should I be writing more than once a week? (Oh please God—No.) Should I be concentrating on just one theme, instead of just blithely blathering on about anything that pops into my head that week?
Should I be spending more time reading those ‘How To’ sites? You know the ones—How to write good blog (for dummies) . . . How to write a better blog . . . How to write a blog people will want to read . . . etc etc.
Well—No. I’m going to have to stop right there. That’s where I am going to have to draw the line. I am sure that most of the ‘How To’ blogs are only trying to help, but I swear, if I read just one more that says ‘unless you have an undying passion for everything you do you might as well give up now and stop wasting everybody’s time‘ — I might just have to poke somebody in the eye. (I am not quite sure how I would actually poke someone in the eye online but I’d give it a go.)
Pas·sion: strong and barely controllable emotion.
It seems to me that we are constantly being told that we need to be ‘passionate’ about everything we do—our work, our writing, our singing, our art, our whatever . . . and if you are passionate about any (or all) of those things—that’s great. I think that’s fabulous. You rock. But I just don’t seem to be built that way . . .
I am enjoying writing this blog (most of the time) and when it feels like something I am writing is coming together (and making a modicum of sense) it is all very satisfying. But do I have ‘strong and barely controllable’ feelings that send me hurtling towards my keyboard to get it all written down and out into the ether? No. (I would love that to be the case but in truth I seem to spend most of my time wondering what the hell I am going to write about next.) So, passionate? Not really.
I am having a ball with my art classes and my renewed interest in sketching, and loving trying out new techniques and art materials—but do I wake up every day and feel a desperate all-encompassing need to get to my sketchbook and start sketching my dogs even before I’ve had my first cup of tea. Nope. (Cuddling the dogs, yes. Sketching them—not so much.)
Does this then mean that if I only enjoy these things but am not passionate about them I shouldn’t bother to do them at all? That I shouldn’t share my thoughts, or opinions or insights on them? Am I completely wasting my time? Or your time? I don’t think so. At least I hope not. I am pretty sure that the blogosphere is laden with people who are passionate about their lives, their families, their pets (okay—I guess you could add me into that category), their sports, their knitting . . . . and I am equally sure there are as many out there who are interested in so many things they don’t know where to look first. And it’s all good. Who is to say that one is better, or more interesting, than the other? Vive la différence!
So, to all the lovely people who have been visiting my blog, old friends and new, ‘Welcome’. It’s lovely to see you and to see you keep coming back, but be warned—what you see is what you get. Things aren’t likely to change here very much, at least in the near future (short of some life-changing epiphany). I hope my writing will improve with time, but as my thoughts and interests seem to become even more random with each passing year, I wouldn’t hold out much hope for any kind of constant theme (although there will, of course, be more dog stories . . . )
I may not be passionate, but I plan to stay interested. I hope you do too.