I blog because it has been a justifiable means of distracting me from the things I should be tending to. Coming to the end of a year-long commitment to daily blogging is bittersweet; on the one hand I look forward to being relieved of the daily obligation, on the other, the release of this obligation means I must now tend to matters I previously felt legitimately called away from.
Imagery, specifically, photography, speaks to my soul…and I speak back. It’s a dialogue of sorts. No, it is dialogue. I use to believe it was monologue because it transpired solely through and within myself. Rather than stumbling upon the photography of others or my own, then contemplating it, I became interested in a more deliberate approach to the conversation. I sought out, with camera in tow, imagery that spoke to me.
This new way of interacting with imagery brought such an exciting new dimension to the experience that I wanted to document it. I occasionally posted on Facebook, but what I had in mind risked inundating my peeps with an over abundance of, me. I decided on WordPress; it is a free site and easily accessible; besides it appeared to be more of an ideal vehicle for what I wanted to accomplish.
The name of my blog, The Talking District: where words and imagery interplay, came to me partially through my 11-year-old son, Jesse. One day we were talking about some community meetings I was co-facilitating, to which he commented, in response to my description of the meeting forum “oh, it’s like a talking district”. As it turned out, my blog has become as much a personal avenue for expression as a mode for connecting with the external word.
For the most part my intention was to post, on a daily basis, imagery that captured my attention, and to nurture and foster my artistic inclination. I started out by writing short blurbs for each post, but it didn’t take long for me to get acquainted with the artistic writer within, with articles and full-fledged contemplative material following throughout the year.
This last year of blogging has been one of the most fulfilling endeavors I have taken on, bar none. Only once or twice did I bolt up in the middle of the night, heart pounding, woken up by the realization I hadn’t blogged that day.
On many occasions I posted into the wee early morning hours following the previous day’s obligatory post. On more infrequent occasions a day’s post got postponed till later the next morning due to weak, or no Internet connection at all. Regardless, I have posted every day of this year, without regret or hesitation.
There have been a few upsides and discoveries worth mentioning – my photographic composition and editing, and writing, have significantly expanded and improved; creatively and in technique. It has been exciting to discover areas of photography I happen to be good at, and my unique style of writing, which has taught me about myself, and how I really think and feel about some important issues.
A few of my articles ended up in local op-eds, which turned out to be an experience unto itself. Since just about all my writings are written on the same day I post them, I had to do a lot of editing and formatting for them to be approved for the op-eds. And, I experienced my first public flogging, with commentators accusing me of everything from being uninformed about my ‘controversial material’, to being biased and unethical in my solicitation of sympathy for my subject matter.
The flogging was less painful than I would have imagined, but that might have had something to do with the absence of criticism about my writing or writing style.
Friendships and relationships were definitely affected since my commitment to a year of daily blogging refused to succumb to any other enticement. And there were some pretty enticing enticements.
I am grateful to all the people who took the time to browse through and read through my rants; which at times truly were rants. I was always honored and humbled when people began following my blog, or when my blog stats showed viewers from all over the world.
What more can I say without writing a book about my experience…wait! That’s a great idea for 2015.
One of my best friends said he’s looking forward to the end of the year so he can have my full attention, to which I replied, half abashed, oh, didn’t I tell you about my idea for a daily 2015 blog?
As he sort of laughed I felt the tinge of enticement from the blog universe – would I, could I, will I, heed to another calling to the blog world? We shall see.