Monday, November 13

Oy Vey, Conquistador

Frankly, I think it's time to cultivate a little damn focus around here.

The last couple of months have really seen very little in terms of blog development in this particular little backwater of cyberspace. I've got no Direction, no Theme, levels of readership that might be better described as "Mom and Wingal (with a smattering of Aunt Linda if I'm not mistaken)," and only the occasional flash of inspiration which typically results in impassioned odes to various types of food.

In order to better apply myself as a blogger and not waste your time, dear reader - by which I mean "Mom" - it seems reasonable to begin by exploring a few fundamental questions:

Question #1: Who is my audience?

Discussion: Mom. And Wingal. Not that there's anything wrong with that. This is not Bridget Jones, after all. But maybe you see my problem. A blog is a strange beast. Am I writing for myself? Am I writing for the Fam? Or am I writing for the seemingly ubiquitous student of medieval literature with an affinity for shoes, cows, and...right. I'll stop there.

My main point here is that, even if only two other people are involved in this thing, the range of personalities we're talking about spans a chasm that frankly looks to be pretty deep with a pile of rock-climbers at the bottom that you can hardly make out because they're so far down there. And there's a Cave Troll.

Although come to think of it, the common denominator might just be that thing with the cows. Because I know you have it too, Mom. So maybe I should just focus on that.

Something Moo'ed Different, perhaps?

Question #2: Do I need a theme?

Discussion: Does anyone need a theme? Yes, of course they do. Wingal has a theme: Perpetual Student of Medieval Literature who Daily Provides Brilliant and Humorous Anecdotes about her Trials and Tribulations that Make Me Snort Things Out of Various Orifices. Mom has a theme: Mom. Even Gato has a theme: Cat That Lives on the Porch and Regularly Eats Us Out of Tuna Fish, the Most Expensive Cat Food in the World. Although he doesn't have a blog.

So the real question becomes: "What is my theme?" Or maybe "What is my theme?"

And I'm unwilling to commit to the obvious ones.

Question #3 (and #4): What Direction are we headed in? Why am I writing here at all?

Discussion: ...Tomorrow the world!

Ha Ha. I'm only kidding of course.

After thinking carefully ("sleeping on it and then considering it groggily over coffee for a few minutes"), I've realized a couple of things:

1. I'm concerned about where this boat is headed because I don't want to fall into the trap of writing about lunch. Unless lunch was unexpectedly interesting. And really it's usually not. I want to write things that people find at least mildly entertaining, if not downright compelling, which seems like a stretch. I could stick to my so-1980s clothbound journals, but I apparently have some sort of desire to reach out to the community. So determining the direction of the boat is really for you. So you know we're getting somewhere.

2. Why write at all if not as a sort of exploration of the world? For someone who feels like they have nothing to say, I notice that I sure come up with an awful lot of words. It's probably about time to put them to work. So the New Plan is to focus on exploring various topics in a meaningful, at least mildly entertaining, and often grammatically correct sort of way. Interspersed with impassioned odes to food, of course. (I have my fans to think of.) Maybe I really can use this blog as a tool to improve my writing, particularly in terms of content and organization. That could be my Direction.

Now we're getting somewhere.

3. I do need a Theme. In fact, I'm going to start a Great Exploration in order to clarify my Theme. Eventually, we're all going to be able to sit around at lunch and opine: "Oh, Something Made Different - that's that blog where that chick discusses (insert Theme here). I just think she's the awesome-ist."

And presumably that sort of conversation-starter will commence exactly the sort of conversation that might just make lunch interesting enough to talk about later. On my blog.


Wingal said...

I'm seemingly ubiquitous? Hmmm... By the way, you should know that the Cave Troll's name is Barnaby. And he's been wondering about the health plan. I'd give him what he wants, personally... that way he'll take care of those intrusive rock climbers.

Oh, and Hi, Mrs. DeJongh!!!

Jenny said...

You PERSONALLY are not seemingly ubiquitous. It's just that every time I turn around, I meet another medievalist. They're everywhere. It's frightening.

Wingal said...

Huh... who are these people? And will I be vying with them on the job market? I kind of liked being seemingly ubiquitous...