Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A year of poetry blogging

A while back, I read a post at Book of Kells by poet-writer-editor Kelli Russell Agodon, where she posed the question: "Do you still have a blog?" Recently, she followed up with another post: ".... To  Blog or Not to Blog?"

Do I still have a blog? Several years ago, when blogging was hipper than it is now, I was a contributing member of a group poetry blog created, managed, and owned by someone else (and that blog later morphed into a print literary journal). But I only started my own blog a year ago this month.

I'm often slow to follow trends, quite slow. I could give various examples of how late to the party I tend to be in my life, but maybe I'll save them for a future post. I suppose I eventually could get into tweeting—compressed, quick communication—though probably only after it has become passé.

I like Ms. Agodon's term "online shy," which is how I sometimes feel. (Actually, for most of my lifetime, I've been just plain shy in general.) So at times I wonder what I'm doing here. 

I obviously don't have a large blog readership: I have a tiny handful of visible members and, I gather, another small handful of e-mail and other invisible subscribers. Based on the patterns of my stats, I may have an additional handful of onlookers from around the world—primarily, North America, Europe, and Asia. And, from time to time, I also have many spammers, though not nearly as many as when I started out. 

I think it must take quite a bit of work to attract a sizable following (unless, maybe, you're pretty well-known), particularly these days with the apparently waning popularity of blogging and the great migration of poets and poetry lovers, along with half of humanity, to Tweeterland—though a gazillion miscellaneous blogs do still exist. 

I don't know who all of my visitors are, or exactly how many of you there are, but I'm grateful for you! Sincerely. I'm not sure how long I'll keep this blog, but for now, I do plan to continue.

Now, why I "still blog":
- I hope it's not because I like to "hear myself speak," though hearing ourselves speak can be revealing. And I know it's not because I like to be the center of attention.
- Maintaining a blog is another creative outlet for me; in my opinion, we all need ways to express ourselves creatively. 
- Blogs, to me, can be warmer places than certain other social media outlets, and a person also can say more. "...blogs offer us the opportunity to expand our thought," says Ms. Agodon.
- Since I can be a ridiculously practical person, I feel I must do something with my barely used poetry—e.g., work that has been published a time or two and then otherwise would disappear into the ether—so I don't "waste it." I suppose this blog is my "book."
- I'm a bit afraid to blog: am blog shy. At this stage in my life, it's time to not be quite so afraid. Yes, maybe that's the most important reason why I have this blog—to plod on despite my inclination to withdraw, if that makes any sense.

What about you? Do you still have a blog? Why do you blog? Or have you never had a blog of your own? Even if you're not up to posting an answer, I congratulate you for making it clear through to the bottom of this post! And, again, I thank you for the support: for commenting to me or just quietly checking out twigs&stones

I'll keep the deadbolt unlocked and the porch light on for you (unless, of course, the bulb burns out and I forget to replace it—smile).



  1. When my restless mind is determined not to settle, I write a poem and post it on my blog. - Tonic for the soul(with no side effects).

  2. I move a lot slower than most of the world, so yes, I still have a blog. Why? Well, Emily Dickinson said it better than I can:

    This is my letter to the world,
    That never wrote to me,--

  3. Thanks, Wendy and Jenny, for responding to the question - and succinctly and poetically so! :)

  4. Or it could be a love letter to yourself . . . One of the best things about blogging--besides the occasional interaction with other like-minded souls--is that it keeps me organized and focused. Much of my poetry is archived there in a much more uniform way than it ever would be on my mess of a hard-drive, plus, being somewhat lazy, I love the ease with which I can click on links to other web-centered locations I enjoy (like your space!) without having to type in a URL.

  5. I began my blog almost 5 years ago. At that time I had just put together my 1st (and only) haiku collection and had so many more published haiku not in the collection I thought of putting them on a blog. Why? To be honest, one reason is that others were doing it, I felt like I was out of sync with the technilogical world. A 2nd reason was vanity--I wanted to have my published work seen by more people, more than those who had read it in a journal when it was published. A 3rd reason was to make contact with other haiku poets, who would, I hoped, read my blog as I read theirs. Without blogging I would not have met you or several other poets. Keep on blogging!


  6. Maggie - I like the "love letter" concept! And I can relate to the other points you make too, such as blogs helping w/organization and focus. I think I've altogether lost a few of my earlier poems from the past several years due to disorganization and also a corrupted file.

    Adelaide - I enjoyed your candid, thorough response! Most of us, I assume, have a certain amount of need to connect with other "like-minded souls" (as M. put it). And, yup, guess we humans all have a certain amount of vanity!! ;) Though, seems like it's also a good thing to "share our lights," whatever those may be, with other people. I hadn't thought of the technological angle when writing my post, but I guess I had decided it was time to get "plugged in" too, even if I was several years late to the party.

    I'll keep blogging for a while. Since I'm not writing nearly as much these days as I was last year, my posts might start to slow down this autumn, though.

  7. P.S. Perhaps we can get blogger-poet Wendy to try her hand at tanka sometime. :)

  8. I like your reasons. Especially the one about getting use of underpublished items. I do that too, though mostly my blog is an outlet for prose and ideas which don't seem to have another market.

  9. thanks for stopping by, ellen, and sharing your thoughts. your blog contains interesting and thought-provoking posts.

  10. Always enjoy reading your work and appreciate your comments. Have you thought of joining Poets United? There are a lot of members and you're sure to get a lot of views and comments. Hope to see you there.

  11. For some reason, Lisa, your comment wasn't posting - until I found it in the spam folder for some reason! Anyway, thanks so much. I believe I looked at Poets U. a long time ago - and wondered if it was going to take up a lot of time to participate there. But maybe I'll take another look at it ... Thanks!