Happy Jewish Calendar Blog Anniversary to Me (Sort Of)

Blogs eat cake, right? Photo by Mohammad Danish from Pexels.

Ok, so the title is technically a bit of a lie:

  1. I didn’t really start this blog right after Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) of last year. I actually created this blog 2+ years ago, wrote 1 post, didn’t like it, deleted that post, and then didn’t touch the blog again until just after Rosh Hashanah of last year when I wrote my “first” post.
  2. It isn’t Rosh Hashanah yet. I’m deliberately posting this early in hopes that it will get me off WordPress enough to actually focus on the many things I am supposed to be doing before Rosh Hashanah.

Seriously, I wrote this post complaining about all the things I would need to do in August, gave myself the gift of an irresponsible, impulsive, selfish, expensive, last-minute vacation to help reward me for accomplishing things, and then the only thing I accomplished was going on vacation. Vacation was great, by the way. I won’t post dates, location, or photos for privacy reasons, but it was great.

Vacation was pretty much the only accomplishment of August, a month I previously complained about because I anticipated it would be exceptionally busy. That might have been true if I had actually managed to accomplish anything. Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Anyway, I digress. It’s hard to write a “one year of real blogging” reflection post without falling into cliché, but I’ll try.

Thoughts On ~1 Year Of Active Blogging

An Audience Is A Good Motivator For Writing Regularly

Actually, that shouldn’t have been a surprise. COVID taught me that I am the kind of extreme extrovert who can’t be motivated to maintain baseline minimal hygiene and grooming habits without the possibility of an audience of sorts – the possibility of seeing anyone in person. I also don’t dance in my living room or sing in the shower; I prefer doing those activities in clubs or karaoke bars where there is a large audience in front of whom I can make a fool out of myself. So this is not all that surprising.

My motivation for writing, dancing, singing, and showering, apparently. Not literally though re: showering. Photo by Antenna on Unsplash

Blogging Is Time-Consuming

Actually, I knew this already too. Once upon a time, I had a short-lived political blog. That alone is worthy of a blog post at some point, but long story short, one reason why I quit was the sheer time-suck. But I thought that was unique to political-blogging. It turns out that political blogging is a whole other category of time-consuming (I mean, if you want to do it well – if you just want to rant, it’s nothing), non-political-blogging is still time-consuming.

You think you’re just writing a blog post and next thing you know, you’ve aged 50 years. Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

I Did Not Expect To Write This Much Poetry Here

My original intent was not to publish any poetry at all on this blog. Not that I have real aspirations for my poetry, but I wanted to leave open the option of submission to publications that will only accept previously unpublished work. But then there were prompts I’d feel compelled to respond to, and now I have a poetry section of this blog, even though my About page says I don’t believe in separating poetry from the rest of life. I probably need to re-think this.

This was not going to be a thing. Image by fsweb_de from Pixabay

It’s Hard To Allow Yourself To Be Dislikeable, Even On Your Blog

It’s probably presumptuous to assume that this blog makes me likeable, or rather, that I come across as likeable to someone reading this blog. But I can say that I have unpublished drafts of content that causes me to come across as far less likeable / far more dislikeable, that I haven’t managed to publish yet (or possibly ever).

Self-portrait of me still trying to capture my good side. Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

That said, there’s still way more honesty coming through here vs. in person life. I do think a big part of that is all of you lovely readers who make sharing the less likeable things less scary.

Thank YOU!

Thank you, dear readers. It is certainly nicer to write with your company than without it.

I hope though that this has not been an entirely selfless exercise on your part. I hope you’ve been enjoying the content, less because I need my ego stroked or because I am afraid of negative/dissenting comments (see aforementioned political-blogging experience), and more because I would hate for you to spend your time reading my blog if you don’t like it.

Seriously, I stopped hate-reading a website that I was previously obsessed with hate-reading. I want to tell you that it was a life-changing decision, but, seeing as I am still the queen of astoundingly poor time-management who managed to develop other bad online habits instead, “life-changing” may be too strong an adjective.

If you’re going to spend time on the internet, I hope, for your sake and my conscience, that you’re spending in on sites you enjoy and making enthusiastic hand gestures while you read, and not hate-reading my blog. Photo by Headway on Unsplash

I digress. Actually, I don’t think you are hate-readers. I think you are friends. I think we are friends, in a way. So thank you, dear friends. I did not really expect to make and find friends here, especially with the limits of anonymous blogging. I had no experience with making friends in online communities, or even with meeting people online via online dating. But here we are, sharing details of our lives, and leaving truly kind, thoughtful comments, and having conversations.

Shana Tova!

It’s a little early, but as Rosh Hashanah is coming, I wish you a wonderful, sweet, healthy, happy, healthy, fulfilling new year!

(Also, if you see me posting between now and Rosh Hashanah, please yell at me to get off WordPress!)

With love,

JYP

58 comments

  1. Fascinating! I’d never encountered the concept of hate-reading, but I’m intrigued! Like, I can’t pull myself away from this car wreck of a blog, but ohh how I wish I had the inner discipline to break free? 😀 giggle-fest.

    What a fun blog post!! YAY!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I want cake. 🍰🎂

    You know what’s time consuming about blogging? Yes, writing good posts that invite engagement is time consuming, but nurturing the engagement can add more time than many people are willing to give.

    My focus is writing, but because I consider my readers and commenters (and likers) part of my tribe, I make time for the nurturing.

    I did drop off writing as often because of time, but I value it enough to keep it up.

    Now, about the cake… ? 😳😎

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s true. The time-consuming piece isn’t just the writing of posts, but also the engagement. And everything is as time-consuming as you want it to be, but it does feel good and important to invest time into the engagement.

      One slice of virtual cake coming right up! 😉

      Seriously though, we need some cake! There is a distinct lack of cake, or any useful groceries (Husband finished the ice-cream earlier this weekend, grrr….) in my kitchen right now. This must be rectified.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Depending on your goal for blogging, it can be a lot of work and burdensome, it can be a lot of fun or something in between. For me it’s mostly in between. My blog came out of a cancer blog, but I wasn’t going to tie myself to a blog about cancer. After the last treatment I was ready to move on. Although once a cancer patient, always a cancer patient. So I made it a generic photo blog so I could post anything I wanted from one photo with no words, to a photo essay, to stories, poems, music, etc. That makes it easy to work with however I feel from one day to the next.

    You have done a similar thing in the anonymity of your blog, that you can post pretty much anything you want. You have flexibility, which I think is important for a blog. You seem to be down to earth, tell it like you see it and feel it, and that makes your blog persona very likable.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s possible I am in some minority group that I didn’t know existed, but I don’t keep reading a blog if I “hate it” or even if it just begins to irritate me. The news is depressing/stressful enough. I only occasionally force myself to digest small portions of that. So rest assured that I read your blog because I find it engaging, relatable, evocative, interesting, sometimes amusing, eye opening and we’ll written. I especially like your poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hate-reading is a weird phenomenon. More background here (https://offbeatempire.com/hate-reads/) The truth is, it hurts you as the reader because of the constant cycle of making yourself mad (which could have easily been avoided if you didn’t go on the website you knew would make you mad), and it helps the publisher of the site you hate by giving them views. I guess there are some people, like my former self, who get into hate-reading, but I’m happy to know that a lot of people really aren’t doing this!

      You know, even though I didn’t intend for this to be a poetry blog, I have been really enjoying the process of writing and sharing poetry on my blog and reading the poetry of others. It’s like having a writing group again. And I’m particularly touched, as I think your poetry is really fantastic with imagery and language, so it is especially meaningful to hear this from you. ❤

      Like

  5. Happy Rosh Hashanah! Beautiful blog reflection. I’ve been at it for a year and a half now. Things didn’t turn out the way I was planning but definitely more interesting. Funny thing is, I too started my blog a year earlier than my actual blogging. I bought the lowest priced plan to have “skin” in the game to motivate me but I couldn’t get up the courage to do anything for almost a year until I finally said F It and published my first. I agree with the lessons you listed here. Here’s to many more years of your blog!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Congratulations for 1 year and wishing you many many more! 🎉
    I could relate with every single point you’d mentioned there, especially the poetry one. I did not want to publish poetry in my site initially, but it’s hard to refrain from it. No hate-reading here! Stay blessed, dear friend! 🙏🤍

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I read your blog for its honesty and because you inhabit such a different world to mine. I reflect and learn as a result. I appreciate that offering. Then there is the lively poetry to enjoy. I am glad to know you have found the writing of it rewarding.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Shanah Tovah and happy blogversary! I always say it’s not the writing of my blog, it’s the reading of fellow blogger’s posts that make blogging hard. But in order to be read, one also has to read. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and following your adventures. May the sweetness of the apples and honey tonight extend well into the new year. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I must say, I am totally not exposed to Jewish culture, since we couldn’t be more far removed, being in Malaysia, but I enjoy learning a bit more every time I read your posts. And yes, I didn’t expect blogging to be so time consuming!

    Liked by 1 person

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