I had originally intended this blog to go with my 1000th blog post last week but at the last minute decided not to post it. Just got a case of cold feet I guess. Generally, it is much easier to keep things ‘light & fluffy’ but as we all know, life certainly is not always light & fluffy. I am a realist & that side of me sometimes bubbles to the surface in my blogs & I feel compelled to share those thoughts from time to time. I guess this is one of those times.
A blog can be defined as a ‘frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts’ so with that in mind I will go ahead & talk about some personal blogging thoughts today & let the cards fall where they may.
Right from the beginning, my blogs have always centered around the RV world. Regardless of what I write about I generally always try to connect the post with RVing in some way. I have also tried to make it more than just a Point A to Point B Travelogue or a personal diary of every waking hour in a 24 hour period. Having now written over a thousand posts with our Sitemeter quickly approaching the 200,000 hits mark & with over a quarter million pages read I felt some folks might be interested in my thoughts about some of those posts….not anybody else’s posts this time, just mine:))
Looking back over all my blogs I ask myself some inevitable questions. Am I happy about every post I have written? No, of course not. Would I go back & change anything? Yes, there are posts I should have approached in a different manner. My post about ‘blogging do’s & don’ts was a prime example of that. My intentions were to help but the post stepped on sensitive blogging toes & ruffled a few feathers in our little RV blogging community. In hindsight, I should probably have used a different approach on that subject or simply not approached the subject at all. Incidentally, that post has turned out to be the ‘most read post' I have written to date. I believe in my opinions but I may not always present them well enough & I know that has turned some readers away. I was recently referred to as having an ‘attitude.’ Well, some days you are just not going to win no matter how hard you try. Show me a person who does not have some degree of attitude about something & I will show you someone who has not yet risen from their sleep.
I did not set out to win a popularity contest with this blog nor did I set out to intentionally offend anyone. I may have some strong & sometimes unpopular opinions on things but I have never made it personal by leaving rude comments or personally belittling, ridiculing or been sarcastic with anyone in my blog.
I have never been one to shy away from admitting mistakes & the blog sometimes becomes personal as my self doubts & insecurities occasionally make their way to the surface. At other times it is my humor that takes center stage & other times it is the enjoyment I have for the RV lifestyle that shines through. I also like to use my blog as a way to help other bloggers & especially when I come across someone just starting out in the RV blogging world. I remember very well how hard & discouraging it was for me in the beginning to gain a few readers & how nice it was when a few seasoned bloggers took the time & made the effort to reach back & give me a helping hand. I have not forgot that & try to pay that forward whenever I can. I like to think I have been instrumental in helping a number of fellow bloggers gain additional exposure for their blogs. That is a personal ‘good feeling’ for me. I also include others in my posts & not just write about Al every day. And, that brings me to the ‘ego’ word.
Yes, I have been accused by a few people of being egotistical in my writings. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, blogs are generally written on the basis of ‘self’ & that is the very nature of blogging, but it can be a very slippery slope for bloggers writing about their daily thoughts, feelings, opinions & activities & not be seen by some as egotistical. My only answer to that is for those people who think of my writings as egotistical, to take a long hard look at their own insecurities!!
I have been criticized for ‘getting down on myself’ which is sometimes misinterpreted as negative thinking. Sometimes this is true but a lot of the time it is intentional because I often use myself as a foil for my humor. Better for me to make lite of my own mistakes, misgivings & follies rather than someone else’s.
Referring back to the negative thinking thing. Yes, at times it can be seen as that but more often than not it is simply realistic thinking, & by the way, those two words, ‘realistic thinking’ is one of the things that ruffles feathers out here whenever I refer to it. It does not fit well with a lot of popularly held beliefs so I always manage to get myself into some hot water whenever I use those words in my writings. Realistic thinking travels a very narrow path between the extremes of both positive & negative thinking. Some will not understand or accept that statement but some folks will find hope in it.
And, by the way, some of us just hang out on different planets……..light years away:))
Since the advent of blogging I have been able to bring together my love of writing, photography & travel in a practical way that I feel benefits others. I base that statement on the many thousands of favorable comments & countless emails I have received over the years. I generally see the world as a very visually beautiful place & try to convey that to readers through my photography whether in regards to traveling across the country or wandering through a simple flower garden. I know that when I do give up the blog someday, the cameras will just go back into the closet again. I have no interest in printing & hanging my photos on walls, entering contests, or trying to market them in any way shape or form. I love the challenge of trying to take reasonably good photos for people to enjoy on my blog site & that is good enough for me & quite often the motivation that will carry me through a ‘down day.’
My Sitemeter numbers tell me I am managing to do a few things right with this blog despite my self doubts from time to time. On frustrating blog days it is those numbers & all the positive comments & emails I have received the past few years that motivate me to keep the blog going. And occasionally, Kelly has to sit me down, give me a shake & throw a pep talk into me as well:))
I have no doubt I put a lot of people off & lost some readers when I tried to drop our ‘comments’ section this past summer. I am not great at spending long hours reading & dropping comments on everybody's blog every single day & that is one area of this blogging thing I have mixed feelings about.
One of my greatest blogging fears has always been of boring people with repetitious material so I always try to write my posts creatively & not repeat myself with the same old stuff day after day after day!!
I’m sure some people think I post too many photos of myself or Kelly, the dogs, or our Jeep & Motorhome. But, for lone travelers that we are, we are seldom around groups of people, RV Parks or people events. To add perspective to some photos, I have to work with what we have, so quite often it is Kelly or I or the dogs who end up in the photos, whether it be along a mountain trail or simply lounging in a chair to convey a relaxing day around the rig. Nothing to do with ego & everything to do with trying to convey the life & times of the Bayfield Bunch whether traveling or at home. Not only in written form, but through photos as well.
All & all, to wrap up this long winded & as some will probably interpret as, ‘self centered’ post, let me just say a big ‘thank you’ to all the readers out there who have taken the time out of their day to read about my thoughts & feelings over the last few years, to understand my ever changing blogging moods, to have a chuckle or two at my silly attempts at humor, to enjoy the photographs I so much love to take, & to maybe pick up a few tips on the RV traveling lifestyle we so much like, in an area of the country we so much love.
And, while I’m at it talking about readers, let me add my apologies here to the folks who’s emails I have forgotten to answer & to the email address’s I have misplaced in our currently confusing crop of email programs. Add to that my poor memory which continues to challenge me on a daily basis:((
And a special thanks to the readers who have read this far & had the patience to let me explain a little bit about myself & why I write my blogs with the thoughts, feelings & opinions I do……….. 10-4:))
GROANER’S CORNER:(( Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: ‘You stay here; I’ll go on a head.’
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