“A blog is a hungry beast,” a friend wrote shortly after I began posting essays on this blog site two years ago.
I have fed the beast more than 100 Fridays during that time and plan to continue doing so until I run out of words.
My interest in promoting the sale of several books that I wrote late in my career served as the primary incentive for creating this blog site.
I also wanted to showcase photography because that has been an important part of my vocation and now avocation.
So, I hired a professional designer to create this blog site and to teach me how to operate it.
During the past couple of years I have learned several things, including:
- Limit each blog entry to no more than 411 words, which matches the Twitter profile and appears to be the outer limit for retaining reader interest these days.
- Illustrate the blog with some form of artwork. I dipped into a treasure trove of illustrations once drawn for my use by the late Roy Paul Nelson, a journalism professor with whom I served on the faculty at the University of Oregon. I also use “free” clip art and occasionally use one of my photographs.
- Memoir may be the most popular topic that I discuss. Lifestyle issues run a close second. The Oct. 16, 2015, blog about my wife and I considering a move to an apartment drew the largest number of reader responses. I discovered recently that readers are tired of political comment.
Lauren Kessler, a popular Eugene writer, is right about a blog being a hungry beast, especially if you post each Friday.
Keep in mind, however, that I’ve been churning out words for more than 80 years. So, writing is what I do. It’s as natural as eating and sleeping.
Topics tumble through my mind incessantly. Remember, too, that journalists are idea people, and I still consider myself a journalist.
I often think of something to feed the hungry beast just before waking in the morning. A blog forms in my dream world, which prompts me to roll out of bed, walk to the computer and begin writing.
Which reminds me of something Ernest Hemingway is reported to have said: “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Hemingway missed an important step in this process, however. You should brew a cup of coffee — or tea — before you begin typing.