In the Spring of 2012, a few months after I started Gardeninacity, I was dismayed to read that there was a workshop at the Spring Fling for garden bloggers that asked the question: is garden blogging dead?
My reaction: WAIT! NOT YET! I’M JUST GETTING THE HANG OF THIS!
Actually, I recently received an email from WordPress informing me that Gardeninacity is one year old. I have to say that my first year of blogging has been very rewarding.
The idea of starting a garden blog appealed to me for several reasons. First, I like to show off my garden, which has become something closer to a mania than a hobby. Though I am a reserved sort of person, shy really, the fact is that I crave recognition for my garden the way a new mother wants her baby to be admired.
Second, I do enjoy writing. What’s more, I enjoy writing short essays of several hundred words that I cannot post on Facebook or Twitter.
Finally, I needed more distraction so that I was not constantly thinking about my job. I love and admire many of the people I work with, and I believe in what we do. However, we work in a field where cynicism can reach toxic levels, and I need an antidote.
Well, this blogging stuff has provided distraction in spades. The first few months, my goal was to write one post per week. Then it was two posts. Now I write something roughly every other day. Over the course of the year, I’ve written more than 100 posts.
It has not always been easy. For me the biggest challenge was hitting the right tone: friendly, conversational, upbeat. I do a fair amount of writing at work, and the style I need to use there is very different: factual, understated, occasionally a bit sarcastic. What’s more, people who know me would not call me upbeat. I’ve been told that if I were a character from Winnie the Pooh, it would be Eeyore.
So when I sit down to write a blog post I have to change my mindset, and that is a good thing. Moreover, I feel that I’ve had some success along those lines. For instance, I’ve gotten much more comfortable with the use of exclamation points!
And I’ve come to understand the meaning of “on-line community”, which I had thought to be a phrase without meaning. But I was genuinely excited when people like yourselves started commenting on my blog. And through your comments and your blogs, I did in fact get to know a community of people.
This has been gratifying not just because I’ve discovered so many folks with good hearts who are full of useful knowledge and entertaining observations, but also because these people are from all over the USA and all over the world: the UK, Canada, Italy, Russia, Malaysia, the Philippines … in fact, gardeninacity has been viewed by people in 90 countries.
I have to acknowledge a special debt to my loving and talented wife Judy, who encouraged me to start this blog, and who provides almost all the photographs. She may be having second thoughts now that I frequently badger her to take more pictures for new posts. I am also extremely appreciative of all the people who read and write comments on Gardeninacity.
I am still new to this, but my experience over the last year is that garden blogging is not dead. Perhaps it is contracting because of other social media, I don’t know. For now, it seems to me that blogging provides a depth of expression, both written and graphic, that other media do not. And that’s good, because I’d like to have at least another couple of years.