Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Why Blog? Because it's not all about (Me)me

I'm thinking about the blogging life, since Dani Greer, who writes about new authors and new books, and about the land, and Janet Riehl, storyteller and wise woman, tagged me for "It's all about (Me)me." So here are my answers to this meme on the blogging life:

1. How long have you been blogging? I'm a late-bloomer. I didn't figure out that I loved telling the stories in the data better than I loved collecting the data until I had spent ten years as a field biologist studying wildfires, sagebrush communities, and grizzly bear habitat. My first book wasn't published until I was 34 - which, oddly enough, was the same age my botanist great-grandfather was when he found his professional niche studying deserts around the world. So it should be no surprise that I didn't discover blogging until earlier this year.

2. What inspired you to start blogging and who are your mentors? I wanted a place to write in a less formal way than my published writing, a place to muse and try out ideas and report on what I read. My mentors are other bloggers, especially those who highlight - and illustrate - the places we live in and love, and the stories we tell about what makes us so beautifully and imperfectly human, bloggers like Sherrie York at Brush and Baren, Susan Albert at Lifescapes, Donna Druchunas at Sheep to Shawl, and Deb Robson at Independent Stitch. I learn something from every blog I read - the blogosphere is like having a whole world of storytellers at my fingertips!

3. Are you trying to make money online, or just doing it for fun? Money? Fun? Hah hah hah hah! I'm a writer. I make my living from my articles for national magazines and newspapers, from teaching and speaking, and from the books I write (ten published, the two-book set I'm whaling away at now will make 11&12 or double-eleven, however you count it). I'm blogging as another way to write about what I believe in: the importance of restoring our relationship with the community of the land. To give voice to those whose voices we cannot hear, to find new ways to tell the stories of my head and heart.

4. What 5 things do you struggle with online? 1) Finding time to blog. 2) Remembering to shoot photos to illustrate my blog. 3) Remembering that I don't have to be perfect. 4) Brevity. 5) Finding the words when I find time to blog.

5. What 5 things do you love about being online? 1) The blogosphere is like radio in a way: you send your words out into the ether and often have no idea who they reach because you can't see your audience. But listeners and readers find you, often in unexpected ways. 2) The immediacy of it. 3) The informal and random nature of the connections; the huge web of relationships that grow organically. 4) Other bloggers & 5) Readers, bless you all!

I'm tagging Sherrie York, Donna Druchunas, and Deb Robson. Your turn now. . . .


Janet Grace Riehl said...

Susan, thanks for your eloquent responses to this Me(me)...and, I agree with you...what makes it all worth while is the random web of organic connections flowing across the land of web.


Susan J Tweit said...

The random web of organic connections is a great way to characterize how our words reach others' hearts and minds. Thanks, Janet!

Ms. Karen said...

Hi Susan, I found you through Blog Book Tours MeMe. You have a very nice site.

Have you been to a blog called Rigor Vitae, Life Unyielding (http://rigorvitae.blogspot.com/)? It's the blog of an artist Carel Brest Van Kempen. He calls himself a "failed biologist," but he includes a lot of information on the subjects of his paintings.

I'm glad I found your blog and will enjoy reading more of it.

Susan J Tweit said...

Thanks, Karen. I'll check out Rigor Vitae next time I have a chance. I don't think anyone fails at science, some of us just chose to comment about it rather than practice it - you never loose that habit of observing and thinking about the world in detail though, or of wondering what life means.


turtlewoman said...

Hi Susan, I remember your name from the 3 years I spent living on Poncha Blvd. in Salida, CO. How I loved Salida; how I loved CO - doubt I could ever afford to move back now that I've been gone for 12years. I came across your blog via Susan Wittig Albert's blog and I'm so happy I did. I love how people with many of the same interests and many of the same things in common are able to connect this way.

Lindy (currently in AZ)

Susan J Tweit said...

Hi, Lindy,

It IS a small world! The web is such an interesting community, a place where we shouldn't be surprised that people of common interests - and common homes - connect in cyberspace. It's funny to think of this far-flung network of computers and the digital language that unites them bringing us together when you once lived just a few blocks away.

You can explore more of my work on my web site (address below), and also drop me an email from there if you're so moved.