It’s my anniversary! No, I don’t mean my wedding anniversary (though that was just a week ago. Happy anniversary, sweetie!) It’s my blog’s anniversary, which is either three years old or just over two years old. So I thought I’d share lessons I learned from birthing and raising a blog.
I published its first post in “Genre-Colored Glasses” on August 19, 2015, making my blog three years old. On August 19, 2015, I published “What I Notice — and Write About,” laying out the reason for the weird title Genre-Colored Glasses and the topics I expected to write about — things like how genres affect us, how language makes a difference, how to teach writing in ways that show people the choices they can make, and fairness and equity. Truth, justice, and the American grammar joke. I love grammar jokes, especially the groaners.
The difference a comma can make: “Let’s eat Grandma!” [Let’s eat, Grandma] “Stop clubbing, baby seals!” [Stop clubbing baby seals]
I warned you — groaners. But punctuation saves lives! So that was my first post, describing my blog and its focus, with one bad grammar joke attached. And then . . . I didn’t publish another post for over nine months. Apparently, this baby needed time to develop.
I lost my nerve, in part. What if no one was interested? What if nobody read it? This was a new genre itself for me. I was good at writing academic stuff, I thought, but I might be really bad at writing for a broader audience. What if I’m a bad parent? What if my blog is terrible? What if I expect everyone to admire an ugly baby? (I love Seinfeld references, too)
I drafted several new posts, but I didn’t hit Publish on any of them until nine months later — May 30, 2016. Then I read an article in The New York Times on “The Psychology of Genre: Why we don’t like what we struggle to categorize,” by Tom Vanderbilt. That piece was full of great research on why brains like to categorize, so I could tell others about someone else’s research and add my comments. A lot like what I already knew how to write, but more fun.