Friday, January 13, 2012

HOW AND WHY I BECAME A BLOGGER (A RESPONSE TO BLOGVERSATION 2012)

Over at her blog, Newvine Growing, my friend Colleen Newvine is running Blogversation 2012.

Every week, she poses two questions and five women answer each question in the comments section.

So far, Colleen has asked us "How and why did you become a blogger?" Here is my response:

For the two weeks that followed my launch of creativetimes.blogspot.com, I had the writer’s version of stage fright; I barely slept or ate and I walked around with heart palpitations. The idea of being that visible scared the bejeezus out of me.

In the five years prior to starting a blog, I had been sending out an email newsletter to keep in touch with clients, friends, family, and colleagues. I titled and dedicated each issue to a topic that caught my fancy – Creativity, Using Your Hands, Generosity, Getting to Know Your Neighborhood.

Meanwhile, the list of email newsletter recipients grew and grew until one day my husband (then boyfriend) said to me “You know, there’s this thing called blogging that would be a great vehicle for your writing.” I didn’t know anything about blogging at the time, but I heard that a well-known blogger, Louise Crawford (Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn), lived nearby in Brooklyn. I called her up, she looked at my newsletter, and confirmed that, yes, I had the makings of a blog.

So I went for it, and my life has not been the same since.

I’m now in my 7th year of blogging, and there are a few key reasons why I keep on keepin’ on.

First: Blogging is a huge passport to adventure. I approach people I want to interview for Creative Times who I probably would never go towards without the blog. I got to meet Maira Kalman, one of my favorite illustrators and writers of children’s books. I’ve had the honor of sitting across from international design legend Eva Zeisel, who just passed away at age 105. I interviewed Elmo Muppeteer and Sesame Street Co-Producer Kevin Clash, and then went on to collect the stories of a whole bunch of other Sesame cast and crew. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I’d one day sit in the same Mr. Hooper’s store that I saw year after year as a child who watched Sesame Street on the television. But that’s where I was just a month ago, watching a shoot before interviewing Mr.Snuffleupagus Muppeteer Martin Robinson.

Second: There are so many amazing artists, as well as art venues, projects, and performances out there in New York. I want to know about them, and I want my readers to know about them. I want us to have more and more reasons to fall in love with and be inspired by the New York arts scene on a daily basis.

Third: Blogging is a fantastic tool to build community. When I first started blogging, I helped organize monthly gatherings of Brooklyn bloggers, as well as an annual event called The Brooklyn Blogfest. Doing so was a great way to bring people together and forge lots of different relationships between and amongst folks. Although I no longer organize those events, I treasure the people that I met during those days and continue to meet kindred spirits through my work as a blogger. Although it’s relationships, and not technology, that build community, blogging has certainly facilitated opportunities to bring people together and make my life rich with a wealth of friendships and folks to collaborate with on all sorts of projects.

I am truly grateful to my blog for making life such an exciting adventure!
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