My post yesterday triggered a lively discussion among folks in my yahoo group. Several members, who consist of Texas children's illustrators, have already joined the blog-o-sphere and a few more are considering. The subject we discussed: what to write about in our blogs; what's appropriate and what's not appropriate considering children may have access. Do we censor ourselves? Interesting. Illustrators discussing writing.
Some have decided not to post anything inappropriate to children since their blogs are linked to their websites which may attract them. Others are concerned about art directors and editors seeing something offensive. Me, I have differing thoughts.
My blog is my first attempt at writing — anything. Having a blog gives me a reason to write, a purpose and an immediate end result. I do enjoy writing, but I'm not disciplined enough, yet, to write everyday simply for the practice and exercise of doint it. So a blog makes for me the perfect tool to publish my work until I become more comfortable with writing and sharing my written word with others.
So at this point, I don't put limits on myself. I just write. I'm not writing for children. I'm writing for myself, and I'm grown. If I focus too much on who the reader might be; what the reader might think about me or my writing; if my writing is appropiate, I'd get writer's block. And I do. I become intimidated, the same way I am in person with the spoken word. Self conscious and clumsy. My ultimate goal is to write for children. But I'm not there, yet.
I don't write anything vulgar. But vulgar is subjective. What you find vulgar, others find amusing. Take the word fart. Just used it the other day in a blog post referring to my son. Called him a little fart. And he can be. But the word doesn't bother me because I figure — people do. Fart. And if they say otherwise, they've lied. Or are bloated and on the verge of exploding. Editors and art directors included.
Some find it funny. They can relate because they have a little fart, too, who's terrorized their Saturday. Just like Kolb terrorized mine.
So for awhile, I may unlink my blog from my webpage. Keep them completely separate till I find my writing voice. And that voice doesn't embarrass me at my next school visit.
Are there do's and don'ts to blogging? I figure, do what you want. Write what you like. It's free. Or at least very cheap. But don't do the following. These are my peeves:
People who use creative capitalization:
toDaY, i wiLL wRitE liKe I HaVe nO sChOoL tRainINg
People who embed some John Denver-ish tune into their blog page which blares upon loading and announces to the entire office that my hands aren't as busy as my eyes are trying to make everyone think I am.
People who pepper their entries with unnecessary expletives. Every other word is F-this and B-that. Damn, I hate profanity.
People who don't know html, but tinker with the code so it crashes your computer upon loading.
People who create lists of "100 things you didn't know about them."
If I don't know you, I'm not gonna read anything after, say, #9.
If I already know you, I might make it to, say, #10.
# 59 is out of the question and...
People who post pictures and visuals. Just makes me jealous because Blogger restricts Mac users from posting photos. I may have to move my blog to a more Mac-friendly host.
People who think letters, words, sentences and paragraphs are all relative, disregarding any use of basic punctuation.
People who can't conjure enough creativity to begin their post with something besides, "Hmm, just started my blog today, what will I write about? Welcome to my world"
People who use predictable blog language such as rants, raves or musings to discuss only themselves. Oops, just described "my world" here.
Happy surfing and check out an informational blog by Texas children's illustrator Janee Trasler: To Rep or Not to Rep
Ah, and another very cool austin illustrator/animator I just happened to run across. Jared Chapman. How come I was the last to know about him? And he's got a blog, too.
Unrelated thought for the day: Why is it so difficult to accept the notion that men and women's brains might be different, when everything else about 'em is?