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Rethinking It

re·think  (r-thngk)

To reconsider (something) or to involve oneself in reconsideration

I’ve been in a fog about Fork.
Some people are natural bloggers. They take off and never look back.
Some people, not me.
I’ve written daily for 4 1/2 months and I’ve learned quite a bit.
I’ve learned tons about Texas and the oil industry that I likely would never have learned if I hadn’t pressed myself to share something new each night.
I hear things and think about things because I’m writing that I might otherwise miss; in the same way that I see things when I have a camera in my hand that I might normally overlook or quickly forget.
I’m not a journal-er. I never have been and weeks of trying didn’t turn me into one.
I’m not Dave Barry (and anyway, he only had to be funny once a week).
I’ve learned that watching Site Stats is akin to weighing everyday, not an accurate gage of success and a bit of an emotional roller-coaster.
I have to remind myself that no one is paying me to write, so I should enjoy it.

I’ve developed friendships with other bloggers and with folks who read Fork. This has been the biggest and best surprise!

I spent time tonight reading about blogging. Most of the tips I read were written by people who blog for a living, but I found what I’ve been missing.

I read 18 Lessons I’ve Learned About Blogging by Darren Rowse. I only needed one to redirect my thinking:

Be Yourself

  1. Transparency – readers are an insightful bunch and will quickly find you out if you’re not being genuine
  2. Sustainability – it’s difficult to sustain writing in a voice and personality that is not your own. Be yourself and you’ll last a lot longer.
  3. Consistency – regular readers of a blog overtime take on a sense of ownership of a blog. When you chop and change your writing to emulate and please others you’ll end up disillusioning the people who make your blog what it is (your readers). Be yourself and you’re more likely to be consistent (I’m not suggesting be monotonous – you can still be creative and surprising – just do it in your own style and you’ll be right).

Clearly, I would have benefited from reading these sooner. I’m just plain Texas-gate- guarding-quipped out. I’m still a gate guard, living in Texas and I’ll still write about both from time to time, but not every night.

Heidi has her hands full with Good Life. She’s been encouraging me to figure out what I want to do with Fork. I’ve avoided the transparency and sustainability criteria by mostly sharing facts and telling stories.

My favorite posts to write have been the 4 or 5 I’ve shown up for, including yesterday’s. They weren’t necessarily crowd pleasers. I have a very small but consistent readership of around 150 a day. Most never comment and that’s OK, but I would love to exchange ideas.

What is there for you to say if I stick to Halliburton trucks and my coffee pot sounding like Darth Vader? I’m hoping Fork will continue to be fun to read. For example, I think we’re having rabbit/squirrel/quail stew next week. If I can’t make that entertaining, the guys should quit cooking for me!  🙂 But there’s going to be more of me in the mix here at Fork: my thoughts and perspectives and questions. I hope there’ll be more of you, too.

I’ve spent a whole lot of time trying to guess who was readying and why. It’s still a mystery to me. But it’s time for me to reconsider and involve myself in the direction. I may lose some readers. They’ve already forewarned me.

I also won’t be writing every night any more. Most nights, just not every night. On the days you chose to read, I’m looking forward to listening and learning from you. To quote a fellow blogger who commented on a comment from yesterday: this may not float your boat (thanks Malinda). For those of you who stick around, I look forward to sharing adventures together.


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19 thoughts on “Rethinking It

  1. Just wanted to let you know I’m faithfully following your blog to learn more about full timing & working on the road. I’m too old to “invent” or even “re-invent” the wheel, so every bit of information you share is useful to me and others — whether it’s getting thru the rough times, the boring times, the inconvenient times, the great times, or the sad times. Just pretend you’re talking to a good friend when you post to your blog.

    Glenda

    • Well hey there, Glenda! Thanks for reading and thanks so much for writing. I just went to your blog. Your photography is beautiful! You’re a very brave woman, full-timing in a Casita! I wonder if I would break fewer things if I had less space? No, probably not…
      I appreciate your advice. I haven’t quite figured out how to write with ease yet. I’ll be revisiting your blog to see where you and Jeff are headed, and if the fish are biting!

  2. “Today is the tomorrow I set goals for yesterday
    And I reached some of those goals today.
    So today I am going to set sightly higher goals for
    today and tomorrow
    And if tomorrow turns out to be like today
    I will certainly reach all of my goals one day!”
    -Author Unknown

    • Well, Cuz, I’m kind back-logged with yesterday’s and today’s goals, if tomorrow turns out to be like today, will I be 4 days behind?

    • Debbie works the gate all night here at the oil rig. She’s sleeping and I’m blogging ahead. Both of us have decided we need a weekend to read more and catch up with emails. All that to say welcome to the Fork Family and I’m sure she’ll have a reply when she gets up this afternoon. I just love your blog. Thanks for commenting here. As you know, the fun part is the interaction generated by the post, not just the writing! Thanks for adding to our forum!

    • Malinda – I read this quote recently: “We need old friends to help us grow old and new friends to help us stay young.”- Letty Cottin Pogrebin
      I feel very blessed to have both. Someday we’ll have to put our emails together and have a chat!
      Rereading yesterday’s post, I’m wondering tonight, what got into me! I think I’d better proceed slowly; less of a shock to the system!

  3. Heidi said you might be considering this. I couldn’t agree with you more and the advice from the blog list. It will be a treat, gift and blessing to those that read your blog to get to know YOU, they just don’t know that yet. You have an incredible heart and mind that I miss seeing and hearing.
    I love the pictures Debbie.

    So you other bloggers this is called “The Fork in the Road” and she’s come to another fork. This one is a lot less traveled, that’s the one I’d take. Sit back hold onto your coffee. You won’t be disappointed. Run Debbie Run.

  4. I agree with Andy and Jill. Just be YOU! That’s who we all know and love. What you write about can be anything…at any time. No rules here…other than just be you.

    I often find myself being a little self-critical when I don’t write everyday. Then I have to remind myself…the likelihood of people waiting with baited breath for my dumb little blog is not very likely. Life goes on whether I blog about it or not.

    Also, I write for me! If people don’t like what I write, they can point their browser in any direction they choose. I encourage you to take the same stance.

  5. Oh good – now we will get to see more of the “real” Debbie. I am looking forward to it. While gate guarding is a great job, there is only so much one can write about the dust and license plate numbers!!! A few stories about Henry would be good!! Also writing about issues that are near and dear to your heart are not only interesting to your readers but good for your soul.

    Whatever will you do with your extra time if you don’t write every night? I find it very hard to entertain myself. By the way – great picture of you!!

    • Jill – You know what they say, be careful what you wish for… 🙂 I used the picture because it was taken inside the lighthouse. That was 3 years ago. It’s amazing the change that 3 years of not highlighting my hair has done to my appearance. Just color all that light part grey in your mind!

  6. Debbie,
    You express yourself well and should continue doing just that. I find it cathartic and emotionally satisfying myself. I do not write everyday but I am always thinking in the back of my mind ‘would that make a good blog post?’ whether it be something I am doing, or see or read or just a random thought. Once the 2 paragraphs get written in my brain it is a go.

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