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Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Narrower Focus Yields Unexpected Creativity

Even though my online class, Blogging Your Way, has ended, I'm still going back to Holly's and Leslie's lessons and my BYW notebook. One page I frequently turn back to has my list of goals and priorities. When the class started, many of us in the class were unfocused and had created multiple blogs to give the illusion of focus (if you're curious how many blogs I have, I wrote a post titled Scattered on W0rds 'n M0re, one of my other blogs). Holly's first task for all of us was to choose just one blog to focus on. (While my inclination was to say I can do them all, I listened and chose Recipes for the Good Life).

Found: Warm, Neutral Color Palette

After we decided which blog would get our attention, we had to more work to do. Holly guided us through exercises designed to tease out mission statements and craft road maps. The result was an actionable plan with milestones for our blog at the end of the class.

In addition to a clear direction, I learned more about myself. In particular, I don't value original content more than well-thought out synopses or syntheses of third-party materials. What I do care about (and some could say obsess about) is clear attribution. Why? Because I value transparency and authenticity, I like to "connect" with the writer. If you're curating a gallery of images, sharing who created them, doesn't lessen the value of your gallery. Including others' work without proper credit is another story. As I explored why I followed certain blogs I found out some of my reasons were inaccurate. I thought one blog that I'd followed for over a year was all original photography as the images were not linked or credited. I had valued what I thought was the vision and technical skill of the writer. I felt mislead. This experience affected so much that for our final homework assignment, I set a short-term goal of updating my Blog Roll by June 1st. Before revealing the new Blog Roll, I'll share why I included the blogs I did.

Another consequence of Blogging Your Way is I now have so many ideas about what I want to write about (as well as objects and places I want to photograph). I rediscovered passions that had lain dormant until I started drafting an About Me post (a draft I broke into two parts, the first part The Story of Me is live on W0rds 'n M0re). An About Me post that I'm happy with (along with a short succinct tag line) will appear on this blog by June 1st (the second of my 3 short-term goals).

My third short-term goal is to clean up the look of the ads that run on the site. After revisiting my goals for this blog (our first homework assignment), I'm revising my third goal. I'm going to go back through my first 100 posts and clean up any linked but not clearly credited or attributed images (and update any broken links). 

Anything you'd like to see me change or alternatively keep as I continue to evolve this blog?

Credits: All images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for Recipes for the Good Life.

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