Friday, September 08, 2006

Learning the Blog Dance

As you learn new dance moves, you have to learn the steps, turns and dips. You also have to figure out how to maneuver without stepping on toes. Yesterday I dipped when I should have twirled. Lillie Ammann posted a comment and it never appeared online. I’m not sure how I did it, but I must have deleted it.

The one I meant to delete was James Lee’s correction of my grammar. Just kidding, James! (James and I are friends and go way back.)

Anyway, I wanted to post here what Lillie said:
I've been enjoying your newsletter for years and look forward to reading your blog. Though I started my blog before you started yours, I'm still learning. It didn't take long to realize that keeping up with all the great blogs takes a lot of time!

I hadn’t seen Lillie’s blog before, so I dropped by to check out A Writer’s Words, An Editor’s Eye. It’s interesting. If you have time, take a look. She’s both a writer and an editor and you might find her blog is one of those you want to bookmark.

One thing I’m noticing about blogs is that they’re less formal than websites. Not all, but a lot of websites are quite professional. This is who I am; this is what I’ve written; this is where I’ll be on my book tour; here’s my resume. Blogs are more casual, more chatty. This is not to say that Lillie’s blog isn’t informative. It certainly is. For example, her entry on September 6 was called Blog Carnivals. I’d never heard of a Blog Carnival! But I also believe if you keep reading certain blogs, over time you’ll begin to feel like you know the blogger.

This may not be true for all bloggers. I’m not at all sure Miss Snark is nearly as ferocious as she seems to be in her blog. On the other hand, Susan Wittig Albert’s personality comes through clearly in her blog. Over time my personality will most likely show through in this blog. After seven years of writing my newsletter, Doing It Write!, I noticed the columns were becoming more relaxed, almost like blog entries sometimes. That will carry over into this blog. In some cases, the blog is proving to be helpful to me. I can expand on things from the newsletter. For example, I listed the Jentel Writing Residency Program in the newsletter, but here in the blog I had room to talk more about my visit there and meeting the manager of the program.

And a special thanks to Lillie for listing me (despite my dropping her comment) in her Blog Roll. That was fun to be looking around her site and find Straight from Hel listed!


  1. Well, Hel, let me be the first to comment on your "learning" blog. Will you teach me how to blog dance? I have always been in technology awe of you (as you well know my computer phobias!)and wanted to say "congrats" on your new forum.

    Talk about deleting important information--I just might be the Queen of that dance step. If I've heard it once, I've heard it a million times, from an IT person: "Um, I've never seen that happen before," as he or she leans over my shoulder to ponder my latest technology snaffu. "It's me - I've been telling you that," I usually respond. Not only do computers shut down when I approach them, but many plants during my many years have withered just at the sound of my footsteps coming closer.

    I don't know what it is about me and my lack of inspiration for things that can't talk. Fortunately, I seem to have a knack for growing young adults; for making them feel good about themselves and seeing their potential to be what they want to be. There is nothing so rewarding as seeing the admiration for Grandma in Ian, John and Meghann's eyes, or hearing from my Writers' League of Texas intern that my confidence in him helped his college pursuits.

    Yes, thank goodness, young adults are our leaders of tomorrow, and not plants or computers; otherise, I could be creating a mess for the future.

    Love you,

    Terri Schexnayder
    Author of "A Tourist in My Own Town"

  2. Forget computers and plants, the ability to inspire others, build their self-confidence and pride ... that's a true gift. IT people can be hired and plants can be bought. Think how boring it would be if we all danced the same.


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