In the midst of a poor night’s sleep, I had a revelation. Gravatars and wordpress – my blog has become my “Second Life.” Please allow me to paint a picture – and know, I’m really not crazy!
When I first decided to blog, it felt like I was driving down a long, deserted stretch of road. You know the kind – broken concrete with weeds growing up from the cracks and everywhere I looked there were derelict warehouses. I pulled up to my designated spot and turned off the car.
I’d asked for the code to enter, but felt such foreboding. Open this Pandora’s box? Create a website where others can comment, attack or worse- ignore? Just what the hell was I doing? I didn’t belong here – I’m a country girl, for crying out loud. They’ll eat me alive.
I blew a breath and steadied my nerves. Isn’t this what all writers are supposed to do? Create a “platform”, find buyers for the stupid publishers who might produce my book someday? I’d heard it all and had enough – it was time to end my self-imposed exile and reach out to others.
The door was massive – rusty and gross. This? This was to be my new home? I’d been promised privacy and safety. WordPress provided the shell and here I would build my second life.
The code worked without a hitch. The door slid open on newly oiled hinges and I stepped inside a massive, cavernous empty space.
“Hello?” I called out, though I knew no one was there. A silly instinct, but my nerves were threatening to send me running.
A single bare bulb lit the center and I approached. No walls, just boxes scattered around the space would be my building materials. Themes and widgets to create a blog that would draw others in – it was up to me to write the posts that would keep them coming.
My sneakers made a shuffling noise as I began arranging those boxes to make a room. I’d call it “down the mountain road” eventually. Like every new house, it needed constant re-arranging to make it feel familiar. I’d write about my novel, garner some insight from all my wonderful reader’s comments and then I’d strike out – well, more like, peek around, my neighbor’s warehouses and see who was home.
It was a learning curve. The boxes just didn’t provide enough cheer. So I added more content- humor where possible and eventually they came. A quick hello from a woman in Ireland, wishing me well with my novel and promising to share special spots to see when I finally arrived for a visit to her native land. Her comment added a dash of color to my space – like a wonderful painting I could now hang on one of my rough walls. More came and added their touches.
I began following. Learning the lingo of wordpress. Learning that when I gave to others, they gave back.
I moved things around and added a big, overstuffed chair. Now it felt comfortable, more like home, but something was missing. As much as I loved this blog, just outside my temporary walls was a vast warehouse; dark, rough and untouched and just beckoning for me to explore.
please stayed tuned for the next installment…