A lot of people have been pushing me to write a blog. Well, maybe it wasn’t a lot of people, maybe it was just a few people who harassed me about it a bunch of times. I don’t remember exactly, but I did have several reasons for not wanting to blog, all of them compelling:
- As a former professional journalist, I have everything to lose and nothing to gain by blogging. All it’s going to take is one typo or one grammatical error and everybody’s going to be all up in my business.
- After working in the newspaper industry for 33 years, I have this expectation that writing ought to be done daily, and I just didn’t want to commit to something like that. I’ve been assured that my expectation is unreasonable. I’ve been assured that readers don’t expect bloggers to write something every day. I’m not persuaded. I think if you’re going to blog — or at least blog successfully — then it needs to be with some regularity. Okay, maybe not every day, but somewhat regular.
- Subject matter. What interests me may be of no interest to you. For starters, I like baseball, cooking Texas cuisine and watching scary movies. Now it could be that you’re a complete loser and don’t like any of that stuff, and if I confine my writing to those subjects, there’s a good chance you won’t be a regular reader. Now we might all agree that Texas brisket is very fine eatin’, but even I wouldn’t want to read about it every day, and I know you won’t either.
- Variety. I think a lot of blogs fail because people simply run out of things to talk about. Their focus is too narrow. I thought that if I was ever going to blog, I’d want a blog that had readers constantly wondering what was coming next. Trouble was that I just didn’t know how to pull it off.
So what changed?
Well, I think it’s the realization that this isn’t going to be just my blog. Oh, I know I’ll be driving the bus more often than not, but I think in order to be successful, I’m going to have to gain reader support, and that definitely includes those people who hounded me into this in the first place. If I have to suffer, I guaran-damn-tee that I’m going to make you suffer, too!
See, I really do want your participation. In future posts, I’ll tell you about how I’ll be soliciting names for this “nameless blog.” Yes, with your input, we’ll give it a proper name, and I’m not stopping there. I’ll also be looking for your pictures to publish, or maybe I’ll add some of your own peerless prose or poetry so people on the internet can make fun of you, too.
But reader participation and variety aren’t the only keys. Nope, even though I want your input and I want this blog to be unpredictable, I decided it would still need some common thread, some touchstone or recurring theme. And folks, I think I’ve found it.
Now before you all start clamoring that there’s no way I can sustain a blog by writing about gnomes, just hold your horses and think for a minute. I’m not talking about that silly statuary you might see in your neighbor’s flower bed. I’m talking about real gnomes, the kind that live in back yards, gardens and forest lands all over the world. The same gnomes that have influenced almost every aspect of life as we know it.
Do you like chocolate cake? Thank a gnome.
Do you ever enjoy a cold beer? Gnomes were probably among the first brewers.
Do you like healthy trees, tasty vegetables and pretty flowers? Gnomes are often responsible for those things.
Do you appreciate poetry? Throughout history, gnomes have influenced some of the world’s finest human poets.
Of course there are two sides to that coin. I know a lot of you have had bad experiences with gnomes! True, gnomes have their fingerprints on many of the finest things in life, but they’re also mischievous little devils. If you anger them, they can kill off your houseplants or even misplace your car keys! It could even be that gnomes stole away your older brother — like they did mine — before you were born.
Gnomes are responsible for a lot of the coolest things in life, and also for much that is bad or unexplained. I guess they’re not unlike humans in that regard. Among other things, this blog will explore those human-gnome interactions, and I’ll be interviewing many of you about your experiences with these delightful and mischievous creatures.
Not all the time, mind you. There’s lots of stuff we can write about that has nothing to do with gnomes, but then there’s a lot of other stuff that you might not think is gnome-related, but expect to have your horizons expanded when we show you, for instance, how that bump in the night wasn’t the freaking cat, but could have been a passing gnome.
We’re just getting started, folks, so stop in again soon for the next installment. Remember, there’s going to be some unpredictability here, so maybe we won’t even talk about gnomes next time. Maybe it’ll be about something else entirely.
I swear to you that even I don’t yet know what’s coming next. You’ll just have to come back and see.