All my children

As the parent of multiple blogs, it seems the youngest one always gets the most attention.
As the parent of multiple blogs, it seems the youngest one always gets the most attention.*

When I started Roamin’ Gnomials, I envisioned a one-size-fits-all publication that would easily encompass my scattershot approach to life. If a particular blog post didn’t resonate with one reader, I felt confident she’d come back for the next thing, which would surely be more to her liking.

Eventually, however, it sank in that no matter how much I might wish it otherwise, some things — like death and politics — just weren’t going to fit inside, so the man who long-resisted friends’ urging to write a blog now has three!

Blogs are like children, and as any parent knows, sometimes one child needs more attention than the others, which is why I’ve been away for so long. I’ve been a neglectful father, and while that’s not good, it may also be understandable. Anytime you bring a bouncing baby blog into your home, it’s going to rock your world.

If a blog is one aspect of a writer’s personality, it’s sad when you discover there are parts of yourself that others find unacceptable. Keeping with the theme of blogs as children, Roamin’ Gnomials was my firstborn, and for that reason it will always be special. But when I realized there were things that just wouldn’t fit inside, it necessitated the birth of my second blog, which was in fact stillborn.

A Year in the Death of One Man was written as a part of Roamin’ Gnomials, and I’m sure my long-time readers remember it well, perhaps with dismay. But when the project was finished and I’d written a magazine article that summarized it, I felt a little ashamed directing those readers to a blog featuring gnomes. I couldn’t very well expect a bunch of newcomers to show up and immediately get onboard with the whole gnome theme, not when they were expecting to read about a cemetery, so I migrated all of that material to its new home, which is why I say it was stillborn. Today, A Year in the Death of One Man is as dead as the name implies. Although the material is still available for anyone to read, no new posts will ever revive it, so it’s the rare traveler indeed who will find that tiny headstone and pay his respects.

When the recent presidential campaign was in full-swing in the United States, most of the posts on Roamin’ Gnomials took on a political edge, and I felt that I lost a lot of readers. Statistics didn’t necessarily bear that out, as I was still gaining followers at a steady pace, but I sensed disinterest from some regulars, and in some cases, downright disapproval of my political views. Still, I felt the subject was important enough that I wanted to continue despite the fallout — perceived or otherwise — so I created the Voices series (you can still find the Voices posts here under the topic heading Politics/Social Issues) in which I invited other bloggers and writers to participate in ramping up the vitriol against Donald J. Trump. Eventually that morphed into the idea of tapping some of my former co-workers from the newspaper business to help me in a new venture called The Shinbone Star.  It’s my new baby and has taken all of my attention.

While I was away, I was gratified to see that Roamin’ Gnomials continued to grow on its own. I receive notifications every week of new followers, despite the fact that I haven’t posted anything new in a long time. One of the nicest things about being a blog parent is seeing your baby grow to the point that it doesn’t need constant attention and can thrive on its own. Maybe it means I did something right.

It’s also important to realize that where writing is concerned, one size never fits all. Though each of my blogs is a chip off the old block, each has its own unique personality and has garnered its own group of friends. True, The Shinbone Star isn’t all my writing (in fact the best posts weren’t written by me), but the concept is all my own.

Just like the varied aspects of any person’s personality, some of my blogs seem inviting, others off-putting, and still others are anger-inducing, but taken together they form a composite of who I am — one day introspective, the next day silly, followed by occasions of withering anger. One advantage to a blog over a human being: At least with a blog you can pick and choose what parts you like!

A big thanks to the supporters of all my blogs. If you haven’t met my other children, I hope you’ll click on the links above and get to know them all.

* Boy Holding Screaming Baby by Norman Rockwell

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39 Comments

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  1. Maybe a gnome will kick you between the ankle and knee one day and leave a mark. Then you’d be justified in renaming that blog “The Shinbone Scar.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. so what does all this mean? what am i going to read next?? get on the ball.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I understand what you mean totally. Lately I’ve been wondering if I’m spreading myself too thin and if some consolidation of my projects may be in order. If only I can figure out a common theme to umbrella everything under my life would be so much simpler. I’ve got the teacher/mentor of young girls side and the free-spirited I-do-what-I-want side in blog life and 3 Instagram profiles to manage. No connections in sight. Still thinking… I’m not at the point where I can leave any of them for too long without certain death.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My second blog, the one about the cemetery, was all written here, and would have stayed here if I hadn’t sold a magazine article featuring it. I felt the overall tenor of my theme here on Roamin’ Gnomials trivialized the seriousness of the project, especially for new visitors who wouldn’t understand and hadn’t taken the time to get to know me. As for my new political blog, that’s a combination effort with other writers, so it really wasn’t going to fit here. It certainly becomes a difficult balancing act, and I wish you the best. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on WORDS from SONOBE and commented:

    Recently featured on WordPress Discover, Glenn talks about being a blog parent. He has three blog kids, so far. I have ten (I think)! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really appreciate the honesty of this post– I personally find it encouraging, and redemptive that yes, one project might fail or die while another one is given birth to. Thanks from a fellow blogger on your perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very interesting insight into blogging to one who has just started blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great knowledge about blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hello! I’m a new blogger. Check out my blog posts and let me know ♥
    Ravgunkaur.wordpress.com
    (Hope u like it)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. follow me please i m new h

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a nice reading, but short. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. As the proud father of two blogs, I recognise this.

    http://www.ragtimecyclist.com is, unsurprisingly, about cycling. When I had the urge to write about other stuff – politics, beards, bumping into Christopher Eccleston in a coffee shop – I published on my cycling blog. I thought these pieces were great. No-one read them.

    I guess sometimes you just have to let your blogs make their own mistakes…

    So now I have The Slingsta too and, while not many people are reading this, at least I’m not burdening my fellow cycling fans with my scattered ramblings 😉

    Blog number 3 will emerge at some point, i’m sure. I can’t help myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hey, can you check out my page?
    alfatoon.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I really appreciate this as a new blogger. Great writing!

    Like

  14. I can’t say how I ended up here, but you sound like a proud, if somewhat neglectful at times, parent. I can relate to that at least. I wander in and out of as a reader myself, so I can’t judge anyone else’s methods without chucking a big rock at my own head at the same time! Continue growing and let dead blogs lie, I guess is the best advice!

    Like

  15. Very interesting. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Very interesting, visit my blog friend # ram963.wordpress.com…….Wishing You All The Best….

    Like

  17. A nice read , thoughtful

    Liked by 1 person

  18. As a relatively new blogger, I appreciate your insight into the blogging process. Thanks for sharing! I may just have to go and check out one of the other children…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Blogs open ones horizons, so if you write well people follow

    Like

  20. I’d like to think all bloggers should be multi faceted, but alas, search engines do not reward diversity.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I can relate to what you wrote. Ideas germinating into words which then become paragraphs. And then one day you realise you need a new perspective. May be this talks about writing but doesn’t it encompass everything in life.

    Like

  22. Rock your world. Love to see you rocking.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE MEAN TOTALLY………(SOUND & SCILENCE).

    Liked by 1 person

  24. IT’S Awesome & U write best….

    Liked by 1 person

  25. A very interesting read indeed. Love the concept of blogs being like children and me being a father of many myself it makes complete sense when focusing your attentions.

    Liked by 1 person

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