It is unreal to me that it has been more than a year since I’ve last added a post to the ‘Tales. Unreal, and a little sad.
There was a time when I was a regular blogger, and I think the writing was good for me. There are a lot of reasons why I haven’t been blogging, even though there has been loads happening.
- After the Immigration Debacle of 2013, I felt like most of the people who were coming to my blog were only interested in reading about that nonsense, and for me that chapter is closed.
- I started blogging as a way to keep family and friends updated about what was going on in my life when I first moved to Korea in 2005, but with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a million other places to keep folks in the loop, blogging started to fall away as seemingly archaic and a bit much when my snippets and stories were so readily available in other, more convenient places.
- Blogs these days seem to be more about specialisation, not about personal spaces in which to just write and share thoughts about whatevers. Maybe that’s not true, and I’m out of the “blog loop” (probably not a thing), but it feels true. People are experts in things and they write about those things. I’m an expert in nothing, without anything really to add to what scores of others are already saying.
- I’m lazy.
That last reason is the biggest problem. I’m lazy and writing is work, even if I enjoy doing it. Still work. And I’m definitely work-adverse.
But recently, the husband (yah, got married since I blogged last year… this is what I mean. Shit is still happening in life – new job, new city, two new cats, new husband – but I just don’t bother writing it up) and I have started seriously talking about “what next”. What we are going to do after Korea and how to go about doing it.
We think we know the when and the where – a move to Hanoi, Vietnam in late 2017 or spring 2018 – and now we are going through the steps of figuring out here to there. And I think that could be a cool process to blog bits about. Someone might find it useful, but more importantly, I may think it is cool to look back and use the blog as a memory aid.
Part of what triggered the idea to write about all this was looking back through my pictures of my trip through Vietnam in 2007. I was lazy then and didn’t label any of the pictures – not even to differentiate between Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. I can look some of the places up now and try to piece it all together… but I wish I had been smart enough and motivated enough to just put a blurb on them in the first place. It may have really helped me attach more concrete memories to that trip.
I promise nothing. But I’m seriously thinking it may be time to fire up the old brain again and get writing.
I just went through my draft posts and trashed them all without even bothering to read them – the most recent one was from a few months ago. I can’t imagine there’s anything there worth salvaging.
How about I put up a quick blog post about how I never blog? Just wanted to warn about an influx of posts. I’ve got a bunch of drafts sitting here and I think it’s about high time I got them out. Before they go from stale to absolutely rot-o-rama.
Wish I could say that I’ve been too busy to blog, kids. But I haven’t. Just lazy. I get home, make some dinners, then waste my life lurking on Reddit while watching old episodes of The Simpsons.
As always: Sorry for the silence. Hopefully I’ll continue to make some noise for awhile here.
Each week our elementary students are given a speech topic to write 5 – 7 sentences about. They aren’t the most exciting prompts, but they are still writing prompts. And I was thinking to myself: Hey. I could use some prompting when it comes to writing in the ole bloggityblog.
So with that in mind, I’m going to start trying to write my own “Speech of the Week” to try and write more regularly again. And since I’m a grown-up, I think I’ll a) probably write more than seven sentences and b) ignore my own rules about starting sentences with the word “and”.
One of these days I’ll make writing a habit again.
I was just thinking about how last time I was in Korea no one was using Twitter yet and people I knew were just starting to use Facebook. Instagram wasn’t a thing. Tumblr was, but I didn’t know anyone using it.
No one had a smartphone. Or a tablet. Wifi wasn’t everywhere because there was no need for it to be everywhere. We weren’t nearly as connected in 2007 as we are now.
My blog, emails and Skype calls of the shittiest quality (so bad that video was pretty much useless then) were the only ways I could share my experiences. It usually meant taking photos and notes and waiting for a block of time when I felt like uploading photos from my camera and sitting down to write out blog posts lengthy enough to actually be blog posts.
Now, I can share on the fly. In real time. And with pictures or videos, no less! Quickly, easily, and from just about anywhere as Korea is rocking the WIFI IN ALL THE PLACES thing.
It’s both wonderful and strange.
There is a bit of a downside to all this sharing shizzle though, I think. Even when I was here in Asia seven years ago, I was thinking then about how much of the mystery – the romance, if you will – of travel has dissipated. With how much easier it is to get a flight these days than it was 50 years ago, it’s much less strange to know someone who’s travelled most of the way around the world.
And now with the changes to how we communicate, I feel as though we’ve lost even more of that mystery. Gone are the hand-written journals. The long letters sent home that would take months to arrive. You might still get a postcard these days, if you are lucky, but you’re more likely to get a Snapchat of someone pulling a duck face on a beach somewhere.
Borders are blurring as more people share their experiences more often, with more immediacy, with a much broader audience.
I had an idea today after buying some of the weirdest drinks ever at the shop: I should probably blog more.
Being back in K-town has been strange. It is so familiar and yet so different. And I somehow end up forgetting that I now know a lot of people who weren’t subjected to my blog back in the day (2005 – 2007) when I was here before, so they may not (yet) be bored of hearing about weird Korean stuff (looking at you, sea penis). There may even be a handful of people who are thinking about coming to Korea (or who have just arrived here) and may be interested in hearing more about the things you can buy over here (like what, exactly, does “Milkis” or “Pocari Sweat” taste like). I know I would be. Some of it is pretty baffling. Loads of it is cute. Some of it is totes awesome.
So look for upcoming posts about what I’m spending my won on here in Koreaville. My reviews won’t be worth anything (anyone who is willing to eat something just because it is ‘hilarious’ cannot be trusted as a reviewer), but hopefully they’ll be mildly entertaining.
Great comic today over at The Joy of Tech about Top 10 lists. I find it particularly funny because so many “How to Improve SEO” or “How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog” articles advise using top 10 lists (about nearly anything) to get people to read your blog. That nugget of wisdom is usually number 1 on their top 10 list of “Get Moar Blog Followers” posts.
I have a better idea. Write an interesting post. Leave the SEO wanging and other ‘tricks’ aside. I suppose if you are writing just to make some money (which is a wee bit sad) or for popularity (ditto) then you should be following those sorts of tips and tricks. Otherwise, just write some cool shit.
I’ve had a few journals over the course of my life. Perhaps a good dozen. I was even one of these girls who had a diary with a lock at one point.
It’s the kind of thing you get for Christmas and have to wait for the first of January to start using. And I would be so excited to start using it. Various years of my life, a journal would be started, in earnest, on 01 January.
And after a few days, for whatever reason, I would miss a few days. And I would hate that there were blank pages. I’ve always been an all-or-nothing kind of person.
And then I would read what I had written over the last few weeks, and critique not just what words were there, but the handwriting and the pen (or, heaven forbid, pens) that I had used to write with. But I was especially hard on the words. What I had thought was brilliant at the time of writing (often just a few short weeks prior) had become drivel. I mean, I was doing this to myself at 7 years old.
Fast forward to autumn of the same year. I would find that diary and decide that I would try to give it another go. Blank pages be damned! And so a mostly empty diary would be given new life as I wrote in it again for another solid 10 or 15 days. And then it would be abandoned again, just as it had been before.
Eventually I would find that diary tucked away a year or two later and read it again, thoroughly embarrassed by the absolute garbage I had written. And what do you do with garbage? You burn it. Oh, the bonfires of words I have enjoyed. So many.
I’m only bringing this up (feel free to leave a “cool story bro” in the comments) because it struck me this weekend that my blog follows the same pattern. Like this blog in Janaury, I seem to remember that all my shiny new diaries, so full of promise, always started with the same sentence: “This time I’m going to try writing every day…”
A short post just to say I’m going to try and get back into doing some writing on this blog.
How often do I blog about blogging? Ridiculous.
It is something that I like to do, and want to do more of, but I just don’t. It’s like all things that are good for you… sometimes it is just easier not to do it. I mean… part of me likes running. But another, more bossy part of me likes going to the pub and drinking a beer instead. So I don’t always run.
I want to finish going through The Interrogative Year. I want to journal a bit about my goal to get to a healthy weight this year (more on that in another post). I want to huff and puff and passively-aggressively review apps/tools/programs/etc that I’m using. Or not using, if they suck. I want to write a few more short stories. I want to express how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking about in more than 140 characters (damn you, Twitter).
I think I may have to intersperse shorter posts with longer ones. Plain ones (like this one) with fancy ones (with pictures! and links!) to keep momentum going.
I’m not making promises. But I am sure going to try.
Again, that is.
It has been a long and strange journey with my poor old blog. Started back in 2005 (2005!) just before I left Canada for Korea as a way to keep in touch with folks without bombarding my contacts list with group e-newsletters. I was supposed to be gone for a year and I expected the blog to last about that long. That was six (six!) years ago now.
The blog started on MSN Spaces… back when I had “upgraded” from using Yahoo email to Hotmail. (AH HA HA HA HA! – “upgrade to Hotmail”) At the time, it was all that I needed, even when it did funky things when I was posting from the PC Bang (internet cafe) in Korea.
I’m not sure what eventually drove me away from Spaces. Perhaps it was because I had been using Gmail for awhile and was drifting further and further away from Hotmail and all things associated with it. And because I used Google for email, it made sense (at the time) to move my blog to the Google-sphere… hello Blogger.