Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blogging Thoughts

I've been giving a lot of thought to the problem of what purpose I want this blog, this particular one right here, to serve. I haven't been posting a lot. That doesn't mean I'm not blogging, because I post twice a week to Finding Wonderland, rain or shine, and as the Cybils blog editor again this year, I put up between 3 and 5 posts per week there. And then there's my paid blogging/article writing gig at A Place for Mom, which has been upped from 2 posts a week to 3. At about 500 words apiece, it's no small potatoes. I blog a LOT.

Just…very little of it is what I'd call my personal thoughts. I tend to save those for short bursts on Twitter and Facebook. I am also constantly battling questions like Who really cares? What purpose does it serve? Are my thoughts really that interesting? Does anyone even "read" blogs anymore or do they just go surfing for specific topics? I mean, I haven't been doing much blog reading lately myself. I hate to admit that, especially as someone very much enmeshed in the children's literature blogging community. I've gained a lot of treasured friends and writing connections by reading their blogs. But my blog reading is no longer regulated by Google Reader; I read a handful of random posts in any given week, clicking through from e-mails or tweets or Facebook. I haven't been commenting. Everyone else has plenty to say; they don't need to hear my two cents.

So then what? That's the question I've been asking myself, over and over. What do I have to say, here, that hasn't been said a million times and far more eloquently? What do I have to offer that's unique, and that I haven't posted elsewhere? And do I have enough of it to offer on a thrice-weekly basis or whatever? Am I helping, or at least entertaining, anyone by doing it? Myself, at the very least? Do I have to have a special "thing" that my blog is known for? How can I create something sufficiently individual, or is BEING an individual and posting about it enough?

I've wondered over and over if I should say goodbye to this blog; if I should stop blogging, period. I haven't gotten to that point yet. But I'm definitely doing some thinking about the why of it all.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Put a Binder Clip On It

Sort of in honor of Put a Bird On It, lately I've been thinking that for many a household task, I can just Put a Binder Clip On It. Those damn things are useful. Here are a few purposes I've used binder clips for that they were not originally intended to serve:
  • Chip clip/bag clip. This one's obvious, but still. I have never, ever owned enough kitchen-specific bag clips, and they cost too much anyway. Whereas I have probably hundreds of binder clips of myriad sizes, clamoring to be used.
  • Cord holder. Actually, I haven't done this one, yet--but I keep meaning to. Take one of those gigantic binder clips and keep those pesky electronics cords together, untangled, and out of the way. (Just don't put the clip ON the cord....I mean slide the cords through the long triangular space.)
  • Outgoing mail holder. We have one of those mailboxes that's like a little box attached to the wall next to the front door. For incoming mail, you lift the lid on a hinge and put it inside. For outgoing mail, there's an unwieldy little two-pronged rack thingy. It looks a lot like this, but white. Because I'm paranoid that my outgoing mail will fall off the rack and go AWOL before the mail carrier gets to it, especially if it's breezy, I hold it on with a little binder clip.
  • DIY seat belt repair. Admittedly, this is REALLY not a normal use for a binder clip, and not one I would wish on anyone. But it had to be done. Here's the story: you may not have ever noticed it before, but there is a little plastic nub on your seat belt that stops the buckle from sliding down all the way to the floor when it's just hanging there unused. (At least, there is in my Civic.) At some point, the nub fell off my seat belt. All I had in the car that was of any remote use was a binder clip, so I MacGyvered that shit. It's now been like that for weeks.
So, yep. Put a binder clip on it. That's my advice. I'm sure there are many other uses I haven't even considered. Like maybe a key chain. In a pinch I've used a large paper clip as a key chain, so why not a binder clip?