When I get time off I want to at least make an attempt to enjoy it. But then I had more time on my hands than I knew what to do with. There were year end reviews to read and too many worst year ever Facebook comments. Then Will from the Pittsburgh Orbit threw down a challenge to create a New Year’s resolution post.
I’m not one to let Will down and I won’t let my readers down either. That’s my first resolution. I resolve to never disappoint my readers. That becomes all the more important after obtaining a reader or two. It helped to have some writing to do since I was almost out of my mind with cabin fever. Have no pity on me. I was high in the mountains looking at picturesque snow and tall trees with the best group of in-laws anyone could want. I was wary because I’ve never made a New Year’s resolution that I didn’t break minutes after ringing in the New Year. The only notable exception being last year’s experience of giving up coffee for a month which might not have even been a resolution in a true sense.
A porcelain head ponders a new year.
In considering resolutions, my first thought concerned boosting my readership. Recently I subscribed to a YouTube channel. It was from a kid who posted a video of herself and a friend running around construction sites and sitting in the seats of bulldozers. I subscribed to offer support. If you know you have more viewers maybe you’re going to up the stunts. The next video I watched involved resolutions. Talking directly to the camera, she resolved to get 5,000 subscribers. Now that’s the kind of number I’m talking about. Once you become a blogger you can get completely absorbed in numbers. My stats offer specifics on how many visits I get and how many times each post is read. I even get pin point data on readers in foreign countries. It’s exciting but also a bit weird to see that someone in Ireland or Japan is checking out my blog. I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve to attract readers. I resolve to make that effort which has no effect on those who are already dedicated readers but an increased audience will improve my morale.
The author revising the revisions.
If you think I should be resolving to create better content my resolution actually involves finding better readers. That was an attempt at humor that has, no doubt, fallen flat and was not meant as an insult to any current readers. Coming up with ideas to write about has challenges but it’s the easy part. Ideas can be a dime a dozen while ideas that work are pennies on the dollar either way they leave me staring at a blank page. I feel like I just hit a cliche trifecta there! But getting started is the biggest challenge which has me resolving to keeping the unexplored angle on subjects of interest and people who don’t get press. Really, I’m looking for stories that write themselves.
The other resolution I can make and try not to break involves specific subjects I plan to tackle. I’ve always planned to run interviews. In the interest of time, the time it takes to transcribe interviews, I plan to keep Q and A sessions to a minimum of three questions. I figure if you can’t get to the heart of the matter in three questions you might be asking the wrong ones. In the interest of saving even more transcription time I may pioneer the yes or no answer interview. The ideal format for that would be 20 questions.
Along with interviews, I resolve to take on subjects that require more research. I hope to get out of my shell and mix it up with people. There have been more few ideas for my “What’s in a Name” category lately. I’m always curious about how people name things. Probably the only subject I’ve written in this style featured this very blog. I’m telling you the origins of names promises to be fascinating.
My last resolution has to be about a continued search for inspiration. As blogs go, I am always inspired by what the Pittsburgh Orbit covers. We’re in different geographic areas but still end up in a similar galaxy. With this recent time on my hands, I had a chance to read many posts from a blog called Bus75. This covers the Portland area along a TriMet bus line. It was sad to see they were taking a break but the quality of the writing and photography would have been enough to wear anyone out. I also just discovered Parkbench which I have not had time to investigate but the interviews with St. Johns business owners they were running looked interesting. This seems like a good way to get connected to a Portland neighborhood. Somehow I’m thinking that anything inspirational will keep me from writing in a vacuum.
Stand in the place where you are.
2016 became a strange year punctuated by an unexpected, for many, election result. It was also a year of never ending celebrity death that shook people up. I had to take stock in what I have, what I’m doing even where I live. When I stopped to take the picture above I did so because I noticed improvements and improvements in progress in the downtown of my Kenton neighborhood. These are small changes for the better despite feelings of uncertainty. It’s time to resolve to take action and get involved in our communities from a local level on up. Demonstrate, hopefully in a Robert’s Rules of Order way more than a random smashed windows way. The calming rants of the heroic Phil Nunnally have offered me guidance and hope. Hopefully others will find this as well. Also, don’t hesitate to become a frequent reader of the Portland Orbit. 2017 is shaping up to be an interesting year and I resolve to contribute as best as I can.
Art box, troll, giant church, red van, ah Pittsburgh.
Need more resolutions that you don’t have to worry about breaking? See the column that inspired this one: www.pittsburghorbit.wordpress.com.