Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Using your blog as a Journal...

Can I say that one of the greatest things I ever was forced into was blogging.  Back in October of 2007 I was pestered by 2 of my sisters into starting a blog.  I fought and fought it.  I didn't see the need for one and I had no clue how to start or run one.  Plus I had just had my second child and had to move out of my apartment 2 weeks later.  I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed.  I felt I had zero time to devote to this 'blog' thing.  Plus who wants something else to be responsible for?
Shortly after having my 2nd baby my sister basically sat me down at a computer and set up my blog.  OK, I thought, maybe this will get her off my back about this blogging business.  I joked with her that I would invite all the family to view my blog, only to have it be nothing but a blank page.  But after she left I decided it wouldn't hurt to try doing one post about the birth of my newest baby.  Before I knew it a few hours had passed and I had done 10 different posts dealing with delivery, birthdays and trips.  I was instantly addicted. 
Of course I was not very consistent either.  It took me a good year and a half before I really started getting into my blog.  One day it just clicked with me that my blog was essentially a family journal.  After this realization I became so much better at blogging.  I went from 49 posts in 2007 to 107 in 2008 to 169 in 2009 to 217 in 2010.  Currently I have 100+ posts for 2011. 
Many people tell me that they don't know how I find the time to stay on top of my blog.  My answer is always the same....IT NEEDS TO BE A PRIORITY.  In the past I would get behind and that is the worst feeling.  It is so hard to catch up.  Here are a few things I do to stay current on my blog. 


1.  Every time I take a picture I try to download it onto my computer that same day (usually at night). 

2.  Once the pictures are downloaded onto the computer I then upload them to Picasa (this happens automatically when I download them onto my computer). If you don't have Picasa go to http://picasa.google.com/ and download it.  Again this is just what I use. 

3.  In Picasa I will make collages of my pictures.  Most of my posts have multiple pictures.  I find it easiest to put 4-6 pictures (that all correlate with each other) in a collage.  Remember this is my method.  To me it takes too much time to individually download each picture into blogger.  Here is an example of a collage made in Picasa.

4.  Once I have collaged my pictures I then download them into blogger and then write about what is happening in the pictures. 

5.  Now not all my blog posts have pictures but regardless if something happens during the day and I feel it is blog worthy I will get on blogger that night or the next day and write about it. 

6.  When we go on vacations and I don't have my computer with me or my cord to my camera to download the pictures I still like to sit down at the end of each day and write about what we did that day.  Usually I can't add the pictures til I get home but it is so important to write down these events right after they happen because it is amazing what you can forget in a short period of time, plus when there are emotions involved it is so vital to write those feelings down immediately because even one day will make those feelings decrease somewhat.  For example last summer I was fortunate to be able to see the prophet of our church (http://www.mormon.org/) plus his counselors and the 12 apostles.  It was a very spiritual experience for me but I wasn't able to write about this event until 2 days later.  It was amazing how much I had forgotten and my emotions were not as strong as they would have been had I recorded them right after the event. 

7.  If by chance you get behind I would always suggest that you not backtrack.  By this I mean you need to stay current on what is happening and if you are caught up then go back and try catching up.  If you try backtracking you will find yourself getting further and further behind.  I didn't start blogging until my oldest was 2.  Unfortunately I didn't keep a journal about his life for those 2 years.  Once I started blogging I would blog about the current events and then found myself on Fridays (I liked to call them flashback Friday's:) going back and accounting for an event in his life from his birth to the time he got 5 stitches on his forehead.  Obviously he will not have the type of journalling on his first 2 years that my other children will have but I have managed to recount a few big events of his first 2 years. 

Staying current on your blog is doable.  When you take the time to post about different events in your life, you will find that you are only spending roughly 15 minutes on average.  It is when I get behind that I find myself spending hours and hours trying to catch up.  We all have 15 minutes to spare.  And my kids are still very young but they absolutely love looking through their blog books.  To me it is one of the most priceless gifts we can give our children.



2pattyesque said...

You can print out your blog (you probably do this already because you mentioned "blog books" in your post) but I've used blog2print and think it is so easy. You can log on, have it upload your blog (and can give it dates such as one year of your blog), then it will give you the cost of that book. You can tweak it all you want or just go with it as is. I've liked the three books I've done on blog2print. Patty B.

C.S.P.B. said...

Another great blog posting and a great blogging comment above about putting it to book. Suh-weet.

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