Happy Patheos Blog-iversary to Me

Happy Patheos Blog-iversary to Me April 3, 2017

Hey, I’ve been blogging here for a year. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way, from which topics resonate with readers to some activist and personal stuff.

Me in a party hat in the UC Berkeley Folklore Archive.
Me in a party hat in the UC Berkeley Folklore Archive.

In my first blog post here I introduced myself and my blog topics: folklore, culture, gender and sexuality stuff, all brought to you from an atheist/non-religious view. I then went on to define folklore and state how it relates to the discussions happening here at Patheos, and I subsequently qualified my atheist status as being mostly-kinda-sorta (given my Jewish background and agnostic leanings).

I kicked off my #FolkloreThursday post series with a post on invented traditions and the whole Easter/Ishtar/Ostara thing, and made an extremely snarky post about the #AskDrPence hashtag protesting the misogynistic ignorance of the person who is now our vice-president.

So, within my first month I was already gravitating toward topics that would recur here: not only folklore subjects, but also the beginnings of an activist blog presence (which I continued in my post-election posts about being an ally, understanding the alt-right, knowing how you handle conflict, and so on). I started being more out as queer, as scary as it can be sometimes, such as how I’m pretty clearly including myself in the “us” of You Can’t Make or Unmake Someone Gay, So Stop Trying (and Stop Fearing Us).

On the feminist front, I discovered that people have really strong opinions about women’s bodies and what women wear. I mean, I already knew that on some level, but my posts with over 100 comments include the following:

Seeing a pattern? Yep.

When it comes to personal stuff, I decided to be more vulnerable here on my blog, as much as I dislike the accompanying vulnerability hangover. I just… think it helps to be more open when it’s possible. I don’t intend to spill every life secret on here, but I believe that transparency can be beneficial in both de-stigmatizing certain acts and identities as well as humanizing people to one another.

I realized that in order to make the most of my writing time, it helps to know my weak spots and play to my strengths. For example, I hate searching for images when I only have a vague idea of what might go well with a post. I’m not a visual artist, for goodness’ sake! Discovering sites with Creative Commons images, or using pictures I take on my phone, have been valuable strategies that save me hours hunched over my laptop trying to find the perfect pic to accompany a post. As with writing my dissertation, I had to learn to accept that sometimes finished is better than perfect. On the flip side, I know that I can churn out content like nobody’s business if I just make the time to write, so carving out writing time has been useful in making sure I come close to meeting my writing goals (at least when I’m not completely overwhelmed).

In sum, I think I’ve been finding my groove blogging here, even though I’ve had a lot of upheaval in my life and haven’t always met my “post daily!” goal. Given my educational mission, I’m going to call it a win.

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