Way back at beginning of my digital presence, I asked myself some questions about what my blog would be, and not be.
At the time (and possibly still now), blogs were like bellybuttons, and everybody had one. I knew that I wanted to attract like-minded creatures to mine, which meant that I would have to create certain standards for its content.
It proved difficult to distill what my message should be (still is!). Instead, I made a list of things I disliked about other blogs, and promised myself (and you, Gentle Readers) that there were a few things I would never do. I never bothered writing them down before now, but here they are, in no particular order:
- I Won't: Apologize for not posting more often. I don't know about you, but if I never read the words "I'm sorry it's been so long since I last posted..." it will be too soon. This one is easy, Bloggers: If you have something interesting to say, please do so. If not, don't; we'll (happily) wait. The only thing worse than an apology for not posting is making up something useless to post. We all know people who talk just to hear the sounds of their own voices (cough-Washington DC-cough). If nobody is listening, it's because you're boring. And that's a much bigger crime than quieting down from time to time.
- I Won't: Snivel. Okay, this one is tricky, but only because without acknowledging the challenges we face, it's hard to make any interesting observations about them. But there's a difference between sharing about one's misadventures (particularly with the added perspectives of time and humor), and just having a plain old whinge. My goal is to only share my complaints if I can also tell what I've learned from them, or how I solved the problem. My mileage may vary, but I promise to try not to whine.
- I Won't: Make it Political. My politics are my own business, and so are yours. If there's anything off putting when you're looking for a great pattern, or an obscure caston with a matching bindoff, it's listening to a knitter's (possibly uninformed) screed on the State Of The(ir) Nation. We are all blessed and lucky to live here in the First World, where our biggest problems are who is supposed to be doing the laundry, and where to find the good string. Have your well-researched opinions, and be the change you envision. Beyond that, shut up and knit, or we might not make friends in the first place.
- I Won't: Wander too far away from knitting/spinning/fiber-related topics. Even though my life is made up of lots of activities besides knitting (for reasons which continue to elude me), I believe it is one of the most entertaining things in the world to do. So since I'm a knitter, and so are you, this could hardly be anything other than a knitting blog. The times when I have to tell you about exploding toilets and fractured digits, it's only to illustrate how these diversions have affected my knitting.
- I Won't: Prosthelytize. I believe what I believe, Spiritually, and so do you. Each of us is entitled to do so, particularly if we have the good manners to clam up about it, already. Do I worry that being polite equates to hiding my light under a bushel basket? Yes, from time to time. But I believe that keeping my religion to myself in the interest of not alienating others is the higher path, which Grace has seen fit to illuminate for me. Whatever we believe individually, Knitters know that the Universe is self-leveling. Start out with too little yarn on the same day you cheat on your taxes, and see if I'm not right.
So why go into all this, now? Because I've realized that from time to time, I should be breaking my own rules.
Maybe it's that I'm getting older, and closer to becoming the wierdo in the crazy hat I've always dreamt of being. Or maybe there have been some things I should have said out loud that I let my fear of offending get in the way of. But you've gotten to know me better over the years, and my failure to tell things like they really are would be tantamount to me wasting the privilege of your kind attention. If you weren't interested in my point of view, you wouldn't be following my knitting work, and you certainly wouldn't be visiting me here.
In the past there were some things that I didn't say; keeping mum in the hopes of staying neutral and polite. Which is fine, except when doing so is preventing me from being the change I envision. So from time to time, because you have told me that you like my perspective and would not be (too) insulted to hear more of it, I've decided to violate my own manifesto. I promise to give you fair warning: "Not Exactly About Knitting" or something like that, which tells you to steer clear if you're not in the mood for a diatribe today. But I also promise not to wimp out when there is something I know (of have just discovered) that I think you'd care to hear about. Being true to you, Gentle Readers, means being true to myself, and I know you wouldn't have it any other way.
Thank you for teaching me, my friends, what it means to have a soapbox: When to stay off it, and when to use it for good, instead of evil.