Sunday, February 8, 2009

How to Spot a Blogger

I’ve been a garden blogger for a whoppin’ five weeks now, and already I’m noticing subtle changes in my behavior. See if you recognize any of these telltale signs…

1. I nearly cause accidents while scanning the roadside for photo opportunities. Up till now I’ve never been very good about taking photographs. Just to show you how bad it is, my friend Sharon gave me a nice photo album for the holidays. She used her calligraphy skills to pen a beautiful label for the front: “Christmas Memories 2008.”

It was very thoughtful of her, and will be a lovely way to show off all TWO of the photos I took the whole season! (One of each of my kids with their gifts—at least I got that right.) I think I’ll see if my friend can add a dash and then, say, the year 2025. Maybe I can fill the album by then!

Back to my point, all of a sudden I go nowhere without the camera. Even Sam, the Suburban Pup, has caught on to this. If he sees the camera in my hand, he knows I’m probably going out and he beats me to the door. [Insert gratuitous pet shot here.]

2. I’ve suddenly become interested in plants and gardening topics I never paid much attention to before. Especially during these lean winter months, it’s a scramble to find good blog fodder. (Why, exactly, did I think it was a good idea to start a garden blog in January?) Everywhere I go, I’m on the lookout for anything bloggable.

In a related vein, everyday activities have suddenly become newsworthy. Today, for example, I ventured into the garden to wrap a few at-risk plants with leftover holiday greenery. Not the most exciting thing that’s ever happened in a garden. Yet, high winds and over-50 temps have caused our foot of snow to all but vanish over night, making this extra protection important for these plants—and for my blog as well!

3. My family doesn’t see me for hours on end. When I finally emerge from my upstairs office, they stare at me like I’m the long-lost Dr. Livingstone reappearing from the depths of the internet jungle. Even when I’m with my family, I often have that far-away dreamy look that means I’m still wandering the cyber-garden of my mind.

4. I’m keeping some mighty strange hours. I can often be found in my jammies at noon, or I’m up until the wee-tiny hours of the night checking “just one more” blog, jotting down ideas for future posts before I forget them, or tweaking the layout of my blog.

5. I have a newfound sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. I have met and vanquished (somewhat) the beast that is html, I have conquered (sorta) the fear of posting my opinions for all the world to comment on, and I have gained (certainly) many opportunities for connecting with new friends in the worldwide gardening community. All of this adds a whole new dimension to a favorite pastime.

Yes, the symptoms are all there. It’s definitely the onset of blogomania. I shudder to think what will happen as it progresses…


  1. Good for you! Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging fun. It's much more interesting than telly or video games, and there are some awesome people out there.

  2. This is so true! I recognize myself in everything you say!
    But it is worth it, don't you think? =)

  3. Do you get up at 3 a.m. to check your blog? Not yet? It's coming... Do you eat your breakfast in front of a computer? ...
    I enjoyed reading your post and I LOVE your dog. Happy blogging!

  4. Donna, I can't tell you how hard this made me laugh! I started my blog about the same time you did. I was just returning from a trip into the city and all I could think about was what did I do that was bloggable. I wonder if this wears off after awhile or if it's a permanent condition? I could relate to all of your examples. :)

  5. Thanks, Jodi--
    I agree wholeheartedly about the telly and video games (ho-hum)--and about the people I've been meeting (FABULOUS!). Thanks for stopping by.

    Hi, Tatyana--
    GET up at 3 am, no not yet. STAY up till 3 am, well, maybe a couple times... :) And I've definitely eaten a number of meals at the keyboard, as evidenced by the stains on my desk blotter. Sam (the dog) says thanks for the compliment!

    I wondered if I'd strike a chord with anyone--and apparently I have! I have a sneaky suspicion that it's a permanent--and worsening--condition. (And probably one we're not interested in a cure for, eh?)

  6. Hi Donna,
    I've been blogging since October, and am still keeping odd hours. I was already taking lots of pics this summer because I wanted to keep track of my beds, so our dog was already into going out with me to do that.

    I don't know how I'm going to keep up this spring!

    Happy Blogging!

  7. Yep! Sounds familiar! How about, 'can be seen in pjs throughout the day' no sense in getting dressed!

  8. Amen! Preach it, Tessa! Except it never fails that when I do stay in my pjs, someone will show up at my door without calling first, or one of my kids will call from school saying they forgot something. It's easy to pretend I'm not home if I don't want to be seen in my present condition, but I usually throw clothes on and run over to the school, hoping no one sees me with "yesterday's hair." :)

  9. I read this yesterday and laughed as my husband made facial gestures indicating he's been down this road with me! It's fun to hang out in PJ's til noon...especially on cold days when you don't feel like rushing outside to play in the garden!!

  10. Glad you had a good laugh, Jan--and glad to know I'm not the only one given to such slovenly habits! :)

  11. I, too, confess I suffer your blogger symptoms. My camera has taken a beating from bouncing around in my purse, and when we had our devastating freeze in January, my heartache turned to joy when I realized, "Ah! Something to blog!"
    I feel for you bloggers without year-round gardens. It must be hard! Because I work for a newspaper, I get a lot of stuff from other people. When my garden isn't particularly inspiring, I visit someone else's. You might try talking to local nursery owners and gardening gurus about they'll be planting in the spring; what they're doing now; what trees look especially beautiful in the nude. You'll get out of your jammies (unless you choose to use the phone!), make a lot of new friends, and get loads of material to blog.

  12. Hi, Penny--
    I've seen your posts about the freeze and it makes me sad to see all of the beautiful plants that have been lost. Such a shame. I'm glad you're getting some good blog mileage out of it, at least. Thanks for the ideas on where to look for blog content. Thankfully, we're coming up on the garden show and spring open house season. That will help. I write for a living too, though not about gardening, darn it! I'm always walking that fine line between writing for work and writing for pleasure. When the pleasure starts to feel like too much work, it's no fun any more. Know what I mean? :)

  13. Fun post! I wonder when insurance companies will catch on and ask if you're a blogger when it comes time to re-rate their drivers. I've been a little too attentive to the landscape myself!

  14. Hi, lostlandscape--
    I hadn't thought about the insurance angle. Shhh! Don't give them any ideas!

    Sorry, I somehow skimmed right past your comment earlier. You were so smart to take photos all summer. I kept thinking I should do that, but never quite got around to it...

  15. I found you via Country Mouse and what a fun read! You are so hooked on blogging and will meet the best people, learn all kinds of interesting stuff to charm party goers and have a darn good time!
    clay and limestone

  16. Great funny writing - I'm a recent blogger too and am learning what fun it is to travel the blogosphere as well as pre-blog, blog and post-blog. I had to stop using "just one hour before work" to blog (I work at home a lot) because that one hour was stretching out to 2, 3, and even 4 one time. Now I only blog after work. Oh, except this morning. So much for discipline.

    My dog has learned to sit patiently now while I take pictures on our walks - before he was tugging on the leash and we were not getting on very well.

  17. Hi, Gail--
    You are so right about meeting great people and learning so many interesting things. It's been wonderful! Happy blogiversary to you, by the way. (Love the "Seymour" hellebore--hysterical likeness!)

    Hi, Country Mouse--
    Nice to meet the other half of the Town/Country duo! and boy do I know what you mean about the "before work" blogging. It's a dangerous thing... It's nice to have our canine pals to share a photo excursion with, isn't it? (Once they learn some photo-taking manners, that is!)

  18. I have just one thing to say: It only gets worse, except that worse is better. For bloggers!

  19. I'm happy to hear worse is better. I'm hoping it gets easier over time too, at least! Enjoyed reading about your trip to FL, Kylee--and glad you're home safe and sound.


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