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Connections: off to a new start

August 5, 2010

Finally, the long-promised revamped blog! I’m coming full-circle from where I began, and tying it all together.

I started this blog over a year ago – just because having a blog seems to be the thing for a writer to do. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about. The only thing I was sure of was I knew what I did not want to write about:

  • No open-the-soul-to-the-world diary stuff (I’ll leave that for my fiction!).
  • And no writing-about-writing. I’m amazed how many writers blog about writing! And I do enjoy reading those blogs – but, for me, writing is what I do, not what I want to write about.

So I just started to write about whatever interested me. It’s ended up being an unexpected journey of self-discovery. To my surprise, the majority of my posts have been about sustainable food sources: gardening, wild foods. And quite a few have been on healthy lifestyle choices: mainly sports and fitness. And some have been about environmental issues. By looking at what I write about (meaning: when I am not writing for pay) I get a pretty good idea of what is important to me.

So if you look at a list of my blog topics, it really does look like I am all over the place. But to me, these things are all connected: they are about how we live on this planet, and how our activities or actions in one sphere influence things elsewhere (i.e. ourselves, other people, the environment).

I see connections. I’ve really come to believe that people’s main personality traits are hardwired into their brains: you are born the way you are, and there is only so far you can go in changing that. (Recent research, in fact, supports personality being linked to brain structure). Somehow, my brain processes connections better than it does objects.

This was especially apparent when I was working on my PhD in Geology in the early 1990s – a time period where advances in lab technology meant that many PhD projects were focusing in greater and greater depth, but on narrower and narrower subjects. My doctoral project was more like a PhD from the 1960s – less narrowly analytical, but covering much more breadth: incorporating information from the fields of geochemistry, geophysics, remote-sensing, microscope work, and lots of straight-out old-fashioned field mapping. Not saying my project was better or worse – just saying that’s the way my brain works: connecting, integrating.

So, recognizing that that is what both interests me, and what I am good at, this is what I am going to focus on with my new “revamped and refocused” blog.

Connections. Between people. Between places. Between ideas that might at first seem quite unconnected and unrelated. I’ll be publishing every Wednesday.

What do you think? What connections would you like me to explore here?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. sharleenjonsson permalink
    August 7, 2010 11:57 am

    Hi, Jackie.

    You make an interesting observation about yourself — that you don’t want to write “about” writing because that’s what you do, and prefer to write on your blog about whatever else interests you. I can’t give you much in the way of blog topic suggestions, because so much of my life is about words, I can’t think of anything not word-related. For example, my attention often goes first to the right hand side of your page: “Now Reading.”

    But, okay, a non-writing topic that has to do with connections: I’m curious about the connections between your writing and photographs. Obviously, you often include your photographs for their own sakes (I’m thinking here of some of your wildlife shots, where the photos are the point and the text is there to support them). There’s also the illustration aspect, ie., where the photos are used merely to support the most important part of the blog post, the words.

    Have you, during your first year of blogging, noticed any new ways of using photos and and/other visuals? Are consciously changing the way you use photos in any way?


    • August 11, 2010 10:38 am

      Hi Sharleen –

      Thank you for your thoughts!

      You’ve got me thinking here… about the connections between my writing and my photos. How I use them, how I choose them, if my ways of using them have changed. I think that I have enough to say on that (now that you’ve got me thinking) that I will leave that for a future blog post. Thanks for the idea!

      And thanks also for mentioning your interest in the “Now Reading” column. I actually was going to delete that – wasn’t sure if anyone cared about that – but now that I know you do, I will leave it there and continue to update it!

      Cheers, Jackie

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