These past few days while many of you have been braving the elements to go to work, or play, or to run errands, wrapping yourself in fifteen layers of wool and fleece, and coaxing reluctant cars to start, I’ve been nestled in my den in my sweatpants and slippers, with a mini-heater at my feet, and a cup of hot tea at my elbow banging my head against a metaphorical brick wall.
I’ve been engaged in trying to write a “tagline” for my blog. That’s the phrase or sentence which can be found under the blog title or logo and which should explain what my blog is about in one sentence, or less. Preferably less.
And as you know if you’ve been around here before, when it comes to words, “less” is really hard for me. Actually when it comes to words, that should be fewer. Fewer words are very, very hard for me.
|Let’s call the whole thing off and have cake.
The whole thing started when I decided to make big changes to my blog. As part of the process of choosing a new look, I tried to explain via e-mail to Brandon, the very patient tech guy who’s helping me, what my blog is all about. And, as a result, how I want it to look.
Here’s some of what I said to him:
“I write about a wide variety of topics from books to travel to shopping. My writing style is informal, and quite jokey. I see myself as a storyteller, primarily, with pictures. Mostly I write funny stories (or try to) about navigating my life and my wardrobe etc., and hope that readers gain some insight into their own while I’m at it. To that end, while I want a blog look that is up-to-date, I don’t want anything too glitzy. I take lots of shots of myself, as most bloggers do, but I am NOT a fashion model and feel that trying to look as if I am would be ridiculous. I want the blog to reflect a modern, but not super-edgy aesthetic. I want the look to be clean, kind of spare without too much clutter, but still warm … if that makes any kind of sense. In short I don’t want it to look as if I’m trying to be something I’m not. I think that’s why my regular readers like my blog.”
Okay. Writing that started me thinking. I’ve always thought the title of my blog expresses something important about me, and the two quite different parts of my identity. My “two solitudes”, if you’ll excuse the Canadian literary pun. And since the title does need some explanation, I’ve tried to explain it in my “about” page.
|My Artful Dodger look did not initially pass muster as a profile shot.
But how does one boil down all that information into a decent tagline? According to several articles I read, a good tagline should “refine” the topic of the blog, “include the reader”, and “show the blogger’s personality.” Hmm. My current tagline sets out the topics (fashion, books, travel, and life after fifty), includes the reader in a way by mentioning “after fifty.” But it gives no sense of me, as a blogger. I thought it was catchy when I wrote it, but now I just think it’s lame. It’s too fussy sounding. “Maybe I should add in a swear word,” I quipped to Hubby when I read it to him the other day.
Hubby and I have had several conversations in the past couple of days about my endeavour to write this darned thing. And I’ve been immersed in reading pretty much every single tagline on every blog I know as inspiration. And making lists of words, ideas, and phrases in my journal.
What I wrote to Brandon about “navigating my life, and my wardrobe” kept coming back to me. “Sharing a journey” is a partial one that I couldn’t make work. “Blathering on about fashion, books, travel, and life in the country” is an early, not really serious attempt. “Country girl loves fashion, reads books, travels” is another. I read that to Hubby, and he said, “You’re not a country girl.” “I am so,” I countered. Then, after I thought about it, I said, “You’re right. ‘Country girl’ might make people look for posts like: ‘Today I fed the chickens.”‘ “Ha. Not if they know you!” he guffawed. Me and chickens, people, there’s a history there. But never mind that now.
Doing all this has reminded me of our staff writing a mission statement back when our school first opened in 1999. Lots of people, including me, initially thought this was just a lot of palaver over nothing. But when we got into it, we found it a really useful exercise. Defining who we thought we were as a school, what our goals were, our values, our hopes for our students forced us to think about ourselves and our own values as teachers and administrators, and even helped us to bond as a staff.
|If I’d been wearing high heels, this shot would have said it all.
At one point, as I was tossing words and phrases at Hubby and interrupting his football game on Sunday, I said, “I need a committee!” And then it occurred to me. I have a committee, you guys.
So, I’m desperately seeking your opinion, my friends, about Susan’s blog identity, so to speak. And to that end, I’m going to ask you some questions. Questions which I wrote answers to when I started the process. Some of them helped me to focus my thinking, but others I couldn’t answer, because, well, I didn’t really know the answers.
Why do you think my blog exists?
Why do you subscribe to/read High Heels in the Wilderness?
What makes my blog different, if in fact it is?
What do you think my blog is about?
Or you could just list a couple or three words that you feel describes my blog.
Do not be kind. Be honest.
And if you’d rather not respond, that’s okay too. That’s always okay.
Now, enough “refining my thinking” for the present. I’d better go and make dinner. Don’t laugh. I do that every once in a while.
Let’s hear what you have to say.