Last week, I streamlined my web presence, uniting this blog with my personal website. Because of domain host migration, my webpage and blog redirected to a blank page--completely beyond my control. I took the time as a needed rest period, and contemplated how I've learned so much in the past five years about the web, writing content, and making a successful page/blog.
I started out with a Wordpress/Godaddy site in 2010, the first time I knew I needed a personal webpage about me. I resolved to be a whole person rather than keeping some aspects of my life private. But, Wordpress wasn't as intuitive to me as it was marketed to be, and so I stopped updated and maintaining.
Once I knew that I would need a webpage, I rehabilitated my site, discovering Godaddy's native website builder application, and bought mariaspicone.com. I decided against having a blog, thinking that I would build one later if I wanted one. I tried to keep my page updated enough that people wouldn't see a dead, defunct, static site that never changed. However, there were long periods of silence.
One of the most useful processes that helps me in keeping my page updated is whether I think more people will be coming to it--that is, when I submit applications for grants, residencies, and the like, or when I query for publication. But I still struggled with the idea that a web page is like a portrait without a changing expression.
On the other hand, blogging has always been a process of fits and starts. I created a volunteer blog for my 2014 Cambodia trip, intending to blog my experience. However, the internet in Cambodia was sketchy, and I was tired and sick enough that I never finished blogging during the trip, and was too embarrassed to continue afterwards.
Likewise, I created a separate webpage and hub for my Uganda trip, Maria in Uganda, which since has morphed into this blog. (The earliest entries deal with Uganda). I did intend to talk about my experience while in country and afterwards. Again, the internet was unreliable, and I wrote copious longhand notes about my experiences, which I still want to present to you. However, some parts of the Uganda trip required an honesty that I felt I couldn't share without alienating my fellow YPs, our YP coordinator, and our wonderful trip leader. But I felt I needed this space to start writing on a consistent basis, so I don't regret what it's become.
I've written blog posts as a freelancer and as a volunteer for other organizations, so it's not that I'm incapable of producing content or a more 'focused' experience. But in this day of hashtags, categories, and the like, what I really want to have is a space to be honest with you. I don't care about people who will read this 'only' because I am one thing or another, and those people can certainly filter out whatever they want. So for now, this blog will continue being about the whole person.
I'll keep doing it until I do it right.