Occasionally — every few months — I like to get a better sense who’s chosen to follow Broadside because this blog grows daily, now just over 9,000 worldwide, from Toronto to New Zealand to India. That’s 1,000 new readers since Nov. 7.
I’m glad you’re here, but I’m happiest when you comment. If you haven’t, please do!
Regular commenters include Rami, a college student in Ohio, Kathleen, a teacher in Germany, Dara a new father in Australia — his blog is terrific. 3Bones has written about the battle with cancer his wife faces in British Columbia. Ginny is a professional musician, Grace a college student, Ines a recent immigrant to my native Canada and Beth writes, beautifully, about life teaching kindergarten in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Julia is an old friend from summer camp and Cadence, who writes Small Dog Syndrome, has become both friend and paid assistant — even though we have yet to meet!
You’re a wildly diverse group in age, gender, sexual preference, race and religion. Which, from this side of the keyboard, is both exciting and daunting. Little unites us all but a pulse and a sense of curiosity.
A recent comment chastised me for being repetitive, writing too much about my own life as an author and journalist.
So, just to be clear, here’s my reasoning:
— I read every gravatar of people who sign up to follow my blog. While the vast majority never comment, many of you say you are writers, or journalists, or hope to become one, like R. Hans Miller, a frequent commenter here. So, it seems fairly obvious to me this would be a source of interesting material to them. This may bore the rest of you. Sorry!
— I’ve been writing for a living since I was 19, a college undergraduate. I’ve saved a six-figure retirement sum from my labor, and new(er) or younger writers need to know that making a living (and a life worth having) from non-fiction or journalism writing, while tough as hell, is possible. Our industry is going through violent, daily disruption and many would-be writers think they have to work unpaid or will never find paid work in our field. Not true! Writing about our business, I hope, will both encourage them and offer real-time, everyday insights into how.
— It’s my blog and it reflects my life. After a few decades of adventures and experiences — from sea kayaking off of Ko Phi Phi to flying through the center of an Arctic iceberg — I’ve got plenty to share with you. Read it, or not. But if I’ve got nothing to add personally, I’m not going to wade into some topic or issue just to throw up some links. I have severely limited time available for unpaid labor, so I write here as I wish to.
— If you can find time, there’s lots of good stuff in the archives, about travel, writing, relationships, cross-cultural issues. There are 1,544 posts here. Some of my favorites? This one, from 2009, on why you should read the obituaries, especially of non-famous people. This one, also from 2009, on why being a news journalist means joining a tribe, in a good way. Or try this Canadian pop culture quiz I wrote in 2010.
If you’re new-ish here, and/or haven’t introduced yourself in the past, or have yet to comment, please step up:
Where do you live?
What sort of work do you do?
What are you studying or teaching?
If you could meet one famous person, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Have you lived in a variety of places? Why? Which did you enjoy most?
When you listen to music, whose do you choose?
If you play music or an instrument, which one(s)?
What drew you here, or keeps you coming back?
Thanks for coming to Broadside — and adding your ideas and insights to this community!
Without your active participation, it’s just a bunch of pixels…
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