Exactly one year ago I made my first post to this blog. 84 posts later, I have averaged 7 per month, a little short of my goal of 2 or 3 a week, but not too bad I guess. My most verbose month (with 15 posts) was the current one, April 2007, which is not surprising since this included all the International Trombone Week posts. September 2006 was my least loquacious month, with only 3 posts.
My blogging goals have been:
1) to keep in touch with friends,
2) to initiate discussions on various topics, and
3) to practice writing, and work on improving my writing skills.
Regarding this last goal, one important component of being a successful writer is the ability to communicate effectively. One of my first posts (which I ended up deleting) caused quite a controversy, and precipitated a period in which I have given much consideration to the adequacy of the written word in communicating ideas. Malcolm Gladwell, in one of his books (Blink or The Tipping Point, I can’t remember which), reported on the significance of facial expressions and body language in communicating – the actual words themselves contribute only a small percentage to the message. That makes one stop and think about how easily the written word on it’s own (in a format such as a blog), without the context of expression, can be misinterpreted – and that is exactly what happened to me with the aforementioned post. As a result, I have become supersensitive to this aspect of writing, and continue to strive for greater clarity of meaning.
One unexpected (and very rewarding) result of blogging is reconnecting with old friends. In November, I related a story about one of my former colleagues with the Hamilton Philharmonic, with whom I had not been in touch for several years. A few weeks after posting the story, I received an email from him. His brother had stumbled across the post somehow, and emailed the link to him. We have now reconnected and gotten caught up-to-date with each other’s lives.
I have had 8,297 total views, an average of 22 visits a day, with a single-day high of 157 – not bad, really, for a trombonist from little old PEI. All in all, it’s been fun. Thanks to all of you who have stuck with me over the year – hopefully I can come up with another year’s worth of stuff to write about.