Monday, October 25, 2010

Creative Gene, 5 Years of Making My Way in the Genealogy Blogging Community

5!  ~

Today marks the 5 year anniversary of my Creative Gene blog. It's time for some reflection I suppose.

Let's start off on a high note. Yippee! I'm happy to be here! Five years is a respectably long time to keep a blog going. I'm proud to have done it. It feels like a real accomplishment. I feel like something of a veteran blogger now, not so much old as experienced. I've found my "voice" and become comfortable with the ever-changing pace of my blog postings. I've come to realize and accept (without need for apology to others) that when you're committed to something such as blogging which has no end in sight you will have periods of high productivity and lack thereof, enthusiasm and burnout, pure genius as well as mediocrity in writing, and sometimes just plain lack of inspiration too. I have been there, done that (and felt that, done that, felt that too). And I'm still writing.

I've seen a lot of changes in the past 5 years, on my own blogs and on other's. I've seen the genealogy blogging community grow and grow and grow. I liken it to a community that once only had a handful of mom and pop shops, specialty boutiques, and galleries... and then Walmart came to town. That is NOT intended as a criticism, by the way. Walmart is very good at what they do, selling the same goods in many locations. Sometimes having Walmart in town makes it challenging for the boutiques and galleries to stay in business but there will always be some customers who prefer to shop for something unique. That's where I'm comfortable, in being unique. At times I thought I should become a part of Walmart but I've let go of that and found peace.

A 5 year anniversary is a milestone of sorts. I had another one that went unmentioned last month... my 1,000th blog post. And I have another one coming up soon (December 4th), the 100th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. All of these milestones serve as a measure of my dedication to my blog. But before anyone pats me on the back I need to say that I wouldn't have kept this up without you, my loyal readers. Dedicated as I am to Creative Gene, I'm sure I wouldn't have kept it going all this time if no one was reading it or commenting on it. I write for myself, yes, but I write for you too. And it's very affirming to find comments in my email box. :-) I don't always thank my commentators, shame on me I know, but I read and appreciate all of your comments... even in the rare instances when someone disagrees with me ;-)

So what's up next at Creative Gene? Well, as of a couple days ago, I have a fresh new look to my blog. If you're reading this on an RSS feed reader you should stop by and have a look. I've taken my blog back to its roots. When I first started this blog I was using it for a number of my hobbies, including photography. Later it evolved to just genealogy. Now I'm reintroducing my photography and will use it as a backdrop. I'll change it periodically but you won't know when so stop by often. ;-)

And then... The 99th edition of the COG will be published in a couple weeks and with it will be the call for submissions for the 100th edition. I'm not going to divulge the topic for the 100th edition just yet but I am going to tell you this much... the 100th edition of the COG is going to be a FAMILY REUNION! I'm asking all of you who have ever written for the COG to please participate in the 100th edition. After all, if you've written for the COG you are part of the COG family. It's your responsibility as a member of this family to attend the FAMILY REUNION. OK, so maybe it's not your responsibility but I'm asking you nicely. Maybe I'm begging you. Or am I groveling at your feet? No, no. I draw the line at groveling. I'll beg but not grovel. Please don't make me grovel. I hate to grovel. Here's the thing... I want 100 (or more) submissions to celebrate the 100th edition!

I know there are well over 100 authors who have written for the COG over the past 99 editions, probably over 200. I promise the topic will be a universal one that everyone can write a colorful, engaging article for. So there will not be the usual ceiling of 30 submissions, instead there will be a floor of 100! You're not going to let me down on this, are you? Because if I don't get at least 100 terrific articles from my COG family I'll be really, really sad. (Here comes the heavy guilt trip. No, I'm not above pulling out all the stops!) I've been there for you guys over the years, introducing you when you were unknowns, complimenting your writing and encouraging people to visit your blogs. The COG has been the launching pad for your carnivals and in some cases your careers. Won't you please do this one little thing for me??? (Am I good, or what? It's the Catholic in me. We specialize in guilt ;-)

Write on, brothers and sisters!