Thursday, July 09, 2009

Change. Transition. Progress.

All Shanadian has been with me since January 2004. I believe I originally created this blog as a means of distraction from the current task at hand - at that time, it was my Business Honours research paper. Then it morphed into a travelogue for the next few years, while I ceilidhed it up in Scotland and Ozzed it up Down Under. During my stints in Canada it served more often as a scrawl wall, upon which I'd find msyelf writing a rant about something or other, typically involving politics or the environment. It's also been a faithful note-taker, tracking what I considered to be noteworthy events (getting kicked out of Scotland) and ho-hum everyday life kind of stuff that I deemed worthy of recording. It's seen me through two broken hearts, four places I think of as 'home', several jobs and non-jobs, countless encounters with amazing people, and endless moments worthy of remembrance, most of which have been captured by All Shanadian, in the words that were written or in the spaces between those words.

And now, I think it might be time for a change. Not an ending or a beginning, but a transition. Looking at the statistics, the number of times I've blogged each year has dropped steadily since 2004. I've been neglecting All Shanadian and I've been neglecting my artist for some time now. My heart has been trying to tell me for some time and I've ignored it, caught up in trying to get through grad school, get my body back to the way it was when I was 21 and, let's face it, spending far too much time on Facebook and MSN Messenger. Not that there's anything wrong with FB or Messenger, but they tend to act as 'gleaners' and they definitely don't demand or even encourage thoughtful words composed in multiple paragraphs.

I need to return to my writing. Writing is what I am meant to do. Admittedly my blog has never served to showcase my writing abilities, mostly because I tended to write them while typing against a clock (when in Internet cafes in Scotland), or late at night (like now), or when I should have been writing a thesis (also like now).

So why, if I want to return to writing, do I not just start writing more entries in All Shanadian? I've been struggling with the answer to that myself and I guess it comes down to the advice of What Not To Wear hosts Clinton and Stacy" 'Dress for the job you want, not for the one you have'. Likewise - 'Write as the writer you want to be, not as the blogger you have been'. And I want to be a writer, I want to flex my writing muscles and see how much they can take. I want to transition from a sometimes lazy blogger to a writer who blogs regularly and with some sort of direction. Ah and there it is, the other piece to the puzzle - I want to be a writer who blogs with focus, passion and, on occasion, intent.

So what am I trying to say? I think I'm trying to say one of two things:

A) that it may be time to retire All Shanadian and transition to a new adventure in blogging.

B) that it's time to try on two blogs for size - maintain All Shanadian and start a new blog with a focus on food (in the broadest of senses possible)

Ack. I am torn. I want to believe that I can do Option B, but my gut tells me that if I try to maintain two blogs, while also writing a Masters thesis and doing research for the City of Kingston I will fail to maintain either, thus ending my career as a blogger for ever and ever. OK, OK, I know I'm being dramatic, but my heart is truly aching as I contemplate the possibility of retiring All-Shanadian. I think I need to break and come back to this later. Or maybe earlier in the day.


OK, I've eaten chocolate almonds, reread some of my All Shanadian posts and made a mental lists of the pros and cons of Options A and Options B. What I've come up with is Option C, which will be rolled out in the coming days. But here's a sneak peek at what to expect:

No need to memorize a new address, or change any bookmarks, the address of my blog will remain the same:

The name of the blog, however, will change. Stay tuned.

And as with the name, the focus and style of this blog will (hopefully) shift. As mentioned in Option B, I feel driven to write about food and everything related. No, this won't become a recipes blog, or yawny academic type blog. The truth is, I don't know exactly what this blog will transform into, I only know what I won't let it become (see previous sentence). Right now, I envision the 'everything related' of my food blogging to include, but not be limited to:

*food systems*cooking*actively being*being active*love*the environment *grassroots* people power*traveling*nature*being green*going slow*politics*going local*home*friendships* relationships*being passionate*fear*hope*the future*

Forgive me for my ramblings. I am tying All Shanadian up to the dock for now, and setting sail on a new ship (yet to be christened), without being quite certain of my destination and having only a sense of the direction I want to go in. But what's life without a bit of uncertainty? Where's the adventure when you Google map your way from Point A to Point B and use a GPS for back-up?

I'm excited, possibly moreso than would be considered normal when all I am planning is a name and template change, along with some food blogging. And yet my heart is racing a little faster - thanking me for finally taking a baby step in response to its persistent tugging.

Thank you for sailing with me on All Shanadian, I do hope you'll join me on my next sail into the sunset.


Rob said...

I will be eagerly awaiting the change - go for it S

Jen said...

But Shannon, your blog has always been about food!!!

Ha ha, just kidding :)

Look forward to reading your next blogosphere adventure!

Shannon Courtney said...

Hmmm..the post times on this MUST be incorrect... 6.42 am??

I am going to roll out the new blog soonish. I'm actually excited. I might ask for some tech advice from you Jen.