The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

The Seeker is One Year Old!

with 2 comments

Happy Birthday!

It was a year ago today that I sat in my friend Scott Webb’s basement garage while on vacation in Nashville and finally set up the blog I had been considering for a year or two. Since then, I’ve written or edited 67 entries, hosted 5 different guest bloggers, and seriously pissed off at least one reader who didn’t leave his name (it turns out he took real exception to my Sam’s Club rant on February 3; his comments were so abusive and poorly written that I deleted them).

Outside of the blog, it has been a busy year in writing. I’ve had three stories published and written a thesis to exit the writing program at Northwestern. I’ve been happy living like a writer, and the blog has only added to that. I’ve learned quite a bit along the way, too. First, when I look at my writing patterns, I obviously like to write about movies. I have a couple of movie reviews from throughout the year, and at least one other entry heavily based on film. I’ve always loved film, studying film, researching individual movies, and going to movies, so it’s only natural that would translate to blog content. I also have a few “corporate rants.” Again, that’s a passion of mine seeping through. I’m not a big fan of corporate America, and all too often find fault in what they do and how they handle themselves. On a few occassions this year, I’ve been able to capitalize on that and produce some quality blog entries. My rant against the inept Panera manager last spring received a number of comments from readers who, like me, are fed up with buffoonery.

I’d have to say that I’ve learned a lot about the editing process, too. I’ve handled writing from writers who have little or no experience all the way through to well-seasoned poets. It has been a challenge regardless of who wrote any particular piece, but I’ve welcomed that challenge. The Sgt. Danger episodes in particular have taught me a lot about preserving a writer’s voice while still pushing for quality content. I’m thankful that Nathan has agreed to become serialized and has been a frequent contributor. Don’t be surprised if you hear more from him in the future as he considers his writing options and works on a few manuscripts he has in the works. I’ll be proud to say The Seeker published him first!

Speaking of becoming serialized, I found out early on that this blog works best when it is episodic in nature. That was a bit by accident, really. I was contemplating my thesis last November when the idea hit me. I went on to write 19 episodes about the thesis, and it’s hard to tell who was served more by them: interested readers, or me. They were an excellent way for me to process my thoughts (hence the “metacognitive” part of this blog), and an excellent way to keep people up to date on things. I think a lot of readers, too, were interested in the thought processes of a writer, so I was glad to talk about that. Many great writers kept journals or wrote letters to editors about their writing processes, so I’m glad to imitate that great tradition and use it to serve my own writing. The whole thing worked a second time when I started writing the story about Earl Weaver earlier this summer, and I’m sure it’s going to work a third and fourth and fifth and sixth time in the future.

One thing I haven’t done is recycle. I thought at first that this blog would be a great way to recycle things I wrote while at Northwestern, but I haven’t done that. All the content has been fresh and pretty original, which I think says a lot for 67 entries. But that is all about to end. My recent rant about K-Mart has unintentionally opened a door for me to recycle a piece I wrote about working at K-Mart, so it is due to make a serialized appearance over the next few weeks. Though it works in this context, I don’t foresee a lot of recycling for purposes of providing content for the blog. But I’m also not going to rule it out if something fits and bears revisiting.

I have a couple of ideas that never fully materialized. One was a dissertation about how I would zombie-proof my condo. I put a lot of time into the prewriting process with that one, but never got around to it. Another idea was a list of why teachers hate films about teachers. Again… some time spent in the prewriting stage, but nothing after that. I tried to start a serial by guest bloggers about high school cross country experiences, but couldn’t seem to gather much interest. One thing I’ve meant to do all along is to write more about my job– I have but one entry that deals directly with teaching and education– but maybe what I’ve learned is that at the end of the day I’d rather put my career aside and focus on another great passion of mine. But I think there can still be a happy intersection with my writing and my teaching, and it seems I have more time to find it, so maybe I will. Also, my thesis was almost entirely about my career, so I was writing about it there instead of here.

As I blow out my birthday candle on this cyber cake, I’ll make a few wishes. One is for more guest bloggers. Editing their writing is always worthwhile, and I’ve even opened myself to writing that goes against my personal beliefs (don’t believe me? check out this one! ). If you’re interested, give it a shot. I’m open to all kinds of ideas, and try to keep myself open when it comes to editing (but I will warn you that editing serves the piece of writing, not the writer). If I can’t get more guest bloggers, I would like more commentors any particular blog entry. I have one subscriber who emails be directly on lots of my entries, but doesn’t particularly care to post comments. What’s up with that, Herb?! Also, I’d love to consider suggestions for content. I don’t mind collecting a writing assignment from a reader. As it stands now, content is dictated rather capriciously.

Finally, thanks to those who have been faithful followers for the past year. I’m continually surprised how many people read and enjoy The Seeker!

Jeff Burd

Written by seeker70

August 10, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I would actually be quite interested in hearing why teachers hate movies about teachers, as long as you're taking requests. I haven't visited this actual page in a long time – I see it on Google Reader. I'm SHOCKED that it's purple. I imagined it more Cubbie blue (can't imagine why…)Also, I can only assume "Herb" is THE Herb Ramlose and that he will see this comment. I had to recheck everything I said to make sure I didn't use the word "like." Hi, Mr. Ramlose!FINALLY – when did it get so difficult to leave comments? I jumped through all sorts of hoops just to be told that I'm not who I am because my Open ID credentials could not be verified…Ugh.


    August 11, 2009 at 7:33 am

  2. Happy Birthday, Seeker! I look forward to many more entries, original, recycled, guest written or otherwise. I've been a fan since we met in 2005 at grad school and have continued to remain inspired by your work. Your voice continues to grow in new and exciting ways. Long live, Dickbats!

    Cory Fosco

    August 11, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: