Blogging and Blurbing

At the risk of sounding single-minded, when the topic of memory keeping for our children comes up, I really have only one real suggestion.  It’s this:

Start a blog!  Straightaway!  So much fun!

I started writing a family blog two years ago.  I’m not a good memory keeper otherwise, both mentally (can’t remember anything after awhile) or manually (don’t do scrapbooking, etc.). What I have often kept are writing journals, but I haven’t kept them in one place or any order, so they’re not reliable for retrieval at any given time, even if they could be shared (which of course they can’t).

Enter WordPress (or Blogger or Typepad). And suddenly you’ve got an avenue for uploading photographs and can write down whatever you like (nothing, a caption, or much, much more) to go with them.

What I love about blogging ~

~ it’s there for you.  Whenever you have a chance, you can sit at the computer and click and tap away.  You can write or upload as much or as little as you want, with whatever time you have.  It’s tidy, and assuming you have a computer, there is no set-up or clean-up time afterward.

~ it’s easy to use.  I am not computer-friendly, but I learned to do it (in a basic way) without much fuss.  So so can you.

~ it’s instantaneous.  When you decide to post, it’s up.  Gratification doesn’t get much quicker.

~ it’s incremental.  With a scrapbook, you usually have to find a chunk of time and plug away at a big project.  With blogging, you do a little on a regular (or not so regular) basis, often while an experience is still fresh, and before you know it, you’ve amassed some meaningful content.

~ it can be a great way to stay in touch with family, friends, or like-minded community.  You can receive and reply to comments, thus creating some conversation.

~ or you can keep it private, and granting viewing access only to those people you wish to see it.

And perhaps the clinchiest of the clinchers…

~ you can turn your blog into a book!  Talk about having your cake and eating it too!  With the assistance of an online book making company called Blurb, I’m in the midst of making a book from of my own blog to eventually give to my children (who may not have much in the way of baby books otherwise), to my mother (as a Christmas gift) and to myself (because I will always, always love paper and books).

To use Blurb to turn your blog into a book, you must use one of the blogging programs (like WordPress, Typepad or Blogger).  You then download your blog into the Blurb software (I think the best one for blogs is BookSmart), and then you format and edit each page with lots of options for customizing the book.  This process can be time-consuming; it’s kind of like online scrapbooking.  But at least it’s not much harder than creating your own blog.  Then you upload the finished book back to Blurb for printing.  The result is a high quality bound book that features the very people and experiences you find most compelling.

If you’re getting multiple copies of the book as I plan too, the cost might add up, but a single book wouldn’t be expensive.  For the uniqueness of what you’re getting, I think it’s well worth it.

Blogging and Blurbing isn’t for everyone.  It’s not for you if you’re very afraid of computers or you don’t like writing (Blurb creates photo books too, but I think there are cheaper and more accessible options available).  But for it’s been a boon for me, and I’d encourage anyone who is even a little interested to give it a try.

image credit:  devil’sworkshop.org

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4 thoughts on “Blogging and Blurbing

  1. I’ve often thought my blog should be turned into something we could put on our shelves and keep (and, like you, I love real books!) I have a fear of my entire eletronic life disappearing one day, never to return. Thanks for the tip.

    • The same fear motivates me too, along with my desire and pleasure for something tangible, in my hands. To have and to hold, so to speak.

      I’m pretty sure there are other programs that can make a blog book, but Blurb is the one I’m familiar with.

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