Monday, October 24, 2011

Major Changes Coming For My Blog

I thought you would all like to know that I am changing some of the features of my blog and the way I do things on it.  First of all, I may be changing to Wordpress just as soon as I figure out how.  Don’t worry, I’ll give you warning if and when I decide to do so, in case I have to shut down the site for a couple of days while I make the transfer.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about what I could possibly offer people in my blog.  It should be something that I have a passionate interest in, something that I could write about for years and years, if I chose to.  Something other than just narcissistic play by plays about my life, since I doubt those posts serve anyone except me.  (I would like to think I’m super inspiring and awesome and everyone just waits in anticipation for updates about my life, but I know better.)

Believe it or not, trying to figure out what to do has had me stumped.

I thought about what I would do if I was to hit the lottery and my finances no longer limited me.  What would I pursue the most?  I figured that those things would be the things that are my true, core interests.
What are those interests?  Well, on many occasions I have told people, “If I won the lottery, I would become a professional student.”  I also would love to travel, but that, too, is about learning.  I love to explore and learn about new places and things.

Okay, so learning is and always has been my primary interest and love.  I can’t afford to be a professional student or to travel, though.  And without going to college or actually traveling, how do I blog about learning?  How does one blog about learning for learning’s sake?  And who would be my audience?

I found the answer in the book The Art of Nonconformity (which I highly recommend, by the way) by fellow Portlander Chris Guillebeau.  He says pursuing a graduate degree is a $32,000 waste of time.  On pages 118-119, he lays out a way to get the equivalent education in one year. 
The biggest thing on his list (for me) is reading.  He suggests reading 30 non-fiction books and 20 novels during the course of the year.  That’s less than one book a week. 
I have always read a lot of non-fiction.  In fact, 90% of what is on my bookshelves is non-fiction.  This is testimony to my love of learning, no doubt.  Many of my books still haven’t been read, though.

So, I’ll start with the books on my own shelf.  Like Leonardo Da Vinci, I have interests in practically everything, so I thought about choosing a different topic every month.  But I realized that would be too scattershot.  I would barely even scratch the surface of the different topics that interest me if I only give it a month.   

Instead, I will give each topic six months to a year and then move on to another topic.  That works out to be 26 to 52 books on a subject!  In ten years, I will have read so many books on so many things that my head will be swimming!  And then I can start the cycle all over again, because by then, it will have all changed.  New discoveries will have been made and new technology out there.  And some subjects are so vast, like science and history, I can’t possibly cover everything in one year’s time.  What a glorious thing!

Every Monday, I plan to review a book I’ve read or a website or podcast I’ve discovered that has information about my chosen subject.  Other things I might check out are talks that are given at my local university or community college, and quite often those talks are free.  Potential subjects of interest could be:

·         Science-physics, biology, chemistry, engineering, etc.
·         Medicine-cancer, diabetes, health and fitness, nutrition, etc.
·         Psychology and social sciences- gender studies, sexuality, gender roles, etc.
·         Self help-living well, getting out of debt, relationships, parenting, how-tos--fixing a car, anything in the house, gardening, computers, etc.
·         History-race history, US history, world history, women’s history, Oregon’s history, biographies, society and infrastructure (how things were made,) etc.
·         Politics-history of political parties, partisanship, constitution, bill of rights, federalist papers, current political climate, etc.
·         Religion-Eastern religions, holy books, pantheistic vs. monotheistic world views, etc.
·         Art-classic, contemporary, sculpture, painting, etc.
·         Business-marketing, entrepreneurs, patents, investing, internet business, etc.
·         Travel
·         Filmmaking-pre, production, post
·         Writing-scriptwriting, short stories, poems, novels, blogs

I think the first subject I’ll go with is filmmaking, since I just graduated last year with a film degree (after changing my major six or seven times) and it seems apropos.  Especially since I have learned more about the business of filmmaking itself AFTER I graduated than when I went to school.  This is the case because I have learned through experience and also by….wait for it…reading books.

As for the “Who is my audience?” question, I would say it is fellow learners, family and friends.  I hope all of you people who love to learn will join me on my quest.  Grab a book and start reading.  Come up with your own list of interests and make your own graduate degree program!  I’m open to suggestions on what to read and would love your recommendations, too. 

If I’m on a topic that doesn’t interest you at the moment, stay tuned.  Because in a few months, it’ll change!  And be sure to check out The Art of Non-Conformity for other suggestions you can do to expand your horizons and educate yourselves in new ways! 

And since the name of my blog is Metamorphosis of a Woman, it only makes sense I blog about learning.  When one learns, one can’t help but change and grow.  Those posts will be on Mondays. I still plan to blog about l’il ol’me.  One post a week on Wednesdays will be devoted to my life and what I’m up to—stuff that isn’t learning or TDC related.  I just can’t walk away from writing about me completely!  (Besides, I’m terrible about calling people—I despise the telephone—so it is one of the few ways people can keep tabs on what I’m up to.  Sorry, Mom and Dad!)  I also plan to blog one post a week on Fridays about my Thirty Day Challenges.  These are all about me changing through small steps, one month at a time.  

I hope you like the changes coming up!