I’m not going to mince words. At times hunting and fishing bloggers frustrate the hell out of me. Even though I tend to think we are a fairly tight-knit group sharing common passions, when it comes to organizing and learning together it’s like waving a braided garlic rope in front of a vampire. Outdoors bloggers tend to quickly disappear for the hills…with gun or bow in hand, I might add.
Seriously, there’s something a bit different about outdoors bloggers that I can’t quite understand. I get it that most bloggers have a limited amount of free time in their lives for both blogging and enjoying the outdoors. I also get it that a person can be hunting and fishing nearly any time of the year so why waste a day sitting in a class or meeting with other bloggers. But what happened to the notion of enhancing the writer’s craft through skill building and networking? Seems to me great opportunities are being lost here.
A few weeks back I attended my third Minnesota Bloggers Conference (known as “MNBlogCon”) with Michelle Scheuermann of the Sportsman Channel who also blogs at BulletProofMediaBlog.com To my knowledge we were the only outdoors bloggers in attendance. There were lots of mommy bloggers, food bloggers, fashion bloggers, sports bloggers, technology bloggers, marketing bloggers, not to mention just ordinary lifestyle bloggers. Yet, no other outdoors bloggers.
What a shame. I sometimes wonder if hunting and fishing bloggers place any priorities on skill building. I mean, let’s face it…there are many ways to communicate the outdoors experience. But to do it with even a modicum level of journalistic skill does not come naturally to a person. It requires some training and my guess is most bloggers are not trained writers beyond, perhaps, a college level introductory composition class. Just a guess.
And that’s where learning to become a better blogger comes in. Most of us have it down how to become better anglers or hunters, but if you want to call yourself an outdoors blogger being good at a particular sport is only one facet to being an outdoors blogger. The communication component needs attention and nurturing, too.
Now, this criticism is not directed to bloggers who may belong to various regional or national writing organizations. I understand with annual conferences and gatherings they get their share of networking and craft building. Nope, my criticism today is with the outdoors blogger who sits at home and never interacts face-to-face with other bloggers. It is my sincere hope this blogger recognizes on many levels the benefits of meeting other bloggers and improving on their communication skills.
Quite honestly if you expect to achieve longevity in any task (whether it be blogging, etc.) you must feed the beast to keep it alive. Meeting with other bloggers has a way of recharging a person’s batteries with renewed enthusiasm. For me, attending a blogger conference or gathering also allows me to do some deep introspection in terms of where I am going with my blog.
In closing, I am here to tell you that blogging holds some exciting possibilities in the coming years for those who excel at it. If you’re contemplating starting a blog, why not start today. If you’re already a blogger pledge to become an even better blogger. Either way, it pays big dividends to get out and to meet other bloggers when they gather to learn.
©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.