As part of Weston-super-Mare’s first Literary Festival I ran two workshops – one on the process of writing, and one on blogs and blogging. Now I daresay there are many people who know much more about the latter, more about the technical and business side of it, but my session was about writing, and ordinary people having as much fun from doing it as I do. I think many people, especially older people don’t really understand what blogs are – and I hope that doesn’t sound patronising, it’s not meant to!
I started by giving a literal definition of blog – i.e. a web-log, and then showed a picture of a newsagent’s display of magazines, because in a way that’s what blogs are like, like magazines, some are general, some for specific and special interests. I gave some examples of different sorts of blogs – there are so many I really only skimmed the surface in very general terms! I also mentioned that a blog can be like a journal or diary, and certainly that has become part of the way I use mine.
… in fact your blog can be about anything you want it to be! Whatever your interest, whatever your style, whatever you want to write about and share with the world!
That was something which I really appreciate about blogging, and I don’t think people in the group who were new to the idea had really grasped – that it’s global! I told them I now had blog-friends all over the world, and it’s wonderful and exciting, interesting and just plain nice!
I came to the nub of the whole thing – why I was here, here at the workshop and here as a blogger, and I narrowed it down from all the dozens of reasons to just four:
- …to promote my books…
- …to promote my books…
- …to engage with and ‘meet’ other people…
- …it is great fun!!! I love it!!!
We had a little activity for the audience to jot down some ideas of what they might blog about, and the sort of things they would be interested in reading about (because of course blogging is two-way, you share others’ worlds too!) before I gave some examples of posts I’ve made – my recent one on larks and owls, one I return to quite often about washing up bowls, my story with a very happy ending about the jiving couple, and a fascinating blog from my friend Andrew who writes about his own house, the road where he lives and the area around him.
I then set another little task, to have a go at writing something or just having a natter to me or whoever they were sitting with – I’d had round tables set up so everyone could have something to lean on and also were in little groups.
It was such great fun and I really hope people went away with some ideas of how they could start doing this!
Here are links to the blogs I mentioned:
Larks and Owls – https://wp.me/p2hGAs-75w
Washing up bowls – https://wp.me/p2hGAs-5ds
Were you jiving at the Mavericks’ Manchester gig? https://wp.me/p2hGAs-73d
One hundred years of one house in Chorlton part 40, waking to the sound of raking the fire – https://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/one-hundred-years-of-one-house-in.html
PS the happy ending to the jiving couple story is that through a friend who read my blog, i made contact with them on FaceBook!