My life in blogging (because my life has changed in so many ways since I started!) started rather adjacently to actually doing it, if that makes sense. My closest friend had finished the day job rather sooner and differently than he expected and was now contemplating a life of freedom and opportunity. As ever when things come upon you unexpectedly, as well as the excitement and joy of liberty, there’s a quiver, a niggle, a ripple of anxiety at how anyone might cope with the vast acres, the apparently empty landscapes, stretching to distant and unknown horizons.
I was still trapped in the day job, but my own writing had come to the fore as I created material, including short novels, for my students. My friend has always been a master story-teller – when I’m with him in person, and also as a history teacher, the material he produced about the past for his sometimes less than willing young people, was inspirational to me. I was lucky that he kindly let me borrow some for my own students, and I have to say they really engaged with the stories of real lives from the past as he told them.
So when suddenly he was free to do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted (once the chores were finished of course, ( 😉 ) he wondered what he could engage with or in so this precious liberty wasn’t wasted. Blog? I said, Start a blog? Share the stories you’ve shared with your friends with the world – yes the whole world, no passport needed! It didn’t take long for him to find a platform, blogger.com, and start writing… and the rest, as the boring but in this case true axiom has it, the rest is history, literally history for him and his readers!
Not that long after, I too shook off the constraints of having to go to work every day, and I too decided to start a blog; for me there was a slightly different aim behind my decision, I’d at last finished a book which I was able to self-publish, and as with all indi self-publishers there was no-one but me to publicise the fact. I found WordPress (not sure now how or why, but I am extremely happy and at home here) and so began my journey into the world of blog. From the start I realised that I couldn’t just write about the book I had published, there was a limit to that, and wouldn’t engage the wider audience I hoped for.
I decided to share my ideas about writing, to share other stories – mostly of my family history, and to talk about my various interests mostly reading, going to the pub, eating and cooking, cooking and eating, travelling locally and further afield. I soon found writing for a blog is different, because out there is your audience, not here in my room where I write and I am the only audience; out there in the blogosphere were endless millions of people, some of who might be interested in what I write.
- makes me more careful about what and how I write, makes me pay attention to not only the little things like checking for typos and errors, but controlling how much I write and how I express myself
- makes me notice things in my everyday life that I then share on my blog
- brings me into contact with wonderful and friendly people across the world
- let’s me practice different types and forms of writing
- challenges me to keep going when writing is difficult (for whatever reason, sometimes just pure laziness!)
- allows me to keep a diary of things I do, places I go, people I come across, books I read, writers I work with and so on and on and, wonderfully, endlessly on is great fun!!
- I could write more, and maybe I will, which is another thing, you can write as much or as little as you like! My final thoughts, if you like writing, even a little bit, then try blogging!!
PS here is a link to my blogging friend’s fantastic blog – be warned, you can lose yourself for hours here!