What’s it all about?

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I think I need to blog more, purely for my own benefit…I enjoy it and start to feel twitchy if I haven’t written anything for a while. I think it’s the act of creating something that I enjoy so much, life is full of consuming so producing is a good antidote to that. Slightly more tricky, however, now my son doesn’t nap!

Instead, I’ve been thinking about blogging. Let me rephrase that, I’ve been overthinking my hobby of blogging. And then I started to feel a tad disillusioned but I’m not completely sure with what, so have decided to try and work it out by blogging, which seems sensible.

Ok, definitely my blog. I want it to look better, it needs a redesign and I have a logo ready and waiting but can’t work out how to use it. I’m on it though…change will happen!

Other bits to do with my blog annoy me as well. I mean ‘LJ’…I am so fed up with writing that. It’s clearly not my son’s name and doesn’t even sound like him either. It was supposed to be the initial of his middle name with ‘Little’ in front of it. But I got fed up writing ‘Little’ each time, so shortened it to LJ. Both configurations annoy me. A lot. So I think I’ll change that soon. I don’t think anyone will notice!

The blogosphere (check me out with the technical terms) is definitely saturated/oversaturated maybe, but I’m not really sure that matters. I enjoy blogging so I blog. I didn’t even know there was a ‘blogosphere’ when I started. I think perhaps the disillusionment related to this can be attributed to some sort of confused pursuit of originality on my behalf. We all want to be original don’t we? But perhaps not different? I don’t know.

Also in a moment of recklessness a few weeks ago I sent a few posts to Huffington Post and now can call myself a Huffington Post Blogger, or possibly a HuffPost Blogger. I’m very grateful for this and have been very proud of fellow bloggers when this happened for them, but my fug of disillusionment has made me question why this is considered such an accolade.

Apart from some funny, thoughtful and fabulous posts by fellow bloggers, a lot of the Huff Post content that appears on my FB newsfeed really doesn’t resonate with me. It is a nice feeling of validation (although again of what!?), but it feels although I should be using a more public platform for a better purpose. I call myself a feminist, maybe I should get a bit more shouty. But shouty just isn’t my style. Am I angry/sad enough to make a difference? Well that’s a whole other post. So I tell myself it will be useful for my CV, but then question what CV!?

Hmm, are you still with me?

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Ok, as a further little exercise to add some structure to my thoughts this morning I dug out my faithful friend, my gorgeous weighty tome, The New Oxford Dictionary of English and thumbed to ‘blog’. Hmm, nothing. I remembered the etymological origins and looked up ‘weblog’. Still nothing. Then I looked at the front page of the dictionary…it was published in 1998. One year before the word ‘blog’ was coined. Nothing ‘New’ about you then. Feeling suitably old I turned my attention to Wiktionary (what!!??) and here you go:

BLOG: website that allows users to reflect, share opinions, and discuss various topics in the form of an online journal, sometimes letting readers comment on their posts.

Nothing we don’t already know, but I actually found this definition really useful. In an attempt to encourage myself to blog more I was starting to wonder if I should make my blog more of a diary, but there are a few key issues with this 1) I don’t think I’d have the energy for that 2) the posts would be seriously lacking in quality OR my child would be lacking in attention 3) this really only works with pretty pictures and I am a useless photographer 4) my daily life would probably need to be more interesting than it currently is.

Maybe the beauty of blogging is that it can be anything. A diary if you want it to be; a place to showcase creations (every artist should blog!); a place to share your passions such as reading, travelling, cooking; an informal way for a business to connect with clients; a place to share thoughts and mark memories; a platform for citizen journalism; and a place to create a brand out of yourself (although I’m a bit hazy on the mechanics of this last one!).

If it’s not for anyone other than yourself you can make it whatever you want, publish whatever you want and publicise wherever/however you want. If you end up meeting fellow bloggers who are just plain lovely then so much the better.

So, as you can see. I should probably just stick the kettle on and get on with it. But, thank you I feel much better now I’ve offloaded my meanderings on to you and I feel energised for a renewed period of (slightly) more frequent blogging (maybe)…

 

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13 thoughts on “What’s it all about?

  1. I, too, sometimes feel disillusioned with blogging – usually when I make the mistake of comparing my blog to other, more popular, sites. One negative thought that keeps occurring to me is that blogging is essentially a giant popularity contest. I sometimes think I pour too much energy into something which can be a little soul destroying. I feel at my happiest with my blog when I just try and do my own thing and write about what I like. I agree that it can be anything you want it to be. In terms of style, I felt a lot happier with how mine looked when I went over to a self-hosted site. Hope these thoughts help!

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    1. Ooo very helpful. I’m too scared (and technophobe) to go self-hosted. I do love the look of your blog though and covet those yellow wellies! I COMPLETELY agree with you about the feeling that sometimes it is a popularity contest. Often about who’s the best on social media (ha, not me!) . And yes focusing on what you want from it is the best idea…although to be honest I find this works for a bit and then the blogosphere all gets a bit noisy for me.And so I take another blogging break! Thank you very much for commenting x

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  2. I have had lots of similar thoughts! I like the name LJ. Very hard to know what names to use, if you’re concerned about protecting their anonymity. I like the idea of a diary entry too, it might be way more interesting that you realise, especially for parents whose kids are little younger than…LJ! Keep going! x

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    1. Very hard! I just wish I’d thought more about finding a name that was similar to his actual name, or just used his actual name…
      As I said on Twitter (thank you for sharing on there) I’m glad it’s not just me that thinks some of these things…and you a fellow HP Blogger too!

      Hmm I might dabble with the diary idea at some point…maybe it would encourage me to lead a more exciting life!

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  3. I love the plan to surreptitiously change LJ’s name. I think you should commit fully to the stealth nature of this – refuse to acknowledge the change or that it was ever any different. 1984 it! In fact this could be your blogging ‘thing’ – you could do a 1984 blog, where everything constantly changes but never gets acknowledged, and see how people react. A blog and a social experiment! I may have got carried away with the nutty idea now.

    I get the disillusionment, but I think if you like writing, maybe just focus on writing what you want, when you want, and try not to get dragged into worrying about the stuff you don’t want to worry about. Easier said than done, I know.

    As for the politics of popularity and success, I do find it a bit disheartening, but also I do hear a lot about the issue of views that are converted and ones that aren’t, & I think that is important. Because, yes, if you get lots of hits, you will rank well. But those hits don’t always translate to people clicking elsewhere or convert to loyal fans. & what actually means more to you? To have a lot of hits, but a high bounce rate and little conversion, or to know that you have a smaller audience but of people who like and return to your work? I noticed this with my breastfeeding post. It got way more views than anything I have ever done, and that was exciting, but it was people just reading that post, rather than interest in my blog. So my site hits went crazy (for me), but at the same time my bounce rate, which is usually quite good, became very high. &, actually, this has made me appreciate that it is really nice having people who you know actually make an effort to follow your blog and read multiple posts. I think I may now be blabbering nonsensically, and there is a good chance I have no clue what I’m talking about!

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    1. Ooo I also love the idea of 1984-ing my blog! And first up will a total Anglo Saxon conversion.

      I had to read the paragraph about page hits and bounces a few times, but I now feel I understand what you are saying! And yes I agree, it’s very very nice when loyal people come back and check in on your posts rather than flash in the pan ones. Not that one-time passer-bys don’t offer something interesting of course! I have to admit I don’t look at my stats, and I actually really don’t. So i think you are spot on with the writing thing…if I like writing, write. Got it. Will do! Thank you for taking the time to comment, you can see why this was too big an answer in the end for a message! X

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    1. Yep a total (and very cathartic) mind dump! I am a fan of blogging breaks, although normally once I’ve reached the end of one! It’s a bit rubbish to not feel the blogging mojo if you want to feel it. I’m sure you will…I hope you will, I love your blog!

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      1. Thanks 🙂
        A combination of being really busy and just not feeling it. I’d rather write nothing than something just for the sake of it. Trouble is it’s so easy to just disappear from the blogosphere (whatever that is 😉 ).

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      2. Yes I completely agree. I started 3 posts and discarded them before getting frustrated and writing this one. I definitely get the sense that I am out of some sort of loop, but I think there are a few loops and also, in my case, I never think anyone notices! Also since taking regular blogging breaks, I have completely stopped checking my stats. It’s very liberating! Take care, and you have looked down the back of the sofa haven’t you? Everything ends up there in our house xx

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  4. I get overwhelmed at times at what I ‘should’ be doing but then I remember just to write and enjoy. I anonymised my children’s names and now I don’t know if I should have as it feels weird. Maybe I’ll change it at some point xx #weekend-blog-share

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