Saturday, 12 December 2015

A Blog About Blogs




I see blogging has been in the cybernews again. Various bloggers have come out publicly and announced that they've abandoned theirs, as the effort and energy put into them doesn't seem worth it. Others have thrown their metaphorical hats into the ring and admitted that they have reduced their blog posts from regular to intermittent, and that they don't follow, read or comment upon other writers' blogs any more as they no longer have the time.

I posted my first blog on May 5th 2012, so obviously, I am not in no position to comment, but equally obviously, that has never stopped me in the past: I like blogs. I write this one, The Adventures of L-Plate Gran one, I host interesting guests on The Pink Sofa, and I read and comment on other blogs too.

A blog is a way of getting instant feedback and staying connected to the world beyond one's mentally enclosed writing space. For those who don't want to tackle a whole book, a blog is a satisfying outlet for their writing talents. For the marvellous poets whose blogs I read, I guess it is the only way to reach readers, as poetry is an even more restricted field than prose.

I also value the discipline of having to produce two complete pieces of writing nearly every week. As a procrastinator who, if they ever made it an Olympic sport, would be up there on the winner's rostrum, it is a good way to stay focused. And I freely confess that I have learned practically all of what I know about blogging and social media from reading other people's blogs.

Interestingly, several of my Yr 13 students have reported being told at University visits that a blog would be an asset to mention on their personal statements (Art and Design, and English and Creative Writing seem to be the courses that like them). Never happened before, and speaks volumes about the status blogging has achieved in the mainstream academic world. Students are also being asked to write blog posts on GCSE English Language papers too.

So I'm carrying on blogging. If for no other reason than it took me ages to lug The Pink Sofa up three flights of stairs to the tiny garret at the top of Hedges Towers, where I write. And I've just finished assembling the white birch coffee table, which I had to do in Swedish as they sent the wrong instructions.


How about you, though? Blogphile, or blogphobe? Feel free to share your thoughts...

44 comments:

  1. I'm glad you plan to continue as I always enjoy reading your blogs.
    Please pass on my best wishes to You must be mad and Little G.

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  2. I do agree Carol - I enjoy writing Hastings Battleaxe for my own personal pleasure, and the necessary writing discipline! I do read other people's blogs, but can understand why some get put off - there is a massive amount of rubbish in the blogosphere. But each to their own I guess...

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  3. I admit, head hanging, that I'm in the group of those who have found it difficult to maintain a blog. I'm trying, and for the first time failed last month, to post monthly. However, your point about reaching beyond one's own mental writing space is, for me, a very valid point - so thanks for the reminder!
    I also have to say, I'm grateful for those like yourself, who do keep posting, because when I get stuck (marketing, baking, house cleansing - you name it) it's to bloggers I turn for inspiration...so it's definitely one for the blogosphere from me!

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  4. I say: do it if you want to and don't if you don't. I do it because there's so much stuff I want to write apart from my books, so I need an outlet for all those other thoughts, too. It's pointless to do it just because you read an article in 2011 that said 'if people think your blogs are great, they will go and buy all your books'. We all know, now, that although this happens a bit, it doesn't happen a great deal.

    I think I read or part-read about 30-40 posts a week. Almost without exception, I do so because the title or the way in which they're tweeted interests me.

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    1. There are certain people: Tom, You, Silly Mummy whom I always read as their stuff is instructive or amusing....I am constantly surprised by the banality of many ''blogs' that appear in weekend papers (pace Tim Dowling)...ones on here are so much better in quality and variety.

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    2. Oh, I don't read newspapers. Good to hear our quality is better, ahem!! btw, I always read yours, Tom's, Cathy Ryan's, Barb Taub's, and a few others... I have stopped reading the 'how to write' ones because they just wind me up. Now, I must go and clean the kitchen. I am blog reading to put off the awful moment when it must be done!!!

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    3. I have my favourites - present company mainly! And tend to like amusing ones. But writing tips and ironically blogs about blogging can be the most entertaining.

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  5. Good to hear that you will continue. Love it, please keep on !

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    1. By the way, is the cake in the photo either somewhere available for purchase or do you have a recipe ?
      Markus

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    2. haha. pic was sent to be by Debs Dustbunny on Twitter..it is superb!

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  6. I keep on blogging. I have one daily blog I'm committed to, and the others lag until I have time. I write about ten posts a week between my various blogs, and sometimes more, but I find having eight posts I must do a week keeps me focused and somewhat disciplined. Sometimes I'd much rather curl up with a good book, using the excuse I can review it afterwards. Sometimes I do review them. More often I don't have the time.

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  7. I read part of many blogs - but will skip those that I don't connect with (that can vary from day to day). As for writing - I began blogging as a way of keeping in touch when I'm AWOL, and, since I'm not going to stop doing that for a while, then the blogs will continue. I take so little encouragement to write about travelling!

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  8. I'm at that stage when I'm just a mad blogger, I love doing what I do and keep the mad ideas coming, but I do know that when I get fed up , I'll hang my hat up and just walk away.

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    1. always something to write about though....

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  9. I blog weekly and occasionally do a daily stint (for holidays and conferences). I always read yours, Carol, plus a few others, mainly to do with marketing, rather than writing, books.

    I have learned that the number of hits depends on the topic (well, duh, what else would it be, Elizabeth?) and know which buttons to press when I want my numbers to go up. But, like Terry, I am under no illusions as to the link between blog readers and book purchases (definitely very weak). I was a little taken aback when my latest posting, about planning next year's blog and asking what people want to read about, garnered absolutely NO comments at all. But I'm still hopeful that if I repost it a bit more vigorously next week, I might get the odd response or two. E x

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    1. I get the most hits on blogs about writerly topics...like this one, or ones slagging off Amazon/Waterstones etc.

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    2. E, out of interest, how many views did my interview on yours get? I am sure I didn't beat Julia, but don't tell her!!!!

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  10. Well done Carol. Your pink sofa is great. Keep Blogging!

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    1. Thank you..the PINK SOFA is putting up its tree and festooning itself with garish lights atm..I shall pass on your good wishes

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  11. I've noticed I get most hits from blogs about writing, and music (built-in audience), and children.

    I blogged about blogging when i first started my weekly blog this year.

    https://tomhocknell.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/blogging/

    Going to slow down next year though.

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    1. Yeah..I remember saying things like that, Tom. *rueful laughter*

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    2. I get most views from:

      1. Those about writing, especially the tips for new writers/self-publishers, etc.
      2. Funny ones, like 'if the literary greats were pushing their books on Amazon', and my analysis of Twitter bios
      3. News about my own books, when I have a new one out (over 5K for Last Child - I wish they'd all buy it!!!!!!!!)
      4. The few I've done about love and relationships 'How to mend a broken heart' got over 5K. Hope it worked!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  12. I've been blogging since 2006. I love my blog and I love reading other blogs. Newspapers, magazines and other periodicals have never really interested me, but I've got a list of bloggers I follow (yours being one) and I wouldn't miss them for the world. I know I usually write too much on mine, but I have my regular readers and quite often people tell me they follow my posts but don't comment. I don't mind. As you say, it's an outlet and I write my blog once a week even if I don't have time to write anything else. Many of my early blogging contacts have given up theirs and moved to Facebook. I miss them, but have found other great blogs to replace them, so please don't stop, please!!

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  13. I've actually gone from intermittent to a regular weekly blog, so I must be bucking the trend. Will keep enjoying yours.

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  14. I too have been blogging since 2012. I do it because I love it, its cathartic, and it helps me learn if nothing else. It is, however, a massive time distraction from novel writing!!

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    1. Try hosting 3 different ones! It IS fun though!

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  15. I read your blog post while sitting here thinking 'What shall I write this week?'. I've been writing my blog since 2012 and have settled into a once a week pattern. I've always enjoyed writing my blog, and every post has a high number of pageviews, but blogging is a two-way thing. You need to reciprocate and read other people's blogs too and that can be very time consuming. It's also important to comment on the blogposts of your loyal followers If you want to keep them. Recently I've begun to wonder whether my writing time should be devoted to writing more stories/starting my next novel... but when I think about stopping, it makes me sad. Thanks, Carol, I now know what I'm going to be writing about for my next blog post... and of course I'll link back to here :)

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    1. Wendy, for this comment alone, I am a happy little blogger!!

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  16. Great post, Carol! I blog because it's fun and it's improved my non-fiction writing skills (hopefully!). Interesting what Terry says (above) - I try to mix up my posts but it's usually the writing ones which are most popular! x

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    1. ditto....the very specific ones too... like how to use Twitter...or how to Block people..(must reblog that one)

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  17. I've just looked mine up, and discovered that my first blog was October 3rd 2006. Since then, it's dropped off sadly, primarily as the deadlines have piled up, and I interact more on Facebook than anywhere else. I read both your blogs, but only get a few regularly through email, mainly from my offspring. As you were.

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    1. Yes, but you knock out 2 books a year... a feat that I could never accomplish!!

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  18. Talk about weird procrastination: I wrote some poems during the Student Revolution in Iran which failed. An ex-patriot living in France translated them into French and some other people translated them into Farsi. I could never understand how poetry could be translated into another language where the rhyme and rhythm would be lost, but anyway I hoped I sounded good in multiple languages: French,Persian, Arabic, and others. So now, after all this time, I get a notice that someone has read a French translation of a poem from 2010, and I don't even know if it's good in that form. I didn't especially like it in English, but who knows maybe it's wonderful in French. Yikes. It scares me that I have no idea what faux pas I've done.

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  19. Glad to hear your blog is to continue, Carol. Although it takes time and my own blog is only two years old, I have been able to connect with so many writers and I value their support. As a relatively new writer, I have also learned a lot from the varied topics covered in the blogs.

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    1. Exactly..and met some great people...as here....

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  20. I write two blogs and I can't imagine not having them in my daily life! My blogger blog was the foundation stone for my first published book, I could have thrown in the towel once my challenge was achieved but I love blogging too much. I enjoy reading and interacting on other blogs, and like you, I've learned so much from other bloggers. I've also 'met' some amazing people through blogging and interacting on social media. It's hard work and takes dedication and motivation to keep it up, but the rewards are worth it. If it wasn't for the blog-o-sphere I would never have met you, or the other incredible authors, poets, journalists and bloggers who I consider my extended family. Great post as always, Carol. Keep writing them :-)

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    1. I shall ..hopefully..and I enjoy yours too

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  21. I like blogging almost as much as writing, and convinced my writing is better because of it...
    How else will we keep track of what everyone is up to?

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  22. Hi Carol,

    First time visitor, but I enjoyed this post. I'm a blogophile, but I considered quitting a few months ago, following having two full websites, including blogs, destroyed at the sick hands of hackers.

    However, I long to have more feedback on my site. For some reason, many of my readers prefer to either email me or comment on Facebook. Most frustrating!

    Wishing you all the best for the New Year when it gets here. Blessings from S.Africa. Shirley from Shirley from Time for More Resolutions?

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    1. owww...sorry to hear of your bad stuff .. I get Facebook comments as well, but have a hardcore group who comment on her Mind my lovelies are nothing compared to some of the big popular bloggers..they get HUNDREDS of comments. Look at it this way --- as long as you know people are reading it,you're opk. and100s of comments would keep you busy 24/7 responding. Keep on blogging!

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